‘The Gadget Disappears’

Love this line from the New York Times’s David Carr on the Charlie Rose show, regarding the iPad:

One thing you have to understand about this gadget is that the gadget disappears pretty quickly. You’re looking into pure software.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Carr is a business reporter, not a tech reporter. He sees the forest, not the trees. But this is really astute. I’ve been using a Nexus One Android phone for the last few weeks, and Carr’s quote summarizes the fundamental difference between Android and iPhone OS. On the iPhone, once you’re in an app, everything happens on-screen, with touch. Everything. You go outside the screen to the home button to leave the app or the sleep button to turn off the device. On Android, many things happens on screen with touch, but many other things don’t, and you’re often leaving the screen for the hardware Back, Menu, and Home buttons, and text selection and editing requires the use of the fiddly trackball. An Android gadget never disappears.

Monday, 8 February 2010