John Gruber on the Prospect of an iPad Mini

McEnroe John McEnroe is pre-emptively furious about Apple’s iPad Mini.

John Gruber:

Ends up a 7.85-inch iPad display would be about as tall, physically, as the current 9.7-inch iPad display is wide. Here’s the math: 1024 pixels divided by 163 pixels per inch = 6.28 inches for the purported iPad Mini height; 768 pixels divided by 132 pixels per inch = 5.8 inches for the current iPad width. Not exact but close — the rumored iPad Mini would actually be half an inch taller than the existing iPad is wide.

So, here’s how you can make a poor man’s iPad Mini simulator: take a screenshot on your iPad, then view the screenshot on the iPad but rotate the device. This shrinks the screenshot to fit — almost exactly the same reduction in size as this purported iPad Mini.

Despite the weblog community’s over-saturation with this particular article, I cannot help but link.

Just prior to WWDC, as swathes of rumor-driven onlookers reached a fevering pitch, I wrote an article concerning the nature of end-user expectations for The Loop. The central thrust of the article was a general distaste toward the incessant perpetuation of unsubstantiated rumor. For many sites, rumor is misappropriated as fact, thereby establishing poorly representative levels of expectation toward product releases.

Contrary to this despicable and far-reaching state of affairs, there exists a minority of thinkers devoted to the measured consideration of the future. In my opinion, light-hearted contemplation of possibility is one of the most constructive and important endeavors a thinking person can experiment with. Marrying introspective thought with contextual reasoning, novel conversation and rhetoric may be derived, intelligent discussion may progress, and the community is bettered.

Residing thoroughly within this vein of intellectualism is John Gruber’s piece concerning the iPad Mini. Regardless of whatever quantities of insider information Gruber might hold, his thought process in considering the prospective product is utterly steeped within the bounds of measured thought. Rather than leaping from one faulty platform to another, Gruber instead embraces some degree of ignorance as to the reality of the iPad Mini, and embarks upon a basic, logical assessment of the situation.

Such reasoning is not only the antithesis to the rampant page-view-driven machine of many large sites, but also precisely characterizes the affability and long-standing relevance of Daring Fireball. As Shawn Blanc wrote today, “Daring Fireball at its best: smart, witty, fun.”

Paper by FiftyThree

Paper by FiftyThree

Introduced yesterday evening, Paper by FiftyThree is a fantastic new drawing app for iPad. Relying primarily upon touch — much like Realmac Software’s Clear for iPhone — Paper foregoes UI chrome in favor of a simple, intuitive interface.

Freely available and supported by in-app purchases, it has taken virtually no time at all for early drawings to usurp Twitter feeds across the world as more and more people began to experiment with the app.

John Gruber has gone as far as to write:

Exquisitely well-done new drawing app. Note the complete lack of persistent on-screen UI chrome — there is a fork in this regard between Apple and third-party iOS developers. Cf. Clear for another recent example.

The tension is between simplicity and obviousness. Eliminating on-screen chrome is simpler, more elegant and beautiful. But Apple’s use of minimal but persistent on-screen chrome makes things more obvious. Big differences can result from a slight shift in priorities: simple and obvious vs. obvious and simple.

If you own an iPad, Paper is definitely worth a download.

RSS Omitted from Mountain Lion's Mail

Writing for Macworld, Dan Frakes reports that, amongst other changes, RSS has been omitted from the forthcoming version of Mail for Mountain Lion. Although the omission will likely stoke ever-frustrating cries of the death of RSS once more, I tend to think it makes a lot of sense.

I doubt many people used the feature but, more importantly, it no longer fits with Apple's vision of unobstructed simplicity and consistency. RSS is not a user-friendly feature for the average person. The vast majority of Mail users, I would guess, simply allow the default RSS feeds to idly grow with little attention. Just as iOS foregoes any semblance of built-in RSS, Mountain Lion intends to do the same.

As Gruber rightly argued, Apple is simply trimming the "cruft."

One final thing to note is the interesting juxtaposition between the removal of RSS and the deep inclusion of Twitter. Food for thought, to say the least.

"Why Are Android Smartphones Bigger Than the iPhone?"

John Gruber:

A different theory occurred to me over the weekend. To wit: that Android smartphones have grown enormously in order to accommodate LTE. Currently-available LTE chipsets are physically bigger (AnandTech made the case months ago that none of them would fit in the iPhone 4/4S case design), and because they’re so power-hungry, they require bigger batteries. Thicker phones aren’t going to fly. Thus: wider and taller phones with displays expanding to fill the surface.

Certainly makes sense. I've discussed Android smartphone screen size before, but this particular stance hadn't occurred to me.