iPad’s Design Framework
The iPad’s entry into the market signaled a new era in Human-Computer interaction. It came with enhancements that have revolutionized how man interacts with computers. The concept of Multi-touch moved touch screen technology many steps forward.
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Some of the novel interaction features of the iPad, which were not previously in the iphone, include the spread-or-pinch feature, bundle creation, and page navigation. The iPad’s iPhoto application allows for expansion or closure of a pile of photos as part of its new multi-touch interactions through a spreading or pinching motion applied by two fingers. It is also possible to make piles out of multiple slides in order to move or delete them.
This involves selecting the first slide, then holding it, and then tapping on the rest of the slides. The slides form a bundle, which is now ready for movement to a desired location.
This applies to mail where the user can form bundles of mail for mass deletion. In addition, a page navigation function included in the iPad allows a user to preview the contents of a page before opening it by pressing and holding the scroll bar area. It brings up a viewer through which the destination page is previewed.
Two functions, currently enhanced in the iPad, that were already in use in the iPhone are the scrolling tabs and the contextual keyboards. The scrolling tabs feature allows for shifting from one tab to another while the contextual keyboards displays a keyboard relevant for the application in use.
For instance, it brings up a numeric keyboard for input of numeral based functions such as time input and mathematical calculations, while a text-based keyboard appears for input of text based applications such as messaging.
Music is one of the popular iPad uses, supported by numerous iTunes applications. Several apps meet the various needs users have ranging from the creation of music to playing it. One of the applications used to create music that is benefiting from the bigger multi-touch screen is the Groovemaker app. There was a previous release for use with the iPhone.
However, it had a practical limit as to how effectively one could use it because of the iPhone’s smaller screen. The purpose of the Groovemaker is “beat-making”. It works by sequencing loops from a huge library and forming layers to make a track. The main control is by drag-and-drop, which allows a user to easily pick desired tracks and remove undesired ones.
The bigger screen now allows users to control up to eight tracks simultaneously, a feat not possible previously. After creating the music, it allows for exportation to a computer. There are three options for the application, house, hip-hop, and Drum ‘n bass, depending on a user’s preference. It is available in the different packs in the iTunes store, with a free release pack and other enhanced packs, costing at least four dollars.
The iPad fits the description of a bigger iPhone because it came with many of the apps that were present in the iPhone, while providing enhancements to take advantage of the new capabilities of the iPad. Edge and Faas (2010) confirmed this when they said, “Most applications that run on the iPod Touch and the iPhone can run on an iPad”. An iPhone user would easily recognize the apps used by the iPad.
When compared to the MacBook, the two devices’ designs are for different uses, which complement each other. The iPad has its own unique strengths such as better surfing experience and better photo display, as compared to the Macbook, which is essentially a computing device that allows for storage of larger files and supports document processing better than the iPad.
Edge, C. & Faas, R. (2010). Enterprise iPhone and iPad administrator’s guide. New York: Apress.