Tuesday, February 09, 2010

iPad and a new life for synchronization

This morning I was reading the Seybold's take on Applications for the iPad. It is an interesting article.

Seybold's take is that developers will have to build specific applications for the iPad, rather than having their iPhone apps run on it, or just modify them for a bigger screen.

I tend to agree.

He added:
For starters, many iPad users will not opt for a full wide-area wireless broadband subscription. Instead, they will use it for communications when near a Wi-Fi hotspot or subscribe to an occasional-use wide-area broadband plan. Applications that assume full wireless connectivity anytime the iPad is on will not be as well received as applications that are developed for occasional use. Many iPhone apps are constantly updating the information they provide, but iPad applications that require a constant or almost-constant connection will not be as functional.
Hard to disagree. As I wrote before, I am betting that non-3G iPad will beat 3G iPad, 80% to 20%.

And finally he concluded:
Because the iPad will not be an always-on, always-connected device, applications will have to recognize that fact and compensate for this difference between the two platforms.
Pop. A light bulb on my head.

With the cost of network and the need for carriers to limit heavy usage by people, in the near timeframe (before 4G is here but who knows for how long) tablet will not be welcomed in the cellular network. I mean, you could have them connect to 3G, but it would cost you a fortune. Therefore, you won't do it.

You could tether them to your always connected smartphone, but the carriers won't allow you. How difficult is to think about an iPhone sharing wifi with an iPad? Not difficult, it is just not good for the carriers on the dollar side, so they will make it really not attractive for you (or just prevent it, as Apple and AT&T are doing today).

The result, Seybold says, is that tablet will be on-line with wi-fi, then off-line, then again on-line: like a Kindle (I am still betting on Apple providing some free 3G access only to download content from iTunes, in the future). And like a Kindle, they will store data on the device, to be accessed off-line.

Like a Kindle, the key for the tablet market will be synchronization. Data to be synced will go from books to videos, from address book to calendar, from pictures to music. And a lot more.

Just when you thought the world was going all network computing, synchronization is still king :-)