18
   

Good god the iPad is a steaming pile of disappointment

 
 
Region Philbis
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 03:34 pm


http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/769/ipadm.jpg
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 11:12 pm
Doonesbury nails it in today's strip -- as he usually does.

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/db/2010/db100128.gif
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 08:30 am
@Thomas,
CNet's review: The Apple iPad: It's just ahead of its time

Quote:
It's hard to argue the fact that this week's Apple iPad launch disappointed the tech crowd, and not just because of that inexplicable name. Despite its lovely design, beefier core apps, and new e-book features and store, the iPad is hampered by a well-documented string of missing features: a camera, 16:9 support, Flash support (seriously?), multitasking, SD card slot, HDMI or high-res video output support, USB ports, GPS, and so on. Plus, it's exclusive to the AT&T network (again: seriously?) in this iteration, the pricing scheme is overly complex, and while I'm not sure it's genuinely overpriced, it's nevertheless expensive, and you can't imagine the price going much lower without crashing into the 64GB iPod Touch and making the iPad look a lot like a sucker's buy.

OK, but all that said, I think we all need to take a deep breath and remember: it's not that the iPad is a failure. It's just a product ahead of its time. No one should actually buy this iPad--between its inevitable first-generation bugs, fulfillment problems, and buyer's remorse over added features and price drops, it's heartbreak waiting to happen. Try to think of the iPad as, like, a proof of concept. A concept car, even. A work in progress, really.

...
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 02:39 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
So, you're gonna surf the net on a device that doesn't play Flash, doesn't read PDFs, and doesn't let you download ANYTHING that isn't sold by Apple?


Flash is a big problem, they won't allow it because it competes with their app store. But PDFs is no problem, even on a desktop I configure my browser to redirect PDF urls to Google Reader. Flash is a necessary proprietary evil, but I have no particular love for PDF in my life.

Thing is, you can already read PDFs on your iphone (just dropbox it to the phone or email it to yourself) so I'm not sure what you mean there.

Quote:
In fact, I don't believe there's any way to load anything on to it that isn't sold by Apple, other than programs which are created specifically to break apples' stupid proprietary ****.


I have a jailbroken iphone, so I can do whatever I want with it. I'd do the same with the iPad if I felt too limited. But yes, this is a big downside for Apple products.

But it doesn't look like anyone else's mobile store is going to catch up anytime soon. For this very reason I prefer that the Android platform win, but they aren't getting any app traction yet and I think it will be years before they can compete with Apple.

Until there is a viable alternative platform with an app ecosystem I'm already going to be on this platform (my phone) and I have a lot of apps/games that would already work on it. Hundreds of dollars of lock-in already.

Quote:
Sure, some things are just shiny looks and fanboyism. Not everything is functionality or innovation.


I'm no Apple fanboy. I have exactly one Apple product right now, my phone. I'd used every other mobile platform until then and nothing came close to it.

If Android apps catch up I'll say goodbye to Apple but I am not holding my breath for that right now.

Quote:
Re-read the Yglesias post above - you've got the Ebook angle wrong. Any device which relies on proprietary formatted data is doomed to fail in the long run, because that isn't what people really want.


The device uses epub, this is an open source format. I'm not sure what your Yglesias guy is on about, they might layer on some DRM to make his point but so far this is just not known.

Incidentally, Kindle uses a proprietary format too. I agree with your qualms with this kind of thing, and for this reason I have not purchased a single Kindle book yet (I want to build a library that I can take to other devices and stores) but the big e-reader of the moment is more proprietary anyway and it's not like the DRM stopped people from buying iTunes music (which I also don't buy in favor of Amazon's mp3s).

But ultimately these quibbles aren't going to change something pretty basic: the death of paper has accelerated since Kindle's arrival and this is an ergonomic device for content consumption that will help further this along. With Apple's networks effects in their iTunes user base and apps they are going to have to screw up not to have an impact.

Quote:
It isn't that this thing doesn't look like fun - I'm sure you could have fun with it. But innovative? In what way is it innovative?


Same ways the iphone was. Take the concept and make the usability and experience good enough to be useful. Microsoft has been trying to sell tablets for almost a decade. This one will sell and the reason is a much better user experience.

Quote:
Laptop replacement? Nope. I just don't see who other than a fanboy could consider this to be Apple's next 'killer' development.


Well I'm no Apple fanboy, but I recognize paradigm shifts when I see one. This has the potential to contribute to several of them (tablet going mainstream, e-books going mainstream etc) and this will have deep impact.

This particular product is not perfect, and has a lot to criticize but I suspect it's good enough to get this started and this has a decent chance of pushing tablets closer to mainstream.

The pricing is what seals it. I was going to buy an e-reader because the iphone is too small to read on and a laptop too uncomfortable. This is a perfect reading device for me and if I can find a way to get DRM-free books it will dramatically change my reading habits (more books, just like how Kindle owners start reading more).

This is part of the analog to digital movement, and it's a nice step. The buzz around this thing was impossible to live up to but this is a very formidable content consumption device despite the many valid criticisms you've leveled towards it.

Quote:
I cannot abide products that are gimped intentionally so the manufacturer can make money off of dripping content to the buyer.


So you gonna toss your iPod? Look, all your valid points aside they still manage to sell like hotcakes and change the world right? The iPod/iTunes combo has always been a horrible walled garden but they nail the user experience and that is what makes this kind of thing go mainstream.

Before they did that geeks did mp3s, but they made it mainstream. Similarly, geeks can do a lot more with the netbooks and tablets they have already bought, but this has a chance of going mainstream through the fanatical dedication to the user experience, even if they are proprietary, draconian and lock you in.

Whether or not you or I like DRM doesn't mean this won't go big. The public hasn't shown themselves to care enough about this so far.

And in any case, remember, as a reader this thing is going to have an open-format app. I don't have to buy iBooks to read on this thing, I can also choose kindle, or whatever other apps will be written for it.

What remains to be seen is who is going to sell books in open format, and that is a problem that is independent of this device. Before this came along I still didn't have an ebook store solution I'm happy with, but this looks like hardware I'd like to read it on.

Geeks tend to have a hard time getting usability, there's a reason most people use single-purpose appliances to do things that a computer can do (watch TV, movies, listen to music) and doing the most is the simple-minded programmer's measuring stick (Microsoft style, just add more features). If they can make the ebooks, content consumption and browsing the internet just work, like an appliance, this is innovation.
0 Replies
 
sstainba
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 11:33 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

I don't know why you wanted gps in it, I see it as the most convenient netbook around, and what is likely to be the mainstream digital book solution. For that it will work pretty well.


It's actually *not* a netbook. And it's *not* convenient if you, for example, want to download and install some new cool program you found on the net... like to check out a bunch of sites that use flash... want the ability to import pictures from your digital camera's mem card... or basically, if you want to do anything that every-other-netbook-on-the-market can do.
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 02:04 am
i agree with Robert that the size does matter (doesn't it always, eh).... If you are someplace like Slovakia, as I am, and simply cannot find books you want in a bookstore, because they simply are not there, than this is a perfect solution. Of course, so would be Kindle I guess, but from the marketing point of view iPad has it won. I like my iPhone and its functionality, so if I were to choose, i'd go with iPad instead of Kindle. Simple as that. Right or wrong is a totally another matter.
And the proprietary monopoly? Well, iTunes did the same... and as a user I found what I ever needed there....again, maybe not "right", but why wouldn't they do it this way if they can afford to and people do and will go along with it?
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 07:36 am
I liked this article by David Carr:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/01/business/media/01carr.html

This part made a lot of sense to me:

David Carr wrote:
The iPad’s promise was hinted at before Mr. Jobs hit the stage. The set was dominated by a large, comfy chair. Since the birth of the personal computer, we have been hunched over, squinting at screens " great big terminals, laptop displays, tiny screens on PDAs. With the iPad, the screen has come to us as we lean back in ease.

Critics who suggested that Apple unveiled little more than an iPhone that won’t fit in your pocket don’t seem to understand that by scaling the iPhone experience, the iPad becomes a different species. Media companies now have a new platform that presents content in an intimate way.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 10:36 am
@sozobe,
Quote:
Media companies now have a new platform that presents content in an intimate way.


They do? How is this any different than a laptop?

I also think that the concept of reading books on this thing leaves a lot to be desired; the whole rise of e-paper is due to the fact that reading books on a computer screen mostly sucks on the eyes.

Cycloptichorn
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 11:34 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
They do? How is this any different than a laptop?


How is a netbook different from a laptop? More mobile and less powerful right?

For one, this is the same concept: more mobile. It doesn't have a keyboard protruding from the screen for one. Much easier to hold and read. You could walk down the street reading this (I used to do that with books so I'm not making up the usecase) but you'd not do that with a laptop. People don't read books that often on laptops for a reason. There is a reason that millions and millions of e-readers have been sold to people who own laptops.

That is what Jobs meant by more intimate. I don't use laptops anymore because I find them inconvenient. I bought a tiny laptop years ago trying to get the additional mobility but now I find it too inconvenient to boot up and use and just use the iphone instead when I read in bed for example.

I was gonna buy an e-reader and this is the one I'll buy because it has a platform that I already use and enjoy and can do much more than an e-reader can.

Quote:
I also think that the concept of reading books on this thing leaves a lot to be desired; the whole rise of e-paper is due to the fact that reading books on a computer screen mostly sucks on the eyes.


I agree with you, but it's too late for that and I already spend all day reading backlit text. The consensus I see is that hardcore readers would tend towards the e-paper solutions while more casual ones would be fine reading on backlit screen.

But you protest too much on this too, you said you read tons on an iPhone which is the same screen but worse and smaller.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 11:38 am
@sstainba,
sstainba wrote:
It's actually *not* a netbook. And it's *not* convenient if you, for example, want to download and install some new cool program you found on the net... like to check out a bunch of sites that use flash... want the ability to import pictures from your digital camera's mem card... or basically, if you want to do anything that every-other-netbook-on-the-market can do.


Most people use TVs that can't do all the things a computer can do (which includes TV). Usability isn't about having the most features and maybe not being able to download crap from the internet is an advantage for some use cases.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 11:41 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
They do? How is this any different than a laptop?


How is a netbook different from a laptop? More mobile and less powerful right?


I dunno, I have a new Asus EEE that is ******* hot. Fast as **** and powerful.

Quote:
For one, this is the same concept: more mobile. It doesn't have a keyboard protruding from the screen for one. Much easier to hold and read. You could walk down the street reading this (I used to do that with books so I'm not making up the usecase) but you'd not do that with a laptop.


Laughing I still do that with books. Walking time is time that data can be assimilated.

Quote:
That is what Jobs meant by more intimate. I don't use laptops anymore because I find them inconvenient. I bought a tiny laptop years ago trying to get the additional mobility but now I find it too inconvenient to boot up and use and just use the iphone instead when I read in bed for example.

I was gonna buy an e-reader and this is the one I'll buy because it has a platform that I already use and enjoy and can do much more than an e-reader can.


Dunno about that. Not being able to do anything fun on the tubes is a huge limitation for me. Maybe a jailbroken version.

Quote:
Quote:
I also think that the concept of reading books on this thing leaves a lot to be desired; the whole rise of e-paper is due to the fact that reading books on a computer screen mostly sucks on the eyes.


I agree with you, but it's too late for that and I already spend all day reading backlit text. The consensus I see is that hardcore readers would tend towards the e-paper solutions while more casual ones would be fine reading on backlit screen.

But you protest too much on this too, you said you read tons on an iPhone which is the same screen but worse and smaller.
[/quote]

I have to turn it to white text on black background; and is the screen on the Ipad better than that on the Ipod? Per what I've read, maybe not so much.

I guess a big sticking point for me is that this is V1 of the product; I never by first editions of electronics. The good stuff is always in rev 2 or 3, once people have bitched enough about the lack of features.

Cycloptichorn
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 11:42 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

sstainba wrote:
It's actually *not* a netbook. And it's *not* convenient if you, for example, want to download and install some new cool program you found on the net... like to check out a bunch of sites that use flash... want the ability to import pictures from your digital camera's mem card... or basically, if you want to do anything that every-other-netbook-on-the-market can do.


Most people use TVs that can't do all the things a computer can do (which includes TV). Usability isn't about having the most features and maybe not being able to download crap from the internet is an advantage for some use cases.


Maybe, but why would someone who is familiar with computers buy a gimped product that doesn't do what you want it to do?

Cycloptichorn
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 11:53 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Maybe, but why would someone who is familiar with computers buy a gimped product that doesn't do what you want it to do?


Because they aren't you and it does do what they want it to do. Millions of people have bought kindles that do even less than the iPad. People like me don't use computers except for the browser most of the time. I don't need crap downloaded from the internet for 99% of my internet activity.

That's why Google is making their thin clients too. Their Chrome operating system will do even less than this. It will simply boot up instantly to a browser, that's all.

What you aren't recognizing is the paradigm shift there to cloud computing and thin clients that renders the local environment little more than a screen and input. I don't use Microsoft Office and it's not because I use Open Office, that has the same and more problems. The problem is that the files live on these local devices and I use more than one. So I need my data in the "could" (i.e. internet) and through a browser so I can get it anywhere. This has a damn good browser, that is 90% of a computer for most people.

There are a lot of people who be better off with what you call a "gimped" product but that for them will be much more usable and comfortable. The reason a TV frustrates people less than a computer is precisely because it does less and is therefore less complicated at doing the things it does do. This will be a similar usability leap and for folks like my grandmother it will be better than a computer (with her post it notes on how to use AOL all over the monitor and notes about how her grandkids shouldn't download crap....).
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 12:01 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
I have to turn it to white text on black background; and is the screen on the Ipad better than that on the Ipod? Per what I've read, maybe not so much.


You can surely find a white text version of a reader somewhere in the app store. But their reader seem to try to mock a real page (e.g. they do shading to make it look like real pages) and may end up putting funcito

Quote:
I guess a big sticking point for me is that this is V1 of the product; I never by first editions of electronics. The good stuff is always in rev 2 or 3, once people have bitched enough about the lack of features.


I agree that the next versions will improve quickly, and think that things like a front-facing camera are intentionally left out for the next version. But don't hold your breath about a lot of the other stuff. Things like flash missing are not an oversight, it's Apple's proprietary bullshit. If you aren't that interested in the current core features the rest will be small tweaks.

But this isn't going to turn into a laptop. The lack of a keyboard should make it clear that it is meant for consumption and not generation and what I've been saying over and over and that nobody seems to get is that fewer features is a feature called usability. This just isn't meant to be a laptop and it will never outshine a laptop at all the things a laptop can do.

A swiss army knife does more than a butter knife but people don't use them at the table to eat for a reason. In the computing world a lot of people are using swiss army knives for simple tasks that can be better done by more dedicated devices. This is more like an "internet appliance" than a computer.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 12:04 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
There are a lot of people who be better off with what you call a "gimped" product but that for them will be much more usable and comfortable.


Many of us more experienced users see this as ultimately a bad thing. Proliferation of the 'walled garden' model of computing is antithetical to the idea of an open and free net. The walled garden has already fucked automobiles here in the US, I would hate for the same thing to happen to computers.

Quote:
I don't need crap downloaded from the internet for 99% of my internet activity.


Your internet activity differs heavily from mine, then. And no flash? You're telling me that 99% of your internet activity doesn't use flash? I find that hard to believe.

Quote:
The problem is that the files live on these local devices and I use more than one. So I need my data in the "could" (i.e. internet) and through a browser so I can get it anywhere. This has a damn good browser, that is 90% of a computer for most people.


A browser that doesn't let you download files and doesn't let you use Flash isn't a damn good browser. And the worst part about this is, that when people find work-arounds and fixes for these faults, Apple will actively attempt to block people from using them.

How can you support a computer manufacturer that goes out of it's way to **** innovation over? Who is more interested in selling you content (at grossly inflated and unrealistic prices relative to the delivery cost) then they are allowing people to explore and create themselves? It boggles my mind that anyone who is in to high-tech stuff could think this is a good idea.

Re: the screen, I note that the Ipad doesn't support HD resolution. That's ******* lame. Movies would look WORSE on this thing then they did on the smaller Ipod.

I think the touch-screen keyboard is also lame. Try typing a long post on A2K with the thing while holding it at the same time - are you going to be hunting and pecking? I find the keyboard on the Ipod to be cumbersome and extremely slow, I use it on the Ipod because I have to, not because it represents a better input device then a keyboard.

Also, I have a solution to your 'local files' problem -

http://www.stealthcomputer.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/usb2-key.jpg

Costs about ten bucks and works with no internet access. You ought to look into it.

Cycloptichorn
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 01:54 pm
but cyclo, there already are tablets that do what you are looking for. my notebook is a tablet...though i hardly use the touch screen at all.

iPad, from what i understand, does not pretend to be one. it's like kindle but with a few more functions. perfect for what i, and the likes of me, need.... though I'm gonna wait till they get cheaper over here.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 01:58 pm
@dagmaraka,
dagmaraka wrote:

but cyclo, there already are tablets that do what you are looking for. my notebook is a tablet...though i hardly use the touch screen at all.

iPad, from what i understand, does not pretend to be one. it's like kindle but with a few more functions. perfect for what i, and the likes of me, need.... though I'm gonna wait till they get cheaper over here.


That's why this thing isn't properly described as either a tablet at all; it's like a toy. It's something I would give a child to use.

If it was being marketed as a 'limited internet device,' sure. I would get that. But that's not how it's being billed.

Cycloptichorn
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 02:06 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
I guess a big sticking point for me is that this is V1 of the product; I never by first editions of electronics. The good stuff is always in rev 2 or 3, once people have bitched enough about the lack of features.

I think you'll like the iPad much more by V.3. It'll be a very handy, easy to use, feature rich device at a reasonable price.

But it will never be a Laptop. It's not intended to be a laptop. At the very least, Apple doesn't want to cut into its own LapTop sales, so the iPad will always lack certain key features (intentionally) to keep it in its place.

But I agree with Robert, by the time they get to V.3, the iPad will be leading the way in a paradigm shift for how people interact with the Internet. Within a few years, "Pad's" from many manufacturers will be the primary device formula by which people interact with data and with each other. And as bandwidth continues to increase, higher level functionality like Word Processing will be available through web browsers in "The Cloud", and Thin Client Computing will finally have arrived.

And if the lack of a keyboard bothers you, then I would note that all they have to do is build BlueTooth into the iPad for it to be able to pair with a keyboard. Then all some third party will have to do is sell a leather binder with a BlueTooth keyboard on one side and a holder for the iPad on the other and they'll have a very elegant leather case for your "Pad" and your Keyboard (if you happen to need one).
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 02:10 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
well, sounds like you don't have a need for it.

some of us do. i would love to buy paper books, but they simply ain't here. i can order only some on Amazon (many books don't ship to Slovakia)... and even if I succeed, the wait is 3 weeks.
sure, i could get a kindle.... or iPad...which has more features. Thus i'd go with iPad. very simple for me. no idea how it's advertise, but i know it does what i want it to do for me.

i have a young nephew, but i think he'd be bored of iPad real soon, i don't see it as a child toy to be honest.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 02:14 pm
@rosborne979,
Quote:
But I agree with Robert, by the time they get to V.3, the iPad will be leading the way in a paradigm shift for how people interact with the Internet. Within a few years, "Pad's" from many manufacturers will be the primary device formula by which people interact with data and with each other. And as bandwidth continues to increase, higher level functionality like Word Processing will be available through web browsers in "The Cloud", and Thin Client Computing will finally have arrived.


But you still won't be able to do what you want with the device! You will only be able to do what APPLE wants you to do with it and they will fight every attempt for you to modify the device which you bought.

It's as if you bought a screwdriver from a company and then used it to prop a window up, and the company sues you for using their product in a way in which they don't like (or doesn't make them any money). It is completely antithetical to the concept of freedom and openness in computing.

It's not just the device itself which is disappointing, it's that people seem to think that there's nothing wrong with the Walled Garden. There is something wrong with it: it sacrifices Control in the name of Comfort and the end user ultimately ends up losing out due to it. I guess I should be really happy for the millions of users who are either too stupid or too lazy to learn how to do basic things with traditional computers; but I'm not, really. In the same way that our modern automobile industry has crowded the home mechanic out of the game, stuff like this seeks to crowd the power computer user out of the game as well.

I wouldn't hold this opinion if Apple supported innovation or allowed people to do whatever they want with the device. If they did that, I'd love the potential that it has. But they won't support anything that doesn't make them money, period. **** that noise, I want nothing of it and it bothers me that people aren't bothered by this.

Cycloptichorn
 

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