The whispers have been getting louder lately that Apple will be be announcing the long-rumored Tablet next month at its September keynote.
We have all learned that these rumors are often wrong and Apple moves at its own pace, but the idea of an Apple Tablet with a 10 inch touch-screen--effectively an iPhone with a large screen--is so intriguing that it's hard for a blogger like to me to ignore. That's why I've come up with a list of five reasons you'll want to own this baby if in fact it ever comes to fruition.
1. Super eBook Reader
As I wrote about in Apple eBook Reader Could Change Everything, a tablet could be Apple's entree into the eBook market. When interface guru, Jakob Nielsen analyzed the Kindle, he wrote that the interface was great for book reading, but it failed as an internet device. An Apple Tablet would be the best of both worlds. Folks already use the iPhone as an eBook reader, although the screen size makes it a bit uncomfortable reading for a long period of time. The Tablet would provide that larger form for more comfortable reading and it's an Apple, so you know the display and interface would be superb.
2. Watching Videos
On a recent plane trip, I used my iPhone to watch TV shows I had downloaded from the iTunes Store. I found it surprisingly comfortable watching video, but the screen is small for extended viewing and the battery life is less than optimal. Watching content like TV shows on a 10 inch Apple Tablet would be an infinitely better experience. I would hope a Tablet would come with similar long-life battery technology as the new Mac Book Pros that would enable you to watch video for 6-8 hours, rather than the couple of hours you are limited to on the iPhone.
Along with the Tablet, the Apple Netbook has been a persistent rumor even though Steve Jobs has said he doesn't want to attack the low end of the market. As my son pointed out to me recently, the 10 inch screen would be large enough, so you could have the touch screen keyboard along the bottom of it, providing a way to type in a natural fashion without an external keyboard. But if Apple really wanted to make this a portable computer, they would let third-party manufacturers develop a wireless external keyboard.
4. Business Device
The Tablet PC business never took off the way people expected, but it did find its niches. For instance, my doctor carries around a bulky Tablet PC to do his work. Wouldn't the job be infinitely simpler with a light-weight, thin 10 inch device? The Apple Tablet would provide all of the functionality in a much smaller footprint.
5. Gaming Device
The Apple iPhone has changed the gaming market as developers flock to the device to develop new games. A 10 inch Apple Tablet would give Apple a portable gaming device to rival Nintendo and Sony for the portable gaming device market.
Nobody really knows if Apple is planning such a device or if they are if the announcement is really coming next month, but for now it's fun to speculate what it would mean if they did.
I would think they'd have to create a hybrid o/s much the same way they did for the iphone. Existing iphone apps just wouldn't look or work right on the phone unless they used an aspect ratio approach to grow the size of the app gui to the correct dimension, which would just look awkward. A more likely approach would be to have an iphone simulator like screen come up that mimics the iphone o/s to provide access to those old apps, while allowing developers to create special versions of their apps for the new tablet.
Either way I hope they come out with a good rival to Microsoft's one note, b/c I've been looking for a good note taking tablet for a while and the PC offerings just weren't cutting it. Really, I'd like to see them solve the problem of hand writing recognition or capture, maybe even some kind of ingenuis math equation entry engine. Of course there's only so much you can do with a touch screen.
I have the feeling if this Tablet comes out next month, and who knows if it really will, Apple will have solved these problems. But you raise some interesting issues and I hope they actually produce one so we can see how they deal with them. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
1.Apple iPad boots very fast, that is, in fifteen seconds or so.
2.Hundreds of thousands of full-fledged apps will make Apple iPad a versatile tablet used in as many occasions as possible.
3.Apple iPad is meant to be a promising device, so the limitations on multitasking and flash support are just temporary. I am sure you will be amazed to know Windows 7 can run on Apple iPad.
4.t is light, thin and sturdy, easily tucked into portfolio or a travel pack.