I mentioned I’d bought a Nest. I sacrificed a relaxing lunch to install it. They asked me to take a survey. and I thought I’d sacrifice another lunch to answer them and tell you guys about it too. They had a “anything else?” field where I could write whatever. I did discover somewhat disappointing things and a lack of information I feel Nest-as-a-business is missing.

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For years my primary development machine for my personal endeavors has been some form of PowerBook or MacBook. I liked being able to take the entirety of my digital environment with me wherever I went. During the last year or so, I decided to see how much of that environment I actually needed to be mobile. I even outlined a basic plan for this in early 2010. Here I am in early 2011 ready to take the next step – trading the laptop in for a powerful desktop computer and leaving mobile power behind.

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It’s been eight months since I griped about a lack of a swipe-to-navigate gesture in Mobile Safari. There’s still been no progress, despite iOS 4 having come out since then. I think I have the reason why and a compromise. The basic problem is that web pages can be horizontally scrolled. The deeper problem, I suspect, may be “not invented here syndrome” on Apple’s part.

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I sent my first e-mail to Steve Jobs a few minutes ago. I think iPad’s Mobile Safari is sorely missing the swipe-to-navigate gesture. I eagerly await his response (I’m even holding my breath). In the meantime, I’d like to opine.

Here’s the letter:

Greetings, Mr. Jobs: On the iPad, the screen is blessedly large, but the “back” navigation button in Mobile Safari is relatively small. I find I have to tap it several times because I “miss” the area when browsing quickly.I’m a long-time MacBook user and now also have a Magic Mouse for my desktop. I find the n-finger-swipe-to-navigate gesture indispensable with Safari. The gesture is now so deeply ingrained, I find myself doing it constantly on the iPad with disappointing results. It’s a bit of a surprise that the touch-rich iPad experience lacks this very powerful and magical gesture. At the risk of earning a “magical gesture” from you, PLEASE bring swipe navigation to the iPad very soon – the platform demands it!

To elaborate, I understand why the gesture was never implemented in the iPhone / iPod Touch version of Mobile Safari. The screen is just too small. So small, it doesn’t even invite the gesture. I myself have never once tried to swipe-to-navigate. The iPad, on the other hand, invites this gesture almost as a reflex, if you’re used to either the MacBook / Pro trackpad or the new Magic Mouse.

It bothers me to no end that this gesture is not available on the iPad. So much, I’m willing to risk a soul-crushing, snarky reply from Steve. I’m torn between “Please be gentle,” and “Thank you Sir, may I have another?”

After complaining bitterly about its price and insisting I’d need the largest model for ocular comfort (I have vision problems), I found I couldn’t stop thinking about the advantages of having a Kindle. I was spurred on by a recent discussion with coworkers about the device. So I dug in and did some real research.

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