|Flickr image from Steve Rhodes|
I was reading an interesting piece on the plane by Stephen Levy, author of many things, not the least of which was a 1980 book, about the history of interactive computing. I read the short article on the new WIRED app on my iPad, and THIS is what is pushing my thinking more than anything else about this amazing, appealing, and still befuddling device.
While anticipating the launch of the Apple tablet, I imagined what it might do for the publishing industry, especially the magazine and newspaper sectors. What I envisioned was a slew of reader applications, similar to the Kindle book reader and to what Zinio has promised for years. But this concept of the APP was totally out of the blue for me, and I’ve been in this long enough that I am pretty hard to surprise.
The advantages are numerous. But perhaps the most important is innovation, as different publishers seek to compete not merely with content but with what they can make the content do, and how easily and interestingly they can make it accessible to us — interface.
I’ve purchased only a few, expecting with them each to astonish me. Hasn’t happened yet. The Wall Street journal was one that left me ho humm’ing the day long. I finally figured out it’s organizational theme and then gave up. WIRED was a little better, especially with it’s ability to browse what is essentially a thumbnail version of the publication. But then when I tried to highlight and copy portions of the Levy article and found that I couldn’t, I was deeply disappointed.
The most interesting example I’ve seen is Cool Hunting, a web-based publication. They are already networked and digital, but so too is WIRED. The interface flows under your fingers, as it should on a touch device, and the interface is consistent, fairly predictable, but also relatable.
Anyway, Levy goes on to suggest that the iPad, and it’s ilk will need to accomplish three things before it is truly more than an elitist’s machine. It must be,
- Cheap enough to lose, suggesting a price that starts with a 1
- As light as paper
- Always connected to the web
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad