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. 

Speaking of Microsoft’s Frank Shaw, he’s back…:

Seems like the RDF (Reality Distortion Field) typically generated by an Apple event has extended beyond Cupertino.


But you wouldn’t know that from reading some of the coverage I’ve read today. Perhaps attendees at Apple’s event were required to work on iOS devices that don’t allow them to have two windows open for side-by-side comparisons, so let me help them out by highlighting the following facts…

Yes, the tens of millions of people buying iPads are simply brainwashed. That’s clearly what’s going on here.

It seems almost unbelievable that Shaw would write this post on The Official Microsoft Blog, and yet, here it is. It’s a fascinating post because it’s a mixture of pure marketing (“I have to say, I’m really excited for a 1080p Lumia with a third column on my start screen..”) and actual reality distortion. 

But it’s hard to get riled up about such posts any more. Given Microsoft’s position in the tablet space, this whole thing just reads as sort of sad. (And yes, a little Baghdad Bob-y.)

Mark Glassman:

As a business unit, the iPad is huge. The device accounted for $31 billion in revenue in Apple’s most recent fiscal year. That’s more than the annual sales of 84 percent of members of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.

It’s easy to cast aside the iPad because the iPhone business is so much larger. But it’s also easy to forget that the iPhone business is one of the best and biggest businesses ever. Period. Bigger than all of Microsoft, for example. But the iPad, at any other company, would be the marquee product. And I’m sure we’ll hear more about that next week.