Skip to content

Will the next three years be as productive as the last?

June 9, 2010

In Steve Jobs’ speech yesterday at the WWDC10, he was talking about life before the iPhone.  Carriers controlled what you had access to and there was virtually no web browsing to speak of.  There was no such thing as mobile gaming and social gaming was still in its infancy.  The email experience was rudimentary at best, and perhaps most importantly, the “app paradigm” was virtually non-existent.  In three short years, the iPhone is largely responsible for ridding the world of the AOL-like walled garden approach to the mobile web and creating a more app-centric approach instead.

I look forward to seeing whether three years from now, the iPad has changed the world as much as the iPhone has.  For this to happen, te device itself is going to have to progress.  For example, the iPad has no USB out, and 64 GB is not that much storage at the end of the day.  These hardware issues, along with more powerful processing are an absolute must.  The operating system is going to need to figure out how to provide user access to the file system and the trend towards lighter operating systems with API’s that push a lot of the responsibility of functionality onto the applications is going to have to continue.

While it may sound as though I am suggesting the iPad just needs to become more of a netbook, I am not.  At the end of the day, the iPad is always going to be a vehicle for applications.  Most of these applications will be portals to the web in some way, but these changes will allow developers to also create heavier applications, that carry additional functionality while connected and while not connected.

The iPad is largely a “connected” device, and that’s great in theory.  In reality, connecting via the wireless infrastructure is expensive and time consuming.  Connecting via wi-fi is a spotty experience.  These issues are not going to get solved any time soon.  And as much as the iPad will render the “mobile web” irrelevant, making it a much more functional “un-connected” device is critical.  Right now, getting files you want to work on onto the iPad is cumbersome.  And there are not enough resources to allow you to really do what you need to do with those files.

The other area where great progress can be made over the next three years is in entertainment.  The iPad can do for video what the iPod/iPhone did for music: create a user experience whereby video content can be made portable, and its viewing experience can be made pleasurable.  The iPhone’s tiny screen size is the primary barrier to that right now.  I can’t imagine it will be long before a quick look around the subway car yields as many people watching TV on their iPad’s as there currently are people listening to music on their mp3 players.  Allowing users access to that experience through Hulu or NetFlix, in addition to iTunes will be a welcome bit of openness from Apple.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: