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sTRAIGHT


See it bigger please!

This post shows clearly the reason I find so hard finishing my own projects. At certain point I find myself absolutely lost in the forest of the details and it’s almost impossible to go back and get focus again.

Fortunately, i believe this time, the distraction has paid off.

The background

I’m finishing a new animation for the iNote Project, I need to place a phone in it, but I didn’t want to place the iPhone (you know, general examples, valid for any platform), so I quickly design and built (in 3D) this phone.

The phone

As this will be my dummy phone, just for fun, I decided to go against the current tendency of built small rounded boxes, and make it a little different. So I designed it with each and every line straight, two triangular buttons and some retro details like a secondary screen, steel front face and black steel back cover. And you know what? I really like it.

In the iNote’s video I’m developing right now, the phone, which I call sTRAIGHT, is going to have just a buch of simple icons distributed in an array on the screen, like the iPhone’s one, in order to illustrate some key points. The home screen But I like the phone and as always, the devil is in the details, so I cannot resist the temptation of test the arc-dock concept of the inote project on this small screen, and I believe it works.

What do you think? Do you like the phone? The home screen? Let me know your opinion.

Now, time to go back to the tablet…

Update: I let you the home screen image, so you can check the design and dimensions  in your own phone.

Download and save it in your image library.

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iNote's browser in the iPad Page
Well. Here we are. A month has passed since apple shows us the iPad’s magic. Now it’s time to say what I thought about it, but before, I would like to clarify some things:

– I’m gonna buy one 16 Gb wi-fi model. It has been written in the skies with golden letters for months.

– It seems to me that apple has been a little lazy this time. The iPad has been a little disappointment but I’m going to buy one. Why? I’ve at last two reasons.

  • The first one: it’s not what it currently is (not only the iPad but all the tablets out there) but the promise of what it will be in the future. It’s going to change it all, I’m sure. Perhaps it will going to take them a few years, but this will change the computing as we know it today (that’s what this blog is about)
  • Second: I’m some kind of mix between an apple fanboy and a collectionist. That is, I like to have the first versions of apple’s hardware if I can afford them. This way I have an Mac plus, a blue and white G3, the first Ipod, the first Video iPod, the first mac book pro (intel) and the first iPhone.

Now the good, the ugly and the bad things:

The good.

I’m really believe that this is going to be a good machine from the hardware’s perspective. I’m quite sure is fast enough.

Also believe that this is a great start point to create the next computing platform.

The iPhone OS and all its apps.

The ugly.

The big bezel, the home button, the screen density and the lack of cameras annoying me.

The only reason I’ve found for the bezel to be so big is: they have increased the surface area arround the screen to make the action of grab the tablet more comfortable. The current UI (the iphone’s one) forces you to grab it with one hand and touch with the other.

Curiously the iPhone OS is also the reason of the home button. Since there is not yet a multitask implementation in the OS, the only way to exit the apps is with that button.

Now the density thing. Lets say that you have created a 3.5″ screen device (iPhone) and gave it 160 dpi so the text reads pretty well and the images look fantastic. Now, you have to develop a 9.7″ screen device. Among other things, one of your killer apps will be a book reader, so, why in the hell have you low the density of its screen to 134 dpi?. I suspect that this one is related to the density of the capacitive digitizer.

Almost everybody expected a front facing camera. I expected two; a front iSight and the current iPhone camera on the back. The obvious use of the front iSight will be video chat, and perhaps some tricks like face recognition. People could think that a backfacing camera in the form factor of a tablet is a nonsense (certainly, take photos with it can be really difficult), but I think that amazing things related to augmented reality can be done with it, especially in the education market. I don’t know what is the reason behind the lack of cameras, but I hope that is not the cost of them (between 8 – 12$).

The bad.

First and foremost the iPhone OS applied to a tablet format. Second: the book store approach and its impact in the publishing industry.

Third: the lack of some kind of public file system. Without it, you can’t do any serious job in the tablet, and I think it can be done, really. Do you remember what was the configuration of the top G4 seven years ago?

I’m gonna talk about the iPhone OS limitations and File systems in the next posts so I can close this point here.

I’m also plan to talk a lot about the reader later, but I’ll point this now: If you are in the publishing industry, you use to make magazines and you are not a big corporation, well … You have no luck. Probably you will have not the money to pay a group of programmers to make you an app ala wired magazine, for all the different stores.

In order to the small business can compete in this new era, I’m firmly believe that a new standard must be created. Its main points should be:

  1. – Must keep the focus in readability. We are talking about magazines, not web pages. But also we live in the Internet era, so it should be able to show web links, images, audio and video.
  2. – Must keep the layout , both portrait and landscape, of the publication. You know enjoying the reading experience.
  3. – The reader must be able to smartly reflows the publication, keeping its layout, fitting it to different screen sizes.
  4. – Must be easy to create directly from the layout applications (like PDF).
  5. – Must be easy to deploy, like MP3 or AAC audio files. Not attached to only one store.
  6. – We are talking about business, I mean, they have the right to apply some kind of DRM if they wish.

This way, the small publishers can have a piece of the cake too, without the need to spend their resources building a highly specialized app for each and every store out there.

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I wish …


I wish to thank to everybody for the awasome reaction to the concept.

I believe that what we’ll see in the apple presentation this evening (in Spain, where I live) it’s going to be great, much more great that any concept we’ve see till now. They have had the time, the resources that they have need to develop something so great.

I’m also believe that the table is going to produce a paradigm shift. I’ve not have the time to show you a lot of things that I can see this object is going to bring. For example I’ll beleive there must be three kinds of Applications:

– Native tablet apps (I call them tapps). In my interface their icons are rectangular shapes.

– Legacy iPhone apps runnig in emulation ala widgets. In my interface show their actual square icons.

– What I call control surfaces, that emulate the physical ones that exist in the market ,like the color correction ones, edition, audio mixers … That kind of apps also will bring a new type of controllers to another kind of programs like photoshop, 3D apps like Modo, Maya … It will be the best control surface out there because it can be any of them. Their icons in my interface are middle ractangles with a wire attached to them and the icon of the real app inside.

I believe that all the reader stuff that people are crazy about it’s only the candy bar that is going to help to sell the generation one.

The real game changer here is the paradigm shift in the user interface. Think about that for a moment. Actually all of us interact with the computer with only a pointer ( and some keyboard shortcuts). One action at time. That’s what the applications are designed for.
That’s the real reason that make the idea of use a full desktop OS In a tablet a failed one. Our everyday applications are not designed for the multitouch paradigm.

What if you can control at the same time various factors in, let say, a paint app. You can draw with your index finger and modify the opacity and thinkness with the thumb and the middle finger of this hand while changing the color or the position or rotation of the canvas with the other hand. That’s the change. The apps will be optimized for the best pointing tool that we have. Our hands.

It’s about time to finish. I left a lot of things to explain but I hope that Uncle Steve will do it for me and much much better. In about 20 minutes.

Thanks again, enjoy.

See you soon.

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