iPad Hackers Improve on the iPad DesignThe iPad may be incredibly popular and quite well designed, but that doesn’t mean its perfect. Many disagree with Apple’s design decisions, such as forgoing window management and how they handle text editing (trust me, typing out long articles on the iPad is asking for trouble. I have done it and they always end up as gibberish).
But hackers seem to be using the platform as a way to show just how much better it could be. Case in point: these two modifications to the iPad which introduce new behaviour that is, quite frankly, much needed.
A Better KeyboardDoing actual document editing on the iPad is a pain. For a device that is based around the idea of touch, actually getting the cursor to go where you want is part rocket science and part voodoo. You can easily spend a couple seconds just trying to get the cursor in the right position to edit some text, something that is incredibly distracting when editing a document.
But a guy named Daniel Hooper has a solution, and its quite elegant. Use the keyboard as a touchpad to scroll through the text with.
Hooper created a demo video of the technology, which you can see below. In it he demonstrates how simple his idea is. To move the cursor back, drag your finger left on the keyboard. To go faster, use two fingers. To select text while moving the cursor, press the Shift key, you know, like you do on the desktop. Once you see it in action, the solution is obvious, and obviously better than what Apple has right now.
Window ManagementThe iPad is great, and the small screeen makes full-screen apps make sense. But then you open a chat application or a to-do app and about a fifth of the screen is actually used. There has to be a better way.
And there is. It’s called window management, and computers have been using it pretty much since we stopped relying on a command prompt.
In the Cydia store for jail-broken iPads is an app called Quasar. It brings flexible, intuitive window management to the iPad. You really have to watch it in action to see just how much better it is than stock app management.