Archive for June, 2010

George Murray

Why iPad?

Social media consumption

(photo: seandreilinger)

To most people I’ve encountered (outside the bay area tech scene) the iPad is a mysterious thing. The impression has been one of reluctant acceptance, as if individuals are unable to resist the accelerating march of technology. For instance, in a focus group, when asked about upgrading mobile phones I’ve heard something to the effect of “I don’t know what it does or what I could use it for but everyone’s getting them so I guess I will have to get one eventually.” And technology marches on. (and we keep our jobs).

The same thing is happening right now with the iPad. Despite the herculean efforts of Apple’s advertising, consumers are still asking “What is it for?” They cannot see it in their lives.

As an early adopter of the iPad, I believe it and other tablets will be integral parts of the mainstream computing experience but it’s difficult to explain this to consumers in casual conversations. I have explained that it is good for web browsing, games and watching videos (the same case advertisements are making) but I believe there is more to it than these basic software or feature-based use cases. The most important and valuable part of the iPad is its form. I’ll try to explain this more.

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Hand selected news and ideas that stimulated discussion at Punchcut this week.

1_ More discussion of magazine apps for iPad. Tokyo web agency, iA, dissected the “designed for print, published to tablet” approach of the Wired iPad app. By contrast, the Popular Science iPad app excels because of it’s direct manipulation of content, we believe the approach is no doubt inspired by Berg’s Mag+ concept.

2_ A nice summary of the Info Display conference focused on touch technologies.

3_ The 2006 book every mobile and device UI designer should read, Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing

4_ HP CEO discusses WebOS as the primary driver behind the acquisition of Palm.

5_ Google’s Pac-Man burns $120M of work time, according to the BBC.

6_ And finally, two of mankind’s greatest inventions, together at last — an interesting exploration using velcro to put an iPad in different contexts.