Just a Thought: Apple iPad vs. Microsoft Surface
I was going to post this brief iPad-related thought on Twitter, but figured it needed a little more than 140 characters.
A while back, Microsoft introduced the Surface table and Apple introduced the iPhone. Those who didn’t grasp the fact that Apple was offering a pocket-sized, actually commercially viable version of a similar multi-touch technology understand as much now. Microsoft still hasn’t commercialized anything relating to Surface.
It was obvious then that the only thing Apple was missing was a multi-touch device with greater surface area. Less than three years after the iPhone first became available (6/2007), the iPad will achieve this goal.
If Apple had showed up at its event yesterday with a killer, Minority Report-style application running on the iPad, everyone—even the current iPad haters—would be flipping out right now. Have a few video windows getting swiped around on screen at once, video overlays on top of maps, whatever tech demo sort of stuff you can imagine. For all its failings, Microsoft knew to do this with Surface—the problem was that people could never afford whatever it demonstrated.
But Apple didn’t bring flashy demos. It dropped the ball on a few arguably trivial parts of the UI and didn’t bring any really showy software to the event; rather, it focused almost entirely on updates to old apps. The biggest hint of what the iPad will enable was a two-second reference in the N.O.V.A. demo to opening airlocks by putting your fingers on the screen and turning the door handle. It was shown, and if you knew what it was—basically, Metroid Prime using your fingers rather than a Wii controller—you realized what this meant for games, and for other apps on the iPad. This is just not possible on the little iPhone screen unless you have baby fingers.
So there’s your Minority Report moment. It’s on the video. There are going to be many, many more such moments to come, and you’re going to be able to carry them in your hand or enjoy them while sitting in a chair, not whilst standing next to a huge table. Unfortunately, like the iPhone, it may well take a year before the apps catch up with the hardware’s capabilities. Just imagine what we’d be looking at today if developers had started working on the iPad simulator last year…
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Apple’s new ‘Echo rival’ may feature a camera
- Apple ‘working rapidly’ to extend Apple Pay to more countries
- Report: Apple’s Siri-based Amazon Echo competitor will be a new Apple TV
- Report: Apple SVP Eddy Cue proposed bid to buy Time Warner
- Beta testing for Pokémon GO begins in the U.S.
- Apple’s plan to open stores in India hits a snag (Update: India’s finance minister ratifies ruling)
- Apple looking into charging stations for electric cars
- Apple hires hint at improvements in encryption, health monitoring
- Hyundai adds CarPlay support to more vehicles
- Plaintiffs file new motion to keep ‘Error 53’ Touch ID lawsuit alive
- OtterBox Symmetry Series Hybrid Case for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Logitech Logi BASE Charging Stand for iPad Pro
- Twelve South TimePorter for Apple Watch
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)