(or should the title be “HyPed?”)
Some early thoughts about the iPad:
- It’s surprisingly cheap. I don’t know for sure, but the price does suggest that it’s following the games console model: make a loss on the machine, make your money on the games (or in this case, the apps), and try to dominate the market. The appstore has been hugely successful for them, so that would make sense. And unless Amazon can drop the Kindle to $99, e-ink will soon be sent back to the lab, to work on a proper colour screen.
- It’s what we expected. Back to the video game analogy, the dual-screen Nintendo DS forced publishers to rethink the fundamentals of the game-playing experience. This doesn’t take us anywhere we didn’t expect to go, which is onto giant iPhones. That said, it’s easy to overlook how much multi-touch has already revolutionised interface design.
- 3G+WiFi+easily stealable+limited capacity = The inexorable rise of The Cloud. No bad thing, as long as it never goes down.
- Mid-level software publishers will struggle – $9.99 seems to be a top price limit for most iPhone apps. No reason to think the iPad will be different, particularly as it runs most iPhone apps.
- No word on subscription models for publications yet. Bit early perhaps, but it will need to come, and soon.
- If I were a peripheral manufacturer, the first thing I’d make is a rubber keyboard with force feedback and a strap around the back, to slip over that touchscreen keyboard. Even Jobs couldn’t type straight on it in the demo. Shouldn’t be too difficult, and will be an instant winner.
- The second thing I’d make is a Bluetooth-enabled pair of spectacles with a mini monitor overlay, and a Bluetooth-enabled glove (containing mini gyroscopes and acting as a mouse), to do the tapping and viewing without needing the pad in front of me. It would also have the benefit of making me think that Minority Report had finally come true. Now where did I leave those precogs?
- A flurry of new CSS templates should make most websites nicely compatible, without too much fuss. Magazines take note: you don’t need to spend thousands on consultants, just get one good designer and choose a nice template. Unless of course you’d like me to consult for you, in which case, I’m worth every penny.
- By choosing the ePub format, Apple has made their book reader compatible with Google Books (or easily adaptable to be compatible, depending on how they choose to play with the DRM). Smart move, and cuts off Google at the pass. Note: InDesign also has an ePub option – some magazines may want to choose this route to sell straightforward copies of their print edition in the iBookstore.
- Still no Flash compatibility and no multi-tasking. That limits some of the fun that can be had. They’ll come later, though.
- Expect more than a few web-based online stores to appear soon, to avoid having to be locked into developing an app that won’t work on another device. If I were working on that magazine industry Skiff thing, I’d scrap the hardware plan and focus on a cross-platform solution.
- If my laptop gives up the ghost, and Adobe releases a CS4 patch to make it compatible, then I’ll need a good reason not to replace it with one of these.
- It’s not the future of media, but it’s probably one bit of it.
- No, Europe-based friends, I can’t bring you one over.
- They will sell a *lot* in the first few months.