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Raúl Solano (M, 41)
Barcelona, ES
Immortal since Dec 17, 2007
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    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    Food for throught :)



    Inspired by Google's Project Glass.


    Remember, don't be evil...
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    Okay, this is an amazing world. Last week, Apple presents his new gadget, a mobile device all in one that is supposed to be the revolution of personal computer. And this supposed it’s true, but, like always, not like the company explains it.



    Recently, I bring my last two desktop computers to my parents and my parents in law, and I could see from the first line which are the handicaps of the traditional personal computing. It was and interesting exercise of empathy, and make aware me about some important issues that will need to be merged with the iPad discussion.

    After a few minutes of the keynote, an outstanding debate starts on internet, and it follows today, and it will follow, be sure, during all the year. It was motivated by people forgetting that a company is always a company, and a company does the best for it, not for the costumers. This is a simply argument, but I will expose a heard topics of this week and simplified my conclusion with a sum of positive and negative points. Come on, would you like to do with me this funny sum up exercise?


    MARKETING
    First of all, all of you heard about the Apple’s aggressive marketing. They know how to make a good product and better how to sale it. But in the way, they found solid values that are universal to any costumer (like user experience, cross platform services…).

    In this case, the claim “The best way to experience the web…” starts the war. And this is a lie, because, the 70% of the internet video and the 75% of internet games couldn’t be seen with the iPad. You couldn’t say this claims and rest like was a simply marketing claim. This is thanks to the omission of include Flash technology on the device.

    Apple’s marketing lies. Negative point.

    Check this graphical representation of how will be the surfing experience without Flash plugin (Thanks to Lee Brimelow)
    *The screen deleted was a porn site.


    TECHNOLOGY
    Continuing with lies, Apple says that was because Flash turns the platforms more unstable, and the recently standard HTML5 can show video on internet too. If you think Flash ONLY brings video to internet, you are a dummy of this world. What about brand experiences, online applications, interactive diagrams, games (talk to the creator of Flow, a Flash game ported lately to PS3), and a lot of new interactive experiences that pushes up internet every day.

    Apple’s technicians lie. Negative point.

    Visit this technical overview of internet technologies to know more about this point.


    CLOSED SYSTEM
    Following with the next point, the operating system of iPad is based on IphoneOS, a light version of and operating system that can do less things. If it does less things, it consumes less energy, and this facts, for a mobile device is a good feature. But the controversy starts with the limitations of the gadget. Every application will be downloaded from Apple’s Application Store cutting the open source way and the free developing for the platform (is knew the particular review process of this Store, with Applies from Google censored). The same case with video contents, and now with the eBooks contents, with a new Store for these (with property DRM system). This is a commercial decision, from a company that is becoming a content delivery one (iTunes is the first store in USA with 5 years old). They make good devices, but the sales on their stores are increasing day after day…

    Apple’s make an Apple’s stores consumption device (more near from a Nintendo DSi than a netbook). Neutral point.
    *Remember that Xbox360, the gaming system from Microsoft, don't have an internet browser.

    This post will help you to understand the philosophy behind the gadget.


    CLOSED DESIGN
    It’s knew that Apple makes their gadgets with a poor offer of expanding ports, and iPad don’t be and exception. It’s strange this expanding capacities on a “computer” (ironic phrase), nowadays with the standard SD cards, the USB pens generally used by the entire consume electronics. And the poor (and expensive) disks capacities weren’t a solution. But, think for a moment that all of this was with a purpose; force the use of a new internet file repository system, or switch the habit of download contents by have access to contents (every new Apple’s device has 3G model), and in fact, it can be sold as a cross-platform service.

    Apple forces customers to buy more ‘add-ons’. Negative point.

    Answers for these missing features.


    USABILITY ISUES
    The iPad is from now, the best and universal democratized device for all the audiences. The interaction of the touch interface is the easier way to introduce computing to anyone. The cognitive experience has no rival. And iPad brings a honey moon to students, medics, commercials, projects leaders, and teachers… any one who need handle information in different contexts.

    The work showed about the iWork suite was impressive, and, demonstrates that we can really work with new kind of applications that improve the creation of content workflows.

    Also, Apple is demonstrating how a huge company can migrate his default suite of applications to a real cross-platform experience (Mac – iPhone - iPad), with very good results.

    Apple brings an unknown experience until now. Positive point.

    Design centric review of the iPad


    SYSTEM AND MULTITASK
    The simplified version of a operating system (install process, uninstall, elimination of folders, refer files to his application…) followed of some studies and habit analysis, probe we aren’t so multitasking like we thought to be becomes on a simplified operation system with less options but more logical and targeted actions.
    The first need of this new system of multitouch interfaces was to eliminate the cross window behaviors. These are concepts very difficult to understand for a foreigner person. One application, one screen is ideal.

    Another reason is that our brains couldn’t do two things at the same time. We are animals that focus our minds on labors, and one after another, we can make complex works.

    Apple doesn’t do a real multitasking behavior, but the system allows playing music and surf the web, work, etc. It’s a kind of controlled or limited multitask. Remember, they don’t try to sell a netbook.

    Apple applies new workflows for computing, ready for all kind of audience. Positive point.

    Post explaining the no multitasking process of our brain.


    TARGET AUDIENCE
    This is the key of these product. Really, enjoy the history; imagine the situation, my father 50 years old want to consume internet at home. He needs a computer, a windows or macOS lessons (those never brings he the ability to install software or some kind of control of his machine, really), an internet plan (install and configure modem) and a desktop! (He needs a big screen). All of these needs, without any installation process solve the launch of iPad. It’s incredible, and a plug & play solution.

    Actually, the 90% of home internet connections are to consume internet, with computers that can do thousand of things more than it were used, with poor mobility, and by the way like 20 years ago. There is and huge blue ocean here.

    Apple makes the question and answers it with a good point of view. Positive point.


    CONCLUSION
    To sum up, 3 negative points in front 3 positive points. 1 neutral point.


    You can buy the next iPad or not (it’s little expensive), it’s your decision, but one thing is true, new kinds of devices are born, and it will revolution the world of personal computing.

    With the Apple’s bet, the market is pushed again, and the personal computing HAS to be redesigned. And it is easier than you can imagine.

    I recommend to companies follow the success of Apple, taking note of their positive points and ignore the negative ones: Make similar devices with more features and cheaper prices.

    And a call for Adobe, audience claims for a simplified interface fully of usability and cross-platform experiences; you are good in standards, find a layer with the operation system and how expand the knowledge of audiences over a range of devices (Steve Jobs proudly says that 75 million people know how iPads works). Do you have something called Air and something like it mobile? Do you support multitouch events? Talk to manufacturers, and bring a unified experience where the user controls his device plenty of happiness (obviously, don’t kill the advanced mode like Apple does.)
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    Since we saw the Microsoft research series, we can feel that the old gigant of software was able to reborn from his ashes. It seems difficult considering the rocking Apple's products like iPod and iPhone, with their carismatic way of excellence on the small details and the user experience.

    The Surface project was a real product delivered to the real world, with a unique value from other companies (yes, microsoft can innovate, and remember how to do it). It was a little revolution because it wasn't focused on the general users, in fact Microsoft gaves free unites to famous people like Madonna, but his price and the dimensions coverts it into a amazing and user friendly brand product. A lot of brand like BWV, Telefonica, Samsung... buys it for displaying his products with a future feeling on it, brought by the way how can the users check his catalogues on this future interactive screens.
    With one product MS creates a new demand, new experience for selling and shows a real product with the toghether computer concept.

    Few months after, and with the poor Zune, the supposed MS iPod killer, the Redmond people unveils another good gadget, the ZuneHD. It was a revised and polished version 2. This is a sexy gadget but not better than the iPhone or iPod Touch. But the best feature, for me, is the user interface, and the continuous evolving touch experience, that brings knowledge to MS and how to become more cognitive and human way with his software. More than you try, more better you will do that.

    Don't forget that iPhone revolutions the old user interfaces than smartphones, but it was simply if you arrive from the computer sector. Otherwise, Apple have a incredible good concepts put on his products, and it had a lot of work, but, i repeat, simply than a smarphone company.

    Last night, Gizmono unveils the Courier Tablet, a new MS product with the touch philosophy pulled to the top.

    Also, the structure of documents and shortcuts (incredible the one thematics sides), the natural and familiar elements of the interface, how they resolve the edit options (feels familiar with the Aurora concept), the touch gestures combined with the natural use of a pencil, the properties screen... all the product is designed to agile the interactions, pushing up the productivity and conectivity, all features assembled on a portable and good designed product. See the video to meet the future.



    As MS Surface, this product is focused on create a new market and, I think, there will be a incredible revolution on the classrooms, with the nowadays implementation of the computer on schools.

    MS know very well the market, and slowly it's designing a good text based interfaces with all liked pastel colours integrated on software. This is a better way than the polished MacOS, wich is very polished but always with the same feeling behind.

    I really think that MS can bring us an amazing user experience and the Courier concept can be the one.

    P.D.: for more possibilities of interaction, you can check this early concept.
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    Inspiring video from Microsoft Office Labs published last week. It's is very hopefully to see how Microsoft is encouraging the clean and minimal UI, with a selected colour for every field. But, like always, 2019 is so far to see it in action, more if you think about the last devices with multitouch screens and Flashlite powered. Enjoy :)



    From I stated something.
    Tue, Mar 3, 2009  Permanent link
    Categories: future, devices, UX, UI
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