Since it finally now seems inevitable..
What does everyone think? Will this be Apple's first real "flop"? Or will it essentially sell almost as a 1:1 with every iPhone sold as the "big screen" companion to your iPhone everywhere you go.
We have been speculating on how it will get "data" WiFi is a given.. but will it have a cellular connection? will you be expected to pay another $50 for a data plan? Will something like "Whispernet" work for such a rich multimedia type device? Will it just use a bluetooth modem connection and pull cellular data from your existing cell phone and data plan (the carriers will love that lol)
Someone forwarded me this email...
10 Things I'd Do with My Apple Tablet
Buzz up!on Yahoo!
The time for speculation is over. Apple sent its legion of owls out across the country (if not the world) to deliver the news: they're ready to reveal whatever it is they've been working on for the last few years, and now we're all being summoned back to Hogwa—er, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco to see the magical device. It's almost inconceivable that this "Special Event" will not include the fabled "iSlate," "iTablet," "Apple Tablet," or "The Tablet to End All Tablets." With that in mind, I've already started planning how I'll use the device. Here are 10 essential ideas. (Note: I have not been pre-briefed by Apple. This is only what I hope for and expect to see in an Apple Tablet.)
1. Picture Frame. To me, this is one of the most obvious uses for Apple's Tablet. It's not like you'll be using it all the time, or even as often as, say, your netbook. It'd be a waste to put that lovely eight- to 10-inch LED screen in a bag or drawer when you're not using it. These tablets should come with some kind of stand. So I'll prop mine up, connect it to my network via WiFi, and stream photos from my NAS, a shared folder, or a Mac Mini, should I invest in one. Like the best LCD picture frames, my Apple Tablet will support RSS-based widgets that let you stream news stories, weather, and traffic reports in a scrolling bar, right on top of my pretty pictures.
2. E-book Reader. I own an Amazon Kindle, which I think is the perfect device for e-reading, but I've seen enough concept videos and even an actual tablet product (thanks, JooJoo) to know that reading on a tablet could be a pretty enjoyable experience, as well. Apple's tablet will, obviously, offer something more than just monochrome novel digestion. Its color screen will easily support high-resolution photos and video and should be touch screen as well. Talk has been rampant about all of the side-deals Apple's making with major publishers to essentially re-invent magazine reading. I don't know if I want that kind of reinvention, but I will read whatever content Apple can get on my new tablet. A couple of worries, though. I know I can read my Kindle for hours without eye-strain. Can I do the same with a back-lit screen—and will that battery hold up for weeks like my Kindle's? That seems unlikely.
3. Tweet, Spend Time on Facebook, and Send and Read E-mail. I envision my Tablet sitting on the coffee table next to my couch. I'll pick it up when the mood strikes me and tweet on Twitter or update my Facebook status. E-mail via any of my favorite Web-based clients will be easy. I'm expecting a virtual QWERTY keyboard that fills the bottom half of the screen (when held in landscape mode) and fast enough multi-touch capability that I don't have to worry about the keyboard keeping up with my "lightning-fast" digits. The Facebook experience should be particularly good, thanks to the large, full-color screen and touch-display that'll let me use two fingers to zero in on a Wall post or new photos of some old friends. I'll sweep the keyboard out of the way when I want to see more of my page.
4. Watch Movies. I don't expect Apple to skimp on the graphics processing power in this tablet. It should be able to handle HD (up to 1080p) movies without a hitch--no stuttering, no loss of pixels on the edges. I'll probably choose to run my movies in 720p, because 1080p is overkill for a 10-inch screen; I may save some battery life that way, too. By the way, I'll get my movies from either my favorite online service (Netflix streaming over WiFi) or, again, through another Apple device like the Mac Mini or (if I feel like showing some compassion for a step-child device) Apple TV.
5. Skype. Apple's Tablet will have a Webcam and many will use it, along with their in-house WiFi with Apple's popular video-conferencing service, iChat. I'm a Skype user, so I'll go with that free service. I'll have the option of plugging a headset into the audio port, using a Bluetooth headset or simply talking into the on-board microphone. A set of stereo speakers on the base should provide all the sound I need. I might make regular phone calls, too, but since I'm not certain my Apple Tablet will include 3G connectivity, I won't plan for this.
6. Music. Apple's Tablet will provide an awesome interface for accessing iTunes—which I expect will arrive pre-loaded on the device. I'll have the option of buying a new stereo speaker Apple Tablet dock for around $200 to $400.When the music is playing, the tablet will display something akin to music videos, abstract images or, maybe, a slideshow of my choice.
7. Draw. It's hard for me to imagine a large, touch screen computer that doesn't offer the ability to draw. I'm certain Apple's Tablet will offer a capacitive display. The question is, will it also include digitizing capabilities (preferably Wacom)? In my perfect world, it does. My Apple Tablet dock will also include a place to store my digitizing pen. I can, when inspired, sit down, grab the Tablet and pen and just start drawing. Since it's a touch screen, I may also try my hand—or fingers—at virtual finger-painting. I hear it's very therapeutic.
8. Download Apps. To draw, I'll need a good app, and the Apple Tablet will have access to all the 100,000 options in the App Store. Not all will work or make sense for the Tablet (I wouldn't try the virtual lighter; you might end up throwing the Tablet out the window when you attempt to virtually flip open and light the lighter it in one quick motion). But it's become common wisdom to expect that the Tablet will expand the App Store in a more productive direction. That large screen offers innumerable options. I'll download drawing apps, word processing, and maybe even a simple Excel-compatible spreadsheet app. Presentation software is an obvious fit, since I see myself taking the Tablet on the road (with a light, foldable stand) and using it for impromptu presentations.
9. Play Games. The Tablet will have an accelerometer and should be, like the iPhone and iPod touch, a good gaming platform. However, I think I'll play different kinds of games on it. Its size should encourage more multi-player scenarios, where I'm holding one side of the Tablet and someone else the other—Apple's updated multi-touch software should support this multi-player mode.
10. Browse the Web. Apple's Tablet will replace the laptop as my favorite at-home Web browsing companion. It's not unusual for me to, say, watch a movie and peruse IMDB.com at the same time to get the back-story on a particular flick. During breaking news, I'm usually checking one or two news Websites at the same time, to see if they've got fresher news than the networks (often times they do). My Apple Tablet will be the perfect partner in this activity.
Could I be wrong? Sure. I've attended Apple events where Professor Dumble—er, Steve Jobs failed to deliver. Yes, the event was well-produced and there were moments of wonder, but the magic just wasn't there. I don't expect that to happen this time. However, on the off-chance that I'm wrong, I'll be ready with a column called "10 Things I'll Do with My Shiny New Touch Screen iMac".