How Apple Is Already Creating Demand for Giant Desktop iPads

How Apple Is Already Creating Demand for Giant Desktop iPadsWIMP computing was invented during the Nixon Administration.

In 1973, Xerox PARC developed the Alto computer, the first to use all the WIMP elements of windows, icons, menus and a pointing device, also known as a mouse.

And it’s in this nearly 40-year-old paradigm that we find ourselves trapped by a quirk of human nature: We’re creatures of habit. We don’t like to change the way we do things. And so here we are, still using a mouse (most of us, anyway).

Because of decades of exposure, most of us are blind to the clunky, almost Victorian nature of the mouse. We’ve got this big plastic thing on our desks. When we push it away from our bodies horizontally across the desk, the mouse pointer on the screen ascends vertically on the screen. We’ve all re-wired our brains to intuit every day that when I move this thing over here, something predictable happens over there.

Alternatives, such as Apple’s Magic Trackpad, have advantages over the mouse. But they’re still an abstraction. The thing you’re touching isn’t the thing you’re interacting with.

In the 70s and 80s, the WIMP UI in general and the mouse in particular, were refreshingly better than the alternative: the command line interface with “hot keys” and the use of the arrow keys to navigation on screen.

But four decades later, the industry is capable of so much more. The iPad user interface, for example, is vastly superior and decades more advanced than WIMP. But most people still consider the iPad — and the multi-touch user interface concept — as a plaything not ready for real work. It’s a “content consumption” device, rather than a “content creation” tool.

In addition to be conditioned to need the WIMP paradigm, we’ve also been programmed to think about consumer PCs as nothing more than a box full of parts. A “good” computer, is one with more and faster processors, more RAM, more storage, more pixels, the newest versions of all the technologies available. More is always better, right?

And this is another reason why the iPad has been dismissed as a toy. It has far less processing power, storage and memory than our desktop systems. Therefore, we can’t imagine doing anything serious with it.

So here we are. A breathtaking future of desktop multi-touch awaits us. But hardly anybody wants it. The vast majority of PC users stand ready to defend to the death their mice, physical keyboards and the whole WIMP paradigm.

How Apple is Changing All That

What’s the world’s most valuable company to do? Apple is clearly focused on ushering in the “post-PC world.” But how?

The conventional approach to changing consumer desires and behaviors is to create the new thing, then market the crap out of it until enough people “get it.”

But the shift to our multi-touch future is a tougher sell than most shifts. This is a tectonic shift, which requires a completely new way to think about what a computer is and how it works.

I believe Apple has come up with a brilliant plan: Generate enormous, organic demand for desktop multi-touch computing long before Apple even hints that they will announce such a product.

If you want to know what I mean about “enormous, organic demand,” try using the new iPhoto for iOS on the new iPad. I am absolutely convinced that you will have the same thought I did: “Jesus Christ I wish I could do this on a giant screen.”

Note that I do have a giant screen — a 27-inch iMac. But because iPhoto for iOS is so incredibly great to use with a direct-touch multi-touch interface, I will be moving all my photos from that giant screen to my tiny iPad screen to process them.

I also prefer processing movies with iMovie on the iPad.

If you think about it, the same desire is being generated on OS X. The LaunchPad, the new gestures, and other iPad-like features have us craving direct-touch instead of the indirect touch of mice or Magic TrackPads.

This is the opposite of the Microsoft approach, by the way. Windows 8 will drag users kicking and screaming into multi-touch like features.

Apple, on the other hand, will have us begging them to create powerful, big-screen multi-touch devices — giant iPads that live on our desktops — long before they announce such a product.

It’s a brilliant strategy, and it’s going to work. I just hope they create, announce and ship the giant desktop iPad of the future soon. Because I already want one.

  • Figurative

    One thing to consider with direct manipulation on a larger screen is that your arm/hand/fingers have to move a lot more than with a mouse or trackpad.  With these devices you get a scaling capability where a small movement gets a larger movement on the screen.  You really have to think about arm fatigue.  I notice this even with my iPad sometimes.  The other thing is precision drawing.  I can create very accurate drawings or make precise moves with a mouse.  Not so much with a blunt fingertip.  I really think Apple has to do some more innovation in these areas.

  • Interpolation App

    Very smart observations !

  • Tallest_Skil

    “Accurate” drawings with a mouse? Okay…

    A fingertip is far more precise than a mouse, and a stylus (say, capacitive) is more precise still. That’s why people use drawing tablets instead of mice when they’re actually drawing, and that’s what we’ll see as solutions in OS XI for art-style applications. A fingertip(s) can handle virtually everything else with ease.

  • tv_gadget

    new imacs without any keyboard or mouse..but with a ipad sized tablet for input!!

  • DamienLavizzo

    A fingertip is not more precise than a mouse. I don’t see many people drawing on their tablets with their fingers – almost everyone with a Wacom tablet uses a stylus. 

  • macolgan

    Steve Jobs explained the reasons for NOT having a touch screen on the desktops, far too much arm/hand movement involved on the big screen. What I foresee is using the ipad being used to control the big screen. much like a remote trackpad, but with all the visuals mimicked from the desktop screen, onto the ipad screen, which you would do any processing on.
    I suspect Jobs already had that planned !  Time will tell .

  • Shakezulla86

    Desktops in their current forms, yes it would be asinine, but if e desktop pc were changed in such a way, such as allowing the screen to move forward and turn upwards so you worked on the surface from a certain angle, then it would be possible, and the way things are going, I can see Apple creating much lighter desktops by incorporating the space saving internals they make on iPads, on iMacs. As well as a series of a counterweighted stand.

  • Connor Mulcahey

    Something like this?

    http://www.ted.com/talks/jeff_

  • giriz

    I got my first iPad yesterday. I’ve gotta say that the UI is great and fluid, fun to use.

    But the form factor sucks for me. It’s kinda heavy to continuously hold on to for an extended period of time (say, reading a book). Also my neck hurts because the display isn’t at my eye level. Back to my desktop for now. I don’t think I’ll be using the iPad as often I hoped to.

    Edit: other problems, it won’t charge on my windows USB port, it took forever to charge using the wall charger. And it generates a lot of heat in the lower left corner. I’m considering returning it.

  • Wayne Luke

    I want to be able to do work on my iPad and seamlessly swipe that to my desktop when I get close. Then on the desktop just be able to pick up where I left off. Next being able to use the iPad in lieu of the touchpad will give me touch control over apps just as well as the other device. The interface can change as well. If I am working with art, then my iPad allows me to select the proper artists tools. If it is music, then I get music controls. If I am writing, the iPad can give me a keyboard. or maybe a game offloads its interactive interface to the iPad. 

    If I have to get up an go somewhere, I should be able to grab my work and have it appear on the portable screen of the iPad to take with me. I shouldn’t have to save and reload through iCloud, it should just happen. When I walk into the conference room, I should be able to simply swipe my presentation onto a screen via Airplay, not have to select the screen from a drop down. The system should determine which screen is closest and use it.

    The presentation screen should be gesture ready but I shouldn’t have to touch it, I should just have to move my hands ala Minority Report or Kinect to accomplish progress through the presentation or changing volume on a movie. It should also support voice command/search ala Siri, Google Search or Bing Search.

    If Apple can integrate all of this into their hardware then they will not only have the game changer but the touchdown and game over. Who is gonna get there first is the question right now.

  • Cole_K

    X,Y precise, no. But try drawing a curve with a mouse, then with your finger, and you tell me which looks more like a curve.

  • Cole_K

    I have no problem with the weight. I did at first, but i seem to have adapted rather quickly. As for the USB port, plug it in on the back. Or use the AC adapter. The front USB ports tend to be less reliable for whaever reason, as for the heat, I’m not sure, it may just be because of how long it takes to charge right now.

  • Cole_K

    Apple is the closet to having all of the technology separately, but what your asking for requires an enormous amount of effort, and intercompatability. Not to mention having all that equipment already.

  • Cole_K

    I believe apple even already has a patent for an iMac with a stand that can move the whole thing into a comfortable position for touch

  • Adrian Caiado Caiado

    I really believe this article is flawed, I would even go as far as to say that there is favoritism toward apple being displayed. You may be correct with the touch device aspect of the article (I have not yet decided my opinion on that).  I am by no means a Microsoft (or whatever you want to call it) fan. However saying this, aren’t they doing the same thing? With Windows 8 aren’t they trying to push a touch based interface? Much in the same as Apple with the new iterations of OS X i.e. LaunchPad. I for one have not even upgraded to Lion as a result of LaunchPad because of the fact that I associate it with touch based devices e.g. iOS. Alas, I have no choice as both companies are making a push toward touch interfaces. Going back to my point, both companies are using the same technique, Microsoft may not have the power of telling manufacturers when to release touch based devices, but their OS is defiantly making the first step.

  • qoqo

    Go to your local music store and spend $50 on a good boom stand for microphones. Then buy a case like the Incase which has a flap that covers the screen and flips around like the cover of a book to reveal the screen. Now extend the boom stand, flap the Incase’s cover over the horizontal boom, and secure it in place with the built-in elastic band that’s normally used to keep the Incase’s lid closed. The iPad should now be hanging in mid-air in front of you. The mic stand is infinitely adjustable in terms of height, angle, etc.

    I keep one near the couch and another next to the bed. It’s great laying in bed with the iPad hanging right there in front of your face e.g. for Netflix. Just swivel it out of the way when finished with it.

  • Srose428

    Get a stylus to draw and do some 5lb dumbbell curls, problems solved.

  • Adrian Caiado Caiado

    I think it’s all down to battery technology. If battery life within devices gets conquered the possibilities are endless… Think about it, all the radios/processing power needed for these tasks will be met and therefore be able to be implemented.

  • Figurative

    Free form curves OK. But I’m thinking drawing or CAD type applications. The problem is that ones bulky fingertip hides the detail. One could imagine some kind of offset magnifying glass or something but this is problem that affects all drawing type apps.

  • werdnan

    “This is the opposite of the Microsoft approach, by the way. Windows 8
    will drag users kicking and screaming into multi-touch like features.”

    This doesn’t even make any sense.  Isn’t it Apple who have conditioned their users to loudly proclaim that large (desktop) touch screens are a non-starter?

  • prof_peabody

    actually … it goes:  

    finger > mouse > stylus  

    on the scale of sensitivity/accuracy.  

    Capactive touch devices offer a sort of “finger-painting” level of accuracy when drawing (as long as you keep your hands in unnatural positions hovering above the tablet), but until there is a stylus with it’s own digitising layer built-in to the device, there won’t be any serious drawing done on iPads etc. 

  • werdnan

    There is a large wave of Windows 8 multi-touch capable PCs that will start coming out this year, which consumers are going to absolutely love.  And pretty soon a (Windows) all-in-one that doesn’t include multitouch will seem… just… lame.  Many laptops and ultrabooks are going the same direction.  No doubt Apple is scrambling to figure out a way not to be left behind with this trend.  Like the author I feel sure they have something really cool planned; but unlike the author, I don’t engage in irrational fanboy-ism and Microsoft-bashing.

  • Chris White

    I completely agree with everything you just said.
    Touch and motion interface is the future of technology, and the new interaction with the digital world. I think Apple is already more than half way there, they have all the pieces of the game and now they just need to make them fit together seamlessly so there is no effort on the user’s part. Your first paragraph describes MobileMouse almost perfectly aside from some obvious features that need to be incorporated. And the second paragraph is where I think the future of airplay and iCloud is going….. eventually. This was clearly Steve Jobs vision with iCloud, and I think soon we will be able to use any device to interact intuitively with any other device around us. The third paragraph is still a few years away due to the low demand of motion interactivity and voice command, but again I can see how things are headed that way.I think Apple (and other competitors if they can keep up) is taking it’s time on bringing us the future for two reasons. First supply and demand – if they give us everything we could ever dream of right now in mass quantities than in a few years time they wouldn’t have anything to top their previous product; and in turn profits would plunge when they have to go back to small incremental updates but still the same old stuff. With the technology trickle effect it becomes a game where they say “we already have it and are testing it but you won’t see it on the market for years because we have to keep you wanting more”. And secondly – they have to make sure they don’t force their customers to go somewhere else like Microsoft is doing with windows 8. If they slowly work us into this Post PC Era then they can control the demand for the product and ultimately the entire industry while their competitors fail.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love windows 7. It’s gorgeous, it’s fluid, and it reminds me of XP but much more appealing to look at. However, windows 8 was a huge drastic change, it almost doesn’t seem like an update but more of a last ditch effort to “get there first” with the tablet like interface.

    Mike has it right, we as a species tend to resist change and sometimes even riot against it when change is drastic (windows 8), but if things are gradually changed without us noticing (Lion and Mountain Lion blend with iOS) than we don’t resist it. 

  • Eitan Rubin

    I want to point to another flaw in the idea of a desktop touchscreen replacing WIMP: the keyboard part. I have writing a lot on my laptop, and nothing yet replaces a good keyboard. I am using sensory feedback from the keys to know where I am when blind-typing, and to know how hard to click. Any attempt I made so far in using “virtual keyboard” is a productivity drain when you want to do some hard-core typing.
    As mentioned above, I also see a problem with the integration of the viewing angle and the typing angle: reading is easiest at one angle, writing is easiest at another. If you start swiveling back and force, productivity goes down the drain – again.
    That said, I think the desktop touchscreen will have application for light content creation, for very interactive tasks, and for graphics.

  • Cole_K

    Very true. But unless you can tell me you have considered all possibilities for how a system like this might work, I wouldn’t say it’s not possible or even unlikely. Yes there are problems, but there were also problems with making a phone whose only interface was a touch screen. We seem to have adapted to that quite well

  • En_joy

    This is an extremely retarded idea.

  • Len Williams

    I know you’ve championed the large touchscreen iMac in earlier articles, but as Steve said, using your arm up in the air to make a 21 or 27 inch screen work would be a nightmare–even if the screen were horizontal or nearly horizontal. I work on a 30″ monitor and I’d be exhausted by the end of the day if I had to use my whole arm to access all that screen real estate for layout and design work. Doing precise work with my fingers or even with a stylus, the work is partially obscured by my hand and arm. Therefore a smaller input device such as the MagicTrackpad or trackball and a keyboard are much better for the kind of graphic design work I do. For simple stuff like browsing the web, a touch interface is just fine, but precise work requires precise input devices.

  • Miiista

    You are the typical consumer who just wants more and won’t want to think about how… how would you have the system know when you get up and leave the computer? The system has to receive some kind of event prompting it to save your work. Sure, it can auto save but that only happens like every 5 minute. So if you make some changes after an auto save  has occurred they won’t be saved until another 5 minutes has passed.
    When you can answer that then you’re one step closer to realising just how complex your request is.
    Have the system automatically detect the closest screen? Well, that works fine in theory and in science-fiction movies. I am not saying it can’t be done. All I am saying is that the closest screen may not always be the one you want it to connect to ergo choice is needed. Other than that there’s the issue of compatibility and discoverage. Your request assumes that the screen is known to the iPad. How is that possible if you don’t want to select it from a drop down? Would you have the iPad come preinstalled with information about all the screens in the world?!
    And gesture ready screen? Reading the next line clearly shows where you got your inspiration for this idea; Minority Report. You have been watching too many movies. Sure, it’s possible – Kinect with modifications should do it – but how would you have the screen know when you’re making a gesture and when you’re pointing out something on the the screen. Kinect recognises hand gestures but not finger gestures. Furthermore having to wave your arm like an idiot at a conference doesn’t leave a good impression. Other than that there’s the matter of fatigue. 
    Next you’re saying that the presentation screen should support Siri – which is only developed by Apple – thereby implying that the presentation screen should be produced by Apple. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t that industry totally different from what Apple produces today?
    Your ideas may sound cool but they aren’t really practical. It sure would be awesome to wave your hand at the screen and have it respond in some way but it just isn’t that practical. 

  • Alex

    Well put Len… I totally agree with you .

  • Richard

    I would personally like to have a larger iPad screen.  i think the largest would be the same size as is used in the 15inch laptop.  I think that is about the largest I would want.  The only problem would be weight.  I think at least a 13 inch would be nicer, something large enough to have one keyboard without all of these ever changing keyboards, which is kind of frustrating to have to deal with.

  • makemoneyinlife

    great post, thanks for sharing

  • theotherphil

    Exactly like Airplay mirroring….it already works a treat.

  • Shameer Mulji

    As much as I think it’s overdue, what makes you so sure we’ll see a stylus during the “OS XI” time frame (assuming there will even be an OS named that)?

  • Tarik

    I seriously don’t understand why people don’t even consider the brain wave signals to use a computer. I know it is not easy but instead of putting a lot of effort and resource on touch screens, we can achieve many successes in this area and probably get over many problems. I believe brain wave would have much areas to fit. From telecommunication to control almost all the devices, even smart homes which reacts to how you think and what you desire. There might be one problem and that is that people might forget or get worse in speaking and it seems the biggest fallback otherwise brain power would be much better than anything mentioned above.

  • skeeterharris

    Ygggkjjj

  • Christian Moesgaard

    Whatever you say, nothing – and I mean NOTHING – can ever replace the mouse for gaming. You rest your arms on the table while doing little flicks with big impacts on the screen. It is ferociously precise and fast. The touchscreen simply has nothing on it.

    Games work on it, but it gets uncomfortable really fast because you have to lift your arm and hold it there. Sometimes you need to hold the device as well. Gaming on the iPod Touch/iPhone is relatively comfortable, but on the iPad’s big screen it can very quickly become very uncomfortable because you need to stretch your thumb so far.

    It’s the same problem that plague the touch keyboard. You need to lift your fingers, whereas on a physical keyboard you can let them rest on the keyboard. It makes a huge difference!

  • Tarik

    And also I believe Microsoft is thinking more broadly than we think here. Personally the new Windows 8 has many advantages over iOS and Mac OSX since Windows 8 will work on both tablets and computers. So when you love something like you did for iPhoto, you can run it on computer and  keep enjoying it where you left off on tablet. And also if we think at business level, using touch screen on a big screen while presenting something would be very helpful for the presenter or any other areas that I cannot think of right now but I bet Microsoft did already.

    Microsoft seems to follow what Google does instead of Apple. Google loves simplicity and so as Microsoft right now. Metro style UI is very simple to use and very informative at the same time. You can track many things simultaneously without opening the application to see how it is going. Many OS tried such experience using widgets but none of them put this feature into core like MS did. It seems MS really wants to push this technology and I believe one day or another people will be using it without complaining. 

    Think about touch screens such as iPad. Many people talked negatively about it but later they realized they’re actually really useful in many places. It took time for people to understand the power of touch screen tablets and get used to them. Now many people like to use touch screen in one place or another. 

  • skeeterharris

    Mike I think your right on with this post, I remember downloading iPhone the day of the announcement and thinking the real revolutionary announcement was indeed iPhoto! The reworded interface is just so intuitive compared to both iPhoto and apeurature for the Mac. I too thought boy I wish I could have this on my Mac pro and certainly with the pending sommer release of 10.8 of OSX, Apple is taking the best of a touch UI and slowing moving us in that direction! Definitely exciting things are foot!

  • Artoo

    If you do graphics you know the CINTIQ screen/tablet. It is designed to move like a drawing table and you use your stylus directly on it. The next generation iMac could be a variation on that concept. Cintiq charges almost 3,000 just for the screen. I think Apple could easily beat that with the iMac.

    But I love my nice-sized Wacom tablet and stylus with my large-screen iMac. There is nothing blocking the view of the whole screen, not even my own hand. I like that.

  • Richard

    Yeah, for some games, it would be nice to have a physical game controller to connect to the charging port.  I am surprised they don’t have any, even though i really haven’t looked  enough for one.

    Keyboard?  Yes!  I wish that the screen was large enough for a keyboard where the layout didn’t change all of the time.  This is a problem all of these devices have.  Yes, they have cases with built in keyboards that work quite well for those that want a real keyboard for an iPad that is convenient to carry around.

    I personally think that they should make a larger iPad that was either 13 or maybe 15 inch screen size.  I think that if it could be designed properly and wasn’t too heavy, that might be the best screen size and still thin and light enough to carry around.

    Apple had a design a LONG time ago they had a prototype of called the Knowledge  Navigator.  It was a screen that folded and it had a video camera for video conferencing.  

    Here is a video of it.  It’s kind of cool.  Early version of Siri…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

  • Ronald Stepp

    And WIMP stands for what?  Would be nice to give a link since he dives right into that acronym.

  • tyger_purr

    CAD type applications like Autodesk’s AutoCAD WS?

  • Wayne Luke

    Actually I said voice commands and mentioned Siri, Google Voice and Microsoft’s Bing. All of which can use voice for control. I can search Google with voice actions in Chrome. I can search Bing and control my xBox 360 with voice control.

    As for the computer knowing when you get up and walk away, it would be through proximity sensors and signal strength on the Bluetooth connection that makes the data share between devices possible. If my tablet is moving away from the desktop then transfer work to it. Though it could be as simple as the device leaving its dock and sending a message to the desktop saying it is leaving. Though you need to have something that detects when it moves more than a meter or so away to prevent false alarms.

    With proper motion gestures, you wouldn’t need wild gestures. Just need better cameras than what is in the first generation Kinect. 

    Surely the technology is not there 100% but that is where I feel it should be going. May not be practical to you but it would be practical in many situations in the real consumer world. However I guess you expect me to want this tomorrow. Not my problem if you can’t think long term.

  • Brandon Dillon

    They have a few, actually. I believe they really want to go forward with it, but something is holding them back.

  • Brandon Dillon

    You would even go as far to say that there is favoritism toward Apple being displayed, on Cult of Mac?

  • Brandon Dillon

    I’d rather read a retarded idea with a detailed explanation for the conclusion of that idea than a comment with no basis or any elaboration whatsoever.

  • Brandon Dillon

    What the fuck am I reading

  • Brandon Dillon

    My God. Gaming, believe it or not, is not the top priority for 99% of users. There will always be precision mice for this, unless of course developers change how we play games to adapt to a new user interface.

  • doubledeej

    So are you proposing that we use a vertical touchscreen and fatigue our arms after 5 minutes of computing, or hunch over a horizontal touchscreen and make our posture even worse?  Either way, we also restrict ourselves to the precision of the size of our fingertip.  With a mouse you can get pixel precision; the best you can do with a finger is its size.  I don’t think many real artists would be very happy with any of the above unless they’re doing finger paintings.

    Sure, the mouse is a compromise.  But it’s either that or something even more awkward.  The keyboard still doesn’t even have anything that could potentially serve as a suitable replacement.

    I’m open to new ideas and technology, but trying to move the smartphone/tablet UI metaphor to the desktop is going to end up with something worse than what we’re using.  We still need another computing revolution before the keyboard and mouse can go away.

  • Cole_K

    I’m guessing if your correct, it’s that “ninja/monk” wait for the right moment to strike type thing

  • Tarik

    Nothing you would probably understand so don’t push yourself. 

  • MySkyizBlue

    I seriously doubt they would remove the keyboard.
    it would be idiotic to make such a move

  • Miiista

    That was kind of my point that the technology isn’t there yet. Apple really has ushered in an age of consumer devices that are easy to use, intuitive and yet very sophisticated and advanced.
    Sharing the data the way you describe excludes the use of the cloud which is the direction in which almost every major company is headed right now. Sure, you could transfer the work to your device but you would need to establish a data connection between the computer and the device. At they very least the first time you connect! Then on the other hand you could upload your work to the cloud and have it automatically push it to all of your devices – this is already possible using iCloud – however this would also require setting up an initial connection. I think that the latter is they way to go as it also ensures consistency. Sharing the data using a local connection (device-to-devie); you pick up your device (thereby transferring your work) and make some changes to your work. The file isn’t updated on any of your other devices until you get within their proximity. Also this means that each and every device has to know about the other devices as opposed to storing that knowledge in only one place. But really, I believe, that the consumer shouldn’t have to worry about the data layer nor the connection layer.
    Better cameras that what’s in the current Kinect isn’t enough, I believe. It would also require more advanced software that can distinguish between and interpret the many different hand gestures. One easy way to do this would be to require the user to wear a glove like in Minority Report. This would allow the hardware to know exactly where to read input. But again using your arm as a replacement for a mouse – and perhaps even a keyboard – introduces the matter of fatigue. When would it be practical to wave your arm at the screen?

    Just realised that you mentioned multiple voice command technologies. Apparently I read only the part about Siri. My bad.
    It sounded like you expected this to happen tomorrow. You did say you wanted Apple to put this in their – next generation – hardware. It’s not that I can’t think long term – I can! – but I’m also concerned about the proper way to implement it. Just implementing features from science fiction movies and such is not(!) the way to do it.
    _____________
    Søren Palmund

    Den 18/03/2012 kl. 05.23 skrev “Disqus” <>:

  • KinG

    I don’t see why MacBooks air can’t be folded and turn into a slightly thicker iPad. After all the iPad is all software, we just need to make the macbook air display touchscreen.

    well its better than having both devices. Its like in work mode, you have macbook air, fold it, now its in leisure mode as an iPad

  • lukigi

    All you really want is wacom cintiq. Pressure sensitive and accurate. Fingers won’t di it. Actually I prefer mouse ti fingers as it’s less cumbersome to use in long term.

  • Spidouz

    If we look about “PC” (as personal computer) and “Post-PC” devices, the “PC” is typically a generic computer you can tweak, change cards, add a new drive, etc… At Apple, it’s called: MAC PRO.

    A “Post-PC” devices is a computer with a dedicated user interface for a dedicated use. It could be gamepad for game console, it could be touchscreen for smartphone and/or tablets, or it could be click-wheel on MP3 players, etc… Also, a “Post-PC” device can’t be open, modified, tweaked to guarantee the user experience with that device will always stay the same.

    It’s a very quick summary, but that’s the big lines… So I conclude that the iMac (such the Laptop) is already one step closer to be a “Post-PC” devices… Who said “Post-PC” are only for smartphones and tablets? In future we might still have a “Post-PC” device for the “Living Room” and “Desktop” experience. The experience where we need larger display, accurate user interface, etc…

    So what if the next Apple iTV we can hear so much about, would simply be the next iMac… A kind of “iMac Air”, thinner, without optical drive, you can hang on the wall or on your desktop. It would be in 21.5 and 27″, but would also be available in larger size such 36″, 42″, 50″ and 62″. 

    With Thunderbolt, the new iMac “TV” would have SSD only and would have external storage for large HDD (such a NAS/Time Machine). With a edge-to-edge screen, onboard Facetime camera, the current iMac could already be a great TV. Just install AirServer and you can Airplay your iPad to it and you will see what I mean :)

    That way, you could have the “Full Screen” User Experience Mode for TV/Game Console experience with AirPlay, Remote control from your iPod/iPhone/iPad, SIRI, Kinnect-ish Gesture, etc… But you could also exit the “Full Screen” User Experience Mode for the Desktop experience. In that case you could still use a Keyboard, Trackpad, Mouse and perhaps even the iPad (Mini) as large visual trackpad :)

    Apple already prepared Lion with both “Full Screen” and “Multi-Apps/Windows” mode and now is bringing more iOS experience in Mountain Lion. The transition between the “Post-PC” iOS and “PC” OS X will be just be a matter to be in Full Screen or not with a simple gesture or click… making it way more simpler than Win 8 Aero/Metro switching look & feel.

    So, I’m not sure the iMac would get the touchscreen, because if the screen can’t tilt (such the Wacom Cintiq), the movements and the fact to hold your arm high on a screen could generate some fatigue, but the iPad (Mini) could become one of the new entry method and control device for the next MAC. As a Trackpad user on my iMac 27″, I would love the trackpad to be even bigger and touchscreen and have, with a simple pinch gesture, the view of toolbox, dock and command icons on the touchscreen-trackpad…

    My 2 cents,
    Phil

  • Max Walker

    David Hockney’s iPad paintings?

  • metalhaze

    Typing? Waste of time when you have voice dictation. Typing is not “the future” Voice is.

  • metalhaze

    Omg! People that sit at their computers all day have to exert effort! Oh the agony. Hell, it might even stop them from being out of shape too! Gah! Blasphemy!

  • metalhaze

    Just look at Microsoft Surface. Obviously both Apple and MS are thinking about touch screens bigger than a tablet.

    The problem with everyone in this thread is that they can’t see the forest trough the trees. They can only comprehend how touch fits into their existing world and paradigms that they are aware of. What they aren’t realizing is that new paradigms COMBINED with touch, voice, and gesture will do a terrific job at replacing the mouse and keyboard.

    But people can only comprehend what they know until they see the new paradigm in action.

    I refuse to believe that Apple has failed to realize all the very REAL concerns that the naysayers have raised in this thread. And I am sure they are working in effective solutions to combat them.

    So chill your shit and just have fun with this “what if” opinion piece. Because no one’s opinion is ever “wrong”. All you can do is disagree.

  • atimoshenko

    I’m not sure that going forward there will be “one UI to rule them all”. Multitouch is not replacing WIMP for everything computers were previously used for, it is a new UI for computing in places where there was no computing before. Post-PC is not about replacing the PC, it is about computing being done in additional new ways.

    I’m not so sure how “giant desktop iPads”, for instance, would make desktop computing better. And touch having little place on the desktop is a big reason why Microsoft is wrong with the direction it took with Windows 8.

  • MatsSvensson
  • MatsSvensson
  • CharliK

    Agreed. And I suspect Apple does also. 

    I don’t think they are making a demand for giant iPads or ever intend to make them. What they are making in a small and personal device is exactly where I think they are going. If anything they are trying to dump the computer for most of the world. Move it to perhaps a headless server unit that holds media that is sent out to those devices and perhaps your Apple TV, or even dump that and it’s all ‘in the cloud’

  • CharliK

    Agreed. And I suspect Apple does also. 

    I don’t think they are making a demand for giant iPads or ever intend to make them. What they are making in a small and personal device is exactly where I think they are going. If anything they are trying to dump the computer for most of the world. Move it to perhaps a headless server unit that holds media that is sent out to those devices and perhaps your Apple TV, or even dump that and it’s all ‘in the cloud’

  • CharliK

    right from the article 

    “the first to use all the WIMP elements of windows, icons, menus and a pointing device, also known as a mouse.”

  • CharliK

    I would wonder how exactly you are holding it. Because I lounge on the sofa or in bed with it propped up on my lap for reading all the time with no issue. And at work I’m holding it pretty much all day since we have all our scripts, notes etc on i. 

    I would wonder how you define ‘forever’ and if you are using it while it is charging because that will make it take longer. 

  • CharliK

    Hockney, David Kassan, David Newman Jim Lee, Jorge Colombo, Kyle Lambert (love Toy Shining in particular)

    There are a lot of artists using their iPads and either fingers or these ‘finger painting’ styli just fine. 

  • buggsy2

    What a load of nonsense. Oh, I don’t doubt Apple could sell more container-ship-loads of giant iPads. The problem is the iPad/tablet paradigm is limiting…too limiting for most activities beyond poking and dragging.

    I started this comment on my new iPad…first one I own (I’ve had an iPhone 4 for almost 2 years and love it). First a popup ad blocked me. Gee, real browsers on real OSs have had blockers for years…a decade or more. As I painfully tapped one letter at a time on the iPad, everything suddenly froze. I could do things on the iPad but not continue the comment. So now I’m typing this in Firefox on a desktop machine…much easier and faster.

    So mice aren’t good for image manipulation? OK, maybe so, I hardly ever do that, and I doubt most people do. Instead, with a mouse and keyboard I can type fast, have a fine degree of control on the screen (unlike my fat finger) and with the different mouse keys (left, right, wheel, and click-wheel) can do all sorts of things I can’t do with a single finger…not even with two-finger taps or drags or whatever.

    At some point the mouse will give way to hand gestures, but not tapping and dragging on a screen. The real replacement is like Microsoft’s Kinect, detecting your gestures. Or is it? Could we really spend all day with our hands held up in the air, moving and pointing? Or is it easier just resting our hands on our keyboard, typing and mousing around.

    I think my keyboard and mouse are going to last longer than I thought.

  • buggsy2

     Uh, sure, in a room full of cubes and everybody dictating? Don’t think so.

  • Brandon Dillon

    I understand it, it’s just, technology is no where near that point, at least not in a mainstream consumer setting anyways. There is some kids basketball-like game that you are supposedly control this way by controlling fans to hover a ball into a hoop, but I’m not even sure if that’s accurate.

    If I’m wrong, I’d like to know what products use this.

  • Christian Moesgaard

    What’s the top-selling app on the App Store?

    Angry Birds.

    My point is made. Obviously people want to use the iPad for games, but let’s be honest… the Ipad really isn’t that good for games.

    Look, even the most well controlled iPad games are simply uncomfortable to play after a short while, nevermind the ridiculous twitch play you have on PC’s.

    And yes you’re right – there will always be precision mice for gamers – and that is exactly my point. You just can’t replace it with a touch screen. Gamers of all stripes, good or bad, casual or professional, need something better than the iPad to abandon the PC/Mac and THIS is why a larger iPad simply will not replace the PC, because it’ll do nothing a real PC can’t do. It’s exactly as clunky, exactly as (un)portable. It’s less viable for work in the vast majority of cases and worse for gaming in every way.

    This is why you don’t see large screen iPads, just like there is no demand for Windows 8’s Metro UI on desktops (you can hear the screams from Windows land all the way over here!), and why I believe the original article is incorrect. There is no demand for large-screen iPads. There is, however, demand for large-screen Macs and PC’s, and there is supply.

  • DamienLavizzo

    No one said it wasn’t possible or unlikely. The comment was that fingertips are more accurate than a mouse, which is not true. 

  • Cole_K

    As far as x,y precision, yes. But its much easier to get your finger to a specific area than it is to get a mouse in an area.

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Mike ElganMike Elgan writes about technology and culture for a wide variety of publications. Follow Mike on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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