A foldable iPad?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Diapason, May 11, 2010.

  1. Diapason macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2009
    Since I saw this picture of iBooks, I thought about a hypothetical mechanical feature on future iPad versions.


    iBooks is one of the principal iPad Apps, if not THE main App.

    In this scope, how useful could a “truly physically foldable” iPad be? Think about a real book: would a real book be the same if it couldn’t be foldable?

    I’ll give you an example: a person using iBooks in a subway, or lying in a bed: is the iPad a “comfortable” device, as big as it is, as flat as it is? Wouldn’t it be nice if a person could fold it, just like a book? Maybe in principle yes, but:

    1. Impossible to implement: an lcd screen can not be seamlessly folded. True, but – for instance - think about an optical prism that can be adopted in a way that the two halves stick perfectly together, when the iPad is used in “flat” mode. Impossible? Maybe, maybe not.

    2. Too heavy: a person can not handle that. True, but if you think about the iPad weight (about 0.7 kg), it is not so far from a medium/thick book weight.

    3. Mechanically unfeasible. Well, I am not a mechanical engineer, but the guys at Apple would certainly work on this aspect, wouldn't they?

    4. No ebooks are like that. True, but this a good reason why maybe such a unique feature is worth to be investigated.

    Well, I’m sure there are many aspects I haven’t thought about. Is this a totally dumb idea?
  2. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    Yes, please make my beautiful screen foldable with a seam running down the middle. :rolleyes:

    Next idea...
  3. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Microsoft was reportedly working on this idea (code-named "Courier"), but they recently axed it.
  4. antiprotest macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2010
    Besides, the iPad is already foldable. It takes so time to break it in. The first attempt will take some effort, but after that the folding action should become quite smooth. Note that this feature is not supported by Apple and may void your warranty.
  5. Diapason thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2009
    That's way I mentioned a prism that could project the two detached lcds towards the iPad fold line, so that they could look like a unique seamless lcd ...
  6. slpdLoad macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2009
    iBooks may be the killer App for you, but others will never even download it.

    There are lots of eBook readers out there, and none of them feature two folding screens.
  7. antiprotest macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2010
    Yeah, I don't take someone seriously who asserts that iBooks is "THE main app" on the iPad. It might be THE app that he uses the most, but to universalize this for the iPad itself and perhaps for other consumers seems to be an opinion that is grossly out of touch with the device and its users.
  8. indy1979 macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2008
    And put "Don't Panic" in large friendly letters on the cover...
  9. Friscohoya macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2009

    Done. next idea?
  10. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    Actually, I believe there are prototype (OLED?) screens which are flexible--so this idea is feasible. Every once in awhile you'll see a Gizmodo article with someone wearing a screen on their clothing--which is actually part of the fabric. As far as I know, no one actually sells them though.

    I could see a screen that unfolds to a 15 inch size and connects to a smartphone. In 10 years of so, such a setup would probably be as powerful as the current MBP.
  11. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003

    Not even close. The app doesn't even come standard on the iPad.
  12. topmounter macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    FEMA Region VIII
    This should be an interesting mod, let us know how it goes :D
  13. Spuddle macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    Ipswich UK
    nice idea....haters could call it "just a big nintendo DS":D
  14. DKatri macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2009
    Birmingham, UK
    A foldable device that would be great for reading, hmmm.......

    Have you considered a book?
  15. Diapason thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2009
    Well, I think you have answered to yourself: if it had not been a killer app, why many others would have even developed hardware to run it?

    When an App drives a specific hardware, for sure it is a very important App.

    The same happened with the iPod music player: a specific platform was designed for it. Although the App is not the only thing. Perhaps, even most important is the contents. In fact,the iPod was designed as a platform to let people enjoy music.

    The iPad is probably designed for people to enjoy books: if it had not been like that, why Steve Jobs would have mentioned all those agreements with book publishers at the iPad launch?
  16. wombat888 macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2008
    I have a tactical answer and a strategic answer.

    The tactical answer is, sorry, iBooks is not nearly the principle app. It's not even a standard app. And I'd be willing to bet that more books have been read so far on the iPad version of the Kindle app. Get outside of your own head. Other people do not see the iPad the same way you do, nor does Apple. Books are one of many features and not the most important or the second most important.

    The strategic answer is that I think the market will produce a lot of very compelling products, including folding devices ... the Courier was total vaporware (never even built in prototype, to my knowledge), but exciting vaporware. Android and Linux provide avenues for any hardware manufacturer with a dream to try something, and I'm sure they will. I personally wish the iPad could fit in a coat pocket, but I can't think how to do that without compromising the interface. If someone comes up with a way, I think they'll have a big hit.

    However, Apple is the last place I'd look for this to come from - I think they have their design and are happy with it, and are unlikely to try to reinvent the basics of it any time soon. You're more likely to see this kind of concept from HTC or Microsoft or really, almost anybody but Apple IMO.
  17. Dr Kevorkian94 macrumors 68020

    Jun 9, 2009
    SI, NY
    here is an idea get a saw and saw ur ipad in half, even better get the best object in the world (duct tape) and tape 2 ipads together WOOOO:D
  18. MacModMachine macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2009
    Ok....I'm about to do this mod ....any pointers?
  19. antiprotest macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2010
    His comments refer to eBook readers, not iBooks readers. Do you know what iBooks is? It is an Apple app designed to run on the iPad. Other eBook readers, such as the Kindle, do not run the iBooks app.

    So he did not "answer his own question." He was keeping things straight, but you seem to confuse iBooks with eBooks readers.

    Now, my very old Smith Corona word processor only did one thing -- word processing, and at that time quite a few manufacturers made word processors. When I got a computer, it had a word processor software on it, but it was not "THE main app."

    It would not make sense for you to say, "Ah, if word processing was not THE main app, then why did so many manufacturers made word processors?" Well, there are many manufacturers that made many one-task devices. If this means that all of them were THE main app, then the terms THE or "main" would be meaningless. The computer did many of those things in one device, but none were really THE app.
  20. harry*333 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2009
    until you can do this without any seems on the screen or body, and it never break from folding too much... then I'll buy it:cool:
  21. hsotnicam8002 macrumors 6502


    Mar 13, 2008
    United Kingdom
    Books (real) have a seam between contiguous pages - it's called a spine and it's what makes them books. Otherwise they'd be .... something else !$£%^&* :rolleyes:

    On the iPad, books can be presented two pages at a time in some apps (e.g. ibooks) if you want that. :confused:

    I had thought that the iPad was going to be a bit naff having those very large margins around the screen - not looking very book like, though not as bad as the Kindle with its keyboard - but they are actually very useful for holding the iPad. :eek:

    Instead, I think the disadvantage of the iPad as an ebook reader is its weight. I've had my iPad for almost a month now and I use it constantly throughout the day for a multitude of tasks. But when reading books, magazines etc I find that it weighs too much and makes my arm ache. Leaning it against something is not always practical and laying it flat on my lap is impossible for me as I have a neck problem (fused vertebrae). I can't see my d**k for the same reason! ;)

    In every other respect (well nearly) a brilliant machine. :D
  22. Diapason thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2009
    I think I have expressed my ideas in a very confusing way. I am sorry.

    But let me try to recap what I have in mind in a - hopefully - better fashion.

    iBooks might not be the most important App of the iPad, you're right, but I think that Apple wants the iPad to be the BEST book reader on the market. And that might not be because iBooks is the best App, but because the iPad is the best platform for electronic books. And by platform I mean hardware+contents.

    Same was for the iPod: not the best music player on the market, but the best hardware+contents platform.

    Again, the fact that Jobs announced agreements with Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, etc. must have a significance: Apple wants iPad to be for books what iPod is for music.

    That's why I think that book reading is among the main reasons behind the development of the iPad platform. Of course, the same platform is suitable for games, Internet browsing, email and documents also, but I am not sure that any of these is the main App either.

    Now, think about the situations in which you are not connected: in a car, in a subway or train, or maybe at home and you don't have a wireless network. Think about when you go to bed and you want to read.

    Those are situations in which, if you want to read, you might not have enough space, or you don't have two hands available, or holding the iPad with two hands is just uncomfortable. This is were a folded iPad could be more handy.

    About the "seamless" problem, I think that Friscohoya gave us an almost perfect example (thank you) of what I had graphically in mind. That design concept (adopting OLED screen flexibility) was considered for a MacBook, but it could in theory be applied to the iPad as well.

    But that was just a design concept, not an engineering project.

    Nevertheless, even though OLED screens can not be used already, an optical prism together with a transparent film (something like a screen protector) could POSSIBLY do the trick, by eliminating the seam between the two halves. But maybe - in this case - the prism thickness could be a problem also. I don't know.

    Finally, about the weight: I just compared the iPad weight with two books from my shelf: the iPad weight is just about in the middle between a small book (0.3-04 kg), and a medium book (0.8 - 1 kg). So, holding the iPad at the center with just one hand, the same way you do with a medium book, SHOULD not be a problem.
  23. zerolight macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2006
    Just use an iPad sitting up and an iPod/iPhone lying down. Use Kindle instead of iBooks and both devices keep your books, and more importantly, your location in a book, in sync across both devices.

    You are in essence asking for a smaller device to use when lying down - the iPod/iPhone are that device already.

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