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Apple's tablet will be more than a niche product - report - Page 5

post #161 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It's GOT to do more. That just doesn't seem to be enough.

You're right. Just depends on how Apple wants to market/position the thing, really. We won't know until they make an announcement.
post #162 of 239
I hope these items come out soon. I just bought Jan 10/ calls. I love this billion doller company. I only use macs, and iphones. Awsome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chintan100 View Post

I want one right now!!!
post #163 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It's GOT to do more. That just doesn't seem to be enough.

It has to be a good book reader. It has to do Word and Excel editing, in a more than phone basic way. It must read PDFs. At least, it must do everything the iPhone does, but better, and more sophisticatedly.

But how does the iPhone interface translate to a device this size? I don't know. It was designed for a small screen. OS X's GUI was designed for a large screen.

Somehow, the two must meld.

The problem I see is that Apple will then have a third GUI, and possibly a third set of app specs. That's not good.

However, OS X does have a simple interface as well. Maybe that could be used. But which programs would it run? Could it run both?

Sigh. Too many questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

Why would an Apple security specialist, of all people, risk his job by telling you about the tablet? And why would Apple send out a "blast" to all employees when not even the majority of Apple employees would usually know about a major new Apple product until it is officially unveiled?

Hey Melgross! You didn't answer the question. Is Apple throwing out their famed security out the window at the last second or what?
post #164 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I had a very interesting conversation with an Apple security specialist this morning.

I had my itunes account broken into, and two $50 gift certificates were bought. I got all of that straightened out through Apple's IM service a week ago, though they said a security specialist in fraud will contact me.

He did so this morning.

In the course of discussion, and checking our accounts, I mentioned that my daughter in England used a Toshiba netbook. He said that he could see that she had a Windows machine. I said that she only wanted something light for internet, Skype, IM and such, as well as being able to use iTunes for her iPhone.

Then he asked me if I knew that Apple was coming out with a small machine for primarily net use. I asked which device that was, and if he meant the rumored tablet. He said yes.

I asked if he meant that he knew that Apple was coming out with that, and again, he said yes.

I asked him how he knew, and he said that Apple had sent out a BLAST to employees. I said that it sounded odd that they would do that now. but he seemed convinced. He said that it was partly in response to some Dell tablet-like device that was supposed to be out, or coming out for about $399, but he agreed Apple's would cost more.

Honestly, I don't know what to make of that. I was in partial shock at his statements.

I have two long time friends at Apple. One is in software engineering management, and the other is in hardware engineering management. Sometimes, they will give me some hints of a product or service, but will never tell me directly, even though I promise I won't write about it, and they know I wouldn't. So this was a particular shock.

I've asked them, and have not gotten even a hint. Now I'll have to contact them again.

While on the one hand, I hope this guy knows, I'm not so sure he's gotten his information correct, though he insisted. He said that Apple sent the BLST out in the form of an RSS. He really did sound like he knew.

What's more interesting is that he mentioned this "information" to you unprompted... I think the Apple Bureau of Investigations has your number.

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post #165 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post

Hmm, an Apple Cintiq type tablet would be interesting. It would have to have a wider audience than "it's for artists" though. But if it was for this purpose, are you seeing it as a remote graphics tablet for your desktop Mac, or as a single device that you would install Adobe CS4 onto? The minimum system for CS4 is a G5 with 1GB RAM and 10GB of disk space, if this tablet is a low energy Atom or ARM device, is it going to be able to run CS4 (or CS5 when that comes out) well enough?

I do think a graphics tablet Mac is a good idea, maybe it would be more possible with some combination of Inkwell, Wacom drivers if they can get them as standard, and Back To My Mac remote services.

Who would such a device serve best?
-Artists, designers
-Musicians (as a control surface)
-Students (replacement for textbooks and other computer)
-Medical professionals (replacement for paper-based forms, and possibly even iPod touches)
-Anyone needing a web-connected pad-sized computer with no moving parts

Still, I don't think it's gonna happen.

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post #166 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I know a bit about iPhone development and in the case of the emulator you are building x86 binaries.

In any event if they go to a larger device you wouldn't need emulation because the apps that follow Apples guide lines should work fine on a device with a larger viewing area. Now that does not mean the app wouldn't waste pixels on the bigger screen just that it would run.

It is impractical to run iPhone/iPod touch apps on a larger screen in emulation, even if that screen is multi-touch capable. For one thing, current App Store apps are designed and built to run optimally on small devices. We're not just talking about the screen representation here, we're talking about ergonomics. Try to use a small screen within a larger screen running these apps... it would be suboptimal and thus, completely un-Apple. Not happening. If Apple does anything close to this, I'll eat my tennis shoes. And I don't anticipate having to replace my footwear any time soon.

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post #167 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Are their artists or designeres here that have experience using a finger-operated capacitance-based touch screens as the tool for creative work? Wacom products have had non-trivial success. But they've never really been mainstream even among artsists, mostly because of how divorced the input is from feedback. Cheap touch sensitive screens and GUIs tailored for them have the potential to revolutionize the manner in which people tend to use things like Adobe CS.

However, I'm not sure that finger based touch-screens will offer enough precision on a tablet sized screen. It seems likely that a stylus would still be more desirable in the same manner that painters tend to use brushes instead of their fingers. In other words, I see multi-touch as more useful for widget interaction and crude manipulation of onscreen objects, not so much as a precise tool for photoshop or illustrator users. That is unless the touch screen in question is huge enough that our fingers are precise in comparison to the total screen area.

Not to discount your daughter's desire for a tablet Melgross. But was she envisioning stylus or finger based interaction? If finger based, do you see this as an appropriate fit, the right tool for the job?

Touch screens are woefully inadequate for precision work. A stylus would be necessary. The finger is far too "squishy" for accuracy below 50 or so pixels in diameter (and that's even according to Apple's own Human Interface Guidelines).

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post #168 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

Why would an Apple security specialist, of all people, risk his job by telling you about the tablet? And why would Apple send out a "blast" to all employees when not even the majority of Apple employees would usually know about a major new Apple product until it is officially unveiled?

I have no idea. That's why I said I was shocked by what he said.

But I can't simply ignore it either in light of the almost daily revelations we're getting from reliable news sources that are even giving us specific parts from specific suppliers.

There's too much going on here to ignore.
post #169 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

Not necessarily. A third GUI isn't a big deal for Apple to deal with. It's all the same OS anyway.

It's too much for developers, and too much for consumers.

Do you really want to deal with three GUIs? I don't. If you're a developer, do you want to have to develop yet another front end? I doubt it.

Apple has always been about simplicity. This would surely mess that concept up.

It doesn't mean they wouldn't do it.
post #170 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It's too much for developers, and too much for consumers.

Do you really want to deal with three GUIs? I don't. If you're a developer, do you want to have to develop yet another front end? I doubt it.

Apple has always been about simplicity. This would surely mess that concept up.

It doesn't mean they wouldn't do it.

Rest assured, the guy you talked to probably got all of his info from AppleInsider. There's no reason for him to get an internal e-mail outlining future product releases and strategy unless they're trying to catch him leaking information. UNLESS... Steve really is no longer in charge of the company and they are starting to become more open about these things due to their own jockeying for position within the company... never a good thing, and it will only lead to position and titles being more important than the work being done.

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post #171 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I know a bit about iPhone development and in the case of the emulator you are building x86 binaries.

In any event if they go to a larger device you wouldn't need emulation because the apps that follow Apples guide lines should work fine on a device with a larger viewing area. Now that does not mean the app wouldn't waste pixels on the bigger screen just that it would run.


Yeah I'd complain for sure. For one why would you mix two profoundly different user interfaces? Second there has yet to be a sound argument leveled to justify Mac OS/X on the device. Third it wouldn't be yet another OS, rather it is just an enhanced vesion of Touch. Functionally it would be like Mac OS/X and Mac OS/X Server edition, same core OS but with additional software thrown in. On an iPhone based tablet this could be additional APIs for printing, new controls or multitasking support. This additional stuff is entirely up to Apple and their desire to control the product.

In any event since iPhone OS, as we know it today, was derived from development work for a tablet type device it can be assumed that the tablets interface will look a lot like iPhone.



Dave

One question would be where Apple wants to take this. Is it an extention of the computer line, or the handheld line?

I think thats a difficult thing to decide. Obviously, the market for Apple's handheld devices is much bigger in an individual device sales way. But extending Apple's computer sales down through this device would also be a good bet.

For one, it would raise their marketshare for OS x and computer sales significantly. It would extend their OS X sales profits, as they could actually sell OS X to this device as an upgrade instead of giving it away if they wanted to.

Then also, their iLife and iWork software would also run (assuming it was x86 compatible of course).

I can think of lots of advantage to doing it this way, and also allowing the handheld apps to also work.

Sure, Apple may have something entirely different in mind, but this is what a lot of people would want.

I've spoken to a bunch of people (including myself, my daughter, and surprisingly, my wife) who would just love to have an Apple netbook type of device, tablet or not, even if it costs more.
post #172 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Touch screens are woefully inadequate for precision work. A stylus would be necessary. The finger is far too "squishy" for accuracy below 50 or so pixels in diameter (and that's even according to Apple's own Human Interface Guidelines).

I completely agree, but was trying to frame the topic in a less know-it-all kind of manner. But what the hell... here it goes.

I've seen quite a few artists/designers and wanna-be artists/designers pine away for a tablet. Upon getting one, they're gleeful and show everyone how great it is. A few weeks or months later, that same tablet is in a drawer, never to be used again. Turns out, a mouse is still optimal for most computer tasks that need precision 2D interaction.

Granted, the tablets we're discussing here are touch-screens, not just drawing tablets. Yet I'm still of the mindset that multi-touch and updated GUIs won't do much to change the human factors involved with the manipulation of on-screen objects. Third parties have long offered services to convert powerbooks or macbook pros to touch screen capable. Yet they've never caught on because using a mouse is simpler for most tasks, including those in Adobe and CAD programs which already integrate reasonably well with stylus based interaction.

What are those human factors I vaguely referred to? For multi-touch, the first that comes to mind is the fact that human visual acuity is much higher than the precision possible via a finger directly on a touch screen. Things will always be displayed at a resolution finer than can be manipulated via finger tips.
post #173 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

There is a rumor about Dell developing a tablet with Intel:

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/...-intel-tablet/

If Intel are involved, you can bet it will use Atom. Interestingly, they said it would be about 5 inches and compete with Amazon's Kindle.

That article was a good find. I've bookmarked it. If it runs Windows, as it looks to, then it must use the Atom. There is no way that MS has got another OS ready. Look how far behind the very minor update to Win Mobile 6.1 is taking, just going to 6.5. And then, the supposedly major reworking of ver 7 was pushed back by a year to get it to align with the iPhone OS.

Quote:
I hope Apple will target the higher end tablet market where you get products like the XT2:

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellsto...=MLB1484&s=biz

1.4GHz Core 2 Duo for $2,340 starting price.

That would be nice, but I don't think Apple will go that far. At least not yet.

Quote:
Concerning drawing ability, I don't think it has to be nor should it be a feature of the screen itself but the pen. The pen should have a spring-loaded nib that has a sensor to detect as many levels of pressure. It can have a magnetic holder on the side of the device for charging or have its own dock.

The question is whether Apple would end their resistance to a pen. While I hope so, I'm not holding my breath. but the artist that did the New Yorker cover art with just his iPhone has shown that a small screen with a finger based program can do a lot.

I can't necessarily see myself working Photoshop with a finger, but who knows? If it's done right, it could work.
post #174 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uriah Heep View Post

Read the articles:
http://www.deepapple.com/articles/25345.html , and http://www.deepapple.com/news/34814.html , in russian

The translation of these articles is decent, though not complete for some reason.

But what can be read is very interesting.
post #175 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Are their artists or designeres here that have experience using a finger-operated capacitance-based touch screens as the tool for creative work? Wacom products have had non-trivial success. But they've never really been mainstream even among artsists, mostly because of how divorced the input is from feedback. Cheap touch sensitive screens and GUIs tailored for them have the potential to revolutionize the manner in which people tend to use things like Adobe CS.

However, I'm not sure that finger based touch-screens will offer enough precision on a tablet sized screen. It seems likely that a stylus would still be more desirable in the same manner that painters tend to use brushes instead of their fingers. In other words, I see multi-touch as more useful for widget interaction and crude manipulation of onscreen objects, not so much as a precise tool for photoshop or illustrator users. That is unless the touch screen in question is huge enough that our fingers are precise in comparison to the total screen area.

Not to discount your daughter's desire for a tablet Melgross. But was she envisioning stylus or finger based interaction? If finger based, do you see this as an appropriate fit, the right tool for the job?[/QUOTE]

Check out this Google page I linked to. It's very interesting, and to those who aren't familiar with what was done, amazing:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&c...iPhone&spell=1

I didn't ask about what she thought, but I would imagine that it was for a stylus as with the Wacom.

But as we can see from the work done for the New Yorker with a really tiny iPhone, this is doable.

With a screen four or more times larger in area and hopefully, at least four time more pixels, this could work.

I have an idea for this! It just came to me! Brilliant, if I say so myself.

There could be an area right above where the finger touches the screen, adjustable as to height and right/left offset from the finger where the actual point of interaction would occur.

What this would do is to allow us to see exactly where the work was being done. The software would simply translate our finger touch to that offset spot. Then we could use all the tools we would otherwise use with a stylus.

The screen could move as it does in PS when we reach the edge of the window if we set it to do so.

This should solve all the problems of using a finger.

Maybe I should have kept that to myself.

But hey, in the spirit of openness, and all my friends here and everywhere, I hope someone can take this idea and figure out how to work it out.
post #176 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

Hey Melgross! You didn't answer the question. Is Apple throwing out their famed security out the window at the last second or what?

This was so unexpected. I really don't know if this was just him musing, but he was sure sounding. And when he stated how he received the BLAST over RSS, I practically dropped the phone.

I really don't know what to make of it.

He also said that at least some developers were told something about it at the ADC.
post #177 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

What's more interesting is that he mentioned this "information" to you unprompted... I think the Apple Bureau of Investigations has your number.

It's weird.

I never make statements like this here. Never! There were a couple of times over the years where I did get some advance info from sources that couldn't be directly traced back to Apple, and I did mention it, but this is unprecedented for me.
post #178 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Touch screens are woefully inadequate for precision work. A stylus would be necessary. The finger is far too "squishy" for accuracy below 50 or so pixels in diameter (and that's even according to Apple's own Human Interface Guidelines).

I don't agree with that. It depends on hard you press, for one thing. My idea, which I put in a post shortly before this one, would work.

What I've found, and I'm certain that other artists have found the same thing to be true, is that we can adapt our sense of touch readily to compensate for whatever "squishiness" that can appear in a device. It's not that difficult. It just takes a short bit of practice. The biggest problem with the finger is that you can't see beneath it.

The general public is not as inclined to try. But as can be seen by people typing on the vertical screen, high typing rates are possible with some practice, even with a hidden point of contact. And it is reliable. Given that a key in the vertical mode is only about 25 pixels wide, the 50 pixel minimum accuracy number you gave goes out the window. I don't even know where that number would come from or how someone decided it to be true, because it certainly isn't. You can actually affect one pixel every time, if you can hit it. This is just like the Wacom Cintiq. That just uses a stylus to do it. My idea would allow the same precision.
post #179 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Rest assured, the guy you talked to probably got all of his info from AppleInsider. There's no reason for him to get an internal e-mail outlining future product releases and strategy unless they're trying to catch him leaking information. UNLESS... Steve really is no longer in charge of the company and they are starting to become more open about these things due to their own jockeying for position within the company... never a good thing, and it will only lead to position and titles being more important than the work being done.

I'm not assured, and he certainly didn't sound that way. Don't think that what everyone says is from a rumors site, because it isn't.

I see no reason why he would have said it the way he did if he just read it in a rumors site. Why say that Apple sent aBLAST out. Why mention it was done using RSS?

It makes no sense if he just read some rumors here. He could have said that.
post #180 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

I completely agree, but was trying to frame the topic in a less know-it-all kind of manner. But what the hell... here it goes.

I've seen quite a few artists/designers and wanna-be artists/designers pine away for a tablet. Upon getting one, they're gleeful and show everyone how great it is. A few weeks or months later, that same tablet is in a drawer, never to be used again. Turns out, a mouse is still optimal for most computer tasks that need precision 2D interaction.

Granted, the tablets we're discussing here are touch-screens, not just drawing tablets. Yet I'm still of the mindset that multi-touch and updated GUIs won't do much to change the human factors involved with the manipulation of on-screen objects. Third parties have long offered services to convert powerbooks or macbook pros to touch screen capable. Yet they've never caught on because using a mouse is simpler for most tasks, including those in Adobe and CAD programs which already integrate reasonably well with stylus based interaction.

What are those human factors I vaguely referred to? For multi-touch, the first that comes to mind is the fact that human visual acuity is much higher than the precision possible via a finger directly on a touch screen. Things will always be displayed at a resolution finer than can be manipulated via finger tips.

Its very difficult working on a screen with a mouse. I know very few designers or photographers who use mice or trackballs. Almost all use tablets, and almost all of them use Wacoms'.

It's very hard to trace a line with a mouse. It has a limited movement on the desk, and you almost always come to the end of its travel before you complete the line.

Don't compare CAD to photographic work or much design work. They are completely different. But even using CAD, most professional users use a tablet.

In fact, for the highest precision, we used 12 x 18 inch models.

I don't know who these people you speak of are, but I question their abilities if they're using mice for this work. I've never heard of that on a wide scale.
post #181 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

One question would be where Apple wants to take this. Is it an extention of the computer line, or the handheld line?

I think thats a difficult thing to decide. Obviously, the market for Apple's handheld devices is much bigger in an individual device sales way. But extending Apple's computer sales down through this device would also be a good bet.

For one, it would raise their marketshare for OS x and computer sales significantly. It would extend their OS X sales profits, as they could actually sell OS X to this device as an upgrade instead of giving it away if they wanted to.

Then also, their iLife and iWork software would also run (assuming it was x86 compatible of course).

I can think of lots of advantage to doing it this way, and also allowing the handheld apps to also work.

Sure, Apple may have something entirely different in mind, but this is what a lot of people would want.

I've spoken to a bunch of people (including myself, my daughter, and surprisingly, my wife) who would just love to have an Apple netbook type of device, tablet or not, even if it costs more.

I really don't see it running full fledged OSX. Touch interface issues aside, I'm not sure that it would extend OSX market share as much as would be expected. I think it would canibalize macbook and macbook pro sales to a certain extent, especially the 13" model. Students for one are a huge market for the 13" macbooks, if this tablet was a fully featured OSX model that had superior note taking abilities (due to the touch screen) and possibly and ebook store, what would entice them to buy the (likely) higher margin macbooks?

With an OS based on iPhoneOS, you could still have fully featured (but touch optimized)word/pages (or anything else) Apps if someone decided to make them, but requiring itunes sync would mean there would still be a use for the 13" macbooks.
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post #182 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Its very difficult working on a screen with a mouse. I know very few designers or photographers who use mice or trackballs. Almost all use tablets, and almost all of them use Wacoms'.

It's very hard to trace a line with a mouse. It has a limited movement on the desk, and you almost always come to the end of its travel before you complete the line.

Don't compare CAD to photographic work or much design work. They are completely different. But even using CAD, most professional users use a tablet.

In fact, for the highest precision, we used 12 x 18 inch models.

I don't know who these people you speak of are, but I question their abilities if they're using mice for this work. I've never heard of that on a wide scale.

Could it be that you travel more in the upper echelon of these fields?

Perhaps i'm stuck in the trenches with the ditch-diggers. The vast majority of people that i've encountered in these fields, spend most of their time using a mouse. Tablets are busted out on occasion, for things like tracing or free-hand artistry. Unfortunately, most of these people don't get to do much free-hand artistry in their day to day work. They'd like to do more artistic work, work that benefits from tablets. But most of their time is spent doing page layout and simplistic compositing of existing images.

Granted, i'm no artist or designer. Maybe I should be pushing my company to install tablets in all our designers' offices.

But back to how this relates to the once-again rumored Apple Tablet...

It seems that a stylus would be best for this type of work, even with your excellent idea for an offset focus point. Initial positioning would still be error prone without a nib that could be tracked without actually clicking or dragging on the screen.

People in the above mentioned fields would be willing to use a stylus. General users probably wouldn't be though. The general userbase has never taken to stylus usage. They just don't have enough tasks for which a stylus is optimal.

I'm unfamiliar with the technology. Is a nib-equipped stylus possible on a capacitance-based touch-screen? If so, a bluetooth based stylus seems like a nice option.


As for touting good art or design accomplished on the iPhone... I'd say that's akin to saying paint brushes aren't needed because somebody did a great finger painting.
post #183 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

I really don't see it running full fledged OSX. Touch interface issues aside, I'm not sure that it would extend OSX market share as much as would be expected. I think it would canibalize macbook and macbook pro sales to a certain extent, especially the 13" model. Students for one are a huge market for the 13" macbooks, if this tablet was a fully featured OSX model that had superior note taking abilities (due to the touch screen) and possibly and ebook store, what would entice them to buy the (likely) higher margin macbooks?

With an OS based on iPhoneOS, you could still have fully featured (but touch optimized)word/pages (or anything else) Apps if someone decided to make them, but requiring itunes sync would mean there would still be a use for the 13" macbooks.

It would eat into MacBook sales somewhat. But I think the major buyers of MacBooks would still prefer the larger screen and keyboard. There's some overlap, but not enough so that it would matter. And remember Job's statement about the iPhone vs the iPod. They would prefer they cannibalized their own products as opposed to someone else doing it.

This would add to sales, not detract from them. I can't see schools replacing MacBooks with this in a large way.

As for MBP sales, no, I don't see this as having much of an effect at all. That's a totally different market and price category. I can see people with MBP's also getting this though, esp if it could be connected as an accessory as we've been saying.
post #184 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It would eat into MacBook sales somewhat. But I think the major buyers of MacBooks would still prefer the larger screen and keyboard. There's some overlap, but not enough so that it would matter. And remember Job's statement about the iPhone vs the iPod. They would prefer they cannibalized their own products as opposed to someone else doing it.

This would add to sales, not detract from them. I can't see schools replacing MacBooks with this in a large way.

As for MBP sales, no, I don't see this as having much of an effect at all. That's a totally different market and price category. I can see people with MBP's also getting this though, esp if it could be connected as an accessory as we've been saying.


I was thinking of the 13" MBP, which I consider to be pro(fessional) in name only and I could see people going after that or this mythical tablet. I just don't see Apple eating into their own markets (even if it is minor like you suggest) if they can avoid it, and I think they could avoid it in this situation. I also feel that an iPhoneOS based tablet would actually provide a better user experience to the majority of customers than OSX. It may feel too restrictive to some, but I suspect they will be in the minority. I've read the arguments about how "terrible" iPhoneOS apps will look on a larger screen too, but I just don't buy it. A desktop app would be even worse on a (relatively small) touch screen.
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post #185 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Could it be that you travel more in the upper echelon of these fields?

We did commercial work for magazines, newspapers, Tv, movies, music videos, government etc.

Quote:
Perhaps i'm stuck in the trenches with the ditch-diggers. The vast majority of people that i've encountered in these fields, spend most of their time using a mouse. Tablets are busted out on occasion, for things like tracing or free-hand artistry. Unfortunately, most of these people don't get to do much free-hand artistry in their day to day work. They'd like to do more artistic work, work that benefits from tablets. But most of their time is spent doing page layout and simplistic compositing of existing images.

Page layout is different. You don't need a tablet using Quark or InDesign. But, if you have one, its a big time saver, esp. the newer models with the shortcut buttons.

Quote:
Granted, i'm no artist or designer. Maybe I should be pushing my company to install tablets in all our designers' offices.

It's a big help using Illustrator and other vector oriented programs as well. Any time you need to draw something that can't be done by a simple pull, and a click of a key to keep the angle at a specific one, and force a straight line, can use a tablet.

If all people are doing are drawing straight lines and circles, then a tablet isn't needed, though, even there, it's much easier a good deal of the time.

Quote:
But back to how this relates to the once-again rumored Apple Tablet...

It seems that a stylus would be best for this type of work, even with your excellent idea for an offset focus point. Initial positioning would still be error prone without a nib that could be tracked without actually clicking or dragging on the screen.

People in the above mentioned fields would be willing to use a stylus. General users probably wouldn't be though. The general userbase has never taken to stylus usage. They just don't have enough tasks for which a stylus is optimal.

A stylus is what we use of course. Why? Because there's been no other way to do it.

Amazing isn't it that just because we only can invent one way to do something that people think it's the only possible way.

Well, early painting only used fingers dipped in pigments. There was no other way. Then someone discovered using a soft colored rock and charcoal. Things advance.

A finger based tablet seems to be going back to the cavemen drawings. But it's not, because the technology is much different.

Moving a finger across a screen is a more natural way of drawing than holding a stylus. Is it the best way? Is it even as good? I don't know. My Cinteq doesn't work with fingers so I can't compare. But as long as you can see what you're focussed on, and can use the drawing controls, I believe that it will work very well. I'd love for someone here, and we have a lot of smart people here, to develop something to do that.

Quote:
I'm unfamiliar with the technology. Is a nib-equipped stylus possible on a capacitance-based touch-screen? If so, a bluetooth based stylus seems like a nice option.

Yes it is. I've also developed a magnetic stylus that works.

Quote:
As for touting good art or design accomplished on the iPhone... I'd say that's akin to saying paint brushes aren't needed because somebody did a great finger painting.

That's exactly what I'm talking about. It's finger painting. Now, if you can see the exact spot you're painting over, it's even better!
post #186 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

I was thinking of the 13" MBP, which I consider to be pro(fessional) in name only.

I suppose that's a matter of opinion. But Apple upgraded it to be a MBP, and so it is. There are different levels of professional equipment.
post #187 of 239
When I said it was for artists I meant using a stylus - you'd use fingers for browsing but stylus for drawing - kinda like a nintendo DS but much more precise and smooth.
post #188 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I suppose that's a matter of opinion. But Apple upgraded it to be a MBP, and so it is. There are different levels of professional equipment.

I guess if I were asked to choose between the 13" MB and MBP, I would take the MBP in a heartbeat, so there is some truth in that. I had always just considered the dedicated graphics card to be the most compelling difference between the two lines.
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post #189 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

I guess if I were asked to choose between the 13" MB and MBP, I would take the MBP in a heartbeat, so there is some truth in that. I had always just considered the dedicated graphics card to be the most compelling difference between the two lines.

It's a "eye of the beholder" sort of thing. If you insist that you need a certain feature for your pro work, then to you, a machine that doesn't have it isn't pro "enough".

To some people, eliminating the Express card slot in favor of the much more amateur oriented SD slot in all the machines except the 17", also eliminated them as pro machines for them.

When Apple earlier eliminated FW from some of the machines, that had the same effect. Of course, Apple added FW 800 to those new models.
post #190 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

I guess if I were asked to choose between the 13" MB and MBP, I would take the MBP in a heartbeat, so there is some truth in that. I had always just considered the dedicated graphics card to be the most compelling difference between the two lines.

I assume you considered the 12" Powerbook to be "Pro"? The 9400M is, I think, in the same class now as the low-end discrete GPUs Apple was using were back in the day.
post #191 of 239
Quote:
Amazing isn't it that just because we only can invent one way to do something that people think it's the only possible way.

I'd like to address the above quote as it seems to be a common misconception or a sly debate tactic when discussing tablets. Just because someone points out shortcomings in an an interaction technique does not mean that the person is close minded. Nor does it mean that the person thinks the current way is the only possible way. It simply means that they are critiquing the value of that type of interaction.

The quote also suggests that not much thought has been given to the merits of various interaction techniques. This is insulting to the tens of thousands of computer scientists, psychologists, and human factors scientists that have devoted decades to that very subject. Rest assured, they're not only interested in the subject, but they have implemented and empirically studied just about everything ever mentioned on these forums. With that said, they fully acknowledge that there is plenty of work left to be done and nobody in the field thinks we've reached the pinnacle of interaction design.

So please everyone, when people like me offer critiques of tablets, styluses, and touch-interfaces, don't resort to calling us close-minded. It isn't that tablet critics are stuck in their ways. Many of us have given the subject much thought for many many years. There is a vast body of scientific research along with real-world precedence to build upon.

Plenty of research has been done on finger vs stylus based interaction... Nib-equipped thimble-styluses, redundant screens so that screen content can be viewed with or without the finger in the way, shifted point of focus (as you suggested), electro-static tactile feedback, audible feedback, relative vs absolute positioning devices, etc, etc.

While technology will advance, the human body will remain static. That is why a discussion of tablets/styluses/touch-interfaces revolves around human factors. It is well established that humans will only carry around objects of certain shapes and sizes unless unusually motivated. This dictates the form of everything in the constructed world around us, including books, keys, wallets, credit cards, weapons, types of food, etc. The same is true for tools and architecture. This is why for the past thousand years, writing instruments and door knobs have remained largely unchanged. Pockets, carrying straps, and luggage provide another category of constraints for the types of objects humans are willing to deal with.

In other words, a truly enlightened view on the potential of tablets would acknowledge that there are certain influences and constraints that will never change. These are imposed by the human physique along with limited sensory and mental faculties.

Despite being well aware of long held principles in the human factors field, interaction designers constantly stray into designing and implementing supposedly dead-end interaction techniques. That intellectual curiosity exists, flourishes, and occasionally leads to unexpected advances. I can't wait to see what they come up with next.

So please, don't suggest that tablet critics are just rejecting ideas on these boards simply because they are short sided. Quite the opposite can be true. Some, like myself, are obsessed with HCI and are simply pointing out the tradeoffs between computing form factors and their associated interaction techniques. It is my opinion that the utility of tablets is almost always overestimated outside of certain select applications such as free-hand shape definition. This is why I believe that tablets will forever remain auxiliary computers, supplementing other types of computers which are more optimal for the vast majority of tasks.

Woah, that was long. Obsessed, did I mention obsessed?

Please carry on though... I'd like to encourage discussion on the subject despite getting peeved when people assume that this is new territory. Apple has done amazing things with the iPhone's interface. But really it is their implementation and application of already well understood technologies and principles that makes the iPhone revolutionary. What Apple did was find productive ways of applying them.

Anyway, as per my usual style after posting such a manifesto, I'll bow out and let others have their say.
post #192 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

I assume you considered the 12" Powerbook to be "Pro"? The 9400M is, I think, in the same class now as the low-end discrete GPUs Apple was using were back in the day.

Sadly, I was in a Windows world then.
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post #193 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

This is why I believe that tablets will forever remain auxiliary computers, supplementing other types of computers which are more optimal for the vast majority of tasks.

Wow that was quite the post, but I did want to highlight this part. While a tablet form factor obviously has some limitations, I think you may be missing the Apple's goal behind the tablet. I'm pretty sure an auxiliary computer is exactly what Apple wants it to be. If it runs iPhone OS it will have to be (unless they make a lot of changes). As with netbooks, it will be bought as a secondary computer with specific tasks in mind. Now I think it will be much more attractive than a netbook, but it will fill a similar niche.
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post #194 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

That article was a good find. I've bookmarked it. If it runs Windows, as it looks to, then it must use the Atom. There is no way that MS has got another OS ready. Look how far behind the very minor update to Win Mobile 6.1 is taking, just going to 6.5. And then, the supposedly major reworking of ver 7 was pushed back by a year to get it to align with the iPhone OS.



That would be nice, but I don't think Apple will go that far. At least not yet.



The question is whether Apple would end their resistance to a pen. While I hope so, I'm not holding my breath. but the artist that did the New Yorker cover art with just his iPhone has shown that a small screen with a finger based program can do a lot.

I can't necessarily see myself working Photoshop with a finger, but who knows? If it's done right, it could work.

Well, if you like pain, you can hold your breath till Apple makes an official stylus for the tablet.
Or, you can simply get a 3rd party stylus which will undoubtedly be available from a 1000 different vendors soon after launch.
post #195 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

Well, if you like pain, you can hold your breath till Apple makes an official stylus for the tablet.
Or, you can simply get a 3rd party stylus which will undoubtedly be available from a 1000 different vendors soon after launch.

You can already get them.

http://www.songtak.com.tw/product.php?mode=list&cid=34
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post #196 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

You can already get them.

http://www.songtak.com.tw/product.php?mode=list&cid=34

There you go Melgross.
post #197 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

I'd like to address the above quote as it seems to be a common misconception or a sly debate tactic when discussing tablets. Just because someone points out shortcomings in an an interaction technique does not mean that the person is close minded. Nor does it mean that the person thinks the current way is the only possible way. It simply means that they are critiquing the value of that type of interaction.

The quote also suggests that not much thought has been given to the merits of various interaction techniques. This is insulting to the tens of thousands of computer scientists, psychologists, and human factors scientists that have devoted decades to that very subject. Rest assured, they're not only interested in the subject, but they have implemented and empirically studied just about everything ever mentioned on these forums. With that said, they fully acknowledge that there is plenty of work left to be done and nobody in the field thinks we've reached the pinnacle of interaction design.

So please everyone, when people like me offer critiques of tablets, styluses, and touch-interfaces, don't resort to calling us close-minded. It isn't that tablet critics are stuck in their ways. Many of us have given the subject much thought for many many years. There is a vast body of scientific research along with real-world precedence to build upon.

Plenty of research has been done on finger vs stylus based interaction... Nib-equipped thimble-styluses, redundant screens so that screen content can be viewed with or without the finger in the way, shifted point of focus (as you suggested), electro-static tactile feedback, audible feedback, relative vs absolute positioning devices, etc, etc.

While technology will advance, the human body will remain static. That is why a discussion of tablets/styluses/touch-interfaces revolves around human factors. It is well established that humans will only carry around objects of certain shapes and sizes unless unusually motivated. This dictates the form of everything in the constructed world around us, including books, keys, wallets, credit cards, weapons, types of food, etc. The same is true for tools and architecture. This is why for the past thousand years, writing instruments and door knobs have remained largely unchanged. Pockets, carrying straps, and luggage provide another category of constraints for the types of objects humans are willing to deal with.

In other words, a truly enlightened view on the potential of tablets would acknowledge that there are certain influences and constraints that will never change. These are imposed by the human physique along with limited sensory and mental faculties.

Despite being well aware of long held principles in the human factors field, interaction designers constantly stray into designing and implementing supposedly dead-end interaction techniques. That intellectual curiosity exists, flourishes, and occasionally leads to unexpected advances. I can't wait to see what they come up with next.

So please, don't suggest that tablet critics are just rejecting ideas on these boards simply because they are short sided. Quite the opposite can be true. Some, like myself, are obsessed with HCI and are simply pointing out the tradeoffs between computing form factors and their associated interaction techniques. It is my opinion that the utility of tablets is almost always overestimated outside of certain select applications such as free-hand shape definition. This is why I believe that tablets will forever remain auxiliary computers, supplementing other types of computers which are more optimal for the vast majority of tasks.

Woah, that was long. Obsessed, did I mention obsessed?

Please carry on though... I'd like to encourage discussion on the subject despite getting peeved when people assume that this is new territory. Apple has done amazing things with the iPhone's interface. But really it is their implementation and application of already well understood technologies and principles that makes the iPhone revolutionary. What Apple did was find productive ways of applying them.

Anyway, as per my usual style after posting such a manifesto, I'll bow out and let others have their say.

Well, after that long post, I have to tell you that I wasn't referring to anyone here at all.

It was a generalized observation about people on average. It had nothing to do with research. Or pretty much anything you brought up in your post.

So while your post is interesting, and stands on its own merits, your (sly) referrals to me can be removed, and it would be even more accurate then it is now.
post #198 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

Well, if you like pain, you can hold your breath till Apple makes an official stylus for the tablet.
Or, you can simply get a 3rd party stylus which will undoubtedly be available from a 1000 different vendors soon after launch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

You can already get them.

http://www.songtak.com.tw/product.php?mode=list&cid=34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

There you go Melgross.

Gee guys, thank's for supplying the information I already supplied over a year ago.

The problem with those stylus's is that they aren't very good.

I've found that a magnet tip works better, but it's difficult to do for several reasons.
post #199 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Touch screens are woefully inadequate for precision work. A stylus would be necessary. The finger is far too "squishy" for accuracy below 50 or so pixels in diameter (and that's even according to Apple's own Human Interface Guidelines).

You can use the cursor though and just have your finger move it instead of the mouse. This is how some point and click games work on the iphone and how Wacoms work. You'd slide your finger over the screen and the cursor would follow then you just tap the screen to start doing a selection or action.

If anything, it's more precise than a mouse because you have more control over subtle movements and it's faster to move over the screen and hit the point you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I've seen quite a few artists/designers and wanna-be artists/designers pine away for a tablet. Upon getting one, they're gleeful and show everyone how great it is. A few weeks or months later, that same tablet is in a drawer, never to be used again. Turns out, a mouse is still optimal for most computer tasks that need precision 2D interaction.

That's why they are wannabe artists. Real artists get by just fine with a Wacom and a mouse is not superior for precision. Try drawing a smooth curve with a mouse in Photoshop vs a Wacom and you will see that's the case. Your wrist will also get sore very quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

The question is whether Apple would end their resistance to a pen. While I hope so, I'm not holding my breath. but the artist that did the New Yorker cover art with just his iPhone has shown that a small screen with a finger based program can do a lot.

I can't necessarily see myself working Photoshop with a finger, but who knows? If it's done right, it could work.

For positional accuracy, I think it will be ok because Wacom use the same setup in that the pen just moves the cursor. A finger can do the same. A finger will smudge the screen though and unless they rig the screen with sensors, it won't do pressure. I like the idea of finger painting though, it seems like a very natural thing to do and with the cursor accuracy, it shouldn't be much worse than pen interaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

I have an idea for this! It just came to me! Brilliant, if I say so myself.

There could be an area right above where the finger touches the screen, adjustable as to height and right/left offset from the finger where the actual point of interaction would occur.

Maybe I should have kept that to myself.

This is how the Wacom works I'm afraid.

I just remembered there is actually a 3rd party pen that will turn any display into a Wacom-like device. It only works up to a certain size of display and it's not as accurate but perhaps Apple can make something like it if as you say they get past the hang-ups about the pen. They could make money on both the pen and the tablet.
post #200 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Gee guys, thank's for supplying the information I already supplied over a year ago.

The problem with those stylus's is that they aren't very good.

I've found that a magnet tip works better, but it's difficult to do for several reasons.

I don't know which ones you've used but the ones I've tried seem pretty good to me. You need to also take into account that you really don't know exactly what type of screen Apple may be using for this new product. It may be one of them brand new 10 point capacitive touchscreens with different surface layers.
We've so close now to the debut that it doesn't matter what we say. We simply need to wait for the debut then judge.
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