Apple Tablet Interface to Come With 'Steep Learning Curve'?

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Cult of Mac reports that it has received a tip from someone claiming to have contact with an Apple employee who revealed that the company's much-rumored tablet will have a "steep learning curve" when it comes to the device's interface.
According to reader Tom: "I just heard [to] be ready for a steep learning curve regarding the "new" Apple product about to be released [and its] interface. This person is an employee of Apple and had just had a meeting regarding some of the new things coming. He/She would not go into details, but did say that he/she hoped we liked learning."
While the source offers no details on the interface and unverifiable reports from people claiming to have received information from Apple employees are common, the claim is intriguing in light of increasing reports that Apple's tablet may offer a design surprise related to the user interface.

Article Link: Apple Tablet Interface to Come With 'Steep Learning Curve'?
 

lord patton

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,050
4
Chicago
If the Apple tablet is primarily for consuming data, it can get by with some version of the iPhone UI, tweaked for a larger screen. With some additional gestures, it could become elegant. Such a device could be successful, but would not be a paradigm shift.

To be truly revolutionary, the tablet would also have to have a superior mechanism for input. IMO, nothing beats a traditional, full-size physical keyboard for the input of text and commands. A tablet won't have one, so...

...if the pie-in-the-sky predictions that Apple is about to change computing forever are true, then there would indeed have to be some revolutionary method of inputing text and commands. That would require a learning curve, possibly a steep one.

So I hope this rumor is true, because it portends something very exciting, surprising, and "game-changing."
 

wesleyh

macrumors 6502
Mar 23, 2007
432
0
Sounds like a 3D interface to me... don't know what else would constitute a steep learning curve. Whether this is good or bad, I don't know.
 

wilburpan

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2002
131
0
Seriously? Does anyone really think that Apple, with its long history of attention to detail in design and ease of use, would come up with a device that required a steep learning curve?

This report smells of bogosity.
 

ltcol266845

macrumors regular
Aug 25, 2006
217
0
Elgin, IL
So I hope this rumor is true, because it portends something very exciting, surprising, and "game-changing."
+1

I'm mostly concerned about the price of the device and any accompanying month charges for internet access... I trust that the device itself will be quite excellent.
 

zombitronic

macrumors 65816
Feb 9, 2007
1,115
6
Seriously? Does anyone really think that Apple, with its long history of attention to detail in design and ease of use, would come up with a device that required a steep learning curve?

This report smells of bogosity.
Remember, this is just one person's opinion and it doesn't seem like a negative one. What this tells me is that the interface will be something new. 'Learning curve' doesn't necessarily equal 'hard to use.'
 

applemike

macrumors 6502
Aug 6, 2008
480
0
Personally i hope this thing comes with a version of OS X rather than the Iphone OS for something bigger...

The only thing that could really need to be addressed is the lack of physical keyboard, I'm thinking that thay may have invented some sort of new way of typing, or inputting information into a device. Maybe something voice controlled, or gestures.... Can't wait too see what though.
 

iOrlando

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2008
1,811
1
1) apple wouldnt made a product with a steep learning curve
2) apple wouldnt have a "meeting" to discuss things about this never mentioned or even remotely hinted or seen device.

'Steep Learning curve' usually equals 'hard to use.' It means you need to learn how to use it and it will take time and mistakes to get it right. It doesnt mean its new and you will just get use to it after some use.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Remember, this is just one person's opinion and it doesn't seem like a negative one. What this tells me is that the interface will be something new. 'Learning curve' doesn't necessarily equal 'hard to use.'
True, but it also does not purely mean that it is revolutionary per se. Learning curve does indicate that it takes time and practice to figure out... The iPhone had a very different interface from others on the market at the time, but one very rarely had to make use of any training materials to figure out how it worked. Maybe once in a while (I had to look up how to activate the compass in Maps when I got my 3GS), but not often.

I would hope that, similarly, the tablet would offer something revolutionary but also intuitive.

But, to the previous poster's point, "I know a guy who works at Apple, and he made me swear not to tell anyone, and he wouldn't really go into details, but..." rumors usually do not turn out to be true, do they? Next it will turn out that this conversation with the Apple employee happened in an elevator. ;)
 

mathewr

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2007
292
10
just have the ability for video chatting. thats all i really care about. that and getting newspapers sent every morning to the new device so i have something to do on the subway.
 

sfh

macrumors regular
May 27, 2008
240
0
Sacramento CA
people are retarded

one thing that I have learned from working in the IT field is that people are stupid and scared that they are going to "hurt" the computers.

yes there will be a learning curve just like if when windows users switch it takes a while for people to understand how things work... and that everything doesn't have to be a chore.
 

Fender321

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2007
36
0
Finger tracking on the back of the tablet? I seem to remember such patent applications. In theory I suppose you could learn to type with your fingers on the back of the device as you hold it with both hands, maybe it will even have a physical keyboard on the back. Oh I love rumors.
 

JMax1

macrumors 6502
Oct 17, 2006
424
1
Harlem, NY
If everyone remembers learning how to type to begin with, it involved a steep learning curve. So of course if you are going to change the game/method of input, it makes sense that it's going to be a steep learning curve. I personally welcome a steep learning curve. I'm sure once the method is learned it will be graceful and elegant, but be prepared for it to be attacked for being difficult.



...it'll need 3D Glasses....
 

swagi

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2007
877
103
No glasses

If everyone remembers learning how to type to begin with, it involved a steep learning curve. So of course if you are going to change the game/method of input, it makes sense that it's going to be a steep learning curve. I personally welcome a steep learning curve. I'm sure once the method is learned it will be graceful and elegant, but be prepared for it to be attacked for being difficult.



...it'll need 3D Glasses....
No, you wouldn't need glasses, until you use something like this.
 

wilburpan

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2002
131
0
Remember, this is just one person's opinion and it doesn't seem like a negative one. What this tells me is that the interface will be something new. 'Learning curve' doesn't necessarily equal 'hard to use.'
True, but "steep learning curve", which is what this report claims, implies "hard to use".

And consider this: as was mentioned before by mkrishnan, the iPhone had quite a different user interface when it was first introduced, and it was pretty intuitive to use from the first time you picked it up. Using multi-touch and swiping the surface of a mouse was never really done until the Magic Mouse came along, and that is also very intuitive.
 

aksmax

macrumors member
Nov 26, 2002
55
1
Could it be...

What about handwriting recognition? Certainly compatible with a tablet concept. Apple's old Newton language was supposed to be great. Personally I got very good with Palm's old alphabet. Something like that would be a plausible input mechanism and require a learning curve....
 

MadDoc

macrumors 6502
Apr 25, 2005
321
3
UK
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_6_2; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.8 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Safari/531.21.10)

I don't buy it. Apple have been working on a tablet for years. This will not be difficult to use. SJ has canned the tablet before because various things weren't right. There is no way SJ would release any Apple product that had a "steep learning curve".
 

griz

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2003
581
220
New London, NH
Since Apple purchased Fingerworks, and is perhaps basing a lot of its multi-touch technology on that... I wonder if we should all start studying this:

http://www.fingerworks.com/gesture_guide.html

:D
Sure it looks like something to learn, but if we are ever to get away from the mouse paradigm then it will require people to use their brain to do more than just point and click. We use all ten of our fingers every day for many operations in the world, it would be a wonderful thing to learn to manipulate data on screen in much the same way we organize objects in the real word.
 

Friscohoya

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2009
708
0
Oaktown
Since Apple purchased Fingerworks, and is perhaps basing a lot of its multi-touch technology on that... I wonder if we should all start studying this:

http://www.fingerworks.com/gesture_guide.html

:D
Great post. This is fascinating. I could never find the old fingerworks pages. This is a while new language. Very 2D Minority Report'ish (Or CNN Election Watch'ish). This would defintely require a learning curve, but would ultimately become intuitive. To me, the purpose of all the slow build up to the tablet and multi touch was to get people comfortable with hand gestures. First the track pad, then the multi touch track pad, then the iphone and now the tablet. I definitely prefer the two finger scroll on my macbook to the point and hold of the mouse pad button and drag of the scroll bar on my powerbook.
 

MacFly123

macrumors 68020
Dec 25, 2006
2,340
0
1) apple wouldnt made a product with a steep learning curve
2) apple wouldnt have a "meeting" to discuss things about this never mentioned or even remotely hinted or seen device.
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_6_2; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.8 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Safari/531.21.10)

I don't buy it. Apple have been working on a tablet for years. This will not be difficult to use. SJ has canned the tablet before because various things weren't right. There is no way SJ would release any Apple product that had a "steep learning curve".
I call complete BS. Apple would NEVER do that. ESPECIALLY when Steve Jobs himself has been PERSONALLY overseeing every aspect of its design and is rumored to be EXTREMELY HAPPY with its outcome!
 
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