Jan
03
2014
0

Adobe Employee Stops Using Pen And Paper!

Wow, have you ever heard the Apple Fanorati drone on about device fragmentation with Android tablets?

Meanwhile, because Steve Jobs strictly forbid stylus use at Apple every company with a drawing or writing related app is making some sort of pen hardware for the iPad.

The catch is, the whiz bang Bluetooth stylus only works with the one app. Doh!

Did someone say fragmentation? Imagine the pencil case of 50gram fat Bluetooth pens that you’ll need to carry around with you.

Interestingly Adobe has developed an interesting pen set call Project Mighty. Michael Gough, VP of Product Experience tells us in the announcement video that because of this new pen he’s been able to do away with pen and paper for creativity!

Welcome to 2001 Michael Gough!

Here’s a photo of my children doing away with pen and paper in 2009.

Child using a rugged Motion Computing F5v tablet PC in 2009

By the constant flurry of activity around the next new crap iPad stylus I’d say that it is becoming apparent to the world only now, four years later that pen input is sorely missing.

We’re all finally bored of playing Angry Birds on tablets and we want to do something useful at least some of the time.

Adobe’s new pen is an intriguing tool for the very small percentage of the 200 million iPad owners who live in Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

For the rest of us suckers, it is clear that it was Apple and Steve Jobs that blew it. iPad cannot replace pen and paper due to the lack of intelligent pen input.

The people that keep on persisting with trying to make the iPad work like pen and paper remind me of a dog humping a plastic toy. Nothing good will come of it.

I guess I’ll just keep taking notes the same way I did in 2002 – with a tablet that has a built in Wacom Digitizer Pen and Microsoft OneNote.

Written by Admin @ Brettg.com in: Tablet PC | Tags: , , , , , , ,
Nov
28
2013
0

Microsoft Surface Team at MVP Summit

PB210253I was incredibly privileged to meet the Microsoft Surface team last week in Redmond at the annual MVP Summit. A person that really stood out was Panos Panay – the head of Microsoft Surface. He featured in the video below that I recently posted (design story).

Panos Panay is certainly an interesting character. He was a captivating and formidable presenter.

The inside word at MS is that his alternate career path was as a professional gambler. And maybe that’s not far apart from being the head of Microsoft Surface.

Personally I couldn’t stop comparing Panos to Ben Stiller’s magician in Arrested Development – “Tony Wonder.”

See what you think:

Maybe you had to be there… And watch the show… Crickets…

What I was impressed with is how engaged the folks at Surface were. We met with Panos Panay and Brian Hall. Both made themselves readily available for direct questions and discussions, despite their seniority and importance at Microsoft. There is little doubt to me that these guys are the future of Microsoft, but there they were, talking and engaging with 150 MVPs – 10 Surface MVPs and 1 Tablet and Touch MVP – me).

In the group session I asked Panos for his thoughts on the Wacom Pen in Surface Pro. “Is it just an after-thought? Or is it an integral part of the experience?”

His response was interesting.”What is the use case for 200 million people?” It is a good question. I suggested that the team take note of how many people carry pen and paper to meetings along with their tablets (iPad of course is the worst offender).

I did get a sense that Panos and the team are all on board with the pen. They are looking for ways to get the message across to a lot of people, and that is re-assuring.

We met with Ed Guiano, the head of Surface Engineering who oozed enthusiasm for his product. And it is a product worthy of such enthusiasm. Ed was incredibly forthright and knowledgeable. He certainly came across as someone that you would want leading your product engineering team.

The marketing team for Surface were accessible, open, dedicated and charged up.

On the other hand folks from the Windows tablet team were not present. There were plenty of great sessions on Consumer Apps, Windows 8.1 features and experiences, but nothing specifically on tablets (apart from Surface). Maybe that’s because only one Tablet and Touch MVP attended – me. There aren’t many of us left anyway in the Tablet and Touch specialty. But I hope that doesn’t mean that Microsoft are putting all of their efforts into Surface.

Surface is currently two amazing and worthy tablets. But they a not suited to everyone and never will be.

The strength of the Windows tablet sphere has always been variety of hardware. Let’s hope the OEMs like Dell, Lenovo, Sony, Fujitsu, Panasonic and Motion have their effort reflected by Microsoft with enthusiasm for their products like we saw from the Surface team last week.

Written by Admin @ Brettg.com in: Tablet PC | Tags: , , , , ,
Jan
14
2013
0

Designing the Windows 8 tablet touch keyboard

I am intrigued and impressed by Microsoft’s effort to design a better touch keyboard for Windows 8 tablets.

You can read quite a bit of detail about it here:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/07/17/designing-the-windows-8-touch-keyboard.aspx

3 images of 3 common ways to hold a tablet and type

Looking at the assumptions in the article though, I have to wonder, what ever happened to people’s ability to learn?

It seems to me that many decisions in product design – particularly in the tech world and never more so than with Tablets – are based on the fact that people will instantly dismiss a device if it doesn’t work perfectly as expected in the first 2 seconds.

What this has caused is a dumbing down of any device that might fall into the hands of a consumer (read: idiot) to the point where its utility is compromised. Sometimes significantly.

You’ll see in the article that clever ideas like the counter shift key option on the early Windows 8 tablet keyboard design was binned based on what looks to be short term user expectations and experiences.

Ultimately the incredible simplification of the Windows 8 tablet keyboard will at least give Microsoft a chance to compete with the ultimate dumbed down device (iPad), but it leaves the people who are willing to learn something new (like Swipe on Android) without the possible benefit.

Bring back complexity. The world is complex and complex gets things done!

Written by Admin @ Brettg.com in: Windows 8 tablets | Tags: , , , , ,

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