by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
ipad, magazines, sports illustrated, tablets, ui, wired


Why Can't All These Ideas For Content On The iPad/Tablets Also Work On The Web?

from the i'm-confused dept

Last month, at a panel in Silicon Valley on the future of journalism, one of the topics of discussion was whether or not tablet computing would be the "savior" of news, with most of the focus being on a recent video put together by Sports Illustrated of what a specialized tablet version of the magazine might look like. More recently, Wired Magazine demonstrated a working prototype of a tabletized version of the magazine. Both of these demos are certainly impressive -- but I'll say the same thing that I said about the SI demo on that panel discussion: why is the focus on the hardware? Nothing in either demo really requires a tablet. If this format is so compelling, why aren't these publications already offering it for use on regular computers? Certainly, the ability to use touchscreen controls is nice, but you could easily replicate the basics with a mouse. If the overall format is so compelling, then what does it have to do with a tablet/iPad, specifically? Now, perhaps Wired does intend for this to be useful on other platforms, as its version is just an Adobe AIR app, and so it could function just fine on a desktop/laptop, but again, the video seems to keep focusing on the tablet as if that's necessary. Yes, perhaps the form factor of a tablet computer makes this experience more enjoyable, but I think it's important in judging whether or not these apps actually make sense to separate the hardware from the software, to see if either makes sense without the other, or if they really are joined at the hip.

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  1. icon
    Free Capitalist (profile), 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:27am

    Re: Control

    Agreed. Monolithic systems are highly attractive to publishers looking for backwards-compatibility with 20th century thinking that went along with vertical integration (or at least direct control) of the distribution channel.

    Sure, iPhones and iPads use modern, low-cost distribution (via Internet), but are demonstrably de-evolutionary for computer using society as they represent an artificial return to the "closed" systems development circa 1940's-1990's. Sure, they might run have JRE's and Adobe clients... you just can't use Java apps from their app store unless you have already consumed the hardware kool-aid. Most likely, they will also lock-down use of "open" apps on these devices as well, just like the Iphone.

    This kind of virtual time-machine is perfect for the CEO who would just rather not learn anything new. They're just hoping people still like kool-aid.

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