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In Tablet We Trust

In Tablet We Trust

Old People Are Coming For Your Tablets

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We would write about the first time our luddite grandmother picked up an iPad–the seamless way she took to it, how the flustered confusion laptops evoked in her completely ebbed with a tablet in hand–but Chadwick Matlin already did that a few months ago at The Hairpin, and he did it oh so wonderfully. Instead, let us reflect on ZDNet’s piece today about the lure of the tablet–what makes the sleek little device suddenly so appealing to people who previously brandished their technophobia with pride? Read More

In Tablet We Trust

Tablet for Two: The Brothers Mueller, Twin Maestros of the iPad, Will Make You See Double

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Kirk (left) and Nate Mueller at the SPD Awards dinner.

Identical twins Kirk and Nate Mueller sat side-by-side in identical leather chairs wearing identical GANT gabardine suits fiddling with identical Le Pen pens. It was chilly December afternoon just before the New Year at the Fort Greene offices of Studio Mercury, a boutique design firm made up entirely of alumni from the Rhode Island School of Design’s hyper-exclusive Digital + Media graduate program.

The Muellers’ similarities are more than superficial. The twins, who are 27 and stand 5’5″, share the same bank account. They share the same calendar. They share the same curriculum vitae. The same sexual orientation (gay), brownstone (Prospect Heights) and taste in boyfriends (“over 30”). They share the same profession, and the same specialty (interactive design). They even, in a manner of speaking, share an identity. Email the Brothers Mueller at their shared account, and the only way to tell which Mueller is responding is by whose name shows up first in the signature: Nate & Kirk versus Kirk & Nate.

“We have this little notation,” said Kirk.

“Some people figured it out,” chimed in Nate, who, along with his brother, seems unburdened by matters of selfhood.

One stutters trying to figure out how to address them. “The Brothers, the Brothers Mueller, or ‘the twins,’ or ‘the boys,’” Kirk said.

In the year and a half since the Brothers got their master degrees from RISD—sharing the podium as commencement speakers in 2010—and moved to New York, they have created iPad apps for Martha Stewart and e-books for Vanity Fair and Bon Appetit. Coming soon are a political website for The New Yorker and an iPad app for Newsweek. Whereas most graphic and user-interface designers tend to hand off the technical work, the brothers do it all, relying on Nate’s speed in programming and Kirk’s facility with design. Read More

In Tablet We Trust

Qwiki Cracks the App Store Top Ten, Considers Killing Website Altogether

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Qwiki turned heads last September when it won the top prize at TechCrunch Disrupt. The service pulls information from around the web to create multimedia presentations on over 3 million people, places and things, a sort of Wikipedia composed of miniature documentaries.

Last week the service launched its iPad app, and within a few days had broken into the top ten list. “We may just end up killing the website altogether,” said Qwiki co-founder Doug Imbruce, only half joking, during a visit to Betabeat’s offices on Friday. Read More