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Blogs Is the iPad the future of computing?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 31 Dec 2010.

  1. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Several companies have been chasing this holy grail, Asus amongst them. The problem has been that they approached it from the wrong end: they designed a desktop unit that had to be able to function with the mobile constraints of a tablet, rather than a tablet that can scale up to function as a more powerful and flexible desktop unit. Hence the love for Windows 7 which is totally unsuited to a mobile device.

    Enter Google Chrome, which happily works on both because it is a lean OS, relying on the heavy lifting to be done on the cloud. Microsoft is thinking in the same direction. Apple is slower to catch on because its focus is on a different type of on-line service at the moment, but when it realises that all it needs to do is shift that focus a bit... Competitors beware.

    We could have the best if all worlds. Thin clients of office drones running a Google Chrome-type OS with a local cloud/on-line service infrastructure being managed on more elaborate hardware by the company's IT department.
     
  2. Dietlama

    Dietlama New Member

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    I would even go as far as to say that people who are in the Bit-Tech readership will see their computers replace or at least augmented by the iPad. The future desktop replacement that evolves from the current product will be something unlike the desktops we are familiar with today. So, I don't think that a mouse and keyboard are necessarily the only answer to the content creation problem. Would I want to write a novel in the current Pages app with the current keyboard implementation? Absolutely not. However, the problem there is with typing accuracy, speed, and precision of text selection. It is. More likely that a better method for a touch computer is possible than to see Apple (or hopefully anyone) remain attached to the mouse and keyboard.

    Also, to those who cite the "gorilla arm" situation of a touchscreen desktop, consider this: a touchscreen is actually more comfortable for both reading and manipulation if it is set at an angle, lectern style. This negates the reach up and touch problem.
     
  3. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    That's what the word "tablet" used to mean. It was a laptop with a screen that flipped around to act like a pad. They've been around for at least a decade, but never really caught on. Hopefully with the new pads becoming popular they might make a comeback.

    My issue with the smartphones is size. For me, they're too small to browse the web and something large enough to use as a computer is too big to carry around in a case on your belt. I have a smartphone, but all I use it for is to call, text, and occasionally take a picture. I can't imagine trying to browse the web, much less try to write a long email, on that thing.

    Something else we haven't mentioned, but is driving uptake in this area is e-readers. They're pads with very simple OSs that only do a few things, but are stable and do them well. Many of them already browse the web, and so a few more applications (and color screens) and we're pretty much at the device we're talking about.

    I don't see MS ever being a player in this market. They simpley come with too much baggage in terms of customer expectations. We all know what Windows is, a simplified version of Windows would be considered gimped. For this to really catch on is going to require a new OS that people associate with this philosophy of "limited, closed, and just works" from the outset.
     
  4. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    Have you seen the Asus EEE Pad 121? Bit did a story on it a few months ago, and you can find my thoughts and some nice pictures at http://elepedus.blogspot.com
     
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Yeah, that is all very tasty, but:
    -- it hasn't been released yet (or should I say: still?)
    -- in fact, the 'prototype' is a mock-up, not a working item;
    -- even Asus' "working" tablet prototypes showed a mocked-up desktop, not a functional one.

    Basically, issues like performance, battery life and cost still have not been worked out. There is a reason why Apple chose the path it did. It did not simply decide to recreate a MacBook Air with a touch screen but without keyboard, which it could have done very easily, as OSX has native handwriting recognition support. The reason Apple didn't is because it would have had a dismal battery life and sky-high price. People would have quite reasonably decided that for that price they might as well get a decent laptop instead of a crippled tablet.

    Tablets are supposed to sit between smartphones and laptops --not just in function, but also in price. They are supposed to be an improved version of a netbook more suited to specific tasks, and a cheaper alternative to a full-fledged laptop that would not be used to its full potential if used only for these same tasks --which, moreover, it would not be ideally suited to either. Perhaps Google will get this too and the next Chrome release may be on a Tablet.
     
  6. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    Once again, you're right, Nexxo. When I first heard of the EP121 I was really excited and that's why I blogged about it, but that was over 6 months ago and the device still isn't out. They say it should come in q1 of 2011, but I suspect it will be too little, too late.
     
  7. DarkBanana

    DarkBanana New Member

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    "iPad Maxi"

    ... or a MaxiPad! (sorry it had to be said)

    I normally feel Steve Jobs is far too dictatorial but after getting an iPad as a Christmas/graduation present, I have to say it's far more useful than I thought it would be and could easily replace my laptop.

    If you could dock it to a keyboard and mouse, I suspect it could easily act as a computer for 95% of people.
     
  8. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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  9. Lazy_Amp

    Lazy_Amp Entry AMD Engineer

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    I'd still need 2+ monitors to work effectively :\ But then again I understand that watching internet videos is the most taxing thing most people do at work.

    I realize that BitTech editors and readership aren't too high on cloud computing, but yes, that does allow users of these tablet desktops to supplement poor performance at times with some additional power.
     
  10. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    It even supports handwriting recognition, although it's not part of the core install.
     
  12. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    iOS is just an OS as any other OS basically, so pointer-support is something that can be easily implemented as seen allready.
    The question is, if there's a demand for it and when enough people demand it, then Apple sure will implement it natively at some point, like they've implemented the Bluetooth-keyboard support with iOS 4.0.

    A jailbroken iOS can be pretty much used like a usual, but very basic MacOS. It does support external storages, voice-control, handwriting, etc etc. And as jailbreaking is basically nothing else then unlocking possible features, well... you got the idea I guess ;)
     
  13. Snips

    Snips I can do dat, giz a job

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    This topic is now offically dead. In it's current state the iPad would not fill this void (the void wasn't there in the first place). Basically, if the void appeared then more than likely, there would be a Microsoft(cheaper) alternative which would be adopted by the business community, which leaves this Apple lovein mute anyway.

    So what was the point of this topic again?
     
  14. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    The point of the topic is about having a slim and simple OS running on low-power hardware in the future that can handle most of the tasks the majority of people do with a PC (e.g. office-suite, internet/eMail, media playback).

    This topic isn't specifically about the iPad, which still lot's of people don't understand apparently.
     
  15. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    And whether people understand or not, and like it or not, that is where the future is going. Inexorably. And it will be Google (Android and Chrome), Apple (iOS) and Linux variants (Meego and Ubuntu Mobile) that will be best placed for it, not Microsoft which pitches to a different market. Pity, because it has some good ideas in the area of cloud connectivity.
     
  16. sinner666999

    sinner666999 New Member

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    For simple computing purposes like email and office software I think an iPad would work just fine, for most. Where the problem could/would come in is with people in my line of work: call center. Where it is proven having dual screens increases productivity. Having just one 10" to 15" screen would actually slow me down and not allow me to do a lot of the multi-tasking that is required while on the phone with a customer. For the average desk jockey reading/creating documents and emails it would be fine.

    Heck, I'd be estatic if we ditched the computer case and went with some kind of all-in-one plus an additional monitor. Touchscreen? No thanks.
     
  17. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    Yeah, it's not going to be the right answer for everyone. I'm with you, I couldn't live without my 3 monitors, even just for web browsing. Then again, we're not the people who would benefit from this kind of tech, so that's OK.

    Something that I think is getting lost in this discussion is the fact that it isn't about us. We're not the ones who would benefit from this kind of thing. I think this gets to be one of the problems is that people who make OSs are geeks and think like geeks and so want it to do everything under the sun (including play Crysis). The OS we're talking about here needs to do about 10 things, have the possibility of doing more, but is fundamentally limited. It needs to make sacrifices in order to be secure and user proof. Once again, this is the OS for grandma and the office drones, not for us.

    EDIT: Welcome to the forums, BTW :thumb:
     
  18. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    It isn't about us. It isn't even about the iPad. It is about having leaner, specific-tasks-geared closed garden OS. That would not limit the number of monitors used. It would not have to be touch screen only. You can still have all the input and output devices you want.

    It seems to me that this presents a paradigm shift that some people taking part in this debate appear unable to conceive of --or perhaps they just did not read the article. You don't have to think it's a good idea, but you have to be able to understand it to challenge it in a meaningful way.
     
  19. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    As with everything Apple, it's a question of price/performance.
    An easier-to-use system would be preferable, but would you buy it at twice the price of a "normal" one?
    For basic, or home use for most people, a bit bigger, beefier Pad would be fine, and yes, probably a lot easier to use than any current notebook. (provided a keyboard is used)
    Actually, the current iPad would perform as well or better than your average netbook now.
    I'd like one, really.

    But as long as I can buy two netbooks for one iPad, I'l learn to live with the downsides, thank you.

    And I don't suppose a larger, more capable device would have a better price/performance ratio.
     
  20. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    Still the question is not about Apple and their price-politics. I'ts about the OS in general (including Google, Android, Windows, Apple, etc) and how an OS will look like in the future. The hardware is totally uninteresting at this point.
     
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