Apple’s iPad, especially iWork for iPad, reveals the future of personal computing

“During [last week’s] iPad event, which largely played out just as the rumors foretold, Apple did do something unexpected: They unveiled a version of the word processing, spreadsheet and presentation suite iWork redesigned for the iPad’s 9.7-inch touchscreen. It’s easy to write off iWork’s inclusion as a minor perk only for business types only, but don’t. The suite’s fully-redesigned touch interfaces actually reveal more about Apple’s vision of the future of computing than any other element of their new tablet,” John Mahoney reports for Popular Science.

“I used each iWork app [during Apple’s hands-on session for the media after Steve Jobs’ presentation], and while I couldn’t spend enough time with them to come to a definitive conclusion, they definitely surprised me… each appeared more than capable of offering a similar, if not much improved experience, over their desktop counterparts,” Mahoney reports. “And for that, all credit is due to multitouch.”

“The apps, especially Keynote and Pages, function almost as light versions of far more advanced software like Adobe’s InDesign,” Mahoney reports. “PopSci’s art director probably won’t be ditching InDesign for an iPad any time soon, but having a large tablet of the future flat on a desktop could merge the benefits of working digitally with an interface that feels more like working with a pencil and paper.”

“This is significant. It’s the underlying concept behind all touchscreen interfaces–removing the mouse and pointer’s layer of abstraction to get us back to working with our hands. Most previous attempts at a more natural and expansive touch interface have been hampered by too small a screen or inelegant design,” Mahoney reports. “The iPad has neither.”

Mahoney reports, “And in choosing productivity apps as the first test case for these new interfaces, Apple is providing a familiar stepping stone into the world of interacting with nothing-but-touch in software we’ve been using for decades.”

Full article here.

29 Comments

  1. People like R2 will never get it till they can play Pandora in the background while working in iWork. I think Jobs should mandate that Pandora will never, ever play in the background forever on any Apple products just to piss off users like R2. lol

  2. What Apple is doing with iWorks is exactly what they did with the original Mac. It was so new they had to provide the first usable software. First to make it usable. Second to show other developers how to do it. MacWrite and MacPaint set the bar quite high for developers new to the platform. The same is true with iWorks.

  3. If one earns money with ones skills, does that not make one a professional? Just because iWork is intended for a particular user doesn’t mean it can’t be used in a professional environment.

  4. If the IPad is the future of computing, I am not sure I like it. Don’t get me wrong, I think the IPad is awesome, but it’s not a replacement for my Mac in any way shape or form. Unless they put OSX on it, allow virtualization,and let me put whatever software I want on it, it’s not a laptop but a netbook or an appliance or whatever you want to call it.

    That said, I can’t wait to write some snazzy programs for it from my mac.

  5. This is more than the future of computing. This is the new face of direct competion to the media corporations.

    The print news will now be force to compete with a greater influx of self made news websites with iWorks creating the eyecandy.

    I believe this device will have a marked change on the web. Cheap, fast, and highly mobile. The mark made will be far more than laptops and more engaging than netbooks to create content. If a web cam is added on the shipping unit, it will have huge social and business communication benefits.

    The main benefit is the hours of battery life. It makes so much possible that now requires a more central location due to recharging.

    Say bye, bye to the current status quo!

  6. Ever since I got my iPhone my laptop usage went to ZERO! I love the idea of the iPad and think I may even dump the iPhone for one. With all the hands free laws and the fact that I am in a wifi zone 90% of the time I don’t think I need it anymore. Cheap pay as you go phone and a juiced iPad is what I am considering.

  7. @Mac User this is not the immediate future for heavy desktop work but a glimpse of the way it will eventually be. At that time all the problems you state will be solved and a superior way of working will have become familiar and superior.

    NCG598 certainly is one who does get the potential. A little lateral thinking works wonders.

    The iPad is sensibly aimed at present to the easy things it can do well but as others have stated iWorks and iLife soon will show how things will develop. Adobe and Microsoft will be very scared that with this new if young platform their era of software domination will crumble even if they try to jump on the bandwagon. Fact is a new young innovative company will probably find it easier to make a great multi touch program for this device than the old cart horses can.

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