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  1.    #1  
    Magic Fiddle for iPad calls to your inner fiddler.


    Some of the most interesting, quirky, and creative apps are developed for, and done with iOS devices. I could find examples like the above link all day long and never scratch the surface. The question is why do creative types gravitate to iOS. Why are other platforms like wOS an afterthought, rather than the point of origin?

    First, let's get the obvious out of the way. Marketshare and mindshare are huge for iOS. If money was the only thing that drove creativity, that would be enough to explain it, but it's not. Creatives have been flocking to Apple long before they were a superpower. As strange as it may seem to a non-creative, money is secondary. Creatives create because that is who they are.

    Apple provides a big stage on which they can perform, but they were choosing Apple products well before the stage was set. I contend that Apple products, iOS devices in particular, are particularly appealing to people with new and interesting ideas in ways that other products aren't.

    To understand this better, consider the market for other manufacturers. Android attracts a very different kind of user. It is much more appealing to the tinkerer, not the artist. The types of apps that are made specifically for Android can make for interesting tech demos. Tech for tech sake is often interesting, but seldom practical. It is the car that sits on blocks in the yard getting worked on every weekend, but seldom used for anything practical.

    RIM and MS have gone after the cube rat. These are devices intended to be assigned by supervisors at large companies to worker bees who are supposed to get business done. When is the last time you heard about something creative or interesting inspired by WinMo or BB? Inspiration is not the core competency of those companies.

    Palm was once the place to go for interesting, mobile products. That Palm died a long time ago. Today, wOS is an afterthought. In fact, they consider themselves lucky if more developers considered them an afterthought. What changed? How did iOS take over as creative central?

    I believe that iDevices are particularly suited for creativity for a few reasons:

    1. Formfactor: Not having a physical keyboard is a huge advantage. A physical keyboard, by its very nature, is a limiting factor. Those keys never change. Their orientation is locked to one position. They are not extensible. A software keyboard can be used when needed, and discarded when not. The keyboard can become anything it needs to be for any occasion. It can be as flexible as the users.

    2. Simplicity: The iDevice has only one front-facing button. It is dead simple to learn. The OS may not be the most versatile; but it is the simplest to pick up and get going by non-technical people. The less time and energy you have to spend on learning and operating a device, the more time and energy you have to do interesting things with it. Creatives don't want to learn Photoshop; they want to take great photos. iDevices allow them to do what they do best without being slaves to the machine.

    3. Aesthetics: Apple knows how to make a device that people instinctively want to touch and hold and use. As with many things in life, we tend to gravitate to the pretty ones. It catches the eye and fires the imagination before you even turn it on.

    These are just a few thoughts on why Apple is so good at drawing creatives to their platforms, and others are not. This is relevant to Palm supporters because I believe that everyone is chasing the wrong thing. People around here are obsessed with getting app developers to port their work to wOS. That will never work. You can't port creativity.

    What Palm needs to do is create something that makes people drool when they see it, want to reach out and touch it, and think of a hundred crazy things they can do with it before they every use it. Palm has to listen to the engineers less, and the artists more.

    If their planning sessions start out with processors speeds and front-side buss, they blew it. They have to start thinking about how the product makes people feel, and consider the amazing things people might want to do with it. Only then, should they consider the specs that will make it happen.

    Then again, I may be crazy. I have had these thoughts rambling around in my head for a while. The Magic Fiddle just inspired me to try and put some of it into words. Hopefully it provides some food for thought.
  2. #2  
    Spot on. Apple's history of fostering creativity is starting to pay dividends as we move to post-PC devices.

    From the low-end of recreational music creation -- Smule's Ocarina, Leaf Trombone, and now Magic Fiddle -- to professional quality synth tools (KORG iMS-20 actually recreates the entire MS-20 synth studio on the iPad), there is no better platform than iOS for musicians.

    Not bad for a device that is supposedly for consumption, not creation.
  3. #3  
    I think it applies to iPhone and iOS because it was the first - and still aesthetically best - mobile OS optimized for touch, accelerometer, etc. Apple and OSX in general? Not so much.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by nappy View Post
    Spot on. Apple's history of fostering creativity is starting to pay dividends as we move to post-PC devices.

    From the low-end of recreational music creation -- Smule's Ocarina, Leaf Trombone, and now Magic Fiddle -- to professional quality synth tools (KORG iMS-20 actually recreates the entire MS-20 synth studio on the iPad), there is no better platform than iOS for musicians.

    Not bad for a device that is supposedly for consumption, not creation.
    There may be no better native mobile platform. I assure you that either OSX or Windows (even Linux) on a laptop are far superior for musicians needing mobile functionality, as I have been a studio one for some time and know many, many others.
  5. #5  
    Right, I wasn't trying to imply that the iPad is going to replace a traditional PC in the studio.

    That said, the things it allows you to do while you're not in a session are pretty remarkable for what is basically a platform in its infancy.
  6. #6  
    Very cool app.

    Most of your arguments are "meh" to me. Solid and popular (high market share) device, solid OS with quality APIs and a solid ecosystem will give you this sort of thing. Keyboards are limiting only when they are the only source of input (one of the reasons I sent Palm a request for more non keyboard-based gestures back when the Pre first came out; naturally, they ignored me...). Apple was simply the first to pull this together in the right way. They did, and are still doing, an excellent job at it. This translates into a gold rush that is still "mostly"unique to Apple and thus the brilliant apps (along with the crapps unfortunately) will usually surface there first.

    None of this means it's only possible there; as evidenced by more and more quality apps showing up in the Android Market for example. What's unfortunate is that Palm thought they could simply sell passes into Apple's ecosystem to gain popularity; first with iTunes synching then with the PDK (at least the initial phase of it). Plugging into an open and vibrant ecosystem is smart; plugging into someone else's vibrant ecosystem is not.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by nappy View Post
    Right, I wasn't trying to imply that the iPad is going to replace a traditional PC in the studio.

    That said, the things it allows you to do while you're not in a session are pretty remarkable for what is basically a platform in its infancy.
    Yeah, but pretty creative things are being done (and are going to continue to be) with, say, the Kinect for the same reasons. Same went for the Wii. It's the combination of a major giant behind it, first-to-market, good idea that defines market, mass appeal, marketshare, etc.

    But Taharka covered all of this pretty well in his response above. There are definitely lessons for Palm to learn, and they don't end with releasing a slab handset that happens to run WebOS.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by dandbj13 View Post
    Magic Fiddle for iPad calls to your inner fiddler.



    Then again, I may be crazy. I have had these thoughts rambling around in my head for a while. The Magic Fiddle just inspired me to try and put some of it into words. Hopefully it provides some food for thought.
    Yes, you are crazy, but we won't hold that against you.

    I won't bother to dissect the entire dissertation, but you are making the mistake of assigning a cause to the effect instead of finding the cause for the effect. Perhaps Apple fell into that niche rather than specifically targeting it.

    Also your love for Apple is coloring the lenses by which you are making you assertion and that is obvious in the biased statements you make. Let's ignore the Palm shots for a minute. So nobody does anything creative on a Windows computer? (and I'm no Windows fan)

    Don't get me wrong, I don't hate Apple at all, though I don't like everything they do - like some people do. But that's what opinions are all about, I can't say I like everything about ANY company. But in some cases Apple's popularity gives them a pass on design decisions others manufacturers (if they had done the same things) would be slammed on.

    (SD cards, Multi-tasking, removable battery, these come to mind immediately, I'm sure others will add more.)

    I started on Apple systems years ago (27 years ago), the reason I migrated elsewhere was because the closed architecture didn't allow technical creativity. Try building a building control system with an Apple computer, or any type of monitoring. At that time it was even difficult to do anything outside of the officially permitted applications. To some degree it still is.

    C
  9. #9  
    The one app that would make me get an I-phone is AmpliTube. A guitar amp modeling system. You can hook up to your phone and play and record I think.
    With a bunch of different amp models.

    That makes me druel everytime I see the ads in magazines.
  10. #10  
    It's not iOS that draws creativity, it's Apple that draws creativity. Almost every artsy, creative type I know has an Apple product.
  11.    #11  
    Great thread, if I must say so myself. Good commentary, diverse opinions, clever insights, and no flames. Keep it up.

    I will try to respond to everyone without sighting anyone in particular. It's all worthy of response.

    I admit, there are times when my inner ****** comes out. The thing you should know, though, is that I have not always been an Apple fan. I was a pretty devout hater. My background in computing, post-highschool, starts with DOS 3.1. I have always been a creative (musician and writer), and a tech enthusiast. A Windows PC was my tool of choice.

    Without going into a full autobiography, I realized that I was spending more time and energy working on maintaining the machine, than creating useful things. A project came along, I bought a Mac, got it done, and never looked back. It was then that I realized having a system that just worked allowed me to just work. Despite all those missing features on the Mac, it enabled me to do so much more. Sometimes, less really is more.

    Of course iOS is not the only tool a creative can use, nor is the Mac. But it does speak to the creative in ways that other systems don't. You think your company is all Windows? Just wander over to the ad department. You will see nothing but Macs. The cube rats use PCs and BBs; the creative team uses Macs and iDevices. Most people just never see that part of their company.

    I'll say it again; you can't port creativity. A thing is only creative the first time. After that, it's just a copy. Naturally, many of the things created for iOS get ported to other platforms. Android took cues from iOS long before wOS did. It is natural that many of these apps work cross-platform. They all have similar DNA.

    The point is, they don't show up first on Android; they show up on iOS. That is the system that inspired the creativity in the first place. That is where the creatives are. Because they also want to make money, they port to every platform they can. wOS needs to be the kind of platform that draws and inspires the creative act in the first place.

    I think Palm has to differentiate. They can't just make a better iDevice. They have to define a category. Look at how adding an accelerometer changed everything. Try making a portable device without multi-touch. Try being relevant without an app store. Since the iPhone, all that, and more, is table stakes. Palm needs to bring something new to the table that people have not seen before.

    Is it a 3D interface? Nope. Google is going to get there first. Is it RFID? Nope. Apple is going to get there first. Is it a touchless interface? Maybe. Is it a new kind of gaming interface? Palm needs to read more si-fi, and think about the next wave. Unfortunately, I don't think their doing that. Further, I don't think HP is capable of thinking in those patterns. I don't believe they can think outside of the beige box.

    Believe it or not, I hope I'm wrong. The Palm that lived in the once ago, was a company that inspired one to imagine the possibilities. The Pre did not make me imagine the possibilities. It made me think of a slightly better WinMo device with iPhone illusions.

    Even If Palm could come up with a better iPhone, I wouldn't want it. I'm happy with the one I've got. What I want to see from Palm is something new and uniquely Palm. Perhaps the pPad will be that thing. I suspect, though, that it will just be an iPad with better multi-tasking and notifications. If that's all I wanted, I can jailbreak and get that. Palm desperately needs to find its own thing. When it does that, the creatives will come.
  12. #12  
    We share a similar background in terms of not initially liking Macs. I was a pure Windows guy for a very long time until we were required to use Macs on a particular contract I had. I've bounced between Windows, OS X and Linux for work since then but have made OS X my OS of choice for personal use (and for work when allowed to do so). I use my MBP daily because I am simply more productive on it than I am on Windows (it's not even close). I use Windows 7 for my media center because the Mac simply does not cut it in that department for me. My servers are, of course, Linux. My phone is Android (HTC Evo).

    No, you cannot port creativity. However that is besides the point. These products show up on iOS first, not because iOS allows for more creativity, but because it is a natural place to sart for developers as it is part of the first fully functional, stable and self contained ecosystem. This means it is the best place to start for almost all developer wanting to make a buck (creative and non-creative alike). There was a recent study that showed developers see iOS as the place to be "right now" and Android as the place to be "in the [near] future". Those are the two main targets for the vast majority of developers (with the majority of that majority still starting with iOS). This tells me that soon you will begin to see many "creative apps" starting out on Android. In fact, that has already begun to happend but pale in comparison with iOS at the moment.

    Again, iOS is not necessarily "inspiring creativity". It is simply the best outlet for almost ALL developers (currently).

    Palm (HP). Sigh. I've really run out of things to say about Palm. I'll just summarize in one sentence what I think the majority of comments about Palm boils down to. "Palm needs to get started rather than treating webOS as if it is the end." That is, the OS is but one of the needed components in this mobile game. So far, they have treated webOS as if it were "THE" component. IT....IS.....NOT! Too much focus on the Queen will cause you to lose in chess.

    Lastly (and less importantly), of course google took cues from iOS. If you were to build an OS today, would you not take whatever you thought was the best thing about all the existing OSes and try to incorporate them into it? I'd argue that it would be very short-sighted NOT to do that (and it has very little to do with creativity).
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by taharka View Post
    I use Windows 7 for my media center because the Mac simply does not cut it in that department for me
    I reeeeeeally don't want to derail this thread but I'm just wondering why that is. I've been using a Mac Mini running boxee for a few years now as a media center and I couldn't be happier with it.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by nappy View Post
    I reeeeeeally don't want to derail this thread but I'm just wondering why that is. I've been using a Mac Mini running boxee for a few years now as a media center and I couldn't be happier with it.
    That's why I put "for me" in there. I find it better for the combination I use (live cable, live HD over the air, DVDs, internet content like Hulu and Netflix streaming, etc) Basically, I built my media center from the ground up and swap tuners and various components in and out all the time as I advance the box. There are also lots of custom software that (commercial skippers, rippers, encoders, dvd organizers, plugins, etc.) that I find easily available (many don't have mac versions).

    I honestly haven't kept up with boxee. Does it support tuners for live tv viewing (cable and OTA)? Can it do all those things I've mentioned? I'll have to take another look at it but maybe you can point me to some more info since you've been using it for some time.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by taharka View Post
    That's why I put "for me" in there. I find it better for the combination I use (live cable, live HD over the air, DVDs, internet content like Hulu and Netflix streaming, etc) Basically, I built my media center from the ground up and swap tuners and various components in and out all the time as I advance the box. There are also lots of custom software that (commercial skippers, rippers, encoders, dvd organizers, plugins, etc.) that I find easily available (many don't have mac versions).

    I honestly haven't kept up with boxee. Does it support tuners for live tv viewing (cable and OTA)? Can it do all those things I've mentioned? I'll have to take another look at it but maybe you can point me to some more info since you've been using it for some time.
    Aha, you have a real media center. I just use my Mac Mini to play back digital content so interface is king in my living room (although that Media Browser plugin for WMC looks phenomenal).

    As far as I know boxee still doesn't support TV tuners and with their focus being shifted to boxee box, I'm guessing it probably won't.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by nappy View Post
    Aha, you have a real media center. I just use my Mac Mini to play back digital content so interface is king in my living room (although that Media Browser plugin for WMC looks phenomenal).

    As far as I know boxee still doesn't support TV tuners and with their focus being shifted to boxee box, I'm guessing it probably won't.
    Yeah, that's what I gathered when I took a peek at them. I must add that although my media center sounds complicated, the #1 rule (as handed down by my better half) was that it needed to be no more complicated than TiVo) from an UI point of view. This really is what ruled out most of the other options (especially the Linux-based ones) out there for me. Nothing about my system "feels" like a computer. You put a blu-ray in and it plays. You change channels, or listen to music or whatever from the [normal looking] remote control. The #2 rule from the wife went something like "thou shalt not hand me a keyboard at any time during my entertainment." :-)

    Ok, sorry guys, I'll bring this back on topic by saying...uhm...I'm considering adding a slingbox to the mix and it's nice that there are apps for that on both iOS and Android. A point about this is that while Apple is doing a very good job at managing their ecosystem (google is getting there as well) even that is not enough. People need ways to link these ecosystems to their own ecosystems. You cannot survive very long without apps "like" slingbox. Plugging into Apple or Google is fine, but ultimately, I want my device to plug into whatever the heck I have going on in my personal ecosystem. That, to me is the point of all these apps. I need them to do whatever it is I want to do. I can literally (and very easily) control my media center, my linux servers and my home security system from my Evo. It's also possible on the iPhone. With the Pre I had to jump through too many hoops and websites. Somewhat possible...not easy at all.

    There, slightly back on topic...I think.
  17. #17  
    I got an old Dell PC hooked up to big screen & surround sound system as a HTPC. Work great with a bluetooth kb & mouse. Must be going on 2-3 yrs now and still going strong. The CPU is left on.

    Still waiting for something to beat that. Google tv isn't it. Every network is blocking it. Apple tv doesn't really do much since i have itunes & netflix already on the PC.
  18. #18  
    I stoped reading when I got to creative people don't want to learn photoshop.....
  19.    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Titan078 View Post
    I stoped reading when I got to creative people don't want to learn photoshop.....
    That's too bad, because it was a pretty good read.

    I didn't say creatives don't want to use something as powerful as PS; I said they don't want to learn it. There is a big difference. Ultimately, creatives want to create. They don't want to have to spend too much time fiddling with the tools.

    As a musician, my first serious DAW was based on Vegas Audio back in the day. It was expensive, complicated, and very hard to use, at least, I thought so until I discovered Pro Tools. I spent years becoming proficient with technical issues that had little to do with making music. Anyone who could come along and offer me a way to decrease the learning curve and just make music would earn my technology-bound dollars.

    Keep in mind, I was technically savvy. Most creatives are not. PS is a powerful and magical tool. But, I get the feeling that the people who made it were engineers and not artists. The same goes for most of the tools designed for other creatives. Apple succeeds in this market because they design tools for creatives, by creatives. That vibe seems to resinate with creatives.

    No one makes the perfect tool that allows for intimate creative efficiency, but Apple seems to be trying to move in that direction. If you have to use PS, you might as well use it on a Mac. Most of the advertising business seems to agree.
  20. #20  
    Well for one, if the creative types even wanted to do a fraction of the things you see available for iOS, it's just not possible yet. The webOS SDK is still (even with 2.0) very lacking.

    I was shocked that camera and mic API's still haven't found their way to 2.0.
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