Yesterday evening at the Apple Store

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Yesterday after work I was meant to meet a friend in Geneva but after a phone call changed my mind. I decided instead to walk to the apple store. What I saw in the apple store was quite interesting. As you walk in, where you used to have iphones and macbooks on display you now have ipads. Walk into the main hall and you have at least three more tables dedicated to the ipad. There were many more ipads than there were people interested in playing with the devices.

The geniuses were standing around, with nothing to do. Does that mean that everyone who wanted to get an ipad got one, that everyone was tired from work or does that mean I went at the right time to play with a few devices.

Of course I didn’t. I’ve had my own for about a week now so it doesn’t matter. There’s no need to go to the apple store to play with the device as I have mine with me most of the time.

What is interesting is Apple’s current move away from laptops and even more so with desktops. When the macbook air came out everyone said that it was a piece of crap in relation to specifications and they were right.

Steve Jobs and Apple have taken the netbook concep and skipped it. Instead they provide the Ipad, a device which you expect to have limited capabilities but great potential. What other manufacturers have been able to sell a display without a keyboard after all.

You have over two million units sold for over a billion US dollars in spent currency. That’s two million units without a keyboard. That’s a theoretical two million people that are discovering that life without a keyboard works just as well. There’s just one set back ladies. You’ll have to cut your nails if you don’t want the clackety clack as your nails touch the screen.

I love the iPad. I love that it’s light, that it’s versatile and that it’s so flexible. Imagine editorial meetings where you have an iPad and the content you’re discussing is in h.264. Drop into the meeting, say the item is interesting and show the editor in chief.

There is no need to go to the edit suite, there is no need to go to the computer. There is no need for power cords, adaptors and dedicated bags. We’ve come to what I would call the iPad age. This is going to change the way we discuss and share content.

Now what interests me is to see what happens with Apple laptops. Will the touch screen now come as standard and will they release dual screen laptops without a physical keyboards or will they come out with touch screen displays on the screen portion and a keyboard and mouse on the bottom part?

Apple have effectively demonstrated how well touch screens can cope with our current demands. The question is how far will this progress? Will we see applications that are specifically designed for a touch screen interface. If so then we are going to a virtual interface that resembles the paper and scissors of our childhood. The computer itself is becoming transparent. What we do with it is changing.

What we do with it is no longer local, no longer requiring the same type of data storage and sharing. We are no longer working on one machine. We have decentralised everything. Look at what the android platform can do. Look at Mobileme can do.

It’s an interesting time. The computer is the simplest it’s ever been. This means that more and more people, from all ages are able to intuitively interact with the device in front of them. Configuring is as simple as a username and password these days. Everyone understands this method of configuration. It’s a democratisation feature. That’s why two year old children can use the devices as easily as 70 year olds.

When you ask the revolutionary and evolutionary question in relation to technology I would go so far as to say this is a revolutionary device. It’s doing away with the keyboard, the mouse, the idea that things have to be configured. It’s the simplest interface yet. I don’t think everyone can justify getting one but it goes one step further in helping people always be connected, never be offline. It helps make facebook, twitter and e-mail be more pervasive in the way we live our daily lives.






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