iPad: No Flash, No Porn

TheFlashBlog via Daring Fireball: Lee Brimelow posted up a bunch of screen images of the iPad. There are ten images and all of them have one thing in common: a blue square Lego piece with a question, which is the icon when Flash isn’t working. Of the ten, I personally use two, of which one is Hulu: my favorite way of watching TV. I guess I won’t be watching TV via Hulu on an iPad. But that’s not what got me to type up this post. Lee also had a screen image of Flash not working on a porn site. This is what he said responding to a reader’s comment:

I’m not playing up any porn angle. But it is HUGE part of the web and is almost entirely Flash-based.

I don’t like porn and I think it is one of many vices that have a materially negative impact on our understanding of what healthy relationships between the two sexes are and should be. So, if what Lee is saying is true, then the absence of Flash on the iPad is a big plus for many of us who want to stay clear of porn on the Internet.

Dell Mini 5 Tablet Prototype

Dell’s Mini 5 tablet prototype has a model number M01M. The 5-inch tablet sports a 800 x 480 pixel format in landscape, Android 1.6, a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, 5MP camera with dual LED flash and a front-facing camera. Next to the iPhone the M01M looks quite serious, in a very good way. Let’s hope the M01M looks seriously good when turned on. Source: PC Online via Engadget

Dell Adamo Admire: $999

Dell’s Adamo Admire is a very sexy machine. The specs: 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo, Windows 7 Home 64-bit, 2GB 800MHz DDR3 Dual-Channel RAM, 128GB SSD. And the price of just $999 is, well, quite tempting. Source: Dell via Engadget

Apple A4 CPU

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber in “The iPad Big Picture” on Apple’s A4 CPU used in the iPad:

… from what I saw today, Apple doesn’t just own and control a mobile CPU, they own and control the hands-down best mobile CPU in the world. … They’re not getting into the CPU business for kicks, they’re getting into it to kick ass.

I have little doubt an Apple-designed CPU will be used in the next iPhone and eventually the next MacBooks. At that point the iPhone will be considerably faster than any other smartphone and last significantly longer. Ditto for the MacBooks.

Apple iPad: Could Be Better

Apple unveiled its long-awaited and much-rumored tablet: iPad. My friend Yung thought the name was not the best choice but I am fairly certain that Apple’s iPad will become a revolutionary product and change the way we interact with a computer.

Not Just In Between: With the addition of the keyboard the iPad has genes designed to not just slide in between the iPhone and a MacBook but to eventually replace the MacBook. I think third party peripheral makers will take that 30-pin connection and add to the iPad all the functionality that it is currently missing relative to a MacBook: SD slot, USB ports, FireWire, Ethernet, etc. Apple’s decision to offer the iPad Keyboard Dock makes it fairly clear that you should be using the iPad not only when you’re mobile but when you’re at your desk, as a full-blown computer.

The iPad can do a lot of things but I’ll focus on the experience of reading books as many have expected this tablet to revolutionize the publishing industry.

Reading Books: The experience of reading an e-book using any e-reader with an E Ink technology screen is less than ideal. Here’s the simple reason why: you click a button to get to the next page and then the display does a funky turn-to-black-and-then-show-text maneuver, which takes a while. To me that is simply unacceptable and far from the experience of reading a real book. And the reason why we accept that experience is because we get to do that for a long long time, much longer than with any other device like a netbook or a notebook. I don’t need my e-reader to last a week or two or three. There are power sockets everywhere: at home, at work, at cafes, on planes, in cars, at bookstores even. If I could trade less battery power with a significantly better reading experience, I would without hesitation. The iPad gives me that option. Take a close look at the way pages turn on the iPad. You can see this in the video on Apple’s site. There is a certain average speed at which we turn books or magazines when we read. The folks at Apple nailed this when designing how the page should turn: the page turns almost exactly at a pace that a real page would turn. Simply brilliant.

I do think the iPad will provide a much better reading experience than any other e-book reader available today. Also consider that Apple used one of the most advanced TFT LCDs: IPS (In-Plane Switching). To get a bit geeky here, IPS provides a very wide viewing angle with very little shift in contrast and therefore color. This is an important feature since experiences on the iPad will be shared with others from time to time.

iPhone Connection: I think the close connection to the iPhone made the iPad less than it could have been. I understand the importance of leveraging the iPhone platform. There are thousands of developers and 140,000 apps, etc. But I think the buttons are too small for a device that is almost 10 inches. The screen even if it was entirely populated by those square icons would seem less-than-ideal. The problem I think is that the iPhone is a at most a two-finger touch experience while the much larger iPad is a five-finger or a whole-hand touch experience. Let me explain using Google Earth as an example.

On the iPhone something like a Google Earth is manipulated at most by two fingers. On the iPad I would want to use my entire hand and in a way grab the virtual earth and rotate it instead of using just a finger or two. I would also want to have a whole hand gesture that zooms in and out.

Five-Finger Touch Experience: I think the iPad could have had a more revolutionary UI that makes use of all five fingers. I tried to explain this to a very good friend over coffee at a local McDonald’s. I don’t think I did a good-enough job and I don’t think I could do much better here with mere words. Imagine being able to manipulate objects on the 9.7-inch multitouch LCD using gestures with all five fingers. The objects would be bigger and multi-dimensional so that movement of any of the five fingers would trigger a movement in the object, or your viewpoint. I could refer to the display that Tom Cruise used in The Minority Report but that’s not quite right since we’re talking about a glass surface that we actually touch. The curved transparent displays in Avatar isn’t quite the right example either. The best example might be the photo application within iPad that allows you to peak and/or explode all the files into a X-Y grid using two fingers. The idea that I’m trying to convey would involve bigger icons with the ability for you to use all five fingers and peak at different angles and at varying levels of “peak”. I hope that makes sense.

All-in-all I think the iPad is the best hardware and software work done on a slate platform. The tablet PC championed by Microsoft so many years ago has been almost perfected by Apple today. I look forward to purchasing the iPad and enjoying the transition from today’s computing to tomorrow’s. But I’m also a bit disappointed at the less-than-revolutionary UI that is probably due to the need to leverage the existing momentum tied to the iPhone.

Welcome iPad!

The iPad.

Our most advanced technology in a magical & revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.

It looks like a larger version of the iPhone. A lot of the multitouch gestures that Steve Jobs is demonstrating are akin to those that we are used to on the iPhone and iPod touch.

Virtual keyboards are here to stay. The virtual keyboard on the iPad looks simple and easy to use. I’m just wondering where you rest your palm. But maybe there’s a new way of touch typing.

Lag free. There seems to be absolutely no lag from app to app on the iPad and even when zooming in and out quickly from its maps app with full details.

Some tech details:

  • 9.7-inch IPS TFT LCD display: the ultimate in TFT LCD technology, IPS (In-Plane Switching).
  • 0.5-inch thick: This is really thin!
  • 1.5 pounds: And incredibly light.
  • Capacitive multitouch.
  • 1GHz Apple A4 CPU.
  • 16GB – 64GB flash storage.
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Speaker, Microphone, 30-in Connector
  • Accelerometer, Compass

Apple A4 CPU: And no where else will you see a tablet featuring this CPU.

Battery Life: 10 hours of watching videos. An incredible month of standby time. Note: An iPad has been to Tokyo and back. Is it already being mass manufactured?

Apps: Can run all iPhone apps unmodified out of the box. You can “pixel double” the iPhone apps to take advantage of the entire screen on the iPad. The iPhone SDK supports development for the iPad.

The New York Times: A special app for the iPad. Layout is just like the standard Paper. There are drop-down contextual menus for such things as resizing the text.

Brushes: A paint app with layers that looks pretty impressive.

iBooks: Apple’s e-book reader app. Has a virtual bookshelf. Connects to a new iBook Store iBookstore. Partners are Penguin, Macmillion, Simon & Shuster, Harper Collins, Hachett Book Group, etc. E-books actually look like real books and the page-turn animation is cool. And the e-books are in the open-standard ePub format.

iWork for iPad: The UI is completely redone for the iPad. Looks like the iPad could be used as a creation tool as well as a consumption tool. $9.99 price for each iWork app. That means Pages is $9.99, Numbers is $9.99 and Keynote is $9.99. Overall a fantastic price.

USB Sync: Just like the iPhone and iPod touch the iPad syncs over USB.

Connectivity: All models will have WiFi and some will have 3G. The 3G models will have two plans:

  • $14.99 for 250MB of data per month.
  • $29.99 for unlimited of data per month.

And it’s AT&T. You get to use AT&T WiFi hotspots for free. All iPad 3G models are unlocked and use new GSM microSIMs. And no contracts. Hurray! International deals around June/July.

Pricing: And this is the most amazing part! The WiFi-only models:

  • $499 for 16GB
  • $599 for 32GB
  • $699 for 64GB

The iPad 3G model pricing:

  • $629 for 16GB
  • $729 for 32GB
  • $829 for 64GB

Availability: WiFi models will be available in 60 days while the 3G models will be available in 90 days.

Peripherals: There is the regular dock and a keyboard dock. And a case. Looks like the iPad will be replacing the lower-end segment of the notebook and the high-end segment of the netbook markets.

Questions:

  • Can I tether the iPhone to the iPad? It would be redundant to have two data plans from AT&T especially when the iPhone will almost always be next to the iPad.

Air New Zealand: Sleep Lying Down in Couch

Air New Zealand has remodeled a Boeing 777 to include 11 rows of Skycouches, which are Recaro-designed cabins that fold flat into a (short) bed. This requires the purchase of the third seat for the couple for an additional 50% of the cost. Not all that bad considering you actually get to sleep on a flat Recaro surface without having to pay for Business or First Class. You’ll also be greeted with fairly-large LCDs, power sockets, USB ports and iPod connections in every coach seat. I wish all 777s were outfitted with Skycouches, especially on Singapore Air’s SFO to ICN flights. Source: Gadling via Engadget

HTC Supersonic

Whether an actual picture of HTC’s Supersonic or merely a render, HTC’s Android smartphone headed for Sprint looks quite good. And the lack of the idiotic ball found on the Nexus One is a relief. Looking at the Supersonic I wish Apple’s iPhone was a bit more rectangular at the corners, but not as rectangular as the Droid.

Some of the leaked specs include: a 4.3-inch display, WiMAX and Sense. The 4.3-inch display is of the OLED variety. This OLED is 0.6 inches larger than 3.7-inch OLED used in the Nexus One, but the number of pixels should be the same at 800 x 480. Though I have some quibbles about that.

I would prefer  physical buttons instead of the touch versions. Do we really need four buttons? Source: Androphones via Engadget

McGraw-Hill CEO Terry McGraw: Texbooks on Apple’s Tablet

Regarding rumors about McGraw-Hill’s textbooks being available on Apple’s tablet (2m 50s):

Yeah, Very exciting. Yes, they’ll make their announcement tomorrow on this one. We have worked with Apple for quite a while. And the Tablet is going to be based on the iPhone operating system and so it will be transferable. So what you are going to be able to do now — we have a consortium of e-books. And we have 95% of all our materials that are in e-book format on that one. So now with the tablet you’re going to open up the higher education market, the professional market. The tablet is going to be just really terrific.

The tablet is based on the iPhone OS: Not surprising but interesting that McGraw spilled the beans on CNBC. I am certain that McGraw-Hill’s textbooks will not be prominently marketed on Apple’s tablet nor will Apple be working with the company on stuff requiring a tight lip. Also interesting is the possibility that Apple’s tablet might be called simply Tablet. Source: MacRumors via Daring Fireball