Apple tablet

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Post: #16
Oddity007 Wrote: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*

The idea is that a touchpad/giant iPod Touch works out a lot cheaper to make than a MacBook Pro (let alone a touchscreen one). It's simpler mechanically (no keyboard and no need to have a hinge), lighter, uses a lower power CPU so can have a much longer battery life and of course is a lot smaller.

It fills the niche that netbooks are currently badly wedging themselves into..
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Post: #17
I dont know, for $1000 there is no way I would this. Not even for $500 really.

It's got some serious ergonomics issues in my opinion. It's too big to fit in a hand confortably, it's got no keyboard, productivity seems very limited, seems fragile...

If i'm travelling for pleasure i'm fine browsing the internet with my ipod touch, if I need to work I'll bring a laptop, at home I'll use my desktop, this thing doesn't have much appeal to me (admittedly neither do netbooks)

I'll buy one for $300 Rasp

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Post: #18
Najdorf Wrote:It's got some serious ergonomics issues in my opinion. It's too big to fit in a hand confortably, it's got no keyboard, productivity seems very limited, seems fragile...

How exactly are you deducing all these things without having seen the device, assuming it even exists?
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Post: #19
Oddity007 Wrote: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*

If you slap a touch screen on a mac book pro, it becomes a macbook pro with a touchscreen, thus appealing to the macbook pro segment of the laptop market.

If you create an entirely new device, which does well what a combo of many other dedicated devices do alone(e.g. e-reading, watching movies, playing serious games, web browsing, and of course a plethora of cool aps, and possibly even word processing, big if), wrap them all into an easy-to-use sleek design/interface, then what you have is a device that's greater than the sum of its parts, one that can potentially appeal to everyone, not just a narrow segment of consumers such as laptop or macbook pro users.

The device almost certainly won't be $1000 to start, if I had to guess I'd say $799 and I'd guess it would be down to $399 within the first 6-8 months.

While definitely a huge gamble, I think apple is ultimately positioning themselves to lead the eminent transition away from traditional desktop computing altogether.
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Post: #20
This speculation thread is just for fun, obviously. I've never seen so many rumors pointing at one product without any credible evidence for it. They even mention it in my local newspaper.

Will there even be a tablet? Steve Jobs has stated in the past that they were equally proud of the products they decided *not* to do. The idea of a tablet computer has been tried many times now, but it's never taken off. On some theoretical plane, a tablet would be great, but in reality, there are practical issues to overcome, which we've already outlined here. The only way I can see them doing a tablet is if they come up with some crazy cool idea with it -- it'd need a "catch". Simply having a tablet with a fragile glass screen that's too big for a pocket and awkward to hold and type on, halfway in-between an iPhone and a laptop, just isn't going to cut it IMHO. I was saying earlier that maybe something like a projection keyboard would be great, but thinking about Najdorf's idea of a projection *display* gave me another idea...

*** wild speculation alert ***

Apple has a private API on iPhone to output to video. It's not like they haven't explored that avenue, but why haven't they actually used it yet? ... what if they haven't used it yet because they have something else in mind?

One of the things that has changed dramatically in the last few years, on the technology front, is that pretty much everyone I know has an HDTV now. One of the things you can do with these new TVs is use it as a computer display. I've done it, and it works great for the most part, except one thing that sucks about it is the keyboard and mouse. What if they come up with a tablet which has a wireless video connection to some special box which plugs into an HDTV or regular computer LCD display? Then imagine that when you do that, you only use the tablet's touch display as the input device (keyboard and mouse, etc)? Perhaps the Apple TV might be the wireless receiver device? The Apple TV would act like the base station and mass storage device and the tablet would synch up to it. That would be for the living room. In the office, you'd use your computer as a base station perhaps. I dunno... This idea strikes me as kinda neat. The tablet wouldn't be so much a monolithic device, but act kind of like a little satellite computer and touch input device for other computers.
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Post: #21
So, all of our speculation, and it turns out to basically be nothing more than what we thought it'd be at the top... And it actually looks an awful lot like that picture! They have a keyboard stand and a protective case. The only feature they added which seems like a really sweet deal is the no-contract 3G for reasonable prices. I like that they made it so most existing iPhone apps/games already work on it.

It's pretty darn neato... I just can't imagine myself getting one. What would I use it for?
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Post: #22
I won't get one. I think it's kind of cool, but there really isn't anything here that my iPod doesn't already do.
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Post: #23
Oh, I forgot! One thing that did catch me by surprise was that they did actually develop their own processor after all! I kind of figured they would eventually, but here it is making its debut. 1 GHz Apple A4 chip. Very very interesting...
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Post: #24
I'm pleased and angry at the same time. The device is great in a lot of ways, except that it's crippled.

This device is targeted for the dude sittin in his chair who wants to read email, surf the web, etc... It does those things well, except you can't be chatting at the same time. I don't get it! It's supposed to be an alternative to using a normal computer. Free yourself from your desk and use a slicker lighter device and interface to do the same tasks, and do them better. But why can't I be instant messaging while I read email, surf the web, read my newspaper etc? Fundamental failure.

I hope multitasking isn't allowed simply because they haven't engineered the OS to do it yet, and will do so in a future update. How can they not have even made an exception *just for iChat* and allow chatting to happen at the same time you use other apps?

This thing is so cool, but completely and utterly useless to even my grandma because she can't chat at the same time.

Unbelievable.
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Post: #25
Hm, i was very sceptical until i heard the price. $500 for the coolest netbook around is not a bad deal.

Productivity is still limited, but for surfing the web, email, photos and video (which is what a lot of people only care for) this device is actually pretty cool, and it's got great battery time.

Using it in public might be ackward though, everyone will see what you're doing.

Lack of flash is also a bigger problem than on iphone imo.

For games this device doesn't look ideal, I doubt it has the power to run games at full res. And using accelerometer may be a bit weird (the device weighs 6x as much as an ipod touch).

Not as cool as an ipod touch (the killer device, portable internet, music, video, games for $200) but still interesting.

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Post: #26
FreakSoftware Wrote:I'm pleased and angry at the same time. The device is great in a lot of ways, except that it's crippled.

This device is targeted for the dude sittin in his chair who wants to read email, surf the web, etc... It does those things well, except you can't be chatting at the same time. I don't get it! It's supposed to be an alternative to using a normal computer. Free yourself from your desk and use a slicker lighter device and interface to do the same tasks, and do them better. But why can't I be instant messaging while I read email, surf the web, read my newspaper etc? Fundamental failure.

I hope multitasking isn't allowed simply because they haven't engineered the OS to do it yet, and will do so in a future update. How can they not have even made an exception *just for iChat* and allow chatting to happen at the same time you use other apps?

This thing is so cool, but completely and utterly useless to even my grandma because she can't chat at the same time.

Unbelievable.

Some of us fail so bad at multitasking that's actually a feature Rasp Ever wonder why I'm quiet on IRC when I'm working?

Well,
  • We could see the use of the Lithium Polymer battery coming a mile away.
  • We could see the use of multi-touch coming a mile away.
  • We could see the use of the iPhone OS platform coming a mile away.
  • We (or at least I) could see the absence of a phone coming a mile away.
  • The 3G network connectivity is a rather pleasant surprise (to me, at least).

So what's so cool about it? I think that for specific market segments it's going to turn into a somewhat killer-app. For instance, someone is going to write a killer note-taking app for it. One that lets you doodle and type and draw all on your digital notebook. BLAM! Instant education market. (That'd be my personal killer-app for it.)

Or, if you've listened to Funambol's Sync4J evangelists, the mere ability to have a clipboard-sized computer connected to a phone network will make certain business segments very happy. The ability for mobile employees to have a full-sized tablet device in the field is something that has been a subtle nagging demand for quite some time. The stylus-bound PC tablet segment has mostly disappointed, but now that the iPhone SDK's relatively intuitive interface and their awesome tools are available, I think we'll see more demand for that. If Apple adds a way for corporations to deploy their own private, proprietary apps to their employee's devices I could really see that kind of a demand building up. (Umbrella Corporation's Asset Tracker App, 3.0 - not on the regular app-store, but Umbrella Corporation's IT dept. can install it for you!) Just imagine the HR perk - it's a fun device that keeps your employees happier, but also facilitates getting work done.

It could help the newspaper industry if they manage to monetize the selling of news on the device.

The device itself just looks space-aged, like the little tablets they had in Star Trek TNG/Voyager. I think it represents a massively untapped venue. A venue which has been really under the radar for many, many years. You can't really articulate a definitive need for a tablet device in too many situations, but the fact still stands: having one would be cool and somewhat useful in most situations.

I think this is also going to start deepening the divide between classic computing (OS X, Windows, Linux Desktop) and the new class of computing that really started (or rather took off) with the iPhone OS. I was talking to a fellow at a party (I'm still not sure how I ended up at that party. I was at work of all places, then this party was upstairs so both my bosses went there, and there was free food, so I went...) and (mind you this is before the Apple tablet had even hit the rumor mill) and this fellow was telling me (one of the iPhone guys) that he was considering buying an iPhone, and not buying a new computer. It can do all he really does now with his 1998 Dell: Email, web browsing, and word-processing (through the Google Docs app).

Current group of game devs aside, not a lot of people really maximize what you can do with your computer. The "email, word-processing and web-browsing" triangle of activities is actually quite accurate to describe most people's use of the computer. So if you offer them a device which is sleek, sexy, wireless, and can do all that, why wouldn't they go for it? This change won't happen overnight, but it's a slow vectoring off into that direction. This is going to start pushing normal computers further into the recessed niches of professional computing.

I think that in the long run it's going to be a good thing for the user. As we've seen with game consoles, the more tightly controlled environment reaps huge benefits in terms of system and application stability. This is just pulling every-day computing further into that sphere.

Does anyone know what architecture the A4 is built off of? x86 or ARM? Does it have built-in GPS? Because it has a microphone and 3G connectivity, will we see a new Google-voice app? Or perhaps VOIP providers making an offering? All good questions!

(Whatever happened to A1, A2, and A3?)

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Post: #27
cmiller Wrote:Some of us fail so bad at multitasking that's actually a feature Rasp Ever wonder why I'm quiet on IRC when I'm working?
Ever wonder why I'm not on IRC? Rasp

cmiller Wrote:It could help the newspaper industry if they manage to monetize the selling of news on the device.
This is a very interesting avenue to follow. Publishers of books and newspapers might gang together and come up with a single subscription to a variety of reading sources and perhaps even subsidize the device. IOW, you might see free iPads with a mega subscription, or at least sub-$100, like the cell industry does.

cmiller Wrote:The device itself just looks space-aged, like the little tablets they had in Star Trek TNG/Voyager. I think it represents a massively untapped venue. A venue which has been really under the radar for many, many years. You can't really articulate a definitive need for a tablet device in too many situations, but the fact still stands: having one would be cool and somewhat useful in most situations.
I agree. While I can't think of anything immediately useful for myself, other than for game development for the iPad I suppose, it does definitely fill a distinct technology gap. The market definitely exists. I just don't think it's going to be anywhere near as hot as the iPhone and iPod markets -- at least not at first. Give it a couple years though and I'll bet we'll see it start to bloom.

cmiller Wrote:I think this is also going to start deepening the divide between classic computing (OS X, Windows, Linux Desktop) and the new class of computing that really started (or rather took off) with the iPhone OS.
I totally agree.

cmiller Wrote:Does anyone know what architecture the A4 is built off of?
I don't, but this brought up another thought: Since Apple is making their own chips now, they could potentially include built-in security features which might really make pirating hard. Disclaimer: My SDK is downloading right now, and even though I agreed to the new agreement, I have zero knowledge of what's in the SDK yet, so I'm safe for about 23 more minutes Rasp

Which reminds me: How much of this stuff is under NDA right now? Since it is beta, I assume it all is...
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Post: #28
The lack of Flash and multitasking are two things I'm very happy about as an iPhone game developer. Apart from Flash being a bloated mess that's mostly used to make websites bad it's also a source of tons of free games that would mess up the App Store market for iPhone native games.

Multitasking is useful when you've got a 17" or above screen and fast computer but on a tablet device with a 1Ghz CPU (and integrated GPU) where you're only going to be working on or playing one thing at once, multitasking is a pain for games. You never know how much CPU power you'll get for your game because you don't know what apps the user has running in the background.

From a dev POV (and it's public info so not NDA) the new screen size means some game design thinking is required as it's 4:3 aspect rather than 3:2 so games don't scale directly to it from the iPhone.
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Post: #29
Zwilnik Wrote:The lack of Flash and multitasking are two things I'm very happy about as an iPhone game developer. Apart from Flash being a bloated mess that's mostly used to make websites bad it's also a source of tons of free games that would mess up the App Store market for iPhone native games.

Multitasking is useful when you've got a 17" or above screen and fast computer but on a tablet device with a 1Ghz CPU (and integrated GPU) where you're only going to be working on or playing one thing at once, multitasking is a pain for games. You never know how much CPU power you'll get for your game because you don't know what apps the user has running in the background.

From a dev POV (and it's public info so not NDA) the new screen size means some game design thinking is required as it's 4:3 aspect rather than 3:2 so games don't scale directly to it from the iPhone.

Once upon a time I had an IBM X40 computer. 12.1" 4:3 screen, 768 MB system memory, and a 1.00 GHz Intel Pentium M Ultra Low Voltage CPU. Multitasked fine.

Just because the specs aren't that of a PS3 doesn't mean it's not capable of delivering fun, interesting games. I would contend that you'll see more new and interesting and fun games coming for iPhone and iPad than you will for XBox 360, Wii, or PS3, or even regular old desktop PCs. The new input methods and the less powerful target platforms will force developers to focus more on gameplay than on bleeding-edge graphics. Which is good for the players - it means more fun and less bling. And fun is why we play games, right? If we want bling, we go to a movie or an art gallery!

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Post: #30
cmiller Wrote:Once upon a time I had an IBM X40 computer. 12.1" 4:3 screen, 768 MB system memory, and a 1.00 GHz Intel Pentium M Ultra Low Voltage CPU. Multitasked fine.

Just because the specs aren't that of a PS3 doesn't mean it's not capable of delivering fun, interesting games. I would contend that you'll see more new and interesting and fun games coming for iPhone and iPad than you will for XBox 360, Wii, or PS3, or even regular old desktop PCs. The new input methods and the less powerful target platforms will force developers to focus more on gameplay than on bleeding-edge graphics. Which is good for the players - it means more fun and less bling. And fun is why we play games, right? If we want bling, we go to a movie or an art gallery!

It's not so much about the bleeding edge speed and spec, but about it being dramatically variable when multitasking is involved (and impossible to point out to users that if they're running iMovie and garageband in the background then they should expect the game to not run at full frame rate). Having the system entirely devoted to your app, or more specifically having a known specification that you can design and test your game against gives you a lot better scope for a game design even when it's a relatively simple one.
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