Some thoughts about the iPad, and stuff.
People are often surprised that I’m not interested in gadgets or electronic novelties.
Having made a significant technical contribution to the GSM standard, and my pioneering involvement in mobile telephony – Yet I waited a decade before I owned a mobile phone. My phone is simple and fit-for-purpose. It makes calls and sends messages.
I spent my teens writing computer games (for the primitive computers of the time) – yet I’m not interested in gaming.
I first turned my attention to the Flash Platform a long time before it appeared on the software professional’s radar. I was writing sophisticated applications before Flex, and before Adobe invented the acronym “RIA”. I used to get flamed by irate graphic designers. Disturbed that I was subverting their pretty pretty eye-candy technology for ugly and functional purposes.
I’m not interested in Flash widgets, gimmicks, mash-ups, or style without substance.
(I’m going to say something about the iPad soon – I just want to establish where I’m coming from).
I’m not a fan boy either. My allegiance with Apple or Adobe are based on merit, not loyalty. I like Apple computers. But I’m not compelled to buy every Apple white-plastic or aluminium-clad novelty.
The iPad doesn’t run Flash in the browser. That’s a disappointment.
Of course, ActionScript 3 is much more powerful. Flash developers like myself were writing spreadsheets, text editors, and consumer-oriented applications in Flash 5! – Unfunded Flash enthusiasts were ahead of the curve. Not that you’d know this. Google have done a much better job of nurturing and showcasing the potential of “standards” than Adobe has achieved with the Flash Platform. Adobe is an eye-candy company. Google is much more focussed on functionality.
So if the iPad’s lack of Flash support undermines the market significance of the Flash Platform – Adobe only have themselves to blame.
No Flash in the iPad browser – but the iPad WILL run Flash-authored applications! If they run on iPhone they’ll run on iPad. I just need to cater for the 768×1024 screen size.
I’m likely to buy an iPad. Not because of what it does, or the novelty. But I’m interested in the potential of what it could be made to do. I’m excited by a completely new class of application that could be created for a device like this. It’s great that I’ll be able to author things in pure ActionScript and utilise all my legacy pure actionscript classes.
Flash is capable of so much more than simple eye-candy widgets. But that was a little difficult to convey on a 480×320 iPod-touch or iPhone screen. I’m excited to see what other Flash/ActionScript developers do with the iPad. (Contact me maybe? – we can discuss our ideas.)
I’ll be starting with a e2publish. While everyone gets caught up in the excitement of Apple’s reality distortion field, you’ve gotta ask yourself “What’s the killer application for an iPad?”. I think a big niche use is electronic magazines. And I’ve been saying for a while that e2publish is intended for tablet devices.
An iPad user may be deprived a rich Flash experience within the browser – but I intend shared e2publish documents/magazines to convey a rich and interactive Flash-based experience.
I’ve noticed that iPad applications employ a user interface that flip like the pages of a magazine. This is something I was always planning in the e2publish reader application. But people are going to think I ripped this idea off now.
I’m a little concerned that the iPad is aluminium clad. My MacBook is developing metal fatigue on one of the wrist rests. A small patch of tiny dark indentations in the metal. I showed this to an Apple Reseller a few days ago – No offers to replacement it. The iPad will be handled much more than a MacBook – let’s hope that Apple tested their materials properly this time.