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Apple tablet may ship with multi-touch version of iWork

post #1 of 173
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Apple has reportedly spent a considerable amount of time in recent years working on a version of its iWork productivity suite that could be controlled solely through the use of complex multi-touch gestures, making it well-suited for inclusion on the company's forthcoming tablet device.

Those claims were embedded in a profile piece Saturday published by the New York Times on the growing number of slate-like computing devices that are in the process of making their way to market, or already on the market, including the Kindle, the Alex, the Que proReader and the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid.

In particular, the newspaper cited "conversations with several former Apple engineers" who've reportedly had a key role in the ongoing development of Apple's much-anticipated tablet device who suggest the company may require that users adapt to a "somewhat complex new vocabulary of finger gestures to control it, making use of technology it acquired in the 2007 purchase of a company called FingerWorks."

“The tablet should offer any number of unique multitouch experiences — for example, three fingers down and rotate could mean ‘open an application,’*” one former Apple engineer reportedly told the paper. A second added that the Cupertino-based company has “spent the past couple of years working on a multitouch version of iWork."

Based on these rumblings, the Times speculates that Apple's looking to market its upcoming tablet device as "a fully functional computer, rather than a more passive device for reading books and watching movies." Such a move could reportedly help the electronics maker seek a higher average selling price for the device when it hits the market later this year.

Apple is widely expected to introduce its tablet offering later this month, with recent reports predicting that the device will be available for purchase near the end of the first quarter (March) or sometime the following quarter (which runs April - June).
post #2 of 173
can't wait!
post #3 of 173
I think the rumor is interesting, but surely there's a better example of a potential gesture vocabulary than "three fingers down and rotate to open an application"?

I mean, how about touching an icon?
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post #4 of 173
just as I suspected
post #5 of 173
Not surprised at all, I always expected a mobile iWork for the tablet. I'm also predicting iLife and "extended" iPhone OS/apps that give more editing (content creation) features than with the iPhone and iPod touch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage

Putting Mac OS X on a tablet is like putting a steering wheel on a motorcycle.
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Putting Mac OS X on a tablet is like putting a steering wheel on a motorcycle.
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post #6 of 173
The "IdeaPad U1 Hybrid".

Just rolls off the tongue doesn't it?
post #7 of 173
Not happy

All Mac-related sites are exited about non-existent products while last October released 27" iMacs are still undelivered and may even suffer from technical misconception .

All this buzz is just insane. Apple receives free ad and the stock is up .

Back to true journalism, please

AppleInsider, do investigate about what's wrong with the 27"
post #8 of 173
Building up my war-chest for the purchase.....
post #9 of 173
This article restored my interest in this product. When more and more people were claiming that the device would be a big iPod Touch, I grew less and less interested. I wanted a tablet computer, but I wanted one done right. That means not just taking a computer and adding a touch screen instead of the mouse, it means utilizing the touch screen as part of the computer to make things more efficient.

Apple could be onto a winner here (also, if the custom version of iWork actually comes with the device, it would certainly help me with college).
post #10 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I think the rumor is interesting, but surely there's a better example of a potential gesture vocabulary than "three fingers down and rotate to open an application"?

I mean, how about touching an icon?

Righty-tighty, lefty-loosy.

Having iWork would do a good job of positioning it as a office paper replacement. The plot thickens...
post #11 of 173
No surprise. Actually, Apple tried to use the Intel Atom first for the Apple Tablet. Why? Because they wanted a full Mac (touch) inside. Now they will go with ARM for TDP and battery advantages, but the full computer goal holds. WHICH IS FANTASTIC and will make the Apple Tablet a real HIT!!!
post #12 of 173
Just checked out the iWork apps to see how they’d work on a 10” tablet using an MSI Wind running Mac OS X. I had to “pretend” it was touch sensitive. None of the iWork app would work great as they are. Keynote works the best, which you can see for yourself, but remember that on a small display everything else will be cramped.

I’m not sure if iMovie will make it to that tablet, but as it likely won’t have the power needed to be useful, but the UI is pretty damn good for being completely touch-based. Check it out! I bring this up because I think rolling menus will be how Apple tackles the problem of making an viewer app into a good editing app on a touchscreen. A lot of the Tool bar elements in iWork and other apps may also employ a simple flicking action to get from one end of the row to the other while others might be best scrolling in from off the screen.

Regardless, of how they do it, I think it’s quite doable and therefore likely to be included.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rei_vilo View Post

Not happy

All Mac-related sites are exited about non-existent products while last October released 27" iMacs are still undelivered and may even suffer from technical misconception .

All this buzz is just insane. Apple receives free ad and the stock is up .

Back to true journalism, please

AppleInsider, do investigate about what's wrong with the 27"

1) If you’re not happy then you shouldn’t post on a thread that isn’t about a topic you’re not interested in.

2) Problems with and the people working on the 27” iMac situation have nothing to do with people working on iWork or a tablet.

3) Implying that tech sites should not report any other news until a flaw in one machine model in one size affecting many, but not all, buyers should be the only thing reported on is beyond silly.

4) They’ve reported on it plenty. If you have a problem with your iMac delay or technical issues with it there are plenty of articles and forums on this site for which you can discuss it. I’m sure AI will bring us an update as soon as there is one.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #13 of 173
To say that many of us view this upcoming tablet as a blessing is to be kind. I wonder if everyone else is seeing what I'm seeing happen: a slate with two panels, when held in a portrait orientation has one above the other, where the top panel is a screen and the bottom one is the first incarnation of their multitouch keyboard we've heard rumors of. The panels, at 10.1", could fit one above the other, held in a form of unibody enclosure, and the whole package could fit inside a 9x12 envelope just like the Macbook Air does. That's what I'm hoping for. What else would two panels do? What if the slate were to be turned to a landscape orientation and read like a real book (2 pages in view instead of one)? Just a thought. Still, if we believe what we hear about iWork, we may just see something close to this. Such a tablet could be just the genre-bridging device our friends in Cupertino will change the industry with...
post #14 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I think the rumor is interesting, but surely there's a better example of a potential gesture vocabulary than "three fingers down and rotate to open an application"?

I mean, how about touching an icon?

You're thinking with a point-and-click mindset. Multi-gesture is a new interaction model.
post #15 of 173
I think I am still most curious how you would hold/interact with the device in an interactive way. There is a reason paprbacks are the size they are, but finding a way to make a 10" device ergonomic seem like quite a challenge. Putting it flat on a desk contorts your neck, holding it at the base places added strain on wrists since the center of gravity is higher...

There are a lot of compromises people are willing to make with an iPhone, but these really get exacerbated with a larger device.
post #16 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

You're thinking with a point-and-click mindset. Multi-gesture is a new interaction model.

A new interaction model doesn't require a more elaborate, wrist cramping gesture when there is a simple, intuitive gesture already available. Pointing at something I want didn't start with computers and mice.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #17 of 173
This is exactly what I wanted out of a Mac tablet - real productivity capabilities, not just iPod touch-level productivity apps. I pray this rumor is true.

With that said, just because some Apple engineers said they were working on something, doesn't mean it'll make it to the release product or that they really know what they were even working on, in fact.

We've all read the company profiles of Apple, so we know that Jobs keeps his employees somewhat foggy on their end mission.
post #18 of 173
These "complex multi-touch gestures" fits with the supposed steep learning curve rumor. Interesting...

I know Apple loves multi-touch, but it sounds like (three fingers and rotate instead of tapping) SJ is going a little crazy with it.
post #19 of 173
The app store is apple's hidden treasure. Like the ipod touch and iphone, apple will sell the islate sans any apps and allow the user to fill up their shiny new purchase with all the $1, $5, $10 etc apps that they want.

I also feel that this will keep the price of the islate lower, but allow apple to keep the cash register ringing even after one purchases the device.
post #20 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

I think I am still most curious how you would hold/interact with the device in an interactive way. There is a reason paprbacks are the size they are, but finding a way to make a 10" device ergonomic seem like quite a challenge. Putting it flat on a desk contorts your neck, holding it at the base places added strain on wrists since the center of gravity is higher...

There are a lot of compromises people are willing to make with an iPhone, but these really get exacerbated with a larger device.

I think the majority of the interaction will be from the back of the device through a very large trackpad(s). This way you can securely hold it with your hands while using your fingers to navigate. This may even lead to having a pointer when using it in this mode.

I think the whole thing is going to have to be very intelligent to know how you are using the device. If my hands on the sides I will need a split keyboard that is curved so my thumbs can have full access.

When placed down a larger keyboard designed for 10 digits would likely be most useful, but I have doubts its intended for longterm use like that as you point out. Either you are typing up in the air or you are looking straight down. Neither is ideal and there isnt much middle ground when typing on your display in full-keybaord mode.
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post #21 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

A new interaction model doesn't require a more elaborate, wrist cramping gesture when there is a simple, intuitive gesture already available. Pointing at something I want didn't start with computers and mice.

I hear you. I think the swipe gesture on the magic mouse is really awkward. I'm just saying that we think of everything as point and click because that's how we've been doing things for the past 25 years. But it's such a blunt instrument. It's one dimensional. You're basically trying to do everything by poking things with a stick. And the entire past 25 years of computer interfaces have been based on that limited interaction method. With gestures, the entire interface and how we interact with a machine can be rethought in ways we are probably only now starting to understand with the iPhone. Maybe the app launching example was not a good example. That's a pretty simple task. I'm just saying... wait and see. And keep an open mind. There will always be a place for point and click I'm sure. But things are changing.
post #22 of 173
...but I hope that iLife is also included on any tablet. iMovie, iPhoto and Garage Band would be perfect for use on a tablet, and would be a much better sales argument for the masses than a word processor or a spreadsheet, in my opinion.
post #23 of 173
all of the ilife apps and iwork will be available for a small fee at the app store.
post #24 of 173
Yes, iLife should be part of the equation too. Yet that leads to questions about how you transfer photos and movies to the device.
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post #25 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by icyfog View Post

Yes, iLife should be part of the equation too. Yet that leads to questions about how you transfer photos and movies to the device.

Lala.
post #26 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsad23 View Post

all of the ilife apps and iwork will be available for a small fee at the app store.

That is a possibility but Id lean toward it being included to help sweeten the deal of the tablet. After all, Apple only writes SW to sell more HW. Does Apple offer any software on the App Store that cost money?


Quote:
Originally Posted by icyfog View Post

Yes, iLife should be part of the equation too. Yet that leads to questions about how you transfer photos and movies to the device.

Id wager that iTunes syncing will be the primary method.
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post #27 of 173
transferring of photos, movies and music would be the same as with the iphone and ipod touch. Sync with itunes
post #28 of 173
Apple will charge for software after the release of the tablet. I feel if everything is included, the price of the device will push into macbook territory. I feel that apple would like to keep the price of the device around the $699 - $799 range.
post #29 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

...finding a way to make a 10" device ergonomic seem like quite a challenge. Putting it flat on a desk contorts your neck, holding it at the base places added strain on wrists since the center of gravity is higher...

I've been thinking the same thing. But something to consider though... a tablet sitting on a desk is exactly the same as a sheet of paper sitting on a desk. I wonder if the separation of monitor and input device since the computers inception has created the false impression that hands on desk while looking forward is the natural way to work. In fact, the computer is the FIRST method of writing which dictated this separation of where to look and where your hands are. From stone tablets to pen and paper, to the typewriter; looking down in front of you has been the way most people write. It's not unnatural, it's just not the way computers have been.

Perhaps Apple is thinking that if you're holding the device [with either one or both hands], chances are you are ingesting information, and doing very little inputing. And if you have work to do, be it writing, drawing, etc.- you'll be putting the device down to work with both hands. I think the analogy to a piece of paper holds pretty well. You can hold it in your hand to read it, but you're going to put it down to write on it.

Dictation apps could be used to fill in a bit of the gap between the two, but as it is I think this is a fair assumption.
post #30 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALBIM View Post

These "complex multi-touch gestures" fits with the supposed steep learning curve rumor. Interesting...

I know Apple loves multi-touch, but it sounds like (three fingers and rotate instead of tapping) SJ is going a little crazy with it.

It sounds like Jobs set some engineers up, and now he knows who is leaking information. Three fingers and rotate? How about sit on it and rotate?
post #31 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsad23 View Post

transferring of photos, movies and music would be the same as with the iphone and ipod touch. Sync with itunes

Add documents folder to the mix.
post #32 of 173
Ooooh! Ahhhh!! Nevermind, this sounds stupid.
post #33 of 173
A tablet-based version of iWork is what I've been anticipating all along, not to mention, hoping for. I think we should be expecting it to be linked with the desktop via iWork.com, though this of course only works for Mac users currently, so we should expect another shoe to drop. A version of iWork for Windows? Not at all unthinkable. Logical, really.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #34 of 173
I have a feeling that Apple is going to drop an absolute bomb with that tablet. I mean, if half of those rumors are true. This may be a giant leap if they indeed know a way to rethink the way we interact with computers.
There were so many tries - 3D interfaces, 3D gestures, but nobody had the capacity to think the basics through. And they HAVE to push something really stunning (not a jumbo iPod touch or a tablet MacOS X computer) to make any profit.
post #35 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALBIM View Post

These "complex multi-touch gestures" fits with the supposed steep learning curve rumor. Interesting...

I know Apple loves multi-touch, but it sounds like (three fingers and rotate instead of tapping) SJ is going a little crazy with it.

First of all. we really have no idea what kind of touch actions will be in this thing. It's all hearsay.
Second: Remember, this thing has to be carried around (I'm not talking about being transported). Walked over to your colleague desk; held up, so 5 doctors can look at it at once(and then rotated sideways and handed to the guy standing next to you.
Hands will be all over this thing. How do you prevent all kinds of inadvertent actions from launching?
post #36 of 173
In the same vein that webpages were redesigned to function more ideally on the iPhone will there be a shift to make webpages function more ideally when it recognizes the tablet?

How about web-based MobileMe access from the tablet? iWork.com access works from the iPhone but the interface may need some tweaking for a 10 tablet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

A tablet-based version of iWork is what I've been anticipating all along, not to mention, hoping for. I think we should be expecting it to be linked with the desktop via iWork.com, though this of course only works for Mac users currently, so we should expect another shoe to drop. A version of iWork for Windows? Not at all unthinkable. Logical, really.

Hmm, I think Ill need some convincing to see iWork for Windows being viable. Apple makes SW to sell HW and I see making iWork for Windows would just push people to use Windows more if it was successful. Theyd likely have to up the price and I just dont think the user base would increase much with so many other version of Windows out there and many of the great aspects of iWork couldnt transfer to Windows.

Safari for Windows is the only app that might be questionable but that came out right before the iPhone launched and there might have been aspects that needed leveraging to make the iPhone work better syncing with Windows or perhaps they just wanted web developers on Windows to have a platform for making iPhone-capable apps. Now, the iTunes Store uses WebKit so having that engine is still required regardless if you install Safari for Windows, or not.
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post #37 of 173
So I'm on the go, and I have my MacTablet and my camera with me.
How do I send my editor this awesome photo I've just taken?
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post #38 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

A tablet-based version of iWork is what I've been anticipating all along, not to mention, hoping for. I think we should be expecting it to be linked with the desktop via iWork.com, though this of course only works for Mac users currently, so we should expect another shoe to drop. A version of iWork for Windows? Not at all unthinkable. Logical, really.

If they get a good web version going, I don't see Apple wanting to port iWork to Windows. (Of course, that pre-supposes they've got a "good web version" cooking)
post #39 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Hands will be all over this thing. How do you prevent all kinds of inadvertent actions from launching?

Like with the iPhone and Touch, you make it more intelligent when figuring out input methods. There may also be some learning involved so people dont directly touch the display unless they want to access something but I havent had much of a problem with that on the iPhone to date.

Or they could add a bio reader that only allows the user to integrate with device. Or perhaps use a fiber-optic LightPeak sex organ that the NaVi in Avatar use to connect connect with the flora and fauna. It could happen.
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post #40 of 173
Is it the 27th yet? The suspense is killing me!


Is there any chance they won't introduce a tablet/slate computer? It's been talked about so much....with all the speculation based on parts Apple's ordered etc... it would be a tremendous let down if they came out and had nothing like what's been bandied about....
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