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Handhelds Portables Linux Apple

Here Come the Linux iPad Clones 584

Posted by Soulskill
from the send-in-the-clones dept.
CWmike writes "You can now pre-order an Apple iPad; but do you really want to, asks Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. 'I mean, I get why you'd want an iPad. I'd like one too,' he writes. 'But,' he says, 'when I consider that there are soon going to be literally dozens of cheaper, Linux-powered iPad devices on the market, I find it a lot easier to resist putting $499 on my credit card. On top of that, Apple will be including DRM on some eBooks and other iPad content. I really, really hate DRM. All that said, I agree the iPad is really cool. I predict with absolute faith that the iPad and its clones are going to kill off single purpose devices like dedicated eReaders such as Amazon's Kindle and GPS devices within the next three years. How can it not work out this way? For the same price as a high-end dedicated device you can get a tablet that will do everything they can do and far more. But, and this is the important bit, you don't have to buy an Apple iPad to get all of the iPad's goodies. ARM, a mobile microprocessor power, is predicting that we'll see no less than 50 ARM-processor-powered iPad clones by year's end. And, what will they be running? These ARM-powered entertainment tablets will all be running Linux.'"
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Here Come the Linux iPad Clones

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  • No iPad for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:14PM (#31456638) Homepage

    What with all the other tablets coming out that let me install whatever the hell I want on them, I see no reason to be stuck with the programs Apple deems "appropriate" for me.

    Obviously, this is just my opinion and only applies to myself.

  • by jpmorgan (517966) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:15PM (#31456648) Homepage

    And here come the pundits declaring every tablet computer to be an iPad clone. Because as we all know, the CrunchPad/JooJoo is such a ripoff of the iPad.

    Aren't we so lucky to have Apple around to invent everything for us?

  • by ircmaxell (1117387) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:17PM (#31456660) Homepage
    How are these clones? The iPad was announced what, 2.5 months ago? Doesn't it take significantly longer than that to engineer, design and develop a device to market? So if these were in the works long before the iPad was announced, how can then POSSIBLY be clones? Or is this just successful Apple marketing to instill the idea that if a "Major Player" is first to press (Which the iPad wasn't by the way), all others become imitators? That's like saying that Apple invented the smart phone, or that MS invented the home computer, or that Google invented online document editing and storage...
  • Software (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gilesjuk (604902) <giles DOT jones AT zen DOT co DOT uk> on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:18PM (#31456686)

    Unless the software on the Linux devices has been rewritten for a touch interface I don't see why they're worth bothering with.

    That's the genius of the iPad, loads of software apps designed for a touch screen interface. Hence why Apple based it on the iPhone not the Mac.

    Tablets with desktop OS software suck and have been around for years, failing to catch on due to poor usability.

  • Forget Linux (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:18PM (#31456690) Homepage Journal
    All I want is a low-cost (100$ max), E-ink (reflective, extremely low-power) PDF reader with an SD memory card slot.

    No Web browser
    No MP3 player
    No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
    No keyboard (touch screen would be nice but at that price I would settle for a gamepad-style interface)
  • by OzPeter (195038) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:19PM (#31456704)

    I was reading on Macrumors today about the data plan pricing structure. $15/mo for 250MB or $30/mo for unlimited. With NO CONTRACT .. all month to month and you can stop and start on a monthly basis at will, and upgrade/downgrade as you choose.

    So I can see the hardware clones coming out of the woodwork, but it is going to take some serious corporate muscle to iron out similar data plans deals like that.

  • DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:19PM (#31456710)

    On top of that, Apple will be including DRM on some eBooks and other iPad content.

    Wait what? You won't buy devices that companies can sell DRM'd content on? I can see not buying devices where the only content is DRM'd, but devices that support both free and DRM'd formats give me more choices, not fewer. I'm not buying an iPad because I don't fit the target market and it would be pretty useless for me, but your DRM reasoning baffles me.

  • by wiredog (43288) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:22PM (#31456760) Journal

    Except run for more than a day without charging. Oh, and be read in full sunlight.

  • ergh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:23PM (#31456776) Homepage
    For the same price as a high-end dedicated device you can get a tablet that will do everything they can do and far more.

    No you don't; why are there people that just can't understand that to some of us an e-ink screen provides a superior reading experience to a glowing one?
  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:1, Insightful)

    by jo42 (227475) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:25PM (#31456806) Homepage

    You are right. The iPad isn't for you.
    The iPad is for your Ma, Pa, Grandma and Grandpa.
    In other words, everyone else in the world that isn't a nerd/geek/tech-head.

  • Tivoization (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:25PM (#31456816) Homepage Journal

    What with all the other tablets coming out that let me install whatever the hell I want on them

    Not necessarily. The mention of "ARM-powered entertainment tablets" makes me think some of these tablets will be locked up like a TiVo DVR [wikipedia.org]: running a GPLv2 Linux kernel digitally signed by the manufacturer and GPLv2 apps digitally signed by the manufacturer. The compliance and robustness [wikipedia.org] requirements of the digital restrictions management systems used by the publishers of non-free works on "entertainment tablets" might prohibit any environment that isn't suitably Tivoized so that someone can't just tee(1) [wikipedia.org] the cleartext of a non-free work to a file.

  • by RapmasterT (787426) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:25PM (#31456822)
    "when I consider that there are soon going to be literally dozens of cheaper, Linux-powered iPad devices on the market"

    Ok, find I'm sold. can I order one today? Tomorrow? 6 months?

    No, well FU then. I've been waiting for a slate computing device like this for YEARS and someone is shipping one next month, that someone happens to be Apple. If something better comes along, fine I'll take one of those too, then ReBay the iPad. If the market floods with them and nothing is any better, I'll keep it.

    I can't sit down on the couch with Vaporware, so how long are we supposed to wait? And frankly I'm not poor enough to worry about waiting to save a couple $$ to buy the exact best thing at the exact best time.
  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:27PM (#31456840)
    FTFA

    ARM, a mobile microprocessor power, is predicting that we'll see no less than 50 ARM processor-powered iPad clones by year's end — and these ARM-powered entertainment tablets will all be running Linux.

    50? Really, 50? That can't be good for anyone of them. Market fragmentation leads to incompatible devices, applications, etc.

    Surely the Linux world learned its lesson from the desktop wars, hasn't it?

  • Android (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Massacrifice (249974) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:27PM (#31456844)

    And of all these Linux tablets, more than half will run an Android based distro of some form.

    Which is why I've stopped learning Objective-C to concentrate on my embedded Java skills.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:32PM (#31456918) Homepage Journal

    It's apps that sell hardware

    True. That's why every time Apple makes the news for rejecting a class of applications, I become less likely to buy a device running iPhone OS.

  • Re:ergh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ma8thew (861741) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:33PM (#31456940)
    So you're reading Slashdot on one right now?
  • by binarylarry (1338699) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:34PM (#31456956)

    I think that remains to be seen.

    If you said iPod = Model T, then yeah, that'd be hard to refute.

  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:35PM (#31456964)

    What with all the other tablets coming out that let me install whatever the hell I want on them, I see no reason to be stuck with the programs Apple deems "appropriate" for me.

    Obviously, this is just my opinion and only applies to myself.

    You grasp something that a lot of people in these arguments fail to understand - that there are opinions that differ from yours (gasp!). The worst "offenders" seem to be some of the folks who basically wanted an OS X-based clone of the typical Windows Tablet PC. The only pre-release poll I knew about the "rumored Apple device" fell pretty decidedly in favor of an iPhone-like interface instead of a OS X-like interface - it was something like 2/3 to 1/3.

    For me, as an iPod Touch owner, the Apple restrictions have not been a perceived problem - and the larger screen an iPad offers may very well eventually lead me to purchase an iPad (AFTER the first generation!). But obviously there are people like you that want the absolute freedom they perceive in a Linux-based tablet device, and who chafe at the restrictions they see in the Apple offering. Having options is always better, no matter which camp you fall into; and the market will eventually settle all these questions we seem to love endlessly debating on Slashdot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:36PM (#31456988)
    You didn't just compare the Model-T --an innovation in almost all aspects of automotive design and fabrication-- to the iPad --which really isn't much more than a large iPod Touch--, did you? Wow...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:38PM (#31457026)

    FWIW, I have never heard anyone credit Ford with the invention of the automobile. Modern manufacturing techniques, yes. The automobile, no. I have, OTH, seen Apple take credit for many things they did not invent.

  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:39PM (#31457044) Homepage

    You grasp something that a lot of people in these arguments fail to understand - that there are opinions that differ from yours (gasp!). The worst "offenders" seem to be some of the folks who basically wanted an OS X-based clone of the typical Windows Tablet PC. The only pre-release poll I knew about the "rumored Apple device" fell pretty decidedly in favor of an iPhone-like interface instead of a OS X-like interface - it was something like 2/3 to 1/3.

    I made very sure to include the "it only applies to me, this is my opinion" boilerplate to that post, ESPECIALLY in a discussion about the iPad :-)

    For me, as an iPod Touch owner, the Apple restrictions have not been a perceived problem - and the larger screen an iPad offers may very well eventually lead me to purchase an iPad (AFTER the first generation!). But obviously there are people like you that want the absolute freedom they perceive in a Linux-based tablet device, and who chafe at the restrictions they see in the Apple offering. Having options is always better, no matter which camp you fall into; and the market will eventually settle all these questions we seem to love endlessly debating on Slashdot.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the iPad shouldn't exist...I know it's going to sell well, and for the type of device it is, it looks like it does its job well...I just think Apple is going a little overboard with the Apple Tax this time. If each model was reduced by $100-$150 (which I'm sure won't take long, if history is any indication) then I think it would be worth the money in its current state. As it stands though, my primary issue is paying a full-feature price for a half-feature product. That's all.

  • What about the UI (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MikeMo (521697) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:40PM (#31457062)
    This post totally ignores the value of the software and user interface on the iPad. It distills the value of all devices down the hardware, and whether or not the applications will have DRM-d data files. Thereby, it devalues the work of all user interfaces and programmers everywhere.
  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rsborg (111459) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:42PM (#31457080) Homepage

    Surely the Linux world learned its lesson from the desktop wars, hasn't it?

    What a completely stupid question. Guess what? It's not like Linus can actually command some tablet maker to not use Linux, unless that manufacturer violates GPL. Other than that, you can Tivo-ize Linux, hide it safely inside a cluster of google compute-nodes, hell you could even put it in a missle and fire it off. Not much that Linus, Redhat or anyone from the "desktop wars" could anything about. "50 different tablets" is just another page in the unfinished book of Linux.

  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bennomatic (691188) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:42PM (#31457090) Homepage

    the larger screen an iPad offers may very well eventually lead me to purchase an iPad (AFTER the first generation!).

    I'm an early adopter, you insensitive clod!

    Joking aside, this is exactly the kind of reasonable disagreement I wish I saw more of on the net. It's almost like Pres. Obama took over SlashDot from CmdrTaco.

  • by peragrin (659227) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:43PM (#31457096)

    adjusting the overall interface for touch screen , not just big controls but proper controls. you can have sliding buttons, etc. You need an on screen keyboard that works the same across all applications, with built in spell check that picks up words as they are entered. Applications themselves need to be able to rotate to deal with changes in resolutions. You need to setup a method of switching to various applications without keyboard combos or other hardware buttons. You need to add gesture support into the ENTIRE interface and every app to allow more input methods.

    Oh and you need to make all of that work the same across every app and every interface element that needs or could make sensible use of it.

    That is the point Android and current windows mobile fail so badly at. They are still designing interfaces for desktops. Not for multi touch based tablets. People like you who think there is only two steps to make s touch based app to consider when designing the interface, is why apple is kicking android's ass.

  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timeOday (582209) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:48PM (#31457186)

    You clearly have not done a lot of tech support. The "average person" deserves treatment only slightly better than being beaten with rubber hoses.

    On the other hand, the average tech support call is from somebody who calls tech support more often than the average person.

  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:51PM (#31457232)

    I don't get it.

    As far as I can see, it's a consume only device. You can read ebooks, and watch videos, browse web pages, but anything which requires any sort of textual interaction will be a pain in the arse.

    So it's a mobile media displayer? That's it?

     

  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by darjen (879890) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:53PM (#31457250)

    do you really think everyone else wouldn't want to surf the web while listening to Pandora?

  • by Phleg (523632) <stephen@NOSPAm.touset.org> on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:58PM (#31457334)
    This mentality is precisely why Windows Mobile has been a complete and utter failure.
  • by DdJ (10790) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:59PM (#31457356) Homepage Journal

    An example of what you're missing is, well, consider menu (or button) bar placement. On a mouse-based UI, there's no downside to putting that at the top of the screen. On a touch-based UI, putting that at the top of the screen means your hand covers up the screen when you use it.

    A really good touch UI isn't going to have a whole lot in common with a really good mouse-based UI. Awful ones can share a lot, but good ones won't.

  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by natehoy (1608657) on Friday March 12, 2010 @05:06PM (#31457460) Journal

    How many netbook models are out there today? 100? 200? That can't be good for any one of them. Yet it is. Competition means multiple companies all trying to make the best device for each user, at the best price. It worked with desktops, it worked with laptops, it worked with netbooks, and guess what? It'll work with tablets.

    When netbooks became "the hot thing" as a format for casual computing, companies crawled out of the woodwork to make 'em, but they all used the same basic components, just configured a little differently. Asus has at least 6 current models of the eee, Dell has a generous handful of netbooks, and plenty of other companies make them. Yet most of them can run your choice of Windows or Linux (you just have to install Linux yourself on a lot of them). Most can even support MacOS with no problems at all. Sure, you run into a few minor hardware incompatibilities (Linux Mint loves EVERYTHING about my wife's Asus eeePC except the microphone, but it's a brand new one and I expect the driver fix will be out soon, plus she's OK with the 2-step workaround when she wants to video-conference with her mother, who runs a Windows 7 laptop).

    The same thing will happen with TabletPCs. If the form factor takes off, most of the netbook manufacturers will rebuild their devices without a keyboard. Same processors, same base components, same hard drives, same screens (just add touch sensitivity). This will be a VERY easy conversion. I expect most will run Intel's N450 Pinewood, feature about a GB of ram, and use a small factor hard drive. Because, guess what? Those components exist, they're cheap, and they work darned well in small form factor machines.

    It'll be thicker and heavier than an iPad, but not by much, and the reduction in moving parts will probably make up for the cost of the touch-sensitive screen, so you could probably make and sell them profitably for about $250-300 (given that $300 is about the going rate for a decent netbook right now) and that would include a battery that could last 10 hours, a webcam, a 250GB hard drive, and all the standard connectors along the edge (VGA, USB, Ethernet, etc). In other words, a thinner, lighter, "keyboardless netbook". And the ability to run everything your desktop does, connect to its network shares, etc etc.

    In fact, really, the only "oddball" tablet out there is going to be the iPad. I'm not hating on Apple here, I'm sure it will be a great device. Apple makes great stuff. But it's the only device that is unlikely to run anything but the iPhone/iPodTouch/iPad OS. It's the only thing you won't be able to use your tether-capable cell phone on. It's the only thing that won't allow you to run any app you can download. Everything else out there will be capable of running the same OS your desktop does - or at least a minimized variant of it (Windows Seven Starter, for example). And all the same applications.

  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Friday March 12, 2010 @05:15PM (#31457574) Journal

    Exactly. And, FFS, people should stop with the "clones" nonsense. These aren't Ipad clones. How can you clone something that isn't even released yet? They're no more clones than the Ipad itself is a clone of previous products.

    It was annoying when people did this for Apple's Iphone, as if they invented phones (!), but now we have it when the product isn't even released.

  • by hmbJeff (591813) on Friday March 12, 2010 @05:22PM (#31457664)
    See the Adam [gizmodo.com] device from Notion Ink. It will ship with a Pixel Qi [pixelqi.com] screen that works in reflective mode (like the e-ink screen on a Kindle) in sunlight. However, unlike e-ink, it can also run in full color with normal video-friendly refresh rates, just by turning on the backlight. You get the best of both worlds, including very low power usage when running in reflective mode. On most Pixel Qi devices this switching on and off of the backlight can be done manually or automatically with an ambient light sensor. The Adam device runs Android, rather than a direct Linux OS.
  • Re:Android (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Friday March 12, 2010 @05:33PM (#31457832)

    And people keep mistakenly calling Android tablets "Linux tablets." Most of the time, there's nothing Linux about them except the kernel.

    If you want a Linux device, get something you can put Moblin/Maemo (MeeGo) on. -That's- a distro designed around mobile and touch interfaces.

  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday March 12, 2010 @05:49PM (#31458006) Homepage Journal

    They are as easy to use as this porta-Mac iPad.

    Actually, if the iPad were anything like a "porta-Mac it wouldn't have required app-store tie-ins, nor would they be purposely borked by the manufacturer to prevent tethering to iPhones.

    The iPad is in fact nothing like the products that gave the Macs a reputation for technological elegance and user-friendliness.

    You didn't have to jailbreak a Mac to make it do the things you wanted it to do. You didn't have to get all your apps from Apple, and you could even write your own applications without getting permission if you were so inclined. You didn't have to sign a two-year contract with a shitty phone company when you bought your Mac, either. When you bought it, it was yours and it was the adventurousness of the people who took to Macintosh computers in order to make music, art, and video that gave Apple the "cachet" of being cool that has served it so well with the soy latte crowd.

    Apple is like that great neighborhood just a short distance from the city center where all the cool artists and creative folks moved in because the neighborhood had flavor and was reasonably priced, but then word got out that it was a "hot neighborhood" and all the yuppies and Bed, Bath and Beyonds moved in and now you can't find a place to park and you can't rent an apartment because all the old buildings were torn down to make cookie-cutter townhouses and "multi-use" upscale shopping and all the funky restaurants have been replaced by joints where someone named "Sami" takes your order and an appetizer the size of a postage stamp is covered with goat cheese and arugula and a beer is $11.50 and all the cool people have moved about 10 blocks away to a new great neighborhood which might not be as shiny and upscale but at least you can walk down the street without seeing every other person wearing an $80 Ed Hardy t-shirt. And the people that got hooked into seven-figure mortgages in order to buy their exposed-brick and granite countertop condos are suddenly looking over their shoulder and wondering why the neighborhood doesn't feel as cool as it once did. But of course, they'll never admit that fashion sucked them in so they'll wince and pretend that their neighborhood is still the coolest part of town because now nobody's going to take that condo off their hands anyway.

    That's why you find people who were great fans of Apple products pre-iPod and have increasingly become disillusioned with the direction the company's taken. Are those people "geeks"? Maybe, but I doubt Apple is going to start putting in their advertisements any language that says "Techie geeks don't really care for our products".

  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by The End Of Days (1243248) on Friday March 12, 2010 @05:57PM (#31458088)

    The average person's inability to maintain a computer is the reason we have massive botnets spewing out billions (am I several orders of magnitude low on that?) of spams a day. Your faith is people is highly misplaced, at least in this particular instance.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday March 12, 2010 @06:15PM (#31458304)

    See their lack of movement on open music until Amazon & co. got involved.

    If by "lack of movement" you mean begging the labels to forgo DRM from the start and pressuring them mercilessly to do so until they gave in, then yes. There wasn't much movement but that wasn't Apple's fault.

    In fact Amazon only served to help free us from DRM in that it could do nothing against the iTunes juggernaut and so the labels were forced to remove DRM in trace for more flexible pricing.

  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Friday March 12, 2010 @06:46PM (#31458770) Homepage
    He said "For the same price as a high-end dedicated device you can get a tablet that will do everything they can do and far more."

    1. Apple is and has NEVER been the low price provider. They will never undercut anyone.

    2. Apple clones tend to be cheaper, but they never become killer products. If you want an apple like idea you pay up for the original See the itune.

    3. His major belief, that tablet computers will continue to get cheaper is true, BUT SO WILL THE EREADERS. This guy is comparing the newest tablet to a year old technology. Already there is talk of a new chip that will bring the costs of ereaders down to $100 with 12 months. The apple product will continue to be around $500, while their clones may hit $300.

    At heart an ereader is a MUCH simpler device than a tablet. They need minimal screens, minimal internet connection speeds, minimal everything. Right now it LOOKS like the ereader is close in price to a netbook becaue you are ignoring the ereader's major benefit - long battery life.

    In conclusion, no, Apple will definitely NOT undercut the ereaders. Neither will the apple clones. Ereaders is a product that is here to stay and their price will continue to drop quicker than tablet PCS do.

  • by NatasRevol (731260) on Friday March 12, 2010 @06:59PM (#31458954) Journal

    No, none of those things are hard to program. Yet no one did, until Apple showed them how to do it right.

    But those things are hard to program well. And that's what Apple excels at.

    Three years after the original iPhone, the competitors are just now catching up to the complete package because Apple designed it - not just programmed it - so much better than anything else out at the time.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:06PM (#31459032)

    True. That's why every time Apple makes the news for rejecting a class of applications, I become less likely to buy a device running iPhone OS.

    Hint, instead of needing Wobble iBoobs, you can very likely find the same material on the internet.

    Or simply jailbreak it like a few million people do with iPhones.

  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:19PM (#31459240)

    It's for your hairdresser, interior decorator and unpublished trust-fund dilettante who is writing a "novel" while sipping his seventh mochachino.

    Actually, my grandma uses Ubuntu on her netbook and thinks Apple is for fags.

    Charming... Was there really any need for all that homophobia in your post?

  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mdarksbane (587589) on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:28PM (#31459376)

    Have you interacted with anyone who wasn't a geek recently? I love what control I have over my computer, too, but the vast majority of users struggle to install something other than internet explorer! They use their computer for facebook, music, word, and porn. The only installers they run personally are pop cap games and malware.

    Aside from our nerdy philosophical objections to the idea, the fact that the garden has a wall doesn't matter if it has everything you want or care about inside of it.

    I mean, I don't care if you buy an ipad. I'm not touching one and I don't own an iphone. But the amount of complete denial of the state of computing users here amazes me.

  • by MikeFM (12491) on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:44PM (#31459592) Homepage Journal
    I just spent $1000 on an iPad whereas I can't see spending more than $250 for an Android tablet (and probably nothing for any other tablet) because they haven't learned the Linux desktop lesson. They are often incompatible, have poorly designed interface, and allow any random rubbish to clutter things up. Call it flexibility if you want but I call it a crappy user experience. Pay $100 for a developer license or jailbreak your iPhone OS and you can install damn near anything you want. How many people do it? Not many because that isn't what most people want. The only selling point the competition has is cheaper price tags. A smart competitor would mod Android to be as well designed as iPhone including the restrictions and sell a cheaper device.
  • by indiechild (541156) on Friday March 12, 2010 @08:43PM (#31460142)

    It's just the usual bunch of hardware geeks dismissing anything to do with usability and user experience design.
    "OMG we don't want to dumb down computers for the unwashed masses" etc

    We need more usability geeks here.

  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by windwalkr (883202) on Friday March 12, 2010 @09:46PM (#31460682)

    100 devices per developer, not per app.

  • Re:No iPad for me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by biglig2 (89374) on Friday March 12, 2010 @09:50PM (#31460718) Homepage Journal

    Well, the thing is, Apple have concluded that locking it up tight as a drum is the only way to make it a slick experience, and they figured out with iPhone that more people value that than openness.

    Hell, I'm a huge geek, and a PDA/smartphone obsessive from way back, and I agree with them! In the device that runs my life from my shirt pocket I value slickness more than the openness. I have never had a tech device as flat out useful as my iPhone, because it all just works.

  • by Kitkoan (1719118) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @01:35AM (#31462096)

    I don't get it.

    As far as I can see, it's a consume only device. You can read ebooks, and watch videos, browse web pages, but anything which requires any sort of textual interaction will be a pain in the arse.

    So it's a mobile media displayer? That's it?

    Why do people want it? Marketing, a lots of it. Thats why people want it. Think, how much media hype has there been about this iPad? Not just in commercials, but in the news and how this unknown (at the time) device will be completely revolutionary and change the way anyone lives.In reality, after all the buzz, it's just an iTouch XL. And at the moment it can literally only do the exact same things, but everyone is still in the 'wow' phase of the marketing campaign speaking about all the things that it MIGHT do, allowing their imaginations run wild about all the possibilities and things they will supposedly do. People see this and think it will improve their lives, forgetting that their laptop/smartphone already does all these things just as easy or possibly even more easier without spending hundreds of more dollars. Just like how people by all sorts of junk items that they swear they will use and either never do or only use minimally. Look around yourself and be honest, how much stuff around you do you see that when you bought you swore you would use and it will change your life for the better, and now its sitting there either disused or no where near to the full extent you had imagined it would before you had it. While most people love to claim that they can't be swayed by a marketing campaign, the reality is different. Its the 'wow' effect that a good marketing campaign causes to sell an item. Think of every fad that came and went. It didn't take an amazing item, it took a slick marketing with the biggest example of this being the Pet Rock from the 70's. If I remember right it was a challenge to see how what marketing can do to sell an item and the Pet Rock was born.

    Want a better example? Think of the biggest 'must have' items YOU want. A fancy car is typical, but why? So you can spend your entire paycheck on gas that it will burn since most fancy cars are horrible on gas? Or to mentally look like James Bond/Hugh Hefner with all the ladies/ect, or those fantasy drives in the wilderness surrounded by nature you see in those Jeep/ect commercials? Big house maybe? So you can spend 24/7 cleaning that much space? Or to live the fantasy high life in the movies of beautiful designed rooms (that you can't afford) with a family that is sickly sweet and never fights? Or throwing house parties that would pack a small town in so everyone knows your name and you know everyone and having the ultimate time of your life?

    The basics of any marketing campaign are to create a demand by making the object either improve your life, wonder how you ever survived without this object, or wow your imagination to make you fantasize of the endless uses of the product (regardless of what it's true limitations are).

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe

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