Virginia’s new iPad


This was shared to me by a new friend and colleague from Reed College that I had the distinct pleasure of meeting and working with over two days at Apple a month or so ago. At the time he introduced himself as the person in the room who was going to be the contrarian in a room full of fanboys as it relates to the iPad. I’m not sure if he is convinced, but this video says a lot about the place this new machine can occupy.

8 thoughts on “Virginia’s new iPad

  1. Two points this video reinforce:
    1) the iPad facilitates collaboration insofar as it allows for a shared media experience. You can watch video together, look at pictures and easily point to things on the iPad itself. It is easier to show people how to use than is the iPhone because the one learning can retain control of the device.
    2) The device is easy to use. This aspect is certainly underestimated by the tech savvy, but it does suggest how the closed nature of the platform opens the device to more people.

  2. I have to point out that similar anecdotal claims have been made about a variety of technologies, such as WebTV (a decade ago), or, more recently, Windows Vista (admittedly, that seems a hard pill to swallow). Likewise, similar “shared media experience” claims have been made for years about set-top boxes.
    Chris, I’m curious about your claim about the closed-nature of the iPad. By “closed,” do you mean that the iPad is limited in capabilities? That seems difficult to believe, since iPd proponents frequently boast that the iPad does much more than single-task devices such as the Nook or Kindle. Or does “closed” refer to Apple’s App Store policies? If so, I’m still confused. What is the argument that forcing developers to write in Objective-C leads to apps that are easier for seniors to use? How does banning third-party analytics or partially banning allegedly “offensive” material help seniors?

  3. My wife’s grandmother had to find large type versions of every book she wanted to read. It just occurs to me now that if she had an ereader that may not have been a problem.
    Derek, apple’s control and limiting of the device has indeed led to a device with enhanced capabilities in other areas, usability being chief among them. A non cocoa touch application will probably not follow the same ui conventions is one reason. Without a doubt there are trade offs you make with a device like the iPad. For many, these trade offs are beneficial in the short term. We will see what the long term holds.

  4. I think one difference here is that Virginia’s Grandmother was able to interact and create in a seconds — at 100 years old. No thoughts on where things are stored and how to get back to them … open an app and type. I know when I look at my parent’s laptops the desktops are littered with files that they don’t know what to do with. I’m not saying that is better, I am saying it is an interesting shift that we should pay attention to.

  5. Brad, even some of us non-seniors use larger type! Often, after a long day of staring at text, I’ll crank up the font size on my ebooks.
    I’m not sure about your UI concerns, though. Apple has a history of not following their own UI guidelines. Mac OS X’s Finder is a notorious example. I’m certain one could achieve UI consistency without limiting allegedly offensive content, allegedly overly political content, “limited use” apps, or third-party analytics.
    Cole’s comment about document management is interesting. But, again, this is neither unique to the iPad or novel. Palm OS has done this for years, and the Newton did it a decade ago. Android does it now.
    I’m skeptical about reading (pardon the pun) too much into this (edited) clip. There’s just not enough information here to draw meaningful conclusions. I would like to see more studies done on the usefulness of technologies for seniors, but such studies shouldn’t be limited to any one vendor’s product.

  6. Awesome!
    God bless her!! I’ve considered buying an iPad for my grandmother and seeing this confirms that she will get one.
    Thanks for sharing!
    G’Ma’s boy!

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