Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

Bad Times for Love

Bad Times for Love. CC Copyright by Javier Noval

Occasionally you come across something on the Web that forces you to stare unflinchingly into the dark heart of humanity.  Well, OK, on the Web that happens more than occasionally and not simply when you are frequenting 4Chan.  Sometimes, however, the experience isn’t simply repellent and/or tedious but actually illustrates something profound about the evolution of human nature and its vexed relationship with digital technologies.

Recently, my friend Laurie posted an article about the impending Facebook changes from CNN’s Tech blog.  Peter Cashmore’s “You’ll Freak WhenYou See the New Facebook” highlights Facebook’s impending overhaul of its profile pages in order to introduce its new “Facebook Timeline.”  Some of you may in fact have had your profile switched already.  Cashmore acknowledges that most users will probably hate the change initially but then they will think it is the greatest thing since Al Gore invented the Internet:

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Guild Wars 2

Image via Wikipedia

When the iPad was announced earlier this year I wrote a blog entry that was generally sceptical of the device’s overall potential to revolutionize anything; nevertheless, I was still interested in its possibilities as a gaming platform.  At the time, I wrote this:

Apple will in all likelihood need some breakthrough application that really takes advantage of the size and scale of the device (since no significant new functionality was demonstrated) to allow people to do something that they couldn’t do before.  Alternatively, it will need to allow people to do something they could do before but much more efficiently.  Note:  much more efficiently.  I have a hard time seeing how anyone will part with the amount of money needed to get the version with reasonable storage and connectivity if it only does some things a little better than is possible at the moment.

This breakout app that helps to redefine the iPad hasn’t happened yet as far as I’m aware.  No one who has showed me their iPad has yet done the “but what you really need to see is this” move that made me jealous of any number of people with iPods and then iPhones.  Of course, I did underestimate basic human nature.  In fact, lots of people will part with a lot of money to get something that only does things a little better than other devices (and in some cases a lot worse: seriously, have you used the “keyboard” on this thing?  Better yet, watch a proud iPad owner using it: they grin with that kind of “No, this may look painful but I’m really having a lot of fun” look that is vaguely reminiscent of the way elephants look when trying to have sex). . .simply so they can have what most other people don’t have. . .yet.  There is a word for these people.  Posers.

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The iPad as Gaming Device?

Posted: January 28, 2010 by Twitchdoctor in game design, Game Platforms
Tags: , , , ,

And lo, The Steve descended the mountain with the Word of the Lord still heavy upon him.  Thus he spread his hands and calmed the roiling waters of commerce, and spaketh in tones of majesty to the huddled masses yearning to be freed from the burden of their cash.  “Behold, ” intoned The Steve, “I bring you revolutionary magic, a magic revolution, more magic, more revolution.  And I say unto you, in three score days thou will find within the holy temple of the golden apple a device that is like an iPhone only bigger and phoneless, and which resembleth the Book of Mac but smaller and less powerful, and which shall combat the wiles of the evil Kindleites by charging the people more to read.  Thy pockets will be barren even as the Ark of the Apple Covenant is filled unto bursting with the Wealth of Nations.  And the world shall be unchanged.”  So sayeth The Steve.  And the masses fell to warring among themselves.

OK, leaving aside the fact that I still can’t say the word “iPad” with a straight face (what the hell was The Steve thinking?), the product’s release schedule colors Apple’s generally high level of marketing savvy with just a hint of desperation.  In releasing the SDK yesterday but not making the device itself available for 60 days (and then only making the crappiest version available) Apple is tacitly acknowledging that while The Steve may be convinced that this device is “magical” and “revolutionary” at the moment it appears to be anything but.  Wishing will not make it so, but the work of some canny app developers just might.

Most of the touted uses of the iPad are already served adequately by existing software applications (and on other devices).  Apple will in all likelihood need some breakthrough application that really takes advantage of the size and scale of the device (since no significant new functionality was demonstrated) to allow people to do something that they couldn’t do before.  Alternatively, it will need to allow people to do something they could do before but much more efficiently.  Note:  much more efficiently.  I have a hard time seeing how anyone will part with the amount of money needed to get the version with reasonable storage and connectivity if it only does some things a little better than is possible at the moment.

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