The future past of the iWatch

Wait a sec, now that I’m looking at those links, they say Doug Engelbart’s first design was in 1963, while Telefunken’s was in 1968. Granted, the wording used for the two is a little different, thus a little unclear.

Also, I still don’t understand what this “reverse” mouse is. Can you explain? Thanks!

Strange that you use the term “Frankenstein” almost as if it’s a positive. In magic fairy land, yeah, maybe it seems cool to merge the OSX and iOS app ecosystems, but it practice, it leads to completely shitty ideas like trying to use desktop Windows with the Surface touch display. Apple saw the writing on the wall — they made different platforms for different uses instead of trying to shoehorn things together that don’t belong.

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Yeah, this has become a bit of a trope; and I hear it all the time. Frankly, “second-to-market” is such an obviously loaded, biased term and myopic term. It’s like someone went out of their way to figure out how to place Apple’s good products in a negative light.

No, I’m not an Apple apologist, but let’s be real — can anyone think of any tablets prior to the iPad that didn’t suck? Frankly, I never used any of them, but my hunch is that, by and large, they were pieces of shit. Saying Apple’s products are “second-to-market” is espousing that there’s virtue in making garbage as opposed to making a quality product. In fact, it’s kind of like certain forms of patent-trolling where any half-ass, lame idea is made as general as possible to assert precedence over anything else.

But maybe I’m wrong! Maybe some of those tablets weren’t all that bad. Maybe Apple was “second-to-market” in these cases. Could you then tell me what products are “first-to-market”?

Was the Xerox Star, but the Mac wasn’t? What about the original portable Mac? No, maybe not, I guess that was the original Compaq. Oh no, wait, the Hyperion came out two months before! And before that, there was the Osborne 1, before that, the HP Series 80, before that, the IBM 1500, oh and of course, let me not forget, the DYSEAC, the world’s first computer that was movable by Truck!

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Nope. It’s “don’t release until it’s ready, and let someone else make the mistakes.”

It’s to Apple’s credit that once they do decide that the technology is ready, their product is the one to which the innovative concept adhere’s in the public consciousness. Macintosh as the breakthrough GUI/Mouse home computer. iPod as the breakthrough digital music player. iPhone as the breakthrough smartphone. iPad as the breakthrough slate. iWatch presumably will become the breakthrough wearable input/output/biometric tracker.

You seem to be tech savvy. Is there anything in those categories that you didn’t already have several generations of before Apple became the public face of the technology? With the exception of the slate (unless a half-dozen Jornadas count) I certainly didn’t.

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Well, I definitely didn’t own a Xerox Star before a Mac. Honestly, I didn’t own any mp3 player before the iPod, unless you count my CD player that played mp3 CDs. iPods were just too expensive for me. I also owned a ton of music; and before the 60 gig / 120 gig generation, it just didn’t seem worth it to me. That said, I would say the iPod was one of the few cases where Apple really was second-to-market. Everything before that just sucked.

My Palm V was kind of a proto-iPhone, but that didn’t have phone capabilities; and honestly, at the time, syncing it with a mac sucked. I can’t remember exactly what happened, but at one point, I lost all my data, or the Palm wouldn’t sync anymore. I dunno, it was a pain. I obviously had a cell-phone before my iPhone, but nothing like a Treo.

That said, I agree that Apple is usually the first to make the first “breakthrough” product, but I feel that the term “second-to-market” robs them of the fact that their products are frequently so ahead of competitors’ products, that they are actually a new category.

Anyone who says the Mac was a clone of the Star really has no idea what they’re talking about. While, yes, obviously, the Star was the first GUI, the Mac was really light years ahead; and it was orders of magnitude cheaper. Frankly, the Star was little more than an expensive novelty — an absolutely brilliant one, but essentially useless.

I’m not talking about a clone… Apple really does improve on other designs.

That’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. I’d rather be the one who did it right, than the one who did it first. I just hope I wouldn’t pretend I did it first and patent-troll everyone else.

When the Mac came out you needn’t have a Star to be familiar with a GUI. I had Magic Desk on a C64. I was still using it to write papers in college while my day job was running my college’s Mac lab. When the iPod came out I had a Rio. When the iPhone came out I was on my 4th or 5th PocketPC.

Indisputably, the Apple product was far superior to any of those when it arrived. That doesn’t make it first.

It is a positive! Unless there’s fire.

Yeah, but it’s less of a stretch to say “take an iPhone and make it a LOT BIGGER”. Which is exactly what the iPad 1 was; just look at its spec sheet. It’s really a testament to how good the iPhone design was, that when you scale it up to 10" it still basically worked fine.

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As it turns out, internally at Apple, it was actually the other way around. The iPad was actually in development way before the iPhone; and they actually repurposed the “iPad OS” for the iPhone.

Either way, scale it up, scale it down – not a big stretch. Or maybe a big stretch after all, figuratively speaking. Same thing, different size, another peace dividend of the smartphone wars, Really Big Smartphones.

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