Wednesday, 27 January 2010

iPod, iMac and now iPad


So after all the hype and online chatter the iPad has now arrived. Reading many of the reactions online there does appear to be disappointment but personally I'm not all that surprised. Lets take a quick look at the predictions I made in my previous post.

1) The screen will be about 10.1 inches and will not be OLED
Actual - 10 inch screen this is not OLED so good start.

2) Price point of approximately £400.
Actual - We don't know the UK price yet but seeing as it's $499 in the US I would say this might be a good prediction too.

3) Simple and intuitive UI with sensor bed under the screen
Actual - The UI could not be more intuitive, it's the iPhone UI. Doesn't type like a Storm tho.

4) iWork, iPhone OS, iLife and iPhone App support.

Actual - Again pretty good you gotta say. iWork is on there and part of the iLife suite will be present, iTunes, Photo etc. We can also see that this runs a slightly more powerful version of the iPhone OS with backward compatibility with iPhone applications. The only thing not here was the online services which is a pity considering the iPad will have 3G.

5) 3G Connection and eBooks support
Actual - These were almost givens before the announcement but it's still another tick in the accurate prediction column. The iPad is an eBook, sorry iBook, reader and can have a 3G connection depending on the version you purchase.

I'm keen to see the device in the Apple Store and I would love to review a unit come it's release in 60 days, if anyone happens to be reading this from Apple I would be happy to review the iPad if you can spare a review unit :) It's great to see a new product from Apple and I don't feel disappointed in what I've seen but we'll wait until the reviews start to come in and until we can actual hold the iPad  before judging it. Let's not forget that the iPhone was heavily criticized in the time between it was announced and it was released and the iPod was soundly bashed in 2001 on it's release so lets give Steve the benefit of the doubt and hold the judgements until it actually arrives in our hands.

Final Apple Tablet Predictions

We're only a few hours away from Steve Jobs taking to the stage and introducing us to Apple's latest innovation. We can only assume at this point that this is going to be in a tablet form factor and after hearing that Apple store employees were going through confidential training today I can only assume that it's going to be available to purchase tomorrow or at least within the next few days. So what exactly will this device have? Well that's what I'm going to look at in this post.


The majority of rumors claim the screen will be OLED and about 10.1 inches. I do agree that it'll be 10.1 inches but this device is not quite a laptop and not an iPod/iPhone so the cost has to be low. This low cost, approximately £400 would be a realistic price point, requirement would mean that OLED is too expensive.


It has been claimed that the Tablet has a steep learning curve when it comes to user interaction. Is this true? Is this really the Apple approach? Look at the iPhone. This device was developed with pure ease in mind, same goes for OS X. Why would jobs suddenly decide to make things complicated for the Apple users? The height of the complication is likely to be multi touch, nothing like Magic Mouse I hope. I would love to see a screen something like the BlackBerry Storm but with a bed of sensors allowing anywhere on the screen to be pushed down and so creating a keyboard like feel.


The software is going to be interesting. Since the ordinary user really doesn't care about the OS on their portable devices I don't see Apple having a problem releasing an OS that is an expanded version of the iPhone OS. This would give it backward compatibility with existing iPhone applications but also allow it to take advantage of the added power that a tablet would have. The applications from Apple will be similar to the defaults on the Mac and iPhone. I can see them adding to the iWork and iLife suite to support more online services, perhaps even an online version of Pages, Keynote and Numbers through MobileMe and I sincerely hope to see a mobile version of these applications on Tablet and iPhone.


A big surprise will be a streaming version of iTunes offered as both a part of MobileMe but also independently. The user can store their music in the cloud using the Home Sharing functionality built into iTunes already. The Tablet will then be able to stream this music through it's 3G connection. The removal of DRM will make this service possible for music.


The final core selling point will be ebooks. We've seen with applications such as Stanza how popular these now are so it's expected that this device will partner with a number of major content providers to provide books, magazines and newspapers. It's been interesting to see how magazines such as Esquire and GQ have presented themselves on the iPhone over the last couple of months and I believe that this is a similar style to what we can expect tomorrow. Full magazines well presented and easily accessible.

No matter how many or few of these predictions turn out to be true I must say I would not like to be in Mr Jobs shoes tomorrow. The hype around this upcoming announcements has reached such an extent that even if this device is brought in on the back of unicorns being held aloft by God Himself I still can't see how it would be anything other than slightly disappointing. I hope to be proved wrong and I hope the price point is positioned well so I can buy one.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Why Are RIM Over Complicating The Touchscreen Blackberry?

In recent years Blackberry have produced the Blackberry Storm and Storm 2, both sporting a large touchscreen with SurePress technology. There can be little doubt that this device is inspired by Apple's very successful iPhone but in making the Storm similar to iPhone's design I feel that RIM may have missed a great design opportunity. Find out why after the jump.