SimpleMovieX and the iPad
First, a comment about my predictions: I got them plain wrong.
As many other commentators, I have overestimated the weight of the Technical in innovation: Setting aside the A4 processor, a true technical barrier of entry for competitors, the iPad is first and foremost a device that stands on the shoulders of a Giant: the iPhone.
Here I consider the whole iPhone ecosystem as the sum of the “Touch” user interface and the AppStore and its 140,000 existing applications. For developers, it’s indeed the same platform.
The iPad re-purposes the iPhone ecosystem into the future mainstream utility to get things done. The magic is in simplifying things to make them iPhone-like, and the genius is in artificially restraining some technical capabilities.
Your mythical grand-ma cannot buy or use a computer alone, but she downloads and uses apps on her iPhone, alone. That’s the whole differentiating point of the iPad, and because it’s not a computer, Apple has met its goal to give whole new demographics their Internet-age appliance.
Now, let’s go back to SimpleMovieX. I have no doubt that the iPad will be a successful platform, that eventually will displace current platforms. That is definitively a place I will be unless I want my business to address only niche technical markets ten years from now.
SimpleMovieX is a lightweight video editor. From the scope point-of-view, it can be a good fit for the iPad, that is primarily a consumption and lightweight creative device. SimpleMovieX uncluttered user interface could easily be transposed to iPad screens.
The first problem is how you get your data into your iPad. Movies syncing through iTunes works well, but it is not the channel that people will use to import content that they want to modify. According to published information, the iPad doesn’t have a built-in camera, nor does it connect directly to video cameras.
The iPad seems too disconnected from video production workflows and from video devices to be a place for SimpleMovieX to live. At least today.
From the technical stand point, it looks really bad too: All indicates that the QuickTime framework that powers SimpleMovieX is not available on the iPad. Instead, the modern and efficient QuickTime X, used in the iPhone and iPad for audio and video playback, supports very few codecs and formats, and have near-zero editing capabilities.
This will improve over time, for sure, but Apple is like a car with no reverse gear: QuickTime X will grow towards the future, not towards ensuring full backwards compability with legacy QuickTime.
In other words, if SimpleMovieX someday exists on the iPad platform, it will have nothing in common with today’s SimpleMovieX. Except maybe the skin and purpose. Time will tell.