Future iPod Functionality?

arn

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Apr 9, 2001
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This CNet article discusses the new contact functionality now available on Apple's iPod.

With this added functionality, people are predictably speculating about adding further functionality... but Apple's director of hardware product marketing speaks again:

But Apple doesn't see iPod morphing into a Palm-like device. The new software, developed by Apple, is there mostly as a convenience.

"We see it primarily as a music player," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's senior director of hardware product marketing. Joswiak said the company has no plans to add a calendar function, for instance. "It is still 100 percent a music player, but people say, 'I take my iPod everywhere,' and they want their contacts with them," he added.
 

Mr. Anderson

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another quote from the article

"There's a reasonable expectation iPod could be a Trojan horse for them into the handheld market,"

Sneeky, Apple, sneeky

But they still need a color touch screen.
 

arn

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Originally posted by dukestreet
another quote from the article

"There's a reasonable expectation iPod could be a Trojan horse for them into the handheld market,"

Sneeky, Apple, sneeky

But they still need a color touch screen.
this quote was from an analyst though... not from Apple itself.

arn
 

wrylachlan

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Jan 25, 2002
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display, not manipulate

I doubt that they're going to make the ipod into a PDA so much as a universal display device. You can take your music with you, now you can take your contacts with you. I don't think it takes a genius to figure out that within a year or so the iPod will have a color screen and be displaying your iPhoto images and maybe even short movie clips. In fact I will eat my shirt if we don't see this in a year, but the PDA market... the thing is just too bulky for that.
 

Mr. Anderson

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iPod futurity

arn: I realized that, but it still sounds interesting.

besides, it is arleady being used for more than just music. I can see it redefining itself, becoming much more than what Apple ever intended. Whether they recognize that or not remains to be seen.
 

Timothy

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Jan 2, 2002
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Here's a thought...

Since I consider Apple to be populated by intelligent beings...I refuse to believe that they are ignoring the future market of PDAs.

I've been convinced since day one of the release of the iPod that they did so in order to dip their toes into the waters of the PDA market again. They wanted to create a very simple, portable computer-related device, and to guage the market for such devices among their faithful customer base.

It then follows, in my theory, that the iPod, though very cool in what it does do, is merely a precursor to what is to come. But, it also serves a very important function as well; adjusting price/performance perceptions in the PDA market.

Irrationally, IMO, many have claimed that they would never pay +$500 for a PDA. Apple, with the iPod, is building the PDA up in features and capabilities such that the market will recognize the clear advantage of a "complete" device when they later introduce it. In other words, if you are willing to pay $450 for an MP3 player, how much more will you pay for an MP3 player, Cell phone, organizer, and notepad in one unit?

The iPod is a precursor, in spite of cautious tales told by Corporate ants.
 

AmbitiousLemon

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Timothy: i couldnt have said it better myself.

and along those lines, if we look at other technologies apple has been experimenting with lately (wireless, hi res displays, remote computing) we see they are slowing getting their cards in place.
 

Mr. Anderson

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not to mention bluetooth

this might seem like a small, insignificant thing right now, but it opens up a whole new world.

I have to agree, the iPod is just that, a pod, a seed. Soon it will sprout and eventually grow:cool:
 

rainman::|:|

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Feb 2, 2002
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Re: Here's a thought...

Originally posted by Timothy
Since I consider Apple to be populated by intelligent beings...I refuse to believe that they are ignoring the future market of PDAs.

I've been convinced since day one of the release of the iPod that they did so in order to dip their toes into the waters of the PDA market again.

...

The iPod is a precursor, in spite of cautious tales told by Corporate ants.
I agree, mostly... We've seen Apple break into different market areas too late, but they redeem themselves with technologies that other companies don't have yet-- Then the other companies catch up to Apple, and it becomes a slump. IMHO iTunes and iPhoto are both prime examples. I've seen tons of commercials advertising iPhoto-like apps on PC's already. So if Apple decides to reenter the PDA market, months or years after the big names have dominated it, they're going to have to do a hell of a good job. Surely Apple isn't just going to jump into an area that they've already failed at, in this case at great danger to the company as well... So be patient, and when Apple finally gets the PDA ball rolling, we should all be amazed. I have to think, tho, that the timeline is more like 3 years than 1... They need something to revolutionize the PDA industry, and there aren't many options in the near future... You can stuff more RAM or communication devices into a Palm Pilot, and it's still just an overpriced notepad. It would be interesting if Apple borrowed some technology from Wheels of Zeus, when it's up and running... They could have a much better GPA unit than the other PDA's have, and who knows, it could be internal. Anyway, I digress. My point is, wait for it. The iPod isn't going to morph into a PDA overnight... Be glad they stuck the Contacts feature in so soon :)

pnw
 

gandalf55

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Apr 13, 2001
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ive been hoping for a pda... i have a visor, a pocket pc, and an iPod. i use the iPod every single day (drive, music) - now i think a reg. pda isn't enough.

take the ipod... add bluetooth network tv to it. ability to play video media. contacts, email, surfing, file storage, watson-like hooks to online dbs to query, handwriting recognition (the pocket pc has GREAT recognition), etc. sure... might be a $800-$1,400 device, but if it did almost everything you would want... it would be amazing. add it to a laptop and you have a serious digital hub going on there...
 

sjs

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Feb 15, 2002
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Joswiak says "its still 100% a music player, but people want to take their contacts with them".

If people would like to have their contacts with them, then certainly its a given that many would also like to have their calendar (schedule) with them. But Joswiak says "no plans for a calendar" function...?

I don't believe that for a second. They can add the function for just the cost of a bit of software development. It uses almost no HD space and it will SELL MORE iPods. Come on Joswiak...
 

Timothy

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Joswiak...

SJS...I agree that that was an innane statement by Joswiak.

I tire of the "corporate" speak that is propogated in our society. Can there be no better way? Must companies and representatives obfuscate and mislead in their public comments? Is this the only way to run a successful company in our current climate? :rolleyes:

Frankly, I'm surprised that Apple didn't take the extra 8-10 hours of programming time they would have needed to take to include calendar functions along side contact functions. But, they'll roll this out as some grand feature in an upcoming release of the iPod, and at the time Joswiak will state "we'll never add note functions to the iPod."

And, I'll believe him then about as much as I believe him now. Just as I don't believe that SJ is really not thinking about how best to get Apple back into the PDA market.
 

dongmin

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Jan 3, 2002
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Open-source the iPod OS.

Sell the hardware but let people develop the software. Why limit what it can do? Obviously it's capable of doing so much more. This thing could explode into something beautiful.
 

Mr. Anderson

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Apple will have to do a little work

Before it becomes something new, Apple is going to have to add a few things. The interface/display isn't much when compared to other handheld devices.

The problem with that, though, is if they add a color screen and a stylus to the mix, then you've got a PDA. I don't see that happening any time soon.

For now its a portable 5-10 gig harddrive with some nice options for music.
 

blakespot

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Jun 4, 2000
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Originally posted by AmbitiousLemon
ah yes i should have added apple's newton handwriting recognition. apple did it right in the mid 1990s ive been wondering when the competition would catchup.
The competition has not yet caught up. The Newton OS 2.x print recognizer is indeed _still_today_ superior to the best that Transcriber (Pocket PC's recognizer) or even its big brother Calligraphy has to offer.


blakespot
 

blakespot

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Jun 4, 2000
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At most the iPod can function in a "PDA" capacity at the degree that the Franklin Rex did. Does anyone recall that PCMCIA-form-factor "PDA"?

And that's a pretty limited capacity.



blakespot
 

Pants

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Aug 21, 2001
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I really cant see the point of apple making a PDA - outside the US, they really dont sell that well. Here in Europe everybody (an I mean everybody!) has a GSM phone that contains a contact list etc. The big move isn't to design a PDA with wireless capability but to bring some of the more useful PDA functionality to the mobile phone. For example, Nokia and Ericsson are now selling 'phones' that run java apps with colour screens for less than a half decent PDA.

now what I would love to buy(and pay extra for!) is an apple powered mobile phone as opposed to the awful and unusable M$ CE on my sony.
 

Xapplimatic

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Oct 23, 2001
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iPod -> PodMac!

There's a good reason it's called an iPod and not an iWalk! iWalk would be too much like "Walkman" which is a music only device.. obviously Pod is just something that contains things.. could be anything.. first music, now contacts, then..? Calendar, appointments, videos.. I don't see why not. 10 Gigs and an ARM processor.. not quite an iBook, but certainly able to outpower most PDAs.. just the interface lacks.. now add that extra contact on the headphone jack as the serial interface to a keyboard with the next major OS upgrade.. voila! iPod is now a (ahem! Coining a new phrase) PodMac!
 

Wry Cooter

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Mar 10, 2002
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Clock or calendar? No... will drain battery faster. Only reset with a hot sync.

Apple may sneak in with more functionality of some type out of the iPod, but you are barking up the wrong tree with your Newton Wet Dreams. The PDA has a lot to shake out right now until it settles into its new niche.. cell phone PDAs. Bluetooth leads to this. PDAs are going to merge completely with phones, Telephony is the next project for the digital hub. Hardware to be made by third parties. Software, for voice mail, caller ID capture, address book, an iApp. Attractive to business markets even, starting with mom and pops first, then sneaking back into corporate once Mac OS X certification gives IT tech schoolers an MCSE style diploma to plop on their resume for job security.
 

Xapplimatic

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While merging PDA functions into cell phones is a neat trick, I disagree that phones will absorb the entire PDA market. Some people don't want to be bothered by phone nonsense when they are out and about.. many have learned to leave the digital leash at home, but still want access to their personal information and tunes. Moreover, a phone is not powerful enough nor large enough in form factor (given the fact that it must be slim and trim or people don't want it) to have serious storage capability beyond a simple contacts list. PDAs are thought of as having more potential than that. No cell phone has the storage capability possible for something in a traditional PDA form factor. There just isn't enough guts room.. Ever wonder why that omnibus (huge) Nokia PDA/phone 2000 thingy with the fold-open full keyboard and larger screen didn't go over well? Because it was too gosh darn big!
 

AmbitiousLemon

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although i agree with you Xapplimatic ive always thought the pda and phone could share a future together just not in the form factor that you discussed as not working.

i always thought that having a pda that could synch with the cellphone one could free the cellphone of much of its size. what i mean by this is that if your phone is essentially an earbud and antenna then your dialing (do people still calling it dialing since no phones have dials anymore?) and your contacts list could be incorporated into a pda. so you access your phone [which is just an earbud that sits in the ear and behind the ear (like old fashioned hearing aid) and an antenna] with your cellphone. you can keep the earbud in your ear and when calls are recieved you are the only one who hears the ring. also when you need to make a call you pull out your pda and pick a contact and tell it to dial. entering contacts will also be through the pda. or you can press and hold a button on the earbud and speak the contact like so many cellphones do now. for those who do not want a bud in their ear alld ay they can attach it to the side of the pda and only use it when needed and let the speakers on the pda alert them to calls.

this way someone can buy a pda and choose not to buy the cellphone or can get the cellphone as well with full cellphone/pda convergence wthout loss of formfactor.

i dont think this will ever happen but id like to see it happen.
 

Timothy

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Jan 2, 2002
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Great concept...

Ambitious...I think you've outlined the best form factor that I've seen. Is it technically possible to do? If so, imagine dual earbuds, wireless, being able to play your music in stereo, and then cutting in when a call comes in.

I like it...

Part of the problem with incorporating a PDA into a phone is that one of the most important uses of a PDA is taking notes when you receive phone calls. A bit difficult to do if your PDA is held up to your ear ;-)
 

Wry Cooter

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Mar 10, 2002
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Originally posted by AmbitiousLemon
for those who do not want a bud in their ear alld ay they can attach it to the side of the pda and only use it when needed and let the speakers on the pda alert them to calls.

this way someone can buy a pda and choose not to buy the cellphone or can get the cellphone as well with full cellphone/pda convergence wthout loss of formfactor.

i dont think this will ever happen but id like to see it happen.
I always thought the ideal cell phone interface would be eyeglasses, with the dialpad on your wrist watch. Or you could have a twisty wristband on the watch that would act as a cell phone mouth piece. Make the phone something you might already wear.

Although I like the idea of a PDA interfacing with this. Who wants to tap a wrist watch sized screen?

Anyway, don't think the future of the iPod will be a PDA, as much as a media server. Such as an MP3 player. Or an audio recorder. Or playback or storage for DV or Digital Cameras. The flexibility is there, it just isn't going to be Newton II.

The address book is just a nice conveniience to those who otherwise would have a pocket filled with a PDA for just that purpose anyway. Now they can carry Tunes, and their phone numbers to boot.

I swear I saw a kid in starbucks the other day cramming his Palm with Cheatnotes for an exam..