As the first of the major notebook/tablets to be released, compared to Chromebook and Windows Surface, the iPad also distinguished itself by not offering a trackpad, keyboard, or even a stylus. This was not without controversy, especially with apple putting iWork in the spotlight as a full-featured productivity suite. While the iPad itself was well received by critics and consumers alike, and rightly so; the notion of a tablet as a productivity workhorse back in 2010 was questionable to say the least. To quote ARS Technica at the time:
iWork is decent, but there is only so much you can do for an office suite without a full keyboard and a mouseJeff Smykil
Even so, Apple probably doesn’t get enough credit for the mega usability built-in to iWork on this first generation iPad. Special widgets floating around in just the right location as you interact with cells on a spreadsheet for example, gave elegant intuitive user experience to match this elegant single pane of glass. Many of us may also remember the controversy around lack of physical buttons on the 1st iPhone when it came out half decade before. At that time it seemed borderline form over function to some of us in the paradigm of the day. Steve Jobs was certainly renowned as a product guy, but surely a phone without any physical buttons was taking things a bit too far? Just because he disliked buttons so much that he wouldn’t even wear a shirt with buttons, why should we be so constrained?
Well history has proved Mr. Jobs right on the button. But in the tablet and notebook space, keyboards, track pads mice, and stylist have been popular throughout. And yet Apple with their iPad held out for good decade here, never wanting to concede that a digital input device could ever supersede the human digit.
What’s lesser-known is that the iPad product has actually been in development for much much longer than the iPhone. Much longer. According to Wikipedia, Steve Jobs and Jony Ives began design on the iPad way back in 1991. But Jobs made a strategic decision to switch priorities and release the iPhone first, deferring the iPad for later. The reasoning was that all the core feature functionality, most crucially the single screen touch interaction, could be achieved just as well on an iPhone, and the state-of-the-art in technology at the time would better support the holistic user experience on an iPhone as well. Furthermore, the iPhone form factor would encourage a smoother adoption curve in the marketplace as a mobile phone was more relatable to more consumers than some tablet device. In other words, technology supported a premium user experience for an iPhone before an iPad. So it turns out that Apple was not just about form over function after all.
In other words, Apple is Apple because they wait until technology is capable of the desired user experience, not the other way around.
And now the wait for keyboards and track pads on an iPad is finally over in 2020. Not just any keyboard, but a magic keyboard! – This is Apple after all. Technology finally caught up with their vision for user experience, and Apple has delivered.
We here at MX-Fusion love our mobile devices! We also relentlessly aspire, pushing the bounds in state-of-the-art technology for a beautiful experience of Fusion with Art and Music.
Now let’s share in Apple’s dream user experience with a Fusion from their launch video “Float” – Anna of the North | Dream Girl: