Originally Posted by wizard69
It is really a question of where you want to put your hands. One big issue, if we ignore fatique, is the visual obstruction you hand becomes. This can be a big issue for some with iPad apps. Then you get into that whole issue of precision and the lack of visual feedback do to the fingers blocking your view.
In the end I just don't see an overwhelming advantage for most users. In some real cases the use of touch screens would be a regression.
Actually Apple has the perfect platform to test my position out on. Take GarageBand on an iPad and a Mac and do the same things for four hours straight on each one. Then come back aNd tell us which one left you feeling more uncomfortable at the end. Do this on separate days. I'm willing to bet the Mac interface allows for a longer time in the app.
A stylus can be used for precision work -- as on a Wacom tablet... not up to Wacom's precision, yet!
There are non-Apple iPad apps that address the precision issues, for example:
1) when typing text and you select -- you have virtual arrow keys, that position/reposition the cursor as you would do on a regular keyboard.
2) when positioning a cursor for text or non-text -- you have a loupe that magnifies the text but its position is offset from where the finger is actually touching the screen -- say an inch or so offset from the loupe.
3) you can move the loupe or move the cursor with the arrows -- and the selection in the loupe moves with the cursor.
Also, I believe we are at the very early stage of refining the touch UI. Basically, almost everything so far is defined by the lowest-common-denominator 3.5" screen. If Apple (or others) rethink the touch UI from the perspective of non-mobile, larger screen devices and uses, I think we'll see some extraordinary productivity gains.
To illustrate what I mean about rethinking the touch UI...
Say you want to do some precision editing of a 4K image down to the pixel level:
-- drag the image to where the area you want to edit is displayed on the screen
-- pinch zoom to get to a comfortable magnification level.
New Touch gestures for large-screen precision editing -- as in 2) above:
-- touch-hold a single finger where you want the magnifying loupe to appear
-- touch a second finger where you want the finger offset to the loupe control to be
-- release the first finger, the loupe remains
-- release the second finger, the loupe control remains
-- move any finger within the loupe control to reposition the loupe to the area desired
-- touch a magnification control to position to the exact pixel
-- repeat the first 2 steps to reposition the loupe and loupe control
-- swipes and drags made outside the loupe control move the image underneath the loupe (the loupe and control remain where they are)
-- touch any other controls displayed on the screen to select color, bezier pen, brush, whatever.
The above gestures can be done with fingers on one or both hands --
and are easier to do than describe. Not only that you will find you can do things much faster.
This same approach could be used to replace the puck used for most CAD operations -- a virtual loupe/puck.
Now, think for a moment of the possibilities of editing an image, drawing, video -- using 2 hands.
Sure, there would need to be some rethinking of the UI, and most certainly the apps... that's progress -- but the potential is there to improve certain operations twofold... tenfold?
As to your last point -- we are comparing apps that were designed for the desktop and modified for the touch UI including a 3.5" screen. In GarageBand app designed for a large touch screen it could take advantage of things that are easy with touch but almost impossible with a mouse/kb...
Say, display a guitar fretboard and the playing area... you could fret and strum/pick/finger pick at the same time...
That'd be some pretty weird fretting... maybe 'Lisbeth Cotten. You could play it like a steel guitar or create a whole new string instrument -- the touch guitar.
GarageBand, as it exists, has no ability to do things with both hands (mouse with kb modifications, excepted) because there is no way to do it without touch!