Why we want 'er need a Tablet

MacRumors asks What is the Ultimate Role of the Apple Tablet? There is a nice warm debate questioning what need the Apple Tablet will fill.

I think the Apple Tablet brings the iPhone experience to a computer/device with a bigger screen.

Marshall McLuhan said “The Medium is the Message” in a similar vein of thought might I suggest that The App is the Device?

On the iPhone/Touch the App is king. This is thanks to the complete lack of ‘Computer Adminstrative Debris’ as Edward Tufte put it, allowing the device to be one with what the user is thinking and wanting to do. A bigger screen allows more information and interaction.

Another equally important thing that make the iPhone experience special is that all the apps are sandboxed. ‘Sandboxing is a good thing?’ you ask, Yes it is. It is like having a web app experience without the lousy browser. The sandbox acts as a way to protect YOUR device from bad apps much like the browsers (IE being the exception) protect you from poor or malicious websites. The website has some access to your computer but only as much as you want or the browser allows.

I have developed and continue to develop web apps and native Mac/iPhone apps. Web apps are YEARS behind desktop apps and continue to fall farther behind because desktop OSes, especially Mac OS X, are not standing still. Web apps still suck and the failed promise of Develop Once and Release to All Platforms is nowhere in sight. You need only visit browsershots and see how many flavors of browsers you have to support to see my point....but I digress.

So will the Apple Tablet fill a need or have an ultimate role? Yes and I think the timing is right. Apple has the AppStore, the OS, the developers, and the technology/design to make the Tablet as beautiful and as useful as my iPhone.


My Predictions on the Apple Tablet

Way way back in 2006 I posted I had a dream about the iPod AV. While this time I haven’t had any dreams about the tablet, I've had an urge to write my predictions of what the tablet will probably be like based on the many rumors and posts I’ve read.

  • A 2x or 1.5x screen resolution of the iPhone 960x640 or 720x480 with hopefully the same density ppi.
  • Will work with the app store and only the AppStore.
    • New section for tablet specific apps may be added to the App Store (I hope this is so).
  • It will be a locked system OSX system just like the touch and iPhone.
  • Apps will be sand-boxed just like the iPhone/Touch. (This is the future of are free but not things that run on your system)
  • It will be very thin.
  • it will be light and nice to hold and touch.
  • Will have very good battery life.
  • Will have a camera or two.
  • It will have tethering to an iPhone or possible have cellular capability (i doubt this).

These next items I suspect will be what we will complain about:

  • It will not be cheap.
  • It will of course not have enough space. There is really no way to please people on this point. I predict 64GB or 128GB if we are lucky. Ideally I’d like it to be 256-500GB.
  • It will not run mac apps.
  • No SDCard slot.

Frankly I’ll just be happy to see the thing get launched.

My only lingering concern is what the rumors community will have left to speculate about. The tablet has fueled and fed us all for so long....

UPDATE: Just read that Jobs "Extremely Happy" with Upcoming Apple Tablet I translate that to mean he has managed to take away all the remaining it will be buttonless tablet. Just a big gorgeous screen to touch. ;-)


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