Anonymous asked:

I'm in the same place you are with my iPad Air (I really like the Logitech Fabricskin keyboard myself). My stumbling block is the need to refer to notes or other research material (a pdf, an article, etc.) while writing. I have gotten used to having them open and on the same screen at the same time, which is far less distracting than switching back and forth on a tablet. How are you overcoming this limitation?

Understood. The solution for me has simply been fast app switching. It’s not as fast, as screen-swiping on OS X (or having two documents open at the same time, of course), but the four-finger gestures for iOS work pretty well. Hopefully future iOS versions will address this further.

Habits & Tablets

As previously noted, I’m very close to being able to go with the iPad as my main computing device. Yes, as someone who writes quite a bit (both email and posts like this one), I prefer a physical keyboard — but I found one for the iPad that I quite love: the Logitech variety.1 So there must be something else holding me back.

One thing is specialized VPN access to certain things I need for work. But I suspect that sooner rather than later, that will be resolved. So what else holds me back? Well, habit.

While the physical keyboard aspect gets most of the attention2, I actually believe the tendencies many of us have formed using PCs these past 20 to 30 years are just as important when considering what is holding us back from entering the tablet-only world.

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Claire Cain Miller:

At 76, David Hockney, the British artist known for bold colors and landscapes, remains an early adopter of technology. His iPad drawings are included in “David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition” at the de Young Museum, in San Francisco through Jan. 20.

Mr. Hockney uses the Brushes app, a stylus and a digital inkjet printer that takes 20 minutes to print each large page. He’s known for drawing and painting outdoors, and the iPad has simplified that process. It has also raised questions among critics about whether iPad drawings qualify as art.

Why on Earth wouldn’t it qualify as art? Because it’s digital? In a few years such critics will look like buffoons. I saw the Hockney exhibit a few months ago, it’s absolutely brilliant. It’s art.

Brooks Barnes on companies like DreamWorks working with partners on their own tablets:

Entertainment companies have been surprised at how speedily children have taken to tablets, sometimes forgoing TV sets altogether. As a result, DreamWorks, Disney and their competitors are searching for ways to make it easier for users to find their characters on portable devices.

It’s a smart thing to try, but:

The DreamTab is not a toy. Switched into parent mode, it provides roughly the same computing power as an iPad, the companies said.

This seems like a mistake. “Roughly”? I bet it’s nowhere near as powerful at those price points. And people, be they children or adults, will not be fooled. I think they should pick one market and go after it. This is not going to compete with the iPad as an all-around tablet.




I recently purchased the black iPad Air Smart Case and I have to honestly say that this is my first Apple purchase I’ve ever been dissatisfied with. First off charging $79 for a leather case is ridiculous but if you’re willing to pay that then it should be flawless and it’s not. The thing…

I agree with all of this. These Smart Cases are probably the worst Apple product since the first iPad Case, which itself may have been the worst product Apple has ever made (certainly in recent times). 

The Smart Covers are great, the Smart Cases are just really poorly thought-out. Not only is the hinge gap annoying, the fact that you’re almost peeling the entire thing off each time you hold the iPad in one of these cases drives me insane (mainly on the left side, near the hinge). 

The version for the new iPad mini is definitely better, but only because it’s smaller so the gap and peeling is less noticeable. It’s a shame these cases are the only way to get an Apple-produced leather cover on the iPad now. 

Benedict Evans:

But there’s also another proposition, a $75-$150 black generic Chinese Android tablet, half the price of a Nexus 7. That proposition is also selling in huge numbers, but it appears to come with a very different type of use. 

Why are people buying these? What are they being used for? They’re mostly in China (that’s the pink bar above) and emerging markets and in lower income groups in the west. And it seems that they’re being used for a little bit of web, and a  bit of free gaming. Perhaps some book reading. And a LOT of video consumption. In fact, one might argue that for many buyers, these compete with TVs, not iPads, Nexuses and Tabs. But regardless of what they’re being used for, they’re not being used the way iPads are used. In effect, they are the featurephones of tablets. 

Fascinating to think that two products at opposite ends of the same category can be so drastically different.

John Poole:

The iPad Air is over 5x faster than the iPad 2, yet is only $100 more expensive. I do not understand why Apple kept the iPad 2 around, especially at a $399 price point. What market are they targeting?

My only answer to that is the education market. But I can’t pretend to really understand it either. 

More importantly, the iPad 2 has the same internals as the current iPad mini. So the new iPad mini — which has the same internals as the iPad Air — is going to be 5x faster than the current mini. That’s absolutely insane.