Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: iPad Impressions

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  • giovanni tiso,

    You don't like the page metaphor in this case because you haven't used it and you've determined that the whole business is A Thoroughly Bad Thing anyway.

    The page metaphor has been around on the Web forever. And I am not determined that the iPad is a Thoroughly Bad Thing, actually, it may be the closest we have come to making the interface go away, as Negroponte suggested it would in Being Digital. So whilst my desire to own or use one remains steady at zero, I am interested in what it does and how its uses might develop. But as symbolic languages go, yes, I find the page swipe thing to be a step backwards. Whilst cheering on the sidelines - which I believe to be a legitimate spectator sport - I'd like to see more stuff like the Alice in Wonderland app and less stuff like Flipbook. (That being, of course, just me.)

    I feel even more justified and ancient, having recently decided that these newfangled pens are just unreliable, and reverted to pencils.

    Oh, don't get me started on pens.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But as symbolic languages go, yes, I find the page swipe thing to be a step backwards.

    I'm not going to convince you otherwise, I'm sure, but swiping and page-turning are integral to the iPad UI. You navigate between home screens by swiping horizontally. You turn pages in eBooks the same way. In the North & South app (which I think the CactusLab guys have really got right) you swipe to read down a story or turn the page to see the next story. It just works.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I'm still very interested in the other question: how does Flipbook secure its content? If it does, that is, and doesn't overlay itself on the target URL without changing anything other than the presentation.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I'd like to see more stuff like the Alice in Wonderland app and less stuff like Flipbook

    But aren't they doing rather different things?

    Please do elaborate. I love discussion about interfaces. Digital charcoal, grunts around the fire, the universal raised eyebrow..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Russell, here's a comforting thought for you: now that Gio has the iPad to be critical of, he might stop giving the iPhone so much shit. Eventually he'll be spread so thinly across the range of Apple Products He Finds Problematic that he won't really have time to do any of them justice. Heh.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    But aren't they doing rather different things?

    Yes, entirely different things. I just find the former exciting, the latter not so much. And why I think it matters is that this struggle for the aesthetic of the Web is also a struggle for its knowledge model.

    now that Gio has the iPad to be critical of, he might stop giving the iPhone so much shit.

    Because people care?

    I'll be standing on a street corner some day, my clothes torn, unshaven, drinking virtual beer from an iPhone like Gene Wilder with his Woolite bottle at the end of Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I must download that Virtual Homeless Wino app.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Is that Alice for iPad we're talking about? I've just grabbed the free Lite version. It's quite lovely, isn't it?

    I do feel bound to observe that the latest version is touting a "new realistic page-flip transition" ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I'd like to see more stuff like the Alice in Wonderland app and less stuff like Flipbook

    Is it a zero sum game? I wasn't aware that anyone was predicting that there would be a shortage of ipad apps over the next year, all no doubt different and from all over the spectrum. Flipbook doesn't come pre-loaded on the machine as the default browser after all.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I do feel bound to observe that the latest version is touting a "new realistic page-flip transition" ...

    Hah! Serves me right.

    Is it a zero sum game?

    I'm not suggesting it is. There are things that I consider to be progress and that I'm excited to see develop and feed back into the non-Apple-based world, and others that I am less enthused about. That's really all I mean.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    All bound for mu mu land, the Lost Continent, in the Ocean of dreams.

    Apple users are all Timelords, both justified and ancient. Did you not know that?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Apple users are all Timelords, both justified and ancient. Did you not know that?

    I'd be keener to have what the Doctor drives around in than what he carries in his pockets. By far the coolest vehicle in all of speculative fiction.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    By far the coolest vehicle in all of speculative fiction.

    Yes, that's true, but when what you need is a sonic screwdriver, a plain old flat-head is of no particular use.

    On that note, is there a 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' iPad app? There should be.

    ETA: I chickened out on buying one last week. Too many distractions at the moment, without adding another.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Yes, that's true, but when what you need is a sonic screwdriver, a plain old flat-head is of no particular use.

    There's an entire workshop in the Tardis.

    On that note, is there a 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' iPad app? There should be.

    There's better - Wikipedia. Cheaper than the Encyclopedia Galactica. Less evil than Encarta. And it has quite a bit about the Earth in it, unlike the Guide.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Gizmodo on multi-touch and mice:

    Apple Magic Trackpad: The Beginning of the End for Mac OS X

    Because this is Steve and Co. way of telling us that the future is multitouch, and the mouse is death.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    On that note, is there a 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' iPad app? There should be.

    Well there is H2G2 (the BBC Hitch Hikers Guide to the galaxy) It may not be an iPad app but it does have "Don't Panic" in large friendly letters on the "cover"

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Send an email to Jesus Diaz, the author of this post

    Yepindeedy, it's a religion. No point trying to deny it any longer. Can we agree on a black attire for the Apple Brethren, along the lines of Professor Snape?

    I like capes. And pants. Stovepipes of course. Literally.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    The $35 (USD) iPad knock-off from the Indian Government. CNN, Cnet.

    It looks functional enough. It might not replace my laptop or my dumbphone, but I tihnk it could be a huge step forward for millions of users. The mobile device revolution is in full swing around the world, and who knows where it is taking us... I certainly don't.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    out, out, out on the web...
    another Facebook interface or loss of face?
    the Hell Pizzas database hack was nothing...
    apparently Details of 100 million Facebook users have been published online compromising people's ability to change their privacy settings...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Comic find saves house...
    Superman to the rescue...
    sadly this won't be happening with digital comics...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    But does it make up for him being such a dick?

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    How useful is an iPad?, by Mark Webster, and this from Sideswipe on Tuesday.

    Toys for the self-obsessed

    A poll of 20,000 consumers has found the average Apple iPad owner is a self-centred workaholic who doesn't care about others. The study looked at what type of person is likely to have bought the $800 to $1350 device, and found that people who were wealthy, highly educated, sophisticated and selfish were six times more likely to own an iPad.

    Orly?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    And in the meantime, net neutrality looks like it's about to take a big hit.
    That will, ahem, effect the mincing, superior i-person, the plain grey MS clone, and the ghostly attic-dwelling still-wearing-the-same-underpants-I-turned-13-in linux-fiend alike.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Orly?

    That's likely to be the "study" extensively discussed upthread, no? I still think it's ludicrous myself.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    That will, ahem, effect the mincing, superior i-person, the plain grey MS clone, and the ghostly attic-dwelling still-wearing-the-same-underpants-I-turned-13-in linux-fiend alike.

    So what about the Mac User on a Linux server with Parallels desktop running Windows XP so they can use MYOB?

    I'll just go change my underpants. You can watch my mincing arse as it climbs the stairs to the attic.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

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