What to use the iPad for

When the iPad was announced a lot of people wondered what it was for. Why carry a giant iPod touch with you instead of a small laptop? When Apple later unveiled the updated MacBook Air a lot of people asked the same thing. But the iPad is still flying off the shelves and people love the machine.

But if you’re still wondering why the iPad is good I did some snooping. Actually I’ve asked non-leading, weird, questions to every iPad user near me for close to two years just to understand the behavior. And I think I’ve solved it.

Why the iPad feels wrong for real work
Some people will tell you the iPad does multitasking and that it works great. That’s just not true. It does uni-tasking and great app switching.

The difference is it really forces you to focus on one thing at a time. I have no problem switching between apps to get stuff I need to send or reply to that email with facts from simplenote etc. But you can’t have all that on the screen at the same time like you are used to.

This makes people believe it’s hard to use for work. Simply because they have to relearn their entire workflow. The desktop experience simply doesn’t translate to the tablet and it makes people feel less efficient.

using iPad for work

Why the iPad is awesomee
The iPad actually makes you more effective. Not efficient. You won’t be doing things at the same speed as you do on a desktop, and that might frustrate you. But it’ll also force you to think about what is most important. Usually, in both my experience and my sneaky interviews, making the end result better.

The iPad really does almost everything a desktop computer does. So far I’ve found two things it doesn’t do as well as a desktop:

  • Create graphics, the iPad simply cannot compete with Adobe Photoshop and a mouse.
  • Formatting text. Yes I’m serious. You can do it. But it takes forever.

The second thing the iPad doesn’t to really do highlights the efficiency vs effectiveness problem. It doesn’t format text well. But is that really what you should be doing? Yes a well formated document looks a lot more professional than a poorly formatted one. But the content is really the important thing, right? And seriously, you could’ve made a template for those visual documents years ago.

Don’t worry though, there’s probably an app for that.


The ending was intended as sarcasm and not rampant fanboyism. Though I probably am a rampant fanboy of Apple’s take on design.

iPad 3 without buttons

The iPad three will probably have a button, but you’ll never use it. Before the iPad 2 was announced there were rumors that Apple were preparing an iPad without a home button. There was much debate and the rumor seemed drastic. But the rumors are actually true.

New interface gestures for iOS 4.3 which shipped on the iPad2 lets you multitask without using the home button. Pinch to homescreen let’s you close apps without the button and swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar let’s you exit apps that are running in the background. Effectively making the home button a relic of the past.

So from the release of iOS5 (probably with the iPhone 5 this june) you might never need to use a button on an iOS device again. Some of you might think that’s a great thing, I for one would love it since I rarely double click fast enough, and others might think it’s useless.

The tail end of this effect is that you could, theoretically, controll all the interactions with apps running on an Apple TV with a Magic Trackpad…

Let the rumor mills run wild! 😉

Apple eases up on iOS developers

Apple logo carved into red Apples
Apple has just released a statement that they are easing up restrictions for developers of the iOS platform. More specifically in sections 3.3.1, 3.3.2 and 3.3.9. Exact information is scarce so far but Gizmodo is digging hard right now and Engadget has found out that this means Apple will allow “any and all” third party development apps including Flash CS5!

Apple also says they’ll the App Store Review Guidelines to “help developers understand how we review submitted apps”.

Great day for iOS developers!

Samsung Galaxy Tab preview

Before I start, I haven’t touched the Galaxy tab myself yet.
But from the video’s available from IFA and other preview hands ons I have a question that might break the product:
It looks great. It sounds great. The specs are great. It runs the speedy Android 2.2 Froyo.

So why does it lag? Why isn’t scrolling silky smooth? Why does the interface have load times without transitions?

Boiled down to one question: Since the device seems to be more than a match for Apple’s iPad, why does it lag up the user experience?

Second week with the iPad

My first impression of the iPad, after the glowing halo of hype wore off, was really not that good. It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with the iPad, there wasn’t. It just didn’t work the way I wanted it to.
A week later I hadn’t really changed my mind, until I was typing away earlier tonight and realized why I didn’t feel it fitted into my life. It’s a unitasking machine.

The iPad doesn’t multitask, yet, but after comparing my experience using the same apps on my iPhone 4 I’m now convinced that my problem is not a result of the device lacking features, but instead that the iPad forces me to focus on my work.

Work which I’ve learned so well to digress and be distracted from on my other machines. I’m just not used to having to focus for more than a few minutes at a time.

This discovery has really turned my experience around, I can’t wait to work like this for a few more days and see where it leads me. Unitasking is the new productivity buzz word. Let’s see if this machine helps me become more productive or leaves me doing less complex work.

Flipboard review

Flipboard is a news aggregator. Much like feed readers you’ve probably used in the past. The difference is that Flipboard reads your Twitter and Facebook streams, scans them for content and present it to you in a fantastic UI.

Flipboard is extremely competent and feels great to use, it’s well implemented into Twitter and Facebook functionally making it easy to reweet, comment, like and share.

Flipboard is free in the Appstore right now but I’d recommend giving it a look as fast as you can as a lot of media companies are gunning for Flipboard for scraping material not presented in their RISS feeds. Well see how it pans out in the end but this is really how you’ll want to use social media in the future.

First impressions of the iPad

When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad I didn’t like it. It was just to basic, I thought I’d never buy one unless they upgraded it quickly.Three months later I had just touched one and “got it”. The UI made all the difference, it IS just a gimped laptop but with an interface that makes what you can do fun.

I just unpacked my own and tried out most of the functions I’ve been looking forward to. Unsurprisingly it feels like my iPhone only the screen makes the entire experience slightly more immersive.

As I’m typing this there is no doubt in my mind that this is the future of computing, at least the near future, but should you get one? If you work on the road or need to upgrade a net book the answer is Yes. If you have a great laptop or use a desktop machine however, don’t. Not yet, let the platform mature a bit and you’ll be much less grieved.

1 Million iPads have been sold

After the release of the 3G iPad reports are coming in that the 3G version has already sold over 300 thousand units. Added to the over 300 thousand pre ordered iPad WiFi’s the iPad platform is now close to or already has passed the million unit mark.
We can now officially regard the iPad as a great success, both for Apple and for the Tablet computer.

Update: It’s now official.
Apple said in a press release today that they sold their millionth iPad last Friday, 28 days from platform launch. Less than half the time it took to sell that many iPhones. Anyone still not believing in the iPhone OS? Find out more here

Lifestreaming with the iPad vs Courier

Amazed by the interface of Apples new iPad? Or are you holding out in hopes of the seemingly amazing Microsoft Courier? Both these designs are actually derivative from Eric Freeman and David Gelernter at Yale University mid-1990s research on lifestreaming.
Life streaming is a process in which you aggregate all the digital tasks, documents and events into a timeline, or stream, of events. This chronological stream is easier for humans to understand than the spread out systems of files and events hidden in separate programs. And because of that life streams might be more productive as a tool than the common user interfaces of computers today. (The concepts really are amazing and I recommend for all designers to research life streaming in depth.)

The reason why life streaming is easier for our minds to understand is that it represents information and tasks more like physical objects than data. Because it’s so much more understandable we can focus more time and energy on the goal of the project or task than on organizing the files and folders needed for it.

The possibilities of tech not ever getting in the way is mind boggling. But I can’t help to think I’d rather see really smart start ups make open interfaces that can be shared across devices than Apple or MS hogging the space to lock us down.

Competition, however, is always a good thing in the end. Only time will tell.

Why I will buy the iPad

After the pre launch hype exploded into a million voices screaming in rage or intoxication one argument about the iPad seems to remain; why would I need one if I have a laptop?
Last week I didn’t have an answer to this question. I figured I might buy one for my mom as she has no use for the extra complexity of a full laptop, but I presumed I would hold off until tablets had evolved a couple of generations.

But yesterday I realized I will buy the iPad. Possibly even the first generation machine.

I have an avid interest in gaming and game design. But I rarely play games anymore, it’s just to time consuming to start up machines and and load save games. I don’t have two hours without interruption to play  games. I have many short periods interspersed throughout the day. Today I fill these periods with gaming, reading and twittering from my iPhone. Only one thing could make this more enjoyable, a larger screen.

The iPad is the perfect casual media machine. A tad expensive perhaps, but still worth it. I’m getting one.