The Way Apple’s Going: App Store and the shift forward
With 200,000 apps (even more at the time you’re reading this) the landscape for software for Apple’s hand-held range is creative, exciting and progressive. Just a few years ago, the capabilities and software-hardware integration of the most amazing applications that developers are churning out wouldn’t have been fathomable. They have seen the potential of Apple’s portable devices and OS and taken advantage of the situation by recognizing that people’s computing needs are constantly changing.
Applications are now both reflecting these changing needs and also introducing new and innovative ways of using devices within an exciting and innovative symbiotic relationship. Netbooks seem somewhat static and staid in comparison and only allow for the input control combination of mouse keyboard accessory integration.
A fourth major contrast between the two items is how tactile and engaging the iPad is compared to a netbook or any laptop. This is due to the use of fingers and gesture touch as the means of input into the device, making it more natural to hold. The fact that there is no track-pad, mouse, stylus or cursor makes such a difference to how the user engages with the device.
The tip of a finger may seem somewhat ‘blunt’ compared to the fine control a mouse cursor or point of a stylus offers, yet with well-designed applications this becomes less of an issue and with a bit of experience under ones belt, learning how to tap the screen strategically becomes child’s play. By way of a contrast, controlling the iPad with direct touch from the user makes using the iPad such a different, involving and pleasing activity. It is likely that more and more mobile computing devices will adopt this form of input as it also offers greater flexibility than a fixed keyboard. For example, swapping languages can be simply a software preference with Apple’s mobile OS (now called iOS) whereas a physical mechanical keyboard has fixed characters and lacks this form of flexibility. Also when you do manage to switch the language on screen you will have to trawl every key for a special key or two.