Apple tablet may ship with multi-touch version of iWork

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
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).
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 172
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 919member
    can't wait!
  • Reply 2 of 172
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    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?
  • Reply 3 of 172
    just as I suspected
  • Reply 4 of 172
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 172
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    The "IdeaPad U1 Hybrid".



    Just rolls off the tongue doesn't it?
  • Reply 6 of 172
    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"
  • Reply 7 of 172
    Building up my war-chest for the purchase.....
  • Reply 8 of 172
    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).
  • Reply 9 of 172
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,608member
    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...
  • Reply 10 of 172
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    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!!!
  • Reply 11 of 172
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 172
    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...
  • Reply 13 of 172
    takeotakeo Posts: 428member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 172
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,608member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 172
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 172
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 172
    albimalbim Posts: 68member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 172
    tsad23tsad23 Posts: 46member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 172
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 it?s 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 isn?t much middle ground when typing on your display in full-keybaord mode.
  • Reply 20 of 172
    takeotakeo Posts: 428member
    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.
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