About the only 2 things I do using my iPad are – reading pdfs and RSS. Tried using it as a replacement for my laptop but I was quite slow with the whole touch screen typing thing. So I essentially viewed my iPad as a good screen and a read only device.
I had really good default applications for reading pdfs from Apple but RSS was a different ball game. I installed close to 10 RSS readers but not one of them impressed me. Come to think of it, not one in the whole wide electronics industry actually impressed me – till I installed and used Pulse News.
Alphonso Labs did a pretty good job at the Pulse News. It limits the number of items from a single feed but allows multiple feed sources. The biggest trick that they use is using images and reducing the text on the screen. Pretty neat. That’s the exact principle that road signs use. Icons/images instead of text since reading text is slower than recognising shapes, atleast for limited grammar and languages.
It is also the reason why I prefer the analog speed dials to digital speed indicators. I don’t actually care if I am 61 Kmph or 68Kmph. Frankly I don’t have that kind of time to read the indicator while I am driving on the roads.
Pulse News is definitely a game changer, atleast for me, because it made sure that I got all of my news (14 sources to be precise) in just about 2 screens. Now if I can only get them to port the reader to a PC, I’ll have a lovely time on the PC too and can forget my iPad.
I know that porting a touch screen app to a mouse driven interface will face a bunch of challenges on its own:
– Vertical vs horizontal orientations. iPad is generally read with the iPad facing the sky and the head looking down. A PC will have the screen mounted vertically
– Touch vs mouse. This one is obvious. Ofcourse we have one more event – mouse hover. That can be used to possible give more info on the screen (this could mean the new text might come over other content. So might have to render this on the bottom part of the screen)
– Weight difference, Well this is the main reason I use the iPad. This could mean that one needs to target the netbook market
– Too many resolutions on the PCs. This is always a nightmare. How much content do we render? Frankly this will not be a huge issue if we consider content in a “vectorised format”
Now that my “analysis” is complete, step 2 meh, step 3 profit