Domani sabato 3 aprile è il giorno dell’uscita nei negozi americani dell’Ipad. Qualche contributo sul tema
The Apple iPad is basically a gigantic iPod Touch. The simple act of making the multitouch screen bigger changes the whole experience. Maps become real maps, like the paper ones. Scrabble shows the whole board, without your having to zoom in and out. You see your e-mail inbox and the open message simultaneously. Driving simulators fill more of your field of view, closer to a windshield than a keyhole.
The new iBooks e-reader app is filled with endearing grace notes. For example, when you turn a page, the animated page edge actually follows your finger’s position and speed as it curls, just like a paper page. Font, size and brightness controls appear when you tap. Tap a word to get a dictionary definition, bookmark your spot or look it up on Google or Wikipedia. There’s even a rotation-lock switch on the edge of the iPad so you can read in bed on your side without fear that the image will rotate.
If you have the cellular model, you can buy AT&T service so you can get online anywhere. (Cellular iPads aren’t available until next month; I tested a Wi-Fi-only model.)
But how’s this for a rare deal from a cell company: there’s no contract. By tapping a button in Settings, you can order up a month of unlimited cellular Internet service for $30. Or pay $15 for 250 megabytes of Internet data; when it runs out, you can either buy another 250 megs, or just upgrade to the unlimited plan for the month. Either way, you can cancel and rejoin as often as you want — just March, July and November, for example — without penalty. The other carriers are probably cursing AT&T’s name for setting this precedent.
Q, I don’t get it from your column. Should I get the iPad or not?A. Well, I thought I made it clear that it depends on your mindset. It’s a brilliant machine, a category-creator, a joy to use. I think it will be a big hit. The apps coming out for it represent some of the most exciting software ideas in a long time. If you need a laptop, though, get a laptop.Q. Can it print?A. No. You can create documents on it (for example, using Apple’s Pages word processor, Numbers spreadsheet or Keynote presentation program) and then sync them or e-mail them to your Mac or PC, and then print from there.
For the past week or so, I have been testing a sleek, light, silver-and-black tablet computer called an iPad. After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.
But first, it will have to prove that it really can replace the laptop or netbook for enough common tasks, enough of the time, to make it a viable alternative. And that may not be easy, because previous tablet computers have failed to catch on in the mass market, and the iPad lacks some of the features—such as a physical keyboard, a Webcam, USB ports and multitasking—that most laptop or netbook users have come to expect.
If people see the iPad mainly as an extra device to carry around, it will likely have limited appeal. If, however, they see it as a way to replace heavier, bulkier computers much of the time—for Web surfing, email, social-networking, video- and photo-viewing, gaming, music and even some light content creation—it could be a game changer the way Apple’s iPhone has been.
The iPad is much more than an e-book or digital periodical reader, though it does those tasks brilliantly, better in my view than the Amazon Kindle. And it’s far more than just a big iPhone, even though it uses the same easy-to-master interface, and Apple (AAPL) says it runs nearly all of the 150,000 apps that work on the iPhone. When held horizontally, the iPad’s virtual keyboard is roomy and easy to use.
It’s qualitatively different, a whole new type of computer that, through a simple interface, can run more-sophisticated, PC-like software than a phone does, and whose large screen allows much more functionality when compared with a phone’s. But, because the iPad is a new type of computer, you have to feel it, to use it, to fully understand it and decide if it is for you, or whether, say, a netbook might do better.
The New York Times may be preparing to charge a lot for its primary iPad app, but it looks like they’re also willing to provide a limited, free alternative: A New York Times “Editor’s Choice” iPad application that will feature a selected portion of the Times’ content.
At least that’s what one could conclude from the leaked existence of such an app in the iPad’s App Store, which will launch alongside the device itself on Saturday morning. The review site AppAdvice has obtained from Apple servers a list of what it says are all of the iPad apps we’ll see at the launch. The list is a bit of a muddle (lots of repeats), but it also has what appears to be legit screenshots and marketing copy of the iPad apps we’ll be anxious to play with on Saturday. (The screenshots are definitely real; they’re hosted on Apple’s servers.) I just spent way too much time scanning through the entire list looking for news organizations’ apps. Below you’ll find screenshots and info on the new apps from NPR, The Wall Street Journal, the AP, Bloomberg, and USA Today.
The NYT’s “Editor’s Choice” app would seem to be an answer to those who might find $10 or $20 a month too high to pay for access to what the Times gives away for free on its website. (I searched and searched for a non-free NYT app in the store listings and couldn’t find one. That could mean it won’t be ready for launch; it might mean that one will use an in-app purchase or login in the free app to get access to the full Times. Or it might just be that the full Times app hasn’t been put on Apple’s servers yet. Who knows? We’ll find out Saturday.)
CBS and ABC have inked deals with Apple to stream TV shows free of charge to users of the iPad, complete with commercial breaks – similar to the way they are streamed on the networks’ own websites. CBS will stream shows through the iPad’s Web browser, while ABC will stream shows via an iPad application, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The iPad, and Apple’s iPhone, have caused problems for media companies wanting to maximize content on those devices, because of technical constraints. The iPad does not work with Flash technology, which many media companies use for their web video. Advertisers, too, tend to use Flash elements within their online video ads, meaning those features need to be rebuilt to work on the iPad.
NBC makes some of its shows available on an iPhone specific version of its website, while CBS’s TV.com has an iPhone app which offers full video of some shows. Now, CBS and ABC are rebuilding their TV content to work on the iPad.
So we now have the official price for the WSJ iPad app subscription: $3.99 per week with a monthly credit card charge of $17.29. For that you get subscriber-only content areas such Business and Markets with access to a 7 day archive that can be downloaded and read at any time. It also offers personalization features and the ability to save sections and articles for later reading. And hey, it’s actually a bit less than the rumored $17.99 rate. Without the subscription, the free WSJ iPad app is limited to top articles and market data. Here’s the catch: a subscription to both the print and online versions of the Wall Street Journal will currently set you back just $2.69 per week (plus 2 weeks free) for a monthly bill of $11.67… eleven dollars and sixty seven cents. Granted the WSJ claims that the 80% discount is a limited time offer but these newsstand discounts are always available in some form. Greed or insanity? Either way, a pricing model like this won’t save