Tag Archive for ‘The Verge’

The State of iPad

The iPad was announced on January 27, 2010 — just over ten years ago. And this anniversary has started a discussion among our community about the state of iPad, where it has succeeded and where it has failed. I have my own opinions which I’ll share at the end, but I thought I’d do my best Michael Tsai impersonation and share some choice quotes from others who have written about this occasion.

John Gruber:

The iPad at 10 is, to me, a grave disappointment. Not because it’s “bad”, because it’s not bad — it’s great even — but because great though it is in so many ways, overall it has fallen so far short of the grand potential it showed on day one. To reach that potential, Apple needs to recognize they have made profound conceptual mistakes in the iPad user interface, mistakes that need to be scrapped and replaced, not polished and refined. I worry that iPadOS 13 suggests the opposite — that Apple is steering the iPad full speed ahead down a blind alley.

Nick Heer:

There are small elements of friction, like how the iPad does not have paged memory, so the system tends to boot applications from memory when it runs out. There are developer limitations that make it difficult for apps to interact with each other. There are still system features that occupy the entire display. Put all of these issues together and it makes a chore of something as ostensibly simple as writing.

Riccardo Mori:

Ten years later, here I am, with a sufficiently large and advanced iPhone on one side, and a sufficiently compact and powerful laptop (the 11-inch MacBook Air) on the other. And the combination of these two devices has effectively neutralised any need I might have for an iPad. After ten years, the only area where the iPad has truly become far better than a laptop and far better than a smartphone is art creation. For that, it’s a really astounding tool.

John Gruber, in response to Matt Birchler’s on the intuitiveness of platforms:

Advanced iPad features are mostly invoked only by gestures — which gestures are not cohesively designed. The Mac is more complex — which is good for experts and would-be experts, but bad for typical users — but its complexity is almost entirely discoverable visually. You just move your mouse around the screen and click on things. That’s how you close any window. That’s how you put any window into or out of full-screen mode.1 Far more of iPadOS should be exposed by visual buttons and on-screen elements that you can look at and simply tap or drag with a single finger.

Habib Cham:

The age-old uncertainty of whether the iPad can completely replace your PC and whether you can do work on the iPad remains. There is a simple answer to both questions: it depends on your computing requirements. To still utterly condemn the iPad as incapable of doing work is ludicrous and often a statement made by disputatious observers.

Lee Peterson:

I might dig into other comments separately but in general I have to say that I’d like iPhone development to slow down and iPad development to speed up. iOS 14 should be stability and no new features on iPhone and a real effort put into pruning iPadOS. I’d also love to see more work put in by Apple to make professional apps such as Final Cut Pro on iPad and it’s own apps such as Reminders split out of the OS and put into the store as an app that can be worked on independently just like Microsoft or Google do. […]

The iPad in my opinion isn’t tragic or a failure, it just needs a bit more focus for the power users.

Tom Warren, writing for The Verge:

Apple’s iPad may have transformed the tablet market, but it now appears to be growing into something more. The next decade of the iPad will define whether it remains as a third category of device that’s capable of occasionally bridging the gap between tablet and PC or if it’s ready to fully embrace life as a laptop.

John Voorhees, writing for MacStories:

iPad keynotes are very different today. The black leather chair is gone, and demos emphasize creative apps like Adobe Photoshop. The ‘single slab of multitouch glass’ is gone too. Sure, the iPad can still be used on its own and can transform into whichever app you’re using as it has always done, but there are many more layers to the interaction now with Split View, Slide Over, and multiwindowing, along with accessories like the Smart Keyboard Folio and Apple Pencil.

That’s quite a transformation for a product that has only been around for 10 years, and with the more recent introduction of the iPad Pro and iPadOS, in many ways it feels as though the iPad is just getting started.

Om Malik:

A decade after its introduction, I think the iPad is still an underappreciated step in the storied history of computing. If anything, it has been let down by the limited imagination of application developers, who have failed to harness the capabilities of this device.

Jean-Louis Gassée:

The iPad situation is serious. As an old warrior of the early Mac years recently said, one worries that Apple’s current leadership is unable to say No to bad ideas. Do Apple senior execs actually use the iPad’s undiscoverable and, once discovered, confusing multitasking features? Did they sincerely like them? Perhaps they suffer a lack of empathy for the common user: They’ve learned how to use their favorite multitasking gestures, but never built an internal representation of what we peons would feel when facing the iPad’s “improvements”.

Ben Thompson:

There are, needless to say, no companies built on the iPad that are worth anything approaching $1 billion in 2020 dollars, much less in 1994 dollars, even as the total addressable market has exploded, and one big reason is that $4.99 price point. Apple set the standard that highly complex, innovative software that was only possible on the iPad could only ever earn 5 bucks from a customer forever (updates, of course, were free).

I have a more optimistic outlook on the iPad than many of the bigger influencers within the community. It’s far from perfect, but I think the state of iPad is overall positive. There are issues with the multitasking interface, text selection, mediocre mouse support, and more — I trust that these annoyances will be smoothed out over time, though.

And even with these issues, my iPad is still my primary personal computing device. With the help of Fantastical, Day One, Bear, Things, Ulysses, Spark, Slack, Code Editor by Panic, Pixelmator, and more, I can do just about everything I was using my Mac for prior to going iPad-first in 2015.

There are still plenty of limitations on the iPad, but the ceiling feels higher for me than it does on macOS. The key is access to automation through Shortcuts. On macOS, I’ve used Alfred, Quicksilver, Automator, and countless other apps within the category, but I’ve never been able to build anything quite as advanced as I have with Shortcuts.

It’s difficult to feel pessimistic about a platform that is home to a productivity tool that has clicked for me like Shortcuts has. And seeing Apple integrate it into the system as deeply as they have shows that they get it. It’s just a matter of tightening things up and continuing to aim the ship in its current direction.

Twitter Will Add Options to Limit Replies ➝

Dieter Bohn, reporting for The Verge on a statement from Suzanne Xie, Twitter’s director of product management:

Xie says Twitter is adding a new setting for “conversation participants” right on the compose screen. It has four options: “Global, Group, Panel, and Statement.” Global lets anybody reply, Group is for people you follow and mention, Panel is people you specifically mention in the tweet, and Statement simply allows you to post a tweet and receive no replies.

I mean, this does seem incredibly easy to bypass. Presumably, you could simply mention the person who published the Statement and not give your tweet the reply distinction. You could also just add a link to the statement to specifically reference what you’re “replying” to. Unless Twitter blocks tweets with links to Statements. But then couldn’t you use a URL shortener?

This will probably prevent some harassment and toxicity on the platform. But unless they make some more fundamental changes to the service, I don’t think it’ll have too much of an impact.

➝ Source: theverge.com

Samsung Accidentally Makes the Case for Not Owning a Smart TV ➝

Jon Porter, writing for The Verge:

Samsung has reminded owners of its smart TVs that they should be regularly scanning for malware using its built-in virus scanning software. “Prevent malicious software attacks on your TV by scanning for viruses on your TV every few weeks,” a (now deleted) tweet from the company’s US support account read alongside a video attachment that demonstrated the laborious process.

It’s amazing to me that this was ever tweeted at all. Imagine if Microsoft was marketing their operating system by sharing tips on how to use malware or virus scanners on Windows. It’s not a good look.

Samsung Will Cancel Unconfirmed Galaxy Fold Orders if It Doesn’t Ship This Month ➝

I’m with John, this thing’s never going to ship.

Anker’s Atom PD 1 Charger Ships This Month for $29.99 ➝

Nick Statt, reporting for The Verge:

Anker, once known as a leading accessory maker and now a multi-faceted consumer electronics company, hasn’t abandoned its roots as a supplier of some of the fastest and highest-quality chargers around. The company’s newest line of ultrafast chargers, the PowerPort Atom series, is set to start shipping its first device later this month, the company announced today during CES. The Atom PD 1, as it’s called, was originally announced back in October, but the product was ultimately delayed a few months. The company now says it should be available for the same price of $29.99 later in January, though a concrete ship date has not yet been set.

This looks like it’s going to be a killer product. And I couldn’t be more excited that it’s capable of powering my MacBook Air.

But I suspect the model coming out later — the PowerPort Atom PD 2 — is going to become my go-to charger while traveling. The PD 2 is a 60W charger with two USB-C ports, which will feel right at home inside of my tech bag that’s slowly transitioning to USB-C everything.

Spectrum Internet Is Getting Kicked Out of New York ➝

Ashley Carman, reporting for The Verge:

New York is officially kicking internet and cable provider Spectrum, aka Charter, out of the state after the company failed to deliver on its fast internet promises. The state required Spectrum to roll out high-speed internet across underserved rural areas when it merged with Time Warner Cable in 2016.

I live in upstate New York, in an area serviced by Spectrum. I have no idea what’s going to happen with this. Although my guess is that the state will work out some deal allowing them to continue operation after they pay the $3 million penalty.

I hope this will also encourage other companies to accelerate the rollout of fiber networks, though. Empire Access has been slowly deploying fiber in my area, but they don’t have any future plans to bring it to my neighborhood. I would really like that to change soon.

Widescreen Laptops Are Dumb ➝

Vlad Savov, writing for The Verge:

With all of these horizontal bars invading our vertical space, a 16:9 screen quickly starts to feel cramped, especially at the typical laptop size. You wind up spending more time scrolling through content than engaging with it.

Some might argue that 16:9 is more accommodating for visual creative tasks, like video or photo editing, but I’ve done both (primarily in Adobe’s software suite) on a laptop, and the wider screen doesn’t help much. The experience is better than when I’m composing an email with acres of disused white space either side of my text, but not by a lot. Lateral space is simply not as valuable as vertical space in desktop apps or on the web.

I couldn’t agree more. After three years with an iPad Air 2 as my primary computing device, I firmly believe that widescreen displays are terrible for general purpose computing.

Big Name Developers Discontinue Bad Watch Apps ➝

Matt Birchler, commenting on The Verge’s recent piece about Google and Amazon killing their Apple Watch apps:

Google removed their Maps app and no one noticed. Well no shit, the Google Maps app on the Apple Watch is way worse than the Apple Maps one. Apple Maps on the Watch has more access to do things third party apps can’t. It can launch itself automatically when you start navigation on the iPhone, and it’s the only way to navigate when using Siri directly on the Apple Watch itself.

No one noticed Google or Amazon killing their Watch apps because no one was using their watch apps. This revelation by The Verge shouldn’t be taken as a sign of failure for the Watch, but as a sign of failure for bad Watch apps.