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
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?

  • bartfat

    btw, love your pudding analogy. haha :D

  • clochard42

    Compared to my RC car my “real” car is as well “only just bigger” – same technology, same principles. Alone the difference in screen size offers possibilities we can’t imagine yet. Apple delivers a new white sheet of paper and people complain there’s nothing written on it. They just don’t get it.

  • http://jonnytilney.com Jon T

    @ulicar — the iPhone/iPad OS does multi-task, it is disingenuous of you to suggest it doesn’t. You may ask: ‘why doesn’t Apple allow 3rd party multi-tasking?

    And it’s likely it will in due course, in a controlled, workable manner.

    The power of the iPad appears to me to give it the sophistication of a desktop – as in for 99% of users’ desktop activities.

  • liamh

    I love the netbook crowd, who never complain that with an iPad does not do this or that. Thank god. My mother in law bought an eeepc with some version of Linux installed….After a telephone call of nightmare proportions during which she had to use the terminal and jump through a gazillion hoops to just install Skype I would happily shove an Eeepc where the sun does not shine on any Linux fanboy. And the XP versions are no better – ever tried playing a DVD using an external drive on a netbook: “please upgrade your version of media player for $x”.

    Most netbooks are a complete and utter scam played out on the unsuspecting.

  • pa

    ulicar { 01.31.10 at 9:02 pm }

    @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 …
    … if something is not true, then something is not true. It is as simple as that.”

    I agree with you that the iPad is not “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” as Dan claims. It is a natural extension of the iPod Touch and the iPhone OS.
    But, at the same time what your statement that “iPad is not a big iPod touch, it is much worse” is not true either. It is so much better. Ever since the iPod Touch was released, I was hoping for a bigger version on which one can develop some interesting applications. This product, the way it is right now, is so much more capable and in so many ways than any netback and laptop you can imagine. You just haven’t seen the applications. I think you will see that this device will save a ton of money for corporations and professionals compared to their existing special purpose devices. However, it also has the potential to completely change the notebook computer market. A lot of folk will realize that the combination desktop and iPad will be more capable and less expensive that purchasing a laptop. Of course, because iPad works with windows as well, this is a gamble by Apple that can result in the loss of sales in its notebook and desktop product categories. But it is a gamble that can pay off. The Mac mini is the device that can, in combination with iPad, completely transform the market share demographics. And if people choose to stick with
    cheap Windows desktops and use those with iPads, that will be nice too. Netbooks make up over 20% of the market and they don’t sync as easily with PCs. That is very low hanging fruit. So between consumer netback market, opportunities in vertical market applications, and interest in ebook reader and mobile entertainment (playing movies for kids in the back of the car) there are huge sales potentials.

    I was particularly impressed with the iWork apps. How can you say the iPad is worse than the iPod Touch with so much new functionality? You can develop apps that would not be possible on the Touch.

    There are many others like you who feel letdown by our eloquent president. He seems to care more about how this crisis affects Goldman Sacks than how the economy is affecting most Americans. It is an insult to Steve Jobs to compare him to President Obama. Although it seems to me Obama knows he’s been had so he is just starting to fight back, or all this posturing could be just a show like his campaign was.

    Given the current state of the economy, the deficit, cuts in education, etc. it seems the correct and bold course of action is to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan immediately, and close as many overseas military bases as fast as possible, close Guantanamo, and cut all foreign aid, and all subsidies. Provide education funds only to states that have no teachers unions in public schools. Eliminate insurance companies and cover everyone under medicare.
    Pointing fingers or admitting to thing won’t solve anything.

    @John E,
    Everything you say about the capabilities of iPad is correct, but there is still nothing wrong with calling it a big iPod Touch. That is actually a complement. No one expects that the iPhone OS should stay static. And iPad is just the evidence for this progress. Apple has done a phenomenal job with their idea and concept of what a tablet should be. And I think it is spot on. The iPod Touch was definitely a major step in this evolution.

  • http://mcs.open.ac.uk/jgh23 jon_hall

    Dan, Thanks for the great post (and book: got the book but not the server – it’s a long story).
    Any thoughts on the future of pdf (on Mac OS X, or in toto)? pdf is Adobe, right, and Adobe are – now – officially lazy. From my perspective as a researcher, pdf is good for sharing, but doesn’t make me want to annotate it – the tools it provides look like, well, lazy bolt-ons. Only paper makes me want to write on it.
    I can see the iPad becoming the scholar’s friend with Docs Everywhere And Easy To Share. But only pdf? Beware: with the difficulty of annotating pdf, that potential will probably go wanting. Any thoughts?

  • http://berendschotanus.com Berend Schotanus

    I like the video. It makes you less hard, more friendly than in written text, even when you are basically saying the same. It is also worth a compliment that by doing so you are innovating your own platform, accepting there might be some trial and error and knowing you cannot be a video professional in one day, the hybrid form is just great.

  • http://blog.weaverling.org/ weave

    I understand your reasons for making the video, but I’m pressed on time to keep up with lots of news sources, and I can read a lot faster than listening to someone talk — hence I am typing this as I’m listening, will not complete the video, and instead stop it and jump into the shower.

    I suspect your youtube stats will show not many people making it to the end. Have a look and please reconsider. I enjoy reading your columns.

  • Ianf

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

    Quite correct, Dan. Mac-commentariat wanted a Jesus-netbook, but had to settle for mere half-Jobsian tablet (half-, because, unlike previous occassions, Steve seemed unusually distanced from the hype surrounding the product this time…). I think Frasier Spears’ FUTURE SHOCK theory [ http://speirs.org/blog/2010/1/29/future-shock.html ] nails the warped public reaction pretty well.

    Methinks we’re in for a repeat of the aftermath of iPhone’s introduction: initial wide-ranging dismissal from “industry pundits” and competitors alike followed by enthusiastic market acceptance and steadily growing sales,; followed by competitors all scrambling to come out with their own MeToo-models; followed by public admission that the iPhone did make a difference. Only now we’ll see that on so much vaster scale, because aping iPad’s key features and ease of use –with file system abstracted away, etc– won’t be an easy task for those relying on Win , Android or Linii [-ux pluralis] of any shape. A year from now there will be a plethora of iPad-lookylikes from other makers and some of them will have cameras, and SD-slots, and Flash. While the iPad –in whatever current or future configuration, still sans “multitasking” or Flash– will carry on gaining market share ;-))

  • overnightparking

    Calling the iPad a big iPod Touch is like saying Mt Everest is a large hill. Well yes, but if you’d better be prepared for the differences that size brings.

    I’m surprised that more people aren’t talking about the software that can and will run on the iPad. Apple has shown the way with iWorks. I’m not talking about pixeldoubling, I’m talking about the popup and drop down finger touch menus which allow for far more sophisticated apps. There are a gaggle of devs now working on software and the amount of bespoke software for iPad will only increase. Just as the app store made the iPhone a success and is still its major differentiator, so to will powerful unique apps for the iPad drive sales creating another virtuous circle which will drive other manufacturers to copy the general ideas behind iPad and probably even improve on iPad V.1 and within a few years we’ll all have a variation of the device lying on the sofa. That’s what “big” will bring IMO.

  • pedrocandrade

    I think the whole subject of iPad bashing is quite interesting. In the end, my take is that most people are simply anchored at their own computing preconceptions while pretty much preferring to “reject” something for pure emotional reasons, rather than really thinking about how useful (or not) it could actually be.

    So people look at the iPad and say: “Try fitting that in your pocket!” Or “Hey, that’l

  • bartb

    @Dan, good video. I’m impressed. Although I also like the written text.

    @ulica – I take it that you won’t buy an iPad then??

    Define Multitasking! Three options:
    1. Switching between apps so you can exchange info between them. (ie. copy text from a webpage and paste it in an email)
    2. Running a process/apps in the background because you like to enjoy multiple outputs at once (ie. listen to music while surfing the web or watching a video while working in Keynote)
    3. Running processes/apps in the background because the process takes a while to complete. (ie. ripping a dvd, or copying 8Gb of files).

    Option 1. is possible on the iPhone OS…. if the developers follow the programming guidelines.
    Option 2. is only possible for music (iPod app) on the iPhone OS, but I cannot think of any other TYPE of app you wan’t to run simultaneously*.
    Option 3. is not really an issue on the iPad because the things it can do it does so immediately…. but perhaps I I’m forgetting something.

    I think Apple does not open up the multitasking feature to third-party developers because a lot of developers think they are in category 2. or 3. when they are in fact fall into category 1. And category 2. and 3. are very battery draining features.

    *Now that I think of it, using VNC or something similar would have a need for Option 2. But only the keep the session alive, not because the VNC client actually needs to do something when it’s inactive. So if you solve the keep-session-alive issue, you can put the VNC type of apps in category 1. (Namely, “persistent state”)

  • bartb

    … just like Apple solved the “I need my app to run in the background because I need to update my app automatically, even when it’s not running”-issue, by giving developers the possibility to send a message to an inactive app with the Push Notification Servers.

    Apple likes to think things through…

  • pedrocandrade

    I think the whole subject of iPad bashing is quite interesting. IMHO, most people are simply anchored to their own computing preconceptions while pretty much preferring to reject something for purely emotional reasons (superiority high?), rather than really thinking about how useful or not it could actually be.

    So people look at the iPad and say: “Try fitting that in your pocket!” Or “Hey, that’ll never replace my laptop!”. It’s either or. They seem to have entirely missed the point that this is not “same but better”. This is DIFFERENT. With whole new usage scenarios.

    As much as the iPhone was bashed at its launch for lack of seemingly obvious features, it was a pretty straightforward sale to the masses. People know they needed a cell phone, so give them a better one and they’re all for it. Try to bring up a totally new category of devices and things are much harder.

    It’ll take a wave of early adopting trend setters to show the way. After which, everyone else can get the point by imitation. It’ll be interesting to watch.

  • liamh

    iPad bashing is all well and good as is being all pro the iPad, truth is we just don’t know how the market will take it.

    However, here are somethings I do know:

    Macbooks are, comparatively expensive. I know you can argue about the relative costs of iLife and bloatware and I know you might be getting a Celeron in your cheap laptop rather than a Core2Duo. But the fact remains that you can pick up a Dell or an Asus for cheap.

    There are a lot of people, especially kids, who hang about Apple stores lusting after a Mac.
    Now imagine that you could place in the hands of those people a relatively cheap Mac, that does most of what they want, is priced within their reach, has that cool Apple logo, and looks the business. Are some of them going to buy it? I think so. In fact I know someone who is going to: my sister in law drools after my Macbook but can’t quite justify the price for what she will use it for. She’s signed up for an iPad.

    The only complaint that is missing from the iPad haters is: “it doesn’t have intel stickers all over it”. Fools. Or maybe we are for reading their twaddle.

  • liamh

    Top selling Android app? A task manager, so much for running multiple applications in the background.


    And below some extracts from the CNET review of the app that say it all when it comes to the real reason for the success of Apple in terms of usability and sensible well thought out design (http://www.cnet.com/8301-19736_1-10277198-251.html)

    “Though Android can run multiple programs and close background processes as needed, there are times where the OS’ overall performance slows down. And during those times in particular it’s troubling that Android doesn’t let you close applications manually.”

    “Regular use of Advanced Task Manager can identify pesky applications that slow down your phone and eat battery life. When I first used it, I discovered several older applications I no longer used that were still running as background processes.”

    Who wants to be constantly having to drill down into an OS to tinker under the hood? Not me. I want to use my Mac/iPhone to do stuff not for the device to be the end in itself.

  • DesperateDan

    I’m disappointed a bit in… people.
    We’ve been shown a quite amazing product that has the potential to completely change the way we interact with the computer. And it’s not some tradeshow demo speculating what life will be like in 10 years time. It’s real and shipping in less than two months. Anyone who has used it is raving about how incredible it is etc… But, disaster, it doesn’t support Flash. So f**king what.
    This whole thing is about making a new start. A clean break leaving behind as much of the complexity, clutter and crap as possible. And as the huge majority of Flash content is crap, it’s proprietary and a resource hog, then it goes too.
    You have to take risks to move forward. Microsoft have taken very little risk and the result is that an entire industry has been hamstrung for years. I’m really surprised that neither HP, Dell or Sony haven’t developed their own, clean slate OS, based on Linux.
    If only people would let their imagination run free for a bit. In 5 years time it’s likely that your desktop iMac will be a 30″ panel sitting flat on your desk. This changes everything. Sure there will still be a need for traditional workstations for applications that maybe won’t work well using touch, but this is pretty much a repeat of the 1980’s/90’s where average users got by fine using PC or Mac but if you were animating a movie or doing cutting edge printwork you used Silicon Graphics or Quantel Paintbox workstations.
    In 10 years time 90% of people will be using touch interfaces with the rest on high-end workstations. And Flash will be long forgotten.

  • ChuckO

    I’ve got the answer for both the iPad and Obama haters. Ipad haters – don’t buy one. Obama haters – sit for a while and think about a US with McCain as President. The guy who picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. Gov’t spending is ALWAYS the answer to these kind of crisis.Usually primarily on defense spending (WWII and Reagan) Japan spent ten (+) years stagnating because they didn’t have the political will to spend the money they needed too to get their economy going.

  • gus2000

    The video is great, but it needs MOAR LAZUR CATZ. In 3D.

    Everyone here remembers that the first Macintosh computer was modal, right? That only 1 app would run at a time, that you had to quit to get to run a different app? At least, until “Switcher” arrived, and later “Multifinder”…but back then we measured RAM in K’s. Double-digit K’s.

    Dan, from the comments I’m seeing around the internet, people seriously need to be educated on the meaning of “multitasking” and “multithreading”. Many actually believe that the iPhone’s so-called “lack of multitasking” means that it cannot take advantage of multiple cores!?!! I think the uninitiated are getting confused between the UI and the underlying architecture.

  • John


    I really liked the video approach. I read the text too! Donation on its way.

    I appreciated @counterproductive’s play on the word sophisticated above. I presume you did too. I hope it went some way towards moderating @ulicar’s remarks. Your statement that “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” indicates that, by using the word “melds”, the iPad UI is somewhere between the iPhone and the desktop. I also got the impression that you hoped the iPad’s UI would be innovative and would actually be unlike the desktop paradigm.

    All the best with your new hand.


    PS Did you mean “pared” as in cut down, or did you mean “paired” as in linked or coupled? Of course, it could be both!

  • ludachrs

    @stormj ask my independent friends in Mass. and he got my vote.

  • iEspen

    Love the new direction you took with a video. It made it feel a whole lot personal than plain text. I really enjoyed it


  • tundraboy

    Dan, great article as usual. Most people don’t realize the effect that a simple change of scale can trigger. It’s like they’ve never watched television on a 21″ screen. Or did desktop work on a 640 screen. Actually, maybe they haven’t.

    Can you remove the whole ulicar kerfuffle though? It just clutters up the comments.

  • ShabbaRanks

    I like the iPad. I think it’s very clever and aimed at the guy who would love a big iPod touch. Extra power, screen real estate and, due to it’s size, ergonomics, makes it far more than an iPod and just enough less than a laptop.
    A well positioned product. Very capable and at the right price.
    I don’t see why there’s all the controversy.

  • ShabbaRanks

    Can I just say, without sarcasm, that I love reading about peoples opinions on American politics. It seems like such a crazy setup that it fascinates me. More politics, perhaps in it’s own section though.

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  • stefn

    Love the video. Add a five minute sequence at the end, a dialogue with someone asking a couple follow questions. Add an advertiser and you will be rich, rich, rich!

  • John E

    hey Dan, you used Flash for the YouTube vid, darn it! locked up my Safari of course when i tried to quit halfway through!!

  • bartfat

    Actually, while you’re at it, you might want to show images of the products or events you’re talking about in the video :) of course, this means video editing, but this is something iMovie can easily handle. And yeah, for those people that are using Safari, search on google for ClickToFlash… it shows a H.264 video in place of the Flash one (only if you select the “Youtube: Play H.264 with Quicktime” in the ClickToFlash preferences in the Safari menu.

    But for those who don’t want to install a plugin, you can always go to http://www.youtube.com/html5 and join the beta to use H.264 anyway. Of course, most videos that are displayed with ClickToFlash have a nice black interface and will display H.264 even if the actual video that Youtube displays if you’re in the Beta is Flash ;) So you’re at the mercy of Google’s decision for which videos need Flash or H.264 if you don’t install that plugin.

  • jfm0830

    I enjoyed the video, but I think I enjoy your written articles more. The articles are broken up with graphics and links to other stories. This is harder to do with video. But if it is the difference between being able to get out a new article or not, keep the videos coming.

    I have been reading RD since just before the iPhone came out. I would have been much more surprised by the reactions, if I hadn’t been reading RD all this time. In fact it is many of the same pundits and so-called tech writers coming out of the woodwork to pile on the iPad, just as they did the iPhone. How can they dis something that badly without even trying it out before they decide it is unworthy of them? I went back and reread some of Daniels articles following the intro of the iPhone and it is amazing how it is many of the same cast of characters.

    It is a non-starter for John C Dvorak cause it doesn’t have a stylus. How he still gets anyone to read his drivel is beyond me. He is constantly wrong in a big way. I have ceased giving him clicks for a few years now. Paul Thurott is unimpressed and doesn’t like the black bezel. Perhaps if he had conceded to try the thing before spouting his opinion, he might have realized with a touch screen interface you need some place out of bounds to hold it. Then there was Dwight Silverman who was interviewed on TWIT.TV. He was not impressed and questioned who the user would be and he just couldn’t see a soccer mom at Wal-Mart being interested in it. Last time I checked nobody was saying a soccer mom shopping at WalMart was the iPads initial target audience.

    The other problem with a lot of these tech writers or bloggers is they have a hugely exaggerated sense of self importance. They come up with these features that are important to they and a few of their friends, and then if the device in question doesn’t have those features it is a failure. They seem to forget that they are usually not the target audience. In the case of the iPhone they whip themselves into a frenzy about this or that thing that is missing, the platform isn’t open enough for some, the app developers are in an uproar. Once again the average non-geek user of the iPhone could care less about that stuff and most are blissfully unaware there is even a “problem”.

    Now it’s the iPads turn. After reading Daniel’s articles for years I wasn’t surprised by the reaction. The surprise would have been if the reaction was different. I look at it as the birth of an exciting new platform. It has some of the features and simplicity of the iPhone and additional capabilities previously found only in a desktop computer. What I found exciting was the way they made an OS that was different from either the iPhone or the desktop. Features from the iPad will find their way into the iPhone or OSX, but I think each is their own distinct product. There will be things that each will be better or worse at than the others. After seeing iWork for iPhone I am very excited at the possibilities. This reminds me of iPhone OS2 at the start of the App Store: None of us (including Apple I’d guess) had any idea where the iPhone would be 1 year later. The people who are blasting it as an oversized iPod touch will ultimately be proven wrong. Just wait until you see all of the vertical markets that the iPad will open up with its bigger screen and special flavor of the iPhone OS it runs.

    I am excited about the potential both now and in the future.

  • overnightparking

    I recently twittered half jokingly that a pundit is someone who can’t see the forest for the trees.

  • masternav

    Dan, of course ulicar and that ilk are wedded to the old paradigm. To a certain extent so am I – but then I was a motorhead as well when I was in high school so… But as folks like ulicar rant for “more power”, the average consumer is waking up to the fact that they have been successfully trained in the 21st century technology of multitouch, and now have a device, from the company that successfully trained them that will give them exactly what they want without be nailed to a desk, or toting a 5lb laptop with a short battery charge. Yeah all the browsing, photos, music and books they want at thier fingertips in a totally comfortable interface backed up by a high-powered new CPU. AND a newly multitouch-blessed productivity toolset to boot. It is a profound pardigm shift and it explains why geeks are made uncomfortable. We have spent years and bucks squirreling away special knowledge, demanding high-powered processing systems that we can modify to suit our needs. We are acolytes of the old order, which do not go quietly into that good night. Well done Dan.

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

    @clochard42 “Compared to my RC car my “real” car is as well “only just bigger” – same technology, same principles.”

    Really? So you mythbustered your car up with servos for remote control and put an internal combustion engine in your RC car?

  • miloh

    @jfm0830 — Self-importance does seem to be running rampant in nearly every iPad discussion I’ve encountered. For whatever reason, a lot of people seem to think their views are the correct ones and therefore anyone who thinks differently must be a zealot. The most common manifestation of this that I’ve seen is the argument that the iPad is useless/pointless, and thus anyone who thinks otherwise only does so because they’re a fanboy. They cannot comprehend how anybody might find value in the thing and so they think nobody does. It’s an inability or refusal to question the validity of their own position. In a sense, they are their own fanboy.

  • clochard42

    @nsayer – Would like to RC control my car James Bond like with the iPad of course, but german TÜV doesn’t allow it – well just kidding. Second one: yep.

  • http://www.marketingtactics.com davebarnes

    @weave #58,
    I agree 100%.
    Way more eloquent than my planned comment.

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  • http://www.highcaliberguns.com ArrowJ


    You made a lot of really great points, and some that weren’t so well thought out. But at the end of the day Apple could have done better, and they could have done much worse.

    I am a huge Mac fan…a lot of people would classify me as a fanboy, but I would argue that I am not. One way to insure you are not falsely classified as a fanboy is to avoid statements such as, “…anyone who’s not impressed [with the iPad] is really being either ignorant or disingenuous…” These statements sound like something a televangelist would spew at his unsuspecting audience.

    I enjoy your blog and have added it to Google Reader. The only thing I don’t like is that you don’t post enough!



  • http://www.jonathancampbell.net nonlinearmind

    Insightful article as always. I didn’t finish the vid because it was so boring and I figured I’d get more out of the article anyway.

    I’ve been a video producer, shooter and primarily an editor for the past 14 years, so maybe I can help.

    1. Keep your video under 3 min or so. Use it to cover the main points – the base of the inverted triangle, if you will. Use it to drive people to the article.

    2. Use cutaways! Don’t kill yourself by sitting on camera for so long. It will only put too much pressure on you no to mess up, which will show in your neck and throat, making you look more nervous than you really are. Cut away to images of the iPad or whatever. It will let you shoot in short segments that you can string together to look like one take.

    3. Use natural lighting if you don’t want to bring your own lights. Existing lighting in a building may be cool to look at, but usually looks like crap when a person is under them on video.

    4. Less headroom. http://coe.sdsu.edu/eet/articles/headnoseroom/index.htm

    Hope these help.

  • shen

    Yes! And yes and yes and yes and thank you thank you and yes!

    Every word of this article! From tech to politics, every word! Bravo! Well said! Nail head meet hammer and done!

    Thank you Dan! Keep it up!

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  • Ianf

    @jon_hall [http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2010/01/31/ten-myth-of-apples-ipad-1-its-just-a-big-ipod-touch/comment-page-1/#comment-23836]

    Because so little is known of iPad’s software framework (other than common roots with iPhone OS) we are forced to speculate on hitherto undisclosed and/or future functions. You are right that PDF is only good for sharing for passive reading and fixed-area printing. It is a dog to highlight, and annotate persistently [these two are related, but different functions]. Apple knows that as well as anybody else. If it is in their plans to be a major player in the textbook market —for those outside academia the term usually means special compilations of study texts that most Western universities require its students to have read, and which the Unis produce for sale in ever-changing private editions— then Apple will need to provide such in some enhanced “annotation-friendly” format.

    That practically rules out PDFs. I don’t know what format this might take, only that those annotatations would have to be a system-wide function rather than restricted to specific applications [iTextBookStore?]. Both highlights and annotations would have to be persistent across reboots and, being private content, exportable in some common interchange format.

    During the keynote there was a curious omission, not a word uttered on stage, of iPad’s potential as a graphic tablet (akin to Wacom’s, etc.) Yet it is plain to see that, if it can be used for “finger-painting,” then it will also end being used for “finger-texting” in half-dark lecture halls as well, eyes glued to the lectern rather than to iPad in one’s iLap. For that reason alone I can not conceive of a future-with-an-iPad that does not involve ability to annotate anything, text and pictures, and retain that layer independently even after the rental period of eTextBooks from which it stemms has expired. Rentals? Yeah, they’re coming too.

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  • gctwnl

    It seems to me the iPad *is* by and large a big iPod Touch, but that is not necessarily a bad thing given what markets they are going after with the new form factor and user interface changes.

    Why is it a big iPod Touch? Well, for one, it runs iPhone OS and not Mac OS X. Hence all apps run as some sort of power user and protection is left to Apple vetting the apps before allowing them on. This also means it is not multi-user at the UI-level, even if the core iPhone OS technically is multi-user. The fact that it is not multi-user at the app level means there are limitations for the iPad being a ‘family device’ that rests on the coffee table for all to use. Limitations like one e-mail instance (all can see all e-mail), one set of bookmarks, etc.

    So, while Daniel and Prince are almost always spot-on, describing the iPad as something running some sort of OS X is I think a mistake by Daniel.

    The big difference is: you can share a Mac OS X setup, but it will be far more difficult to share a personal device like the iPad (or iPod Touch or iPhone).

  • gctwnl

    PS. What I would say is an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch myth is that the devices are not multi-tasking.

  • http://wanderbook.com eddieclay

    “describing the iPad as something running some sort of OS X is I think a mistake by Daniel.”

    Uh…it is OSX under the iPad, you do know that?
    On the other hand this is a new way of computing, major disruption that started with iPhone/iTouch. Its not a big bad myth to say this is a big iTouch, from that point of view. But yes, this is a not a desktop replacement, but it will supercede many things a desktop does, and for many, they won’t need a desktop at all with this. In fact that is true with some people and their iPhones.

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  • gctwnl

    This whole “iPhone OS” vs “Mac OS X” is confusing many. iPhone OS is by and large Mac OS X, specialized for iPhone use (I suspect changes having to do with wake/sleep/energy and things like not having too many daemons running in the background and kernel hooks to keep apps asleep unless they are ‘front’) and configured to be more or less single-user and with limitations of the multi-tasking at app level.

    So, saying the iPad runs Mac OS X is both true and false. I would say, there is “OS X” and it branches into two specialized versions: “iPhone OS” and desktop/server “Mac OS X”.

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

    I’d say OS X for Mac and OS X touch…