Tag Archives: iPad

The iPad’s lack of a file system

Don Reisinger on why the tablet won’t replace the laptop:

“The operating systems lack worthwhile file systems, a more robust interface and all the other things that people will find in the operating systems running on notebooks.”

I’m not sure what Don means by “a more robust interface”, but I think he’s wrong about the importance of files systems. A file system is an abstraction, a metaphor, not something that’s set in stone. Not once in using the iPad have I pined for “a file system”.
What I want – and what people care about – is simple: “can I read and create the documents that I want to read or create?” I don’t need folders, volumes, and all the other baggage. I just want my stuff to be there.

Compare and contrast


“The Glendale Galleria store in California sold out of all their iPad 2s within 45 minutes of opening their doors (thanks, Michael K.). According to multiple reports via Twitter, users were unable to choose the model they wanted.”

and contrast

“Jefferies analyst Peter Misek on Friday argued that earnings estimates for Motorola Mobility are too high for the second quarter and 2011 because sales of the Xoom and Atrix haven’t lived up to expectations.”

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When is “the best price” for customers not “the best price” for customers?

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 08:  A Wal-Mart customer...
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The Sage Gruber’s contortions to position Apple’s subscription pricing scam as “good for consumers” are getting so wild that he’ll be a high-level yoga master before you know it:

“Why not allow developers and publishers to set their own prices for in-app subscriptions? One reason: Apple wants its customers to get the best price — and, to know that they’re getting the best price whenever they buy a subscription through an app. It’s a confidence in the brand thing: with Apple’s rules, users know they’re getting the best price, they know they’ll be able to unsubscribe easily, and they know their privacy is protected… So the same-price rule is good for the user, and good for Apple”

John’s being obtuse here. How would a publisher offering a lower price than that offered through Apple’s store be bad for customers? It wouldn’t – it would be bad for Apple. Customers could choose to vote with their wallets – take the lower price on offer elsewhere, or take the convenience and privacy advantages of using in-app purchasing.

By the same logic, any large retailer could use its position in the market to force suppliers not to allow anyone to undercut it, and claim that it was simply ensuring “its customers got the best price”. I’m sure Wal-Mart would love its customers to “know that they’re getting the best price” by contractually obliging people not to sell their products for less elsewhere. Nothing to do with hobbling the competition, oh no sir.

As I’ve said before, Apple’s subscription offering is a mess. It offers publishers little value compared to what developers get, and it’s not good for consumers because it effectively stifles competition. No amount of juggling semantics by talking about “Apple’s customers” – like they own them – will change that.

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Apple 2011 = Microsoft ’97

Brilliant comment from “Chucky” on a post from from Michael Tsai:

Microsoft in 1997 had a very specific corporate strategy. They had a temporary situation of great market leverage. And rather than concentrating on making better products for their users, they began to concentrate on two objectives:

1 Using their leverage to avoid the rise of middle-wear.

2 Using their leverage to grab a rent-seeking slice of the commerce their users did out on the internet.

Microsoft in 1997 was willing to be incredibly evasive and disingenuous in its pursuit of those goals.

Does any of this remind you of Apple in 2011 in any way?

Apple has steadfastly avoided the creation of middleware on iOS – stuff like Flash, which acts as a layer between the OS and the application. And it is now using its leverage over the platform to grab a slice of all the commerce people do through apps.

Who’d have thought that Steve Jobs would have stuck so closely to the playbook written by Bill Gates?

I couldn’t have put it better myself

Mathew Ingram, writing for GigaOm:

“Call it a deal with the devil or whatever you want, but Apple is the one that came up with devices that are so appealing, and a content-distribution model that is so effective, that it has sold 10 billion apps in less than three years, and created a whole generation of users who look to it for content such as newspapers, magazines, e-books and games. Putting your eggs in Apple’s basket is a great way to get them to market — but just remember who owns the basket, and who you have to pay for carrying it, and who controls the route to your customer. Meanwhile, over in the corner stands Google, waving frantically.”

Why Microsoft is right to hold off on a tablet

MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 07:  Chief Executive...
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Joe Wilcox, Betanews:

“Ballmer was right not to make any major tablet announcement, showing off something that wasn’t ready. Any zealous tablet push would have led to bloggers, journalists and Wall Street analysts making iPad comparisons. By staying away from Apple and iPad, Ballmer kept the message pure, which is good marketing. Ballmer set the keynote agenda on his terms rather than taking the position of following a competitor. Surely there was temptation, and pressure, to directly respond to iPad. Ballmer showed leadership by waiting.”

Joe is absolutely right. The last thing that Microsoft needed from this year’s CES was another version of the Courier debacle. By focusing on products that it was ready to announce rather than products the pundits think it needs, Ballmer did the right thing – and, of course, copied something straight out of the Apple marketing playbook.

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Circus Ponies Notebook: Expensive, but feature-rich, notetaking for iPad

I’m only slightly obsessive about note taking applications. I actually use more than one at once – DEVONthink for organising notes around projects, Evernote for filing just about everything else.

One of the ones that I’ve used in the past is Circus Ponies NoteBook, which on Mac was a great note taking application, particularly if you like to take notes as outlines. And now, thanks to an iPad version, I might well take another look at it.

What’s good about Circus Ponies Notepad for iPad? There’s a couple of features which stand out. First, the user interface looks pretty lovely, like a decent paper notebook but with plenty of easy-to-access features. Second, it’s not just text only – there’s tools for diagramming and drawing too, which is handy if you suddenly want to add a mind map or sketch. And finally, you can import PDFs and annotate them, so if you have documents you want to annotate it should be easy.

It’s not, though, cheap: £17.99, which makes it a pricey piece of software in iPad terms, but worth it for notes-obsessives like myself.

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Oh, the irony: Chrome OS “no good for making stuff”

Joel Mathis taking a look at Chrome OS:

“If you want to make stuff, in other words, the cloud isn’t quite ready for you—and that means Chrome OS isn’t quite ready for you, either. Will it be when (and if) Chrome OS netbooks actually hit the market next year? That’s tougher to say.”

One wonders how many of the people decrying the iPad as “only for consumers, not creators” will be getting as angry about Chrome OS? My bet is “none”.

iPads only selling to the Apple faithful? Only if you count anyone with an iPod as “the faithful”

In search of a headline, Marketing Magazine cites a YouGov survey as showing that the iPad is only “reaching out to the converted“:

“In the two months since the iPad launched in the UK, YouGov has found that 96% of the 713 iPad owners surveyed owned products such as an iPod, iPhone or Mac.”

Why would this be a surprise? Given that Apple utterly dominates the MP3 player category with over 70% market share, it would be a surprise if most people surveyed hadn’t owned an Apple product. When you’ve sold over 225 million music players alone, you’d be hard-pushed to find anyone likely to buy something like the iPad who hasn’t bought an Apple product.