Paul Graham, on what to collectively call iPhones, iPads, and Android touchscreen devices:

After a few seconds it struck me that what we’ll end up calling these things is tablets. The only reason we even consider calling them “mobile devices” is that the iPhone preceded the iPad. If the iPad had come first, we wouldn’t think of the iPhone as a phone; we’d think of it as a tablet small enough to hold up to your ear.

The iPhone isn’t so much a phone as a replacement for a phone.

Graham’s piece reminds me of what I consider the central hook to a great app for these tablets: that it should seem, when you’re using it, that the entire device was meant for it. E.g., a good chess game for the iPhone should make the iPhone itself feel like a chess playing device. When you’re in Mobile Safari, it feels like you’re holding a dedicated web browsing device. Only when you’re in the Phone app does the iPhone feel like a phone.

Friday, 3 December 2010