Monday, 26 January 2009

This Is Why Apple's New Tablet Will Surprise You

What’s In A Name
Most possible ones? Either MacBook Touch (differentiates their main product lines, which are Macbooks and iPods, save iMacs and Mac Pros), iBook (recycling of the old name, similar to ‘Superdrive’ name recycle) or Canvas (John Gruber loves this one). Why not iPad? It sounds like a sanitary product. And not iSlate? It does arrive a bit late, but not late enough to be called ‘iS late’.

The Tablet Can See You
A half-hearted Avatar reference it is not. By using a patented technology called ‘Integrated Sensing Display’, the tablet can sense and capture an image within 1 centimeters in front of the panel. Put a namecard on it facing down, it will be scanned directly and digitally converted for filing. Put a photo on it, you can edit or add effects to the photo afterwards using built-in app. The panel can also communicate wirelessly with other devices nearby using the same infrared technology it uses to see. So, you can put two tablets side-by-side, toss a file icon from one tablet to another, and the other tablet will receive it. Similar to Mover app on iPhone.

And hey, Microsoft has this technology, too!

No Camera?
Taking family picture with a slate this big would be ridiculous. It won’t have any dedicated camera capabilities. Apple wants you to buy their pocket camera product, it’s called: iPhone 3Gs. Autofocus, 3 Megapixels, it’s all there. Why bother buying another camera that clearly won’t fit in your pocket?
Instead, can we transfer picture files into the device? Yes you can. Apple hates cables, so Wi-Fi is your best friend. Sync it with iTunes/iPhoto wirelessly, and also with iPhone/iPod touch. I don’t think Bluetooth OBEX file transfer will be available soon, though.

Painting App For OS X
As indicated by the splash of paints in the Apple event Invitation, maybe we will witness the ressurection of a long-forgotten Mac digital imaging software named ‘Mac Paint’. Or maybe it’s a whole different thing. But one thing for sure: Wacom beware. Using new capabilities beyond capacitive touchscreen, the new tablet will be able to recognize wider array of input methods: fingertips, your whole hands, stylus, and any other passive (non-electrically conductive) objects that can benefit creative digital artists in creating their masterpiece.

It’s A Wireless Companion For Your Mac, Or iPhone
Can be used as a wireless input device for Macbooks, iMacs and Mac Pros. Think of it as a gigantic Magic Mouse that has a screen and a virtual keyboard. Can be used as a companion for your iPhone. Take pictures using iPhone, record videos, and edit it in the tablet. Sync files, backup them if necessary. Play games while using the iPhone/iPod touch as a controller device, and the tablet as the display.

It’s Faster
Walter Moss[puppet]berg has a good point in his [too] early review of the Apple tablet. Quoted: “It’s got internet connectivity, somehow, but I never gave it my wifi password and I didn’t have to sign up for any 3G account. I’m just online, and it’s the fastest browsing experience I’ve ever had in my life.” This is by no means a legit testimonial, but a hint that the device might be equipped with a WiMAX/4G connectivity.

Pricing, Pricing
As with the recent leak from Media Markt (Germany), and re-published by Macrumors, the tablet will be priced at around $500-$600 US with contract and $999 without. Sounds proportional to me.