With Apple's planned presentation January 27th, there is a lot of speculation about the rumored iPod Slate, the tablet PC that has been highly anticipated for years (at least 3 from when I started blogging about wanting one). The "details" are trickling in with everyone throwing their expectations and prognostications out there. Well, I've posted a lot on my end on what I would want in such a device. So now, in the 11th hour, let me review with some minor changes what I would want out of this iPod Slate tablet.
- Reasonable Price: This often is lost on a lot of people. The thing needs to be reasonably priced for what I get out of it. If it's nothing more than just a glorified iPod Touch, I'll keep my touch, thank you very much. Also, if it's priced well within a laptop range, i.e. $700+, then I would even think about getting a laptop instead of the tablet. It needs to be priced well for the range, about $500 to $600 would be reasonable, in my mind. I would prefer less, but I could live with something about that price.
- Multiple Apps At Once: I haven't posted about this before, but I would like to see more than one app at a time run on the device. For instance, I would love to have, say, Skype run in the background while I surf the web or open a document or email relevant to the discussion. I'd also like to have chat windows open while working on a document. Make the thing a great mobile device for work, and I'm happy.
- iWork or MS Office: Not sure if MS Office will be likely given their current legal issues, but a version of iWork would be great. I'm not talking about something for hardcore development, but something that will allow for quick edits and a presentation.
- Voice To Text: I realize that this is available through the new Dragon Naturally Speaking app for the iPhone, but it's not there for the iPod Touch, so I want it understood that I would want this on the Tablet. I don't want it as the only option for text entry on the tablet, but it would be a convenient method for those on the go trying to write a book without actually having to sit and type.
- Bluetooth: Yes, both the iPod Touch and the iPhone have Bluetooth, but they are horribly scaled back. Open it up! Let me sync my Voyager Bluetooth headset with it, and a Bluetooth keyboard while I'm at it. Don't restrict the Bluetooth on the device, other than turning off discoverability by default.
- Open 3G/4G: I don't like being bound to any one company when I make that big of a purchase. If I'm going to have something that will use a cellular network, I want to decide which network and which plan. This isn't anything necessarily against AT&T or any other network, I just want to be able to shop around. Of course, this means a lot of different issues that Apple may not want to get into, at which time I would say give me the option of not needing a network. That alone would make me happy.
- Display Port: I need a way to attach the thing to a projector. While there are a number of projectors that use the standard iPod jack, I'd prefer to have something less restrictive. A display port would make that easy. After all, this is a device I intend to use in class for presentations.
- Access To Stored Files: Right now on the iPhone and iPod Touch, apps keep their individual files within the App itself. If iWork and a number of other apps are to be of any real use, they need to start sharing files. Even if it's just a single Documents folder or Home folder, that would be fine. Something that the Dropbox app and similar apps would be able to utilize for quick file syncing through an Internet connection.
Now for the "Nice To Have's"
- Full iTunes: I would love to have a full version of iTunes, letting me make playlists while out and about, delete songs, etc. without needing to sync with a computer again.
- Video Conferencing: This would be cool, if for nothing else than to have a truly portable video calling device. It was rumored, but others have said that the rumor was just that. We'll see.
- FM Radio: There is an FM radio receiver in the iPod Touch, which could easily be activated with software support from Apple. I'd like that enabled with the Tablet.
- GarageBand for Podcasting: The tablet would be a killer way to perform mobile podcasting, making it easy to record your audio (and video, if there is a camera), do some quick edits, and upload it while on the road.
So, that's about it for the tablet. What else would I like to see come from the presentation? There's a whole host of things that I would like to see, though most are not likely to be coming.
- FM Radio for iPod Touch: Just turn it on already! I want to listen to NPR while on my way to work. I'm getting a lot of reading done, and I do some writing, but that early in the morning, I'd like to listen to some news rather than my neighbor's family issues being discussed loudly on their cell phone.
- Open Bluetooth for iPod Touch: Open the Bluetooth to allow me to connect my headset to my iPod Touch, with microphone! It's a pretty easy thing to do. Also, enable Bluetooth microphones for the iPod Touch.
- Open Network iPhone: An open iPhone would be nice to have, one that could go to the network of my choice.
- Playlists for Videos on Apple TV: Most likely not going to happen (if at all) until October and the Christmas season, it's still something I've wanted for a long time. Please, make it possible to play a playlist of TV shows and Movies.
- Games on Apple TV: Allow gaming on the Apple TV. Do you want to increase sales? Have console gaming built into the Apple TV. It's a simple concept, and one that could even tie into some of the apps available for the iPod Touch.
So that's it for my list. Apple, I hope you are listening. Some of these things I am willing to wait on, but others are critical. I've already resolved to wait and see what the price tag would be before I decide on buying a tablet. Just be warned, if it's the same price as a Netbook and a Kindle combined, I'll probably keep my iPod Touch and get a Netbook (thank you free Kindle app for iPhone).