the evolutionary iPad

I didn’t see the iPad Keynote live yesterday, but I watched it last night via Apple’s site.
I’ve also been digesting all the feedback I’ve been reading across my favorite blogs and news sites:
frog design used the iPad launch to toot it’s own horn about the prototype tablet they designed in partnership with Apple back in 1983 (to their credit, it was ahead of it’s time).
Over at, Khoi Vin doesn’t think it’s going to save publishing. I don’t think it’s go save publishing either, because it wasn’t invented for that purpose. Your product or service needs to be innovative in order to be profitable on an innovation device like the iPad.
I’m with Gruber on the name – it should have been called “Canvas“, not “IPad”.
Like me, DesignAday correctly notes that the iPad is evolutionary, not revolutionary. People expected revolutionary yesterday. We got evolutionary. This is a good thing.
Om Malik seems to dig it and raises an interesting thought:

So in many ways, today is a brand new day for content creators and owners alike. For if we’re smart, all of us — from large media giants such as Fox to upstarts like my little company — will figure out how to build a new magazine/news experience that leverages the iPad’s powerful processor, great graphics, stunning display and most importantly, Internet connection. In fact I’ll go out on a limb and say that today may be the day we start to rethink how we build web sites.

Gizmodo says no thanks due to no multitasking. I’m going to say it – I think multitasking within the mobile computing world is hugely overrated. There I said it. I’ll expound more on this point in a separate post.
Adobe announces the ability to develop iPad applications with Flash. We already knew iPhone app development was coming with Flash CS5, so this is obvious.
…more links to come.

the iPhone and Flash (or lack thereof)

Why is John Gruber anti-Flash?

Why? At the core, because Flash is the only de facto web standard based on a proprietary technology. There are numerous proprietary web content plugins — including Apple’s QuickTime — but Flash is the only one that’s so ubiquitous that it’s a de facto standard. Flash is the way video is delivered over the web, and Adobe completely controls Flash. No other aspect of the web works like this. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are all open standards, with numerous implementations, including several that are open source.


Apple, with the iPhone, is solving the chicken and egg problem. For the first time ever, there is a large and growing audience of demographically desirable users who don’t have Flash installed. If you want to show video to iPhone users, you need to use H.264. …Apple isn’t trying to replace Flash with its own proprietary thing. They’re replacing it with H.264 and HTML5. This is good for everyone but Adobe.

Nissan GT-R display

Apparently I’m 3 years late on this, but I was watching an old episode of Top Gear on my DVR the other night and I found out that the touchscreen display for the Nissan GT-R was designed by Polyphony Digital, otherwise known as the folks who do a lot of the design for the Gran Turismo video game franchise.

Here’s some shots of the display graphics (video here):




We’ve talked for years about the influence of video games across various industries. Well, that influence is here and it’s here and it’s not going away.

From army training ‘tools’ to automobile display graphics, video games and real life are working on common ground.

GTA – iPhone

Rockstar Games just released Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the iPhone and I started playing it last night. It’s fun, but I don’t see myself becoming addicted to it the way I did with GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas.
A big issue I have is with the driving controls. To steer you have a left and a right button:
Why not have one continuous button with gradation from left to right?
I’ve comped up a revised version I think would work better:

mobile phone makers, they’re hungry

Back in 2007, I imagined what it must feel like to build an amazing piece of electronics only to have it loaded with a shitty piece of Windows software to run it.
With a lack of options and expertise in software development, PC vendors have to use Windows.
Now lets switch focus to mobile phones. It’s 2010, and Microsoft is nowhere to be seen. Sure, there’s word that they’ll be releasing Windows Mobile 7 by Q4 of 2010, but their current offering (WinMo 6.5) is an embarrassment.
Luckily phone makers have an alternative – Google Android.
Now I’m not surprised that phone makers have adopted Android. What I’m surprised at is the degree they’ve embraced it. I love Om Malik’s term for it – the Androidification of Everything.
LG plans to use Android on more than half its smartphones. Motorola Plans 20-30 Android Phones for 2010. And it’s no secret how HTC feels about Android.
If Microsoft has proven anything, it’s that they eventually get up to speed with the rest of the market. After 8 years of XP and the duds since (notably Vista), they’ve launched a solid Windows 7 and the Zune HD is a big improvement over it’s brown ancestor. It’s very likely that Windows Mobile 7 will be ready to compete with the big boys by Q4 of this year.
But this time around phone makers will have a choice.

Michael Croghan

I visited my family this weekend and my parents and I got on to the topic of family history and artifacts. Then my father broke out the Envelope.
The envelope contains documents, certificates and other printed matter from his family. I’ve seen it before, but we decided to look at the contents again (with my prodding).
I explained to my father that these papers are important for reasons other than his designer son loves retro graphics and typography. It would be great to get these things framed and protected so we share them and have them last. To my father’s credit, aside from the old envelope they were kept in, he’s done a great of keeping everything safe, dry and away from sunlight.
Below is one of the more interesting documents that belonged to my great, great Uncle Michael, whom my father (Michael Mulvey) was named after.
It’s a Declaration of Intention, in which my great, great uncle renounces his allegiance to the King of Great Britain after leaving Ireland for the United States of America (click on the first image to see a bigger version):
Particular details I love:
– His color is white, but his complexion is dark
– He renounces his allegiance to any foreign leader particularly George V, King of Great Britain and Ireland (remember, Ireland used to be controlled by England)
– He is not an anarchist or a polygamist

multi-touch fixes everything

from Electronista:

Microsoft plans to release at least one more Windows Mobile 6 version to tide users over until a more meaningful upgrade, a leak says today. The company is purportedly so disappointed with Windows Mobile 6.5 sales since launch that the company is rolling out a 6.6 update in February. It would primarily add native support for capacitive touchscreens, which would give it much more finger-friendly input than the resistive-only 6.5.

Just slap some capacitive touch capabilities on your mobile operating system. That should fix all your problems. Don’t worry about whether you’ve taken the time to integrate multi-touch into the applications and core OS.
Details aren’t important.


playMUJI – I was just introduced to this brand by my coworker Jenna. Very UNIQLO-ish in the presentation of their products.
From their message section:

MUJI is not a brand. MUJI does not make products of individuality or fashion, nor does MUJI reflect the popularity of its name in its prices. MUJI creates products with a view toward global consumption of the future. This means that we do not create products that lure customers into believing that “this is best” or “I must have this.” We would like our customers to feel the rational sense of satisfaction that comes not with “this is best,” but with “this is enough.” “Best” becomes “enough.”

A rational sense of satisfaction. I love that.