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What is Apple’s secret ‘future product transition’ that execs cannot discuss?


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#21 Eric5h5

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 12:24 PM

The only reasons to use a virtual keyboard:

1) To look all Star Trekky and high tech and stuff, regardless of functionality
2) You have a device too small to use a real keyboard and you don't want to do a slideout doohickey

Otherwise, virtual keyboards = total suckage, given the lack of tactile feedback.

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#22 Janichsan

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 12:46 PM

View PostEric5h5, on July 22nd 2008, 08:24 PM, said:

Otherwise, virtual keyboards = total suckage, given the lack of tactile feedback.
Definitely. That's the reason why I don't expect a full touch screen Mac for quite some time. However, since there are technologies under development to provide such tactile feedback on touchscreens, I guess there will be the day when we will see computers with such an user interface. It just won't be September 2008.

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#23 DaveyJJ

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 01:50 PM

View PostEric5h5, on July 22nd 2008, 02:24 PM, said:

The only reasons to use a virtual keyboard:

1) To look all Star Trekky and high tech and stuff, regardless of functionality
2) You have a device too small to use a real keyboard and you don't want to do a slideout doohickey

Otherwise, virtual keyboards = total suckage, given the lack of tactile feedback.

--Eric

We'll have to disagree then, and I've sent in a note to Apple to tell them their touch and iPhone keyboards are total suckage. :happy:

There are a myriad of UI reasons to use a virtual keyboard ...

1. Ability to adapt the keyboard to the application being used when keys aren't needed by an apps developer.
2. Ability to adapt the keyboard to one's personal usage preferences by moving keys around (think the way you move app icons around on the touch and ipHone).
3. Ability to customize the keyboard's overall layout to suit user need ... e.g.., split the keyboard down the middle to move and enlarge the virtual trackpad to the middle, move the virtual trackpad to the left or right depending on handedness, etc.
4. Ability to provide localized languages and characters to non-English users via software.
5. Ability to slide the keyboard "out of the way" (i.e., hide the dock) to allow for other interaction.
6. Less mechanical parts.

Etc.

The ability to set up the keyboard UI based on user or software preferences I think will come to pass via a non-tactile keyboard. I'm envisioning this mostly on a laptop ... like a Nintendo DS but in the shape of a MacBook Air. The keyboard era will end one day.

But again, we obviously disagree on this one. I for one welcome our non-tactile overlords.

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#24 Janichsan

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 01:57 PM

View PostDaveyJJ, on July 22nd 2008, 09:50 PM, said:

We'll have to disagree then, and I've sent in a note to Apple to tell them their touch and iPhone keyboards are total suckage. :happy:
The iPhone keyboard is okay – for short texts. Seriously, you wouldn't want to type longer things (letters, books, programs, you name it) on a virtual keyboard – especially not when you are typing blindly. It just wouldn't do. Tactile feedback is a necessity.

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#25 Eric5h5

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 02:33 PM

View PostDaveyJJ, on July 22nd 2008, 03:50 PM, said:

We'll have to disagree then, and I've sent in a note to Apple to tell them their touch and iPhone keyboards are total suckage. :happy:

I think you missed my reason #2:

Quote

2) You have a device too small to use a real keyboard and you don't want to do a slideout doohickey

Listen to Janichsan.  :happy:

--Eric

#26 Atticus

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 03:25 PM

When is Half Life coming to the MAC?

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#27 jgwdoc

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 03:17 PM

View PostAtticus, on July 22nd 2008, 02:25 PM, said:

When is Half Life coming to the MAC?

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#28 Mr. Selvetarm

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 03:25 PM

View PostAtticus, on July 22nd 2008, 05:25 PM, said:

When is Half Life coming to the MAC?

Atticus

How did you come to that in a thread about Apple rumors. And Mac gaming is at a slump not completely dead.


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#29 The Liberator

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 03:42 PM

Why would Apple bring out a mid-range tower, when the iMac is essentially a mid-range tower, that you cannot take apart? Do you guys not see that? If Apple bring out the new tower, then they would need to do away with the iMac, and THAT, my friends has been a whole symbol of Apple for years, and that is also what represented Apple before the intel stuff arrived.

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P.S. I do not think going to the virtual keyboard will work, I do not think the world is ready for it yet. Maybe some people are, but not most.

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#30 Mr. Selvetarm

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 03:41 PM

View PostThe Liberator, on July 22nd 2008, 05:42 PM, said:

Why would Apple bring out a mid-range tower, when the iMac is essentially a mid-range tower, that you cannot take apart? Do you guys not see that? If Apple bring out the new tower, then they would need to do away with the iMac, and THAT, my friends has been a whole symbol of Apple for years, and that is also what represented Apple before the intel stuff arrived.

Liberator.

P.S. I do not think going to the virtual keyboard will work, I do not think the world is ready for it yet. Maybe some people are, but not most.

I think the iMac fills a different niche in the market then the Mid-Range Tower. The iMac is like a big immovable laptop really. It has almost everything built in and can't really be upgraded. However, if Apple were to provide a little tower around, say, this size, it would fill the need to be able to upgrade and repair your computer yourself, without buying a professional level Mac for a great deal of money. I love the iMac, don't get me wrong but I just feel that Apple needs a box in between the Mini and the Pro.

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#31 Dark_Archon

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 04:17 PM

View Postjgwdoc, on July 22nd 2008, 10:32 AM, said:

I would just like some new displays with a built-in camera, having not seen a refresh in that department in years, but that's too pedestrian a request I guess.

Built-in camera, IPS panel, and LED backlight, all in a sexy, slim aluminum enclosure. DO WANT!!!


The problem with virtual keyboards is the lack of tactile feedback. It isn't a problem for the iPhone because it isn't a laptop, and isn't meant to be used as one. The tablets with keyboards get used as regular laptops, and pure tablets don't sell because there is very little use for them.


The iMac fills a completely different niche than a mid-range tower. It is an all-in-one computer as an appliance unit, and is, if anything, overpowered for 95% of computer users. The low end-mid range desktop market is a thin margin, volume driven market. Apple doesn't care enough to get involved in it. They are happy enough just competing in the all-in-one and high end desktop/workstation market.

mR.sELvETaRM, that case isn't significantly smaller than the Mac Pro case. Most towers use mid-ATX cases. Full tower cases are GIGANTIC(like XBOX HUGE).
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#32 Whaleman

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 04:21 PM

View PostmR.sELvETaRM, on July 22nd 2008, 11:41 PM, said:

I think the iMac fills a different niche in the market then the Mid-Range Tower. The iMac is like a big immovable laptop really. It has almost everything built in and can't really be upgraded. However, if Apple were to provide a little tower around, say, this size, it would fill the need to be able to upgrade and repair your computer yourself, without buying a professional level Mac for a great deal of money. I love the iMac, don't get me wrong but I just feel that Apple needs a box in between the Mini and the Pro.

Precisely. It's a completely different beast. It's the computer for people who already have displays they love, the computer for people who want to be able to expand slightly, replace GPUs and just goof with it. The Mac mini isn't enough and the Mac Pro too much. I want half a Mac Pro. I only need 2 PCIe slots (one for GPU, the other one for a second GPU, I love to have tons of display), 2 Internal HD bays (though 4 would have been nice), I want Dual Core 2 Duo, with a single as optional, 4 RAM slots (heck 2 would do, but only with willpower). There is no Mac for me, and I'm not alone. There's probably a popsnizzleload of old PC users out there that doesn't want an all-in-one, completely discard the Mac mini and think the Mac Pro cost waaaay too much. Where the computer for them? They could price the computer I just listed at the same price as an equivalent 20" iMac, switching a display for expansion options and I would buy one as soon as I could afford it.
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#33 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 04:34 PM

View PostThe Liberator, on July 22nd 2008, 05:42 PM, said:

Why would Apple bring out a mid-range tower, when the iMac is essentially a mid-range tower, that you cannot take apart? Do you guys not see that? If Apple bring out the new tower, then they would need to do away with the iMac, and THAT, my friends has been a whole symbol of Apple for years, and that is also what represented Apple before the intel stuff arrived.

Liberator.


A mid-range tower definitely wouldn't kill the iMac. Yes, it would bite into the iMacs sales but not that much I don't think. The Mac Pro however would suffer hugely I think, especially if the mini-tower had a Q6600, 2 HDD slots, option for up to either 4 or 8 GB's or RAM, and 2 PCIe slots (although I can't see 2 PCI slots happening cuz Apple doesn't support SLI or Crossfire and therefore would see no need for 2 slots). and I would also want the 4850 as the GPU. of course most of this post was wishful thinking



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#34 Eric5h5

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 04:55 PM

View PostDark_Archon, on July 22nd 2008, 06:17 PM, said:

It is an all-in-one computer as an appliance unit, and is, if anything, overpowered for 95% of computer users.

Not if they want to play games, it isn't....

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#35 Mr. Selvetarm

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 05:51 PM

View PostDark_Archon, on July 22nd 2008, 06:17 PM, said:

mR.sELvETaRM, that case isn't significantly smaller than the Mac Pro case. Most towers use mid-ATX cases. Full tower cases are GIGANTIC(like XBOX HUGE).

Yes, but that isn't really the point. The point is that there are a significant number of people out there who would like a mid-range, mid-power, mid everything computer because the Pro costs way too much and has way to much power for most people and the Mini and iMac aren't expandable. Apple could easily produce such a computer and I think it would appeal to a large number of people it they did.

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#36 teflon

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 05:58 PM

View PostDaveyJJ, on July 22nd 2008, 08:50 PM, said:

We'll have to disagree then, and I've sent in a note to Apple to tell them their touch and iPhone keyboards are total suckage. :happy:

There are a myriad of UI reasons to use a virtual keyboard ...

1. Ability to adapt the keyboard to the application being used when keys aren't needed by an apps developer.
2. Ability to adapt the keyboard to one's personal usage preferences by moving keys around (think the way you move app icons around on the touch and ipHone).
3. Ability to customize the keyboard's overall layout to suit user need ... e.g.., split the keyboard down the middle to move and enlarge the virtual trackpad to the middle, move the virtual trackpad to the left or right depending on handedness, etc.
4. Ability to provide localized languages and characters to non-English users via software.
5. Ability to slide the keyboard "out of the way" (i.e., hide the dock) to allow for other interaction.
6. Less mechanical parts.

The ability to set up the keyboard UI based on user or software preferences I think will come to pass via a non-tactile keyboard. I'm envisioning this mostly on a laptop ... like a Nintendo DS but in the shape of a MacBook Air. The keyboard era will end one day.

1 optimus maximus
2 optimus maximus and the only way that people are actually going to customise their keyboard key layout is if they are the l33test of typers who absolutely need 150 WPM or something crazy. Secondly, everyone is reared on QWERTY or DVORAK. theres not really anything else out there.
3 fair point, but how big is this screen gonna be? better off buying an ergonomic keyboard
4 optimus maximus or just léärń thę shřrtcüts..... theyre not tricky to remember
5 semi tablets which have a swivel screen handily remove this issue. Ive also thought up a dead nifty mechanism that is much better and secure than this anyway.
6 and with that touch typing is out the window. I can quite happily type away whilst not looking at the keyboard, or even reading something completely unrelated. not gonna happen without tactile feedback and very specifically placed keys. less mechanical parts is great and all, but when thats the primary sensory input that a touch typist uses its not gonna disappear.

some "experts" (read. idiots) think that the mouse is going to disappear as the main input device for computers (definitely not for gaming any time soon. only eyeball tracking will give you more responsive controls). Even they arent stupid enough to think that the keyboard is gonna be replaced. Should Apple introduce a dual screened device they would be able to work around this by including some kind of rubbery keyboard replacement (which will be prone to breaking im sure). it wouldnt be great, and it would rely on some fairly tricky input software which would dynamically recognise the keyboard's presence and map out the position that the keys would have... no wait, that sounds truly horrible too...

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#37 the Battle Cat

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 06:29 PM

View Postteflon, on July 22nd 2008, 04:58 PM, said:

Meh.  Show me a keyboard with a video game on every key and I'll start paying attention.  ;)
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#38 Dark_Archon

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 07:11 PM

My interest in SLI completely died when I read that for some reason, with SLI, you can only use one monitor.

And Eric5h5, that was why I said 95%, not 100%. Believe it or not, this forum is not an accurate cross-section of Mac users as a whole and their computer requirements.
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#39 Eric5h5

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 08:32 PM

View PostDark_Archon, on July 22nd 2008, 09:11 PM, said:

Believe it or not, this forum is not an accurate cross-section of Mac users as a whole and their computer requirements.

What?!?!!!  NO!!  I won't believe it!!

Well, OK, I do believe it.  Still, more than 5% of people play games, and more people would be Mac gamers if the hardware etc. allowed for it.

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#40 Mr. Selvetarm

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 08:36 PM

I don't know, the people who play casual games generally have casual hardware. Anyone who seriously wants to play ETQW will get a iMac or Pro and those who don't want to get a Mini or MB. (I didn't want to go through all the models) And yes more then 5% of people play games but do more then 5% of people in the Mac community play QW's or UT3?

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