Daniel Eran Dilger
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Ten Myth of Apple’s iPad: 1. It’s just a big iPod touch

Daniel Eran Dilger

Apple’s unveiling of the iPad was guaranteed to do two things: temporarily tank the company’s stock price (just because) and, of course, generate a torrent of feigned outrage and righteous contempt from the usual suspects who always jump all over anything the company produces. As reader Jose Cerritelli points out, an Upton Sinclair quote is appropriate: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

Here’s the first segment in my series taking on iPad myths: no the iPad isn’t just a big iPod touch.

Ten Myth of Apple’s iPad: 1. It’s just a big iPod touch
Ten Myth of Apple’s iPad: 2. iPad needs Adobe Flash
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 3. It’s ad-evil
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 4. It was over-hyped and under-delivered
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 5. It’s just a Tablet PC or Kindle
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 6. It needs HDMI for HD video output
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 7. It needs cameras
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 8. It’s a curse for mobile developers
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 9. It can’t multitask
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 10. It needs Mac OS X
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It really didn’t matter what Steve Jobs said, anymore than it didn’t really matter what President Obama said later that same day. The Tea Party of populist rabble rousers, carefully framed by their corporate sponsors, were poised to pounce. Obama could lay out plans to educate more Americans and provide better health care while also lower taxes for the middle class and reducing the national debt and he’d still be jeered for not being able to magically and instantly undo the last decade’s perfect storm of unregulated banking fraud, massive corporate welfare, and an irresponsible lack of investment in jobs, all within his first year.

Similarly, Jobs could unveil a blazing new mobile processor, a genius new expanded user interface for multitouch, a new SDK to make it immediately useful and supportable by third parties, a series of new business models created to support an historically lackluster form factor, and blockbuster pricing to make it affordable even to starving students… and the tech rags and online pundits would only crow about missing support for Flash games aimed at seven year olds. Who is generating the most inane nonsense about the iPad? Let’s take a look.

Dear underwhelmed: # 1 : It’s a myth the iPad is “just a big iPod touch.”

Everyone with nothing interesting to say is just chiming in to inform us that they were underwhelmed by the iPad. Yes, thank you for your arrogant indifference, it’s very impressive that you casually shrug off something nobody has been able to bring to market before. The thing is, nobody really predicted anything cool that Apple didn’t deliver. It’s all just the typical initial response to anything Apple introduces: waaa, I wasn’t sufficiently entertained.

Remember how excited many of these same tools were when Microsoft blew the vaporware smoke that was Courier? Yeah, nice looking renderings of an impossibly expensive concept that will never be delivered. Or how about that Surface? We couldn’t escape the excitement of a bathtub kiosk that people could touch to play what amounted to a visualization loop. Who cares that some hotels ended up installing these $10,000 do-it-yourself kits? And the Zune HD? It was tiny, unfinished and played an ad before opening Chess. Gadget morons loved it.

Apple throws out gold and everyone insists they must yawn before stooping to pick it up. The iPad isn’t just a big iPod touch; it’s a significant rethinking of a product category that melds the simple mobile interface created for the iPhone with a new layer of familiar conventions with the full sized sophistication of the Mac OS X desktop, pared to a multitouch user interface.

The only thing I predicted that didn’t get demonstrated was a VNC client for remote desktop sharing, but the fact is that there are already VNC third party apps for the iPhone, and the iPad will run them unmodified. It’s likely they’ll be enhanced to take full advantage of its full resolution. I also said that it “won’t run page layout apps,” and sure enough, it will. I played around with cropping and masking photos in a text-wrapped Pages document. So yeah, I’m impressed.
Why isn’t anyone articulating exactly why they weren’t impressed? Because they can’t. Everyone expected the thing to cost $800 and nobody suggested what it might actually do. Earlier this month, HP took to the stage at CES with Microsoft to show off a clunky thick device that didn’t really do anything apart from running a version of Windows 7, and didn’t have a clear price or any special features. Nobody was very impressed. Apple’s iPad is the opposite of that. If you’re not impressed, you’re simply not very intelligent.
Unless of course, you are the CEO of Nintendo and are shrugging off the iPad, not because you’re trying to look cool and ingratiate yourself with the Apple-haters, but because you realize that your own mobile AND console gaming platforms now look straight up ridiculous. And really, isn’t there some massive hubris involved with Nintendo blowing off the iPad as “just a big iPod touch” after it has only managed to rev the DS ineffectually and rebadge the GameCube as the Wii over the last several years?

  • lmasanti
  • http://www.metrokids.ca Conrad MacIntyre

    I’m glad you’re doing this. I seemed to be the only person I knew who actually saw the potential awesome that is the iPad. I cannot wait for them to arrive at my local Apple store. If they are nearly as good as what I’ve heard then I’ll certainly be saving my pennies to get one.

    Although I’ll probably wait until Canadian pricing structures (3G) are revealed. I’m guessing a $530 CDN price for the device itself.

  • http://www.chrissyone.com ChrissyOne

    I liked the video, but I thought you didn’t want to type? The article was almost as long. >.<

    But to the point – The iPad is a big iPod touch like the iPhone is an expensive cell phone. I think this knee-jerk reaction comes from the inherent conservatism that people feel for the way they currently use technology, and their inability to imagine new ways to accomplish the same tasks.

    Take for instance, the charge that people "will either use a desktop or a smartphone to do anything the iPad can do."

    What lack of vision! FIrst off, why should I be tied to a desk (or even a largish laptop) when 80% of what I do can be done on a device like the iPad? The only thing that prevented my from using my iPhone for blogging or other long document writing was the typing experience, which is good for a phone, but nothing as good as a real keyboard or even a full-size touch keyboard. This eliminates many of the reasons for buying a laptop, and had the advantages of a 3G connection and a much smaller profile. The iPad can go places the laptop can't, like in my camera bag.

    But as always, give people a chance to actually touch one, and you'll see them change their tune.

    I saw one comment comparing the iPad to the Cube, but we all knew the second Steve told us how much a Cube cost that it was too much. I don't think ANYONE expected a $499 entry price, or the top dog for $830.

  • ulicar

    “The iPad isn’t just a big iPod touch; it’s a significant rethinking of a product category that melds the simple mobile interface created for the iPhone with a new layer of familiar conventions with the full sized sophistication of the Mac OS X desktop, pared to a multitouch user interface.”

    This is simply put not true. iPad does not and will not have full Mac OSX desktop power. Stop claiming something that is simply not true. Are you doing that because you don’t know better, or on purpose? You decide what is the reason.

    iPad is not a big iPod touch, it is much worse.

    [What are you basing your comments on? Are you upset that it doesn’t run unmodified Carbon apps? – Dan]

  • Dmitri

    Dan, you are a breath of fresh air. Keep up the good work.

  • http://blogger.emailstar.com TheCrow

    ulicar – “iPad does not and will not have full Mac OSX desktop power.” do I really want a Apache server among other things on my iPad? Seriously, I think the iPad does exactly what it intended to. IT’S NOT A DESKTOP REPLACEMENT!

  • ulicar

    @Dan I am basing my comments partly on that, but also on missing JAVA which is AFAIK installed by default in Mac OSX. On the fact that I cannot run alternative browsers on iPad, while on OSX I can. The fact that I have multitasking in OSX and not in iPad. The fact…

    There are so many missing features here, that claiming it is “full sized sophistication of the Mac OS X desktop” is simply put not true.

    I love my iMac, my MacBook, my iPhone3GS, my iPhone3G, my iPod… I have probably more Apple gear and I have developed for Apple more commercial apps than most of your readers, but if something is not true, then something is not true. It is as simple as that.

  • ulicar

    @Crow I do not care what you want, I am saying that what Dan is claiming is simply put not true. If he sad you cannot run Apache on it, or access shel scripts, or whatever i would not say a word, but he claims “full sized sophistication of the Mac OS X desktop” and that is bit rich.

  • rabber

    I do not want a full blown notebook in the iPad – I want a product that starts off as a big iPod Touch. I like my iPhone, but, quite frankly, for a lot of the tasks I would like to do, the screen is far too small for me to use. For example, I would like to take it into customer meetings and show them product datasheets. I can’t do this on my iPhone, but I can do it on the iPad. Customers ask me for prices – I can’t look them up easily or quickly on iPhone, but I can on an iPad. Of course, I could use my MacBookPro to do this. However, it is much bigger, takes too long to start up, isn’t as easy to pass around and is a little intimidating for people.

    I do not expect the iPad to completely replace my MacBookPro when it is first released. However, I expect it to work well enough so that I can replace my MacBookPro with an iMac and use the iPad for my mobility tasks.

  • http://twitter.com/NateTehGreat nat

    Good myth to start with and the video was nice.

    My reaction to this meme was exactly what you said in the video: “What’d you expect, a small iPod touch?” And they say it as if it’s a putdown? I’m pretty sure the iPod touch is gaining on the iPhone.

    It’s the same thing every time, they fixate on the hardware form factor and completely blow off the software (except Flash of course, which all these tech sites and blogs use for their videos and ads).

    @ ulicar,

    Where in that (vaguely worded) quote from the article is the word “power” used at all?

  • gus2000

    “If you’re not impressed, you’re simply not very intelligent.”

    oh snap

  • ulicar

    @nat oh really? So, now we will go into the defition of ‘is”? That is the proof Dan was caught redhanded :)

  • http://twitter.com/NateTehGreat nat

    ulicar,

    Is that a euphemism for “look, over there!

    On the fact that I cannot run alternative browsers on iPad, while on OSX I can.

    Go into the App Store and search “web browser”. There are numerous alternatives to Apple’s bundled MobileSafari.

    The fact that I have multitasking in OSX and not in iPad.

    Apple gave out zero details on whether the iPad can or can’t multitask but considering it’s running OS X iPhone, which can multitask, it probably can. If you mean multitask third party apps, we won’t know until release day.

  • ludachrs

    Increasing the deficit by 30% in one year with the help of full majorities in both houses congress and 7 months of secret backroom deals (pork) to fail at a health care bill are certainly a great way to “lower taxes for the middle class and reducing the national debt”. I am pissed, I can’t believe I voted for this guy, I must be a religious fanatic to not see how he’s helping. what a joke.

  • gus2000

    Ummmmm ulicar I think you are taking words out of context; the iPad clearly does not have the OSX desktop and there’s no reason for Dan to say that it does.

    If you carefully read his run-on sentence, he basically says:

    “iPhone + new gestures + desktop sophistication + multitouch = win”

    Or something to that effect.

  • http://nsayer.blogspot.com/ nsayer

    I’m willing to accept the closed software ecosystem on my phone for the sake of assuring me that it’s going to be as robust and reliable as possible. But for a device like this, that is much more like a laptop than a phone, I find the inability to run whatever software I want to run unacceptable.

    Case in point: I like to play poker online. At the moment, online poker is in somewhat of a legal quagmire in the United States. Because of that, none of the poker sites out there can offer iPhone / iPad clients, even though they do offer them for the Mac (at least P*, FTP, Absolute, PokerRoom at last count). Apple would never be able to add their clients to the store without being dragged into court. Because they have editorial control over the contents of the app store, they cannot use any sort of common carrier defense.

  • ulicar

    @nat
    All those alternative browsers are running THE SAME engine. Please get informed about the topic you would like to comment on.

    iPad is running on the same software iPhone is running, and that one is not multitasking for the third party applications. Therefore, iPad is not capable to multitask except in very specific instances of running apps written by Apple. Therefore IT IS NOT ABLE TO MULTITASK.

  • stormj

    @ludachrs: Deficit hysteria. Check. “Full majorities.” Check. “Back room deals.” Check. You really voted for Obama? That’s hard to take serious since you are simply regurgitating so many RNC talking points. There certainly hasn’t been any tax increase on the middle class under Obama, so… I call bullshit.

    As for the strange parallel between Jobs and Obama—both guys get branded with messianic hopes they never asked for and then the same people who gave them this mantle get freaked out when he turns out not to be Jesus—is shocking.

    The iPad is probably not for me, but I think it has awesome potential and people that are trying to act like it won’t sell aren’t doing so for any other reason than the fact that they hate Apple.

    And the fact that it doesn’t run Carbon apps (how much longer will even OS X support that relic?) or Flash…or whatever else that’s fast becoming a relic that will be associated with the last decade and not the next one, well, is more of a reason to think it will succeed than not.

    The only people saying this crap are executives of competing companies and tech pundits who get readers for being “controversial” even if they’re just making it up.

  • miloh

    @ulicar — Dan did not say the iPad has the full Mac OSX desktop power. He said it is a hybrid of the iPhone interface and the SIZE of the OSX desktop.

  • ulicar

    @ gus2000 I actually did not pull it out of context. I decided to put more arround just in case somebody came up with that defense. Also, “desktop sofistication”? What do you mean by “desktop sofistication”? Are you talking about desktop that isn’t as if it actually is?

    It does not have desktop sofistication the same way iPod touch doesn’t. It is not as sofisticated as desktop, not even close.

  • gus2000

    @ludachrs, you should be made aware that the US Budget Deficit jumped by billions within a few days of Obama’s swearing in, but not due to any additional spending. He instead simply changed the policy of the previous administration that kept the Iraq/Afghanistan wars out of the budget calculations. The first step in correcting a problem is fully admitting it.

    Much of the remaining deficit was the result of the Stimulus package, a one-time emergency expenditure to head off a worldwide financial apocalypse.

    I share your concern over the deficit but I fully support where money is currently being spent, and no amount of “pork” can take us $1T into the red. Tough decisions must happen but not until the economy starts growing steadily.

    What I want to know is: who is going to fix my iPad deficit? Hmmm? [taps foot impatiently]

  • ulicar

    @ miloh OS X does not have a SIZE. The screen has a size, and if you want to say this is an iPod with a big screen you say, this is an iPod with a big screen, not “full sized sophistication of the Mac OS X desktop” because it is missleading and not true, which is what Dan I guess was after.

  • gus2000

    @ulicar, dude, I was paraphrasing Dan. And in any case, no one said iPad was a desktop. Quite the opposite, since using the desktop metaphor (keyboard/mouse/etc) is what made all prior tablet computers a Big Bag of Fail.

    Just back away from they keyboard and chillax. You know, there exists on the market today decaf blends that are just as tasty as the regular coffees. You should try them out.

  • ulicar

    @ gus2000
    “Just back away from they keyboard and chillax.”

    I think I will :D

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  • miloh

    @ulicar — It’s called stylistic writing.

  • ulicar

    @miloh no, it is called misleading the audience and untrue reporting. If I said that my new design gumboots were able to cross the Channel, that would not mean they are waterproof. That would be misleading and untrue. The same applies here. If we are talking about the size of the screen, we do not use OS X “in stylistic”, because it is misleading and not true. If the author wanted to say, as what you are implying that iPad is iPod Touch with a big screen, then you say “iPad is iPod Touch with a big screen”, and then “the myth” actually becomes not myth at all.

  • bartfat

    I don’t think the iPad was meant to replace the current laptops and full power of Macs. It was meant to do meld more functionality into a tablet that’s also priced reasonably, so it approaches a desktop application’s functionality (more so than the iPhone anyway). Besides that, it is like an appliance, you turn it on, you turn it off. Almost as simple. So it’s not geared towards tech geeks or anything like that (although if they like it enough they’ll probably buy it in ADDITION to their macbook pro), but towards the “normies”, the people who have trouble saving files on anywhere other than their Desktop. My mom is one of those people, so is my dad. There’s alot more of non-geeks than there are with geeks, so if this device appeals to them b/c it has LESS features and therefore more simplicity, it’s going to be a hit. After all, the geek market is worth millions, but the non-geek market is worth billions ;)

  • bartfat

    btw looking forward to your other articles about myths, Dan :)

  • broadbean

    As per gus2000, who noted, “If you’re not impressed, you’re simply not very intelligent.”

    You go girl!!

    I think the Wii is doing rather nicely, thank you very much. Other than that, I’m rather astounded by the amount negativity around the iPad. Thankfully a lot more thoughtful articles are slowly coming out.

    The further January 27th is in the past, the more I’m getting excited about the iPad (and of course future RD articles)!

  • penguinman

    If I could synch my iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads over wireless G or N, then all I would need is a Time Capsule and a Mac Mini and my family would be set.

  • aznzofia111

    I am of the impression that Dan was pointing to the capabilities of apps such as iWork when he was mentioning the “sophistication/power of Mac OSX”.

    It may be important to devs, geeks, and pundits what the specs are, but to the end user it doesn’t matter what the processing capability is, or how “sophisticated” the OS is.

    Flash and 3rd party multitasking do not matter in the end, because they are a means to an end. Steve knows what that end is. The pundits don’t.

    If it can do what the common end user does on a PC, and it’s $500, that’s great.
    If it can do what the common end user does on a PC *better than a PC*, well I’m sold. Boom.

  • miloh

    @ulicar — So you would have worded things differently. Great. What of it? This isn’t your site. The author is under no obligation to follow your personal rules. Based on the way you worded your argument, however, it seems you believe he should. Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.

  • http://blog.atawakkol.com atawakkol

    First of all I like your video very much. It can be even better with a few small tricks and surely when you get more used to stand in front of a camera :) But that’s another thing, if you really need some advice on the video I think I can help, just drop me an email, I’ll be more than glad to help and we can take it out of the comments :)

    Now back to the main point, the iPad. I have to admit that my very first 10 minutes of the event were not so good – specially just following the live blogging of the event – and I was slightly disappointed. Slowly as it progressed it became more clear till the moment he talked about iWork, and I was jumping off my chair in front of my MBP, then the eBooks part and …, and I was absolutely sure this is going to be a major game changer.

    I do understand that a lot of people don’t get it, but I’ll give you a better example (or at least I think so) than comparing it with the first iPod; I ‘ll compare it to the iPhone itself. If we go back 3 years in time and remember the iPhone launch event, as Apple fans we were all impressed, but other than that – and this is a hefty 90% of the computer user market were not. All talked about how silly it is to loose a key pad and that it is not a smart phone and the fact that it really lacked some standard mobile phone features made them all predict it as a flop and on top of them was NOKIA. Well where do we stand now? The iPhone is the biggest CE adopted product in the History of CE and NOKIA lost – and will continue losing – market share to the iPhone and the other lower end imitations (if we can say that) that have seen Apple’s vision and followed course.

    As a marketer and an Entrepreneur, I can immediately see the iPad potential for education and true mobile computing just to name a few to start with. And for myself, I can’t wait :) I’ll be getting one as soon as the 3G one is out. It will make my day more joyful and my work more lots of fun (that is already fun using my other Apple products) as I’ll no longer have to carry my MBP every where, simply pull my iPad out and get my work done! After all this is what really Apple products are good at, getting your work done.

  • http://twitter.com/NateTehGreat nat

    ulicar

    1. You never specified what “alternative browsers” you wanted to use. Considering BlackBerrys, Palm Pres, iPhones/iPod touches, Android phones, and some Nokia phones all make use of WebKit-based browsers—and factoring in the reality that Mozilla has yet to release a mobile version of Firefox—I made the crazy presumption that you wanted to run a WebKit-based alternative. But I guess that would make too much sense.

    2. The iPad is running the same core OS as the iPhone/touch, I knew that. But it’s also v3.2, which has not been released except to devs, who are under NDA. Apple could likewise introduce new features between now and launch day.

    3. Doing multiple things simultaneously is the definition of multitasking. The iPhone can browse the web while recieving text messages while playing music from the iPod app, all at the same time. If you want third party multitasking, that’s a valid topic for discussion.

  • joshdean

    @ulicar. If we could maybe move away from this semantic bitch-slapping contest for a minute and address the heart of Dan’s post, what exactly do you think of the iPad? Lets say for the sake of argument that there are many productivity-intensive tasks which the iPad in its current incarnation simply cannot do. Put your little visionary hat on for a moment and tell us, do you consider the current device as a bare-bones first iteration of a game-changing new platform? In other words, would you agree with me if I were to argue that , given the relentless progress in miniaturization of technology and its ever-dropping price, coupled with the gradual move to the cloud, it is not unreasonable to predict that within a few years the touch-tablet form factor, and an accompanying mad rush by developers to optimize all manner of programs for gesture control, will supercede the laptop(perhaps a physical keyboard dock will still be needed for major typing needs, but so what)? And if this future does indeed come to pass, guess which humble, adequate little product will be given credit for jump-starting this whole transformation?

  • bartfat

    @nat
    I think he was wishing for a WebKit alternative, meaning a mobile Firefox or a mobile IE. But both of those browsers are inefficient at rendering stuff, which is why they haven’t gained much traction in the mobile space. Still, at least he’s not mad at Apple for delivering the sky ;)

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  • John E

    well, let’s try to think clearly – and (almost) rhetoric-free:

    Physically, the iPad has everything the touch does and adds a much faster processor, ‘n’ wifi, 3G connectivity and future 4G capability, higher quality LED display, a speaker, longer lasting battery, higher quality VGA output, bluetooth keyboard option, and of course a bigger screen. so you might reasonably say that physically it is a next-generation touch on steroids. that is definitely more than just a “bigger touch.” but not by an order of magnitude.

    plus its 4:3 display is also an optimal format for web viewing compared to the 3:2 touch screen. that plus the 4x increased size (in screen area) certainly makes it an ideal web browsing appliance compared to the more constrained touch. the “bigger touch” comment kinda captures this, a prime purpose of the iPad.

    the iPad’s UI certainly has more power and depth than the touch’s. but until we get to actually use one at length, we can’t assess the overall impact of that or compare the two. the same is true for the standard ‘native’ Mac apps for the iPad. the one new ‘feature’ is the picture frame option. nice, but not outstanding.

    then there are the new Mac apps for the iPad only – iBooks with also a new Apple iBooks Store (which could evolve into something big), and the new iWorks productivity suite (which also might evolve into something big combined with more development of Apple’s MobileMe ‘cloud’ service).

    calling it a “bigger touch” really does fail to capture both of these important new aspects of the iPad.

    Then of course there are the third party apps. what developers will do with the increased power, size, and sophistication of the iPad compared to the iPhone and touch remains to be seen. but it could be sensational – and soon!

    not to be ignored is the business deal. the iPad price is mid-range for internet appliances, and definitely low for this much power and capability. that is remarkable. but even more important is the unlimited $30 data plan, which will set a new and lower market benchmark that will benefit all consumers of data plans – a breakthrough.

    calling it a just “bigger touch” totally fails to capture that last crucial new aspect of the iPad as well.

    last but definitely not least is the impact the iPad might have on human behavior. will it be “revolutionary” in its own right like the iPhone proved to be – as Jobs claims? or will it just further enlarge the iPhone revolution like the touch did – and thus be just a “bigger touch”? have to wait and see.

    So calling the iPad overall just a “bigger touch” is a bullshit throwaway line for hacks and fanboys. it has partial validity in a few specific categories, but is simply wrong in many others.

  • ulicar

    @ miloh tnx a bunch for understanding that iPad is nohing but big iPod :) this is important time in history where we have a company creating a small device and then enlargeing it, while up untill now it was the other way arround.
    @nat Mozilla, opera all mobile versions are better than mobile safari. Apple will not let them on, because they know every normal person would switch :) and they would support flash, java, html5 and so on… App store would probably go south.

    @everyone it is just iPod enlarged. I know you can see it, but you will not accept the fault of the great one :) whatever :) it is funny watching you realizing that the whole article, from the title to the “support” is plain wrong :) me, off to BBQ have a good night :)

  • http://ObamaPacman.com ObamaPacman

    Thanks for the video Dan! It’s easier to digest for English speakers.

    Oh about the Nintendo CEO, he’s a Mac / iPhone user. =)
    http://obamapacman.com/2009/11/nintendo-ceo-satoru-iwata-uses-mac-iphone-apple-keynote-software/

  • bartfat

    @ulicar
    the mobile Mozilla you speak of doesn’t exist for even Android. show me a link where you can download one… for any popular phone (Windows Mobile is crap, so that doesn’t count). Honestly, I’d like to hear it. But it’s not like Apple has done anything badly with its browser, if anything it’s forced Opera to an even smaller niche, because what Opera does is render it on a server and then send it to the phone. Which is really kind of dumb, b/c then Javascript wouldn’t work, because that needs to run locally. So I dare you to try to find a better alternative than WebKit that runs on mobile.

    Anyway, this is pretty much thread hijacking by ulicar. I shouldn’t be needing to point out the obvious, that the iPhone did web browsing much better than any other phone of its introduction. And the iPad borrows from that same strategy.

  • nabilahmad

    Daniel, I trust you will get past all the trolling above to get to read this. BTW, i love the full archive of your articles, if you were to compile this site into a book, I’d buy it!

    Myth #11 The iPad’s screen is too small for real productivity.

    I do hope that among your myths to bust is the notion that the iPad’s screen real estate is no bigger than a netbook’s of similarel count and physical dimension. I have long been frustrated with the lost 15-20% of screen real estate to redundant or rarely useful UI elements. If you were to tack on the normal Windows XP/Vista/7 taskbar, statusbar, toolbar, address bar, menubar, and title bar, you would need a 12-13 inch screen to display this additional interface. Every time I scroll away the address bar of my iPhone, I breathe a sigh of relief that i can recover that screen real estate for CONTENT!!!

    BTW, have you seen Word with the ribbon interface on a netbook? I feel sorry for the user/victim!

    Myth #12 The touch screen is a handicap
    Another angle for which the iPad absolutely decimates the netbook competition is touchpad size. Whenever I fiddle with the latest netbook to cross my path, I primarily take note of the usability of its touchpad. I’m repeatedly elated/disappointed by the multi-touch gestures they incorporate into their unusably small form factor. The real handicap is making three or four gestures to move a mouse across a 10″ screen!

    Myth #13 It will never be a business platform and will strictly be delegated to casual home use
    I have been waiting to see the iPad released for use as a replacement for cash registers (among other industries that it’ll obliterate). I am sure that the specialized boxes that are found in plentitude in all stores cost far more than the $499 base of the iPad. I hope to see someone develop that app to run on the iPad and the service to run on the Mac Mini server. Honestly, this is beyond my programming ability; otherwise I would do it myself and cash in on that gold mine. Bottom line is that this will be the new embedded systems platform. Everywhere you see a screen, you will see an iPad.

  • counterproductive

    Well, ulicar, I know you could see it if you wanted to: the iPad displays levels of sophistication not present in the iPod. In fact, one might even say, it displays levels of sophistication heretofore associated with a desktop OS. Now that is not to say “sophistication” = “features” (which you seem unsuccessfully bent on trying to prove), nor power (as another commented pointed out).

    However, Dan did go to some lengths in another article to elaborate on some of this apparent “sophistication” (in the “Hands-on” article I think). [i]I[/i] can see some “sophistication” here, and I was looking for just such an increase in, what I might on any given day of the week call, shall we say, [i]sophistication[/i]. To whit, extended menus, contextual menus and floating pallets (in fact they look to be how shall I put it, [i]more sophisticated[/i] than comparable ones on the desktop).

    The fact that I am not constantly changing screens do perform different tasks within one app or to access secondary menus, displays I think a greater level of sophistication in the iPad that is not present in the iPhone/iPod, but approaches the sophistication we have come to rely on on the desktop. In fact, Apple has tailored some of these more sophisticated aspects of the Touch OS to this new Touch Device so that these more sophisticated features are much more natural than they would be if this was merely a cramming of a purely mouse-driven, desktop OS into a smaller Touch Device. In this (as evidenced by their characteristic restraint, creativity and innovation), Apple are themselves displaying a certain level of sophistication. And were one to compare Apple products (both software and hardware) to similar [i]types[/i] of products produced by other companies, why, the one word that comes to my mind, is [i]sophistication[/i].

    Now, you might think you are the boy pointing out the Emperor’s nakedness, but it is a little rich to be equating everyone here with the crowd who felt like they had to imagine the clothes in their heads. That role is best reserved for pundits and Apple-nay-sayers who “see” amazing trappings on all the other crap on the market. Dan has in mind this crowd, and indeed they often prove to be unintelligent when the pudding is tasted. I wouldn’t count you as one of these, but you might want to lighten up anyway in case you say too much and remove all doubt.

  • counterproductive

    Apparently I am not as sophisticated as I supposed, because I didn’t get my italics to work correctly above.

  • joshdean

    @ulicar. If we could maybe move away from this semantic bitch-slapping contest for a minute and address the heart of Dan’s post, what exactly do you think of the iPad? Lets say for the sake of argument that there are many productivity-intensive tasks which the iPad in its current incarnation simply cannot do. Put your little visionary hat on for a moment and tell us, do you consider the current device as a bare-bones first iteration of a game-changing new platform? In other words, would you agree with me if I were to argue that , given the relentless progress in miniaturization of technology and its ever-dropping price, coupled with the gradual move to the cloud, it is not unreasonable to predict that within a few years the touch-tablet form factor, and an accompanying mad rush by developers to optimize all manner of programs for gesture control, will supercede the laptop(perhaps a physical keyboard dock will still be needed for major typing needs, but so what)? And if this future does indeed come to pass, guess which humble, adequate little product will be given credit for jump-starting this whole transformation?

  • http://www.micmac.com Michel Coste

    @ bartfat
    “So it’s not geared towards tech geeks or anything like that (although if they like it enough they’ll probably buy it in ADDITION to their macbook pro), but towards the “normies”, the people who have trouble saving files on anywhere other than their Desktop. My mom is one of those people, so is my dad. There’s alot more of non-geeks than there are with geeks, so if this device appeals to them b/c it has LESS features and therefore more simplicity, it’s going to be a hit. After all, the geek market is worth millions, but the non-geek market is worth billions ;)”

    EXACTLY!!!

    This is the most important thing to notice from the iPad introduction. It is made first to meet the needs of these millions of people still using XP, a 8 years old system, not willing to upgrade to another PC and feeling that OS X makes no difference to them (because they don’t get it) so they’ll never switch!
    They’ll never switch to OS X for Mac BUT they will ultimately switch to another device, an Apple device, the iPad!

    I’ve written about this before the introduction of the iPad here:

    http://www.micmac.com/2010/01/27/the-rest-of-them/

    The iPhone showed the way: they will come by millions!
    What’s more: there is NO competition at all and there will not be for years!
    In the other camp I suppose it’s the desolation if they’re smart enough or more probably the most complete denial you can imagine (not the best way to win!)

  • liamh

    Is it just me or do the haters not get that Apple does not make products with Ryan Block, Dave Winer and Rob Enderle in mind?

  • bartfat

    nope, those formatting things don’t work like they do on other sites. preferably dan would get around to fixing that so we could get some rudimentary formatting for the comments :) Maybe an edit button too would be nice, in case you wanted to add something and didnt have to post all over again. Please, dan?

  • http://www.micmac.com Michel Coste

    Oops…
    I forgot: the iPad will even convince many people that have NO computer at all!