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An Apple tablet's killer app.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Think about it: Sherlock. It seems perfectly suited to a tablet set up. It manages screen real estate *fairly* well, reduces webpage-hopping for commonly requested information (movies, directions), and in its default window-size on my 1024x768 15" screen is even the perfect SIZE and SHAPE of an Apple tablet. It would certainly be more useful on a tablet than on the desktop, imho...

BTW, if Apple *did* release a handheld, I think for SURE the device's coolness would be derived from the (for me) OBVIOUS form factor Apple would choose, and what I haven't heard anyone else on these boards mention: It would be all screen.

In fact, when I think about an Apple tablet, this is the thing that gets me really excited-- I just can't see Ive putting a fat enclosure around the thing.
Okay, maybe we're not talking 100% useable screen space, but close to it!

Thoughts, anyone?

Dangerous. Joe Dangerous.

EDIT: Grammar issues.
EDIT: To/Too/Two

[ 01-18-2003: Message edited by: joedangerous ]

[ 01-18-2003: Message edited by: joedangerous ]</p>
post #2 of 17
I think killer app would be built-in camera to stream via bluetooth, the image from the ladies lockeroom, via quicktime streaming server
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post #3 of 17
[quote]Originally posted by joedangerous:
<strong>Think about it: Sherlock. It seems perfectly suited to a tablet set up. It manages screen real estate *fairly* well, reduces webpage-hopping for commonly requested information (movies, directions), and in its default window-size on my 1024x768 15" screen is even the perfect SIZE and SHAPE of an Apple tablet. It would certainly be more useful on a tablet than on the desktop, imho...

BTW, if Apple *did* release a handheld, I think for SURE the device's coolness would be derived from the (for me) OBVIOUS form factor Apple would choose, and what I haven't heard anyone else on these boards mention: It would be all screen.

In fact, when I think about an Apple tablet, this is the thing that gets me really excited-- I just can't see Ive putting a fat enclosure around the thing.
Okay, maybe we're not talking 100% useable screen space, but close to it!

Thoughts, anyone?

</strong><hr></blockquote>

I agree completely that the design of an Apple tablet should be as screen oriented as possible. Super thin bezel and no adornments. Just imagine the screen of a TiBook as a stand alone slate.

As far as Sherlock goes, yes it would be a killer app, but what you are actually implying is far more important: a standard, off the shelf install of Jaguar. As long as our mythical Mac tablet runs the FULL desktop OS, then each user can pick his own "killer app".

The thought of wirelessly accessing all of my client's myriad FileMaker databases on a clipboard like tablet makes me drool. Let me tap on a field and handwrite data directly in and I'm in heaven.

[ 01-19-2003: Message edited by: Ensign Pulver ]</p>
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post #4 of 17
The only way i would ever get a tablet is if it can also serve as a screen for a desktop computer, as well as a portable. Think of it. You don't feel like sitting at the desk anymore, and want to lay down on the couch. Pick up the tablet, log into the desktop and go on your merry way. You would also be able to boot it by itself without the desktop counterpart. That way if you want to go somewhere around the house, but dont wan't to take a speed hit by using a tablet. This also allows you to share a harddrive much easier between the two.
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post #5 of 17
Any OS X application would make a great tablet app. Handwriting input versus typing (sigh).
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scroll.........'n type....

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post #6 of 17
Sherlock and QuickTime could do 70% of what I would like a tablet to do, but to drive all of that Quartz goodness means that the whole OS might have to be used, and that means it can't be cheap or light.

If QT and Sherlock or even Safari could run right on the unix underpinnings, it might fit in a light tablet form, but then you don't have that on-screen compositing that makes OSX different and a cpu hog.
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post #7 of 17
[quote]Originally posted by MacGregor:
<strong>...to drive all of that Quartz goodness means that the whole OS might have to be used, and that means it can't be cheap or light...</strong><hr></blockquote>

I know I'll get flamed for this, but so be it. I for one don't care a whit if it's a little heavy or even very expensive. I just happily dropped 3 grand on a 1Ghz TiBook that I would replace in a second with a no compromise Apple tablet that ran the full OS. I'll give up the Superdrive and everything else in exchange for Jaguar, Filemaker Pro and handwriting input in a form factor that is designed for use while standing up.
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post #8 of 17
Ensign Pulver.

I rag on the G4 alot. But it or any pending IBM G3. Or that new IBM embedded chip (can't recall the name of it...) maybe just cpu to give acceptable to the tablets.

The tablets I've seen. Very good. Good H/W recognition. Reasonable performance in Word and Art apps. Slightly sluggish OS performance in terms of loading apps. Altivec may be just the boost a tablet would need.

Slightly 'thick'/chunky designs.

I believe Apple could do it better, faster and more slimline.

One of the things about X is the scalable icons. Pretty cool on a tablet. They've got Inkwell. They've got iSync. Killer app for Tablet? Run 'X' apps. Play tunes. Watch video. Make notes while standing in Text Edit. Wireless via Airport Extreme.

I say, Apple waits to see if M$ can make a buck doing it. Let M$ do the R&D. Then if it is a viable market...they should be ready to go with something.

I'd be very happy using a tablet for Photoshop work amongst other things.

Lemon Bon Bon

[quote] The only way i would ever get a tablet is if it can also serve as a screen for a desktop computer, as well as a portable. <hr></blockquote>

Good point.

[ 01-19-2003: Message edited by: Lemon Bon Bon ]</p>
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post #9 of 17
[quote]Originally posted by joedangerous:
<strong>BTW, if Apple *did* release a handheld, I think for SURE the device's coolness would be derived from the (for me) OBVIOUS form factor Apple would choose, and what I haven't heard anyone else on these boards mention: It would be all screen.

In fact, when I think about an Apple tablet, this is the thing that gets me really excited-- I just can't see Ive putting a fat enclosure around the thing.
Okay, maybe we're not talking 100% useable screen space, but close to it!
</strong><hr></blockquote>

An all-screen form factor presents several obvious ergonomical problems: on the one hand, the tablet form is aiming for both lightness and compactness; on the other hand a tablet should be easy-to-handle. There is a reason why Apple's tablet prototypes (and everyone else's, including Atari's and Commodore's) from the early 1990'es were reasonably fat, had a surrounding edge, and had a thickened left edge: you need to be able to retain a safe grip on it in all circumstances.

Consider ripping off the 15" PB screen and using it as a tablet. It will be difficult to hold on to, both for its thinness and for the straight edges. Think about what happens if you accidentally drop it - inevitably it will splinter.

The optimal tablet shape, from an ergonomical point-of-view, would be closer to the screens of the previous PB generation (Lombard, etc): an edge around the screen for protection, slightly raised upper edge for good grip, flatter on the side that is towards the user - and a surface that offers a tactile grip. On top of that there is the problem of the pen: where to store it when not in use...

One development has made a Tablet more viable, though: the ever-increasing solid-state permanent storage (SmartMedia, Memory Sticks, and whatever they are called). Including a suitable amount of RAM to buffer them, two NewGen Memory Sticks would be able to substitute a harddisk, improving both weight, power consumption and temperature.

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post #10 of 17
[quote]Originally posted by Ensign Pulver:
<strong>
... Just imagine the screen of a TiBook as a stand alone slate... </strong><hr></blockquote>
When choosing this form factor you will always have to touch the screen only in order to hold the tablet. Not a good idea IMO.
post #11 of 17
I touched on this earlier, but

You spend money on this tablet, and it has a very nice screen, but it doesn't have the power for some of the things you wanna do (some photoshop renders, iMovie - oooo think of it). So you use it as a remote screen for your desktop. When your done, you logout and go about your lighter things with the tablets stuff. It could also have an ADC/DVI port so it can serve as a mirror or a display for spanning. That would raise its value astronomicly.
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post #12 of 17
I think one way of making the whole thing lighter might be to minimize dependance on HD's...Surely with the decreasing cost of memory, you could use 1gb of ordinary hard-wired SDRAM to keep a ROM-based 80% feature complete Jaguar install on?...It's the same trick the newton used but 10 years on it'll rock even harder...
The battery life and the speed of booting/access would be AWESOME.
I guess you could use an external FW HD if you need to offload big files, but in a corporate environment all you need is Airport Extreme and a NAS server and all your saved data would be kept on that.

oops forgot to agree with other people!
Have a desktop dock/stand that has your KB and mouse, and a FW HD attached so it's a simple job of putting it back in Desktop mode.

[ 01-24-2003: Message edited by: robster ]</p>
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post #13 of 17
Good God, men! Don't you guys see.. the revolution is starting without us!

<a href="http://www.aliaswavefront.com/en/products/sketchbook/info.shtml" target="_blank">Alias|Wavefront Sketchbook</a>

After seeing what can be done with it, I'm ready to consider throwing down the shackles and trying one out... for what else can heal the remorse that Apple pushed Inkwell and said that this was going to be the year of the portables... and didn't... tablet... *sniff*

Ah who am I kidding. I'm not ripe to buy a new system for another year or even two yet - all I know is that that baby is selling tablets, and it's making me want one. Please Apple, when my new year comes, give me hope..

[ 01-26-2003: Message edited by: Phong ]</p>
post #14 of 17
Personally I think the killer app for a tablet would be to include a GPS receiver and it would then make a perfect atlas. If you include some form of wide area wireless capability as well it becomes a gazetteer and guide book too.

Not only would this be great for users (I'd have one like a shot for touring the UK and Europe), but think of the revenue opportunities for someone. If Apple were to get this right (with the software framework) they could take a 1 cent profit on every bit of detailed info that someone wanted on a tourist attraction, or other info.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks to the poster who pointed out that an all-screen FF could negatively impact tactile response (whoa! too much donald rumsfeld lately ;-)...

However I think this only becomes a major problem if we're dealing with something the size of the TiBook's screen, which someone mentioned earlier. I think this is *much* too big and unwieldly.

And in reference to the poster wishing for a device to take around the house that acts as a remote login to the users desktop (you could edit imovies): No No No! I don't agree with this at all. I can't think of a more awkward feature to market, and this would only serve to confuse the product's main purpose: to function as a high-powered PDA that has most of Jaguar's functionality built in, but isn't designed as "full featured" as the new Windows Tablet Edition PCs coming out (note this doesnt make an Apple tablet any less *useful* than the WinTabs, infact much the opposite).

Which gets me thinking, have you ever seen such junk? A true tablet will never have a built in keyboard. Wheres a Tablet Manifesto when you need one? <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

Love the idea of solid-state memory, though. Thats exactly what I'm talking about!

Dangerous. Joe Dangerous.
post #16 of 17
How is having the tablet serve as a remote login for another computer akward(sp?)? Login remotly when your at home and don't wanna sit at the desk. It would still be able to acess the local harddrive, but would run everything off the desktop. Ok, an iMovie was a bad example, but im sure there's other things that a tablet processor could't handle. Then when your done doing work on the desktop, log out, and use it as your superPDA. Doesn't seem akward to me... then again I like to classify myself as a poweruser.
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post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Spiffster, Im a fan of the idea myself. Yet tablets run the risk of trying to do too much (I may be setting myself up for a flame here). On the one hand, I can see how giving the tablet this functionality fits in with this idea (it wouldnt *have* to do everything, just show it), yet it is the products core message that gets confused: "is this a standalone device or do I need the latest iMac to get everthing out of it?" consumers might say. Plus, the thing needs to be cheap, and this technology is still pretty expensive. The last thing Apple needs is another product without a clear *application.*

Then again, I have two newtons and an eMate and think theyre the greatest things since sliced bread.
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