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Tech in 2010: Touchy, feely, fun

Rory Cellan-Jones | 08:00 UK time, Tuesday, 28 December 2010

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Was there ever a year in which technology changed so rapidly? No, I know this was not a 1969 moon landing kind of year, or a 2008, when the Large Hadron Collider was switched on. I'm talking about personal technology, and the way we relate to it - for 2010 was the year we got all touchy and feely with our computing devices.

Looking back on a year in which new gadgets seem to have arrived every week, I'm going to focus on three types of device - and three big technology brands, Google, Apple, and Microsoft, which have once again proved that giant companies can still innovate.

Smartphones

This was the year when smartphones went mainstream. Suddenly it seemed that a phone that did not easily allow you to go online or install apps was not worth having.

And just about every single new smartphone featured a touchscreen - three years after Apple unveiled its first iPhone in 2007, touch has become the way we relate to our phones. Apple continued to innovate with the iPhone 4, with its much improved camera, but its launch was marred by a growing realisation that this excellent mini-computer was actually rather poor at making phone calls.

There were also smart new phones from Blackberry, the business phone whose growing popularity amongst teenagers is one of the more surprising developments of recent years. Nokia, far and away the market leader, pinned all its hopes on the N8 - only to find it had still failed to produce a knockout touchscreen smartphone. And Microsoft, very late in the day, brought out Windows Phone 7, an operating system which proved startlingly useable and fun.

But it was Google with its Android operating system which had the best of 2010. If you were looking for the very latest in apps, on phones with the most innovative hardware, Android was the place to go. Late in the year, its sales started to overtake those for the iPhone. More importantly, it provided some real competition for Apple, both in terms of technology and philosophy.

The iPhone is still the phone which gives the most intuitive and elegant experience of the mobile internet - as long as you accept that Steve Jobs is in charge of how you use it and what's on it. But Android is the wild frontier, where anything might happen. Just look at the comparative treatment of apps giving access to Wikileaks data on the two different platforms - Apple moved swiftly to a ban, while Google just stood back and let stuff happen.

Tablets

My year began in the United States, watching the launch of a tablet computer which was going to change everything. No, Not Apple's iPad but the Que, a product developed by the British firm Plastic Logic. At its Las Vegas launch, the Que promised to deliver newspapers, documents and books to well-heeled business users via a slick touchscreen interface. Sadly, it never went on sale.

Just a couple of weeks later Apple's tablet did make its debut, amid the usual "this changes everything" hoopla from Steve Jobs. He was to prove correct - but it's easy to forget all these months later just how sceptical many were about the potential of the iPad. Here's just one comment posted beneath a review in the Guardian back in January:

"No Flash
No USB
No MULTITASKING
Limited to Apple apps
Afraid this one is going the way of the Cube."

But the gadget buying public did not care about those limitations and have rushed to buy Apple's tablet, unlike that Cube which bombed a decade ago. With 14 million sold in 2010, it is now Apple's fastest selling product ever

"The public are fools", has been the response of the uber-geeks, who have now transferred their allegiance to Android. But the rest of the computer industry begs to differ, rushing to bring out rival tablets - the most successful of which are on the Android platform.

And the app revolution, unleashed by the iPhone, has been given a new lease of life by the iPad. Publishers have rejoiced, seeing the potential to earn money from online content for the first time, and games developers have rushed to exploit a new source of revenue.

Now Apple is preparing to bring apps to the desktop, revolutionising the way we buy software. That's a prospect which must leave Microsoft wondering again why a rival which seemed doomed in the late nineties is threatening to best it in another area where it once was dominant.


Games consoles

But guess who proved the biggest innovator in the games world in 2010? While old stagers like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft set new sales records, it was Microsoft that did most to widen the appeal of console gaming.

Kinect, the motion capture system which turns the player's body into a games controller, has been an instant hit, with 2.5m units sold in its first 25 days. While Sony too has been innovating with its Move system, it looks as though Kinect has given the XBox a real edge in the console wars.

More importantly, it has shown that years of effort from the scientists in Microsoft's research labs can actually pay off in both commercial and strategic terms. The science behind Kinect may play a far bigger role than encouraging us to leap about to Lady Gaga in a dance game, or run on the spot while competing with friends and family in a virtual Olympics. The fact that hackers have rushed to open up the secrets behind the technology and find new applications for them shows that Microsoft has at last found a product that is ahead of the curve, and has an aura of cool about it.

Mind you, the games industry in 2010 was not all about advanced technology. Casual games, many of them played on Facebook, became ever more popular, with millions of people spending time tending their plots on Farmville or indulging in a spot of murder and extortion with Mafia Wars.

Perhaps the most successful single new product of the year was a very simple game, developed by a small Finnish company, which involved throwing birds at pigs. Angry Birds started as an iPhone app and is now appearing on just about every platform imaginable.

What does that prove about tech in 2010? That simple fun is a great sales pitch - and that even in a time when Google, Apple and Microsoft dominate the technology world, the little guy can still break through.

If you have your own view of what was the single most important or successful technology product of 2010, please feel free to comment below.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    An excellent roundup to an excellent tech year.

    Apple have really done well this year with th e iPad and 2011 looks to bring some great alternative tablets from HP/Palm and Blackberry and we also will see the Android 3.0 (honeycomb) efforts.

    With CES around the corner, 2011 is going to start off with a bang!

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Yet again RCJ displays his remarkable prescience, and firm grip on all things technological, as some of the products he spent the year plugging have gone on to be great successes.

  • Comment number 4.

    "My year began in the United States, watching the launch of a tablet computer which was going to change everything. No, Not Apple's iPad but the Que, a product developed by the British firm Plastic Logic."

    Development takes place in the UK and in America.

    "What does that prove about tech in 2010? That simple fun is a great sales pitch - and that even in a time when Google, Apple and Microsoft dominate the technology world, the little guy can still break through."

    Apple and Google, Apple especially, created the platform for "the little guy" to succeed with their app store. They have encouraged it.

    "There were also smart new phones from Blackberry, the business phone whose growing popularity amongst teenagers is one of the more surprising developments of recent years."

    You sure you don't mean was instead of "is?" Didn't that growth among teens story end in 2009?

    "But it was Google with its Android operating system which had the best of 2010. If you were looking for the very latest in apps, on phones with the most innovative hardware, Android was the place to go. Late in the year, its sales started to overtake those for the iPhone. More importantly, it provided some real competition for Apple, both in terms of technology and philosophy."

    That's grossly incorrect to say that "if you were looking for the very latest in apps" that "Android was the place" to go. Most of the innovation in apps, not to mention the number of apps available, was and still is with iOS and Apple's iPhone, and now iPad..

    The Android competition for the iPhone are phones with generally similar specs across all models. 1gig CPUs, 512 ram, etc, etc so I don't know where you are getting the "the most innovative hardware" comment from.

    "Nokia, far and away the market leader, pinned all its hopes on the N8 - only to find it had still failed to produce a knockout touchscreen smartphone."

    Only in overall phone sales. What Nokia considers as sales of their smartphones is a joke since they don't sell a phone that can be compared to the iPhone or Android phones, and certainly not in market share.

    "a review in the Guardian back in January:

    Limited to Apple apps"

    Since when did Apple make most of the apps in their App Store?


  • Comment number 5.

    The single most important or successful technology product of 2010?

    That's easy, the iPad.

  • Comment number 6.

    The single most important or successful technology product of 2010?

    That's easy, the iPad.


    So successful, I've seen ONE person using one, despite the BBC plugging them at every opportunity.

    That ONE person with the iPad? Doing a quiz game on a train. Well worth it, obviously.

  • Comment number 7.

    "But guess who proved the biggest innovator in the games world in 2010? ... it was Microsoft that did most to widen the appeal of console gaming."

    Excuse me? You have a having a laugh right? Since when was Kinect a Microsoft innovation? Sony did it with the Playstation 2!!!!

    It is best to know the subject before writing an article on it.

  • Comment number 8.

    "Android is the wild frontier, where anything might happen. Just look at the comparative treatment of apps giving access to Wikileaks data on the two different platforms - Apple moved swiftly to a ban, while Google just stood back and let stuff happen."

    That's more because Apple reviews and polices the App Store whereas Google doesn't police the Android Market. I've heard of people downloading malware from the Market, but never from the App Store.

  • Comment number 9.

    Personally, I'll be very interested to see where the tablet market is in five years time. After spending a fair degree of time with an iPad, two things jumped out at me...

    First off, and somewhat out of character for myself, I couldn't think of any other description for it than "a really cool device", and I suspect the Android tablets are much the same. It's like something from Star Trek, and I can see entirely where the current sales are coming from.

    Shortly after the first off bit came the realisation that it lacked any compelling longer term uses. It couldn't go where my phone would go - it's just far, far to large - so its time in my possession was spent sat on my desk. Text input was, compared to a keyboard equipped device, absolutely terrible, so no chance of supplanting any of my desktop \ laptop devices. Whilst there were lots of "light entertainment" apps available, I couldn't really work out why they were in any way compelling as at the times when five minutes of pointless fun are required, I'm certainly not sat around in its natural habitat of the home. Yes, it plays various forms of media, but then so does pretty much everything else these days. In the end, I was actually rather glad to return it to work (its primary purpose was for testing an iPhone app) as it was taking up a spot on my desk reserved for more important items in the shape of cups of tea as it never really got used (despite having access to works credit card and carte blanche to purchase apps at no cost to myself).

    tl;dr

    Tablets are flashy but lack the sort of "killer" functionality required to push them from flashy gadgets on the periphery to a mainstream computing device.

  • Comment number 10.

    "What Nokia considers as sales of their smartphones is a joke since they don't sell a phone that can be compared to the iPhone or Android phones, and certainly not in market share."

    Comedy gold. Thanks I enjoyed that.

    Best device of the year for me? The Kindle without a shadow of a doubt.

  • Comment number 11.

    " "But guess who proved the biggest innovator in the games world in 2010? ... it was Microsoft that did most to widen the appeal of console gaming."

    Excuse me? You have a having a laugh right? Since when was Kinect a Microsoft innovation? Sony did it with the Playstation 2!!!!

    It is best to know the subject before writing an article on it."

    May i point out that if this were the case then Kinect would have been released years ago. The technological advances in recent times have enabled Microsoft to release this device. Kinect is truly revolutionary, It requires no colour recognition like the Eye Toy, even now in order to play the new Playstation Move you need a special "wand". If Sony had the technology to do what Kinect can do back in 2003 would they not have used it then?

  • Comment number 12.

    Best device of the decade xda after 10 years still does more than the Iphone is multifunctional runs microsoft office plays far more media files than apples phone

  • Comment number 13.

    Rory

    Your first image on the video clip, without even playing the clip is enough for me !!!

    Three dumpy ? fattening individuals sitting three a breast on a sofa 'staring with glee' at the screens before them...... If anyone has seen others doing this (ref the iPad quiz player on a train) then you will all probably agree with me that it is a sorry sight !!! The world around us is an amazing place and yet we have been ''pushed'' into believing that the 'coolest' must have is an i-pad ????

    Don't get me wrong, i'm not anti technology, I use a new Mac book Air and a Blackberry everyday because of my working day BUT do I stare constantly in amazement at the screens to the detriment of the wider world around me....? NO is the simple answer....

    Like others on this comments section... what is the point of an i-pad ?? I have used one and was Not blown away..... Shock Horror for the consumerists amongst us but I do Not need one or any other similar device.... My Phone and Mac Air do what I need and I am standing up and saying no more please !!!! I / We do not need anymore gadgets like the tablets to satisfy the next bout of consumerism.....

    Rory, I know it's your 'Job' as a tech journo to 'sell' to the Sheep the idea of more must have devices But I have my own mind and understand my own needs and I can see that all technology is not necessarily good technology...


    TO
    5. At 11:08am on 28 Dec 2010, AllenT2 wrote:
    The single most important or successful technology product of 2010?
    That's easy, the iPad.

    Open your Eyes AllenT2, you sound like your technologically hypnotized !!

    Regards

    Ganretti

  • Comment number 14.

    I really don't see the point of the iPad. Obviously this is my own opinion and others will inevitably disagree, but it just seems like an irrelevant gadget. I get the impression that people have been buying it for the brand or because they think it offers them something new. More often than not, the few people I've seen using them looked like they were merely trying to show off!

    The price is obscene, especially as you can pick up an iPod touch for £190 brand new which does most things that the iPad can (albeit with a smaller screen). I used one in a department store the other day and I will admit that the screen was incredibly clear, it seemed well built and the UI was superb. However, as a product it just seems like the iPad is a bit unnecessary, when I have an iPod touch and a macbook which do 99% of what an iPad can do.

    I also agree with Dawes, Microsoft can't really be called innovators as similar technology was created by Sony in the form of the original Eyetoy. Sony's mistake was failing to build upon the lessons learnt from the Eyetoy and release an updated version to compete with the Wii earlier on in the PS3 lifecycle.

  • Comment number 15.

    So by reading this... no new computers in 2010? Are computers resigned to being boring, old and too big? Yeah yeah yeah tablets, smart phones and game consoles are fine but I don't like to see computers forgotten about. I use mine far more than any of the three categories that you mentioned.

  • Comment number 16.

    I don't think you need to be an uber-geek to recognise that the success of the iPad is a little bit mystifying. The criticisms levelled at it on its release were valid, and many of them remain unresolved.

    And it still seems to me that people bought it because they could - if it had never been invented we wouldn't be sitting around hoping for a big-screen iPhone with less functionality. Technology is supposed to get smaller and more effective, not more cumbersome and shiny.

  • Comment number 17.

    If the iPad is dispensable, then surely an entire top-of-the-range MacBook that's the same size is worth something? I'm talking about the new MacBook Air. I've had mine for little less than a month and it's by far and away the best computer I've ever used. It could be a netbook, but it's a whole Mac (with Snow Leopard - the best OS in the world until Lion arrives) in an 11" or 13" casing that's even thinner than a supermodel. Put simply, I believe the MacBook Air is the best new bit of kit from 2010.

    Next thing you know Apple will be getting 3G providers for it on the grounds of it being as portable as an iPad.

  • Comment number 18.

    I agree with most people, the iPad is more of a fashion statement than it is useful gadget. I think the best innovation is either the kinect or Google's Android operating system.

  • Comment number 19.

    There is no mystery as to why the ipad is such a success. The geeks will never understand because they can only see it in terms of cost per chip speed, ram, graphics capacity or whatever. The ipad excels in several important practical respects.

    1. It is the best way to surf the web. Browsing with a mouse is irritating and cumbersome after using an ipad.
    2. Its the best way to display digital photos.
    3. It has the best calendar app of any device. The one on the iphone, for instance, is rubbish.
    4. The battery lasts 10 hours. That's TEN HOURS. That alone makes it three or four times as useful as a laptop.

  • Comment number 20.

    This is a pretty good round up, I am an Apple fanboy, have the playstation move and thought farmville was pretty bad to keep polite.

    But again Apple has revolutionised the Tablet Market as they did with the smart phone in 07/08, before tablets were seen to run customised desktop OS' that weren't all that great, running a mobile OS proves how great a tablet can be, this comment is posted from an iPad and whilst the Galaxy Tab is great for those that want a smaller tablet, I personally don't seen smaller than 9" being any good, Android is still in it's tablet infancy. 2011 will see the rise of imitations but it will take another few years to steal iPad lovers hearts with a price they want as seen with the Galaxy S.

    Android is on it's way, most people want an iPhone without the price, Android has some functionality better than the iPhone, with Gingerbread comes NFC, something to watch out for, but as far as I can tell it still doesn't easily support proxy wi-fi networks, common in businesses. But honeycomb promises tablet support and maybe more, so we'll see.

    Kinect on the console, depends on your view, i've seen videos which question how good it is, kinect joyride fail, but microsoft not slamming open source PC/linux support has shown so many great uses, helping in future? Playstation move on the other hand is classed as "Wii HD" safe in terms of sony only just making a profit on the PS3 but may not help it in the future as Kinect will.

    Casual/Web Games, first Angry birds which doesn't necarssarily (sp) fit in either, everybody says it is wanting to finish the level, the success of a level drives them on, this is the future of gaming in my opinion, there are more people using games casually on the web, through facebook, and their smart phones. Before games were story, graphics etc, the need to go back to a game is now becoming more popular, watching a presentation on gaming now puts forward the idea of penalising a player for depriving the game, e.g harvesting crops, brings them back and as more players unlock more functionality/ quicker access to new features and ease of gameplay using real cash it is becoming popular with developers. Back to my original point Angry Birds has the right amount of difficulty to keep a player going then making them want more when they finish, as an annecdote, I love programming, I get so annoyed when something isn't working, then when it does I want to do more, I have trouble stopping myself. Angry birds does this perfectly, the players wants to finish and complete a level, then the more levels they complete the closer they are to the end goal, a very brief but easy to understand story keeps the player going as they are near the end goal the.

    In this case I think Angry Birds/Farmville deserve the innovation of the year for changing how players interact with games and how they involve more players than the original stereotype.

  • Comment number 21.

    "Tengsted wrote:"

    "So successful, I've seen ONE person using one, despite the BBC plugging them at every opportunity."

    "That ONE person with the iPad? Doing a quiz game on a train. Well worth it, obviously."

    You must not go out very much and/or know current events as it relates to consumer electronics.

  • Comment number 22.

    CarpCarp wrote:

    "Shortly after the first off bit came the realisation that it lacked any compelling longer term uses. It couldn't go where my phone would go - it's just far, far to large - so its time in my possession was spent sat on my desk."

    It's smaller than a magazine and just as thin. The iPad is not meant to take the place of where you would ideally take your "phone." No, it fantastically takes the place of where you would take your laptop and where ideally you do not wish to be bogged down by the weight, bulk, and limited battery life of a laptop, among other things.

    It isn't realistic to compare a phone to an iPad, or any tablet. Lets face it, doing anything serious beyond a phone call on a phone is a painful experience in eye strain and overall user interface frustration.

    "Text input was, compared to a keyboard equipped device, absolutely terrible, so no chance of supplanting any of my desktop \ laptop devices."

    How much time and practice did you give it? People naturally, especially today, quickly dismiss things because they are used to doing it a certain way. I can now type on my iPad almost as fast as I can on a physical keyboard. That was not so in the beginning. Unless you have given it a reasonable amount of time and practice you can not dismiss it. I felt the same way, in the beginning, towards the Apple chicklet keyboard.

    "Whilst there were lots of "light entertainment" apps available, I couldn't really work out why they were in any way compelling as at the times when five minutes of pointless fun are required, I'm certainly not sat around in its natural habitat of the home. Yes, it plays various forms of media, but then so does pretty much everything else these days."

    If by "everything else" you are referring to smart phones then that is not a reasonable comparison. The same Apps written for the iPhone or Android are typically a night and day difference compared to those written for the iPad. The screen real estate makes all the difference.

    As I have already pointed out, and as the experience of most of its users point out, the iPad's "natural habitat" is not in the home.

    "In the end, I was actually rather glad to return it to work (its primary purpose was for testing an iPhone app) as it was taking up a spot on my desk reserved for more important items in the shape of cups of tea as it never really got used (despite having access to works credit card and carte blanche to purchase apps at no cost to myself)."

    Why "glad?" Either it worked for you or it did not, assuming you were truly open to its use. By saying "glad" you are implying that you were pleasurably looking for reasons to ultimately reject it. It makes your objectivity look suspect.

    "Tablets are flashy but lack the sort of "killer" functionality required to push them from flashy gadgets on the periphery to a mainstream computing device."

    Obviously it is a "mainstream computing device" based on its sales and widespread usage, not to mention projected sales for the coming year.

    For many of us that own an iPad the "'killer' functionality," is the ability to quickly and easily browse the internet, access e-mail, browse photos, watch videos, listen to music, read books and magazines, navigate, organize our days, play games, have access to so many useful apps, etc, etc, on a device smaller than a magazine, just as thin, with a fantastic IPS LCD display, but big enough to easily see what you are working on, with a battery life that can approach 12 hours, running the most easiest and intuitive user/touch interface/operating system ever developed.

    It is stunning to me that someone can sum up such a device as simply a "flashy gadget." What were you expecting, teleportation?

  • Comment number 23.


    To AllenT2

    Thankyou for your last posting at 22, it made me finally realise the point of an i-pad....

    It is obvious really, an i-pad is a poor mans 11" Mac Book Air...

    Regards

    Ganretti

  • Comment number 24.

    Ganretti wrote:

    "Three dumpy ? fattening individuals sitting three a breast on a sofa 'staring with glee' at the screens before them...... If anyone has seen others doing this (ref the iPad quiz player on a train) then you will all probably agree with me that it is a sorry sight !!! The world around us is an amazing place and yet we have been ''pushed'' into believing that the 'coolest' must have is an i-pad ????"

    Unless you and most of us in this world lack a free will no one is being "'pushed'" into having an iPad.

    "Don't get me wrong, i'm not anti technology, I use a new Mac book Air and a Blackberry everyday because of my working day BUT do I stare constantly in amazement at the screens to the detriment of the wider world around me....? NO is the simple answer...."

    You presume to know so much about the individuals in question. You have no idea what those individuals may be thinking about. To conclude their interest in the iPad amounts to a "detriment of the wider world" around them is not only insulting but illogical.

    "Like others on this comments section... what is the point of an i-pad ?? I have used one and was Not blown away..... Shock Horror for the consumerists amongst us but I do Not need one or any other similar device.... My Phone and Mac Air do what I need and I am standing up and saying no more please !!!! I / We do not need anymore gadgets like the tablets to satisfy the next bout of consumerism....."

    So *you* will not be buying one based on *your needs.* No one is forcing you to buy anything, as I have already said. For other people an iPad would be preferable than a Mac Air or other laptop. Why is that hard for you and others to accept?

    "Rory, I know it's your 'Job' as a tech journo to 'sell' to the Sheep the idea of more must have devices But I have my own mind and understand my own needs and I can see that all technology is not necessarily good technology..."

    So you are somehow smarter than someone that chooses an iPad over a laptop if it suitable for their needs and use? Such a person doesn't have their "own mind?" Does that really make sense to you?

    "Open your Eyes AllenT2, you sound like your technologically hypnotized !!"

    You need to open your mind, not "your eyes." And I am not saying that as an insult.

  • Comment number 25.

    The fact that this article starts with a notice that the tablet I'm using needs flash and javascript to be installed tells you that the iPad ' thing' is far from universally accepted and catered for by the meeja.

    That Microsoft sold 2.5million Kinects in 25 days suggests pent up demand for a device interface not the result of review and word of mouth experience - it will be next years best seller on E Bay.

    The Kindle and its related App is however the most serious ommision - it is transformative as ' family ' accounts if set up correctly allow everyone in the family to read the books on a wide range of devices, not least the Kindle - which is far easier than the iPad on the eye and much better in bright conditions.

    But personally the iPad takes pole position becaise as a web surfer its hard to beat at the moment and particularly as i can, with a pinch and release of my fingers, expand the text to the size my failing eyes can read - and have more than 2 words shown at a time !

  • Comment number 26.

    Ganretti wrote:

    "Thankyou for your last posting at 22, it made me finally realise the point of an i-pad.... It is obvious really, an i-pad is a poor mans 11" Mac Book Air..."

    It is hard not to suspect or expect sarcasm in this forum, and especially considering where most of the posters are from, so I will follow through with a response based on just that.

    The Mac Air is a laptop and the iPad is a tablet. There is no comparison. And as for price, the top iPad is not much cheaper than an 11" Mac Air.

  • Comment number 27.

    max_walker wrote:

    "The fact that this article starts with a notice that the tablet I'm using needs flash and javascript to be installed tells you that the iPad ' thing' is far from universally accepted and catered for by the meeja."

    I don't recall anything being mentioned having to do with universal acceptance. Obviously a lack of Flash hasn't prevented the iPad from being widely accepted.

    "The Kindle and its related App is however the most serious ommision - it is transformative as ' family ' accounts if set up correctly allow everyone in the family to read the books on a wide range of devices, not least the Kindle - which is far easier than the iPad on the eye and much better in bright conditions."

    Most people do not read their books in lighting conditions where the iPad wouldn't be able to allow them to read comfortably. Most people do not read books out in open sun.

    It has also been proven that eye comfort or strain is simply a result of contrast and resolution. The iPad certainly has the resolution to allow you to read properly. It allows you to adjust brightness so as to adjust contrast as it relates to the reading apps background and its text.

    I used to own a Sony e-ink reader and there was no difference in eye strain. Now if I tried to read a book with the iPad brightness set to its brightest setting with a white background in total darkness then obviously that would not have been the case. But who in their right mind is going to do that?

    An LCD also allows you to read in low light or total darkness without having to resort to external lighting, something people are much more likely to do than reading out in open sun.

  • Comment number 28.

    @ 11 - Dawes

    You wrote:

    May i point out that if this were the case then Kinect would have been released years ago. The technological advances in recent times have enabled Microsoft to release this device. Kinect is truly revolutionary, It requires no colour recognition like the Eye Toy, even now in order to play the new Playstation Move you need a special "wand". If Sony had the technology to do what Kinect can do back in 2003 would they not have used it then?

    ------------------------

    Very simple answer there. When Sony made their Kinect years ago with the Playstation 2, they learnt something immediately. Gaming is not fun without full control. Sony learnt immediately that buttons could never be replaced without some radical new tech which is probably decades away.

    Microsoft just went ahead and made the device a major part of their campaign anyway.

    The result is that gaming critics and gamers alike are slating the Kinect, saying it does not offer enough control. While the Playstation Move which uses both a Wii like remote AND a Kinect like Camera is getting enormous praise.

    Sony's prudence with this sort of technology has paid off critically. Microsoft has rushed in without thinking about the end product. The only reason Kinect is selling is because Microsoft has given it a $500M advertisement campaign.

    Sony on the other hand has given Move a mere fraction of a budget... YET, they are equal in sales.

    One is selling on good reviews, the other is selling on a mass of adverts. Go figure.

  • Comment number 29.

    So, once again we see that the most fascinating technology of all is still the human mind, and it's refusal to stretch beyond it's immediate surroundings. So a few of you can't see any use for the iPad, and are mystified by the fact that millions of people do? Amazing. Do you honestly think people are spending £5-600 on something they can't see a potential use for? Thank god you people aren't working on anything really important, otherwise your lack of imagination would mean we're all doomed!

    I think the iPad is brilliant, and it will revolutionise home and business computing: in another 5 years, almost every home and business will have one (or more). My own immediate need for one isn't great, given the nature of the work I do, but that doesn't stop me from seeing how useful they are, and how even more useful they will become.

    I recently went for a job interview. All of my work is on my website, and I assumed, as is usually the case, that the interview would discuss it. For reasons best known to themselves, the company decided to conduct the interview in a room with no computer, which meant I had to talk about my work without demonstrating it. An iPad would have been a godesend to me at that moment. I didn't get the job, and during feedback, my "lack" of ability to demonstrate my work "live" came up as a significant factor. It could be argued that it was the company that was at fault by not providing me with a fair environment, but on the other hand, I could have been better prepared for such an eventuality. A lightweight digital portfolio, that also allowed me to access the web, and email, would be a very useful thing indeed.

  • Comment number 30.

    @ 28 - The Realist.

    Having used both recently, I have to disagree with your point. The kinect offers far more control, in an easier way, than the Playstation Move,

    I can pause, Play, change games, even turn the console off all without having to touch a thing.

    Your move playstation.

  • Comment number 31.

    @ AllenT2.

    Apple has the power and innovation to move the market. Microsoft has the power but not the leadership habit.

    The iPad not playing Flash is an attempt to change the market pure and simple - the question is whether it yet has the clout to force the BBC to redo its website to accommodate it ( without relying on a cut-down App news selector)

    The Macbook Air and the forthcoming Mac App store is an attempt to move from physical CD discs to download. MS could have done this years ago but have passed up the opportunity and will no doubt be playing catch-up from Jan 11.

    Apple has always had the habit of attempting to move the market but has generally tempered its technology changes to othose which it believes it can do well - from a user experience perspective.

    The Kindle is 1/5 of the cost of the iPad and produces a better reading solution in any light - but particularly on holiday in sunshine, on the move etc - and with loads of books in the size envelope of one. As a book reader it beats the iPad. The iPad's strength is its breadth of applications.

  • Comment number 32.

    @Graphis:-
    **"Do you honestly think people are spending £5-600 on something they can't see a potential use for?"**

    Well, yes, I do. People do it all of the time. Whether its because its the latest toy, because they want to be seen with it, because they want to beat the Joneses.

    **"I recently went for a job interview. All of my work is on my website, and I assumed, as is usually the case, that the interview would discuss it. For reasons best known to themselves, the company decided to conduct the interview in a room with no computer, which meant I had to talk about my work without demonstrating it."**

    I see, so your entire portfolio is only accessible from a Internet connected computer and you assumed one would have been available. Sounds like poor planning to me.

    **"An iPad would have been a godesend to me at that moment."**

    As would a bog-standard laptop (c £300) running a web server (IIS, Apache, etc) with your sites running locally. Then you could have demonstrated your work, even if the interview room had no Internet or 3G access. Something you couldn't do with the "godsend" iPad.




  • Comment number 33.

    I too have only seens one iPad user, and i must say he seemed to be listening to the worlds largest MP3 player i have ever seen. Commical though it was as i could see what he was listening to so i could laugh to myself (obviously my music taste is far better than his!)

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    @cowherder

    At interview, whipping out your netbook and blabbing whilst it winds itself up and delivers a less than impressive screen shot is hardly going to impress.
    As a web-surfer the ipad will win hands down.

  • Comment number 36.

    Dawes wrote: "Your move playstation."

    I see what you've done there...

    But i think you are both missing the point on that one. Kinect / Move / Wii are all games for the mass market. very good in the short term, especially over x-mas but it is a fad (aren't Wii sales now dropping off considerably?)

    (please excuse the excessive stereotyping from here on in)
    There are two types of gamers. 'family' gamers who enjoy flailing their limbs in the direction of the TV with their kids. they will buy one or two games a year at about 20-30 a pop.
    Then there are 'hardcore' gamers who are quite willing to buy games at £50 on a regular basis, and will splash out on all the DLC. This is where the money is at - surely!
    MS/Sony/Nintendo - spend your money on better graphics and more stable online multiplayer compatibility and the money will come

  • Comment number 37.

    "The Macbook Air and the forthcoming Mac App store is an attempt to move from physical CD discs to download. MS could have done this years ago but have passed up the opportunity and will no doubt be playing catch-up from Jan 11."

    Sorry - but there is a big difference between D/L an app worth 50p and software worth 100 to 1000 times the value. MS (and others) have already scratched the surface with their games 'on demand' on the XBOX but they still won't put new titles on here because of piracy. As soon as people stop downloading games / films / music illegally, THEN we can say goodbye to physical media and i can't wait

  • Comment number 38.

    sorry for the stream of comments from me but:

    "At interview, whipping out your netbook and blabbing whilst it winds itself up and delivers a less than impressive screen shot is hardly going to impress.
    As a web-surfer the ipad will win hands down."

    What is the difference in speed between a netbook on Win7 and an iPad turning on? maybe 5 seconds slower for the PC... then you can view your full web site, offline if needs be. Sounds better to me.

  • Comment number 39.

    Surprised 3D tvs weren't mentioned. not that i think it's anything more than a gimmick at the moment, but still feel this article has missed out on a couple of key releases like that and the kindle (as mentioned by other readers)

  • Comment number 40.

    "Android is the wild frontier, where anything might happen. Just look at the comparative treatment of apps giving access to Wikileaks data on the two different platforms - Apple moved swiftly to a ban, while Google just stood back and let stuff happen."

    Wasn't Wikileaks removed by Apple due to the requests for donations breaching Apples T&C?

  • Comment number 41.

    AllenT2 wrote:

    "You must not go out very much and/or know current events as it relates to consumer electronics."


    I think YOU must not go out very much, based on your over-the-top devotion to defending the ipad against every criticism. Are you Steve Jobs in disguise?

  • Comment number 42.

    I've long since suggested we had an iPad each to my church's worship teams - beats having written music any day... If you need key changes, just use something like Sibelius for key changes and bluetooth or wi-fi the music to all the iPads LOL... Sadly, I'm not sure we have the cash for it, so maybe it'll have to be a poor man's version.. often referred to as paper or memorising!!

  • Comment number 43.

    "Excuse me? You have a having a laugh right? Since when was Kinect a Microsoft innovation? Sony did it with the Playstation 2!!!!

    It is best to know the subject before writing an article on it."

    This sort of comment really annoys me, Kinect and the Playstation 2 EyeToy are completely different technologies.

    Hardware-wise, Kinect projects a grid of infrared light on the scene, allowing one of it's cameras to determine the depth of objects, the other camera essentially works as a webcam. Kinect also has a mic built in and motors allowing it to orient itself for the best view of a room. More importantly than the hardware, the software used provide full body tracking is very sophisticated. The EyeToy was just a webcam.

  • Comment number 44.

    i may be wrong, but dont you need a PC or Mac to actually get one of these super amazing ipads to work?

  • Comment number 45.

    @AllenT2

    Hope you get that cheque in the mail from the Apple. You're doing a wonderful job of promotion there. Love the delusion too, btw.

  • Comment number 46.

    @AllenT2.

    In response to the quote "My year began in the United States, watching the launch of a tablet computer which was going to change everything. No, Not Apple's iPad but the Que, a product developed by the British firm Plastic Logic."

    You wrote "Development takes place in the UK and in America. "

    I think you are confused, development by a British company does not imply delevelopment cannot take place in other countries.

    In response to "But it was Google with its Android operating system which had the best of 2010. If you were looking for the very latest in apps, on phones with the most innovative hardware, Android was the place to go. Late in the year, its sales started to overtake those for the iPhone. More importantly, it provided some real competition for Apple, both in terms of technology and philosophy."

    You wrote "That's grossly incorrect to say that "if you were looking for the very latest in apps" that "Android was the place" to go. Most of the innovation in apps, not to mention the number of apps available, was and still is with iOS and Apple's iPhone, and now iPad.."

    The author makes reference to innovation in hardware not apps. Newer versions of the iPhone cannot be classed as innovative, may be the ipad can.... I think occassionally you need to look outside of your apple based world

    You also stated "The Android competition for the iPhone are phones with generally similar specs across all models. 1gig CPUs, 512 ram, etc, etc so I don't know where you are getting the "the most innovative hardware" comment from."

    I suggest you look up the word innovation

    In response to "Nokia, far and away the market leader, pinned all its hopes on the N8 - only to find it had still failed to produce a knockout touchscreen smartphone."

    You worte "Only in overall phone sales. What Nokia considers as sales of their smartphones is a joke since they don't sell a phone that can be compared to the iPhone or Android phones, and certainly not in market share."

    I beg to differ....

    And finally you wrote ..

    "Since when did Apple make most of the apps in their App Store?"

    Apple control apps available via the app store, they may not be Apple apps, but if Apple approves the apps open to consumers it's a valid point.

  • Comment number 47.

    I expect this decade to be full of new gadgets and technologies

    We have already seen some of them this year

  • Comment number 48.

    My initial reaction to the ipad was negative, but the more I've used them (two friends have one) the more I think it's a game changing product. Using the web on the iPad feels so natural and it's also the best method I've found for viewing photos. Flicking through holiday snaps on an iPad feels far better than doing the same on a full computer or on a TV.

  • Comment number 49.

    So many people still don't see the point of a tablet computer.

    Why don't they buy one (I'd recommend the iPad over all the others at present) and use it. Maybe then they will understand?

    If you are a big user of mobile applications and find a smartphone a bit fiddly then a tablet is great.

    Obviously you could make the smartphone bigger, but then it would get too big and then you wouldn't want to carry it around (defeating the whole point of a mobile).

  • Comment number 50.

    Thanks for a interesting article, but I would suggest the AMAZON KINDLE is the product of 2010. It has a reasonable price, has the ability to have a daily newspaper delivered to me pretty much anywhere in the world, and the ability to purchase new books anytime - even when sitting on the beach, and no charge for a cellular data connection needed to order items.

    Shame it's got one-touch ordering, which make it much too easy to accidentally order an item (but you can cancel an order quite easily). Shame the content is in a proprietary format (but you can add a Kindle reading app on other devices).

  • Comment number 51.

    A really enjoyable article...

    The irony is that I couldn't watch the embedded video on my iPad!

    I really can't wait for HTML5 to be standard!

  • Comment number 52.

    As has been pointed on an Apple forum I read regularly, the people reading blogs like this are not, in the main, the intended audience for the iPad. People reading this blog are interested in reading about tech subjects, they discuss overclocking their PC, rooting their Android phone, jailbreaking their iPhone, comparing processor and RAM speeds and such like. They love hard numbers because they make comparison for techies 'easy'. In the days before the Mid 70s, men chose their hifi based on wow and flutter figures, frequency response, THD and so on. Simple. Then somebody suggested that maybe purchasers might actually like to LISTEN to the system and see if they actually enjoyed listening to music on it! Shocking ...

    The iPad has been phenomenally successful because people who have absolutely no interest at all in the issues the people here enthuse over are buying them in very large numbers. As one blogger said, try explaining to your friend why that app that is covering almost all of the screen is ignoring them (because it's not the active application) or why they can't find the document they just saved (which is accidentally now in some deeply nested folder). On an iPad, the current app takes over the entire screen so no confusion there. There's no document filing system to in which to lose your documents. No right-clicks or mice to bother with. Drag. Touch. Tap. Swipe. Wake up. Sleep. Lay in bed, tap email and send one to a friend and then slip it back on the table. Install an app - just find it in the app store, click Buy, wait for it to download and off you go! Delete it just as easily with all its associated files. The techy heads on here are are a tiny segment of the market and as I'm sure you know, most of your friends are not interested in upgrading hard disks, video cards, processor cache sizes and the like. They want to know if they can do the things that they actually bought a computer for.

    I am a programmer of 23 years and have an old G4 iBook as well as my iMac and a 2G iPod touch and now an iPad. My iPad has now become my preferred way of surfing the web - the iMac feels antiquated in comparison - and I've completely stopped using my RSS reader on my iMac. I used to use my iBook to design documents and write letters on the way to work as well as watching movies and updating my family history. All of these I can now do on my iPad and it's much lighter, wakes instantly and runs for 10 hours - a whole weekend away and loads of time for an Intercity Train. Typing on the pretty much full size keyboard is straightforward, fast and accurate with just a little practice. The iPad turns the Internet into a magazine and makes computer use almost invisible - just pick it up, wake it, do some stuff then chuck it on the sofa when you're done. It doesn't feel like using a computer.

    Until that change of perspective sinks in to your brain, you will not understand why anybody wants one.

    And as for needing one, well most products that people buy are not needed and they certainly don't need replacing every (other) year. You don't even need a mobile phone, for example, as I don't own one, never have and I'm still alive! An iPad may not float your boat, but for many people it's the computer they have always wanted.

  • Comment number 53.

    @BigSean asked "i may be wrong, but dont you need a PC or Mac to actually get one of these super amazing ipads to work?"

    No you don't, but without one an iPad is certainly less useful as you'd only be able to get music, books, apps and so on onto it where you had either WiFi or 3G access which may be either infrequent and/or expensive. You could setup much of the things it would require on a friend's computer if you really didn't have or want your own but again your functionality would be restricted.

  • Comment number 54.

    I'm pleased to see that innovation was not something applied to the usual "mines better than yours because..." arguments on here. Plenty of arbitrary and anecdotal "evidence" about why one philosophy is better than the other.
    Video Analytics has been around for decades, kinect is another example, albeit one that appears to work very well and as ever it is the application of the technology that makes it useful (please don't mistake my use of application for the full length version of app as here it means something different).
    Tablets have been around for decades too, and tablet screens have been around for several years, my wife has an old tablet pc with a wacom screen, I've mentioned it before and the fact that she's used it for "o" but never "i".
    As for the thought that people would hardly buy something unless they had a use for it, having the "cool" gadget that everyone says is great, or passes on that opinion because, well, everyone else does, provides that need without any justification required.
    As with racing there are horses for courses, and to carry that analogy some horses are carrying handicaps and some are blinkered. Arguments based on nothing stronger than an opinion will persist as long as companies can make people have the opinion that a product is the best, whether thay have even seen one nevermind actually tested it. Look how many reviews appear on web based retail sites for items that are not even available yet to see that.
    These arguments are always so polarised between those who support Apple and those who don't understand (or the snobs version "those jealous people who can't afford"). As someone with both Apple and non-Apple products (yes shocking isn't it and I haven't had brain surgery to make this possible)I do find these discussions, and the way people take it so personally, rather amusing.

  • Comment number 55.

    My suggestion is iOS 4, the unifying platform for phones, tablets, home media delivery and soon for laptop/desktops. The latest release is quite amazing for the non-techies that form the majority if not quite the finished product for the minority.

    If you have an Apple TV, plus iPad/iPhone, then you can do things that were very clumsy only 12 months ago. Stream video from phone to TV wirelessly? No problem. Soon I expect room-sized video conferencing with phone and TV. As usual it's software that makes the difference.

    The open sourcing of the Kinect is a good example of how software is more influential than hardware. Or have we forgotten this?

  • Comment number 56.

    For me, the best tech product of 2010 continues to be my gaming PC bought (in bits) at the start of last year. Yes, I have an Android phone and it does all this whizzbang fancy stuff, but when it comes down to it, the PC still blows it out of the water. Steam gives me the same sort of experience as the App Store or Android Marketplace but with 'proper' games as opposed to the sort of games that have been available for free as Flash games on the internet for years. The sales on Steam every weekend even meant that the prices aren't too different to the App store at times either. However if you aren't a big PC gamer or don't have a decent broadband connection then it really isn't for you.

    Looking forwards, I can't wait for Portal 2, Dragon Age 2, Diablo 3 and Crysis 2. Hopefully all these sequels live up to their hype and don't become the poor console-to-PC ports that some games are.

    Other tech releases of 2010 that impressed me? ATi (though now just AMD Radeon) with the Eyefinity. Very impressive, if you can afford 6 monitors and a pair of the latest graphics cards. Other, more geeky releases were 6 and 8 core processors and USB 3.

    USB 3 is probably the most interesting because we have become so used to USB 2 we almost forget about it, but faster speeds backing up data to an external hard drive? Yes please!

    As far as tech stories of the year, can we look past Wikileaks? Probably not.

  • Comment number 57.

    I can't see internet tv taking off in the near future. I should imagine that 2011 will see Android dominating the tablet market, as they are currently doing the smart phone market. 7 inch will account for the majority of sales, mainly due to its size. A 10 inch tablet is just too big and heavy. The future of tablets is obviously sporting 3d interfaces (without glasses), come 2015 -- if society hasn't collapsed by then.

  • Comment number 58.

    I'm surprised that this article doesn't mention the success of the Kindle. In the face of multi-purpose gadgets like smartphones and the iPad, the Kindle has proved to be a massive success simply by being really good for one purpose: reading.

    2010 is when e-readers have really taken off as a consumer product, and the Kindle looks set to revolutionise the publishing industry in the way the iPod revolutionised the music industry. Of course, you can also read ebooks on PCs, phones, tablets and so on, but it's the dedicate e-readers that have driven the digitisation of books.

    The iPad is a great piece of technology, but so far, it's just a slicker interface to do things that people were already doing - surfing the web, downloading apps, playing music and so on. I don't think it's a cultural game-changer in the way that the Kindle has the potential to be.

  • Comment number 59.

    Gadgets I would like to see...

    1 - Really functional voice input and navigation - with (very deferential) voice response - your computer must never interrupt you, speak only when spoken to and in every way act like an Edwardian butler/valet as well as understanding what you say to it and others and to be able to tell the difference.

    2 - Some sort of functional thought interface (and response system) a direct brain interface of some sort - allowing a google look up of information for example to be directly interfaced to ones own through processes even without consciously thinking that you want to do it.

    3 - On a nearer term - direct retinal projection of screen images to completely get rid of the increasingly cumbersome and huge screens - arn't we going to run out of the rare earth minerals soon too - particularly when screens are growing so huge - I find the 60in display already far too big.

    I want computers to be our servants and not us theirs! (The same ambition I had since the 1960s - but today we are nearer achieving my desire.) I find it rather depressing that the ambition of the younger generation is so limited - where has their imagination gone? What has happened to blue sky thinking!!!? I hope the clouds part!

    I am really tired of pointing and clicking and typing! These are after all metaphors of communications and not real communication!

  • Comment number 60.

    YAWN, YAWN, YAWN

  • Comment number 61.

    Why all the hate for the ipad? I absolutely love it! I'm currently studying at university and find it honestly the most useful device in the world.
    I know people are saying its the poor man's macbook, but i own a macbook pro and find honestly that the ipad is far better. Fair enough, typing does take a bit of getting used to, but so did typing on a real keyboard when you first started. Its SO fast to type on during lectures, easiest way to browse facebook when i get bored about hearing about remedy for damages (happens a lot) and stores a decent block of my music library so i can listen to music and study in the library without having to get my ipod out. Plus i couldnt even believe the battery life on it!

    P.s... This was all typed on an ipad...and it took less than two minutes.

  • Comment number 62.

    You really do have to chuckle at the Apple weirdos who bend over backwards trying to justify paying double the price of comparable products for no discernable advantage - in many cases, considerable disadvantage.

    Still, you have to admire Mr Jobs - he's found a way to convice people to buy version after version of his underpowered, underspecced toys at stupendous prices. The guy is a marketing genius.

  • Comment number 63.

    35. At 2:28pm on 29 Dec 2010, max_walker wrote:
    "@cowherder

    At interview, whipping out your netbook and blabbing whilst it winds itself up and delivers a less than impressive screen shot is hardly going to impress.
    As a web-surfer the ipad will win hands down."

    Or you could have it booting from the start of the interview, ready to go when it is needed.

    Honestly, it's a wonder many Apple fanboys made it past puberty.

  • Comment number 64.

    61. At 11:34pm on 29 Dec 2010, Kay h wrote:
    "Why all the hate for the ipad?"

    For me, it's Apple. I find Jobs to be incredibly arrogant, and whenever I see the 'This changes everything. Again." ads I just want to go out and buy shares in HTC.

  • Comment number 65.

    dmccormac wrote:

    "That's more because Apple reviews and polices the App Store whereas Google doesn't police the Android Market. I've heard of people downloading malware from the Market, but never from the App Store. "


    You have been superceded!
    Apple say they police it but can you trust them?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12089225

  • Comment number 66.

    entreri100404 wrote:

    "For me, it's Apple. I find Jobs to be incredibly arrogant, and whenever I see the 'This changes everything. Again." ads I just want to go out and buy shares in HTC."

    What does that have to do with buying products if they are good? Do you boycott Chinese governmenet subsidized products? After all, the Chinese government persecutes, imprisons and kills it's own people for simply expressing an opinion. How about a little perspective?

  • Comment number 67.

    CoalitionOfTheWilting wrote:

    "You really do have to chuckle at the Apple weirdos who bend over backwards trying to justify paying double the price of comparable products for no discernable advantage - in many cases, considerable disadvantage.

    So where can you can get an all in one computer equivalent to the 27" iMac for half the price? :)

  • Comment number 68.

    I agree with those who suggest the Kindle merited a mention in the shortlist, but I think the device faces an uphill battle against convergent devices such as tablet computers and people who love books.

    When the iPod became a mass market product, it was because music lovers, through portable cassette and CD players, had already bought into the idea and convenience of ultra portable music devices - they did not feel that digital music denigrated CDs or cassettes - or music itself - in anyway. Books are a dog with different fleas.

    I think time will bear out my point that not only will dedicated e-book readers find their place in the market squeezed by devices which do that job and many others besides - but that the success of the Kindle will be limited by people who love the look, feel and smell of books and the pleasure of buying them through bookshops.

  • Comment number 69.

    My partner spent a large part of Christmas squinting at her smart phone, the kids spent huge amounts of time with their computers (various).

    Meanwhile, with my brand new Kenwood Mixer, I made several loaves of wonderful bread from a sour-dough that I now have fermenting in a jar, I made home made sausages, cakes, and loads of other stuff that filled the house with gorgeous baking smells.

    So yes, my tech was touchy, feely and fun in a way that no device from Microsoft or Apple could hope to be.

    However useful the new devices may be, I fear that we are becoming a world that experiences life only through a touch screen. We need to demote their importance to the status of "useful tools" and stop making them lifestyle changers. In the end, the only people that have really benefitted from the huge growth in technology are the manufacturers.

    If you remove the tech from the average family in 2010 you will find undeneath exactly the same family as in 1970. They are no more worldly, no better educated, no better at socialising (actually, they may be worse now), no better off in their day-to-day lives, and definitely no happier.

    I love technology - it is fun. But the mass take up of technology in the home has made life a lot more complicated, hellishly more expensive and far more materialistic.

    If you take away the ability to make a phone call from the iPhone, what remains is no more necessary than a train set.

  • Comment number 70.

    @61 Kay H

    If an ipad works for you... great but just a quick observation.
    It has been a long time since I studied but attention to detail was important then as I'm sure it is now.

    you said
    "I know people are saying its the poor man's macbook, but i own a macbook pro and find honestly that the ipad is far better"...

    My comment relating to this was about a NEW 11" Mac Air not any other older Mac Book......

    Attention to detail is important wether studying or being part of the big wide working world..

    The new Air is a Fantastic peice of equipment and although as Allen T2 says "it's a laptop not a tablet" (I think i see that one Allen). It is not the 'latest fad' , an old fashioned laptop Vs a tablet BUT the new Mac AIR is overall a better and more useable device !!

    Ganretti

  • Comment number 71.

    @ 62 Coalition of the Willing wrote ...

    "You really do have to chuckle at the Apple weirdos who bend over backwards trying to justify paying double the price of comparable products for no discernable advantage - in many cases, considerable disadvantage."

    Thanks for that constructive comment CotW. I obviously have to consider myself 'weird' now as I have recently switched over to using an i5 Imac at home and as you might have seen from other comments, a New Mac AIR for when I'm out and about with my customers..

    I have been using MS laptops and computers etc since I started using computers many years ago but I have found that although a little costly in the initial purchase, the usability, speed, design, power for what I need to run a multi million pound company is available in the products I have....

    My only 'beef' here with the iPad being crowned device of the year ??? is that I THINK it is a trendy, Fad led by those who think it is best to replace devices on an annual basis becausee there is something new on the market..

    We are in a world which requires innovation BUT is it needed that we use every available resource and create every type of device to get there ???? I do not think so !!

    I think the ipad is a marketing tool designed to squeeze more pennies and keep the consumerism going for the masses who quite simply DO NOT need a device like that........ The Ipad is surplus to requirments in my opinion..

    Have a great new year...

    Regards

    Ganretti

  • Comment number 72.

    @ 29 Graphis

    Graphis, I'm glad you posted your comments there as I found them very interesting..

    Firstly, I am sorry you didn't get the job / position you were interviewed for, it can be a little frustrating and upsetting not to succeed. Life teaches us, through experiences like this and the most important thing you need to do is understand why....

    Now I do not know all the details and I work in the Medical world so have little idea of yours BUT you said the Company held the interview in a room devoid of computers or screens.
    Maybe they were looking to see if you could 'project' through creative language and voice inflection your case.

    You stated earlier in your post
    "So, once again we see that the most fascinating technology of all is still the human mind, and it's refusal to stretch beyond it's immediate surroundings. So a few of you can't see any use for the iPad, and are mystified by the fact that millions of people do? Amazing. Do you honestly think people are spending £5-600 on something they can't see a potential use for? Thank god you people aren't working on anything really important, otherwise your lack of imagination would mean we're all doomed!"

    Maybe your lack of imagination or ability to project it was the reason for the job outcome..

    I think we all, as a society are so occupied with the technology that MAYBE we are losing the skills of normal everyday language and communications required to be part of the human race...

    Regards

    Ganretti

  • Comment number 73.

    @ 59 John_from_Hendon

    Nice to see you here, normally you are unreasonably complaining about the Government on Pesto's blog.....:-)

    With ref to your ideas, the first sounds a little like slavery, but then I guess machines are our slaves....
    Secondly, Brain implants are not that far away
    http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/NWO/microchip_implants_mind_control.htm
    I do not know anything about the subject but one day all the 'sheeple' will be 'told to buy an ipad' perhaps ?!

    Finally, for retinal projections you have these currently.....
    http://www.vuzix.com/consumer/index.html

    There you go, Happy New Year.... oh and yes I agree with your final comment. I think the art of communication, human to human is fading with every click !!

    Ganretti

  • Comment number 74.

    #73. Ganretti wrote:

    "@ 59 John_from_Hendon

    Nice to see you here, normally you are unreasonably complaining about the Government on Pesto's blog.....:-)"

    UNreasonably!!!! ( I have a economic view of the world derived from observation, analysis and synthesis based on a thorough historic study of the economic relationships between the actors in society - it happens that I see that the 'King' is marching around in the buff and is almost completely incompetent due to his entirely duff economic education and our inability to grasp the necessity of sacking him.)

    Generally it is not our political government of which I complain, it is the unelected self-selected oiks who run our non-elected permanent government (who are so monumentally incompetent and devoid of integrity that they both destroy the country's economy and are unable to understand or take responsibility for the damage that they have done)!!!

    Back to technology...

    The examples that you give are very early stage developments and I find it sad that the promise of AI has not so far come to any degree of fruition. For example: "The Turing Test" is still a benchmark that most AI systems fail to pass. (See Alan Turing's 1950 paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence.) 60 years have passed and still we can't converse with computer systems in anything like the free from of conversation that we can have with humans.

    On a gender note..

    You wrote 'sheeple' - I hope you also include 'heeple'!!!! But the implied point that you raise - that we (each individual) must remain in change is, and will always be, valid.

  • Comment number 75.

    maybe i am missing the point, but i'm assuming Sheeple is not gender specific. I don't think a male sheep is called a heep

  • Comment number 76.

    I am disabled, a tetraplegic with only partial use of my right hand and arm. This means that I am able to use a computer using a special keyboard. I use a mobile phone with a 'qwerty' keyboard because I am unable to use an iPhone, or similar phones, because I am unable to hold such phones and use the touch pad. This is common to a lot of disabled people, however, and all we hear about are the latest gimmicky phones and other technological advances on goods.

    It seems to me that little attention is paid to people like myself and I think it would be nice if Rory was able to include articles which show items that are suitable for the many of thousands of people like myself.

    Please think it over.

  • Comment number 77.

    @Ganretti

    Why do you feel the need to attack everyone's comments? Okay so i own a *new* macbook pro which is about three months old. Its not old fashioned, and the only main difference between it and the macbook air is that it's heavier, has a cd drive and more memory. so your argument abut old fashioned macbooks is void.

  • Comment number 78.

    @ Kay h

    I do not attack everyone's comments but merely have a difference of opinion to the 'swooning' over the ipad.

    I am merely trying to suggest to those who have one and those whom 'desire' to have one that I think it is a surplus piece of equipment in our society, sold to those who follow trends and think they have a Need for one.

    Most of us have a phone (smart or otherwise), most of us have a laptop / net-book enabling most to wirelessly connect to the internet, most people have a music player (ipod / MP3 player etc et al) ....................

    So my point is where is the need for an ipad ??
    You said yourself that if in the library studying then you don't need to get out that tiny piece of equipment called an ipod because you can use the ipad instead ??
    Why have an ipod then ??

    I just think that mankinds pursuit of having everything whenever and at whatever cost, wether social or environmental is a little bit selfish and I am saying NO to the continual have have have mentality of an irrelevant device like the ipad...in my opinion !

    Cheers
    Ganretti

  • Comment number 79.

    @ 76 bmw1806

    I think you make a very good and valid point.... Technology is not always about how clever it is, how big is it's processor or the latest irrelevant celebrity app BUT it should be used to help individuals in positions similar to your own.

    I would be very interested in voice activation software and it's associated benefits or even, as John_from_Hendon suggested , retinal software. It's uses being to assist those unable to control devices in which the mainstream take for granted...

    Regards

    Ganretti

  • Comment number 80.

    I love this argument!

    You know what?

    2 years ago I would have agreed with the Apple haters on here who seem to hate the company that Steve Jobs created (tongue wedged in cheek - I'm not after a flame war - these are probably the same people who hated Bill Gates up until this year!), however the iPhone 3GS did "change everything" for me. The thing 'just works!'. There's nothing complicated about it, no fiddling around with various different bits of software, it just links up nicely with the iTunes folder that I've had for about 11 years since my initial purchase of a 2nd generation iPod many a year ago.

    Since then I've seen people all around me move onto the iMacs and the MacBook Pros and I stuck steadfastly to my guns as far as keeping my PC's..........I've built my own desktops, and even re-built laptops from the mother-board up after crashes so I know my way around them. I know what to do when Windows throws its dummy out of the window, or how to keep the things running effectively but you know what?

    Tonight I took delivery of my core i7 iMac.........

    Why?

    Because I'm not really someone who takes a perverse delight in constantly poking my computer to make the thing work properly. I have far better things to do with my time rather than working out how to make my computer tick, and I'm fed up with banging my head against a brick wall because my Windows laptop PM55 Intel chipset won't allow iTunes to communicate with its USB ports!

    So I'm now yet another Apple fan boy...........and you can all happily hate me for it.......but my shiny new iMac works and I'm a very happy bunny.........as is my wife who threatened to drown my windows laptop 4 days ago when it spat its dummy again and I was shouting at it yet again! Funnily enough since swapping to a MacBook Pro 9 months ago she has stopped screaming at her laptop too!

  • Comment number 81.

    max_walker wrote:

    "Apple has the power and innovation to move the market. Microsoft has the power but not the leadership habit."

    It doesn't have the proper culture and environment for such leadership. Apple also creates *physical* products that are arguably works of art. People, not just customers, but employees of such a company, take pride in that.

    "The iPad not playing Flash is an attempt to change the market pure and simple - the question is whether it yet has the clout to force the BBC to redo its website to accommodate it ( without relying on a cut-down App news selector)"

    Sure, but it was also a practical choice for a class of devices that would have been significantly slowed down and where their battery lives would have really suffered.

    "The Macbook Air and the forthcoming Mac App store is an attempt to move from physical CD discs to download. MS could have done this years ago but have passed up the opportunity and will no doubt be playing catch-up from Jan 11."

    The Macbook Air doesn't have a optical disc drive because of the reasons why it exists, compactness and portability. The Mac App store is simply another potential revenue generator for Apple and a way to encourage more software to be written for the Mac. The move from "physical CD discs" is besides the point.

    "Apple has always had the habit of attempting to move the market but has generally tempered its technology changes to othose which it believes it can do well - from a user experience perspective."

    Sure, and that's a good thing. It limits their exposure to buggy hardware and software and makes the "user experience" that much more enjoyable and stress free.

    "The Kindle is 1/5 of the cost of the iPad and produces a better reading solution in any light - but particularly on holiday in sunshine, on the move etc - and with loads of books in the size envelope of one. As a book reader it beats the iPad. The iPad's strength is its breadth of applications."

    Wrong. In low light all the e-ink readers like the Kindle are impossible to read without one of the custom cases with a built in light or other external lighting. An iPad, or any other LCD based reading tablet, can be read in total darkness since, obviously, LCDs provide their own light.

    And from my experience, and the experience of other people I know that have an iPad and an E-ink reader like the Kindle, most reading actually gets done in normal to low light conditions, like reading in bed, for example. Lets face it, most people are not reading books, or anything else for that matter, in direct sunlight while recreating, especially for extended periods of time.

  • Comment number 82.

    Fergie wrote:

    "I think YOU must not go out very much, based on your over-the-top devotion to defending the ipad against every criticism. Are you Steve Jobs in disguise?"

    I go out plenty enough and travel enough to make the observations that led to my remark. If a person flies enough then they would have to be blind not to notice the many iPads in use. Blind, or in denial.

    Also, this is a technology forum where people **discuss** technology. Talking about and correcting misinformation regarding a device mentioned in this article is on-topic. Making remarks like "are you Steve Jobs in disguise" is not only silly but it contributes nothing to the discussion and is certainly way off-topic. I'm sure you are better than that.

  • Comment number 83.

    Tengsted wrote:

    "@AllenT2 Hope you get that cheque in the mail from the Apple. You're doing a wonderful job of promotion there. Love the delusion too, btw."

    So if someone you love in your family buys, uses and enjoys an iPad you are going to call him or her delusional too?

    Think about that for a moment. You are calling someone delusional because **they** receive a benefit and a pleasure from using or doing something that doesn't harm you in any way. Does that make sense? Is that a very nice and open minded outlook to have towards others?

  • Comment number 84.

    hm...

    Is it me, or has RCJ written an article that is not *that* apple focused yet all *we* can talk about is Apple. That sounds pretty hypocritical to me, considering all the beef he gets about "paid by Apple" etc.
    (i do include myself in that hypocrisy)

    In my view, 2010 hasn't been a great year for technology and with good reason - There is a time and a place for overpriced items beginning with 'i' and a recession is not it!
    The most technologically advanced purchase for me was probably a new toaster

  • Comment number 85.

    As for 2011, i hope to see:
    A crack-down on piracy leading to an increase in Digital Distribution.
    A better 3D TV that might be worth the hype.
    The Cloud (and how it really won't work in Norfolk)

  • Comment number 86.

    NoFun wrote:

    "I think you are confused, development by a British company does not imply delevelopment cannot take place in other countries."

    Obviously, but my remark was clearly intended to show that crucial development takes place in America. That's a fact.

    "The author makes reference to innovation in hardware not apps. Newer versions of the iPhone cannot be classed as innovative, may be the ipad can.... "

    The author wrote: "If you were looking for the very latest in apps, on phones with the most innovative hardware, Android was the place to go."

    Do you see that comma after apps? If the author meant only as it related to the "most innovative hardware" then the comma would not and should not have been there. At best the sentence is poorly written and can be misleading. Therefore I responded by addressing both claims.

    And where exactly is the "innovation" in the Android phones compared to the iPhone? They all have similar enough specifications.

    "I suggest you look up the word innovation"

    I'll ask you again, where are the great innovations in Android phones compared to the iPhone.

    "I beg to differ...."

    You are misinformed then. The bulk of smartphone sales belong to Nokia only because Nokia considers many much dumber phones to be smart phones. This is common knowledge within the technology world.

    "Apple control apps available via the app store, they may not be Apple apps, but if Apple approves the apps open to consumers it's a valid point."

    No it wasn't. Read again what I responded to and what I said.

    Also, in the future you can simply quote my remarks, otherwise your posts are unnecessarily tedious to quote and respond to.

  • Comment number 87.

    Oh and Allen - sorry to have a dig at you (i can see both sides of this Apple story and it wouldn't be a discussion if you weren't here), but earlier your posted:
    "Making remarks like "are you Steve Jobs in disguise" is not only silly but it contributes nothing to the discussion and is certainly way off-topic. I'm sure you are better than that."

    Yet two days ago, you posted elsewhere a line that went something like
    "Fidel, is that you?!" about a users rather Cuban comments

  • Comment number 88.

    Ganretti wrote:

    "My comment relating to this was about a NEW 11" Mac Air not any other older Mac Book...... Attention to detail is important wether studying or being part of the big wide working world.."

    Ok, I'll soon be referring to some indisputable details.

    "The new Air is a Fantastic peice of equipment and although as Allen T2 says "it's a laptop not a tablet" (I think i see that one Allen)."

    You negatively compared a tablet to a laptop and yet you now acknowledge that all along you realized there was an obvious difference?

    "It is not the 'latest fad' , an old fashioned laptop Vs a tablet BUT the new Mac AIR is overall a better and more useable device !!"

    The iPad has a much longer battery life, it is much lighter, it is more compact, it has a superior LCD screen if color gamut, contrast and viewing angles are important to you, it has thousands of apps that allow you to do things as simple as browsing a site in a much easier and quicker way than you can in a browser on a laptop, etc, etc.

    Surely for someone that is concerned about the importance of details that should mean something to you in understanding and appreciating that many **other people** out there would find great use for such a device.

  • Comment number 89.

    bmw1806 wrote:

    "This is common to a lot of disabled people, however, and all we hear about are the latest gimmicky phones and other technological advances on goods."

    While I agree that not enough attention is paid to those with disabilities (I will also include seniors in that category) I think it is important to be able to recognize "technological advances" while still being able to say that more needs to be done in certain areas. They are two different issues.

  • Comment number 90.

    @80 Jonesy76

    Thankyou for your post, I am completely with you on that one having been through the same situation myself.

    If I think of the total cost spent on Laptops and additions and new components etc etc then I think I probably should have bought an Apple years ago and would have spent less of my money...

    Ganretti

  • Comment number 91.

    TimmyNorfolk wrote:

    "Yet two days ago, you posted elsewhere a line that went something like
    "Fidel, is that you?!" about a users rather Cuban comments"

    My remark was clearly made as a lighthearted joke while the remark made towards me was clearly not equally lighthearted. The supporting remarks denote an obvious difference of intention. I don't jump into discussions merely to make rude and dismissive remarks, or any others that do not contribute to the discussion. I contribute constructively to discussions on this forum, as I am doing now, whether you agree with me or not. I'm not a cynic and I also have no desire to offend anyone. I have my opinions and so does everyone else.



  • Comment number 92.

    As i said Allen, i didn't mean to poke at you (maybe i didn't say that, but it was not my intention) - i would say both comments were as lightheated as each other.

    Anyway - 'nuff said.

    What are your view/expectations of 2011? what are you looking forward to?

  • Comment number 93.

    @88 Allen T2

    Firstly, your pursuit of Justifying the ipad intrigues me. I, like others whom have commented here actually do use, like and appreciate Apple products but I get the impression Allen T2 that you misunderstand me completely.

    Our positions are diametrically opposed in the fact that you see the ipad as the latest and greatest 'must have' innovation of 2010 and that even though most potential consumers for this product probably already have a smartphone, Ipod, Laptop etc then they also NEED to have an Ipad..
    I on the other hand am suggesting that maybe we Don't need ''another'' device. Another device costing a reasonably expensive sum, not only from a £ perspective but also from a consumerism gone mad view, not to mention the fact that the resources used to make the bloody thing.

    I am trying to suggest that as opposed to being blinded by the latest technology maybe we (humans) need to think a little bit more about what we 'really' need and not what we can have whenever we want.!!

    Your observations on the differences between an ipad and my new MacBook Air are valid BUT not relevant to me and they are features which I can live happily without currently. When I buy something of a reasonable value then I will weigh up both the features you mentioned and the Benefits to me before making any sort of decision and I can say quite happily that the Benefits the ipad would bring to ME are not worth the outlay..

    Regards

    Ganretti

  • Comment number 94.

    @87 Timmy Norfolk

    Excellent attention to detail Tim.

    Also I didn't understand the 'he'eple comment earlier. I thought Sheeple was correct..? Unless John was trying to 'Ram' his message home ??!

    Enjoy your toast
    Ganretti

  • Comment number 95.

    "TimmyNorfolk wrote:"

    "As i said Allen, i didn't mean to poke at you (maybe i didn't say that, but it was not my intention) -"

    You were clearly trying to expose hypocrisy on my part. At least be honest about it. I'm not offended.

    "i would say both comments were as lightheated as each other."

    And you would be wrong since my remark only asked a single question in one simple and short sentence. My remark didn't include a raised voice nor did it nefariously attack the other person's motivation for posting.

    "What are your view/expectations of 2011? what are you looking forward to?"

    Anything that makes my life easier. Hopefully more tolerant and respectful people in the world. :)

  • Comment number 96.

    Ganretti wrote:

    "Firstly, your pursuit of Justifying the ipad intrigues me. I, like others whom have commented here actually do use, like and appreciate Apple products but I get the impression Allen T2 that you misunderstand me completely."

    What do my remarks "justifying the iPad" have to do with Apple's other products?

    "Our positions are diametrically opposed in the fact that you see the ipad as the latest and greatest 'must have' innovation of 2010 and that even though most potential consumers for this product probably already have a smartphone, Ipod, Laptop etc then they also NEED to have an Ipad.."

    Negative. No one can logically reason that I feel that way based on my remarks.

    And why do you quote "'must have'" in regards to my view on the iPad and capitalize the word "NEED?" I never said that, those are not my words and I never even suggested anything like that.

    "I on the other hand am suggesting that maybe we Don't need ''another'' device."

    Do you see what you just wrote? You say "I" but then you go one to try and speak for the needs of others by saying "we" in the same sentence.

    "Another device costing a reasonably expensive sum, not only from a £ perspective but also from a consumerism gone mad view, not to mention the fact that the resources used to make the bloody thing."

    If a person chooses to use an iPad over a laptop then where is the big difference in price?

    How does a device with so many less parts consume more "resources" than a laptop?

    "I am trying to suggest that as opposed to being blinded by the latest technology maybe we (humans) need to think a little bit more about what we 'really' need and not what we can have whenever we want.!!"

    There you go again trying to define the needs and desires of other people. So if someone says you don't need your Mac Air then how do you respond?

    "Your observations on the differences between an ipad and my new MacBook Air are valid BUT not relevant to me and they are features which I can live happily without currently."

    They are not relevant **to you** but they most certainly are to other people. See?

    "When I buy something of a reasonable value then I will weigh up both the features you mentioned and the Benefits to me before making any sort of decision and I can say quite happily that the Benefits the ipad would bring to ME are not worth the outlay.."

    Considering that you are now placing such an emphasis on your own unique needs then maybe there is hope you can finally understand and appreciate that other people also have their own unique needs. :)


  • Comment number 97.

    Ganretti wrote:

    "@87 Timmy Norfolk Excellent attention to detail Tim."

    If you were truly concerned about attention to detail as it relates to his post then you would know and appreciate the difference between the two remarks he referred to.

  • Comment number 98.

    Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year, yes including you Allen T2...

    Just watched the celebrations on the Sydney Harbour bridge with the river of fire running off it...... very cool...

    Let's see how London performs later....

    Ganretti

  • Comment number 99.

    Ganretti wrote:

    "Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year, yes including you Allen T2..."

    Why not just say Happy New Year to everyone? The part specific to me is insulting, as if somehow you are doing me a favor by including me. Gee, thanks.

    Happy New Year, everyone.

  • Comment number 100.

    @ 72 Ganretti

    Yes, perhaps if I hadn't peppered my presentation with so many "innit, bruv"s I might have got the job.

    Actually, the role, as in so many cases in large companies, was eventually filled via internal promotion rather than another addition to the payroll.

    So you work in the medical profession? That would explain your remarkable gift for grafting your own preconceptions onto other people's lives...

 

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