The Gadget disappears: it's all about the software

Discussion in 'iPad' started by *LTD*, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009

    "The gadget disappears pretty quickly. You're looking into pure software."

    In a segment that aired Thursday night, the Charlie Rose Show invited three A-list tech commentators — the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, the New York Times' David Carr and TechCrunch's Michael Arrington — to gush about (and find a few faults with) Apple's (AAPL) iPad.

    Mossberg was the most viewer-friendly, taking time to define Flash and HTML5 and to explain to the PBS audience how the iPod touch is different from the iPhone.

    Arrington was uncharacteristically gracious, complimenting the device — and saying that he couldn't wait to get one — without mentioning his own failed effort to build a competing tablet computer.

    But Carr got the best lines:

    On the iPad: "One thing you have to understand about this gadget is that the gadget disappears pretty quickly. You're looking into pure software."
    On the Amazon Kindle: "It looked like something the Mennonites made 150 years ago."

    On the nitpickers: "I'm sure there are a few fanboys out there who aren't totally waving the pom-poms about everything about this device."

    On Steve Jobs and Apple: "He may have been thin. He obviously is vigorously engaged in building out his version of the future with this company. There's been no loss of momentum, no loss of ambition, no loss of scale. Whatever he went through in terms of medical issues or illness issues — which was a significant source of concern to shareholders — seems to have had zero impact on their product release schedule, on their reach into the culture, and their ability to preoccupy conversation."

    Gruber's take on the show:

    ‘The Gadget Disappears’
    Love this line from the New York Times’s Paul David Carr on the Charlie Rose show, regarding the iPad:

    One thing you have to understand about this gadget is that the gadget disappears pretty quickly. You’re looking into pure software.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Carr is a business reporter, not a tech reporter. He sees the forest, not the trees. But this is really astute. I’ve been using a Nexus One Android phone for the last few weeks, and Carr’s quote summarizes the fundamental difference between Android and iPhone OS. On the iPhone, once you’re in an app, everything happens on-screen, with touch. Everything. You go outside the screen to the home button to leave the app or the sleep button to turn off the device. On Android, many things happens on screen with touch, but many other things don’t, and you’re often leaving the screen for the hardware Back, Menu, and Home buttons, and text selection and editing requires the use of the fiddly trackball. An Android gadget never disappears.

    Daring Fireball 10-02-08 12:14 PM John Gruber
  2. dgree03 macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    Im trying to figure out why the above even matters?? Iphone has hardware buttons... Andriod buttons are more like an option... than a requirement.
  3. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Exactly. Moreover, the so-called "all touch" iPhone is ironically totally dependent on its physical buttons... especially the Home button. If that fails, the phone is unusable.

    OTOH, systems like Windows Mobile are able to change volume and launch and switch apps and basically do everything via the touchscreen.

    In addition, hard or soft buttons at the bottom are a lot easier to use one-handed than the iPhone's non-ergonomic positioning of "app back" soft buttons at the upper left of a rather large screen.

    Touchscreen buttons make sense when they're unique. When an action is common, it needs to be easy to do. Using a hardware button for a common and global action (like volume or ringer or yes, Home or go-back) makes sense.
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    So, I take it that those millions who have purchased iPhones and those tens of thousands who queue-up whenever a new model goes on sale mean nothing to you? In passing up Windows Mobile phones and such like, we poor dumb souls have no idea what we're missing because the iPhone is so much harder to use? Do I understand you correctly?

    Yeah, keep telling yourself that.
  5. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006

    Hence the rumour a while back as it being more like a window into a world in some cases. I think the minimalistic, understated, bare bones has a certain appeal (akin to QTX when it's running in OS X - You get buttons if you mouseover otherwise it's just a rectangle of video, nothing else (not even top bar)

    All screen, minimal buttons seems to be pretty good. Main hardware - home, lock, sound up and down. Apple can always add complexity through guidelines/new hardware - keeps it simple if basically you've got a home button (that can then be used to get to search/a double push assigned function).

    It might be totally dependent on those buttons, but have their been many threads about malfunctional home buttons (I know of some with problematic volume controls/ mute/loud switches with iPhones).

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