I Cannot Stop Thinking About The New iPad (3)

I haven’t seen it for three days now, yet it has stuck in my mind.

I’m beginning to think that screen alone is as revolutionary as the original Macintosh.

Dig this: Screen Size Dictates Usage Mode

Screen size and app use are correlated, according to Stephanie Ethier, NPD In-Stat senior analyst. “Screen size has emerged not only as a key differentiator, but also the leading indicator of different tablet usages,” she says.

For example, devices with smaller form factors in the 3.5 inch to less than seven-inch range, spanning the portable media player and tablet categories, best serve entertainment needs that are typically considered complementary to everyday activities like commuting, exercising, and other on-the-go activities, Ethier argues.

By implication, 10-inch screens more commonly are used to displace activities formerly conducted on PC screens.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

But I think we’re going to see something new happening with the iPad 3.

Instead of “Screen Size Dictates Usage Mode,” we’ll see “Screen Density Dictates Increased Usage.” Or, as someone is bound to phrase it in the coming months (weeks? days?): “I’m Addicted To The iPad’s Retina Display.”

I really can’t see — no pun intended — how anyone with any sense of discernment can go back to a lower resolution screen after seeing that Retina Display on a tablet, even for the sake of portability.

When I was a kid, I favored DC Comics over Marvel Comics. Why? Because Marvel used a different printer and their product was ugly. Their colors weren’t as smooth as DC, color alignment was terrible, and the newsprint even felt worse in my hand. And this was back in the 1960s, when comics were twelve cents at the time. I was less than ten years old, but even then I could tell and see the difference.

In short, the new Retina Display on the iPad is a DC Comics screen, making everything else — including past iPads — look like Marvel Comics printing. Cheap, rough, badly done, shoddy.

And I don’t think I’m the only one who can see this difference.

There must be mindgasms happening in the world of design over that new iPad screen. People with a critical faculty finally have a screen that lives up to the vision of what they’ve been aching to deliver to screens.

But how much will the new iPad screen change things?

After the original iPad, I was expecting a revolution in the way Internet screen design was done. I expected designers to create new templates to take full advantage of what the iPad offered. This didn’t happen. What we got instead was WordPress.com offering a crappy middleman OnSwipe template that so many people complained about for so long that they finally turned it off by default.

Unfortunately, I don’t think even the latest iPad is going to motivate web designers to do tablet-friendly templates.

What about graphics, though?

One of the things I noticed on the new iPad is that graphics designed for what were typical screens looked awful on it. Safari had a Chinese website already on its screen and I happened to pinch out to zoom and noticed the banner ad at the top of screen. So enlarged, it was blurry and splotches of pixels were very evident.

I briefly went to this blog to check out screensnaps in a post, and looked at this one:

Click = big

That looked OK at published enlarged size. But it made me wonder about how I might have to upgrade both photos and screensnaps here. Others are thinking about it too: Supporting high-dpi pixel-dense “Retina” Displays like iPhones or the iPad 3 with CSS or IMG,

Right now, I do all photos at 640 x 480 (that’s actually a huge upgrade from the my early blogging days when I did them at 320 x 240 to accommodate weak mobile devices at the time). That’s because I have X amount of free storage and don’t want to use it all up within one year. If I have to make photos at minimum 1024×768, I’d hit a wall very fast.

And when it comes to TV or movie screensnaps, I’d have to go HD. Here’s an HD screensnap from Rubicon:

Click = big

That’s 1280 x 740.

And here’s a page ripped from a free — Irony Alert! — Marvel Comics issue recently given away at the iBookstore:

Click = big

That’s 1138 x 1750. That single image is 941KB!

If you’re on the new iPad, you’re probably screaming, Yes! Yes! Do all photos and images that size from now on!

The problem is, an HD screensnap can be enormous (see 941KB above) — an SD screensnap is generally less than 40KB. If I do a post with a ton of screensnaps — which I have done — that becomes a single post that will quickly be multiple megabytes in size!

How fast will that eat up someone’s 4G cap? And those using 3G?

Apple pushed us into the future by making Adobe surrender and give up Flash.

But can Apple push us into the future by demanding faster wireless bandwidth and much higher data caps?

Instead of offering dividends to shareholders, perhaps Tim Cook should have considered buying a wireless carrier! Sprint or T-Mobile could have been gotten for a good deal. Something has to give: Mobile Bandwidth Demand Will Double Every Year Through 2015.

To get back on the main subject: The new iPad screen is going to change people’s perceptions of what to expect from websites. It’s also going to change what people expect from a screen. It’s divided the world again, as the original iPhone did (turning too many websites into websites that now require an app interface) and as the original iPad did (the sales speak for themselves; there is no tablet market, only an iPad market, Kindle Fire sales notwithstanding).

And now the new iPad, “spoiling” users for higher-resolution images and screens that look like printed paper:


And despite this post, and having gotten some of my thoughts down, I still won’t be able to stop thinking about the new iPad.

That screen really is resolutionary.


Filed under iOS

14 responses to “I Cannot Stop Thinking About The New iPad (3)

  1. Clint Graden

    You very elegantly state the relevant conundrum: beautiful screen requires large image files.

    Technological solutions to follow (not by me – someone will devise a solution).

    Perhaps programmers will require the large files to be delivered via wifi and not allow download via cellular networks. Even if Apple bought a cell carrier, they would still face the problem of building enough cell tower infrastructure to deliver massive amounts of data.

  2. I keep wanting to sell my Asus Transformer TF101 (with ICS) in favour of an iPad because I like how it “just works”. The new iPad is absolutely beautiful and everything I read only makes me want it more, though I cannot justify my case to buy one because it “just works”..
    Along with that, I have close to $70 in tablet-only apps I don’t wanna through away.

  3. dreamtiger

    The new iPad screen is a very important step toward full computer functionality on a small screen, resolution independence, revolutionizing media consumption, etc. For this to happen, the Bandwidth Barrier must fall. If I were Tim Cook, I’d be working on a way to cut mobile carriers out of the picture. The future is cheap, unlimited bandwidth.

    • mikecane

      The carriers refuse to admit they are nothing but dumb pipes. America has the worst wireless — and wired Net, for that matter — in the world.

  4. MoriahJovan

    Sorry, but I’ll not sell out functionality for a screen. My iPad1 is so limiting in what it can and can’t do I feel that if I have been cast back in time to an 8086. Most days I want to take a shotgun to it.

    I’m used to being able to do WHATEVER I WANT on a PC. My husband’s Asus Transformer lets him to WHATEVER HE WANTS. My fucking PHONE lets me do WHATEVER I WANT, but…my iPad? No.

    At the moment, my biggest peeve is the fact that I can’t watch streaming movies from Amazon on my iPad.

    No, thanks. Apple is a straitjacket. Fanbois, come at me. Since you like being submissives, I can find a flogger to wield.

    • mikecane

      >>>My husband’s Asus Transformer lets him to WHATEVER HE WANTS.

      *snort* I doubt that. Android does not have a blogging client as good as Blogsy for iOS. And there’s no iPhoto, no Pages, no Garageband, no iMovie. I could go on, but I am wearied.

    • ViNo

      Anyone who has to use four letter profanity to write or express an idea deserves no respect and has very low self esteem to boot. They dont have a sense of decency and probably yell at their children and spouse exactly with the same four letter words or profanity day in and day out.

  5. MoriahJovan

    Let me rephrase: It lets him do whatever he wants. There. Better? He doesn’t want iPhoto. Doesn’t want Pages. Doesn’t want Garageband (I have that; it’s a pain in the ass). Doesn’t want iMovie.

    *I* don’t want those things and I have an iPad. I want to be able to do the simplest things. Yet it puts limits on those things *I* want to do.

    • t.goodfellow

      May I ask, what is it that you want to do on your iPad that you’re not able to? What are your pain points? I feel like mine does pretty serious work, so I’m curious what your needs are.

  6. pdq

    What’s kind of ironic is that currently (if I understand it correctly) iBooks created with iBooks Author are limited to 2 GB in size, and if there is a way to access external files (like images) in iBA, I’ve yet to discover it.

    So for now, iBA iBooks can only have a handful of those gorgeous high-resolution images that look so great on the new iPad.

    I sure hope Apple changes this soon.

    • mikecane

      I looked for samples of the new books created with iBooks Author on the new iPad when I fondled it this weekend. Apple hadn’t installed any such samples. Now it seems evident they wouldn’t want to, since the images wouldn’t have been sharp on the Retina Display. It’s going to be very interesting to see how soon they update IA and how huge books from it will become.

  7. airmanchairman

    Only now do I begin to understand and accord with some truth the rumour that was going round about a year and a half ago that Apple has been working with 3rd parties on a special SIM card that would allow users to buy their phone over the web or at an Apple shop with a SIM application but not yet configured to any network operator, which could be done either at the POS or later on-line. i.e. Apple acting as a multi-carrier MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). The European carriers reacted furiously, threatening to cancel their iPhone subsidy arrangements, and no more was heard of these plans.

    Obviously, Apple is forward planning for the post-PC, high-resolution near future for longer than we know, but needs the new breed of low-cost/all-you-can-eat carriers (like Freemobile in France) to emerge sooner rather than later and disrupt the dumb-pipe oligopoly of the carriers to usher in a new era of lower-cost high-bandwith HD-resolution mobile web. I expect that they will keep the price point of the iPad range constant with every technical iteration and continue their policy of offering older iPhone models at reduced cost in order to stay price-relevant.

    • mikecane

      You’ve made an interesting connection there. I hadn’t been paying any attention at all to the SIM storm that’s been happening recently.

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