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It's a magical device...

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January 27, 2010 – Comments (4)

... says liver-snatching CEO holding up a more expensive iPhone that does less and won't fit in your pocket.

This has to be the first Apple product in a long time that had zero suprises. Everything about it was leaked beforehand, including the trial balloon, $1,000 price tag leaked to the Wall Street Journal -- which Jobs amusingly tried to use as a straw man to claim that "pundits" had over-estimated the thing's price.

And no one will mention it now, but the hilarious wish list compiled by bloggers and naive tech writers was pretty unfullfilled. What happened to:

Free 3G? A video-capable e-ink screen? Solar recharge? OK, those were always fiction, and only morons predicted them, but still, those were floating around.

Also missing: any sort of stylus-capable interface whatsover. This doesn't surprise me, actually, because text-recognition with tablet computing, though very good now, can still be really frustrating, and it takes a decent deal of processing overhead, as well as willingness on the part of the user to write a few dozen sentences that let the computer get to know what your scribbles look like. A tablet running a tiny processor wouldn't be great at it, and the usual mis-reads would soon have had everyone crying "Newton!" Apple wouldn't want to risk that.

But instead, they've got this big internet pad with a keypad too big to double-thumb, too small (and, when it sits in your lap) likely too clumsy for reasonable typing. People are going to grow weary pretty quickly of typing urls on this thing, let alone anything longer than that. And the lack of a digitized screen with a Wacom-type stylus means this thing has no use at all as a graphic arts device. "Imagine what an art student could do with this?" With an input device that can't work with anything more precise than a little finger? Not much, unless that art student does nothing but finger paint.

But hey, it does offer mono audio. (Read the specs.)

Remember Apple TV? That was supposed to change how the universe watched television and how video was delivered. After the obligatory orgy of praise, the world yawned because it didn't do anything better than existing devices. Neither does this.

4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On January 27, 2010 at 11:22 PM, XMFSmashy (99.89) wrote:

Looks like Apple's working on that solar-powered battery. Not ready for prime time, I guess.

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#2) On January 28, 2010 at 2:16 AM, Lienbuster (95.39) wrote:

The ipad is a magical device, I can't wait to see rappers wear around their necks on a chain while playing their own videos or alternatively set the display to LED clock mode;

Perhaps a new app to program it to automatically enter "Frisbee mode" when your signal drops in the middle of an important call;

Someone could develop an app to turn it into a fly zapper, that's magical isn't it?

Any other ideas?

 

 

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#3) On January 28, 2010 at 7:45 AM, TMFBent (99.81) wrote:

Of course a solar-powered battery isn't ready for prime time. One look at portable charging devices (their size and expense and the time they need to charge something as small as a phone) shows how useful they are for everyday power: not very.

My wife got me one, and it's a fun gadget, but unless there's a fundamental breaktrough in solar efficiency and batteries that can change by a factor of 2 or 4 the charging power or half or quarter charge time, nothing's coming of this.

Solar arrays the size of an iPod would be laughably low-power. Current devices with similar (or larger) areas of solar cells take 12 hours or more to gather enough juice to charge an iPod.

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#4) On January 28, 2010 at 4:48 PM, Bkeepr100 (< 20) wrote:

Paper batteries...no joke.  If I remember it right a new type of silver oxide paint and paper based battery has been found to work in the lab.  A sheet of 8" X 11" coated paper can power a sixty watt light bulb for several hours on a single charge.   

This was just up on www.sciencenews.org a few weeks ago. They report on the cutting edge science. Report this comment

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