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So... it's a big iPhone

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Nathan Strum

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Well, Apple's non-big announcement today was of their jumbo-sized iPhone.

 

I mean... the iPad. (Although several times during the keynote, Steve called it the iPod. I'm surprised they didn't go back in and fix that. :roll: )

 

Now, this would have been a technological marvel a few years ago... before the iPhone. But now, it's just a bigger iPhone. Not all that impressive - despite Steve continually mentioning during his keynote how impressive it was. It's like making a DVD the size of a laserdisc. Big whoop.

 

I half-hoped it would be a real OS X capable machine, that could run real-world Mac apps (Photoshop, etc). But I can see why Apple did what they did. There are some 58 million iPhone OS devices out there, and over 140,000 apps for them. Go with what the market will support, I guess.

 

Some disappointing "features":

  • Not a real Mac. Just a big iPhone/iPod Touch. In that regard, it's hard for me to consider it a "real" computer.
  • No stylus support. Although at some point, I expect someone will create one for it for artists. I just hope they can make it pressure-sensitive. You reading this, Wacom? (No... I didn't think you were.)
  • No camera. If not for video conferencing, then at least for convenience. I find all sorts of uses for my iPhone's camera, since I always have it handy. Adding that would have been what... five bucks worth of parts? I suspect that a camera peripheral for the dock connector will happen at some point (whether from Apple or someone else). A swiveling one would allow use for either video conferencing or just taking pictures/movies.
  • No second dock connector for landscape mode. You can't put the iPad in the dock and say... watch movies on it. Or type documents on the keyboard/dock in landscape mode.
  • No SD card slot. Although they've mitigated this a little bit with an SD card slot reader that plugs into the dock connector. But will it just support photos, or actual, usable file storage?
  • No Flash in Safari. Yes, I hate Flash. But Flash is everywhere. Hopefully Apple will find a way to make this resource hogging, crashy nightmare of a technological disaster somewhat tolerable on the iPhone OS. Someday.
  • No apparent Tab or arrow keys on the keyboard. C'mon, Apple.
  • The "full" keyboard/dock lacks a numeric keypad. C'mon again, Apple.
  • Very little mention of education in the keynote. Bad Steve! No biscuit! I suspect this may be to punish McGraw-Hill for spilling the beans about the tablet a day early. Steve's done this sort of thing before, where's he's pulled sections out of his keynote when someone's ticked him off (I think ATi once tipped off a new Mac, and Steve pulled all references to them from his keynote). Whatever happened, it was very shortsighted. They need to hype the education connection for this, so students want to start saving up to get one of these for the fall semester.
  • iLife is overpriced. They should be $6.99 each, or $19.99 for all three.
  • AT&T.

 

But on the other hand, there are some things about it I do like:

  • AT&T is not required.
  • The potential (again!) for education is huge. If I was attending college this fall, and knew that my textbooks would be available for it, I'd buy one. The cost, relative to college expenses, is negligible. Besides not having to haul around 40 pounds of textbooks, you can easily type papers on it, record lectures, and run a whole bunch of useful (and fun) apps on it. I'd even favor it over a laptop, as an everyday portable. But then again... I'm not attending college this fall.
  • Using it for slideshows or lectures. We have quite a few guest artists bringing in laptops for this, and the iPad would be a nice alternative, especially if it could transmit images wirelessly. It's light, easy to walk around with (try that with an open laptop), and large enough to see your presentation.
  • Another possibility is music. Not musical instruments (which are already available on the iPhone), but actual sheet music. Think e-books for musicians. If you have an orchestra, band, or vocal group - imagine using these for sheet music. They could electronically display music, automatically turn pages at the correct times, be updated with any changes, and you wouldn't have to store a whole room full of sheet music (or take it with you on the road). They could all be synced to the conductor's iPad. I'm tellin' ya'... someone's going to do this. If you're a developer, it might as well be you.
  • Apple's best peripheral for it so far - the folding case thing. That's some really nice design there. I hope it's durable.
  • This will pretty-much destroy the Kindle and its ilk. I couldn't believe people lined up to buy those things, since they were one-trick, overpriced ponies. The low-end iPad is only $10 more than the Kindle DX. Why would anyone buy one, now? (Yes... the small Kindle is still cheaper. But again... one-trick-pony.)
  • The price. I never expected $499. I figured $899. But then again, it's basically just a really big iPhone Touch, and the 64 GB model of that is $399. So less storage, but a faster CPU, a GPS and a bigger screen, for $100 more? That's pretty good. And if I was getting one of these, it would be an adjunct to my main Mac and iPhone (since the iPad isn't a phone, and even when someone eventually makes a VoIP app for it, it would look pretty silly holding it up to my face), so I wouldn't necessarily need to replace all of the functionality of either device, and therefore the low-end one would probably work just fine. Besides, I wouldn't want to pay AT&T any more money than I already am. (If they ever do get tethering working for the iPhone, odds are someone will figure out how to tether the iPad to it using Bluetooth or something.) And consider this... in a year, the price will be cheaper, the CPU will be faster, and it'll probably have double the memory. And probably some other features as well. And maybe a bigger brother... about a 12" screen would be nice. But I'm not getting one. Maybe if I travelled a lot more than I do, I'd consider it. But I don't. My iPhone is just fine.

 

The keynote was all rather boring, actually. It was like watching someone sit there and do stuff we've all seen before (surf the web, browse photos) on a really large iPhone. Some of the game enhancements were pretty cool, but I have no intention to buy one of these for a game machine, and I doubt anyone else will, either. The iLife demo was okay, but it already runs on a Mac just fine, and the multi-touch interface doesn't so much add anything to it, as it is a workaround for not having a mouse. On the plus side, Steve looked healthier than he has in some time. He wasn't nearly as gaunt. Although he either needs to grow out his beard, or just shave off the stubble. He and Jonathan Ive looked like a couple of derelicts.

 

I was disappointed Apple didn't announce anything else, but I guess that's not what this was about. I'm still hoping for an announcement about the end of the exclusivity with AT&T (although I'm still locked in for another 1 1/2 years), a new version of Final Cut Studio, Blu-Ray support, and an LED backlit 30" Cinema Display. But those, apparently, will have to wait for another day.

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I've been hearing a lot of complaints about the keyboard dock and other nitpicky things. The truth is that keyboard (or all keyboards for that matter) are there for the old farts. The facebook generation has their own language and can write it with only their thumbs. They will soon embrace this new input technology and their grammar skillz will suffer even more. Tab? Arrows? Stylus?!? Sheesh! You sound like a caveman! :thumbsup:

 

It's not meant to be a full, powerful computer. It surfs, writes notes, plays a few games, and runs widgets. That's it. This is meant to replace books, and face-to-face communication. I don't know what the figures are but I'd be willing to bet the majority of people who buy computers never ever load them up with any real productivity tools. Full blown OSX is not needed for that, iPhone OS will do just fine. And it will be tweaked to offer more functionality as it evolves.

 

Strictly speaking, it's not a bigger iPhone since it doesn't phone. It's more of a bigger iPod Touch that will cannibalize some of their laptop sales as well as Touch sales. But that's okay because laptops still have those farty old keyboards. 10 years from now keyboards will have gone the way of...well...typewriters.

 

I agree with the education aspect. In fact I seem to recall a plan back in the 80's where Apple wanted to give away computers to schools, and they in fact may have. There was debate locally about Apple locking in a new generation of users with those freebies and folks wouldn't be prepared to use the new, state of the art, IBM PC's. I could see that plan paying off big time with this. As it is many schools insist students have laptops.

 

I am largely unimpressed.

 

But I reserve the right to reverse my stance on this if it takes off and becomes the next big thing that saves trees, cures cancer, promotes world peace, and allows me to quickly look up an actor on imdb while I'm watching a movie being streamed from it to my big TV. And maybe access atariage.com so I can remember the name of that popcorn place you mentioned, place an order, and have a steaming bowl of corn delivered in 30 minutes or it's free.

 

Wait...that didn't sound right.

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I'm also rather unimpressed with the iPad. First, I wonder if they changed the name at the last minute from iSlate to iPad given what happened at CES. But that's obviously not too important, as you'll get used to pretty much any name after everyone's been using it for a while.

 

But, yes, it's basically just a large iPod Touch as Dave said, not an iPhone since you can't make calls with it and it doesn't have a camera. The WiFi version doesn't even have GPS--you need to spend an additional $130 for the 3G-enabled model to get that! I also don't want to pay AT&T any more monies per month, so I'm not too keen on the $30 "all you can eat" AT&T data plan.

 

I'm very disappointed that it basically runs iPhone OS and that little improvements appear to have been made. For instance, there is NO MULTITASKING. I was envisioning being able to run several iPhone apps simultaneously in their own windows, dragging them around the screen (think Dashboard) and either interacting with them at that size, or zooming in an app you'd like to focus on. It's really sad that you can only run ONE APP at a time on a device that obviously has a faster hardware and a much larger screen than an iPhone / Touch.

 

The lack of ports is also disappointing. C'mon, an external adapter for an SD card reader? What a kludge. An external adapter for USB? With the bezel as large as it is, they could have fit both of these ports on the side somewhere. This is just a money grab for additional adapters, very typical for Apple. And I bet the use of both USB and SD will be extremely limited. I also agree that not having a dock for landscape mode is shortsighted.

 

Another negative for the device is the 4:3 presentation, instead of widescreen. Most movies and television shows I watch these days are in widescreen format, so much of the iPad's screen will be wasted for video. I can't believe we're still getting 4:3 devices in this day and age.

 

As far as Safari goes, the device is only 1024x768. While browsing will be better on it than an iPhone / iPod Touch, it's not very high resolution relative to most laptops and especially desktop displays. You'll still be doing a lot of zooming in and out and scrolling around to see what you want. And the lack of Flash support has got to be embarrassing for Apple--at several points while Steve was demoing web browsing, you could see the "Missing Plugin" icon for Flash blocks. At one point in particular he stopped scrolling and most of the screen was taken up by a Flash block. I mean, seriously, WTF? It's not the "best browsing experience ever ZOMG!" unless you have Flash support. Get on the freakin' ball Apple or my next phone will be an Android device.

 

The education market really does seem to be a natural for the iPad, if Apple can get enough publishers on board with college textbooks. Being able to carry around a 1.5 pound device that has all your books, rather than 30+ pounds of books would be a huge boon. Even better if the electronic textbooks are less expensive. However, this would push out sales of used textbooks, and college texts are already so ridiculously overpriced it's disgusting.

 

For me personally the most interesting aspect of the iPad is the iBookStore. This is Apple declaring war on Amazon and B&N, not just for the physical eReader market, but for electronic book sales as well. This is an area I could see the iPad doing well in. However, I feel the eInk screens of the Kindle and Nook are more comfortable on the eyes for reading books, even if they are black and white (for now). But the iPad has the Kindle and Nook beat in terms of user-interface, which appears to be very slick in the iPad. What I'm waiting for is to see what happens with magazines and newspapers. Tons of potential for interactivity there. Oh, a negative here is it looks like Apple is trying to push the price higher for eBooks relative to what Amazon and B&N charges. This will certainly hamper iPad sales ($14.99 versus $9.99? No thanks!)

 

So, the iPad isn't for me. It's an interesting device, but until it further evolves I'm not interested. I already have multiple desktop computers, a MacBook, and an iPhone. I have no need at all for an intermediary device that only runs iPhone apps and ultimately iPad-specific apps that take advantage of the higher resolution.

 

..Al

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It's interesting to Google "iPod Touch XL" and see how many people used that exact term for their predictions.

 

When I first saw it, I thought, "cool - want one", but now I realize that I don't have any gaping "need hole" for an iPad. Nor does my wife or 9 year old son. In theory it probably would make a decent computer for him, but I don't think I want to give him a portable web browser.

 

One big plus in my mind is it's "compatible" with the iPhone/iTouch apps. So there's lots of cheap touchscreen apps (including games) already out there. And the apps will probably fare much better being scaled up than if they were being scaled down from the Mac.

 

To me the biggest downcheck is the size. Think about it - you're carrying around an 8x10 picture frame. (Well, a little smaller - 8x6 screen in a 9.5x7.5 frame.) So on one hand that's a big piece of glass that is far too large for a pocket or even a purse, but is much smaller than a typical laptop bag or case. And on the other hand the screen is too small for anything more than a foot or so from your face.

 

It will be interesting to read some actual usage reviews and see whether we get an upgraded version next year (with something more than more flash and a faster CPU at a lower price) or if it joins the Air and the TV as ideas which never really took off.

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Very nice write up. The PSP has Flash, but it's the 6.0 version. It works but the PSP does not have enough RAM to run big flash file. There is no reason why this device doesn't support Flash.

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Thinking about digital textbooks (although I'm 15+ years out of university) ...

 

One bonus would be not having to deal with trying to get rid of the Nth Edition of some textbook you will never use again when the N+1th Edition has been released. And hopefully digital textbooks will be cheaper since they won't have to be printed & shelved. Maybe digital textbooks will "rented" and the price is for limited time access.

 

And that's all great for some textbooks, but there are a few textbooks I have stored in my basement precisely because they are very good references. When my son is in high school I'll be able to haul out Halliday and Resnick and teach him why physics is phun. Won't be able to do that with a digital textbook.

 

I don't remember hauling textbooks to class. Stuff for taking notes, yes. But the textbooks were references - used to clarify the class notes and help with assignments, labs and preparing for exams. But I can see using an iPad to take notes in class.

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I get the feeling you need to use one to get what it's about - Stephen Fry went to his first Apple product launch and posted about it in his blog

There are many issues you could have with the iPad. No multitasking, still no Flash. No camera, no GPS. They all fall away the minute you use it. I cannot emphasise enough this point: “Hold your judgment until you’ve spent five minutes with it”. ... The moment you experience it in your hands you know this is class. This is a different order of experience. The speed, the responsiveness, the smooth glide of it, the richness and detail of the display, the heft in your hand, the rightness of the actions and gestures that you employ, untutored and instinctively, it’s not just a scaled up iPhone or a scaled-down multitouch enhanced laptop – it is a whole new kind of device. And it will change so much.

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Strictly speaking, it's not a bigger iPhone since it doesn't phone. It's more of a bigger iPod Touch that will cannibalize some of their laptop sales as well as Touch sales.

Yeah, I know. But "So... it's a big iPod Touch" didn't sound as good, and "iPhone" is easier to type. ;)

 

Another negative for the device is the 4:3 presentation, instead of widescreen. Most movies and television shows I watch these days are in widescreen format, so much of the iPad's screen will be wasted for video. I can't believe we're still getting 4:3 devices in this day and age.

That doesn't bother me so much, since the 4:3 actually would help when using a virtual keyboard in landscape mode. If it was widescreen, you'd have much less screen real-estate left.

 

To me the biggest downcheck is the size. Think about it - you're carrying around an 8x10 picture frame. (Well, a little smaller - 8x6 screen in a 9.5x7.5 frame.) So on one hand that's a big piece of glass that is far too large for a pocket or even a purse, but is much smaller than a typical laptop bag or case. And on the other hand the screen is too small for anything more than a foot or so from your face.

I'm rather disappointed that, given the size of the iPad itself, how much wasted space there is around the outside of the screen. I would rather have seen a larger display tucked in there.

 

I don't remember hauling textbooks to class. Stuff for taking notes, yes. But the textbooks were references - used to clarify the class notes and help with assignments, labs and preparing for exams. But I can see using an iPad to take notes in class.

I lived off-campus and took the bus in (most days), so I took some textbooks with me to study between classes (not that I ever did... I blame the video arcade boom for this). So I was hauling them around at least some of the time. Besides the portability though, the big appeal of a digital textbook for me would be accessibility to the information in it. Being able to do a quick search for a phrase, then have a list of results come up for it, would have been incredible. I hated slogging endlessly through textbooks, desperately trying to find whatever it was I was looking for.

 

I get the feeling you need to use one to get what it's about - Stephen Fry went to his first Apple product launch and posted about it in his blog

I cannot emphasise enough this point: “Hold your judgment until you’ve spent five minutes with it”. ... The moment you experience it in your hands you know this is class. This is a different order of experience. The speed, the responsiveness, the smooth glide of it, the richness and detail of the display, the heft in your hand, the rightness of the actions and gestures that you employ, untutored and instinctively, it’s not just a scaled up iPhone or a scaled-down multitouch enhanced laptop – it is a whole new kind of device. And it will change so much.

And it's probably going to revolutionize the pr0n industry. :thumbsup:

 

No... I probably don't want to think about that...

 

I'll admit though, I was skeptical of the iPod for a couple of years, before I really understood the appeal of it. I was on vacation and, for the umpteenth time, was hauling with me a portable CD player, and a dozen CDs. Besides the bulk was the fact that I always left CDs at home that I wished I'd brought, and brought ones I never listened to. I happened to visit an Apple Store, and began checking out the iPods (although I'd seen them before... but just not in the context of the whole CD thing), and realized, "Oh... I could bring all my CDs with me, on something the size of a pack of cards. Now I get it!"

 

For the iPad though, at least at this point, I'm not in the target demographic for it. Maybe for version 2 or 3. It'll be interesting to see how it evolves.

 

Also, I suspect iPhone OS 4.0 will probably bring some significant changes to the iPad, and hopefully, the iPhone also - Flash, optional multi-tasking, etc.

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That doesn't bother me so much, since the 4:3 actually would help when using a virtual keyboard in landscape mode. If it was widescreen, you'd have much less screen real-estate left.

I assume the main reason this was done was to maintain the same screen proportions as the iPhone and iPod Touch. Otherwise the apps wouldn't scale properly. Plus, the device would be unusually wide for a portable device. I've watched movies on my iPhone before (when traveling), so the iPad's screen would certainly be an improvement from that, even in 4:3 form.

 

Also, I suspect iPhone OS 4.0 will probably bring some significant changes to the iPad, and hopefully, the iPhone also - Flash, optional multi-tasking, etc.

I'm not really holding out any hope for Flash. Apple loses too much control once they allow people to run Flash and the iPhone, iPod and now iPad are all about control. Definitely not a "customer first" mentality at work there, which really sucks. If Android has Flash by this summer when my AT&T contract expires, and Apple hasn't significantly improved the iPhone platform with 4.0 (which I assume we'll know all about by then), I'll be moving to the latest and greatest Android phone. Getting away from AT&T wouldn't suck either, as I'm sick of dropped calls. A week ago I had 10 dropped calls during a 20 minute conversation and I wasn't even moving.

 

..Al

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Flash would be convenient, but I wouldn't give up my iPhone to get it. 99% of the time, I can live without it on my iPhone.

 

I fully blame Adobe for it though. Flash is a bloated, buggy mess. With 58 million iPhone OS devices out there, they should be bending over backwards to make a streamlined version that would work without causing iPhones to burst into flames.

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In relation to the other generally overpriced Apple devices it may sound fair. But IMO $499 is still way overpriced for something that can't even compete with a cheap Netbook and seems intentionally crippled (no SD slot? :thumbsup:)) to increase Apple's profit. No thanks!

 

But then, I am definitely not even close to the target group of Apple's marketing. ;)

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I'm curious about it and I'd like to use one before making a decision on it. I use my iPod Touch all the time, but again, that's small, I can put it in my back pocket and walk around with it. I don't think I'd feel as comfortable with being out and about with an iPad. It's bigger, and a laptop would fit into my book bag just as easily without worrying about scratching up the screen. On the other hand, I'm getting a little tired of getting all squinty with the PDF's I'm reading on my iPT when I go to bed. Bigger screen would be nice. If I were to get one, I think it would be more like a home base iPod Touch, kind of analogous to a desktop computer vs. a laptop. I like laptops if I'm traveling, but I'd rather use my nicely sized iMac to do stuff while I'm at home. Same with my iPod Touch. I wouldn't take the iPad out with me instead of the iPod, but I could see while at home, the iPod Touch hooked up to the computer to charge and the iPad being used to more comfortably surf or read. Not convinced I'd use it to write a blog entry, but I wouldn't rule it out.

 

In the interest of full disclosure, I do work for Apple but my opinions are my own and I'm not any better informed about this device than anyone else surfing the internet. I never saw a point for having an iPod Touch until after I'd gotten one...it's taken time, but I've grown very fond of it. We'll see what happens.

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To be fair, that's just the cost of materials and manufacturing, and it's speculative. Those figures do not take into account research and development, marketing, and other costs directly attributable to the iPad. Not to mention they still have to pay their large employee base and other operations costs with those proceeds.

 

Even after those costs I'm sure they are still making a nice profit, but there's nothing wrong with that. If people buy it at that price and find it useful, more power to Apple. If people don't buy it, Apple will be forced to lower the price or discontinue the product. Nobody is twisting anyone's arms to buy an iPad.

 

It's not for me (at least in this iteration), but I think it has some interesting potential down the road. But like you said, we are not really the target audience here, and I bet Apple will sell truckloads of these at $499.

 

..Al

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There's sometimes a fine line between fleecing and profiting. They're in business to profit. It's a fair price for a luxury item and it's right in line with other similar devices. In fact there was even a story I read the other day about how other tablets are now reevaluating their pricing. They anticipated the Apple tablet costing $1000 and priced their stuff to undercut it. They may drop their prices even more now to remain competitive.

 

As for Flash, I read a quote allegedly from Steve regarding Flash. Something to the effect of "99% of the time when a Mac crashes it's because of Flash." I initially thought about that and scoffed at the idea. Then I thought about it a little more. That may actually be pretty close to the truth. Based on that track record it wouldn't be in Apple's best interest to rush out and support something so crashy.

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I'm sure most of my crashes (and all of them in Safari) are due to Flash. My poor old iMac grinds to a halt on Flash content.

 

It's just laziness on Adobe's part not to make a streamlined version of it. I'd like to see the web be rid of it.

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I get the feeling you need to use one to get what it's about - Stephen Fry went to his first Apple product launch and posted about it in his blog

it’s not just a scaled up iPhone or a scaled-down multitouch enhanced laptop – it is a whole new kind of device.

This is the key here. The iPhone was a big hit because everybody wants or has a phone and, when it came out, it was the sleekest, sexiest, best phone you could buy.

 

The iPad isn't a better anything. It's a new something, and I don't think anybody knows if people want and will buy this new something.

 

But I do think: it won't replace the iPhone and it won't replace laptops, so I *think* it is destined to die in no-man's land. But who knows?

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The iPad isn't a better anything. It's a new something, and I don't think anybody knows if people want and will buy this new something.

 

It's attracting the attention of non-techies - this blog entry mentions 3 unexpected people who are excited about the iPad.

 

My mother-in-law walked in the door the day of the keynote and the first thing out of her mouth was “Did you see that new Apple iPad? That looks like it would work for me. Would that work for me?”

 

I was utterly flabbergasted. She NEVER talks about computers or technology. She tolerates them at best.

 

I also saw a couple things that have made techie me very interested in getting one:

 

The first is the L5 Remote. I currently use a Pronto Pro to run my AV equipment.

photo01a.jpg

 

It makes using my setup so easy to use that my mom has no problem watching TV when she's visiting. Before the Pronto Pro I would have to turn the TV on before I'd leave for work as there were 3 remotes involved (1 for the TV, 1 for the cable box and 1 for the sound system). With the Pronto Pro she just hits the "ON" button and it powers everything up. She then hits the "TV" button which 1) switches the TV and surround sound to the proper inputs and then 2) displays a tabbed channel interface using buttons with channel logos.

Pronto_Menus.png

 

To watch HGTV she just hits the channel logo and the Pronto spits out 229 to the tuner.

Ponto_HGTV.png

 

While I love my Pronto Pro, it's showing its age and will need to be replaced at some point in the near future.

 

The second is Indigo. I have a bunch of INSTEON home automation devices in my house. I could get something like this 8.4" Touchscreen interface, but its $1750 and doesn't do the other things an iPad can do.

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As for Flash, I read a quote allegedly from Steve regarding Flash. Something to the effect of "99% of the time when a Mac crashes it's because of Flash." I initially thought about that and scoffed at the idea. Then I thought about it a little more. That may actually be pretty close to the truth. Based on that track record it wouldn't be in Apple's best interest to rush out and support something so crashy.

I've had Flash bring down my browser before, but I've never had it crash OS X. And I can't even remember the last time I had a problem caused by Flash, except for it being slow and on my MacBook causing the fan to come on (especially when playing longer Flash movies). As an end user, it really does suck that Apple has this stance.

 

..Al

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The first is the L5 Remote. I currently use a Pronto Pro to run my AV equipment.

I'm not a big fan of touch screen remotes at all. Remotes with few physical buttons generally require you to look at them before you can press an on-screen button. When you're in a dark room watching a movie, the last thing you want is to have to stare a potentially bright remote screen to hit the appropriate button. I really like my Harmony One, as it has a large assortment of buttons (pretty much all of which can be remapped), plus a color screen where you can map unique buttons and tasks. It feels good in the hand and you can use it without having to look at the remote (much like the TiVo "peanut" remote, which still reigns supreme in that department). And it's easy to setup and maintain via your computer.

 

..Al

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Physical buttons are nice - the next release of the Pronto Pro added more, but when that one came out I was under a paycut at work due to the economy.

 

The main problem I have with the Pronto Pro is size of screen, which means you end up having to go to another screen for some options(ie: see the DVR and GUIDE tabs in my prior post). A screen the size of the iPad would solve that issue for me.

 

Ooh - a Harmony PS3 Adapter - that's one piece I'm missing with the Pronto Pro. I've seen 3rd party IR to Bluetooth adapters that would work with my Pronto Pro, but they've always been out of stock when I tried to get them.

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I've had Flash bring down my browser before, but I've never had it crash OS X.

On my (admittedly old) G5 iMac, the problems it causes with Safari affect the performance system-wide. It hogs memory and never releases it, resulting in me having to reboot my Mac to regain performance. I consider that to be a crash. It may not actually make the computer fully crash, but it renders it borderline useless.

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I finally downloaded and installed ClickToFlash.

 

It's amazing how much web pages speed up when they're not loading Flash all the time (and how less frequent browser crashes are). Highly recommended. :ponder:

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