What the new “iSlate” Should Be

The rumors are once again flying about the possible announcement of a tablet from Apple. January 27th there is some sort of announcement about something from Apple. No one knows what it is for sure, but rumors about new iPhone software with “scaling” resolution applications may suggest that it is a larger device that can use programs from the app store.

If there is a tablet announced, it will not just be a larger iPod. As fun as that may be, I don’t see that taking off like the iPod. A tablet, or “iSlate”, has to do more, be more. I think the tablet should be to netbooks what the iPod was to music players and iPhone was to cell phones. It will also likely be what the iMac was to all-in-one computers.

What does it need to be?

Mac OS Application Support: For me to be able to use the Apple tablet I need for it to be able to interface with MS Word. I need to be able to create, open, edit, and save documents that don’t lose formatting in MS Word. It’s a simple thing, but it would mean that either the tablet runs Mac OS applications, or Apple has created a way to interface with some applications. I don’t expect it to run Aftereffects or Final Cut, but some basic application support is a must.

iPhone App Support: It should run any app available in the app store that runs on an iPod. It should have an emulator or run them natively.

No Wireless Network Restriction: It should not be tied to AT&T or any other wireless network. In fact, it should be able to use either a built in 3G connection, wifi, or a 3G modem connected through a USB port.

Support for Bluetooth Devices: It must be able to interface with Bluetooth devices, like a keyboard and mouse. A touch screen is great, but I want to feel the keys under my fingers.

There are probably more, but those are the big ones for me.

But, even though a tablet would be nice, we should steel ourselves for the fact that it’s just as likely that the announcement is a new iPhone model with a higher resolution screen.