Fraser Speirs argues that most of the anti-iPad sentiment is “Future Shock”:
For years we’ve all held to the belief that computing had to be made simpler for the ‘average person’. I find it difficult to come to any conclusion other than that we have totally failed in this effort.
Secretly, I suspect, we technologists quite liked the idea that Normals would be dependent on us for our technological shamanism. Those incantations that only we can perform to heal their computers, those oracular proclamations that we make over the future and the blessings we bestow on purchasing choices.
He nails it. While an iPad wouldn’t be my computer of choice (at least in its current form), I could certainly see it being the perfect device for the less tech-savvy audience. This could be the perfect product for my grandparents, for instance.
Also of note was one of Steven’s proposed improvements for the iPhone/iPad platform:
A way of sharing data between applications. Something like the clipboard, but bigger. This is not a filesystem, but a way of saying “bring this data object from this app to this app”. I’ve made this painting in my painting app, and now I want to bring it over here to crop it and apply filters.
I really like how Android has approached this problem. If, as a developer, you want to create image editing software, you don’t have to know how to access images from other applications, but rather, you just ask the OS for a list of all files that match a certain type (an image, a video, etc.). Then, the OS knows which programs store files of that type and it returns a nice, condensed list of all of them. The user never has to worry about exactly which app stored the image, because it’s all taken care of for him.
The average American thinks NASA’s spends 25% of the total U.S. budget. It’s actually 0.58%.
I especially liked this bit:
Used to be that to drive a car, you, the driver, needed to operate a clutch pedal and gear shifter and manually change gears for the transmission as you accelerated and decelerated. Then came the automatic transmission. With an automatic, the transmission is entirely abstracted away. The clutch is gone. To go faster, you just press harder on the gas pedal.
That’s where Apple is taking computing. A car with an automatic transmission still shifts gears; the driver just doesn’t need to know about it. A computer running iPhone OS still has a hierarchical file system; the user just never sees it.
Pretty amazing all of that can happen in under a second.
Matt Haughey goes through his thoughts on the Motorola Droid, the Nexus One, and Android in general. Lots of good stuff here, and his thoughts echo a lot of mine. Android as a platform has a whole lot of promise, and I’m really excited to see where out it goes from here.
A fascinating look at the language of the Pirahã tribe in Brazil.