Tomorrow is going to be a challenge trying to figure out who’s getting my attention. At noon Larry is going to be revealing the strategy for the Sun acquisition here, and Steve will be releasing his new world saving device the Jesus tablet. I’m sure Larry’s 5 hour presentation tomorrow is going to be riveting, it’s especially going to effect my Identity Management world but for now lets focus on some consumer fun. You can’t hit twitter or any blog without seeing someone predicting what features the tablet with have. Here’s my list of no brainer features:
- Books in the App Store – Steve doesn’t like anyone making money that he can’t dip his fingers into. With the success of the Kindle, the Sony, and Nook eBook readers it only makes sense.
- It’ll run a modified iPhone OS – Because of the power of the app store, it just makes sense for the tablet to run the same operating system. The biggest issue will be to see how they scale the graphics / applications. I think we’ll finally see the ability to background apps or run multiple apps at a time like windows widgets.
- Sensors – Its going to have all the same sensors as the iPhone, compass, GPS, and accelerometer. This is critical to keep all the games from the app store alive
- Front Facing Video Camera – With the form factor of the device its definitely not going to be made to take any pictures, but it makes sense to have a front facing video camera for iChat and Skype type activities. We may have a new application that logs you in by your face since some are saying Steve only sees one tablet per family. The camera can’t differentiate between twins so maybe not a feature.
- New Health Care Focus – Most of my doctors already carry an iPhone or touch in the office to look up all their drug and treatment information. The tablet gives them a better platform to read charts, view x-rays, etc. It should really revolutionize the health care industry. I’m not seeing a major business play yet, but someone smarter than I will come up with some killer business apps…maybe some BI real time analytics applications.
- Wifi and 3G – This will be their place to get away from AT&T, the Verizon network just makes sense here. Verizon learned their lesson the first time around missing out on the iPhone boat and they won’t want to miss this one. My guess is a $50 a month unlimited plan.
- Storage – 32 and 64 GB options for the launch, they’ll release a 128 GB version in 6-12 months.
- Remote control interface – The tablet will be able to remotely control all the Apple devices in your house. Whether its the Apple TV, Airport, or iTunes, you’ll be able to remotely control it like the Sonos controllers.
All of these features seem pretty obvious to me, nothing truly ground breaking. We’ve been talking about this a lot lately and they really need a killer application to marry with it. There are two pieces that will make this a killer device. The first is cloud based storage for all your media. Using cloud based storage should be a no brainer for Apple. Their purchase of LaLa last year adds to this theory. They sell one copy of a song thousands of times over and all they need to do is set an ACL on the server side. This way you can access your music where ever you are on the go and Apple provides your backup solution. This would finally make their MobileMe service useful to consumers. The only problem with this I can see is how to you share your collection with your family easily, the latest iTunes versions are starting to address this but their current model of signing one central account into multiple machines isn’t a longer term viable solution. With this we will see a 100% browser based version of the App Store where you can purchase directly online without having to open up clunky iTunes.
Cloud storage is the first step, but what I really see as making the tablet a killer device is what I’m calling MediaSync for lack of a better term. Imagine linking all your devices together, your iPod/iPhone, laptop, iSlate and Apple TV. Apple through their cloud service manages all the media between the devices and based on your usage patterns automatically loads the device with your most utilized media. Much of the math behind this they’ve been figuring out with Genius already. With the iPhone over WiFi you can stream anything that isn’t stored locally in your collection. So now you’re sitting at home with your tablet on your lap with the TV running in the background, tell your wife “Hey, check out this YouTube video”, flip on your Apple TV and now you’re playing it live in your living room for your wife. You get up from the office and start a podcast on your iPhone listening all the way home. Pause it as you pull in the driveway, turn on the Apple TV and continue to listen in the exact place you left off in the car. Your wife gets home and wants to watch last nights Grey’s Anatomy so you’re forced to pull out your tablet and continue listening right where the Apple TV left off.
This is really the only killer component that will make the tablet useful to most consumers. Without it I don’t see it being the most important device Steve has ever been a part of. I guess we’ll all just find out how close I was 13 hours from now. What are your thoughts on the tablet and the way it’ll revolutionize your life.