Paying Attention: What most of the media have missed about Apple’s iPad is how well it works for creative people. The change in GUI/interface and the freedom created by a switch from a keyboard and mouse-based input model to touch screen input, enabled software engineers to re-think a lot of the software that was being used for creative purposes. The result was an integrated piece of software/hardware that functions more like a digital sketch pad than a traditional computer. There are less commands but more freedom. And most importantly, the change in input strategies and platform necessitated a complete re-thinking of the creative process.
Creativity is by character anarchistic; it is going against traditional thinking, challenging the old assumptions, pushing out the boundaries. Artists take chances. Some of these chances succeed in major ways, some don’t. Some are commercial and some are not. But the status-quo is not a status that art and artists and creative directors can ever be comfortable with.
Albert Einstein once said that “We can’t solve problems by using the same type of thinking we used to create them”. He’s right, of course, but some need the outside stimulus of a difference in thought process to spur them into more creativity. And that’s what the iPad does (if you get past using it just as a window into media, which is another area in which it’s quite effective).
The wide variety of creative software developed for the iPad can be used to help you push your own creative boundaries. With a dominant market share and coming off of a rather startling and innovative TV commercial for Christmas , Apple has doubled down (again), with a TV commercial named”Your Verse”. It’s unique in a lot of ways–for one thing it’s 90 seconds long– and ties lots of imagery together with a very non-technical voice over.
The main theme of the commercial is creativity on the iPad, specifically, photographic creativity (didn’t know you could hook an iPad onto a tripod? With an outboard microphone?). The iPad generated 76.1% of tablet originated traffic at Christmas (Source: Chitika) and although that’s down 10% from their numbers in July, it’s still massively dominant in the tablet market. No doubt Android tablets are increasing market share, but despite what some pundits believe, that’s not really the correct way to ascertain who’s winning the tablet battle: the goal is to increase user experience and creativity…..and that’s where Apple is winning in a major way. By asking questions no one else asks, and creating opportunities no one else is creating, Apple continues to predict the future by inventing it themselves. They really do play the game at a different level from everyone else.