Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Thursday, January 28, 2010

a quick iPad roundup

Gruber has the need for speed:

Lastly, there’s the fact that the iPad is using a new CPU designed and made by Apple itself: the Apple A4. This is a huge deal. I got about 20 blessed minutes of time using the iPad demo units Apple had at the event today, and if I had to sum up the device with one word, that word would be ‘fast’. . . . It is fast, fast, fast. The hardware really does feel like a big iPhone — and a big original iPhone at that, with the aluminum back. (I have never liked the plastic 3G/S iPhones as much as the original in terms of how it feels in my hand.) I expected the screen size to be the biggest differentiating factor in how the iPad feels compared to an iPhone, but I think the speed difference is just as big a factor. Web pages render so fast it was hard to believe. After using the iPhone so much for two and a half years, I’ve become accustomed to web pages rendering (relative to the Mac) slowly. On the iPad, they seem to render nearly instantly. (802.11n Wi-Fi helps too.)

The Maps app is crazy fast. Apps launch fast. Scrolling is fast. The Photos app is fast. . . .

But: everyone I spoke to in the press room was raving first and foremost about the speed. None of us could shut up about it. It feels impossibly fast. (And our next thought: What happens if Apple has figured out a way to make a CPU like A4 that fits in an iPhone? If they pull that off for this year’s new iPhone, look out.)

AKMA makes an important point for those of us who share a Text Patterns frame of mind:

And the super-good news, if Apple doesn’t ruin everything (and I don’t trust them not to), is that the iBook app rests on the open EPUB book format. I repeat my assertion/plea that this is the moment for some university press to lay claim to a huge untapped market share.

And for Nick Carr, the iPad (I infer this, anyway) is another step in decline of writing. Carr thinks that reading is in decent shape, and will probably continue to be, but the reign of “texting” means that “Writing will survive, but it will survive in a debased form. It will lose its richness. We will no longer read and write words. We will merely process them, the way our computers do.”

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