With the new iPad announcement, there’s been an unsurprising amount of naysaying about the “uninspiring” new features and that Apple are going to cede the market now bla bla bla.
There’s only one way to say this: what a load of bollocks.
If you don’t agree with the statement “the retina display on the new iPad is a game changer” you need to consider this:
- When you cannot see the individual pixels, on a screen of this size, it will no longer seem like you are looking at a screen. This has a massive effect on the way the user feels and perceives the product and the software that runs on it. If you don’t believe this, throw away your laser printer and get a 100 dpi dot matrix from the 1980s. While you don’t normally think about it your brain and perception is aware of the tiny black grid separating the pixels and the “unnatural” jagged edges on things.
- Once the public see this screen, all other tablet screens (and in turn laptop screens) will be judged by this standard. Where can competitors go to compete with this? Brighter? More saturation? More battery life? All of those are possible, but they are not differentiators – and nobody can compete with iPad battery life. And they have to be retina as well. Effectively this new screen will be THE screen. THE future of displays. There is no point increasing resolution any further, and resolution of a device no longer becomes important at retina ppi – all that matters is the physical size of the screen. And if you’re thinking about 7″ tablets, in this new market all that means is less space to display stuff.
- This screen is by all accounts very challenging to manufacture and very expensive. Only Apple can achieve this right now, perhaps for a couple of years – they’re using their buying power and cash reserves to achieve the “impossible”. This probably puts all other tablet makers in the shitter with inferior screen resolution for the next couple of years.
- Still to this day nobody can compete with iPad on price for the same features and quality. Now the gap between Apple and those tablets has got a lot bigger. It may make it impossible for others to catch them now.
A great piece by Joe Hewitt, who writes far better than I. This is pure killer:
The arrogance of Web evangelists is staggering. They take for granted that the Web will always be popular regardless of whether it is technologically competitive with other platforms. They place ideology above relevance. Haven’t they noticed that the world of software is ablaze with new ideas and a growing number of those ideas are flat out impossible to build on the Web? I can easily see a world in which Web usage falls to insignificant levels compared to Android, iOS, and Windows, and becomes a footnote in history. That thing we used to use in the early days of the Internet.
As those of you who read my previous post on the possibility native could eclipse web on the desktop will know, I could not agree more. It’s not something I want, but I believe it may be inevitable. Even if Joe’s mooted guardians/CEOs of “the web” materialised, there’s no guarantee they would produce something compelling enough for the average user to use in preference to native apps.
Joe’s piece is bang on, in that the web geeks of the world are in complete denial of this and the dead weight of design-by-committee that will forever drag the core web technologies down.
Also ties into a tweet that I saw today:
@hnshah: “As far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the product.” Jef Raskin
There are a couple of ways to interpret this, but mine is “customers don’t give a shit how you implemented this or what your constraints are”.
What they see, feel and experience in front of them is what they care about.
Web devs who deny this is the case are just sticking with what they know, and companies sticking to web development are doing this purely for cost reasons that make not one jot of difference to the customer. Seriously, who wants to learn Objective-C, code Android, or Windows or OS X when they can already do HTML + JS? You can see the logic – it’s “cross platform”. It is however self-interest, and this does not drive the software market. The customer does, and the customer is rarely happy in the long term with lowest-common-denominator UX and functionality.
The web offers no gain for the customer whatsoever vs native. The converse is true for native vs web.
Yes I make a living from making web app stuff. For now at least.