Tag Apple

Adobe and Flash vs. Apple, the iPad and HTML5

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.

The new face of computing

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.

Apple iPad will choke innovation

While I’m a big fan of the iPad’s ease of use, this aspect wor­ries me.

The iPad is the beginning of the end

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.

Idiots at Apple out of control: censor English dictionary

Ninjawords dictionary iPhone app

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.

Why so many things are badly designed

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.