Apple Tablet: Which OS?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Hi,



Which operating system do think Apple will chose for (most likely) touch-based tablet? The question is what you think Apple will do, not what you wish.



Mac OS:



- Run all existing Mac applications

- Would need to be augmented for touch, finger-based UI



iPhone OS:



- Take advantage of the AppStore

- Ready for touch

- Adaptation for bigger screen?

- Some existing iPhone apps could probably be ported with a minor effort



Note that both are based on OS X.



My vote (and wish) is on iPhone OS. Looking forward to your vote and comment.



Best,



Daniel
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    Maybe... Vista?
  • Reply 2 of 32
    rem#1rem#1 Posts: 67member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daniel B View Post


    Hi,



    Which operating system do think Apple will chose for (most likely) touch-based tablet? The question is what you think Apple will do, not what you wish.



    Mac OS:



    - Run all existing Mac applications

    - Would need to be augmented for touch, finger-based UI



    iPhone OS:



    - Take advantage of the AppStore

    - Ready for touch

    - Adaptation for bigger screen?

    - Some existing iPhone apps could probably be ported with a minor effort



    Note that both are based on OS X.



    My vote (and wish) is on iPhone OS. Looking forward to your vote and comment.



    Best,



    Daniel



    I think it counts on what the size of the tablet is. If they make one that is the size of a mass market paperback book (7" by 4" 8" diag. 7" diag. screen size) then the iPhone OS will be used. If the size is closer to 10" then the full mac OS will be used.



    I like the Paperback size because it can still be kept in a pocket or a purse without taking up too much room, with a larger battery it could last along time between charges and do what most people want to do with a netbook. They could even make an iPhone version and with addition of voice commands the need to handle the device would be diminished.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    The iPhone OS is much too limited for anything larger than a phone. It should be the full os with touch APIs derived from the iPhone.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daniel B View Post


    Hi,



    Which operating system do think Apple will chose for (most likely) touch-based tablet? The question is what you think Apple will do, not what you wish.



    Mac OS:



    - Run all existing Mac applications

    - Would need to be augmented for touch, finger-based UI



    iPhone OS:



    - Take advantage of the AppStore

    - Ready for touch

    - Adaptation for bigger screen?

    - Some existing iPhone apps could probably be ported with a minor effort



    Note that both are based on OS X.



    My vote (and wish) is on iPhone OS. Looking forward to your vote and comment.



    Best,



    Daniel



    I'm not sure about the underlying OS but I think the interface at least will be a hybrid of the iphone OS and OSX
  • Reply 5 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daniel B View Post


    Hi,



    Which operating system do think Apple will chose for (most likely) touch-based tablet? The question is what you think Apple will do, not what you wish.



    At this point everbodies response will more or less reflect their wishes and desires. Frankly though I can see Apple delivering two different families of devices, a large device descended from a Mac Book and then multiple devices that are grown from the Touch devices.



    That may sound like hedging ones bet but frankly I see two vastly different markets for portable devices. An iPhone OS based device would debut as a video iPod / gaming machine. They would not want to pull the focus to far away from it's iPhone roots.

    Quote:



    Mac OS:



    - Run all existing Mac applications

    - Would need to be augmented for touch, finger-based UI



    The biggest problem here is that the low power i86 hardware doesn't exist for this sort of device. That is a device that is very thin, light and with a long battery based run time.



    The other problem is that a lot of legacy APIs would need to be supported. IPhone is a clean break with fresh APIs that Apple is free to enhance anyway they want.

    Quote:



    iPhone OS:



    - Take advantage of the AppStore



    That is huge but don't be surprised if app store for Mac OS doesn't come soon. So yeah significant but not something that can't evolve on other platforms.

    Quote:

    - Ready for touch

    - Adaptation for bigger screen?



    I'm not sure why everybody struggles with the idea that of a bigger higher resolution screen. It won't be an issue in my opinion, many apps simply won't have an issue. More important would be providing for user multitasking of those apps.

    Quote:

    - Some existing iPhone apps could probably be ported with a minor effort



    Again I don't think a lot of porting will be required. Someapps will have issues but many more using the standard Apple APIs should be fine.

    Quote:



    Note that both are based on OS X.



    My vote (and wish) is on iPhone OS. Looking forward to your vote and comment.



    Best,



    Daniel



    Nice poll! My desire for the iPhone OS is to eliminate the old legacy crap, which benefits both the user and the developer. Related is that app store means a lot more fresh apps from small time developer. This is important because the small time developer has made the app store.



    The only way I could see Apple going Mac OS is if they have a secret development program going on with intel to produce an Atom with extremely low power usage. Obviously the purchase of PA Semi and other leaks we have heard would indicate that ARM is the choosen path here. For a tablet of limited size I see ARM as the only choice right now for the kind of battery life iPod users expect.



    The thing to understand here is that I look at the tablet as an enhanced iPod or possible Apple TV device. Similar to the idea that iPod Touch is an iPod first and foremost. The tablet is simply a bigger Touch optimized for video and gaming. The only thing that i deffinently want to see is user multitasking of apps.





    Dave
  • Reply 6 of 32
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,392member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    The iPhone OS is much too limited for anything larger than a phone. It should be the full os with touch APIs derived from the iPhone.



    +1



    If Snow Leopard has Cocoa Touch API then Apple has the ability to leverage iPhone apps from within Mac OS.



    With a 10" screen I need a full OS with Menubar, Dock etc but I also need it to be touch enabled for key apps. That's the killer product.



    Fast input via keyboard/mouse (preferrably Bluetooth) and easy touch
  • Reply 7 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    The iPhone OS is much too limited for anything larger than a phone. It should be the full os with touch APIs derived from the iPhone.



    That is total BS. IPhone is running the same kernel tech that powers Mac OS more or less. It has a specific and limited API but that is on purpose. In anyevent that API continues to expand in a rational manner. Further it is hard to see the facility as being limited if very few apps take advantage of the entire API.



    The important thing from my perspective is that iPhone OS does away with a good deal of legacy API that has no reason to even be on a modern computer. IPhone OS isn't limited rather it is liberating. Sure new API will have to be added but that is the case with most OSes. What is important is that they are added wisely, with an eye to security and platform growth.



    In any event remember what our goal is here. We are talking about a thin light weight device that has enhanced capability over the current Touch. A device that ideally would run longer on battery power than a Touch delivering video. The idea is not to regress to the userinterface of a laptop, rather ideally it would explore new avenues of user interfacing. We want a revolution here not an evolution and frankly iPhone OS is a better place for that to happen.





    Dave
  • Reply 8 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Seems unlikely they'd intro a new format that developers would have to adopt from the iPhone spec, so I vote just plain vanilla OSX... if there even is a tablet in the cards.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    +1



    If Snow Leopard has Cocoa Touch API then Apple has the ability to leverage iPhone apps from within Mac OS.



    I just can't see this happening frankly. First; apple is working on removing legacy APIs from Mac OS to focus support on one API for the GUI, would it make sense to muck things up with another API? That is not the same thing as extending the current Mac API for Touch either so don't assume I mean no Touch in Mac OS. Rather I can't see them moving the whole of UIKit over to Mac OS as a separate API.



    This doesn't even address the instruction set which is the second issue that blows this idea out of the water. I just don't see any wisdom in adding an ARM emulation layer to Mac OS. Even native i86 "iPhone" apps don't make a lot of sense, one could just as well write native OS/X apps with an API specific to the platform.

    Quote:



    With a 10" screen I need a full OS with Menubar, Dock etc but I also need it to be touch enabled for key apps. That's the killer product.



    Let me be so bold as to say no you don't with respect to the Menubar. It is a legacy facility that has no reason to even be on a Touch device. The dock however has huge potential especially if multitasking of apps is delivered.



    On a keyboard less device every app to some extent needs to be Touch enabled. The UI API has to support the tablet that way. However an extended iPhone OS doesn't have to be limited in that way. Input would also be supported via handwritting, voice and BlueTooth. We don't want the primary interface here to be a regression to the ways of old.

    Quote:



    Fast input via keyboard/mouse (preferrably Bluetooth) and easy touch



    Yeah but let's not have the kludge of a device you described earlier. We don't need that at all. Rather we need a platform that will evolve from iPhone OS in a responsible and elegant manner. Something that can sustain itself for years in the future.





    Dave
  • Reply 10 of 32
    daniel bdaniel b Posts: 73member
    Some 118 views, but only 12 votes!



    Come on people, just do it.





    Interesting discussion above.



    I agree that the iPhone OS would need some adaptation for the bigger screen. Multiple windows. Switching between apps. However, desktop menus and menu bar are probably not suitable for a touch (finger operated) UI.



    Full Mac OS would be nice, but I see several problems. Even if all the existing apps would run, they would not be adapted to a touch UI. Much easier then to instead adapt a iPhone app for the larger screen.



    Second, I expect the tablet to be prized somewhere midway between the (unsubsidized) iPhone and the cheapest MacBook. In that case, it would cannibalize the MacBook. Forgetting the crappy netbooks, people are prepared to pay more for a small and light device, like the MacBook Air. Touch is also an added value. So, Apple must differentiate against the MacBook somehow.



    Finally, I understand that one's wished has a tendency to influence beliefs. It's more interesting to try to intelligently predict the future, than to just dream wildly.





    Best,



    Daniel
  • Reply 11 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daniel B View Post


    Some 118 views, but only 12 votes!



    Come on people, just do it.



    In one way it is sad. On the other hand many probably realize this is all wishful thinking and only reflect personal biases and desires. The question is can we have an in depth discussion about something Apple might do. Sure but it will be of little value to anyone not involved in the thread.

    Quote:



    Interesting discussion above.



    I agree that the iPhone OS would need some adaptation for the bigger screen. Multiple windows. Switching between apps. However, desktop menus and menu bar are probably not suitable for a touch (finger operated) UI.



    Well any OS would. Frankly one of the reasons for past tablet failures is the lack of a well optimized OS. As to that menu bar that many have indicated is desired, I think Apple wants to evolve totally away from that. The thing here is that it would detract from many potential apps. For example eBook reading, movie playback, navigation apps and other full screen apps. Considering iPhone I'm not sure why people would even think the Menu bar is needed for tablet apps.

    Quote:



    Full Mac OS would be nice, but I see several problems. Even if all the existing apps would run, they would not be adapted to a touch UI. Much easier then to instead adapt a iPhone app for the larger screen.



    Yep Mac OS with a MenuBar is dead in the water. It is simply to regressive. To be successful with a Tablet Apple has to evolve past the failed systems of yesteryear.

    Quote:

    Second, I expect the tablet to be prized somewhere midway between the (unsubsidized) iPhone and the cheapest MacBook.



    I really hope not. I'm actually thinking about a device that would come in under iPhone. This is more or less a Touch on steroids so it doesn't need to be expensive in a base model.

    Quote:

    In that case, it would cannibalize the MacBook. Forgetting the crappy netbooks, people are prepared to pay more for a small and light device, like the MacBook Air. Touch is also an added value. So, Apple must differentiate against the MacBook somehow.



    You seem to think AIR was a success, what that machine made clear is that people weren't willing to pay through the nose for limited functionality.

    Quote:

    Finally, I understand that one's wished has a tendency to influence beliefs. It's more interesting to try to intelligently predict the future, than to just dream wildly.





    Best,



    Daniel



    You really can't intelligently predict the future in this regard. The problem is intelligent arguements can be made for both sides. Further at this point I suspect that what ever will come has already been realized in hardware. We just have to wait for Apple to finalize.



    Now when that hardware and software debut it will be very interesting to discuss Apples trade offs. I'm hoping for something iPhone derived but Apple could have anything up their sleeves. Or multiple things up their sleeves.







    Dave
  • Reply 12 of 32
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daniel B View Post


    Some 118 views, but only 12 votes!



    Come on people, just do it.





    Interesting discussion above.



    I agree that the iPhone OS would need some adaptation for the bigger screen. Multiple windows. Switching between apps. However, desktop menus and menu bar are probably not suitable for a touch (finger operated) UI.



    Full Mac OS would be nice, but I see several problems. Even if all the existing apps would run, they would not be adapted to a touch UI. Much easier then to instead adapt a iPhone app for the larger screen.



    Second, I expect the tablet to be prized somewhere midway between the (unsubsidized) iPhone and the cheapest MacBook. In that case, it would cannibalize the MacBook. Forgetting the crappy netbooks, people are prepared to pay more for a small and light device, like the MacBook Air. Touch is also an added value. So, Apple must differentiate against the MacBook somehow.



    Finally, I understand that one's wished has a tendency to influence beliefs. It's more interesting to try to intelligently predict the future, than to just dream wildly.





    Best,



    Daniel



    Sorry man but I just can't vote with only those 2 choices. I think the device is going to be a hybrid.
  • Reply 13 of 32
    philbotphilbot Posts: 240member
    Both.



    press / click a little icon in the corner and it flips between each OS
  • Reply 14 of 32
    carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member
    My vote is for neither. At least neither UI.



    One reason why the tablet form factor has *always* failed was the failure of MS and others to recognise that different screen sizes need fundamentally different interfaces to work.



    I think WindowsMobile is weak because it tries to implement conventions that work on the desktop. But don't make any sense on a tiny phone-sized screen.



    If Apple did make a tablet - we can guess that the screen is going to be 5-7". Such a screen is too small for a the conventional desktop interface. My 10" netbook struggles with OS X. And spend just 5 seconds with the ludicrous Sony P series to see that this problem cannot be solved by simply cranking up the number of pixels.



    The iPhone screen is the size of a business card. The interface is not designed to scale-up to larger screens and more general purpose applications.



    To be successful the tablet would need a completely new interface that has not been seen yet.

    You could retain a fairly regular build of OS X and relatively regular applications. But the apps would need to be re-engineered with NIB files designed for the new interface.



    I still have doubts about this idea - but what I'd want to see in such an interface...



    * Main apps run fullscreen. (or at least 90% of screen area) - minimal area taken by distracting un-necessary functionality. On a small screen, Windows don't make sense. Pages and scrolling do.



    * Rapid access to functions and other applications - and an elegant mechanism for moving data from one app to another. Some off-screen buttons would make sense.



    * a new notification system.



    * Some kind of file management (Finder functionality)



    * A reader application and...



    * A killer note-taking application which could tag your data by where you were - and what you were doing at the time.



    What the hardware needs to deliver:



    * Epic battery life (at least 10 hours)



    * Thinness



    As a form factor - I see something like the Sony Reader - with a Z88-style membrane keyboard embedded into the cover.



    C.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post


    My vote is for neither. At least neither UI.



    I don't think anybody is expecting an exact copy of a current OS. That would be a huge mistake. When we say iPhone OS we are looking at the evolution of what we currently have. The important thing is that there is a clear evolution if the new OS from one or the other of Apples current OSes.



    Quote:

    One reason why the tablet form factor has *always* failed was the failure of MS and others to recognise that different screen sizes need fundamentally different interfaces to work.



    I think WindowsMobile is weak because it tries to implement conventions that work on the desktop. But don't make any sense on a tiny phone-sized screen.



    The above two paragraphs are right on the mark. It is why I don't think Apple will go with a Mac OS derived system. They need to have people look at the device in a different light.

    Quote:



    If Apple did make a tablet - we can guess that the screen is going to be 5-7". Such a screen is too small for a the conventional desktop interface. My 10" netbook struggles with OS X. And spend just 5 seconds with the ludicrous Sony P series to see that this problem cannot be solved by simply cranking up the number of pixels.



    One thing is certain we share the same desire for screen size in this device. However I can see a whole series of such devices. Some with screens large enough to cover the writen area on a sheet of paper.



    In any event I lean towards the idea that the user interface has more to do with usage than screen size. For example the gestures required for an eBook reader / multimedia device are going to be the same regardless off screen size. The iPhone has clearly demonstrated that matching the user interface gestures to intended usage is very important.

    Quote:

    The iPhone screen is the size of a business card. The interface is not designed to scale-up to larger screens and more general purpose applications.



    I'd suggest that you take a long hard look at the SDK. It us pretty clear to me that they intend to port iPhone OS to more devices than iPhone.

    Quote:



    To be successful the tablet would need a completely new interface that has not been seen yet.

    You could retain a fairly regular build of OS X and relatively regular applications. But the apps would need to be re-engineered with NIB files designed for the new interface.



    Let's just say I disagree with the above conclusion.



    First iPhone OS is really close to having the required features and 3.0 brings us even closer. Second the Mac interface, with it's menu bar, is just completely wrong for a Touch device. You pretty much indicated as such earlier.

    Quote:



    I still have doubts about this idea - but what I'd want to see in such an interface...



    * Main apps run fullscreen. (or at least 90% of screen area) - minimal area taken by distracting un-necessary functionality. On a small screen, Windows don't make sense. Pages and scrolling do.



    Yep. So long as Apple doesn't use it as an excuse to bork user multitasking. For things like eBook reading and web surfing it is the only way to go on a small device.

    Quote:



    * Rapid access to functions and other applications - and an elegant mechanism for moving data from one app to another. Some off-screen buttons would make sense.



    Multi tasking you say with communications between apps.



    Off screen buttons ought to be minimal but I'd like to see at least one that can be used as the "shutter release". I find the touch approach on iPhone's camera appaling. The problem is if you add to many the user gets confused. That and the camera becomes cluttered.

    Quote:

    * a new notification system.



    IPhone 3.0? Given that I don't think much positive about the use of notifications.

    Quote:

    * Some kind of file management (Finder functionality)



    Yeah this is huge and I do wish that Apple is reading this. Even on iPhone this could be very beneficial. That with the app jails in place. The idea here is to be able to manage an assortment of files ideally accessible via other apps.

    Quote:

    * A reader application and...



    Ideally able to read many formats. I know I have app ideas that would be a snap if there was a Preview type app available. Displaying PDFs should be a snap and not require loading Safari.

    Quote:

    * A killer note-taking application which could tag your data by where you were - and what you were doing at the time.



    Probably the domain of third party apps.

    Quote:

    What the hardware needs to deliver:



    * Epic battery life (at least 10 hours)



    Even ten hours is pathetic. I'd like to see battery time measured in days. This by the way is one more element in wanting iPhone OS. That is the focus on ARM and very low power usage. In any event the ideal here would be playback of HD movies for ten hours straight.

    Quote:



    * Thinness



    As a form factor - I see something like the Sony Reader - with a Z88-style membrane keyboard embedded into the cover.



    C.



    Not a fan of on device physical keyboards!! I would rather see the standard iPhone keyboard with support in Bluetooth for the required profiles.



    In any event what I'm looking for from Apple is a device with a screen in the ball park of seven inches, thin as you mentioned and a very long run time. The idea is that it would be a device focused on eBooks, web and multimedia. Make no mistake this would be evolved from and be in the mind set of an iPod Touch.





    Dave
  • Reply 16 of 32
    carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member
    Dave,



    I think the machine you are describing is a large format iPod touch.



    And while I think such a machine could be built, I don't really understand why anyone would want an iPod too large for their pocket. There needs to be a very compelling new reason to buy such a device.



    There is a long-standing functionality chasm between handheld devices and small notebooks.



    Right in the middle of that gap is a tablet-format computer with a 7" screen. It is buildable, and people have been building them for a while. But they have never sold. The problem is not hardware but software.



    A paperback book format computer is much too small to run un-modified desktop software. Yet remains too large to put in your pocket. It sits in a chasm. Neither one thing or another.



    The only reason to build one is to permit a new class of applications ideally suited to a screen of this size. To my mind there are two killer applications



    One is reading. Presenting a page of text with the same density as a book is useful. Students having access to all their textbooks in a single device is a pretty compelling application for the education markets. The iPhone screen is too small for reading. A notebook is too large.



    I am convinced the second is note taking.



    Note taking is a fundamental task for students, business people, professionals. We need to take notes, search notes - and transform our notes into meaningful data. And I'd argue that in the history of computing there's never been an application which performed note-taking better than a pad of paper.



    The combination of books&note taking could lead to a device very well suited to education. And quite handy for journalists, doctors, engineers to boot.



    But...having said all that.



    Thinking about it - a better-than-paper notepad would allow the user to make drawings, take photos, record audio, enter typed notes and hand-written annotations. I am <edit>NOT</edit> sure that even Apple could squeeze all this into a single device. Touch or stylus? LCD or ePaper or OLED? Arm or Atom?



    So I'll keep my tablet sceptic hat on for the time being.

    Could be wrong, there might be another killer app for a 5" screen. But I don't know what that is.



    C.
  • Reply 17 of 32
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post


    Dave,



    I think the machine you are describing is a large format iPod touch.



    And while I think such a machine could be built, I don't really understand why anyone would want an iPod too large for their pocket. There needs to be a very compelling new reason to buy such a device.



    There is a long-standing functionality chasm between handheld devices and small notebooks.



    Right in the middle of that gap is a a tablet-format computer with a 7" screen. It is buildable, and people have been building them for a while. But they have never sold. The problem is not hardware but software.



    A paperback book format computer is much too small to run un-modified desktop software. Yet remains too large to put in your pocket. It sits in a chasm. Neither one thing or another.



    The only reason to build one is to permit a new class of applications ideally suited to a screen of this size. To my mind there are two killer applications



    One is reading. Presenting a page of text with the same density as a book is useful. Students having access to all their textbooks in a single device is a pretty compelling application for the education markets. The iPhone screen is too small for reading. A notebook is too large.



    I am convinced the second is note taking.



    Note taking is a fundamental task for students, business people, professionals. We need to take notes, search notes - and transform our notes into meaningful data. And I'd argue that in the history of computing there's never been an application which performed note-taking better than a pad of paper.



    The combination of books&note taking could lead to a device very well suited to education. And quite handy for journalists, doctors, engineers to boot.



    But...having said all that.



    Thinking about it - a better-than-paper notepad would allow the user to make drawings, take photos, record audio, enter typed notes and hand-written annotations. I am sure that even Apple could squeeze all this into a single device. Touch or stylus? LCD or ePaper or OLED? Arm or Atom?



    So I'll keep my table sceptic hat on for the time being.

    Could be wrong, there might be another killer app for a 5" screen. But I don't know what that is.



    C.



    I still say that I think Apple is going to go the extra mile and provide you that compelling reason.....a flexible display! One that shows full color and video.

    Bah, perhaps the lab techs weren't able to get it ready in time. But I just know that Steve Jobs and Jon Ive were playing around with prototypes and exploring the idea.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post


    Dave,



    I think the machine you are describing is a large format iPod touch.



    Yes more or less that is what it would be. A Touch based device souped up a bit. Also know as a Newton 2.



    Quote:

    And while I think such a machine could be built, I don't really understand why anyone would want an iPod too large for their pocket. There needs to be a very compelling new reason to buy such a device.



    You say that in a convincing way but then below you go shot highlighting exactly why people would want such a device. As to physical size I'd have to suggest getting a small paperback that measures 6.5 to 7.5 inches on a diagonal. Such a size fits the pocket easily, make it 16;9 ratio and it cuts better.

    Quote:



    There is a long-standing functionality chasm between handheld devices and small notebooks.



    This I disagree with, not because the chasm exist but rather the idea that a small tablet needs to have the functionality of a notebook. Tablets will be successful when people stop comparing them to notebooks. Frankly I dontever see a tablet as being successful against a notebook nor does it need to be.



    Tablets needs to become valuable in their own right. Much in the same way that iPod Touch and iPhone really became successful as tablet computers more so than as originally marketed. Frankly I think Apple got caught off guard here with respect to these devices becoming tablet computers. Micro tablets for sure but it show clearly that if expectations are right people will use such devices in a variety of ways.

    Quote:



    Right in the middle of that gap is a tablet-format computer with a 7" screen. It is buildable, and people have been building them for a while. But they have never sold. The problem is not hardware but software.



    Actually that is in the ball park, size wise, that I'm thinking about. Hardware has been a problem in the past but obviously Apple and others have moved beyound that. Even software is not an issue if the right expectations are meet. If note book type operation is targeted by the software on these devices then they will fail as they have had in the past. A tablet has to solve problems in a way that justifies it's niche.

    Quote:



    A paperback book format computer is much too small to run un-modified desktop software. Yet remains too large to put in your pocket. It sits in a chasm. Neither one thing or another.



    Except for the fact that guys have carried paperbacks around in their pockets for ages and woman often in their purses. The whole point of a paperback is that it is extremely portable and readable just about anywhere. A tablet really needs that sort of portability. It isn't a chasm but a well established format that focuses on portability or compactness.

    Quote:



    The only reason to build one is to permit a new class of applications ideally suited to a screen of this size. To my mind there are two killer applications



    Actually there are thousands of apps as the Touch devices have demonstrated. Frankly many of those would move from the iphone just fine.

    Quote:



    One is reading. Presenting a page of text with the same density as a book is useful. Students having access to all their textbooks in a single device is a pretty compelling application for the education markets. The iPhone screen is too small for reading. A notebook is too large.



    I'd call it an important market. Closely related would be web browsing. The difference is that these can be seen as consumptive apps. The thing to realize here though is that different sized physical devices can deliver this content. Just because we have a Touch and a 7 inch machine doesn't eliminate the idea of a 10 inch machine.

    Quote:



    I am convinced the second is note taking.



    While I don't see that as a big deal, wouldn't a newton like device be ideal here?

    Quote:



    Note taking is a fundamental task for students, business people, professionals. We need to take notes, search notes - and transform our notes into meaningful data. And I'd argue that in the history of computing there's never been an application which performed note-taking better than a pad of paper.



    Right on with the pad of paper.



    To even come close to being that easy to use we would need a small and thin device along with some impressive software.

    Quote:



    The combination of books&note taking could lead to a device very well suited to education. And quite handy for journalists, doctors, engineers to boot.



    I see a different set of feature becoming important but that is not important. Why you may ask, to which I'd simply say it is still a computer able to run arbitrary software.



    In my case I see movie play back, web browsing, e-mail and such being important. I acknowledge though that users are people an they will configur the device with apps they like and need. Yes ebook support will be high on the list.



    What I wouldn't expect is a rush to adopt apps better suited to laptops such as spreadsheets or traditional word processors. The best apps will be those that leverage the interface.

    Quote:

    But...having said all that.



    Thinking about it - a better-than-paper notepad would allow the user to make drawings, take photos, record audio, enter typed notes and hand-written annotations. I am <edit>NOT</edit> sure that even Apple could squeeze all this into a single device. Touch or stylus? LCD or ePaper or OLED? Arm or Atom?



    All it is is software.



    Quote:

    So I'll keep my tablet sceptic hat on for the time being.

    Could be wrong, there might be another killer app for a 5" screen. But I don't know what that is.



    C.



    You seem to be hung on specific screen size which is a shame. Instead think in terms of device classes.



    I do like tough how you more or less support my ideas for screen size. No mater what Apple release I believe they can be successful if they clearly define what the device is and differentiate it from Laptop Notebook devices. If it gets launched as an alternative to a notebook it is doomed just like evey thin before it. The device needs legs of it's own.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member
    I'll try a shorter post.



    People buy devices to do stuff. They need a compelling reason.



    We already have devices to do email, edit text. play media, browse the web and so on. We don't need yet *another* device to do those exact same things unless they do them better. There have been tablets around for years doing all those things and those old tablets just sit there, refusing to sell. Consumers don't want 'em.



    Email on a keyboardless tablet will not deliver a better experience than a netbook. Music on a tablet will not deliver a better experience than an iPod.



    To motivate the market to buy an all-new device, it has to perform at least one class of application dramatically better than a handheld or a netbook.



    Yes, the Kindle and the Sony Reader demonstrate that a tablet-format device is capable of delivering a much better book reading experience than any other class of device. But that is predicated on the e-paper screen which yields great contrast and a huge battery life. So no movies and black and white web. Switch in a color screen, and the battery life goes from 50 to 5 hours.



    Sorry, still can't see it.



    C.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post


    I'll try a shorter post.



    That is to bad, you could have used more space to explain yourself.

    Quote:

    People buy devices to do stuff. They need a compelling reason.



    Well some do and then we have the people that buy just because. As to a compelling reason for a successful tablet yeah it would help to have one. I think that if Apple develops carefully from iPhone they can find a number of compelling reasons. Each reason would be enough to drive sales but it is the larger accompaniment of software that would really drive sales. Here are some ideas for compelling reasons.



    1. e-book reading. Yeah I see huge potential here especially for a device that can do color. Kindle has shown it can be a compelling reason. It doesn't matter if there is no e-ink screen as long as their is color. Sure that use of color and a less optimal screen, is a trade off but for many journals, books and magazines it is an absolute requirement.



    2. E-Mail, like it or not this would be a fantastic alternative to the iPhone for people on the go. It is not something that can just be dismissed away as such service is become integral to many users life.



    3. Web, likewise you just can't dismiss the usefulness of web browsing on the go. In either this case or the E-mail one you can always make the argument that the Netbook is a better option. Sometimes you would be right, but I can see an equal number of arguments where a well designed table would be a better platform.



    4. Movie play back; this would be huge for people that travel a lot. In essence this would be a video iPod. You don't need a huge screen here either, especially if crammed into a tight plane.



    5. Navigation; such a device would compete happily with the dedicated GPS units on the market. Many of these with similar size screens. I'm so confident in this that if Apple where to release a marine rated unit I could see several GPS manufactures going under. Even without the marine rating the unit would still be very attractive to many a traveler. Frankly if I was one of the GPS receiver manufactures I'd be real worried about this product and the potential it becomes a reality.



    6. Medical office / hospitals; Tablets would be huge here if they properly address the issues that such entities have. Yep software needs to be developed but no big deal there. The potential is for gains in productivity and trace ability.



    7. Games; Yeah I know not Apples forte but then again they don't actually have to target the market all they need to have is the best handheld unit on the market and stiff sales. The current Touch devices demonstrate clearly that new developers will come to a platform when there is reason to believe success is possible.



    8. Alternative input methods; While this is hardware more than software, supporting alternative input like voice or handwriting could lead to a mind set change with respect to how people believe that they need to interact with a computer. handwriting input is likely there by now, but I believe the big advance would be in voice input. If it is possible to become reasonably conversant with the machine then all those objections to on screen input go away.



    9. Visualization; Especially if one can take the tablet on location and manipulate as easily as a picture frame.



    10. Video recording; how about usage as a video monitor on location or even in the studio. Given that the screen can be calibrated there can be advantage in having what amounts to a computer performing the job of a video monitor.



    11. Closely related to the above would be usage in labs for microscopy and other techniques that can generate data as images. Frankly a compact computer of a tablet form factor could see high adoption in such usage, mainly because of space saved. A solid Touch based interface is just gravy on the potatoes.



    12. Publishing; similar to e-books but here we are talking about subscription services. With the economic trouble that newspapers and magazines are having due to the internet this could be a huge factor in stabilizing those businesses. Basically we are talking about the same model that the publishing industry currently uses but instead the issues are delivered directly to your iPod Maxi/Newton 2/iTablet. Here color is likely to be even more important than for e_books. What Apple would also need is a system of auto delivery of issues to subscribing devices, just like the magazines that end up in your mail box today no special effort in getting your subscription should be needed on your part. Frankly a solid move to electronic publishing could do more for the environment than any of Obama mini cars could ever do. It would be hard on the pulp industry but that is where a lot of nasty pollution comes from.

    Quote:



    We already have devices to do email, edit text. play media, browse the web and so on. We don't need yet *another* device to do those exact same things unless they do them better.



    That sort of speech is simply anti innovation and frankly is ignorant. One of the big problems with the economy is the lack of innovation, so I object simply on that ground first.



    However to point out the technology side of the argument, there are only a few devices of this class size currently on the market. None of them are gang buster successes. Often that is due to software. Apple is good with software but honestly not a lot more so than many others. What Apple does well is put that software together in a total package that people can easily adapt to. It is almost a given that the platform will be better than what si currently offered up.

    Quote:

    There have been tablets around for years doing all those things and those old tablets just sit there, refusing to sell. Consumers don't want 'em.



    Well yes and no. It is obvious that consumers don't want the tablets that pretend to be notebook replacements. I very hopeful that Apple has an alternative vision for what a tablet can be and do.



    I'm hopeful because the iPhone represents a melding of a cell phone, PDA and an iPod in a very powerful way which showed a lot of vision. What Apple needs to do is throw away previous visions for tablets which obviously don't work and innovate in a way that people find compelling like iPhone.



    As to the other tablets that are in the yes category there have been success, but these are obviously not notebook replacement devices. I'm thinking here the Nokia N8** series and some of the video tablets on the market. People do go for tablets when they suit a need.

    Quote:



    Email on a keyboardless tablet will not deliver a better experience than a netbook. Music on a tablet will not deliver a better experience than an iPod.



    You can't be absolute here, it depends on the usage, tablet size and other factors. As to music delivery I just don't think it is reasonable to compare a multi use device with something that is single function. Such a tablet might be an excellent master machine for a shuffle type iPod or even a larger device.

    Quote:

    To motivate the market to buy an all-new device, it has to perform at least one class of application dramatically better than a handheld or a netbook.



    Not exactly it needs to be able to get specific jobs done well. That is a slightly different focus then on a single app.

    Quote:

    Yes, the Kindle and the Sony Reader demonstrate that a tablet-format device is capable of delivering a much better book reading experience than any other class of device. But that is predicated on the e-paper screen which yields great contrast and a huge battery life. So no movies and black and white web. Switch in a color screen, and the battery life goes from 50 to 5 hours.



    Sorry, still can't see it.



    C.



    Actually I just think you are being stubborn here. You have to realize that some books and magazines simply can't get by without color. You have to see an OLED as an alternative to E-ink. As to battery life that depends very much on what technology Apple throws at the problem. We could see your 5 hours or we could see 25, it all depends on battery size & type and the tech used.





    Dave
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