Since my devistating review of the Camangi WebStation I’ve had some time to think about what my vision is for the soon to be announced Apple tablet.Â This isn’t a prediction of what I think it will be, but rather a look at what I hope it will be.Â Of course I originally wrote this about two or three weeks ago and since then there have been many rumors and speculations about what the tablet will be. Â And by now we have a lot of clues as to what it will be.Â And of course it’s very likely that in two days we’ll know exactly what it is, at least it’s initial itteration. Â But hit the link and read on to what iWant it to be.
1. User Experience and Fatigue
Top on my wish list is of course just the fact that it will be the ultimate gadget from a user experience perspective.Â Specifically what I mean by that is comfortable to use in many different situations, easy to carry and store, something that can be tossed around and not get scratched, and something that naturally becomes just as much as appendage as the iPhone has.Â I expect nothing less from Apple.
My wife’s been experiencing some arm pain, similar to a carpel tunnel type injury, because of her use of the iPhone touch screen.Â In the past I’ve suffered some from playing too many Xbox 360 games.Â More recently I was getting sore from playing a game on the Wii.Â Any new user input device can come with use-related injuries.Â I hope that the new Tablet OS is comfortable to use and doesn’t create too much fatigue.
Example: I actually painfully wrote my first draft of this post in the notes app of my iPhone, in bed, while my wife was asleep beside me. Hopefully I haven’t painted a creepy picture, but night is often when I get inspiration to write and a laptop is simply too large and bulky to take to bed. I always sleep with my iPhone near by.Â And lately I’ve been wondering if a 10 inch tablet would be more or less conducive to bedtime work (and typing) than the iPhone. Â Ease of typing is a huge concern when considering how one would (or will) use touch screen tablets in the real world.
2. Power Cords / Interface Cable
As silly as it might seem I would love to see the tablet use the same interface connector as the iPhone / iPod touch. I already have so many of these laying around. Already have them in my cars, next to my bed, at my office, and at home.Â I don’t want to all the sudden need a new set of cables. Sony kills me wih all their different batteries and power adaptors. Recently I spent 3 hours trying to find a lost power cable for my video camera which is why I did a writen review of the webstation instead of a video review. I did find 3 other Sony power cable and 2 other Sony battery chargers. But they’re all slightly different and incompatible. Â Annoying! Â So please Apple – keep to your own standard.
3. Powerful Processor.
I felt the iPhone 3gs was a significant improvement over the original iPhone in terms of speed. I hope the tablet will be MacBook pro fast. If it’s going to be more costly than a well equipted netbook it should be more powerful as well.
4. Real Flash Support.
Come on, mobile safari is fine for the iPhone but this thing needs to support hulu, the real YouTube, and flash gaming. Â I know that Apple’s MO is to try to ‘encourage’ media buying from and for the device, but I hope it’s not at the expense of blocking hulu or any other media that I might want to play on it.
5. My Cloud / Mobile Me
I’m crossing my fingers for a killer remote desktop / screen sharing app.Â Get this concept: if you could use the mac tablet with a mobile me / back to my mac account to access and control your main home mac from anywhere, in a way it would be like being able to take your home computer with you everywhere you go.Â In a way it would be just as good (or maybe better) than having the tablet run the full Mac OSX.
I read someone online mention that if the tablet ran the full os it could take sales away from the desktop computer business.Â I think it’s safe to say that it won’t “run” the full OS X.Â But I think if the tablet acts as a controller or a window to your desktop computer, it actually promotes desktop computer sales.
It also opens up a new possible business for Apple: renting virtual (cloud) Mac OSX computer desktops to tablet users.Â Rather than purchasing a $5000 mac pro, purchase a tablet and rent the power of a mac pro that you access via your tablet.Â I believe that improvements could be made to the concept of remote desktop that would enable it to be more like actually having that computer inside your tablet.Â Things like how files and data are shared between the two devices, and how input data could be recorded at a higher frequency – could make it possible to even use photoshop remotely.Â But in this concept the remote computer is in a farm somewhere in the cloud.
6. Remote for Apple TV
The Remote app on the iPhone is one of my favorite apps.Â Think of this app but bigger, better and stronger and for Apple TV.Â The convergence between the computer and the TV could be solved by using the tablet as an input device for a computer that sits on your TV.Â About 4 months ago I saw this (http://www.vimeo.com/6712657) interesting video of the 10/GUI user interface concept.Â The basic idea is that the screen is duplicated down to a touch screen where your keyboard would be.Â Watch the video.Â This concept would work great as an interface for your TV as a computer.Â Right now web surfing on a TV is a horrible experience.Â Using this MO it could become second nature.Â The Apple TV could become a device to visualize your tablet’s screen to your TV and conversely the tablet could be the ultimate remote for the Apple TV. Â This marriage could honestly be a game changer.
7. Tablet as a Phone
Ok, I think this is a stretch but it’s possible.Â So of course I don’t want to pay for both iPhone connectivity and tablet connectivity.Â It’s possible that the tablet could be a ‘phone’ and inlcude a small handset or headset that wirelessly connects to the tablet.Â Not bluetooth please but something with a much longer range like wifi.Â And the handset would need a small touch screen so you could dial with it and search contacts (like an iPhone Nano). Â But all the real work would happen in the tablet. Â It’s probably impractical but it’s still made my list.Â Another option in this same vein would be for the tablet to get it’s 3G from your iPhone, which is more of a traditional tethering concept.
8. eBook eMag reader – NOT eInk
I’m not much of a book or magazine reader, but this video (http://vimeo.com/8217311) got me excited about what electronic magazines could become. Â StillÂ eInk does me no good.Â eInk doesn’t emit light except for backlighting models which look about as good as my Newton.Â I think if you want an eInk reader that’s easy on the eyes go buy a Kindle or a Nook. Â Maybe Apple can have an ebook mode which changes the lighting on the display and makes it easier on the eyes.Â Still, it needs to have a beautiful screen for watching movies. Â That’s more of a priority for me.
9. Front facing camera
Please. Â Everyone knows why and everyone wants this. Â And we don’t want to wait for the 4th hardware version. Â Just give it to us. Â Thanks!
My overall hope for this tablet is that it will have many many real uses.Â Not just be a big iPod Touch or another gadget that I’ll buy and carry around and surf the web with.Â But be the one device that basically does it all – an honest game changer.Â Apple has a huge opportunity to change the way we use computers here.Â I just hope that they don’t disappoint us all on Wednesday and just announce a new iLife.