Thoughts on the iPad

Sooo, for once I’m going to blog about current news πŸ™‚

Like almost every geek out there, I’ve been rather disappointed by the iPad. However, as many others have said, the iPhone had already revolutionized the way we think of computer user interface. It was obvious that it couldn’t have been a MacOS tablet. They had to adapt MacOS X to a tablet with multi-touch interface, and that is… iPhone OS.

This comment from a reddit thread sums it up quite nicely : “Why isn’t it a COMPUTER? We wanted a fucking tablet computer, not an oversized iphone – Because they’re not selling to you”. Yeah, this isn’t a geek tool. Although I have a feeling that, just like with the iPhone, many geeks will want one too.

Now it seems one of the main gripes against it is the lack of Flash. I really don’t understand why. As a chat on the topic with other friends proved to me this morning, Flash has two main uses nowadays : video, and games. Videos are on iTunes. YouTube is a native app. Other video sites already have iPhone (or more generically “mobile”) versions, like Dailymotion. And as for games… well that’s the first 3rd-party product which were shown during the presentation. And it would make sense that those people writing those fun little Flash games would be more than happy to sell them on the App Store.

Regarding Flash being used as a UI on website, now how are you going to translate that to the iPad’s UI ? The whole thing is designed to be used with your fingers as pointing devices, scrolling, etc… and by visiting a web site, you’d find yourself stuck with a UI made for a mouse&keyboard interface. How convenient.

And yes, of course, there’s the obvious reason that Apple (Jobs) is a control freak and doesn’t want anyone else to interfere with the Experience they provide to the user, that Flash is a resource hog, etc… I personally won’t miss it.

What I do miss, though, is multitasking, and it would have been really cool to have a video camera in there. And for the whole thing to be a tad more open regarding app installation, but that calls for the same answer as above : Apple’s not selling this to me. I might get one eventually (will wait for v2), but I won’t use it as a computer.

Edit : Two posts which I found seeing beyond the feature list check :
This one by Fraser Speirs (btw, thanks for your FlickrExport Aperture plugin πŸ˜‰ ), and the other by John Gruber.

Quick thoughts on the MIDEM

So the MIDEM 2010 is closing today. I attended as a press photographer, mostly did concerts (some great stuff), but also a couple of press conferences. Anyway :

  • the industry is definitely moving towards other non-repressive solutions and alternative models to keep the business afloat. To quote Ted Cohen : “We’re decisively moving from music as a product to music as a service … this isn’t my opinion, this is fact.”. Good for them. As a sign of this, two or three (not sure) Rock Band booths, plus many talks and deals with video games companies. Spotify and Deezer were also very present.
  • Politicians however are still lagging behind, still stuck in the same way only beginning to look at the possibilities of legal offers as a way to effectively fight against illegal sharing. The press conference I attended on the matter was rather pathetic in its lack of vision. Only the SPEDIDAM (warning, annoying website with auto-maximize windows and Flash all over, yuck), french organisation of authors to collect royalties like the SACEM, has a refreshingly sane view on the matter.
  • The music industry is Apple’s turf. iPhones and macbooks (unibodies) were outnumbering blackberries and PCs 5 to 1 (rough estimation). To give an idea : the MIDEM iPhone app was downloaded more than 4000 times. There were 7000 attendees at the MIDEM this year.
  • The conference relied heavily on Twitter as a “life line” for news, buzz, and communication between attendees. In that regard Twitter really has become a de facto instant communication platform standard which events can very easily get working : just agree on a keyword to use (#midem in that case) and off you go.
  • Videogames (Rock Band, Guitar Hero…) had quite a bit of presence. According to this blog post from Le Monde journalists (in French, sorry), listening sessions organised by videogame producers to look for music to go with their games had a lot of success

That’s all for now.

(edit Feb 12th : added bit about videogames)