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Video isn’t mobile

Hell froze over again and – wham – here’s the video ipod in all its boxy glory. I don’t think it’s a good idea, though. Sure, tossing in a new feature won’t stop people from buying the best portable audio player in the world, a hallmark of modern design and style icon of our days, but i don’t think that people will actually use the video feature much (update: i should probably clarify that i’m talking about video on-the-go – hooking up your ipod to your tv seems perfectly reasonable to me).
In my humble opinion one of the keys to successful design for mobility is to keep in mind that mobile devices shouldn’t take you out of context, they should be non-immersive in usage. Or as Janne Jalkanen puts it: mobile devices are background devices, whereas laptops are foreground devices (via Russell Beattie). Interestingly this seems to be something the cellphone industry really gets and the personal computer industry doesn’t. Of course there are those who argue that ipods don’t qualify as mobile but merely as portable in the first place, simply because they haven’t achieved the same “bring-along-everywhere” status as cellphones…
While i’m ranting about apple’s new ipods i might as well chime in on the new imacs: integrated camera – it’s about time, hopefully this’ll make it into displays and laptops in the foreseeable future. No integrated dial-up modem – i was expecting to see this happen sooner than later, i wonder if their laptops are next. Front row – interesting to see the imac take center-stage as apple’s media center where everyone expected the mac mini to take on this roll six months ago. Kinda bold to create a living room media hub without integrated tv-tuner – either they’re really confident in their itunes video store or Steve Jobs really hates tv.