Apple tablet

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Post: #1
Ok, assuming they're going to make one, and assuming it's something like [Image: 500x_500x_500x_apple-tablet-contest.jpg]

I dont really see the appeal... I mean it could be intended like a very thin laptop, but the lack of support to keep the screen facing you, the lack of keyboard... it seems more of a gimmick than something useful.

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Post: #2
The only appeal I can see is maybe as a competitor to something like Kindle, for e-reading. I'd probably never buy an e-reader until it was only $50, so count me out. If it had a stand and a laser keyboard (ever seen one of those, where it projects the keyboard onto the desktop? they look really cool!), then I'd say it might very well be a hit as a "micro laptop". Who knows... I'm skeptical with you though.
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Post: #3
It will make a nice mid-point between iPod/iPhone and MacBook. Apart from potentially being a great e-reader, it should (theoretically, depending on spec etc.) be great for games and (this is the killer bit) should be ideal for air travel. Battery life is likely to be better than a MacBook on a flight, it's better for watching films/playing games/reading than an iPhone and most importantly should be a lot easier to carry on to a flight than a laptop, even a netbook.

Add some of the potential uses like working as a separate screen/touch tablet for your Mac (already some uses for iPods doing this but a 'full' size tablet would be ideal) or the world's coolest TV/House remote and I can see it filling a lot of valuable niches.

I suspect the biggie will be the idea of reviving the print media area though as it's the first really practical way of reading newspapers and magazines in a digital form that enables them to make a profit. Because it's not only a dedicated e-reader, it's worth buying for everything else but it's actually useful as an e-reader. Sort of like early home computers being bought for one particular reasons (cooking recipes, home accounts or games being the classics at the time) but being able to be justified because they could do 'everything'.
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Post: #4
Zwilnik Wrote:I suspect the biggie will be the idea of reviving the print media area though as it's the first really practical way of reading newspapers and magazines in a digital form that enables them to make a profit. Because it's not only a dedicated e-reader, it's worth buying for everything else but it's actually useful as an e-reader. Sort of like early home computers being bought for one particular reasons (cooking recipes, home accounts or games being the classics at the time) but being able to be justified because they could do 'everything'.

Yeah, this is what I am now thinking is where it could be going. Something similar to this video which has been widely reported. If so then I'm expecting the launch to have at least one major major publishing partner on board bringing existing titles to life (back to life?). The print media has been desperately looking for some way to become profitable again, if Apple has hit on it then it could be massive.

It also seems to go along the same lines as the iTunes Extras that were introduced with iTunes 9. I think the tablet device is where that has been leading. It's entertainment with bonus features.

Then there's the coloured paint splats invitation that has gone out. It could just be that the device will come in a variety of colours, but it would be really exciting if it means it has something to do with creativity?

Gaming wise it would certainly be an interesting device to work with. Probably much better suited to board game style games like Scrabble than the iPhone is. But then not very suited to accelerometer based games!

Whatever happens I am thinking we could all be in for a surprise. When rumours first started that Apple were making a phone there were countless predictions but the reality blew everyone away.
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Post: #5
monteboyd Wrote:Whatever happens I am thinking we could all be in for a surprise. When rumours first started that Apple were making a phone there were countless predictions but the reality blew everyone away.

True, and I hope they have some huge surprises in store, because if it's "just a tablet", I don't think it's going to be as successful as the hype seems to think. I wasn't one of the skeptics with either the original iPod or iPhone, but the tablet I'm a little skeptical of.

One problem I can see: How is that huge glass screen going to survive a school backpack?

Najdorf pointed out another: Is there going to be a stand for it? A plug-in keyboard?

I know Apple is the best there is at tackling all these issues, and they don't miss much, so it'd be interesting to see how they'd solve them ... or ignore them for other reasons, as they sometimes do.
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Post: #6
AnotherJake Wrote:Najdorf pointed out another: Is there going to be a stand for it? A plug-in keyboard?

I doubt there'll be a keyboard. One of the iPhone's biggest features is the virtual keyboard. Being able to have a completely localised keyboard for different alphabets with just a flip of a software switch is a major selling point in Asia and the Middle East. It also allows simplified or specialised keyboards without having lots of bits of hardware floating about.

Having said that, if it does happen to work with Apple's BlueTooth keyboard (or all of them) it would be handy.
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Post: #7
I'm envisioning the screen on the tablet might be large enough for two handed typing, which I imagine would be awkward if you simply set the device flat down on a table. I guess that's the part I'd have to see demonstrated. I know I don't like hunching over my iPod Touch on the desk while I'm developing, and prefer to pick it up instead. The tablet might be too large to pick up every time I want to look at it. A stand would be nice, but how would you do input in that case? As you suggest, bluetooth keyboard (and perhaps even mouse) compatibility could be a good solution. A projected keyboard would be ideal because that'd be like the virtual keyboard in that it'd be localizable, as you mention. Man, if they did a projected keyboard, I bet sales would skyrocket just for the gadget factor on top of the gadget factor.
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Post: #8
Yes, typing is going to be one of the most interesting issues to see solved. As AnotherJake says, two-handed typing wouldn't be possible if you're holding it with one hand, and I also suspect it will be too large for double-thumb typing which is probably the quickest on an iPhone.

I certainly don't believe Apple are incapable of mistakes, but if they've been working on a tablet device for as long as there have been rumours of one, then I hope for their sake it is a success! Wink
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Post: #9
If they do a projected keyboard and a projected screen you could have a computer of tiny size!

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Post: #10
I love how everyone is completely convinced that a tablet will be launched next week even though we've officially heard nothing at all from Apple about it. I'm going to be laughing so hard if these rumors turn out to be completely off target...
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Post: #11
ThemsAllTook Wrote:I love how everyone is completely convinced that a tablet will be launched next week even though we've officially heard nothing at all from Apple about it. I'm going to be laughing so hard if these rumors turn out to be completely off target...

Quite: we should all remember that this is all rumour and speculation.

However, as game developers we should be prepared to deal with what changes an iPad would make to our iPhone/iPod game market if one is announced (games needing to work without the accelerometer for instance) and be ready for a possible rush of updates just in case. If it's not announced it's not the end of the world and we can get on with life as normal without any real loss other than a small amount of thinking and foruming time Smile
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Post: #12
Well, tablet or not, whatever is announced next wednesday is going to be interesting for game developers:
Gaming Industry Invited to Apple Media Event
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Post: #13
PowerMacX Wrote:Well, tablet or not, whatever is announced next wednesday is going to be interesting for game developers:
Gaming Industry Invited to Apple Media Event

Hehe.. Maybe instead of an iPad, it'll be an iBox Rasp
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Post: #14
For sure we know it will be a fantastic e-reader, and also that it should be capable of graphics processing, near par with the wi, for games. It will also be a great movie player and a web browsing device. And then there will be all the apps.

The biggest wild card is typing. If apple has managed to devise a typing(or whatever it might be) scheme which is as good, or perhaps nearly as good as a traditional keyboard, apple could really usurp the entire burgeoning netbook market, as well as potentially large parts of the laptop market.

I personally would love to see a totally open device running os x, but this will almost certainly not be the case.

Also, it will be interesting to see if Apple ever creates an app store for mac applications, afterall so many developers recently learned obj-c and cocoa.
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Post: #15
To me, it would make more sense to put a touchscreen in a Macbook Pro than make an entirely new device. Putting a not-quite-laptop-nor-phone device between two positions that are, doesn't seem like a good business move to me.

*looks at PSP Go*
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