Originally Posted by lepton
I forgot to mention two things in my last post. WiFi is built in, the third party card adds carrier wireless. And second, what will be the killer app for this form factor? Apple Remote Desktop. No, really.
Imagine having a second screen on your computer, a totally portable one you could bring to the patio or whatever, prop up, and run Front Row by touch on. Or in the office, imagine going around being able to connect to other computers on the floor with screen sharing. Or imagine being in the park and doing this stuff wirelessly? A simple, easy to use screen sharing system would be killer!
Quit taking everything I want to write about when I get home.
Edit, now that I am at home, here is what I think the tablet will be:
It will run an enhanced version of iPhone OS, it will run iPhone apps, but the App store will add a section for Tablet only Apps. Why not OSX? Apple will want to position this as a device that compliments your computer, not replaces it. With research indicating that most people purchase netbook as a secondary computer, this approach should work fine.
No finder. Apple likes to sync (and finder wouldn't be very touch friendly anyway), if additional features are needed, additional in app libraries will be provided.
It will multitask, think the new snow leopard expose plus an x shown in the upper left hand corner of each window like on mobile safari and the dashboard. Expose would be activated either through a four finger swipe like o the new macbooks or through the activation of a hardware button. Multitasking would serve to differentiate between the tablet and the iPhone, at least until the 4th generation (likely multicore) iPhone comes out.
Built in WiFi and 3G (maybe 4G or whatever is next), possibly with a 3G-free version (similar to the iPod touch/iPhone). Tethering permitted to share the iPhones 3G connection. The 3G version would probably come carrier locked (sadly) with a subsidy.
Despite Apples hate of styli, I think it will come with a pop-out stylus unless they come up with a better way of taking notes/having handwriting recognition. The education market is too big of a market to ignore.
It will have a front facing camera and all the usual goodies, like accelerometers, GPS, ambient light sensor, compass, etc. I'm not sure about a rear facing camera, but it could be there too.
Sync over wifi might come as well, it will be needed if the tablet is as full featured as I want it to be.
Now for some potential "killer" features ranging from the likely to the unlikely (we need to dream don't we?):Video Player
No need to discuss this. Watching videos would be much more enjoyable than on the iPhone. Should be capable of playing HD content. Maybe Apples second device to come with HDMI out?ebook reader/ebook store
This is the next logical expansion of itunes sales. Now it would serve a market much smaller than music and videos as lets be honest, no one reads anymore. However, there is a market in desperate need of a revamp. Textbooks. Textbooks are big, heavy and expensive, and you are afraid to write in them as that lowers the resale value. A tablet with an online ebook store could address those issues. The book reader would let you add notes to the books and the store could potentially sell you individual chapters, or allow you to "rent" the textbook for a semester. Now an ebook reader wouldn't be as nice on an LCD screen, but the ambient light sensor automatically adjusting brightness should help a lot, and this tablet would let you do a lot more than read books.iwork/iwork.com synchronization
iwork'10 could could come with a library. itunes would be able to sync that library (or part of the library) with the tablet. Mobileme would sync with that library and update your tablet and computer libraries as needed. Notes taken on the tablet would be added to your computers library when you sync. You could take notes through typing on the onscreen keyboard (or optional bluetooth keyboard), use handwriting recognition (either keeping the your handwriting or converting it to standard text), and draw free form.Apple TV enhancement
Act as Apple TV remote. Provide additional details about what you are watching (synopsis, ratings, reviews, similar movies etc). If Apple TV ever included a TV tuner, you could have box scores of the game you are watching show up on the tablet. Allow you to navigate all Apple TV functions without leaving your movie. Provide the option to buy the movie you are currently renting, and copy movies to the tablet (if the tablet and Apple TV are synced to the same mac).Supplementary multi touch monitor
Programs could include multi touch support to make their use easier with the tablet. Zoom in, rotate, cut/crop images, etc.Improved VNC/screen sharing
The iPhone has VNC applications that are surprisingly good. A tablet with a larger screen would allow you to navigate your mac quite easily on your tablet. However it could be improved even more. The tablet could have native VNC support (macs already do) and any application could be allowed to access it, and multiple applications could interact with your home computer at the same time. For example, you could have tablet version of photoshop open up photoshop on your computer that would at as a server and allow you to perform processor intensive tasks on your tablet. Unlike traditional VNC programs where you are sent a mirror image of the desktop, the dedicated app would only receive the information it needs from its parent application on computer. If you were working on a photo, the photo changes you made would be streamed to you as they are done. None of the computer UI would be visible from the tablet, instead the tablet app would have its own touch optimized UI which would then transmit the appropriate commands back to its parent application. The finished file could be saved both to the computer and to the tablet (within the application) with the option of sending it to the appropriate library on the tablet as well (i.e., music/video to the iPod library) It would be easily done over a network, or the internet if you had a static IP. This stuff is new to me, so I don't know how easy it would be to connect over the internet if you have an IP that changes, although I understand that it can be done.
Ideally you would be able to use your tablet to turn on your computer (wake from lan) from anywhere in the world and open an application of your choosing and work on files as if you were at your desktop.
Just my thoughts.