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Apple's "iPad" Out In the Open 1713

Posted by timothy
from the will-care-when-it-runs-linux dept.
Reader oxide7 is one of the many to note that the heaviest speculation is mostly over (still waiting on the price, though) about Apple's anticipated new device (though there are surely plenty of questions about the device's hardware capabilities and the scope of its software and content marketplace): "At an event in San Francisco Apple released its anticipated iPad.'[It's] Way better than a laptop, way better then a phone. You can turn it any way you want. To see the whole page is phenomenal,' said Jobs." The (0.5") skinny: 1.5 lbs, multitouch, up to 64GB of flash, 9.7" screen, and a 1Ghz "Apple A4" chip (more about the A4 in Engadget's developing story). The iPad is closer in concept to an expanded iPhone (OS and all) than a miniaturized laptop, though it doesn't have quite as much connectivity as you might expect, with no 3G connection built in. (You'll have to make do with 802.11n, Bluetooth, and tethering.) Live coverage is ongoing at gdgt live, Engadget, and Gizmodo, as well as various others. Update by timothy, 19:58 GMT: Got the 3G part wrong; 3G is indeed an option. Prices run from $499 (16GB flash, WiFi but no 3G) to $829 (WiFi and 3G, 64GB flash). Should start shipping in 60 days (WiFi only), in 90 days for 3G. Surprsingly, no built-in camera.
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Apple's "iPad" Out In the Open

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  • by jbezorg (1263978) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @02:56PM (#30921334)

    I may still get a Kindle because of this reason.

  • Original iPod review (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:00PM (#30921490)

    /. just should have taken this - http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/10/23/1816257&tid=107 [slashdot.org] and formed it for iPad.

    With
    "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."

  • Re:No flash support (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jeng (926980) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:01PM (#30921510)

    I'm thinking that Jobs ain't exactly a TV watcher. It just doesn't seem to be his niche.

    Why just look at the fail that is the Apple TV.

  • by pydev (1683904) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:02PM (#30921536)

    You can use this as a mobile device by tethering it over Wifi to an Android or Noikia device.

  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:04PM (#30921588)

    Do I need to buy this AND a iPhone?

    Apple thinks you are on to something there.

    And you have a really low UID. I am sure you hear that a lot.

  • Re:No flash support (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples.gmail@com> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:09PM (#30921724) Homepage Journal

    On the plus side, maybe this will start to pressure sites like Hulu to find a better way to handle things.

    Not likely. Studios that publish their video on Hulu will want to have copy deterrence no less effective than what its Flash Player already implements. If anything, Hulu would follow Netflix and switch to Silverlight with DRM. This would work on a hypothetical Zune Pad even if not iPad.

    the 10 hour battery life is based on some decent hardware-accelerated h264 decoding. Watch video in Flash and that number goes out the window.

    Flash video nowadays is H.264. (Older Flash video is H.263.) If Flash Player can't hardware-accelerate H.264 video playback, that's a defect in Flash Player.

  • by SwabTheDeck (1030520) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:09PM (#30921736)
    I have both an iPhone and a MacBook and I use and love both everyday. However, I've never thought to myself, "how great would it be to have a 10-inch iPhone?" After watching the live coverage for the last hour, that's basically all this is. The OS and UI are basically the same, just upscaled and optimized in some places for the larger screen. As far as I can tell, there are none of the clever innovations that are typically present in a new Apple product. The only people that I can see this thing appealing to would be people that have a strong fascination for touch screens and people that don't feel that they can properly lounge about with a laptop (as exemplified by Steve Jobs lounging in a love seat during the presentation). I think the only obvious application would be as an ebook reader (side note: I nearly had a fit when they decided to reuse the term iBook to brand their ebooks). The presentation still isn't done so there isn't a word on price, but if it can't come within range of the Kindle and similar devices, I'd say this thing is purely novelty.
  • Re:No flash support (Score:2, Interesting)

    by geoffrobinson (109879) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:18PM (#30921994) Homepage

    Look, I like my iPhone so I don't feel a desire to get this.

    But if this can kill flash, I hope it is insanely successful.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:18PM (#30922008)

    I think this may be a shot across the bough of netbooks rather than smartphones or laptops.

    I've got an iPod Touch already. I love the thing. It travels with me everywhere. I can go online, do just about anything I need, etc. I even have Kindle for iPhone installed on it, though the small screen has kept me from reading much on it.

    I also have a laptop. It's great for taking on the road so I have a computer in my hotel room, but in reality if I go into a coffee shop or other wifi hotspot, the laptop is just too damned bulky for me.

    Recently I had thought about getting a netbook. Not to replace either of those devices, but to complement them. I'd have it for those times when I want a screen bigger than my iPod can handle, but when I want a smaller device than my laptop. Truthfully, having seen this, I'm now thinking about it a bit more seriously than the netbook. The question though, is cost. If it's priced like a netbook, then I see the beginnings of a beautiful relationship. If it's priced like Apple's laptops, then no thanks - I like this product more but not enough to spend several hundred extra dollars on it.

  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:22PM (#30922144) Homepage Journal

    They did the brilliant thing... supporting bluetooth tethering. That means it doesn't need either Verizon or ATT, as long as you have a phone that can deliver data via a bluetooth tether, just get the two close together and you have a mobile internet device. Now, if you have a data plan you probably already have something quite close to the iPad already on your phone, but that's beside the point. Apple doesn't really care if something else can do what it's new product does, they will simply do it with more shine and win marketshare with mindshare.

  • Re:No flash support (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ByOhTek (1181381) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:23PM (#30922172) Journal

    even with that, it's still got very limited disk space (why no rotational drive option?), and the limited iphone style OS (why not full mac OS).

    I'd rather have something that can hold at least a 250GB hdd and full MacOS/Windows.

    Actually, with those, and give it at least a 14" screen, and they would switch me away from Toshiba.

  • by JackDW (904211) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:27PM (#30922256) Homepage

    Sounds like a close relative of the ARM Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9: the line of ARM CPUs specifically intended to run end-user applications rather than embedded control software.

    On a related topic, people who pray for the end of x86 should be careful what they wish for, because their desire brings completely closed platforms and proprietary app stores. There is one reason why you can install software on your Windows machine without a "developer key" or Microsoft's explicit approval, and that reason is backwards compatibility.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:27PM (#30922268) Homepage

    I do.

    I carry around my 17" laptop AND a 13" tablet. In meetings I use the tablet, plus I can do easy markup of a customers blueprints with them looking on and making their own notes directly to the screen, then email off a copy to them and the engineer.

    I tend to steal a lot of contracts from the dweebs that only carry around a tiny light laptop.

    it's all about putting productivity over whining about carrying a little more weight around.

  • Re:3G Data Plans (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mdm-adph (1030332) <mdmadph@noSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:32PM (#30922394) Homepage

    You forgot the most important part -- they're all contract free. Gotta admit that's pretty neat.

  • by natehoy (1608657) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:34PM (#30922422) Journal

    Well, there you go then. If you work on something that doesn't require massive amounts of horsepower, you could just have your own very portable computer to take wherever you want to go.

    Yes, a netbook will be cheaper, more durable, more powerful, etc. But there's a lot of appeal to a flat unit you can use like a clipboard while resting back in your favorite lounge chair or sitting up in bed.

    There will be a market for this. I probably won't be part of it, but mostly on price and lack of flexibility.

  • by foo fighter (151863) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:45PM (#30922720) Homepage

    This thing kills the MacBook Air.

    On the other hand, I guess we now know Apple's premium for running an unlocked operating system. (iPad: $500, MacBook Air: $1500; you do the math)

  • by JSBiff (87824) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:04PM (#30923184) Journal

    One interesting possibility, particularly if you think you'll have more than one iPad, iPhone, etc in your household might be to just get a Mifi(Myfi?) type device - you know, one of those Wifi-to-3G gateway devices some of the cell companies are trying to sell. It might not be cheaper for a single iPad (the number I saw listed for the 3G versions of the iPad was +$130 more than the 'base' iPad price). But if you have 2 or 3 of the iPads, Mifi seems like a better way to go?

  • What the hell (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jim_v2000 (818799) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:08PM (#30923308)
    "So $499 for 16GB of iPad," Jobs explained. "That's our base model. 32GB is $599, 64GB is $799"

    The fucking price goes from mediocre $499 to an insane $799 for an extra 48GB of space?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:08PM (#30923310)

    The Macbook Air is the best laptop I've ever got. This one isn't 'luggable' but truly portable. It's what the market always promised but never could deliver.

  • Re:No flash support (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DdJ (10790) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:11PM (#30923376) Homepage Journal

    ESPN will have a solution. It'll probably be a standalone app, maybe an update of their existing (iPhone) app. I expect it to work like the MLB.com app that was demoed.

    We'll have to see what happens with Hulu. I half expect Hulu and Netflix apps to appear within six months.

  • Re:No flash support (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MojoRilla (591502) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:13PM (#30923400)
    You can run plugins in a sandbox in Chrome [chromium.org]. Use the --safe-plugins command line switch.
  • by yodleboy (982200) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:14PM (#30923452)
    Well... As soon as I saw this, I said "must have now" and then I saw "No Flash". Apple is essentially crippling the internet to protect their media position. Sorry Steve, I have an iPhone and I have come to terms with lack of flash on it. However, for a device that's intended to compete with a netbook and be a portable computing platform, this just won't cut it. Give us 6 months and we'll be seeing iPad clones in droves anyway. Devices that won't sacrifice functionality in order to protect their media distribution channel. It's really sad, because I was ready to swap this with my iPhone and get a bare bones cheap phone for calls. Every time the lack of flash on iphone and now ipad is brought up, the debate revolves largely around video, and to a lesser degree around gaming. Unfortunately, you're missing the bigger picture. It's not the big media sites, it's the little unexpected things, like when I go to a restaurant website to place a takeout order and the whole menu is only available as a flash app. it happens frequently. The flash issue for me is about these little interface apps that, without flash, are unusable; not some big honkin, cpu gobbling media site. Sure, the designers should have a non flash version, but with 98% of internet connected pc's having flash installed, well you can see why they don't bother.
  • Re:No flash support (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:26PM (#30923772)

    They were demoing how you can browse the web and never have to worry about obtrusive Flash ads.

    Which is actually a feature I can get behind. That said, unless iBooks is opened up to other platforms like iTunes, this is just going to be another Apple TV - after all, that's what killed it and every other set-top box is that it's not worthwhile to buy a device that's locked into a single market when there are other markets that give you the full range of programming.

  • by hostmaster (176876) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:32PM (#30923888) Homepage

    I don't think it's going to be another iphone, the market for tablets is not as big as that for smart-phones. But, I don't think it will be an apple-tv either.

    It effectively kills the "electronic photo-book" market. People are paying 70-150 for those things, that is now gone. I like the leather-ish case which turns it into a keyboard type stand and into a photo-frame/tv stand, that seems like it will win some minds.

    One wild-card in all of this is that it is the PERFECT computer to give your mom since it's got very simple icon entry into apps, and not too many complicated menus you have to sift through. That might just lift it into another category of sales. For people who use computer apps for different and varied tasks (say photoshop, or full-fledged spreadsheet use) this is never going to be enough. But for mom or grandma to keep photos rolling on her mantle so her friends can see them, to e-mail the kids, watch a few movies, maybe play some games, this may well be ideal.

    My take is that this is not really designed for slashdot readers, it's yet another device to expand the market for apple computers to another type of user by offering a simple interface and the most frequently used features. I suspect they'll succeed, especially since the entry-price is reasonable.

  • Re:No flash support (Score:3, Interesting)

    by quadelirus (694946) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:33PM (#30923924)
    The iPhone supports HTML 5 (at least video tag and Google is using it for voice), and this is running the iPhone OS, so yes it supports HTML 5. Maybe not fully, but for the things you reference it works. Vimeo and YouTube work fine sans Flash on the iPhone. Seriously, why do we still want Flash? It's buggy and a security problem, the browsers should (and increasingly do) just handle those sorts of things internally.
  • by Hannahzee (1186537) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:39PM (#30924034)

    "The internet", in your lap, on this amazing looking little device. With movies, books, music and apps to boot. Joe and Jane Average are gonna think it's great.

    Joe and Jane Average do not have an extra $500 -$860 plus another 30/mo in addition to their cellphone and wireless internet costs to drop on "the Internet", movies, books, and apps in their laps when they have a laptop which does the just about the same thing already.

  • by doconnor (134648) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:50PM (#30924256) Homepage

    I think the main market for this is people who don't have a laptop, or a laptop is over powered for what they do with it.

  • by Zerth (26112) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:55PM (#30924356)

    Hey, if it's running on ARM, you can stick linux on it. I wonder if it has any USB pads on the motherboard that could be wired to an internal GPS, like some people did with the EEE.

  • by Max Romantschuk (132276) <max@romantschuk.fi> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:02PM (#30924490) Homepage

    Joe and Jane Average do not have an extra $500 -$860 plus another 30/mo in addition to their cellphone and wireless internet costs to drop on "the Internet", movies, books, and apps in their laps when they have a laptop which does the just about the same thing already.

    I have yet to see a laptop which is comfortable to use on a bus/train commute. The world is larger than the US, and public transportation actually works in a lot of places. Also, unlimited 3G data is 10€ a month here.

    I've been looking for a decent PDF-capable ereader for my own commute for ages. This is definitely a candidate.

  • by dkh2 (29130) <`dkh2' `at' `WhyDoMyTitsItch.com'> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:14PM (#30924766) Homepage

    Skimpy storage space? You must be planning on running enterprise data storage on yours 'cause 64GB is about twice what I'm used to. For a portable device that augments a stationary workstation I figure 64GB is pretty generous.

  • Re:No flash support (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Swampash (1131503) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:29PM (#30925036)

    Flash is the number-one cause of application crashes on OS X, and it's outside Apple's control. No way Flash is going to be supported by Iphone or Ipad.

  • by jbezorg (1263978) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:32PM (#30925092)

    ...and that's probably a good choice if all you ever want to do with it is read black and white ebooks page-by-page.

    The iPad's size means it's not going to replace my phone. Since my phone can duplicate some, if not most, of the functionality of the iPad those extra features don't add as much value for me.

    It comes down to two basic needs. The need for a larger screen for text media and the need for a larger screen for visual media. For me, the former wins out and my phone's capability suffices for the other needs ( mostly communication, natch ).

  • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:36PM (#30925184) Journal

    While I absolutely agree with you that the prices above the base seem exorbitant in comparison to the 'extra' parts you're getting, you're thinking of the prices in terms of construction, not marketing.

    It's an annoyance, of course, but the simple fact is that Apple will have put an awful lot of effort into setting these prices: they don't want to sell for under $600 but marketing tells them that launching at less than $500 will hook the customers. Simple solution is to sell a base model at that price which fewer people will buy, but many will decide that they want. Once people have decided they want it and rationalised that they can afford it, it's much easier to upsell to the one that Apple intended on making all along, at the price they intended all along, by adding an extra $20 of hardware. Make them look at a $630 base unit and many people will write it off out of hand.

  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:36PM (#30925202) Journal

    iPod - "No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame."

    I'm sorry, how does its popularity negate criticisms of its functionality? Or are you saying that any criticisms of PCs, Windows and Internet Explorer are also ludicrous, because of their popularity?

    The only one of your statements that makes any claims of sales is the one for the Ipod Mini (and a rather straw man claim - you only need one buyer to disprove it, but that's not saying very much).

    You are also committing a blatant fallacy: just because one product of theirs is popular (the Ipod) doesn't mean future ones will be. Tell me, do you think that Windows phones and tablets will become dominant, based on the past overwhelming success of Windows?

    We could equally point out the Mac, the Iphone, or indeed specific models such as the Air (remember that? Thought not), and conclude that the Ipad will likely also sell okay for Apple to make money, but only to a niche market.

  • by Old97 (1341297) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:41PM (#30925256)
    Some key differences other than the larger display: 1) supports a bluetooth keyboard; 2) available dock with a keyboard; 3) supports a full blown office suite - iwork

    But don't underestimate the difference a larger display makes when reading, watching video or playing games.

    That means it really is a better alternative to a PC, Laptop or Netbook for people who do only basic office tasks, surf the net, read books, play games, e-mail, maintain contacts and calendar, watch movies and listen to music. That group includes my wife. Frankly I rarely need a laptop as I don't tend to do development while traveling on my own time. Otherwise I'd use my work laptop.

    I love this device and as soon as there is a 128gb version with a camera, I'll get one for me. In the meantime I'll get one for my wife and then monopolize it until I get my own.

  • Re:No flash support (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@nOsPAm.beau.org> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:44PM (#30925334)

    > and the limited iphone style OS (why not full mac OS).

    Because at this point Apple would like nothing better than to find a way to discontinue OS X. The huge revenue stream they unleashed with the App Store has distorted everything at Apple. OS X on the desktop doesn't give Apple a cut of every app sold; so all new products are going to be in the iPhone development model. Hence this new product, which COULD have run a more open operating system and supported a lot of traditional OS X applications (add ARM to the fat binaries and ship) is instead an iPod/iPhone with a bigger display.

    Since they will sell a ton of these shiny iTurds expect them to take it as a green light for the next step and move the closed Nintendo/Cellphone OS model to the all in one desktops next. If that works the bottom end of the laptops will go next.

  • Glass. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:52PM (#30925492)
    Apple uses glass in all their iPod, iPhone, MacBook and iMac devices. They switched in response to complaints about the iPod nano scratching, and the way those complaints translated into concerns about the iPhone when the originally announced specs included a plastic screen. Since then Apple has switched their entire line-up to glass, and routinely cites the use of glass in their environmental credentials. Given how widespread their use of the material in applications similar to this is, I doubt it is much of a concern.
  • by Eil (82413) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:11PM (#30925906) Homepage Journal

    Hmmm. The thing about the iPod is that the killer features is the integration of iPod/iTunes/iTunes store. The devices are nice of course, but each part of this triangle has significant limitations.

    The key is that they all work together to support use cases that consumers find convenient and valuable. That's why "iPod Killers" never kill. You have to get all three pieces, and that is hard especially the store end of things.

    I got an iPod Touch right after Christmas (to replace my Nokia N800) and the iTunes integration is the thing that drives me the most crazy about it. I bought the device under the assumption that I would be able to use it to easily download, manage, and listen to podcasts. This was my first real Apple product and after having heard how cool the iPhone was and how easy Apple makes everything, I figured I couldn't go wrong.

    To listen to podcasts on the N800, all I had to do was run gPodder. It automatically checked for new episodes, downloaded them, and kept track of which ones were new, which ones were downloaded, which ones I've already listened to, and which ones have been deleted. Very slick. Too bad the N800 kinda sucked for just about anything else.

    After I got my iPod Touch, and after I had fiddled with the pinch zooming, inertial interface widgets, and slick web browser, I eventually discover that there's no podcast manager at all. And further investigation revealed that Apple won't allow a third-party one because they claimed it would compete with iTunes. The problem is, iTunes on the iPhone OS really, really sucks for listening to podcasts. You can only download podcasts that happen to be in the iTunes store. There's no way to just enter an RSS feed. There are no automatic updates and no automatic downloads, you're forced to memorize which episodes you've listened to and you have to download each episode one at a time. The only way to listen to podcasts that aren't in the iTunes store is to sync the device with a desktop computer running the full-blown version of iTunes. The iPod Touch is a portable wifi-enabled computer in its own right, I shouldn't have to sync it with fucking anything just to get content onto it. I have no computers that iTunes will run on, and of course, Apple encrypts communications to and from the device so no open-source software can connect to it either.

    Convenient and valuable? Feh, I say.

  • Re:SoC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TeknoHog (164938) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:17PM (#30926006) Homepage Journal

    Well apparently it's an SoC, but they are likely using external IP for different areas of the chip. So some of it is cool. One thing--wasn't the problem with G5 it being too hot? Don't see why they would go back to that for something portable.

    Apparently the CPU in iPad was designed by the former P. A. Semi designers. Before the Apple merger, they designed the Pwrficient, which was basically a G5 SoC, consuming a few watts at a GHz or two. An excellent processor on paper, but it was never available except on dev kits.

  • Re:I call FUD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jwdav (1003969) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:33PM (#30926322)

    If Apple were "blocking" Flash and Silverlight simply to preserve their media sales, they would be blocking any kind of streaming media, including HTML 5/ H.264.

    Since they are not, it makes more sense that they really don't want any single company to "own" the delivery mechansim, especially if it is buggy, crash prone, or a resource hog.

  • Steve's Presentation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bradgoodman (964302) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:41PM (#30926462) Homepage
    I think Steve's presentation said it all - not only was the on-screen keyboard too cumbersome for him to even type a small email message, but he lacked his usual cocky showmanship - he reminded me more of Balmer or someone - try to make a hard pitch for little things that weren't that impressive. You can tell when someone is trying to feign excitement. I would say I was "let down" - I envisioned a "bigger iPhone", but was hoping to be wowed by some new, unexpected ingenious new Apple thing. It kind of reminded me of the "eMate"....
  • by jesterpilot (906386) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:02PM (#30926868) Homepage
    Come on, you're an Apple customer now. Why would you want to listen to podcasts which aren't in the iTunes Store? You don't want to anymore. You just don't, right?
  • Re:No flash support (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:23PM (#30927184) Homepage

    Doesn't really matter the iPad is an iKaboom, it just wont work. All the sales, marketing and forum hype (could apple trolls be considered maggots) are not gonna get that platform moving. Likely the iPad will just end up damaging the 'i'Apple branding, remind everyone of overbearing iDRM and iClosed, rather than being an open and flexible device. I can't help but feel the iPad will be Jobs, iSwan song.

    Sticking an i in something doesn't make it more saleable, the tablet has always had the one big problem, drop factor, it is to large to be effectively hand held, a keyboard is the quickest input device and the tablet has always been this only for pose platform.

    Being a bit older I can remember doing stuff like stock takes with a clip board, how often you would need to put it down (where it falls or is knocked), how often you would drop it, it was big enough to do the job but to big to be really comfortable, if you can't carry it in a pocket it is to big to carry around.

    The proper current market segment is a smart book in conjunction with a smart phone, with the two devices tightly linked together via wireless, so you can readily access one from the other and exchange and manipulate data stored on either. Phone for walk around and netbook for casual sit down (even then it needs to be a pretty sturdy design). In fact you can envisage buying them together as a single package, even with a phone contract.

    That is all still based on that smart book being a second computer, which together with the phone, connects to your main computer, a desktop (be it a large form factor notebook or an actual desktop).

  • by ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:50PM (#30927488)

    I rather have Apple kill Flash.

    If you're going to wish for something unrealistic and beyond their power, at least shoot for world peace.

    Okay, so there are three possible visions of the future Web:

    1. The AdobeWeb, where every page is just an empty shell around an embedded SWF. There is some risk that this may happen.

    2. The SilverWeb, where every page is just an empty shell around an embedded Silverlight object. With ActiveX barely treading water, this is Microsoft's forlorn hope.

    3. The iPhone Web, where every page is HTML+JavaScript and scales nicely to small screen sizes.

    Personally, I like option 3 the best. And only Apple (and possibly Google, eventually) are backing this horse.

  • by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:55PM (#30928166)

    As an owner of the Archos 7, I can tell you that it's not as nice as it seems. They nickel and dime you on everything. For instance, if you want AC3 playback, you have to buy an add-on for like $35. Also, it doesn't have 3G, doesn't have multi-touch, doesn't have 140,000 App Store apps (most of which probably won't even work on the iPad.. lol), doesn't have GPS or an Accelerometer. doesn't have a capacitance sensitive display (the pressure sensitve on the Archhos is not very good), and I could go on and on.. the A7 is a decent enough media player, but other than that it's basically useless.

  • by samwhite_y (557562) * <icrewps @ y a h oo.com> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:09PM (#30928292)

    There is a theme to some of the comments which I wish to rebut. Essentially the theme is that Apple products really are not that good and they sell well only because Apple does such good marketing. The implied assumption here is that if you buy Apple's products, such as the iPod, you are just a sucker fooled by Apple's marketing campaign. Since I have bought Apple products because I thought they were the best products available for my needs, I see these statements as declaring that I am also a sucker and lacking in any real tech smarts. Essentially I feel like I am being called an idiot.

    I remember when this debate was between Linux and PCs, and the Linux crowd was trying to argue that nobody should need to run Microsoft software to do their jobs or get things done. This was at time when you could not get Linux to legally read a DVD or use algorithms to do reasonable font rendering. Of course, these limitations were because of licensing issues, some of the most useful software productivity features were protected by commercial licenses or patents. The Linux advocates would argue that I should not be running such software in the first place because it was not "open" software. But that is a different argument. I have far more sympathy for the argument that running Linux is a superior moral choice. But arguing that Linux was a better OS for getting my job done was nonsense.

    I am going to come at my argument in a backwards way. Instead of touting features of the iPad, I am going to describe artfully chosen limitations. The biggest limitation is that a developer cannot develop an application that can run as a persistent multi-threaded process. Any application that is not being used at any current moment is torn down and a new one instantiated. This is even more limited than the old Windows 3.x OS with its event driven model for task switching (for those you who don't remember -- Windows 3.x had only one running thread and all applications shared memory). Another limitation is that applications cannot use a shared file system or use shared libraries. You cannot build an application out of other applications or write applications whose purpose is to interact with other applications in useful ways. A user cannot even freely write code for their own application, build it, and run it.

    For anybody who likes to tinker with their computers (I consider myself somewhat in that breed, I do programming for a living), this seems almost mind boggling stupid. But there is a method to this madness.

    So what do you get back for these choices.

    1. A very stable device that does not need to worry about applications doing semi-permanent bad things to your computer requiring a reboot. It is not stable just because applications have a hard time doing bad things, but the basic logic of behavior is so simple that you can "audit" and control it in a way that you cannot control a standard modern OS. This eliminates tangled logic scenarios that come up when you have interactions between device drivers, OS interrupts, glitches in hardware, and complicated applications. Also, it is far easier to write protections against hostile software, especially if you control the distribution of all software for your device.

    I think many in the Slashdot crowd underestimate the importance of stability in a portable device. I reboot computers all the time because of glitches of various sorts. It is true that the OS is rarely to blame, it might be the device driver for my mouse, or a disk glitch, a misbehaving network router, or a bad application but generally such issues are fatal. And because of the complexity of the OS, the OS really has no chance at diagnosing the true cause of the problem.

    That is not something I will tolerate in a lightweight portable device used for limited but useful activities. I have heard rumors that Android phones, once you start trying to run some of the same application that make the iPhone popular, have far more problems with various issues, such as unwanted battery run down for processes that

  • Re:gay (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:09PM (#30928294)

    "Minuses:"

    Add to that not widescreen. And no multitasking maybe.

    Apple is claiming 720p support (under TV and Video) with the display's resolution is only 1024x768.

    http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/

    720p is widescreen, so I have no clue how Apple is claiming this. I guess upscaling is the new lie.

    What bullshit is this. People are going to lap this up, and this device sucks.

    Yes, it'll sell, but like the iphone and the ipod, there will be people who think what they have is just so cool, and the knowledgeable few looking on will be wondering what idiot bought the trendy device when other, more available options are out there.

    In any case, thanks Apple for the info. After the long wait from the build up and fail last September, I can get a Vaio and Nokia for $70 more than you device and not be bothered with this lockdown.

  • Re:Apple A4 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by langelgjm (860756) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:55PM (#30929060) Journal

    You're not the only one - the only features I was interested in for this iPad were its processor and its OS. Is it confirmed that it is ARM-based? The stubbish WP article suggests that it may not be... but I did see that ARM stock went up 4.5% this afternoon :-)

    I hope that when other companies see that Apple can successfully release an ARM-based device and still sell Intel products, they will grow some balls and release more ARM-based netbooks/smartbooks.

  • by hackshack (218460) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @03:44AM (#30930552)

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that, y'all, collectively, are not the target audience for this thing. That said, we should be celebrating, rather than bitching. Here's why.

    Raise your hands, please: those who've installed LogMeIn on their mothers' computers.

    LogMeIn is a crutch, and you know it. You know damn well why you installed it, too. It's so you can support her when shit breaks every couple months, or when she can't figure something out.

    The nice thing about the iPhone OS is that it's tight. My mom had never used a cell phone in her life, and figured out how to make a call with my iPhone in seconds. The OS is like an appliance, reliability-wise. The target audience is users, not the nerd herd, and the interface reflects that. It's basically a $500 ticket to never having to support Mother again (or really any user that "just needs the basics").

    If you really think it's just a big iPhone, look at the iPad interface video [apple.com] (from about 1:00 - 3:00). It was the first time I actually was like, holy shit, it looks like one of those futuristic computers out of a Hollywood movie; except it actually makes logical sense, yet retains teh bling. Unlike every other OS, multitouch is "baked in" to the iPhone OS, and you can really see the level of refinement in that video. All that shit that Microsoft wishes it could do with multitouch, this thing actually does.

    No, it doesn't have multitasking or an OLED display or a webcam or a fucking JTAG header; those people can vote with their ducats and get an HP Slate. Have fun troubleshooting your wireless network in Windows 7 or GNOME using your fingertips. Ugh.

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