Freshly Squeezed Op-Ed: Really? That’s Your Gripe?

Nov 14, 2020 | OpEd | 0 comments

Several months ago, I posted an op-ed about switching my workflow to an iPad-centric model. A little over a month ago, Apple aired their second of three productions announcing new Apple products. At this event, one item introduced was the new iPad Air 4, powered by a beastly 14 Bionic chip. (Ten years from now we’ll all be astounded that we ever accomplished anything in a timely fashion with such primitive hardware.)

Seemingly overnight, You Tube exploded with approximately half the populous of Bulgaria hosting a You Tube channel either rumoring, benchmarking, or pontificating about the most recent Apple hardware and software. Some, indeed, became celebrities within the community.

Practically every channel was Geekbench-ing. They all trotted out their scores and compared them against prior iPads; Pro, Air, and plain entry level. Opinions were all over the map but generally positive.

However, one piece of hardware design seemed to rankle a great deal of the hosts. That would be instead of a notch to activate their iPads via Face ID, a notch they had been moaning about since its debut on the iPhone, they were forced to unnaturally use Touch ID on a power button on the side. It was a new form of muscle memory that would be near impossible to learn.

And they all presented it in the same user case scenarios. When held or mounted in Portrait mode it was a pleasure to use. Simply raise your right index finger to the top right of the iPad, push down on it and let your finger languish for a millisecond so as to recognize your fingerprint. Easy peasy.

But place it in Landscape mode and we were now trying to reach the top of Mt. Everest. I watched a gaggle of hosts demonstrate in a myriad of ways how it was not only an inconvenience but practically painful to activate the button.

Why? Because it was on the left side and they had to twist their arm like a pretzel to merely reach the button, let alone access its functionality. If only Apple had retained their ‘beloved’ notch. Face ID would free them of this abomination.

Now, I’m not a rehab specialist nor a physical trainer. Heck, I’m a run-of-the-mill parapelegic. But it seems to me that if the button is on the left side of the device, you would lessen your burden by reaching for it with your left arm. You more than likely have a digit on the end of it that will serve purpose suitably.

Look at these diagrams:



Palm slap. I think I may be in que for a Nobel Prize. What many had pronounced as an impossible feat, seems quite simple to do.

Portrait seems a no-brainer with your right hand. And, if one switches over to their left hand, the button seems quite reachable in Landscape mode. In fact, it looks as if there would be no difficulty at all.

Yep. It looks as if I can make an iPad-centric workflow possible after-all.

Copyright 2020 Frank Petrie


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