Tablets: why Apple only scratched the surface
iPad was revolutionnary … 2 years ago. We all marvelled about that piece of technology letting us consume digital media in a whole new different way.
2 generations later, I’m still in love with my iPad, love to read RSS on it or play chess… but I believe the iPad will never go beyond the media consumption paradigm. iOS which was one of its strength thanks to its ease-of-use is proving way too limiting to enable any actual work to be done on that device – which is a shame since this device is – at least in its latest revision – a computing monster.
In the meantime, Windows 8 is bridging the gap between tablets and computers at fast pace.
As you may know I can’t work with windows as it lacks a decent shell and I still don’t see why you need to use a mouse to do actions that require the precision of a command-line.
And yet – Windows 8 and the new generation of tablets it’s helping build are truly a leap forward from the standard set by Apple. One example is the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga, rocking a i7 processor and 13″ 1600×900 IPS display, it’s both an ultrabook and a (big) tablet.
Featuring both a touch interface, with an elegant design (I kinda like the Metro UI/UX as I grew kinda tired of Apple’s skeuomorph thing) as well as en environment where productivity apps can work decently – I love being able to use Visual Studio 11 on a “tablet”, coming with or without a keyboard, it opens up this platform to the full class of usages that people may imagine for them – lifting away the media consumption-only limitation.
Moreover, it comes with an unusual openness (coming from Microsoft) to web standards as HTML5 apps are natively supported by the platform on an equal level as native c++/c# apps.
To me this evolution means only one thing : the time of Apple is coming to an end unless they manage to give a decent openness to their system and stop putting walls everywhere (Moutain Lion is a major step backward from that prospective).