What is the iPad really good for?

What is the iPad really good for?
James Huggins of Me Books, publishers of Me Books which I mentioned early this month, provides some interesting insight into how he thinks the iPad fits into his life. I don’t agree that the iPad fits exclusively within the usage patterns he has discovered, I actually am more productive using an iOS device than I am a Mac, but I think he nails one aspect of the device that has made it so successful – the sense of play.

Then one day, the kids got hold of it.
I’d seen glimpses of magic when they’d hijacked my iPhone on occasion but when I saw them with the iPad I thought, OK… this is going to get interesting. They mastered it almost immediately, and were able to make real use of the touch screen and intuitive controls. Getting to grips with a keyboard and mouse can often be a frustrating experience for young children but this was effortless. This was the moment I knew we had the potential to use this technology to create experiences that weren’t just cool, but really valuable and utterly accessible to young children.
So what is the iPad really good for?
I’m aware everyone will have different answers to this question. For me, the iPad is a digital toy, and it’s real strength lies in it’s inherent playfulness. With the right app and in the hands of a child, it is an object of magic, wonder and discovery, the likes of which has not existed before. So does the iPad fit into my life? Absolutely it does, it’s just not my hands holding it… they’re much smaller, and covered in jam.

What is the iPad really good for?

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak on Cell Phones & Cancer

Above is part of Steve Wozniaks interview for filmmaker Kevin Kunze documentary that hopes to “expose the truth behind the negative health effects of cell phones”

DISCONNECT is the first feature-length documentary to expose the truth behind the negative health effects of cell phones. Globally, 5 billion people own mobile devices but few know the potential harm they are causing. Through extensive research and interviews with the world’s leading doctors, scientists, politicians, activists, and victims; DISCONNECT traces the rise of a rogue (emphasis mine) industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted public health. Severe adverse health effects have been associated with the cumulative amount of microwave radiation exposure through years of cell phone use directly next to the body. Many doctors and scientists believe brain tumors, infertility, and breast cancer are correlated to long-term cell phone use.
The documentary provides perspectives from individuals who helped shape the cell phone industry including Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak, Virgin Mobile’s founder Richard Branson, and the founder of one of the first telecommunication companies, which sold briefcase-size mobile phones.


iPhoneography: Smartphone art

Smartphone art
University of Cambridge sociology student Zack McCune set out to explore peoples desire to share personal content with global networks. He spent four months examining user behaviour in social media’s latest trends: networks that communicate in mobile photography.

As mobile phone cameras improve, emerging forms of social media are basing themselves in ‘iPhoneography’. While social media is often held up as an example of the increasingly vacuous and self-obsessed nature of society, research into these new networks shows they can encourage creativity, and even provide users with a therapeutic outlet.
This introduced the field of smartphone photography, or ‘iPhoneography’. The rapid increase in mobile camera sophistication is the latest stage in the shrinking space between seeing and sharing. “Since the Kodak Brownie, through to the Polaroid Instant and into the age of digital photography, technology has been closing the time between taking a photo and sharing it” says McCune. “Smart phone cameras and apps like instagram mean that you can offer a photo to global networks faster than typed text in many instances.”

Smartphone art


I’ve finally found some images to share of one of my all time favourite mass market bag brands Kinoshohampu. They have a number of very well appointed stores here in Taiwan and I’ve always enjoyed the design of their bags and the supporting design of their stores and DM. Unfortunately most of the product they sell to the Taiwan market are for the female buyer so I haven’t added one to my collection.
The canvas bag above is a recent addition to their catalogue with a new cushioned inner bag to use to carry a smallish laptop. This backpack features leather trim, adjustable straps, back zip pocket, velcro under the flap and a beautiful understated design. All the Kinoshohampu bags I have seen have been extremely well made.

“The beauty of utilities” in life as a tool casually, is ‘kinoshohampu’
A simple and modern design that is processed by vegetable tannin leather on cloth.
It is a lifelong bag that shows the pure power of a skillful craftsmen, carefully selected materials, and its simple design are shown.

Kinoshohampu. Buy the above bag here.

Blauvent SECO Backpack

Blauvent SECO Backpack
Blauvent SECO Backpack
I first mentioned a backpack made by Carmen Blauvent a little over two years ago, her Parachute Backpack, and as you would expect from an artist of her caliber her work has only gotten better. The backpack pictured above are one of a kind, made from a recycled paraglider wing, it is water repellent and windproof. The interior is lined in high style printed cotton. What sets her product apart is the sense of fun and fantastic use of colour. I’m usually drawn to muted palettes, especially those resulting from canvas and leather but these are too good to not love.
Her catalogue features all kinds of great bags worth checking out.
Blauvent SECO Backpack

Envelope bag for iPad

Envelope bag for iPad
Taiwanese design collective Megawing resurrects this slightly over done manilla office envelope concept for their modern cross body bag. The Envelope Bag is simplistic in form but includes an extremely useful inner inset pocket with multiple pouches for your phones, pens, keys and other small accessories. It is the perfect size to fit an iPad. Largely made with leather .
Envelope bag for iPad
Envelope bag for iPad

Padfoot for iPad

Padfoot for iPad
There are have been a slew of iPad stands of all shapes and sizes hitting the market since Apple launched the iPad, but few have the minimalist footprint of the Padfoot by Dutch designer Michiel Cornelissen. It works well and looks great.
The PadFoot is manufactured in tough but lightweight, 3d printed polyamide with a fine surface texture.
Padfoot for iPad
Padfoot for iPad

Carryology’s – A Carryology Guide

Carryology's - A Carryology Guide
I linked to this earlier on twitter but it’s worth re-mentioning… A must read, the Carryology Guide is a “mix of awesomeness, radness and amazingness all rolled into one for your reading pleasure”. And a definitive document to aid in your bag using understanding. I wish I could put together something as good as this.
Read it here

Cell Phone Weighs Down Backpack of Self-Discovery

Dalton Conley argues that we all need time to ourselves, away from the constant connections that mobile devices provide.

Time spent alone allows us to see ourselves as others see us. It’s important to have a backstage — a safe, private space where we don’t have to worry about folks watching us, where we can let our hair down, practice our social routines and strike back against the indignations of life in the public square. The backstage is where our “true” self resides, as distinct from the front-stage self we present at the office or on the street.
The mobile phone in the garden erodes that private space. And, in turn, it precludes intimacy: Until we have (and can protect) that private self, we can’t be intimate with another. Intimacy, to extend the theatrical metaphor, is like giving backstage passes to a select few. It rests on the private self remaining distinct from the public self, so that you have something to offer chosen friends and family members.

Read: Cell Phone Weighs Down Backpack of Self-Discovery

Eric Topol: The wireless future of medicine

Filmed in Oct. 2009, Eric Topol says we’ll soon use our smartphones to monitor our vital signs and chronic conditions. At TEDMED, he highlights several of the most important wireless devices in medicine’s future — all helping to keep more of us out of hospital beds.
This future is already upon us. Unfortunately, like so much of modern medicine it’s reactionary and doesn’t address the reasons we need help in the first place.
Apologies if you are viewing this on a mobile device. TED is one of the few sites that, while having apps. to view their content, still rely on flash embeds for the web.
See also: Medicine’s future? There’s an app for that

The Gesture Wars

iPad Gestures
At the start of almost every technology transition, chaos rules. Competitors create confusion, often quite deliberate, as they develop their own unique way of doing things incompatible with all others.
Donald Norman writes about the subsequent mess that is arising as gesture-based control takes over on cellphones, tablets, touchpads and computers.

Apple has now decided that the discrepancy between the scrolling model for scrollbars and gestures should be eliminated. Computers mostly still lack touchscreen interfaces, especially multi-touch, and they still use windows and scrollbars. Nonetheless, in Apple’s latest version of its operating system (OS 10.7, otherwise known as Lion), the default model has been changed: one moves the material up, not the window down. Apple wants everyone to move the material with a two-finder gesture, moving the two-fingers down the screen (on a touch screen) or on a trackpad. Yes, there still is a scrollbar that still seems to use the old mode, but I predict that scrollbars will disappear as control devices. Indeed, in new applications the scroll bar is hidden, only becoming visible when the two-finger scroll is initiated. Although it can be grabbed and moved, the scrollbar’s main function now is to indicate what part of the material is visible through the window.
The result has been great confusion among customers. Suddenly, the well-ingrained habit has been reversed. Apple has long had a touchpad on its portable machines as well as being sold as an external control device. But the two-fingered drag downward used to move the material upward–that is, it controlled the scrollbar. Now the same movement controls the material displayed, so moving downward moves the material displayed downward.
[…] Microsoft faces the same issue about the scrolling model as it deploys gesture systems on everything from its “surface” product, to smart phones, tablet computers, regular computers and its touch mouse. Which model will they adopt? So far, Microsoft is sticking with the current model of moving the window: move the finger up to scroll the material down.

While his focus is primarily on the complexity in scrolling models, the confusion extends to many different parts of, at least in Apple products, software based UI. Apple’s UI standards of late have seemingly taken a hit in terms of importance which is surprising considering the import role software plays in the companies success.
Excellent read: Gesture Wars by Don Norman. Via Smallsurfaces.