iPad

John Gapper

Frédéric Filloux has a smart prediction on the Monday Note (a recommended weekly email about media and technology, by the way) about how the iPad and tablet computers could change the book business and help  longer-form journalism.

I have a couple of thoughts about it. Read more

John Gapper

The platform wars have returned. The past few days have brought an outbreak of hostilities between Apple and Adobe, and tensions between Twitter and the companies that make software clients that let people tweet.

The facts are different, but the underlying story is the same. Many software and internet companies aspire to be platforms for which others compete to make applications and services. Becoming a platform entrenches  them and (usually) their profitability.

The most famous beneficiary of such a network effect was, of course, Microsoft, which established Windows as the biggest PC operating system, and enjoyed years of growth as a result.

For a few years, the explosive growth of the internet – the ultimate open platform – has put many such rivalries into abeyance. Now, they are rearing up again. Read more

John Gapper

Further to my column on the iPad, I’ve also been able  to make a comparison between Apple’s device and Amazon’s Kindle. The brief answer is: for periodicals such as digital papers and magazines, the iPod is better; for books, the Kindle still wins.

I’ve written before about the experience of reading papers such as the FT and the Wall Street Journal on a Kindle and have come across devoted readers – mainly senior executives in global companies – who are attached to reading the FT on their Kindles. Read more