First reactions to Apple’s announcement

First reactions to Apple’s announcement

Highpoints: it’s called the iPad, no E Ink, does lots of computery things, the New York Times looked good

There’s been so much speculation about Apple’s announcement that was scheduled for 10:00 AM Pacific today, January 27, 2010.

Apple can revolutionize a market…or not.  Not everything they do has been a hit, but some things have really changed how we consume entertainment and carry on communications.  The iPod and the iPhone are two well known successes.  The Newton PDA platform?  Not so much.

Before we even see it, we can speculate on a some of the impact it might have.

Right now, there really isn’t a good electronic device on which to read magazines.  E Ink still just isn’t evolved enough to allow for the kinds of images we see in magazines (and newspapers, for that matter).  Laptops are too clunky (did we ever think we’d say that?) and EBRs (E-Book Readers) aren’t sophisticated enough for large, color pictures.  I think that there is room for a device that does that…but not necessarily at more than $500.

Apple is known for making things easy to use, and we can guess that a successful launch from Apple will bring together technologies in a simple manner.

They are also known as a retailer of content…hello, iTunes store.  Amazon is primarily a content provider…Apple is primarily a hardware provider.  That may have a lot to with how this all breaks out for the people who read.  Do readers care more about the content, or the hardware, or is it both?  Will Apple make deals with content providers that may be less profitable than the deals Amazon would make in order to sell more hardware?

Apple’s been doing very well lately, as has Amazon.  With the dotcom bust, would we have guesed that we’d be talking about two very successful tech companies in 2010? 


Live reactions

I’m going to apologize here if this gets a little choppy.  I’m taking a break at work to watch the Gizmodo live blogging, so I’ll have something to tell you right away.  I’m sure I’ll be talking more about this in the next few days and weeks, but I want this to get out right away…people have been burning to know.

Um…they’ve put up a slide with Moses with the tablets…very humble.  🙂

They are talking about comparing laptops (Powerbooks) and iPhones, and the need for a third device.  The device needs to be better at certain tasks:

“Things like browsing the web. Email. Photos. Videos. Music. Games. eBooks.”

He apparently dismisses netbooks as not being better at these tasks.

He’s referring to it now as the iPad.  Not iTablet or iSlate.

We can see the device now.  Steve Jobs is holding one up…it’s about a foot tall, like a People magazine.  It seems to be all screen…no “border buttons”.

It has an inclinometer, so it changes to landscape automatically.

He claims it is the best browsing experience ever…which would certainly trump a Kindle in my opinion.  😉

It’s got a music player, and some kind of map navigation. 

They show a side by side calendar (two pages, like a paperbook).

It does YouTube, and they are showing Quinto as Spock from the new Star Trek…and a surfing dog. 

They show him sitting in a comfy chair…definitely the look of someone reading a book.

They show the New York Times.

Time Magazine…but it looks like a webpage rather than the magazine, at least to me.

They say he is “zooming and swiping” like on an iPhone.  Obviously, it is a touchscreen.

He demonstrates e-mail, pdfs, typing on the full-size keyboard.  Not thumb typing, but full finger touch typing.

He’s shown off photos, calendaring, maps, movies…

Now for hardware:

Same size screen as the DX (9.7″). 

IPS screen.

Touchscreen, wifi, Bluetooth, compass, speaker, microphone (does that mean Jetsons style videocalls?).

Ten hours of battery life…playing videos.  Sorry, as a Kindle owner…ten hours…yawn.  However, I can’t tell you I could get ten hours out of the Kindle doing text-to-speech…you know, mental video.  😉

They are downloading and run apps right from the iPhone app store.  That’s impressive…that means Kindle books.  They are small, but they have a software trick to double the size without much lost resolution (apparently), and apps can be designed for the larger screen.

The SDK (Software Developer’s Kit, I think) can be downloaded from right now.  The store will have a separate iPad section, but iPhone apps will be okay.  That gives it content immediately…you can use the “More Cowbell” app, I assume.  😉 

They are going to show off some games designed for it.

Nova is demonstrating playing a game using this very responsive touch screen.  They can interact with things in the environment (like opening a door or throwing something). 

Okay, here comes the New York Times…now we are getting back to Kindle territory.

Hmm…wow, that does look pretty much like a newspaper.  They say you can alter it, though.  Change the number of columns, or go to a slideshow.  You can increase the text size.  It will run video…sort of like The Daily Prophet in Harry Potter (still not available for the Kindle). 

None of that is that different from going to a website…but it is a much more convenient package.

They are showing off a painting tool…the image looks good, a bit like a Miyazaki image.  I’m guessing most people can’t accomplish anything like that, though.

That’s from an app called Brushes.

Next up is Electronic Arts.  I taught a couple of software classes there at one point.  Cool place.  EA is showing off a racing game, which is (of course) also touch-enabled.

Major League Baseball (which is very techie, by the way) is showing off next.  You can tap a player to see a baseball card…but can stick it in the spokes of your bike?  😉

They apparently let you choose your announcer (there is usually one for the home team and one for the away team, right?) while you watch live.

Here we go…the new app, iBooks!

They say, “Thanks, Amazon” and show the Kindle…and now, we will proceed to kick your bootay.  (I added that last part).  😉

It has a picture that actually looks like a bookshelf like you would have in your home…um, maybe something from Ikea. 

They have an iBooks store with Penguin, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Hachette. 

Weirdly, the book image looks like it has pages…like a photograph of an open book, rather than just of a single page.   I think that look odd…like you are looking at a book in a display case under glass, rather than like you are reading one on a Kindle.  You’d get used to it, though.

They show the Kennedy book and other bestsellers.

True Compass costs $14.99…that’s five dollars more than Amazon.  The pictures look good, like in a book.  Direct chapter access from the table of contents.  Change the page by touch, if you want. 

The bloggers are mentioning EPUB, but I don’t see anything in the presentation about formats.

Next, iWorks.  That includes a word processor and presentation software…sort of like Microsoft Office, kinda.  It’s been around about five years, I think, and includes a spreadsheet.

The presentation isn’t over, but my break is.  🙂  I’m going to send this out, but I may update it later. 

Thanks to Gizmodo for liveblogging it publicly! 

My quick summary…it’s a super-duper iPhone, almost a laptop in capabilities but lighter and easier.  It’s not an EBR, although people will read books on it.  The books being that much more expensive won’t get people who just want to read to buy it…but if you already have the iPad, you might forego a Kindle. 


Here’s the pricing:

$14.99 a month for 250 MB data, $29.99 for unlimited through AT&T

16GB with just wifi=$499

32GB with just wifi=$599

64GB with just wifi=$699

16GB with wifi + 3G=$629

32GB with wifi + 3G=$729

64GB with wifi + 3G=$829

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog

6 Responses to “First reactions to Apple’s announcement”

  1. stephenb Says:

    I agree Bufo, I think if you are an apple fan and inclined to really like the ipod iphone suite of apps – this could be a good device for you. What they didn’t mention was (a) what’s the availability of books (b) is there anything like whispersync and (c) do they store the books or you ala amazon.

    Or did I miss that?

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing!

      I’m sure we’ll get a lot more information in the near future. I didn’t see anything about archiving for you, and they mentioned some specific publishers, but I didn’t see a book count posted.

  2. iPad 3G Says:

    incredible, comes to show that apple really is the best!!!!!

    • bufocalvin Says:

      I did post this comment, but I am assuming you are not connected to Apple, except as a customer. Otherwise, I typically don’t allow posts.

      Yes, Apple does some things very well. I prefer my Kindle as an e-book reader (EBR) at this point, but the iPad will likely appeal to a lot of people who want a convenient way to access the web. Since the iPad will run the Kindle app (confirmed today in the Amazon quarterly results conference call), people will certainly read Kindle store books on the iPad. That’s not my preference, but I’m sure some people will be happy doing that when they get the iPad for other purposes.

  3. The Kindle Chronicles - TKC 80 Brad Stone Says:

    […] News – Amazon beats expectations by reporting a whopping 71-percent increase in net income for the fourth quarter of 2009 and offers its first-ever information on how many Kindles the company has sold.  Apple presents to the world its gorgeous tablet, the iPad.  In the long-running soap opera known as “Who Will Kill the Kindle?” Steve Jobs’s presentation had plenty of pundits declaring “game over.”  Not so much on Wall Street, or among four leading Kindle bloggers – Andrys Basten, Stephen Windwalker, Abhi, and Bufo Calvin. […]

  4. TKC 80 Brad Stone | Covers for Kindle Says:

    […] News – Amazon beats expectations by reporting a whopping 71-percent increase in net income for the fourth quarter of 2009 and offers its first-ever information on how many Kindles the company has sold.  Apple presents to the world its gorgeous tablet, the iPad.  In the long-running soap opera known as “Who Will Kill the Kindle?” Steve Jobs’s presentation had plenty of pundits declaring “game over.”  Not so much on Wall Street, or among four leading Kindle bloggers – Andrys Basten, Stephen Windwalker, Abhi, and Bufo Calvin. […]

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