2011-03-14

Do tablets make sense, yet?

In his blog post “Moving on from iPad ‘office productivity’ apps”, Marco Arment makes the case that even Apple is still in the process of figuring out what tablets are really good for. He mentions the keyboard dock being discontinued (others say it’s not). But his argument still stands: The iPad isn’t good with keyboards. Furthermore, Apple seems to have backed away from office productivity apps:
Apple is now adapting to the market’s actual use by retreating somewhat from office productivity and pushing strongly into new territory — casual media creation — to see if that gets a stronger uptake in practice. I think it will be a lot more interesting than office productivity, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done in iOS to make it practical (especially regarding file transfers with computers).
I use the iPad a lot for content consumption (web, documents, email, video, audio), but text input is still a major barrier. So much so, that I frequently move to my desktop computer so that I don’t have to type in a user name and a password (e.g. for Xing friend requests). It’ll be interesting to see where things go. Switching the user interface mode to make the iPad more keyboard-compatible [1] seems an option, but completely new ideas will probably come up, too.

Related posts:
  1. The three contexts of device interaction
  2. Making sense of the iPad

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