by Bill French on 19/04/10 at 5:00 am
It’s been about ten days since the iPad arrived and almost 90 days since it was announced. In the weeks leading up to iPad’s debut, there was, and continues to be, an abundance of speculation concerning what the iPad was good for and what might emerge as its “killer app”.
When iPhone shipped, it’s “dock” revealed what Apple intended the device to be used for – email, phone, web, music and video. With these four functions, you could pretty much get an idea what this new device would do for the average user. Early on, few saw iPhone as a tool capable of shape-shifting into a business appliance. The record speaks for itself; iPhone has emerged as a highly respected business tool capable of running powerful applications with a form-factor conducive to achieving remarkable productivity and connected performance.
When I’m approached in coffee shops and airports about my iPad, one of the more common reactions I encounter is that iPad is simply a large iPod Touch; a big iPhone that can’t make a phone call. This sentiment also comes from other iPad owners who, for whatever reason, do not understand the conceptual departure that started with iPhone and continues to a far greater extent with iPad. This quote sums it up:
Long ago, Steve Jobs and Apple designers recognized that the future of mobile computing must fundamentally change. The device itself must yield to the intended user experience – whatever that may be. When an iPad app is launched, a transitive process occurs, taking the user on a
journey far away from the device and deep into an experience that is focused like a laser on the subject intended by the application designer. iPad performs this process magically – the device quickly falls away from your consciousness and in its place emerges an experience. – Bill French, Sr Editor, iPhoneCTO
When you launch an app on iPhone or iPod Touch, it too achieves this unexpected but
welcomed transformation to a point, but not nearly to the cheap viagra online degree that iPad does. The iPad experience accentuates the apps that run on it. In this key regard and many others, iPad is very different from iPhone.
iPad is able to achieve this because it is such a simple physical design. There’s nothing to get in the way of the application’s intended experience; no USB ports, no buttons, not even a seam between the glass and the bevel. iPad is elegantly designed to get out of the way.
The Killer App for iPad
When the first “smart phones” arrived on the mobile computing scene many years ago – perhaps more than a decade, everyone asked “what is the killer app for this new breed of devices?” Given the state of the art, it turned out that the killer app was a phone call.
As John Gruber comments…
The iPad hardware and OS are profoundly humble — they put all the focus on whatever app it is that is open.
The killer app for iPad is really two things – the App Store because it provides the pathway to experiences that shape the device into our contextual needs, and the device itself because it steps aside to allow apps to take center stage. Indeed, the killer app is a brilliant alchemy of hardware and services that brings life to every manner of mobile computing solution.
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