I’m really excited to watch Boxee on an iPad, but as someone who’s invested time and money in a killer home theater setup, I’d love if Boxee would use the iPad to solve the fact that remotes suck as a means for interacting with content. The iPad is an awesome content consumption device, yes, but it also has the potential to be the greatest companion remote ever.
What I’d like to see is pretty simple: a Boxee remote app for the iPad that presents the Boxee menu structure in parallel with the video playing through Boxee on my Mac Mini. A persistent, inch-tall band would contain controls for the currently playing video (play, pause, etc.), but the bulk of the screen would be taken up with the classic boxee interface, allowing me to browse content without interrupting the main screen (comparable to how I can now concurrently browse and listen to music in iTunes). For bonus points, the iPad’s onscreen keyboard makes text search easy.
I’m all for pushing the limits of the iPad, but let’s not forget that this device can expand the possibilities for tools that don’t warrant the iPad’s cost on their own. Few people want to pay $500 for a touchscreen remote, but I’m sure many people would love to have the $500 remote experience for free on a device they already own.
The iPad makes using a computer less of a commitment.
To me, this is its most important characteristic by far.
The iPad is so much more enjoyable than my MacBook. The only reason I’m not using it right now is because every site I want to look at is in Flash
Here are some random thoughts/questions I’ve been kicking around lately. They’re mostly half-baked. Thoughts welcome.
*HT to Mark M. for the line
The Elements on iPad is not a game, not an app, not a TV show. It’s a book. But it’s Harry Potter’s book. This is the version you check out from the Hogwarts library. Everything in it is alive in some way.
Sheet music - http://www.forscoreapp.com/
Board games - http://www.gametableapp.com/
So far, my favorite ideas for this device use it as a surface (rather than as a handheld). It’s an affordable, portable version of MS Surface. It’s not a laptop. Truly innovative ideas will develop uses specifically tailored to the unique nature of the product.
I’m not ordering a first-gen iPad, but that’s not really a relevant data point (my dad and my fiancee have both already placed their orders, so it’s not like I won’t be using it). That said, I’ve been noodling on what the possible use cases are for the device:
So really we’ve got three use cases and a purchasing motivation. Focusing on the use cases, two themes emerge:
As to point 1, I imagine the need to let the iPad “live” in a common area (rather than in a charging dock next to a wall) is why SJ was so adamant about the 10 hour battery life and the ability to hold a charge. People are fundamentally lazy—if the iPad isn’t sitting in front of them at all times, they’re not going to use it enough to develop a bond.
Regarding point 2, I don’t see anyone buying the iPad as their main (or only) networked digital device. That’s not to say the thing won’t be a roaring success—at the moment, the pre-order figures are outstanding—that’s just to say that the device, even if it lives up to the hype, probably won’t change the world so much as it will change the computing usage of many affluent people.
And all that is fine. The iPad doesn’t have to change the world to be successful. So long as the software reflects its hardware, I’ll be satisfied. You rarely see Apple try to cram a usage into the wrong hardware. The iPad is neither a mouse-and-keyboard-driven laptop nor a pocketable phone/connectivity device, and I expect the OS to reflect that.
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