06 March 2011

Apple iPad vs Window Tablet

I was informed by friends that iPad has sold about 2 million units in 2 months. It is now the hot thing for group working together. Corporations and Schools are pushing e-learning and other content for it.

What is so unique about the iPad? We have flat screen touch sensitive device called Window Tablet announced and delivered sometime in 2001-2002.  It is almost 9 year earlier. But not much impact it has created.

I need to understand why – why Apple succeeds ?
7 years ago I specially bought a Acer window tablet to try to the pen-input and also to look innovative. Even though Microsoft upgraded the window tablet a few times, improving the hand writing recognition software and others. I am a big user of mind-map and using the leading mindmanager, the king of mind mapping software, that integrated well with the window tablet, I never found it gave any major productivity or ease of use improvement. I always switched back from the flat tablet mode to the standard laptop mode using mouse and keyboard. When the Acer hardware  expired, I bought the conventional hp laptop. My daughter was not convinced and she bought the Fujitsu window tablet. Again, she set it aside and is now using a netPC for work requirement, an Apple laptop for home and own use, and an iTouch for mobility.

Now here come iPad with reduced capabilities, and yet it created a big fuss about it.

Let’s compare:

Features Win tablet iPad
User interface pen, virtual keyboard fingers, virtual keyboard
Software OS window + IOS
Software Apps mouse, keyboard based serious apps iPhone type apps(many useful small apps)
Users nerds & techies for happy dummies
Other Modal IO speech (poor) tilting recognition
iPad used as steering wheel
Emotional impact serious work fun, joyful work

Summarizing iPad over Win-tablet.
  1. Finger is easier & better than pen. It is faster. I always has it with me. No need to pickup pen and loose the pen. Even though pen is more precise than finger.
  2. Titling recognition, physical motion and feel is always natural and better than clicking options.
  3. Having fun and joy to do useful thing is better than ‘have to learn’ ‘to be serious’ in doing work (office)
  4. Laying flat on the table and all eyes can see is good for sharing and working in group.
  5. Keyboard is an intrusive device for sharing. Hide it when not needed. Have a wireless one for own use.
  6. For group work, may be useful to applications that
    a. join all the iPads physically available to have a bigger sharing workspace for the group.
    b. have software that run across multiple iPads joined physically or wirelessly.
Need to understand the key ingredients of Apple’s attractiveness so that we can innovate and produce offerings that people love. After further thinking, may be the following 2 slogans:
  1. Be natural
    use your finger, fingers, sensitive to tilting, twisting, (moving the iPad to do things? Eg. Nintendo’s Wii)
  2. Designed for the happy dummies to do useful work
    Using any program should be a joy not a stress.
If you have more insights, please share with me. Thanks in advance.

See also Understanding The Smartphone Battle – Rise of Apple & Android ...

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