An Australian web designer has told attendees at the Oz-IA Conference that the Amazon Kindle and Apple iPad both need a redesign to retain popularity and relevance.
According to Mac World, designer Matt Balara stated that the developers of both devices needed to broaden their horizons.
“The thing I’m hoping for and dreaming about is full colour, touch screens. When we have that, we’ll have all of the advantages of all of these devices,” said Balara. “If the Kindle displayed really good images and had a touch screen, we’d have all of the advantages of the iPad without the negatives.”
He was equally scathing about Apple’s iPad: “The iPad is actually horrifying if you have any kind of understanding of graphic design at all. They’ve translated it into something that’s theoretically a book, but they didn’t think any further about it than saying ‘this is an e-book’ – the late 90s have called and they want their page flip back.”
Although Balara raises some interesting points, he also fundamentally misjudges just what has made each device so successful.
The Amazon Kindle has been able to compete on price point – in the UK it’s available for just over £100. This has been enabled by keeping the device focused on its core functionality and excluding additional bells and whistles, which inevitably push retail prices up.
Apple’s iPad meanwhile was not designed to compete as a dedicated e-reader. It’s multi-touch full colour interface is optimised for video media and magazine content, and in this reporters opinion, it is only the lack of USB and Flash support that has kept the iPad from blowing the netbook category out of the water.