Editorial: The future of Steve Jobs' iPad vision for Post-PC computing

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  • Reply 21 of 113
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,616member
    hentaiboy said:
    The vision for post PC computing seems to be smartphones if the graph is to be taken as gospel. 
    A graph isn't gospel, it's just data.  And just because iPhones are a significant form of profits now, doesn't mean it will be forever.   

    Truth is, many can do with their phones today what a PC was needed for a decade ago.  It's just that people are replacing them every one to two years and that helps make Apple metric-fucktons of money!

    I didn't see mention of an ARM-based Mac in this article.  I'm certain it is coming.  Apple would probably love to keep some of that profit instead of sending it to Intel.  
    GeorgeBMacpropod
  • Reply 22 of 113
    ben20ben20 Posts: 126member
    hydrogen said:
    steveau said:
    Good analysis and the suggestions for improvements are all relevant, but you have missed the big improvement that is totally necessary if the iPad is to be truly post-PC: native handwriting recognition. <...>
    Handwriting ! relics of the past ! who still uses handwriting ?
    Just a few folks in China. I use it, too, for teaching Chinese, comes in handy to use a pen instead of a finger and the iPad Pro is awesome for that.
    roundaboutnowwaverboyapres587
  • Reply 23 of 113
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    eriamjh said:
    hentaiboy said:
    The vision for post PC computing seems to be smartphones if the graph is to be taken as gospel. 
    A graph isn't gospel, it's just data.  And just because iPhones are a significant form of profits now, doesn't mean it will be forever.   

    Truth is, many can do with their phones today what a PC was needed for a decade ago.  It's just that people are replacing them every one to two years and that helps make Apple metric-fucktons of money!

    I didn't see mention of an ARM-based Mac in this article.  I'm certain it is coming.  Apple would probably love to keep some of that profit instead of sending it to Intel.  
    OMG!  That would be blurring the wall between them.   It's a GREAT wall.   The BIGGEST wall!   The BEST wall -- EVER!
  • Reply 24 of 113
    I have a pair of Mac Pros that serve their purpose well. One is a 6-core, the other a stripped 4-core. They are from 2013. They are made well, perform well, but need an upgrade. I would be satisfied with a processor upgrade and a graphics upgrade, with TB3. It can't be that hard.
  • Reply 25 of 113
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    Bring the cursor and mouse over to the iPad!  What Apple can do is to enable cursor once a mouse is connected to the iPad.  Remove it when the mouse is gone. 
    GeorgeBMacpropod
  • Reply 26 of 113
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,512member
    cali said:
    steveau said:
    Good analysis and the suggestions for improvements are all relevant, but you have missed the big improvement that is totally necessary if the iPad is to be truly post-PC: native handwriting recognition. If you have a touch sensitive screen and a stylus, why do you have to mimic a PC and have an on screen keyboard, or look even more like a laptop and have an attached keyboard? Clearly, people who want to use a keyboard or voice dictation should be able to have that flexibility, but that freedom should also be extended to people who would prefer to write (and I suspect that with good enough software that would be most of us). Apple holds all the best patents on HWR (a legacy of the Newton), so they should either (A) develop the functionality into a future iOS release, (B) spin off a separate company (like Filemaker) to develop it as an app, or (C) sell off the patents. Options B and C make no sense to me, so here's hoping that they will finally realise that while a finger is great as a mouse replacement, the stylus is great as a pen replacement, and both should be supported. Native HWR will truly be the killer app for the iPad - and if the patents are strong enough, uncopyable.
    The only people that would use handwriting on their computing devices when a keyboard is available are:

    1. Those that don't have a working keyboard
    2. Those that are too lazy to learn how to type
    3. Those that have a very special use-case

    Very few people can write on anything by hand much faster than 20 words per minute, while a common typing speed is 40 WPM, and that's not remotely fast: I was able to do that while doing hunt-and-peck over 20 years ago: at this time, I'm capable of typing (no hunt-and-peck) at 90 WPM.  I'm not saying everyone can hope to get that fast (as a software engineer, and before, I've been typing for ~=35 years of my 45 year life, no typing class, just experience) but the point is, even the best handwriting recognition won't make handwriting nearly as efficient as typing is now, for those that know how to type.

    Here's the thing: if you have the coordination (which I really don't) to handwrite decently fast, you can also do the typing faster as a result: thus, there's no valuable reason to depend on handwriting on a computer if you have a keyboard you can use, if you don't need to do other graphic input at the same time.

    The only meaningfully valid use-case for handwriting recognition would be for something like taking notes in a math class where you are also drawing complex equations with symbols and want to see the graphical representation: in that context, typing with a regular keyboard would possibly be less efficient for regular typing, largely because higher math symbols are a nuisance to work with on any keyboard, and arranging typographical relationships via a keyboard is less than ideal.
    Why all the fuss? Wasn't the original suggestion optional? If so that would be great as a lot of writers like hand writing. 

    I actually want an iPad Pro because of handwriting. 
    Agreed. There are many, many uses for handwriting recognition. They might not be your main input method and currently, writing with a Apple pencil on a screen may feel a little strange but I can see the benefits of sketching something then annoting observations, arrows and other symbols, then have the system clean it up, make it editable etc. If the system could learn a user's handwriting from a previously scanned template of handwriting, it would also give documents a personalised feel that would instantly let documents with input from multiple users be recognisable.

    The future will see new screen types such as flexible screens and we may even reach a point where pen and screen will be able to recreate the sensation of writing with a pen or pencil on paper.

    .
  • Reply 27 of 113
    I've been attracted by iPad since it arrived, but I use it less and less because it falls short at the specific things I want it to do. One is the ability to use it as a tablet at a meeting, which would require handwriting recognition to be a lot better and better integrated as others have noted. That would get me (and hopefully others) out from behind a circle of screens around the conference table distracting people from what the meeting is about. Because that doesn't work well, I try with a keyboard, but when I'm in laptop mode, the iPad is not because of the dogma that insists that an iPad can't have a pointing device. Steve Jobs was the one who pointed out that laptop users do not want to be reaching up to a touch screen, and he was right - so in my office the Surface all anyone is buying for meetings. I would be happy if Apple would get just one of those just right, and any extra benefit reading on the bus would be gravy.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 28 of 113
    Notice I said "when *I* am in laptop mode. I would like to see the machine adapt to my use, rather than to force me to fit its dogmatic paradigm.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 29 of 113
    I still don't quite understand why Apple had to abandon the MacMini. To me it's the perfect media center computer to run Kodi and which I have attached to my HDTV. It's more powerful than those Android boxes. Does it really cost Apple that much to update such a simple device. It's just heavy block of aluminum with a few low-cost components. All Apple needed to do is make it easier to replace memory and hard drives instead of sealing the darn thing completely. It seems refurbished MacMinis sell out almost immediately so there must be some demand for them. I have one of the last quad-core i7 MacMinis from 2012 and it's a terrific PLEX server and now I also have it running TVMobili server and the processor barely rises above 3% use at idle.  I'll probably end up getting a used one as a backup when I get a second HDTV.

    I'm not telling Apple how to run the company. I'm only looking at it from my personal perspective and it gets harder for me to understand where Apple is headed. I sure can't see an iPad replacing a MacMini but maybe I'm just stupid. I sure don't know why Apple thought there was a huge demand for a cylindrical-shaped MacPro with weird internal component placement, either. It's supposed to be geared for Final Cut Pro but that just seems too narrow a focus for such an expensive computer. Why can't Apple spread the wealth to things other devices than just the iPhone? I realize I'm in the minority so I can't expect much but it doesn't hurt to hope.
    edited February 2017 GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 113
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,512member
    From the article:

    "For years, critics have trotted out the trite notion that iPad is "not powerful enough to be a real computer" and therefore only good at "consumption." 

    This is a very poor evaluation and deliberately stirs things up to take a stab at 'critics'.

    Firstly, for years the critics were right. It has only been recently and through advances across the board (processors, graphics, iOS advances etc) that iPads like the Pro have taken a big step forward.

    For years the iPad was mainly a consumption device with creative options. I wonder, out of all the iPads ever sold, how many were purchased with the purchasers seeing them as 'real' computers or simply additional devices to give them more flexibility?

    The word 'trite' is out of place and even the word 'critics' is dubious. 'Commentators' would fit better.

    I haven't used an iPad Pro so can't speak about it as a real computer but if you line up a desktop, a laptop and a tablet and ask a user to carry out real computer tasks, I'm sure the tablet would see little use, even if it were more powerful than the other two.

    Tablets are great, they have a use. Take the above example and ask me to carry out the same tasks while sitting on a train. The tablet would get more attention this time around but depending on the task I'm sure the laptop would be the preferred option.

    However, for most of its existence, the tablet has not aimed to fulfill the role of a 'real computer', it has aimed to be flexible while overlapping some of the functionality of real computers but overwhelmingly fulfilling the role of a mobile consumption device. It has done that very well (at least the iPad has).

    It was able to do this principally on price. If it had been much more expensive people would have stayed with their laptops. Making it economically viable as a platform was key. That factor and initial success, also provided some tailwind to distance it from other tablets.

    With the groundwork done, it was just a question of staying ahead of the pack. The Mini was another key moment although previously, we had been told there was no need for a smaller tablet.

    Precisely because it is not a real computer but nevertheless manages to cover users' needs so well, people don't feel the need to upgrade so often. This doesn't represent the decline of the tablet. It's a natural situation although definitely accentuated by the lack of new updates to the line. That is a management problem not a tablet problem.

    The iPhone will probably hit a similar plateau after sales settle for the next version.

    There will be a lot of pressure from competitors offering premium phones at far lower prices.

    I have some data from Spain for 2016. I think Spain has one of the highest ratios for mobile phones per inhabitant and one of the most frequent upgrade cycles. 

    As far as sales for 2016 go, the iPhone was at number 5 (but with the iPhone SE). Huawei took top spot with the P8 lite, a phone that was heavily promoted by carriers during the year.

    As we see smartphone saturation in the developed world, it will be harder to sell premium devices and their will be far more quality competion in that space. Far more than ever before and Apple has already been overtaken in some aspects.

    Huawei today announced the P10 and P10 Plus in Barcelona. A day before the MWC officially kicks off in the same city. For premium phones, they seem to offer a very good deal for the price.

    edited February 2017
  • Reply 31 of 113
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    A Mac is much, much, much more than a jailed sandboxed portless limited iOS device!
    edited February 2017
  • Reply 32 of 113
    The day Apple decides to either sell a multitouch iMac or a desktop sized iPad, I'll be there first in line to buy one.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 113
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    reflows said:
    Notice I said "when *I* am in laptop mode. I would like to see the machine adapt to my use, rather than to force me to fit its dogmatic paradigm.
    I agree.  The reasoning behind locking IPads into tablet mode and portable Macs into laptop mode is based on dogma left over from an out of context Steve Jobs comment.

    That same kind of dogma, based on a Steve Jobs comment, locked Apple into 4" IPhones even though the rest of the world had moved onto larger formats.   What Apple had missed during that period was NOT that Jobs was wrong that people wanted to phone to be easily handled.  Rather, that times had moved on and people were using his device less and less as a phone and more and more as a computer for interacting with the internet, playing games, following maps to their destination, etc. -- and they needed a larger device and were willing to sacrifice the inconvenience of carrying and handling a larger device.   It wasn't that Jobs was wrong.  He was right when he said it.  But that times had changed.

    The same is true of Jobs comment that laptops should not have touch screens.   He was right.   But now that there are no technical reasons that IPads can't have keyboards, mice and (probably) large screens:  Once again, he was right in what he said and when he said it, but the damn times keep on changing!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 113
    Even though the iPad pro comes with a keyboard on the screen, adding a real keyboard to my iPad pro was totally transformative. All of them should come with a physical keyboard. I would also like to be able to make templates in Pages on my iPad. I'm not going to buy an iMac, just to make a template, just to send to my iPad. One thing I'd fix: After typing in my unlock number sequence, add a 2 second pause to being able to open apps because currently whatever app is underneath the last digit of my code, it is always opening and then i have to close it. Also to fix, turn off the software updater if I'm using the personal hotspot from my phone.
  • Reply 35 of 113
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    The day Apple decides to either sell a multitouch iMac or a desktop sized iPad, I'll be there first in line to buy one.
    You're right about the multitouch iMac.
    You're wrong about the desktop sized iPad.
    ...  Because all Apple has to do is let you drop it into a dock with keyboard, mouse and 28" screen. 
    ......... Get that checkbook out!   It's coming!

    Or, alternatively, for greater portability:   a smart cover with imbedded keyboard, touchpad and touchbar.  There's no reason it would not work well either in tablet mode or laptop mode.  
    edited February 2017 propod
  • Reply 36 of 113
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,781member
    I have a pair of Mac Pros that serve their purpose well. One is a 6-core, the other a stripped 4-core. They are from 2013. They are made well, perform well, but need an upgrade. I would be satisfied with a processor upgrade and a graphics upgrade, with TB3. It can't be that hard.
    Well even if the processor was upgradable, its not always as easy as just swap out CPUs. The next gen may not be compatible with the current chipset. TB3 requires the chipset to support it. Its not as easy as just put in a PCIe card and now you have TB3. For one thing, I believe TB3 is faster than what PCIe can handle. 

    So in the end, it will be easy for you once Apple updates the MacPro...you just sell what you have and get new ones. You'll still get a pretty penny for what you have. Macs aren't like PC's and lose 80% of their value as soon as you break the tape on the box. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 113
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,781member

    The day Apple decides to either sell a multitouch iMac or a desktop sized iPad, I'll be there first in line to buy one.
    And you'll be the only one in line...
  • Reply 38 of 113
    hydrogen said:
    steveau said:
    Good analysis and the suggestions for improvements are all relevant, but you have missed the big improvement that is totally necessary if the iPad is to be truly post-PC: native handwriting recognition. <...>
    Handwriting ! relics of the past ! who still uses handwriting ?
    Are you kidding?
    ever took notes with the Apple Pen in GoodNotes or similar, added sketches, only to have it transformed using OCR to a word doc?
    close to priceless. Handwriting will not go for long time. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 39 of 113
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,244member
    avon b7 said:
    From the article:

    "For years, critics have trotted out the trite notion that iPad is "not powerful enough to be a real computer" and therefore only good at "consumption." 

    This is a very poor evaluation and deliberately stirs things up to take a stab at 'critics'.

    Firstly, for years the critics were right. It has only been recently and through advances across the board (processors, graphics, iOS advances etc) that iPads like the Pro have taken a big step forward.

    For years the iPad was mainly a consumption device with creative options. I wonder, out of all the iPads ever sold, how many were purchased with the purchasers seeing them as 'real' computers or simply additional devices to give them more flexibility?

    The word 'trite' is out of place and even the word 'critics' is dubious. 'Commentators' would fit better.

    I haven't used an iPad Pro so can't speak about it as a real computer but if you line up a desktop, a laptop and a tablet and ask a user to carry out real computer tasks, I'm sure the tablet would see little use, even if it were more powerful than the other two.

    Tablets are great, they have a use. Take the above example and ask me to carry out the same tasks while sitting on a train. The tablet would get more attention this time around but depending on the task I'm sure the laptop would be the preferred option.

    However, for most of its existence, the tablet has not aimed to fulfill the role of a 'real computer', it has aimed to be flexible while overlapping some of the functionality of real computers but overwhelmingly fulfilling the role of a mobile consumption device. It has done that very well (at least the iPad has).

    It was able to do this principally on price. If it had been much more expensive people would have stayed with their laptops. Making it economically viable as a platform was key. That factor and initial success, also provided some tailwind to distance it from other tablets.

    With the groundwork done, it was just a question of staying ahead of the pack. The Mini was another key moment although previously, we had been told there was no need for a smaller tablet.

    Precisely because it is not a real computer but nevertheless manages to cover users' needs so well, people don't feel the need to upgrade so often. This doesn't represent the decline of the tablet. It's a natural situation although definitely accentuated by the lack of new updates to the line. That is a management problem not a tablet problem.

    The iPhone will probably hit a similar plateau after sales settle for the next version.

    There will be a lot of pressure from competitors offering premium phones at far lower prices.

    I have some data from Spain for 2016. I think Spain has one of the highest ratios for mobile phones per inhabitant and one of the most frequent upgrade cycles. 

    As far as sales for 2016 go, the iPhone was at number 5 (but with the iPhone SE). Huawei took top spot with the P8 lite, a phone that was heavily promoted by carriers during the year.

    As we see smartphone saturation in the developed world, it will be harder to sell premium devices and their will be far more quality competion in that space. Far more than ever before and Apple has already been overtaken in some aspects.

    Huawei today announced the P10 and P10 Plus in Barcelona. A day before the MWC officially kicks off in the same city. For premium phones, they seem to offer a very good deal for the price.

    "real computer tasks"

    That's where you lost me.

    "real computer tasks" used to require a mainframe computer sitting in a nearby building.

    Somebodies thought about taking newly developed microprocessors and creating a "Personal Computer". and yeah, Apple was in on that early with the Apple I and II. Pretty soon, developers created software for these "Personal Computers" that would accomplish many of the same "real computer tasks" that mainframe computers did. But it didn't stop there.

    Somebodies thought that command line interfaces could be replaced with Graphical User Interfaces to make it easier to do "real computer tasks" on "Personal Computers" and yeah, Apple was in early on that as well with the Macintosh.

    Apple has been in on everything that has happened in personal, desktop, portable, and mobile computing since almost the start of the "Personal Computer" revolution. I'm pretty sure that Steve Jobs had an idea on how the iPad could be used as a computer to do "real computer tasks". How about we wait a bit longer to see if the iPad does indeed morph into a form factor that can do "real computer tasks", because I'm not seeing much of a barrier to that happening.

    As for your statement that "The iPhone will probably hit a similar plateau after sales settle for the next version. There will be a lot of pressure from competitors offering premium phones at far lower prices."

    You really don't have a clue about how Apple's ecosystem and product roadmap will play out, and I'd argue, it will be a long time before Chinese OEM's can put all of the pieces together to match or exceed Apple's ecosystem, no less Apple's hardware. 

    And please, you might want to hold off hawking your Android OS devices in this particular thread.

    edited February 2017 ai46mattinozkevin keecornchipbestkeptsecretwatto_cobraStrangeDayschiajony0
  • Reply 40 of 113
    steveau said:
    Good analysis and the suggestions for improvements are all relevant, but you have missed the big improvement that is totally necessary if the iPad is to be truly post-PC: native handwriting recognition. If you have a touch sensitive screen and a stylus, why do you have to mimic a PC and have an on screen keyboard, or look even more like a laptop and have an attached keyboard? Clearly, people who want to use a keyboard or voice dictation should be able to have that flexibility, but that freedom should also be extended to people who would prefer to write (and I suspect that with good enough software that would be most of us). Apple holds all the best patents on HWR (a legacy of the Newton), so they should either (A) develop the functionality into a future iOS release, (B) spin off a separate company (like Filemaker) to develop it as an app, or (C) sell off the patents. Options B and C make no sense to me, so here's hoping that they will finally realise that while a finger is great as a mouse replacement, the stylus is great as a pen replacement, and both should be supported. Native HWR will truly be the killer app for the iPad - and if the patents are strong enough, uncopyable.
    It has been already tried with the discontinued Newton at the 90s. That was a perfect hand-writing recognition, it worked well, in fact it was the only feature that made Newton a Newton but it couldn't prevent the demise of Newton.

    The point is, no one uses handwriting to input data. Handwriting is only useful for jotting notes, putting marks etc.. Electronic ink is enough for such cases. Drawing the letter "a" is slower than typing the letter "a". HWR can only be an alternate method of input for enthousiasts, and there are already third party iOS applications for them. A system-wide HWR is not needed.
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