We have a company iPad at Wireworks which I’ve managed to get my hands on. I’ve been carrying it around with me for a couple of weeks, just getting a sense of how it integrates into my life. I believe strongly that it’s important to consider more than what people use these devices for, but when they use them, and where they are when they are using them.
For example, I am a very heavy user of Facebook on my iPhone, but only when I’m on the bus going to and from work. Once I get to the office, my phone stops being a computer (because I have a nice laptop with a much bigger screen to use) and would go un-noticed the entire day if it didn’t ring when people were trying to call me.
So… my point is that context becomes important when we think about reaching people on these devices and I wanted to understand the context of an iPad in my daily life. I subscribe to the Times and knew that their apps (Times and Sunday Times) would be great to explore on the iPad (and they are… although I find having to download each individual section of the Sunday Times to be really annoying. There should be an option to download the whole thing in the background).
I bought a copy of Angry Birds Rio HD. Also very cool… for obvious reasons. It’s just a great game and being on a bigger screen with the Rio-inspired graphics is cool. (I’ve been to see Rio twice with my son.)
Then I read about Flipboard. Described as “your personalised Social Magazine”. It’s great. You add all of your login details for Facebook, Twitter and more and it then creates a “magazine” for you with all of the content that you follow. Here are some things I love about it:
- It’s beautifully designed. I instantly preferred this as the interface for Google Reader, which I’ve always thought was ugly and clunky and makes reading stories as dull and frustrating as wading through my inbox is.
- It pulls the linked articles/posts/photographs into the interface, so you feel like you’re reading a magazine, instead of a list of links (like on Twitter)… therefore you can explore more content visually.
- I don’t have to log in over and over.
The next phase of the Web has to be about people being able to create these personalised, contextually relevant spaces for their preferred content to fit into their lives. Flipboard is an excellent view into what I think the future of the Web is about. Beautifully designed, simple interface, and highly useful technology.
And, it’s already integrated with some great sources of content. On the “Inside Flipboard” blog I read about integration with the New Yorker, the Guardian, the Telegraph and plenty of other sources of information that people will want… including news from all of my friends and social contacts (which not many people will want, apart from me).
- Spotify (this would be great…)
- Sports: Better Sports integration would be amazing