iPad is NOT a product - It's market research

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Ryan1524, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000

    Ryan1524

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    #1
    I've been considering getting one, until I realized why it makes little sense.

    It's not a device for the sake of whatever magical purpose Apple is trying to sell it as. It's an experiment to see how people deal with the touch keyboard. I think it's meant to gauge how the public reacts to a laptop-sized keyboard placed on a touchscreen. The layout is near identical.

    Based on their current design trend, unibody everything, glass surfaces, etc. I think the next step in their computer line will be to make Everything touchscreen. The iMacs are easy and will still come with a keyboard, but the fun part is in the Macbook line-up. They're going to make the keyboard a touch-surface. They're already doing this a tiny bit by making the trackpad entirely touch, and integrating the button behind the glass. If the iPad keyboard is well or at least decently received, they're going to make that entire bottom surface touch-based, and experiment with not only a touch keyboard, but also various new input style. It can be voice command, facial or gesture tracking with the camera, dynamic icon-based interface on the secondary LCD (bottom panel), etc.

    This is why the iPad makes little sense. Sure it's sorta nice to have. Kinda useful sometimes, etc. But it makes the most sense if they're using it as a research platform. All the marketing that goes to it is only to encourage people to 'deal' with the keyboard and see if under the best circumstances, people can accept it.

    You think I'm crazy?

    This is what Toshiba released recently:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. WilliamG macrumors G3

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    #2
    This is, of course, nothing new. It started with the iPhone, them the iPod touch, then the layout of the Top Sites in Safari (which screams out for a touch interface). It's clear that Apple is going for an all-touch-interface computing experience at some point. The key (pun intended) is being able to give the correct feedback to the keys so you don't have to keep looking down at some point. The company that figures that out correctly will make the $$.
     
  3. YoJm macrumors newbie

    YoJm

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    #3
    My point about the iPad is...

    Apple Want to make money so they make the iPad useless at the start and then make it better so they don't run out of features and get more sales :)
     
  4. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

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    #4
    Huh? I hardly think they're selling 1 million per month because it's useless.
     
  5. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #5
    They better advance haptic feedback technology by years to make those keyboards feasible, and even with advanced haptic feedback those keyboards will not even come close to a physical keyboard. But that aside, the achilles heel in the ipad is lack of handwriting recognition and a stylus. This does NOT mean the UI will be stylus driven, nothing in fact would have to change in regards to the UI, it just means there would be a feasible method of taking notes with a stylus on the ipad.

    In regards to the keyboard on the ipad, yes it horribly sucks, but really there are no solutions out there besides buying the quite tiny Apple bluetooth keyboard. It would be great if Apple made a case with a super thin keyboard integrated so you can put it in the case and have your keyboard, or take it out and not have it.

    But in the end I think you are missing the point of the ipad, it's not meant to replace your computer. It's not meant to do heavy computer like things like word processing and such, it's meant as an always on device for light computer useage and internet access. This is why the lack of handwriting is an achilles heel as notetaking is a HUGE plus for this type of device.

    But as for having a dual screen with one screen as a keyboard, that is a miserable failure just waiting to happen.
     
  6. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ryan1524

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    #6
    I'm not talking about power, just the feasibility of touch keyboards. Either they're going to familiarize us with touch keyboards, or they're trying to create a 'new' way of inputting information. Computer has evolved a great deal since its first introduction. The keyboard is the only thing that hasn't changed much since 1970s.

    Why is that?

    There has to be a faster way of inputting info into the system than entering one character at a time.


    I have a different idea of where computing and distribution of power/resources are going to go. I think every home will have a supercomputer, and multiple thin clients. These clients being iPhones, iPads, work terminals, or any mobile device (Android, windows based, etc), etc. All media and processing power will be localized in ONE massively powerful machine, like your a centralized AC. How much access or manipulatibility depends on the capabilities of your 'terminal'. Think JARVIS from IronMan.

    But that's a different discussion.
     
  7. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

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    #7
    This doesn't make any sense.

    First of all, the iPad project started before the iPhone. That is iOS.

    Second, looking at one screen and using multitouch on another defeats the purpose of multitouch: Directly manipulating the objects with your fingers. The trackpad on the macbook is a very special case where this doesn't apply.

    The key here is iOS. Many people still need to use a macbook because the iPad isn't powerful enough. Or iOS misses printing capabilities. That is true. For now.

    And that will change in the future.
     
  8. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #8
    I don't see how a moderately larger touch keyboard is going to work better than the ipads onscreen keyboard, they both will still suck because they are flat without the feedback of a real keyboard. I agree there needs to be a paradigm shift on input, but it hasn't been invented yet.

    As for your theory of thin clients such as the ipad on a central PC, I wholeheartedly agree this is the way we are going, but I'll advance you a step further. I think there will be no central PC, at least a central PC in the users home. This will all be based on cloud computing where the user won't have a PC at all, but only thin clients such as the ipad, but cloud storage companies such as microsoft and google will be the ones to provide the processing power, applications and storage.
     
  9. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    No, the iPad makes the most sense if you weigh it on its own merits. It's a relatively inexpensive, light-weight, low-power, long-battery life tablet computer with a multi-touch display that handles myriad tasks ranging from web browsing, light word-processing, email, consuming photographs, and other media to whatever else developers make use of it.

    This is all anecdotal, but anecdotes add up over time. For my mother the iPad in its current form replaces her computer entirely. She adores it. For myself, I use it as a way of carrying tens of thousands of pieces of paper with me at all time, give presentations, and take care of email while on short trips, among other things. For the local Mercedes Dealership, it takes care of credit applications.

    There are those that find no use for the device, just as I find no use for a netbook or a MacPro. There are those that find the device to fill a niche. There are those that find the device can replace something entirely.

    This is why the iPad makes sense. Of course there are going to implications for the future of computing if the device proves to be sustainably successful, that is inevitable. If the iPhone flopped, there would be no iPad.

    I imagine that Apple sees the future of computing for 95% of people to be met by iOS devices functioning on mobile pieces of glass. For the rest there are going to be really high-powered desktop class machines running desktop class operating systems that will have some multi-touch features, but will probably have mechanical keyboards and a pointing device.
     
  10. ARF900 macrumors 65816

    ARF900

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    #10
    That toshiba thing is pretty nice, if only it ran OSX.
     
  11. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ryan1524

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    #11
    Definitely, the touch project started with the iPhone. And now with the iPad, they're either trying to see how far they can push this, or experiment with new ways of interacting with the user.

    As for the Macbook trackpad differing from the iPad/Phone interface. Consider that Toshibas also had a LCD touchpad a few years ago to augment capabilities like calculator, scrolling, etc. They did this already. The familiar concept of using your finger to interact with objects through a flat surface is what they're experimenting with. The benefit of the iPad/Phone is that we can SEE the objects whereas for the Trackpads, we have to use secondary imagination to visualize it. But it's all the same and heading in the same direction.


    Exactly. People prefer different tools for various reasons. Apple is trying to fulfill each category. I'd argue with 'inexpensive' but that's not the point, and I don't care. To me, the merit of a device is its ability to be good at what it does, and for the iPad, its primary selling point is its adaptibility. At the moment, that is almost non-existent since the market isn't as established as the iPhone. And granted, it's taking longer for the dev community to fill it since the iPad's potential demands more sophisticated apps, which I'm glad, the developers are taking the time and care to develop. My comment about it making no sense will be invalid in 6 months time when the market is choked full of excellent iPad apps. But I'm talking about the first year since its launch.
     
  12. AR15MBP macrumors regular

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    #12
    any product on the market is "market research." companies create and sell products; if they are successful they continue on, and if not they change it or discontinue it. this isn't some feeler product. it's sold millions. it's a bridge product between iphone and mac. how is a desktop mac going to benefit from a touchscreen keyboard? i understand your point, but i disagree.
     
  13. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ryan1524

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    #13
    The desktop mac won't, but the mobile ones will. The desktop will always have a keyboard or video-based gesture control. But the mobile ones can do or need more.
     
  14. Alvi macrumors 65816

    Alvi

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    #14
    Toshiba's "Research" is about using Windows 7 on it which isn't very touch friendly (at least not as much as android)

    The iPad is a product, maybe they research how people handle a touch keyboard, they already did it with the iPhones, a Touchscreen keyboard doesn't work, people need the "click" and people rest their hands on the keys, apple clearly wants a double display computer using the "Buttons are usless" argument Steve Jobs used with the iPhone, but they will totally drop sales with a touchscreen keyboard, it uses more battery power and is more painful to use for long documents, apple's dream is a Microsoft Courier-ish laptop with iOS and a touchscreen keyboard, my dream too, won't be here soon

    The iPad is not a computer, it's the netbook replacer for some people, the same way as the iPhone is the Blackberry replacer
     
  15. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ryan1524

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    #15
    I absolutely agree with Jobs that physical buttons are useless in an iPhone level device. But I'm not so sure in a tablet or laptop level device. These are the types of machines that are designed to be capable of heavier input (ie. fast and high data load), hence the need for a keyboard. I'm not convinced that a keyboard, which has been around for over 3 decades, is the best way to do this. We should be coming up with something better.

    That next thing is what I'm trying to find in this thread.
     
  16. eye macrumors 6502a

    eye

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    #16
    Typing long manuscripts on a touchscreen will never be practical, no matter how used to touch people get. I can type with the best of them on my iPhone and iPad, but the MacBook needs to come out when it's time to get serious.
     
  17. klio macrumors member

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    #17
    I really wonder about this. I agreed with the "must have sensory feedback, and that sense must be touch" idea for a long time. For now, yes, I'm much faster on my MacBook keyboard. But I become increasingly faster and more accurate on the iPad keyboard the more I use it, and I wonder what really holds people back.

    By the time my late, lamented iPhone was stolen, which was only a matter of months after I'd gotten it (curses!), I had become so comfortable with the tiny keyboard that I found the larger iPad keyboard awkward at first. I thought I'd have trouble playing around with a piano app on the iPad, but it was just a matter of adjusting to the spacing of the keys, which, once you know it, becomes part of what, I guess, people call "muscle memory"? Isn't it comparable to, say, being able to navigate one's own home in the dark without bumping into anything, provided the cat isn't sitting in the middle of the room to muck up the layout?

    Some devices may always need that feedback of bumps and ridges and knobs--things used while otherwise distracted by more important business, like, say, a car's dashboard devices. But with the touchscreen keys right there on the screen where your eyes will be focussed anyway, I really don't see why humans can't adjust and adapt to feedback of sight and sound.

    I'm interested in looking into whether there's more behind this than "I'm used to having keys that bounce up and down." The next generation might not even give it a thought.
     
  18. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #18
    More like "since the 1950s".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Museum_of_Science,_Boston,_MA_-_IMG_3163.JPG

    And that's just the control console. The computer itself was much larger:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNIVAC_I

    The lack of a pervasive replacement suggests that the keyboard is well suited for the task, not ill-suited, as you seem to be saying.

    Most people who do any significant amount of typing don't enter one character at a time. Instead, entire phrases, words, or word fragments flow one after the other.
     
  19. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #19
    I must admit, I do have a problem actually believing Apple spent a LOT of time on the iPad.

    I don't so much mean the hardware as the hardware is the best hardware (for the price/size/performance) that's available now.

    I mean the software.

    Now I know this will sound bad, but it does really seem to be quickly thrown together without spending too long on it, just in case it was a flop.

    They say they have been thinking and working on it for 10 years. (or more)

    So after 10 years you pretty much just slap the iPhone OS onto it, add a few bits and tweak it here and there.

    Nope, I don't buy that to be honest.

    I'm not saying it's not nice, but it does now come over as something that's had all those years of work pumped into it.

    It's more like, we have an iPhone, (and an ipod touch) both of those products have been through a number of revisions, so let's make a BIG one, quickly mod the OS to run on the larger screen and see how it sells.

    That kind of seems what's happened.

    Anyone given the screen and power would have done SO MUCH MORE with it than Apple have for v1

    A plain screen with fat chunky icons you press to run programs and that's the extent of the front end on a 1Ghz machine.

    Hmmmmm, Can't say I feel that's the very best anyone could of come up with after a decade of development.

    It works.

    Now they know the market is out there, perhaps they can REALLY knuckle down and give it the OS such a device really deserves and not make it bonded to being synced all the time.
     
  20. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ryan1524

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    #20
    I'm not saying it's ill-suited, but I'm questioning why there isn't a faster way. I've wondered this way too many times to ignore it. I don't think I'm that special to be the only one to have come up with the question. And if we're always perfectly happy with how things ARE, we'd be swimming in poop and eating algae.

    We THINK of them as phrases, or even sentences. As a touch typist, I do too. But we're still keying in our thought one letter at a time.
     
  21. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #21
    Well you know what we need, we all know what we need, and it almost works now. Dictation software.

    Who wants to type in things when you can speak to your computer and have it type out your words.

    Just need to filter out background noise and when you "ummm" and "errr" between words.

    You could dictate to a human easy enough and the human would be clever enough to filter out things you did not mean.

    One day perhaps we won't have to type.
     
  22. Zcott macrumors 68020

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    #22
    In the same way that we write, keyboard text is one letter at a time. It's the most natural and easily learned way. Whilst various phones attempt to do text prediction, this is because of the limitations of a phone as opposed to a new style of inputting words.

    Speech-to-text is ok but won't catch on in the long run - computing is a uniquely personal experience and people don't like speaking private things out loud when they can be typed. The keyboard is here to stay, and considering most people can type considerably faster than they can write, it's the best method there is.
     
  23. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #23
    I want a thought to speech system developed :)

    I'll just think of a word and it puts it on screen.

    Or rather say the word in your head (like hearing yourself say the words when you read a book in your mind) and have the come up on screen

    Now that would be clever.

    Perhaps one day.
     
  24. nixiemaiden macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    This totally explains why apple released a keyboard iPad dock...
     
  25. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #25

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