PDA

View Full Version : I wish Apple would Think Different®


thejadedmonkey
Jun 19, 2006, 09:58 PM
Am I the only one who wishes Apple would think different? I mean...lets look at their lineup. Laptops, desktops. Look at Dell...Laptops, desktops.

What ever happened to thinking different?
What ever happened to the media center (iHome) idea?

and why in G-d's name am I still using the same archaic input devices that were being used 20 years ago. the monitor is the same shape...the mouse doesn't have blocky corners, but it's still a mouse.

Right now I'm sitting on my chair, facing a 6 year old monitor. I don't want an LCD, because it would mean spending more money for a useless 6" of space. Why can't apple make touch screen LCD's for the masses. If I want to do something, I use my fingers on the screen, or say what it is that I want to appear.

Dashboard is a step in the right direction, because it is another layer to the OS, but it's just that- a step.

What I really want is a revolution. We've had 20+ years of evolution, isn't it time we had a computing revolution?

Sorry, this has just been bugging me...and now seemed like a good of a time as any to say it.

yg17
Jun 19, 2006, 10:54 PM
You'd have to pry my mouse from my cold dead hands. I despise touch screens

EricNau
Jun 19, 2006, 11:01 PM
Apple learned a long time ago that "thinking different" doesn't always get you ahead.

mduser63
Jun 19, 2006, 11:30 PM
Apple learned a long time ago that "thinking different" doesn't always get you ahead.

I think this is exactly the problem. It's too risky. When Apple started, computing was for hobbyists. It was OK if things were really different, hard to figure out or a little rough around the edges. The customers didn't care because they liked figuring stuff out. The Apple II started to change that by making computers available to a wide audience.

Now, everyone has a computer and they're no more exotic to most people than a TV or a telephone. Except for the hobbyists and nerds, most people don't care that much about their computer, it's just something to get a job done. They're not willing to put in the effort necessary to adapt to something truly revolutionary.

That's not to say that things won't change/improve. Of course they will. It's just that changes will come somewhat slowly, and will be evolutionary, not revolutionary.

(FWIW, there's nothing stopping you from buying your own touch screen and hooking it up to a Mac. They're readily available and have been for a long time. Of course I realize you were just using that as an example. Speech recognition is also already built into OS X and usually works alright. I'm hoping speech synthesis and recognition get a big upgrade in Leopard.)

Counterfit
Jun 19, 2006, 11:56 PM
Apple is leaving most of the hardware revolutioning (storage, processors, etc.) to other people now. Much less expensive for someone else to put R&D money into it, and spread that cost over many customers (computer manufacturers). All Apple basically does now hardware-wise is put all that stuff to an awesome package. Oh, and develop/promote FireWire, and certain other connections (MagSafe). Anyways, I think they're going to keep coming up with new software stuff, particularly in the creative fields (photo, video, music, etc.) both for consumers and pros. This isn't to say, however, that they'll pull out of the hardware game. It brings in far too much money for them, and their hardware design is probably a big source of pride.


Okay, that's enough rambling for tonight. :o

count chocula
Jun 20, 2006, 08:52 AM
thery've begun using magnets in computers, thats pretty creative and different.

Kernow
Jun 20, 2006, 09:06 AM
Why does thinking different have to mean revolutionary?

What Apple do very well is take existing ideas and re-assemble them in a way that makes the product elegant and easy to use. At the end of the day, they are a computer company and their products must meet the needs and expectations of their customers. Where thinking different comes in is the application of creative thought and strong design in meeting these expectations. For example, there were MP3 players around before the iPod, but the combination of design and simplicity made this stand out above the others. To me, this is thinking differently.

FleurDuMal
Jun 20, 2006, 09:18 AM
No innovation in computing? Can anyone say 'digital music', 'wireless computing' and 'LCD screens'?

Think back to 10 years ago. Computers had nearly no media functionality whatsoever. The most you could do was listen to a CD on your CD drive. You couldn't store your whole music and film library on your computer and stream it to your TV/music system. Nor could you enjoy this experience without any wires, which you can now (apart from power cables, of course). A whole new dimension has been added to computers within the last 10 years. Before computing was strictly the domain of professional video editors, gamers and hobbyists. Now it can be used (on a consumer level) as the hub for an whole media experience.

How much Apple has actually played apart in adding this new dimension to computing is, of course, to be disputed. The iPod/iTunes phenomenon was obviously something the widely revolutionised the way we listen to music, but its computer systems still remain of interest only to a niche of professionals and fans.

7on
Jun 20, 2006, 09:32 AM
I was hoping the macbook would do away with the trackpad and go touchscreen - but I'll settle for the scrolling trackpad and ctrl-click function.

FleurDuMal
Jun 20, 2006, 09:44 AM
I was hoping the macbook would do away with the trackpad and go touchscreen - but I'll settle for the scrolling trackpad and ctrl-click function.

But...imagine how filthy your screen would get :eek:

I can't see the attraction of touchscreen. But it is about time the trackpad was done away with. I really don't like them. They make your finger sore after a while. And make your index finger ache like hell.

MisterMe
Jun 20, 2006, 10:19 AM
Am I the only one who wishes Apple would think different? I mean...lets look at their lineup. Laptops, desktops. Look at Dell...Laptops, desktops.

What ever happened to thinking different?
What ever happened to the media center (iHome) idea?

...Just because you were born yesterday doesn't mean that everyone was. There are a lot of things that have been tried already. Many of them have been tried by Apple. Some of them succeeded and are part of your computing experience today. Many things have failed. Still other things have been passed by time. Many of the things that people complain that they want have already been tried and found wanting. The touch screen, for example, was around before the personal computer.

celebrian23
Jun 20, 2006, 10:35 AM
I think this is exactly the problem. It's too risky. When Apple started, computing was for hobbyists. It was OK if things were really different, hard to figure out or a little rough around the edges. The customers didn't care because they liked figuring stuff out. The Apple II started to change that by making computers available to a wide audience.

Now, everyone has a computer and they're no more exotic to most people than a TV or a telephone. Except for the hobbyists and nerds, most people don't care that much about their computer, it's just something to get a job done. They're not willing to put in the effort necessary to adapt to something truly revolutionary.

That's not to say that things won't change/improve. Of course they will. It's just that changes will come somewhat slowly, and will be evolutionary, not revolutionary.

(FWIW, there's nothing stopping you from buying your own touch screen and hooking it up to a Mac. They're readily available and have been for a long time. Of course I realize you were just using that as an example. Speech recognition is also already built into OS X and usually works alright. I'm hoping speech synthesis and recognition get a big upgrade in Leopard.)

I agree. Apple is first and foremost a business. And right now they would be taking a huge risk. They're at a good place right now, and something too "out there" could cripple them.

someguy
Jun 20, 2006, 10:40 AM
Don't like the mouse? Use keyboard shortcuts. Can be much quicker and make you look like a total computer whiz. :)

cycocelica
Jun 20, 2006, 10:44 AM
They do Think Different. Its called over charging.

thejadedmonkey
Jun 20, 2006, 12:31 PM
I think I missed my own point last night... It was more that nothing's really changed. iPod and iTunes is a great step though, plug it in, download the music, it was revolutionary. But for the most part, computers haven't changed.

Someone mentioned how you couldn't use a computer to store movies or a music collection on 10 years ago, and I beg to differ. Sure, you couldn't send it to a TV like you can now, but I used napster on 1995 era equipment, and it worked great. that's 11 years old now...

The real beaf I have is that I could install Windows 95 on my laptop, and use it to surf the net, talk on AIM, rip DVD's (if I can find a program that runs on 95), watch movies, and it would look, feel (at least on the surface), and get used just like Windows Vista, which is 12 years it's successor. That's what really gets me..

Apple specifically, the PowerBook's stayed the same for some time now (sans progressive updates and a camera)..is it really [i]that[/] hard to make the one button touch-sensative, put a mighty-mouse-esque wheel in the middle, and have a real mouse on a laptop, or how about a wireless laptop charger (yes, it can be done) or a better way to use a laptop as a desktop while you're at the desk.

Where's the Innovation?

Counterfit
Jun 23, 2006, 02:18 AM
a better way to use a laptop as a desktop while you're at the desk.
Yeah, they did that last millennium. Just Google "Duo Dock" ;)

Henri Gaudier
Jun 23, 2006, 03:20 AM
What with my buttery toast fingers?:(

JackSYi
Jun 23, 2006, 03:45 AM
Yeah. They don't think as differently anymore. None-the-less, Steve Jobs knows what he is doing.

Satori
Jun 23, 2006, 04:20 AM
Yeah. They don't think as differently anymore. None-the-less, Steve Jobs knows what he is doing.

Perhaps the reason that there hasn't been any big innovations in the way we use computers over the last 20 years or so is because it is hard to beat the desktop analogy in terms of it's intuitive appeal to most users. Sure there are other ways of inputing data, like touchscreens, but these are not really huge changes or advances in the way we use computers (think of all the PDAs out there) and they don't seem to have much mass market appeal so far.

The trouble is that so many advances will not retain the simplicity that apple brought to the market with the mac and mac OS. There's a reason not much has changed in 20 years and it's because what we have works (well it does on a mac anyway)!

Having said all of that... I think the next major innovation to computer use will be contextual keyboards. These will be keyboards for which the symbols, colours, brightness of the keys will change depending on their context of usage. Software developpers would then be free to configure inputs that are appropriate and intuitive for their software (and FCP users would have to use those silly coloured keyboards ;) ).

PlaceofDis
Jun 23, 2006, 04:41 AM
isn't it Apple who makes up at least half of the innovation in the personal computing market?
they innovate, just not in ways that cause dramatic shifts these days. its a slower progression, and considering the larger base of computer users, it has to be.

JackSYi
Jun 23, 2006, 05:15 AM
Perhaps the reason that there hasn't been any big innovations in the way we use computers over the last 20 years or so is because it is hard to beat the desktop analogy in terms of it's intuitive appeal to most users. Sure there are other ways of inputing data, like touchscreens, but these are not really huge changes or advances in the way we use computers (think of all the PDAs out there) and they don't seem to have much mass market appeal so far.

The trouble is that so many advances will not retain the simplicity that apple brought to the market with the mac and mac OS. There's a reason not much has changed in 20 years and it's because what we have works (well it does on a mac anyway)!

Having said all of that... I think the next major innovation to computer use will be contextual keyboards. These will be keyboards for which the symbols, colours, brightness of the keys will change depending on their context of usage. Software developpers would then be free to configure inputs that are appropriate and intuitive for their software (and FCP users would have to use those silly coloured keyboards ;) ).

That would be cool. I can't wait for the next generation of user input devices.

Electro Funk
Jun 23, 2006, 07:16 AM
i saw a touch screen plasma a few weeks ago at the infocomm show in orlando, fl. was pretty cool!

they also had a 103" 1080p plasma... i was in AWE....:cool:

weg
Jun 23, 2006, 09:16 AM
You'd have to pry my mouse from my cold dead hands. I despise touch screens

I haven't touched my mouse anymore since I own a WACOM Intuos3 tablet..

baleensavage
Jun 23, 2006, 01:32 PM
I think that you have a very interesting point here. If, for example, you look at all those scifi movies, they've got computers that talk to them, interactive holograms and so on. Some of this stuff is actually possible now, but where is it?

I remember reading about a keyboard that was just light reflected on a tabletop. And some type of gyro mouse that you held in your hand. As far as I know neither of these products have caught on. And that's just it. People want what's familiar to them. If you shake people up too much, they get all ruffled. it's the same reason we arent watching movies with funny goggles attached to our head like in Tron. The technology is there, but no one wants to do it. You want to kick back on your couch with your buddies grab a beer and watch the tube.

What real innovation there is, has been a logical progression from point a to point b. Take for example the iPod. Its a glorified portable hard drive. The idea of putting music on a hard drive is nothing new, but how Apple executed it made it a success. The scroll wheel on the case was really good unique design. Before that there were just push buttons. But even the scroll wheel on the iPod is really just an extension of the scroll wheel on a mouse which has been around for a while.

And besides, if you think computers haven't changed, take a look at cars. Where are those floating plastic cars that drive for you and run on garbage?

brepublican
Jun 23, 2006, 03:00 PM
Am I the only one who wishes Apple would think different? I mean...lets look at their lineup. Laptops, desktops. Look at Dell...Laptops, desktops.

What ever happened to thinking different?
What ever happened to the media center (iHome) idea?

and why in G-d's name am I still using the same archaic input devices that were being used 20 years ago. the monitor is the same shape...the mouse doesn't have blocky corners, but it's still a mouse.

Right now I'm sitting on my chair, facing a 6 year old monitor. I don't want an LCD, because it would mean spending more money for a useless 6" of space. Why can't apple make touch screen LCD's for the masses. If I want to do something, I use my fingers on the screen, or say what it is that I want to appear.

Dashboard is a step in the right direction, because it is another layer to the OS, but it's just that- a step.

What I really want is a revolution. We've had 20+ years of evolution, isn't it time we had a computing revolution?

Sorry, this has just been bugging me...and now seemed like a good of a time as any to say it.
Nice rant. We are looking for a John Everyman to rant about petty nonsensical things. Interested?

wonga1127
Jun 27, 2006, 12:13 AM
I'd have to agree, but the problem is putting the revolution in an appealing package, ie price, learning curve, and software. There needs to be something completly unique about the revolution, something that will make people drop loads in their pants and max out their credit cards. The problem is now is that there is no more room for startups, so there's no one to make new ideas happen.

PS: Matte touchscreens rarely show fingerprints, just try it with yours.

Marble
Jun 27, 2006, 12:42 AM
I'd love to see more "different" things from Apple. These days, however, it appears to be a major feat of technical and creative engineering to get things to work together without breaking.

cwright
Jun 27, 2006, 01:43 AM
Nice rant. We are looking for a John Everyman to rant about petty nonsensical things. Interested?
Family Guy movie quote? hehe :D

brepublican
Jun 27, 2006, 05:34 PM
Family Guy movie quote? hehe :D
Hahaha, nice! Oooh yeah!

"Hi. I'm Tom Tucker. Do me a favor and fill this bag with a sampling of motion pictures featuring women on women or anything with an Amputee."

Mord
Jun 27, 2006, 06:55 PM
Am I the only one who wishes Apple would think different? I mean...lets look at their lineup. Laptops, desktops. Look at Dell...Laptops, desktops.

What ever happened to thinking different?
What ever happened to the media center (iHome) idea?

and why in G-d's name am I still using the same archaic input devices that were being used 20 years ago. the monitor is the same shape...the mouse doesn't have blocky corners, but it's still a mouse.

Right now I'm sitting on my chair, facing a 6 year old monitor. I don't want an LCD, because it would mean spending more money for a useless 6" of space. Why can't apple make touch screen LCD's for the masses. If I want to do something, I use my fingers on the screen, or say what it is that I want to appear.

Dashboard is a step in the right direction, because it is another layer to the OS, but it's just that- a step.

What I really want is a revolution. We've had 20+ years of evolution, isn't it time we had a computing revolution?

Sorry, this has just been bugging me...and now seemed like a good of a time as any to say it.

because all that tech is clumsy and slower than a good mouse and keyboard.

apple does not often do things different just for the heck of it, it has to work better for it, either aesthetically or practically.

Soton Speed
Jun 28, 2006, 06:54 AM
I think that you have a very interesting point here. If, for example, you look at all those scifi movies, they've got computers that talk to them, interactive holograms and so on. Some of this stuff is actually possible now, but where is it?....

...And besides, if you think computers haven't changed, take a look at cars. Where are those floating plastic cars that drive for you and run on garbage?

I thought we were all meant to be going to work in helicopters by now?!

knackroller
Jul 3, 2006, 02:53 AM
I agree, we could all do with better input devices than the mouse. How about that translucent screen in MINORITY REPORT (Tom Cruise)? Anyone know if a real prototype of that is on the cards?

pacman7331
Jul 3, 2006, 01:38 PM
What ever happened to thinking different?
What ever happened to the media center (iHome) idea?

and why in G-d's name am I still using the same archaic input devices that were being used 20 years ago. the monitor is the same shape...the mouse doesn't have blocky corners, but it's still a mouse.

Right now I'm sitting on my chair, facing a 6 year old monitor. I don't want an LCD, because it would mean spending more money for a useless 6" of space. Why can't apple make touch screen LCD's for the masses. If I want to do something, I use my fingers on the screen, or say what it is that I want to appear.

Dashboard is a step in the right direction, because it is another layer to the OS, but it's just that- a step.

What I really want is a revolution. We've had 20+ years of evolution, isn't it time we had a computing revolution?

Sorry, this has just been bugging me...and now seemed like a good of a time as any to say it.

It is becuase Apple Is not a insitution. Therefore they have insitutionalized everything that they ever first thought up. Nothing is really changing... It's just becomming more refined.

So... This is what happens to insitutions... They resist changes of the underlying founding principle. The Mouse, The HD screen the graphics interface is all a idea of the late 70s... I don't think apple will be the ones "thinking diffrent" ever again.

the only real jump in progress is the half-step decision to put one foot in open source and one foot out. So even this is superficial and completly habitual behavior, the habit of resisting profound change... come to think of it... it's not just apple's it's monkeys and sapians as well. ;)

Electro Funk
Jul 5, 2006, 10:34 AM
I agree, we could all do with better input devices than the mouse. How about that translucent screen in MINORITY REPORT (Tom Cruise)? Anyone know if a real prototype of that is on the cards?

yes... it is....

http://mrl.nyu.edu/~jhan/ftirtouch/

ejb190
Jul 5, 2006, 11:52 AM
A revolution in computers comes back to throwing away all preconceived notions about what a computer is and how it works. The problem is we have become accustomed to the way a computer screen looks, how icons function, and how we interact with the computer.

Imagine if we were to take a car, get rid of the steering wheel and replace it with a track ball (or a stick or whatever). The "purists" will scream that we are destroying automotive tradition, the car companies will need to invest millions on the technology and knowledge base to change the cars, and the consumers, no matter how much better the new system is, will resist the change simply because it is different then what they are used to. And that is why cars haven't changed much in the last 50 years. Seems to me that computers are following the same path...

Another side to this is the compatability issue. We refuse to give up what we have now in order to move the technology forward. So we have Windows XP, which will still run software written for Win 3.1. To make the next leap forward, both in sofware and hardware, we have to be willing to give up the "comfortable" to find the "revolutionary".