“Most of the iPad reactions I’ve read have been negative, but I have been completely satisfied with what Apple announced. iPad is exactly the product I’ve been wishing for ever since I wrapped my mind around the iPhone and its constraints. While the rumor mill was churning with all kinds of crazy possibilities for the Apple tablet, I mostly rolled my eyes, because I felt strongly that all Apple needed to do to revolutionize computing was simply to make an iPhone with a large screen. Anyone who feels underwhelmed by that doesn’t understand how much of the iPhone OS’s potential is still untapped,” Joe Hewitt blogs.
“I spent a year and a half attempting to reduce a massive, complex social networking website into a handheld, touch-screen form factor. My goal was initially just to make a mobile companion for the facebook.com mothership, but once I got comfortable with the platform I became convinced it was possible to create a version of Facebook that was actually better than the website! Of all the platforms I’ve developed on in my career, from the desktop to the web, iPhone OS gave me the greatest sense of empowerment, and had the highest ceiling for raising the art of UI design,” Hewitt writes. “Except there was one thing keeping me from reaching that ceiling: the screen was too small.”
“At some point I came to the conclusion that Facebook on iPhone OS could not truly exceed the website until I could adapt it to a screen size closer to a laptop,” Hewitt explains. “It needed to support more than one column of information at a time. I couldn’t fit enough tools on the screen to support any kind of advanced creative work. Photos were too small to show off to my far-sighted parents. The web required too much panning and zooming to enjoy reading. Beyond just Facebook, most of the apps I used most on my iPhone also suffered from these limitations, like Google Reader, Instapaper, and all image, video, and text editing tools. The bottom line is, many apps which were cute toys on iPhone can become full-featured power tools on the iPad, making you forget about their desktop/laptop predecessors. We just have to invent them.”
MacDailyNews Note: In November 2009, Hewitt decided to stop developing for the iPhone platform over issues he had with Apple’s App Store policies.
Hewitt continues, “iPad is an incredible opportunity for developers to re-imagine every single category of desktop and web software there is. Seriously, if you’re a developer and you’re not thinking about how your app could work better on the iPad and its descendants, you deserve to get left behind… iPad offers new metaphors that will let users engage with their computers with dramatically less friction. That gives me, as a developer, a sense of power and potency and creativity like no other. It makes the software market feel wide open again, like no one’s hegemony is safe. How anyone can feel underwhelmed by that is beyond me.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Welcome back, Joe!
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Frank P” for the heads up.]