No, I Don’t Have One
Posted on April 6, 2010 Posted by John Scalzi 44 Comments
E-mail from a reader on a couple of topics, one of them which was the iPad, his comment about which I will now excerpt (with permission):
I’m a little surprised you don’t have the iPad already. It seems like something you would want to have.
It’s not that surprising, actually. As I noted in January, I like the general idea of the thing but I’m not entirely sure I’m on board with the implementation, so I’m not in a fevered rush to be the first kid on the block to have one. Beyond that, I just dropped a publicly undisclosed but emphatically non-trivial amount of money on home and office upgrades and renovations, and this month we shell out an additional undisclosed but emphatically non-trivial amount on taxes, including this quarter’s estimated taxes for this year. I’ll be happy not to spend any money I don’t have to for a while, thank you very much. The iPad is shiny and pretty and all, and I’m as susceptible as any geek to Apple’s Reality Distortion Field when it comes to the mechanics of desiring the thing, but the only way I’ll be getting one any time soon is if someone else buys it for me. Not that I’m hinting (the 32GB wireless version should work just fine for me. With the keyboard dock. Thanks).
More seriously, I’m also interested in seeing how some of the upcoming tablets stack up, particularly this one, which looks like it’s doing that thing everyone else does when it comes to Apple, which is offer better specs and capability for a generally lower price. Of course, what Apple generally offers — and where everyone else kind of faceplants — is an easy-to-use interface in a pretty, pretty package. And you know humans. They pick pretty over brains pretty much every time. Especially low maintenance pretty.
I mean, hey, I’m guilty too — I have an iPod Touch, which I really do love, and I don’t really give a crap that it doesn’t multitask. I doubt that lack of concern will scale up to iPad size, but I’m also willing to believe I’m in the minority for most people. I’m also willing to believe that if someone else doesn’t do a tablet as well as Apple does with the iPad, when I finally decide to get a tablet, I may be willing to overlook it, too. I think that’s fair enough warning to everyone else coming into the segment.
But for now: Yeah, still not in the market just yet.
I’m still waiting for one that can stream movies from my iTunes server. Having a wireless media player would ROCK!
Currently, my iPhone can stream tv wirelessly but that’s from an ElGato tv tuner on my Mac Mini AV server.
John, I’m curious if you’ve read and have any thoughts on Cory Doctorow’s denouncement of the iPad?
I’ve been wanting a X61-Tablet since I played with one which had been modified with a solid state drive. Just haven’t found anyone to give me one. Glued shut, the iPad doesn’t interest me.
Funny how upcoming product releases (i.e. vaporware until proven otherwise) from other companies always promise to be better than what Apple is actually shipping. Bird in the hand, etc. And it’s not as if Apple is going to stop innovating and improving in the meantime. By the time the hp Slate is actually in stores, how much better will the iPad be? Keep in mind, we’re coming up on the 4th gen iPhone, and they just keep getting better. (Look for multitasking to be supported in iPhone OS 4.0, btw.)
My iPad hasn’t come yet. I ordered one of the fancy 3g ones, and they don’t ship until the end of the month :(
Mmm that Kool-Aid goes down smooth. Moar plox!
I think it is still missing a few features but I know Apple will come through for me.
I’m thinking it’ll probably be third-gen by the time I’m willing to buy. That seems to be about the ballpark for Apple products in my experience. I remember when the iPod first came out, thinking, “Yeah, it’s great, but it’s too small (the first ones were only 5GB). I need enough capacity to hold my whole CD collection, plus a color screen for album art would be nice.” Wasn’t that long a wait.
So yeah, third-gen for the iPad. It’ll almost certainly have a webcam by then, and probably twice the storage.
It’s a pretty piece of tech. I played with one for about ten minutes at Best Buy the other day, and you can’t help but be impressed by it. (It’s heavier than it looks, though…I don’t know if I’d want to hold it up with one hand for an hour or so while I’m reading a book.)
That said, it fills a niche that I don’t need filled right now, sitting square between the desktop PC and the iPod touch. The iPod touch fits into a pocket and is much more mobile, and the desktop is much more capable. I suppose if I had to hit the road as often as you do, it’d be a different story, but for now, I guess I’ll stick with my iPad mini.
(For a traveling office, I suspect that your netbook is still the better option, if only for the built-in camera for Skype-ing home, and the lack of need for a separate keyboard.)
I’m waiting for this one: the roll-top
I have never been an early adopter of new shiny toys, and am not likely to start now. Ipad doesn’t really impress me. Maybe when there are several competitors, and the price is much lower. Maybe not.
I’m embarrassed. I wish I was as disciplined as you. If I was, I’d have new kitchen counter tops, a deck, landscaping,… oh, and I would have the funds to take my family to Hawaii. But, just put a nice piece of shiny, sleek tech in my hands that looks like it is from Star Trek, and my wallet comes out. I thought if I went to the Apple Store at noon on Saturday, there would be off putting lines, and the IPAD would be sold out. Alas, no luck. But, for what it is to me, an entertainment device, it is perfect. And fast. And smooth. Now, you got me looking at another shiny piece of tech… the HP Slate. I still use my old (circa 2005) HP IPAQ to turn the channels on my television. I greedily look forward to seeing all that the Slate can do. Oh! And unlike my IPOD “classic” that goes everywhere with me, I’m too afraid to take the IPAD anywhere outside my house because of the $$$$.
I’ve got an HP TouchSmart tm2 tablet, which has the whole capacitative multi-touch thing built in and I imagine is in many ways a bigger tougher version of what the Slate will be. The multi-touch support is just fine on this thing… I have no worries about their ability to deliver on that.
The one thing that does worry me is that while HP is good on hardware (in my experience, anyway) their ability to produce software is… well… it makes me, as a professional software developer, ashamed. Their software is horrendous, just garbage. Well, that’s not entirely true. It seems to generally be very reliable, just so unfriendly that it makes me think that HP’s software developers bear active and personal malice toward every single one of their users.
Since the Slate includes a customised version of Windows and a bunch of other custom software… Yeah, that part I’m worried about. But unless they go completely brain-dead in the next little while, the hardware (and particularly the critical multi-touch support) should be just fine. So I’m not ruling out the Slate just yet.
I’ve been an Apple girl since 2002. I also have a 3rd gen iPod (god I love that thing, solid as a brick and won’t shatter if you drop it).
Years of being an Applehead has taught me that I don’t buy ANYTHING Apple until it has been out for at least a year and gone through at least one iteration. Let the rich people and tech addicts figure out how to break it in all sorts of headdesky ways first, let Apple fix those issues, and then I’ll have a look, yanno?
Waiting a year for bug smashing and whatnot is smart. If a product has any market at all, Apple will keep improving it.
That said, the iPad just MIGHT be good enough at what it does to fill my needs. It seems to be a good production for content consumption with just enough content creation tools to satisfy minor wants. I’m more medium to heavy duty content creation (writing, digital music, web content, photo editing, etc.), but even for me, the content consumption is attractive.
Imho, people focus *way* too much on the hardware. It’s really about the software. And despite the well publicized flaws of the iPhone/iPad platform (one of which will probably be fixed in the about to be announced version 4 of the OS), there really isn’t a more vital and vibrant ecosphere of software, well, anywhere.
I do actually have an iPad, and it’s really an amazing device. I’m not trying to sell one to anyone. I’m just saying it’s amazing, and one needs to play with one to get the idea. Lot’s of people who bash it say it’s a big iPod touch, and well, these are people who haven’t used one (I don’t think anyone here has said this yet *here* btw). It does feel *related* to an iPod touch or iPhone, but it also feels like a lot more.
To make a short story long, it really is something different and I have this feeling it really will change things, but I’m not really sure HOW yet.
Just my $0.02. :-)
I’m still VERY surprised that the thing won’t do widescreen HD. Bizarre.
@ Gilmoure (#1)
May I recommend Air Video for your streaming needs? It’s an iPhone/Touch app with a server (you download and install it separately) that you can point at your media folders. Open the Air Video app on your i-Device and you can stream media over your network. It does real-time conversion, so you don’t have to pre-convert and copy to your whatever. Free version displays selected media from folders, $3 version displays all media. I’m pretty impressed with it.
Back on topic, they’re apparently releasing an iPad version soon. And they’re testing streaming over the internet so you can access your media from anywhere. Good stuff.
I’ve been a Mac person since they were little beige boxes with monochrome screens and I have to say all the hype around Apple these days–all the way to the backlash–is like being a longtime fan of some weird and obscure band that’s now having stadium tours.
My birthday is in June. I’ve dropped hints. That’s all I plan to do at this point.
“They pick pretty over brains pretty much every time. Especially low maintenance pretty.”
LOL, so true with the Apple people I know.
We’re seriously considering one for my mom. Even after a few years of trying, she just doesn’t work well with computers, but still wants to get email, do things on the web, look at the digital photos of her grandkids, etc. The one-window, push-button aspect of the iPad is likely to be much easier for her than a full-blown operating system now is. She’s still on dial-up, and the cost of the 3G service is as cheap as her dial-up. So, ease of use, portability, and cost all seem to point to it as a viable option for her. More of an appliance, less of a computer…
The iPad is actually more than I hoped it would be, and it takes actually having it in your hands for a few hours to get the real effect of using it.
It’s more than just the consumption device I was originally thinking it would be, with Pages and SketchBook Pro, I am writing and drawing while sitting with the family watching TV. It’s keeping me productive in the ways I was hoping a Netbook would but aesthetically more pleasing.
I figure in a year or two I might be ready to go in on one, but I agree with the others, 3rd gen+ really is best where Apple is concerned. It’ll be cheaper and better then, plus barring any unforseen accidents (*cough*droppingitdownthestairs*cough*) that’s about when I’ll be due for a new laptop so the timing works out great.
I prefer low-maintenance pretty with brains, which conveniently explains both my spouse and my appreciation of Apple products. Well, okay, there’s much more than that to the explanation of the former, but still, those things do apply.
(I don’t have an iPad yet. Will probably hold off until v2. Probably.)
@Mike, I’m intrigued. You’re right, I haven’t used one, but I’ve seen a few reviews now and what I’ve seen is, the iPad is a bigger, faster iPod Touch/iPhone…why do you say it isn’t? Meaning that not in an argumentative way, but what do you see as the fundamental difference?
I can see that the size gives it some advantages, but that still is not an essential difference. I’ve seen some very interesting apps, but I have a strong feeling they’ll be showing up in smaller versions before too long…but again, that’s just speculation.
So in your opinion, what (other than size and the increased processing power that it allows) differentiates it from the touch/iPhone?
My take on the iPad has to be what it’s not. It’s not a particularly usable computer, it’s not a phone, it’s not a wireless media player and it’s not really something that I can identify a niche for in my life. Guess I’ll iPass for now.
@MikeB Have you used one? (I doubt it). It’s actually unbelievably usable. :-)
@JimR The size is the difference. Plus it’s fast. It’s hard to comprehend until you experience it yourself. I wish I could hand everyone mine and let you try it out for a while (as long as you gave it back… :-).
You can do all kinds of stuff that was either not really workable, or was a “novelty” on the iPhone/iPod Touch. For example, I spent an hour websurfing amazon.com looking for a new book to read (I’ve read all Scalzi’s, dangit!). I read that new book for an a hour or so with the Kindle app. Then I played plants vs zombies for like an hour. I tweeted. Then I looked at photos on flickr (with an iPad app) for like an hour. I read and sent a ton of emails. Then I watch the movie Serenity on Netflix. I did all kinds of other stuff too.
I sat on my couch and used the device all day long (until my neck cramped up). And after all that I had like 60% battery left.
The iPad is far far more than the iPod touch or iPhone. You can’t really compare it to anything else, imho.
We have just seen the beginning of what is possible with it. Mark my words, interwebulites. Mark. My. Words.
Many people I know are raving over it, but my feeling is that my MacBook does far more and my eReader is lighter and easier on the eyes. I carry both everywhere, so why buy this?
Steve Burnap #26: you asked why buy an IPAD if you already own a MacBook and eReader. It’s about wants and needs. The IPAD is a luxurious luxury. I love the way it feels in my hands. It has all the entertainment on it that I play with when I’m relaxing, and that entertainment is all on one sleek, relatively light weight device (netflix, kindle books, my iTunes library, web surfing, and fun apps, including games and nerdy “oh wow” apps that fill me with wonder). And, you can easily magnify text and move webpages around as if they were paper on your desk. Having said that, I prefer to do work on my pc laptop. Typing this on the IPAD was a pain… But I feel the same way about texting on my cell phone. Maybe it just takes getting used to. In sum: watching movies on my heavy full sized laptop or tiny phone vs IPAD? The IPAD wins. More: I won’t toss my Kindle, which I prefer to read on. However, if I go on vacation, only the IPAD will travel with me… Not the laptop and not the Kindle.
Well, at least, experience shows who the iPad is really intended for: toddlers!
First encounter of a 2-and-a-half-year-old with Apple’s new toy.
Very cute, of course.
You’d think Americans would be more supportive, dare I say patriotic, when it comes to Apple, Apple launches in particular. I mean, Americans don’t really “make” much of anything anymore. And what they do “make,” all things entertainment, because Americans do love their escapism, as well as exporting it, can be pirated with a few clicks of their mouse (Made in China, of course). I bought my niece an iPad yesterday, split the cost with my siblings, and she couldn’t be happier. It’s already enhanced her life, geeked out her world a little more, tweaked her mind. She’s proud to own such a thing. I guess you have to be Canadian, or any other nationality but American, to really appreciate Apple and their contributions to well . . . the pursuit of happiness.
It’s the same way with Microsoft and . . .
Early adoption is for suckers. I work in IT. I know that the first generation software or technical toys are not that good. Which is why when version 3.0 comes out they go “hey this is all the good stuff we fixed in 1.0. By 3.0 and turn in your crappy 1.0 version”.
Also, you don’t know what technology is going to take off. for people over 35, remember Beta video cassettes?
The iPad only has 16 gb or 32 gb of storage. That is not much at all. You can get 160 GB on an iPod Classic for less money. The cost of portable storage is falling quickly. With in 2 years when iPad 3.0 comes out you will be be able to get 100 GBs from Apple or someone else for less money.
I would wait a few years to let the suckers test these things out at higher prices before even considering buying one. I don’t own an iPod yet. The public library just started getting alot of eaudiobooks this year (I still use the CDs or cassettes from them), so I may get one in 2 yeras.
Every year these toys get better and the prices go down. Why go out and get one immediately? Just wait a few years.
One other thing that is annoying about these portable devices is they try to lock you in. Note how you can ONLY get ebooks for your specific device. You cannot buy an ebook on amazon and use it on iPad. This is rather annoying. One other reason why I am not adopting. They don’t own me.
I still find the polarizing opinions on the iPad kind of stunning. Even more so than the iPhone, which engendered it’s own level of crazy love/hate from folks. A friend of mine summarized my feelings when he said: “I’d love for someone to buy me an iPad, but I just can’t see spending that kind of money on it myself, right now.”
A couple of things occur to me:
1) People are trying to shoehorn the iPad into a slot so they can compare it and when they fail, they gauge it a failure at whatever arbitrary category they chose. This could be viewed as Apple’s failure to make a compelling case for the device, perhaps. Many people are complaining that it’s not a laptop replacement…which strikes me as silly. It’s clearly NOT a laptop. It’s a device that does what it does and by most accounts performs those tasks well.
2) Apple always Always ALWAYS makes first-adopters feel like chumps. And yet their most ardent customers continue to allow themselves to be cuckolded. And we’re talking DECADES of this behavior. A success of their marketing, I suppose. Sure, everyone notes how the iPhone 3Gs supplanted the 3G which supplanted the original iPhone. But remember the Mac iici-iicx-iifx? Remember the Apple Quadra 900…obsoleted by the Qudra 950 in FOUR MONTHS TIME? The second iteration of the hardware is always better and usually the same price as the first version. I expect the iPad to be no different.
As for stuff like the Slate? Well, I think the idea is nice, but the implementation has traditionally proven poor. I mean, 5 hours battery-life and no speakers on the Slate is not great. Lenovo’s U1, another such contender, has a terrible screen and two (yes, TWO) OSes. I have no doubt that the Slate will be a very functional NETBOOK. However, I doubt it will power on in a couple of seconds or get me to Wikipedia (or Wikipanion, more accurately) in 5 seconds or less. I doubt it will have the same kind of OS support that the iPhone and iPad has, built in. The Windows 7 OS may have token support for the touch-screen, but historically it’s usually been something of a kludge. I wonder if that will no longer be the case. Because hardware specs alone are meaningless without context. A 1.6GB Atom processor with 1GB of RAM only matters in the context of how well the device actually performs routine tasks. Comparing different processors on different hardware with different OSes has never been a particularly easy task.
I hope the iPad spurs competition. But I’m more interested in seeing devices that have a better combination of hardware/software than just one or the other. Apple’s strength has always been in the integration of the two, something that many of their opponents fail to realize or capitalize on. Which is why Apple’s biggest competitor has always been Microsoft, IMHO.
Apparently the iPad isn’t going to be for editing or writing long documents (i.e. books) for a while, either:
I’m a Mac user, but I’m still running my G4 PowerBook until she won’t run anymore. That’s the whole reason I moved in that direction: so I wouldn’t be spending money so frequently on upgrades.
@Mike, #25…so your basic argument is “It can do the things you can already do, but bigger and faster. (I do all the things you mentioned EVERY DAY on my iPhone…and when I’m done, it fits in my pocket.)
Meaning it’s a bigger, faster iPhone/iPod touch.
That’s not a bad thing, but it’s not a game changer…
“One other thing that is annoying about these portable devices is they try to lock you in. Note how you can ONLY get ebooks for your specific device. You cannot buy an ebook on amazon and use it on iPad. This is rather annoying. One other reason why I am not adopting. They don’t own me.”
That’s not true. You can most definitely read Kindle books on your iWhatever…there’s an app for that. Free. From Amazon. Also one from B&N, and all the other eBook stores out there. Also, the Mac iBookstore is supposed to use the ePub format, which is all about flexibility…and why I hope they open it to more than just the iPad.
I agree about early adopters, though–they seem to be getting a bit screwed today on the whole “no internet for you!” front.
@Guess, #30: Yeah, the ePub format is an open format and you can even get free books from Project Gutenberg and read them on the iPad. I’ve heard that Adobe is working up some templates for InDesign to publish ePub documents sized for iPad as well. As far as a reader goes, it should do ok.
@Malthusan, #16: Cool beans! Will have to check that out. Only thing that bugs me is that Apple has already built this in to iTunes to work with AppleTV and for sharing iTunes to other computers in our house, wirelessly. Oh well, I’ll be waiting for v.2 or v.3 anyways. Want to get a tractor this spring.
You say: “Early adoption is for suckers. I work in IT. I know that the first generation software or technical toys are not that good.”
In my opinion, early adoption is certainly better than NOT HAVING ANY TOYS AT ALL while you wait for v.2. Besides, this *is* v.4. The iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS are its direct predecessors.
You add: “The iPad only has 16 gb or 32 gb of storage. That is not much at all. You can get 160 GB on an iPod Classic for less money.”
And a 1″ screen. No thanks. And a networked device doesn’t need a ton of storage anyway. Not that I care, I bought the 64GB version.
Then you say, “The cost of portable storage is falling quickly. With in 2 years when iPad 3.0 comes out you will be be able to get 100 GBs from Apple or someone else for less money.”
I could be dead in 2 years. What about now?
Then you go on: “One other thing that is annoying about these portable devices is they try to lock you in. Note how you can ONLY get ebooks for your specific device. You cannot buy an ebook on amazon and use it on iPad. This is rather annoying. One other reason why I am not adopting. They don’t own me.”
Um, no, and no. EPUB is an open format and you can put them onto the iPad very easily. You can also buy Amazon Kindle books directly from the iPad, and wirelessly sync your bookmarks and notes with other Kindle hardware and software.
You work in IT but it would seem that you don’t read much.
As an artist/graphic designer I’d like to nit-pick over this part of John’s piece:
“And you know humans. They pick pretty over brains pretty much every time. Especially low maintenance pretty.”
Aesthetics are important. They’re not the only thing, nor even the most important thing in many decisions. A well written essay is more persuasive and more enjoyable to read than a poorly written one. A “pretty” object and/or interface is more satisfying than a badly designed object or interface.
I had a black and white Palm III PDA. It was a joy to use on many levels. I replaced it with a Sony Clie that had a color screen and it disappointed me every time I used it. The buttons felt bad and were cheaply chromed, the battery door was loose, the edges didn’t quite meet, the fonts looked terrible, etc., etc.
Nicely designed things, beautiful buildings, great movies, good writing – all of these enhance our lives.
Every year these toys get better and the prices go down. Why go out and get one immediately? Just wait a few years.
Because, by your theory, I shouldn’t have bought a car, or an iPod, or a notebook, or a computer, because a better one will always come out next year.
You can wait for your better computer. Me? I’ve been enjoying my iPod for years, which has fundamentally changed how I listen and deal with music, for the better.
You can wait for your better notebook. Meanwhile, I’ve been using mine for two years.
The trick is simple — 1) Buy it. 2) Use it. Never buy 1.0, or Rev. A, of course, but waiting for the perfect device means you will never, ever, ever get a device.
So, yeah, no iPad for me — Version 1.0, the leading edge is the bleeding edge. Come v1.2, though, I may well buy one.
I don’t think the slate is going to beat it, for lots of reasons. The biggest one: it costs more. That’s a huge advantage to have to surrender right off. You had better have a lot more features to offer, and I really don’t think it does. It looks more comparable at best, behind in a few areas.
I’ve read that Windows 7 runs horribly slow on those little processors for netbooks and tablets. One review mentioned a 2 minute wait for the tablet to boot! Not this tablet, but one with a similar Atom cpu, a 1 Ghz one I think? So how will this one do?
On the other hand, the ipad, from all reports, is lightning fast, and it’s obvious why. It has a chip that is designed to do one thing: run iPhone OS as fast as possible.
Finally, the ipad spanks the slate on battery life, 12 to 5. For a portable device, that’s critical. I want this thing to last for an entire trip, not one movie on a flight and I’m out.
@Erik – what would iPad 1.2 look like to you? And would the update be in hardware, software, or pricing?
I had little to no interest in the iPhone when it came out, but when v.2 of the OS launched with the App Store, I was all over it and became the biggest fan there is.
Amazon’s Kindle saw a price drop, then a major hardware redesign. When people saw v.2 they stopped making fun of it.
I’m wondering what people are waiting for in the “not first” version of iPad. Yeah, people want cameras, Adobe Flash, an SD card slot. Would a simple price drop be sufficient? Or enough time in the marketplace that a critical mass of useful software is available?
I still think this thing is already v.4 of the iDevice. How else would I have already accumulated so much software to run on the thing?
Apple’s Reality Distortion Field? Whaaaaaaat?
Apple’s managed to, with their smugness and arrogance and generally treating customer like they are complete morons (“treat technology like it’s magic!”) and overpriced/underpowered products, to drive me away from *every* product that they’ve ever released.
I’ve never owned an Apple product precisely because I’ve always been able to get the same thing elsewhere, more powerful, and less costly. And since I’m not an *idiot*, I didn’t let the “ooooh shiny” factor sway me into spending too much money on something who’s function should be far more important than form.
The fact that Apple continues to be so popular and sucker in a new generation of customer every few years really convinces me how stupid most consumers are. Or at least, how intellectually lazy and thoughtless they are.
I bought an iPad and got Zoe’s Tale from the iBookstore, so you are a beneficiary of my purchase! Since I’m an iPhone app developer, the purchase was pretty much a no-brainer.
So far it’s been nearly perfect except for trying to type more than a few words on the software keyboard. That drives me nuts. But other than that, the teething problems I’m used to seeing in a 1.0 product are simply not there.
I really love the device. it’s a lot better to read books on than you probably think. Then again, I never took to the overall look of eInk – thought it was too bland and monochromatic.
Here is my detailed review.
But why isn’t God Engines on the iBookstore yet? I thought your publisher really liked the iBookstore …
I’m surprised Apple hasn’t done anything to connect the iPhone/iPad to the Apple TV.
Well, there’s the Remote app, but that’s just a remote control.
In theory, you could use the iPad or iPhone as a multitouch UI for what’s on the TV screen. They could use both screens, kind of like a big Nintendo DS.
Seems like you could do cool things with that.
A third party could do such an app that would work with a regular Mac in that fashion, but at the moment Apple is the only company that can fiddle with the AppleTV software.
@ Jon H #42:
Apple has a remote tool for the iphone that lets you control AppleTV but it doesn’t display AppleTV on iPhone.
Gilmoure @43: “Apple has a remote tool for the iphone that lets you control AppleTV but it doesn’t display AppleTV on iPhone.”
Yeah, I mentioned that (Remote).
What I’m thinking about is more like, say, a multiplayer strategy game, where each player’s iPhone or iPad is their control panel, connected by wifi to an AppleTV, which displays the main game interface on a big TV. The TV would show ‘public’ info, but the players’ devices would show information they know that the others don’t. (For instance, a planned path for a unit to move to attack) or could be used for private communications between players.