Chapter 2. At Leisure

At Leisure

That big black chair Steve Jobs settled into during the iPad’s unveiling wasn’t there because he doesn’t like standing. The unmistakeable message he sought to convey with legs crossed and device in lap: the iPad’s a living room-friendly gadget. Whether you’re in the mood to read, watch, or listen, when you leave the laptop behind and enter instant-on, browse-by-swiping mode, the distance between you and your media shrinks. Exhibit A is the kind of social-powered entertainment snacking that’s currently sending shivers down the spines of Big Media Moguls everywhere: Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and co. These photo- and link-rich status update factories have drawn great gobs of viewer interest in today’s info-overloaded environment. Apps that offer a swipe- and touch-friendly view of these collections have a way of making that couch cushion even more comfortable. Mainstream media, of course, isn’t going anywhere. Old-guard providers see a chance not only to deliver their traditional product, but sprinkle it with New Media pixie dust (adding things like how-to animations and live updates). Meanwhile, upstarts in radio and music aim to give the people what they want, which translates to a lot of personalized playlist making and eye-candy beat visualizers. And the big screen makes its own appearance on the littler screen; the tablet’s rich display and long battery makes ...

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