Apple's chance at the perfect device

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I wrote an article on my blog and proposed a concept device to match a few months back, can you guys give it a read and lemme know your thoughts? http://blog.trifolddesigns.com/in-se...erfect-device/



Thanks!
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    You're absolutely right that the "perfect device" for portable information consumption and transfer would be something larger than the iPhone and smaller than the MBA. That can't be disputed.



    However, in order to transmit data any faster than you can on an iPhone or iPod Touch, you need a full-size keyboard for data entry. If you are going to have a full-size keyboard, you need at least 10.5 inches in width for dedicated typing space (whether it's a virtual keyboard or a physical keyboard). Your hands just won't fit in any smaller space.



    If you're going to have a device that's over 11" long, then you've definitely left the realm of "something you can quickly whip out and jot down your latest thought and put it back up in a matter of seconds." I would love to see a device around 11-12" by 7-8"; it would be easy to use in slate form and hopefully would have a mode for optimal text entry. Here's one concept along those lines that I came up with based on dual-sided translucent touchscreens:







    For anything smaller than 11", (Newton size? for example: 8" x 5") will be limited by the same text input speed as the iPod Touch. You won't be able to type any faster on it.



    So my question for you is this - does the added screen real estate alone (with no increased versatility/usability) justify the expense of purchasing a larger iPod Touch that will no longer fit into an ordinary pants pocket (it needs a belt holster or a coat pocket)?



    Don't get me wrong; I would love to have as many gadgets as I have vendettas against Microsoft Office 2007 (and that's quite a few). But where would I use the "iPad" (stupid name, but it will do for now) where I couldn't use my iPhone (with third party applications) just as easily? After they start selling third party applications, I will be able to use a stylus (yes, you can use a stylus with the iPhone; it's called a "TapRight" and it is sold for use with certain current web-based iPhone games) to jot down a quick diagram on the screen (using a simple vector-based rendering that I will be able to zoom in and out of by simply pinching). If I need to take a few notes on something, I can already do that on my iPhone and mail them to myself to use in a report. I can type at up to 60 wpm on my iPhone ... in portrait mode.



    So far applications for the iPhone have been limited, since everything third-party runs through Safari and even Maps has the same basic interaction setup (one finger to scroll, two fingers pinching to zoom). With the SDK, developers can make apps that use one finger for data input, two fingers scrolling to scroll, and two fingers pinching to zoom. That will make it possible to draw vector-based diagrams really easily, especially if you have a stylus.



    Here is my final question, then. Obviously, a larger screen is going to be a little easier to interact with since you have more space. But other than that, what would I be able to do on an "iPad" that I wouldn't be able to do just as easily on the iPhone after the inclusion of copy/paste?
  • Reply 2 of 44
    dylanwdylanw Posts: 9member
    Thanks for the great reply. From what I see with the current iPhone something around the size of a DVD case could give a slight typing improvement, higher visibility ( no need to hunch in for a closer look) and higher info density ( less need for scrolling ). All are improvements I would pay for even if the software didn't change.



    Thanks for the thoughtful reply!



    (typed on iPhone. )
  • Reply 3 of 44
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dylanw View Post


    I wrote an article on my blog and proposed a concept device to match a few months back, can you guys give it a read and lemme know your thoughts? http://blog.trifolddesigns.com/in-se...erfect-device/



    Thanks!



    I agree with everything except the stylus. I guess you've never used the igesture pad from fingerworks which Steve's tech is based. The stylus still wouldn't be needed even for finely detailed work. A simple gesture could be programmed to have the fingers mimic the finger positions of holding a pen for any detailed movments. In fact, I'm a bit dissapointed over the gesture implemention on the macbook air despite people's ignorant enthusiasm over it. Scrolling with multitouch should require a very relaxed four finger down swipe for reading web pages. Actual mouse pointing should be a relaxed two finger gesture in stead of the regular one finger which is really the old fasioned touchpad way. Right click is achieved by tapping with your thumb, middle and ring fingers.

    I'm sensitive to these issues because I have RSI and the igesture pad really helped me. Until Steve bought the company of course.



    The macbook air's implementation of multitouch is wayyyyyyy to light and only touches slightly what multitouch could do especially for its much bigger touchpad size. The less fingered altered multitouch implementation on the iphone/ipod touch works because its a small device.

    I can only hope on a bigger web tablet that the full compliment of igesture/multitouch controls are used. It would be way more powerful and comfortable.



    Also, I also think for a tablet the dvd case size would be perfect. But it would be even cooler if they figured out how to bend and fold an lcd so you can fold the whole device in two. That way you can fit it conveniently in your pocket. And it should have the ability to unfold for you with one hand like.....like a star trek tricorder! In fact, besides the accelerometer it should have other built in sensors. So the device could function almost rudimentally AS a tricorder for real!

    Now THAT would be the ultimate personal device.
  • Reply 4 of 44
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dylanw View Post


    Thanks for the great reply. From what I see with the current iPhone something around the size of a DVD case could give a slight typing improvement, higher visibility ( no need to hunch in for a closer look) and higher info density ( less need for scrolling ). All are improvements I would pay for even if the software didn't change.



    Thanks for the thoughtful reply!



    (typed on iPhone. )



    I disagree with appleeinstein. The tablet he is suggesting is more like that failed pc tablet platform that microsoft tried to push. Ripping a laptop in half is NOT an innovation. And apple WON'T be doing that.

    If anything they would do what that other thread suggested and take a regular notebook and replaceing the bottom half where the keyboard is with a full multitouch interface. That I might see them doing. That, and replacing all their stand alone keyboards for mac pros with a full multitouch slates.
  • Reply 5 of 44
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    what about iphone + separate BT foldup keyboard( they had those for the treo and palm.

    if all apps could go landscape then why get anything bigger??
  • Reply 6 of 44
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post


    what about iphone + separate BT foldup keyboard( they had those for the treo and palm.

    if all apps could go landscape then why get anything bigger??



    Because they are going to leverage the multitouch technology to TOTALLY replace they traditional keyboard as a method of input. The only reason why you and others must have your precious physical keyboard is because you want that feedback. Multitouch screens as you know them today are only the beginning.

    Remember, Apple looks at things in the long term. Later products will have advanced screens with actual physical feedback.

    The old fashioned keyboard will be dead soon. Should have died years ago.

    Steve is going to drag you cavemen kicking and screaming into the future if he has to.
  • Reply 7 of 44
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    Thanks for the blogspam.
  • Reply 8 of 44
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bancho View Post


    Thanks for the blogspam.



    What the hell are you talking about? Why don't you actually contribute to the thread?
  • Reply 9 of 44
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post


    What the hell are you talking about? Why don't you actually contribute to the thread?



    Blogspam is spam. It's a violation of the posting rules.



    That's "what the hell I'm talking about".
  • Reply 10 of 44
    Just remember: your perfect device is somebody else's piece of junk.
  • Reply 11 of 44
    dylanwdylanw Posts: 9member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post


    I agree with everything except the stylus. I guess you've never used the igesture pad from fingerworks which Steve's tech is based. The stylus still wouldn't be needed even for finely detailed work.



    The reason I suggested a stylus is for the people who want to write hand written notes, sketch layouts etc. That is really the only purpose. I have a hard time believing that your fingers can allow the same control as a stylus in those areas.



    Quote:

    Blogspam is spam. It's a violation of the posting rules.



    That's "what the hell I'm talking about".



    The only reason I posted this here was for discussion purposes and to follow along the lines of an article AInsider wrote regarding a new umpc that may be coming out. Instead of writing a whole 'nother article in the forum I decided to link instead. I wanted to see what the AInsider thought about my views. Sorry if I offended you.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dylanw View Post


    The reason I suggested a stylus is for the people who want to write hand written notes, sketch layouts etc. That is really the only purpose. I have a hard time believing that your fingers can allow the same control as a stylus in those areas.







    The only reason I posted this here was for discussion purposes and to follow along the lines of an article AInsider wrote regarding a new umpc that may be coming out. Instead of writing a whole 'nother article in the forum I decided to link instead. I wanted to see what the AInsider thought about my views. Sorry if I offended you.



    If you want to see what we think, post content rather than a link to your blog.
  • Reply 13 of 44
    dylanwdylanw Posts: 9member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post


    what about iphone + separate BT foldup keyboard( they had those for the treo and palm.

    if all apps could go landscape then why get anything bigger??



    While I think a seperate BT keyboard etc. would be great and I agree there, the slightly larger screensize would be where you gain the most advantage. I find that a lot of people who are not used to carrying anything larger than a wallet will find it hard to adopt, those who carry a small laptop bag/pack who already carry around a moleskin or similar pad think it is the optimum size. Too small to be a nuisance, to big to worry about fitting everything, and just right to see well in all conditions. I see a lot of people who read their iphones with it right up next to their face whether they know it or not. Also a larger screen would allow for more viewing and less time manipulating for scroll/scale etc. And we all know, more time using less time controlling = more productive.



  • Reply 14 of 44
    k squaredk squared Posts: 608member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post


    You're absolutely right that the "perfect device" for portable information consumption and transfer would be something larger than the iPhone and smaller than the MBA. That can't be disputed.



    Except that it can be disputed. The iPhone is the "perfect device" for me because it fits in a pocket. Once the product gets larger than that, a carrying case comes into the equation, making it less portable.
  • Reply 15 of 44
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bancho View Post


    If you want to see what we think, post content rather than a link to your blog.



    All right then he posted something. Will this satisfy the blog police or should we have him dragged in the street and shot?



    EDIT: No, better yet lets stab him several times with a steak knife, whip him with chains, then chainsaw whatever is left. We can either do that or simply continue with the conversation he started on the perfect device. Whichever you prefer.......sir.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    I guess what it comes to here is whats perfect for who... If you surf/read/watch/write regularly, or want to; DVD case sized pad it is. If you want some of it and you want it in you pocket iPhone/iPod touch it is. It seems the power user/frequent user sees the size trade off as fair for the added functionality, where the other camp strictly rations their space and is happy with a pocket tool. Interesting to see how they overlap. Anybody have thoughts on today's screen readers?
  • Reply 17 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post


    I disagree with appleeinstein. The tablet he is suggesting is more like that failed pc tablet platform that microsoft tried to push. Ripping a laptop in half is NOT an innovation. And apple WON'T be doing that.

    If anything they would do what that other thread suggested and take a regular notebook and replaceing the bottom half where the keyboard is with a full multitouch interface. That I might see them doing. That, and replacing all their stand alone keyboards for mac pros with a full multitouch slates.



    Well, Olternaut, if you had bothered to actually click on that link I gave you, you would see that "the tablet {I am} suggesting" actually is a "regular notebook" with the bottom half replaced "with a full multitouch interface" like you said. The bottom half is a translucent touchscreen that can display monochrome images - hence it is used as a tablet when the "lid" is closed. . Go look at it. Then tell me if it's a decent concept or not.



    I'm not denying that a larger version iPhone would be easier to use from Jobs' "breakthrough Internet communication device" point of view (as described in Jobs' '07 keynote). And who wouldn't want a giant version of the "widescreen iPod with touch controls"? But it fails miserably with respect to "Revolutionary Phone" - no one would like to use a phone that's that friggin' big.



    So can Apple sell a giant iPhone without the "phone"? Maybe. That's what the iPod Touch is, except smaller, but it is being marketed primarily as an iPod, not a PDA. The thing is: if you have enough space to carry an 8" PMP/PDA, you probably have enough space to carry a 13"

    tablet/laptop convertible. Think what you would have to do to sell a PSP in the business world for business applications.



    It would be awesomely cool to have a PMP/PDA as wide as the iPhone is tall. But there would only be a few places you could put it - either a coat pocket or a purse. It would be amazing in that sort of application. But there is a reason that the iPod Touch is being marketed as a PMP and not a PDA (even though it's potentially the most powerful PDA ever with the SDK being released). People simply don't want to carry around an extra device when their phone will do "almost" the same job. They DEFINITELY don't want to pay for an extra contract to give this extra device wireless connectivity. Unless it had EDGE/3G/VOIP and shipped standard with a Bluetooth headset (thus both supplanting the role of the iPhone and falling under the same carrier-based restrictions that it has), it wouldn't match the mobile connectivity & power of the iPhone, which is pointless.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    dylanwdylanw Posts: 9member
    Yes, I see a phone that large being difficult to sell. I do however see a umpc of that size doing quite well with people who want some productivity without the size of a laptop. I know a laptop is good for several things, but it would be nice to have something just as legible without needing a clean table/surface to have it sit on, or a lap, etc. Basically if you already carry around a moleskine, or paperback book, or anything similar in size (I know it isn't a majority, but I have seen enough people to know its popular), this could be quite appealing.
  • Reply 19 of 44
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    dylanw, the size factor is really something that needs closer scrutiny.



    On the surface your device seems a good compromise: DVD case sized.

    But I'm afraid, in real life such a size will soon prove neither fish nor flesh and get stuck in the 'useless middle'.





    Let me explain:



    I own a Newton 2100 and love its integrated, modular software. It's a fantastic device. Yet, I ended up using it less and less.

    I also own several Moleskine pads. And yet, I often find myself leaving them at home. Or forgotten in another bag.

    And I own an iPhone. Which unlike the other two has always been on me. I never left it at home or forgot it in another bag.



    Why's that? There's this great Newton and I don't use it.

    And I've got these really versatile Moleskine pads and I keep not bringing them?





    It's pockatability. Even Moleskine pads are too big in my experience. They don't fit in my trouser pockets, so I need to put them in some other, bigger pocket. Be it a coat, messanger bag, backpack - and soon I forget where it was in the morning rush, or dont' have time to look for it, or even forget to look for it. And when I need it lateron in the day I don't have it.

    The only time I really use Moleskines now is for travel diaries. But that is a very special case: on travel I always have all my stuff with me. No chance of forgetting things at home.



    The Newton had the added problem that it's a rather expensive device and I didn't really want to leave a bag semi-unattended with a Newton in it. Yet often I go places where I know I won't be paying 100% attention to my bag all the time, like at concerts, parties or when meeting friends in a bar. Life's just easier if I don't have to worry about an expensive device in a bag that I need to be 100% attentive of. Or do you carry your bag at you all the time at parties? I don't - so I ended up not bringing the Newton. And consequently the Newton lost its appeal as I no longer had it with me when I needed it.



    With the iPhone it is different. I don't need a bag or coat, it's in my jeans pocket always.





    The inherent problem:



    You are looking for the 'next big thing', the 'perfect device' to end all devices.

    I think most will agree that such a device would be one that can be with you all the time - otherwise it's not as useful. And yet to be with you all the time, it needs to be the size of the iPhone and not any bigger. Even Moleskine sized is already too big in my opinion.



    Yet if the device has to be bigger than an iPhone, and consequently loses its 'always with me' feature - then I might as well go all the way. Then I do want a 1080p HD resolution display and a full-size keyboard (touch or whatever). Point is, it's going to be at least a 15-16" device. Unless they invent foldable screens with no seam in the middle.





    The perfect device is a 'transformer pad'. The size of an iPhone when folded up, but can unfold in two stages:

    once to a DVD case sized 'iPad' and further on to a 15" MacBook Air.

    That is the perfect device. It might happen one day, but not this decade.



    Everything else is either - or. Ultimately there is no general middle ground. Only for very special cases like on travel or for medical note taking.



    I fully expect UMPCs and other similar sized devices to end up like my Newton. After the initial 'great new toy' phase, when you'll be using it a lot, the daily routine problems will creap up and eventually these devices will be left at home. For the same reasons as my Newton.

    You will end up bringing your mobile phone plus a full featured laptop (or future pad device of similar size) when you want to do serious work.
  • Reply 20 of 44
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post


    Well, Olternaut, if you had bothered to actually click on that link I gave you, you would see that "the tablet {I am} suggesting" actually is a "regular notebook" with the bottom half replaced "with a full multitouch interface" like you said. The bottom half is a translucent touchscreen that can display monochrome images - hence it is used as a tablet when the "lid" is closed. . Go look at it. Then tell me if it's a decent concept or not.



    I'm not denying that a larger version iPhone would be easier to use from Jobs' "breakthrough Internet communication device" point of view (as described in Jobs' '07 keynote). And who wouldn't want a giant version of the "widescreen iPod with touch controls"? But it fails miserably with respect to "Revolutionary Phone" - no one would like to use a phone that's that friggin' big.



    So can Apple sell a giant iPhone without the "phone"? Maybe. That's what the iPod Touch is, except smaller, but it is being marketed primarily as an iPod, not a PDA. The thing is: if you have enough space to carry an 8" PMP/PDA, you probably have enough space to carry a 13"

    tablet/laptop convertible. Think what you would have to do to sell a PSP in the business world for business applications.



    It would be awesomely cool to have a PMP/PDA as wide as the iPhone is tall. But there would only be a few places you could put it - either a coat pocket or a purse. It would be amazing in that sort of application. But there is a reason that the iPod Touch is being marketed as a PMP and not a PDA (even though it's potentially the most powerful PDA ever with the SDK being released). People simply don't want to carry around an extra device when their phone will do "almost" the same job. They DEFINITELY don't want to pay for an extra contract to give this extra device wireless connectivity. Unless it had EDGE/3G/VOIP and shipped standard with a Bluetooth headset (thus both supplanting the role of the iPhone and falling under the same carrier-based restrictions that it has), it wouldn't match the mobile connectivity & power of the iPhone, which is pointless.



    Yes I know about the pocket problem. They like that the iphone and ipod touch are very easily fitted in ones pocket.

    That is why I suspect they are going to make a larger web tablet/iphone thingy with the ability to have a larger screen and ALSO be pocketable. How will Apple accomplish this? I'm not sure yet. There have been some theories in various forums but whatever the specifics I'm sure Apple have done their job concerning this.

    Oh, and not everyone wants to have cell phone contract or a cell phone for that matter.

    And, the old model is changing by the way.

    Haven't you been monitoring the 700mhz auctions and their outcome. The whole playing field and how things done is changing. Hopefully its changing for the better.

    But I see myself paying for a flat rate data only service plan for some sort of internet device. And perhaps it could get even better than that.

    In response to verizon's plans Apple might direct his plans to something even more desirable to the consumer.
Sign In or Register to comment.