Is the iPad mini a must-have gadget?
As the holiday season approaches, shoppers can expect new hits on store shelves. On Tuesday, apple unveiled its much-anticipated iPad mini for the first time, and Microsoft is expected to unveil a new tablet later this week and upgrade to Windows. Host Michel Martin spoke with technical commentator Mario Armstrong.
MICHEL MARTIN, host:
I’m michelle Martin, NPR news. Coming soon, we’ll hear the Washington post food critic Tom Sietsema’s hot and hot topic in the restaurant world. Even if you don’t eat a lot, it’s fun. It’s late.
But first, we want to talk about new technologies. Apple showed off its iPad Mini yesterday, and Microsoft will unveil its Surface tablet for the first time later this week. We want to hear more about these new releases, so we have asked Mario Armstrong. He is a digital lifestyle expert and a regular guest on the show.
Welcome back, Mario. Thank you for joining us.
MARIO ARMSTRONG, wired: thank you for letting me, michelle.
Martin: so there’s a new member of the apple iPad family, Mini. It looks like an iPad, but…
ARMSTRONG: yes, Mini Me.
Martin: mini me.
ARMSTRONG: yes. This is the confusing part, when everyone goes, oh, ah, when they reveal it. It’s like, what do you expect it to be? This will be a smaller version of its larger sibling, the iPad, so it is apple’s biggest expectation. They also released some other announcement, but it is very important, because it is in the 7 inch screen size, namely the tablet size, they see a lot from the Google Nexus and seven inches of them, the amazon Kindle Fire, the Nook. This particular size has many competitors.
Martin: so why do people want this? I mean I think one of the attractions of the iPad is that it has a bigger screen, why do people want smaller screens?
ARMSTRONG: you know, it’s portable. No pun intended, but portability is what people are looking for. I know I recently and recently talked about others, sometimes you will make a decision, especially when you travel a lot and have to carry a laptop – no matter where you go, you will carry the 10 inches? You choose something smaller? Is it better for a backpack or purse?
Therefore, 7 inch screen size tablet really took off, I think that to let apple and others surprised, many people may like this, because if they really want to ordinary, but don’t want to spend the money, this is your best choice.
Martin: is it competitive? Because some of these 7-inch tablets are very affordable. What I mean is that they are affordable, you can see many advertisements are shown the children in the use of them, and you know, obvious affordability is a problem – you know, it depends on what is your check. But the truth is, their prices are affordable, and so is the new iPad.
ARMSTRONG: apple’s standard is included in price, so the price is $329, but for you, there will be other 7 “tablet, namely the Kindle Fire, starts at 159, and then from there to rise. So there’s some space.
I think the price below 199 is still a huge market. I just think apple decides they won’t compete on price. They will be in apple’s popularity, brand, the quality of marksmanship, manufacturing methods and handheld devices to compete – I’ve been told that I haven’t got it, but some of my very close friends tell me, I respect them – they say it than any other $200 or less 7 inch tablet computer is much more complicated.
Martin: we’re talking to our digital lifestyle expert Mario Armstrong. He is talking about new changes in the field of technology. NPR news has a deeper understanding.
Yes, please introduce the Surface tablet computer. This is Microsoft’s new product. To tell you.
ARMSTRONG: it’s a big deal because Microsoft is rolling out its own tablet, the Surface. It’s going to be around $500, so it’s not cheap, but it’s the right price for many other tablets. But at this point, michelle is so important that they are very interested in the success of Windows 8, because Windows 8 is this week launched a new operating system, now the new operating system will run on mobile phones, tablet computers, computer even game system and other devices.
They want to do is create a ecological system, which contains all of these different products, all of these different devices, will share the same operating system, so all the yacht will be rising, because people can share their content and more easily in the Windows of the world across different devices.
So if you’ve been waiting for a really hands-on Windows device, I’ve been playing and testing the Surface for the last few days. I was impressed. There was some buzz. I didn’t see it. I think it’s very impressive. I think they really took a gamble. They show some creativity and innovation, but I think they have walls, which means that Microsoft can be creative. However, they still need applications. They still need more apps to take off.
Martin: what’s the good of it? So what does Microsoft tell us is good? What users tell us this is great? What can I do now that I can’t?
ARMSTRONG: what Microsoft is saying, it’s giving you the best of both worlds. You will be able to use the touch screen interface to use a touchscreen tablet. It has all these tiles, which they call ICONS on the screen, and they refresh with information. So, for example, you have a Facebook post. You’ll see, when it happens. You don’t have to open the app and see what happens. You can get this information in real time.
On the other hand, it is important that Windows still occupy an important place in our society. People use a lot of personal computers, they are used to Windows software, so in fact, this is not just a touch screen function of tablets, but you can also press a button, and the screen changes to the contents of a desktop view as they are called it will make you into a similar PC environment – it has a keyboard, it has a little feet on the back of frame, so that it can sit up correctly, you can immediately start typing. I just think it’s a smart move for a hybrid computer that wants a laptop, but it wants to put a tablet together.
Martin: so you see people who have been traveling, can use a laptop computer, it may be in order to work, school, and one units — you know, it is often because you know – maybe people will use their personal finance it or they play games on it, let the children busy, do interesting things in it, see a movie. People say I don’t want to carry two devices. I can carry one. Microsoft says this is one.
The question is – are they ready to really use hybrid devices, and do they have other Windows devices that they want to use and interact with? In other words, if I buy content, purchasing procedure, purchasing software and purchase in the Windows environment, so it may be a suitable products for me, because I can on top of other Windows device using the same content and software.
Martin fowler: every company thinks about their lives as they move forward as a company? I mean, obviously, you know, the company continues to adapt to the death of the founder, you know, Steve jobs, you know, to find its way, and Microsoft does not make a lot of exciting news, you know, in recent years. So what is every company betting on?
ARMSTRONG: they bet on liquidity. They’re gambling, they’re betting that they can create an ecosystem where people want to be part of it. And I think ultimately what I need or what these companies need to start to realize is that we can’t just create technology for the sake of technology. People need to start to feel useful example can help them through technology to improve their lives, and these companies can help show their equipment, products and services to help your life or help your business and actually use what this means for you, so all of these have relationship, I think, in the future the company will definitely win.
But eventually we will know that the device is really not the stage of the problem. This is more software and experience that will follow you wherever you go. That could be your glasses. It could be in your car. This is not more information about the device, that is why now like Google and Android, with Microsoft Windows 8, apple and iTunes, the apple store and its ecosystem, letting their deep-rooted ecosystem, because we are just talking about the hands of the equipment.
Soon, it will be we will use in the field of all kinds of things, and when we really need our information or productivity, or what we need most, what ecosystem we’re married? It’s not just about the device, it’s more about the software or the company that we’re attached to.
Martin: Mario Armstrong is our digital lifestyle expert. He was a frequent visitor to the program, and he was friendly enough to join the WYPR station in Baltimore, Maryland.