Month: January 2010

Hands-on with the Apple iPad – it does make sense

Hands-on with the Apple iPad – it does make sense

Andy Inhatko’s first impressions of the iPad.

…the release of the iPad marks a classic battle between two philosophies:

Is it better to have a device that is loaded with bullet-pointable features?

Or is it better to have a device that has a shorter list of specs … but which does everything right?

That’s not a loaded question. It’s the key difference between the Android and iPhone operating systems. It’ll also define the difference between a netbook and an iPad. The former looks great on paper. The Apple product looks great when you’re actually trying one out firsthand.

Steve Jobs and the Economics of Elitism

Steve Jobs and the Economics of Elitism

Steve Lohr has written an excellent piece discussing the back story on how Jobs thinks and works.

…Apple products are known for being stylish, powerful and pleasing to use. They are edited products that cut through complexity, by consciously leaving things out — not cramming every feature that came into an engineer’s head…

Brilliant. Right on the money.

iPad desktop photo by Richard Misrach

With the Push of the iPad, a Photograph Goes Global

Pyramid Lake (at Night), a 2004 photo by Richard Misrach is one of the included desktop photos on the iPad and it was used during the iPad introduction event. It’s a spectacular image and no doubt Apple went through many to get to this one. Congratulations Richard.

According to the photographer, this is the first time he has licensed an image for commercial use in his 40-year career–a deal he agreed to because he’s a fan of the company. ‘What’s funny is that for years I actually used the photo as my own screensaver,” Misrach says. “So I guess they know what they’re doing.”

Mamen and Aisha

Mamen and Aisha

Palo Alto, California. I was just visiting my friends Manish, Mamen, Samir and Aisha and Mamen asked for a picture of her and Aisha. We had a blast taking lots of images and they all worked out in one way or another but I liked this one best.

My friendship with this family goes way back and since we live on opposite sides of the country we don’t get to see each other very often. When we do, it’s like a family reunion.

iPad, initial thoughts

I’ve been watching various reactions to Apple’s new iPad and it amazes me that people don’t learn from history that Steve Jobs is a visionary and visionaries take larger steps than the rest of us. This is one of the many things I admire about Jobs and Apple. Not all of these steps work out for Apple. I think this one will.

The announcement happened yesterday while I was flying and I got at least ten emails and tweets (the Gogo wifi on the plane worked great, again) that said the thing has an “unfortunate” name because it sounds like a sanitary napkin. As someone with a nickname of “Dick” I’ve been there and all I can say is, people who see things that way see things that way. I don’t. The name is fine and this focus will die off fast as the iPad gets traction.

Then there are those who say the iPad is not a netbook or a tablet Mac, it’s missing firewire, a camera, and a real desktop OS. To them I say, that’s what you might have wanted but when did Steve Jobs ever give you exactly what you wanted? And, had he made that for you my guess is you’d have skipped buying it because these days if you want a computer you get a computer. This device, while technically a computer, defines a new category (for Apple). Maybe it is just a bigger iPod Touch but maybe the iPod touch needed a larger cousin. If so, great.

What Jobs and Apple tend to do is to project ten or more years out and make a device for that world knowing that they have enough pull, push, magnetism, cache, and cool that a good number of people will follow and the rest will catch up over time. There are always the people who can’t make the leap with Jobs and Apple: “It doesn’t have a disk drive, it’s a piece of shit.” I’ve learned, over many years of watching Apple to take a longer view and it’s paid off.

In watching Apple’s various video demos of the iPad, I find the standard applications incredibly alluring in their simplicity and functionality. The email client built in looks better than the one on both the iPhone and Mail on the Macintosh. The address book looks great. Maps look great. the Calendar looks great. The device is fast, in fact it is probably faster than any Macintosh at doing the things it does. It will run all (100,000 and growing) iPhone apps out of the box and no doubt as it becomes more popular apps will be nudged to take advantage of the larger screen.

The iPad is a platform, just like the iPhone, just like the Macintosh. It can be anything to anyone.