In the last (many) weeks, the main rumor that runs in the Mac world to Apple's tablet, aka iSlate, iTablet, iPad, iGuide, MacTablet… From time to time some “concrete” information pops up here and there, but, given the imminence of the product's release, what has been happening a lot is also discussions and speculations about how the product will be and work.
John Gruber, from Daring Fireball, kicked off the question in an extensive article published at the turn of the year. Despite having hot sources inside Apple, neither he had contact with anyone who worked and / or saw the tablet's hardware or software. Even within Cupertino, the project is taken for granted, but little is known about it, because it has already been said and repeated that Steve Jobs himself was very involved in its creation.
One of the aspects discussed by Gruber regarding the purpose of a tablet: consider that it is 7 inches valid, but perhaps this “giant iPod touch” (which would not have twice the screen, but four times its useful area screens are measured in diagonal, remember!) didn’t make as much sense as an even bigger 10-11 inch.
Saying that the tablet will be launched for anyone to use it on the sofa is not very cool, because today you can do that with a MacBook or with your own iPhone / iPod touch. Gruber speculates that the iSlate will be an alternative to the MacBooks themselves, not as complete as a normal Mac / computer, but as advanced and smart as an iPhone / iPod touch. The product would be great for anyone who already has an iMac and an iPhone, for example, and needs a portable Mac to take it up and down. The price? The consensus says somewhere between $ 500 and $ 800 more than an iPhone, less than a MacBook.
An interesting thing to consider on a tablet is how it would be used, in practice, for you to watch videos or read an electronic book, for example. What are the options? Hold it with both hands? Support on your lap? Leave on the table (not very nice angle)? Use any special dock / support with the ideal viewing angle? Or could it have two folding screens, there Microsoft Courier, what would “solve” this issue?
The system is once again said to be a mix of iPhone OS with Mac OS X, since a 7-10 inch touchscreen would not support either of them in the best possible way. It is worth noting that Apple would be filling a new space with iTablet, not discarding any of its other existing product lines. Gruber even mentions that there is a possibility for developers to get a preliminary version of Mac OS X 10.7 already at this WWDC in June.
As noted by developer Marco Arment, one of the most controversial and uncertain aspects about a tablet about its text input method. An iPhone was not created for long typing, so its compact virtual keyboard very well replaces the physical ones we find in competitors (or even the old T9, based on the numeric keypad), but a tablet cannot follow the same concept. In addition, tapping your fingers on a completely flat glass surface for long periods without any tactile / haptic feedback should not be pleasant.
At the end of the day, the Apple tablet has everything to be a beautiful product, of exquisite construction and totally multifunctional, preferably always connected to the internet. The Cupertino firm's secret is not to deliver products we * need *, but to release news that we all * want *. And the tablet has already achieved this goal, without even having been presented by the company.
There are those who believe that the product will arrive to “redefine the history of personal computing”. To be?
Other texts that are also worth checking out:
In a quick comment posted on his blog yesterday, Gruber said that, based on contact with sources close to his Apple, the tablet will not come with a camera, webcam or anything like that some speculate.