So it would seem Apple is helping to win the battle for an open web based on HTML5.
Mefeedia, a video search engine, is reporting that “54% of web video is now available for playback in HTML5 (H.264 mostly)”. Up from 10% in January.
Meanwhile Adobe has bitten the bullet and is building HTML5 export capability into Flash Pro, their Flash authoring tool. And not a moment too soon.
Nack makes a pertinent point about Adobe’s motives:
Flash is great for a lot of things … It’s not the only game in town, however, and Adobe makes its money selling tools, not giving away players.
Indeed indeed. And what they’ll be pissed about is that anyone can build HTML5 authoring tools, which means they’re not the only game in town either. With Flash, Adobe is the only game in town and they were well on the way to completely controlling rich content on the web. Control this and Flash Pro would have become a money tree for Adobe, degrading the web in the process.
What does Apple have to gain from an open web and the demise of Flash? The same thing as everybody else, a level playing field.
iPad guided tour videos.
The Keynote, Pages and Numbers videos are particularly interesting as these are full blown productivity apps. Make no mistake about it, this is a replacement for the soon to be old school of Mac OS, Windows and GNU/Linux. And not a moment too soon.
While I’m a big fan of the iPad’s ease of use, this aspect worries me.
In my circle of friends, family and workmates I’m the technological shaman who helps them acquire, use and heal their computers Macs.
I’ve always enjoyed this. Not so much the technical tinkering, but the practice of helping people to get on with what they’re using a computer for in the first place. In fact it’s always frustrated me that people like myself are needed in the first place. And even more so the dismissive attitude of so many of the technologists and computer geeks who frequent the technical forums that I myself gain much of my knowledge from. For them computers are not the problem, people are just bumbling idiots. Rather than design computers around people they think people should mold themselves to the way a computer works.
True to form many of them are apocalyptic about Apple’s new iPad. They see it as a toy, nothing more than an oversized iPod, even an affront to their computing prowess. How can one get serious computing done without a filing system, multiple windows or a mouse they cry! ((The truth is multi-touch input is infinitely more powerful than a mechanical pointing device.)) Fraser Speirs aptly refers to this as Future Shock.
Ultimately the iPad represents a couple of things to me: on the negative side it’s potentially the beginning of the end of the free and open internet as we know it. On the positive side it is almost certainly the beginning of the end of the desktop metaphor. And not a day too soon.
Someone has finally got serious about creating a powerful computer that’s easy to use.
Ninjawords dictionary iPhone app
When I purchased an iPhone it was with the casual understanding that I was buying into a product that was controlled not by me, in the way I control my computer, but by the company selling me the product, Apple.
It’s what Jonathan Zittrain describes as a “tethered appliance.” In contrast to a “generative PC.” Have enough of these tethered appliances and the internet would cease being the internet.
The latest negative example of this tethering is the most outrageous App Store rejection to date: the censorship and adult-rating of the English dictionary!
Update: If you’d like a chance to tell these self-appointed arbiters of culture what you think you can go to the Ninjawords App Store page (App Store link) and click on the “Report a Problem” button at the bottom. You’ll need to use an iPhone as the “Report a Problem” button doesn’t seem to appear in iTunes.
Update 2: Apple’s vice president Phil Schiller responds to Gruber.
Jason Snell of Macworld on why Apple excels at product design:
Apple excels at creating products that the general public likes because the company is driven by design, not by engineering. Most tech products—heck, most products in general—aren’t as good as they can be because they’re put together by the people with the technical knowledge required to build them. And so the technical aspects of the product get pushed to the forefront.
Apple’s the kind of company that makes decisions based on people, on users, and then challenges its engineers to find ways to fulfill those needs.