Murdoch: iPad May Save Newspapers

Illustration for article titled Murdoch: iPad May Save Newspapers

Rupert Murdoch is in love with the iPad. It's not hardware. It's not the software. It IS THE FUTURE!. The future of newspapers, he says. Well, Rupert, here's some news for you: The WSJ iPad app sucks kangaroo balls.

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Other pearls by Rupert:

I'm old, I like the tactile experience of the newspaper, (but) if you have less newspapers and more of these, that's OK. It doesn't destroy the traditional newspaper, it just comes in a different form.

No, you are wrong. The medium defines the presentation of the content, which is the reason why your publication in the iPad sucks so much. Because the WSJ has tried to apply print concepts into a touch platform, using the wrong formats and adding no advantages. But don't worry: The New York Times nad most publications out there are really bad too. Not as bad, but really bad.

The iPad does have the potential to save newspapers, but not the way you are doing it. [The Australian]

DISCUSSION

oyumurtaci
oyumurtaci

This is starting to piss me off.

/rant

All this talk about the iPad has the potential to do this and the iPad can be used in so many ways that and when there's an app for this and when there's an accessory for that...

Tablets had 'potential' years ago. Some of it came to fruition (fields such as medical, educational, vertical environments), some of it didn't (natural input, unhindered mobility). Part of the problem was the hardware. We now have the technology to make the hardware fit our needs. Part of the problem was the software. The implementation of software, interfaces and methods of interaction were simply shoehorned attempts from a completely different (and therefore inappropriate) mindset. We now have the creative thinking and open-minded approach to support tablets and their hardware.

So where is it all? The hardware evolved - better screens, batteries and internal components have made the underpowered, short-living bricks of frustration-packaged dreams of yesteryear blossom into svelte, powerful and capable machines with the longevity to keep up.

So where are they? Fujitsu has been a leader in the slate market, and their latest offerings are still the fragile balance of components that make too many compromises. Is the iPad any different? It has the longevity of a truly mobile device, but pays for it in performance (OK so it's no wimp, but no multitasking? No Flash support? Weren't tablets supposed to get better at doing the things other computers were already good at? Yes, the device has a different mindset, but reminds me of an Ottoman march: two steps forward, one step back). It has the svelte build of an ultraportable, but lacks the capacity to interface with other things of portable nature (USB storage? hello?). In all honesty, my biggest hope for the past few years of Apple Tablet Rumor Wishlists has been what I would have considered a quantum leap in hardware: a multitouch touchscreen that senses proximity. You know, things like hovering. Kinda like the way you do when you're deciding on which color pen to write with, which topping you want on your pizza, which button you're thinking of clicking...

So it's up to the software. The biggest hurdle thus far has been interfacing with natural input devices. My aforementioned proposal for proximity-aware touchscreens would have brought great new possibilities on this front as well. Instead, we have yet again a desktop OS shoehorned into something that defies the 'top of a desk' metaphor (Windows 7, with bigger buttons and multitouch, sometimes), or a 'bigger is better' implementation of a miniscule OS designed for pocketable devices, in accordance with their hardware and capabilities (iPhone OS, the name says it all). So there will be apps, and dongles, and cradles and developers will fall head-over-heels with the SDK to bring us more 'apps' and what was that? Oh yes, we used to call them programs. When they were programs, they cost a bit more money, but they either did what we wanted or they vanished into oblivion. Half-assery was not tolerated. So why is it that when we call them 'apps' it's OK? Does the WSJ, the NYT et. al. lack the funding to 'be all they can be'? In software, if V1 is crap, people don't wait for V2, they go to a competitor. Yes, the app store has a gajillion competitors, and they're all cheap. But they compete in an environment that is an enemy to competition. Rules, limitations, replications... That's not how we got as far as we have, and can't be how we take things to the next level. Sure there's an app for this, yes there's an app for that, but no, you can't do this AND that. It's this OR that. If we let you have your cake AND eat it, you'll have to eat very slowly, and we decided against it because it detracts from the cake-eating experience. There is no experience in a cake if you can only 'have' it, and can not 'eat' it.

We need a tablet war like we need free ice cream. You may not get everything at once, and you may not get it right the first time, but you absolutely can't lose with free ice cream. And when it comes to tablets, the more the merrier. I say bring it. Don't be intimidated by some fruity company with a cult of endoctrined followers. Stop sitting on your wares, trying to play catch-up behind closed doors. You can't catch up if you never enter the race. So what if the tablet wars V2 is a rerun of the tablet emergence V1 from a decade ago. The sky's the limit, and so far we've only climbed the first few steps, nobody's high enough to get hurt if they fall.

/rant

Glad I got that off my chest.