Here’s what I think the answers are to all the key questions, and a few not so obvious ones.
Q. Does the Tablet run Mac software?
A. No. It only runs software you get from the App Store. Apps on the App Store that identify themselves as enabled and adapted for running on the Tablet. When you are on the App Store using the Tablet, you will see only apps that support (or also support, if they are already iPhone apps) the Tablet form factor and resolution. You will see the appropriate screenshots for the Tablet.
Q. Will the Tablet also run iPhone Apps that aren’t adapted for the Tablet, maybe by running them in a window or stretching them?
A. No. Like Apple, authors will have to make an effort and do the job right, adapting their app appropriately to the resolution and form factor and additional UI controls available on the Tablet’s OS, which is basically a branch of iPhone OS.
Q. Will the Tablet use windows and menus and Finder and other paradigms from OS X Leopard?
A. No, the Tablet will be basically running iPhone OS but with extra UI elements and input gestures designed specifically for the larger form factor. You will never deal with “files”, the Finder (for PC people, that’s Windows/File Explorer), device manager, Virus detectors, and other things that you don’t have to deal with on an iPhone.
Q. Will I be able to plug in a mouse? External keyboard?
A. Mouse is out of the question, the Tablet’s multi-touch UI is not designed for it, does not factor in a mouse. A bluetooth keyboard is not totally out of the question though.
Q. If the Apple Tablet is just an overgrown iPhone, do you need a PC or a Mac to sync with, back it up, set it up?
A. No. There’s an iPod connector, but it is not used for that.
Q. Then how do I get my music on it?
A. For music purchased from iTunes, it is dead simple. Provide the Tablet with your iTunes Store account name and password, and you now have instant access to all your purchased music without re-downloading it all. Apple already knows and remembers all the song files, TV shows and Movies (and now E-books) you purchased.
Q. You mean the music is always streamed to me when I want to hear it?
A. No, you create playlists, smart playlists and genius mixes through a new interface (not the iTunes app for PC and Mac as before) and then the music is synced to your Tablet from the Internet instead of from your PC or Mac’s iTunes library. Synced music (and Movies etc.) on your Tablet work when disconnected from the Internet, as expected.
Q. What about all the other MP3 and music files I have on my hard drives at home?
A. A new version of iTunes will let you upload your entire home music library to the Internet (Apple’s servers). There it will be safe, backed up, available to you always, from anywhere. Sync back to your iTunes apps (like Home sharing but from your music library on the Internet).
Q. What about my photos? How can I get them onto the Tablet?
A. Any photos placed (or synced from iPhoto or your PC) on MobileMe are safe, backed up, and swiftly accessible to you on your Tablet. The newly released Gallery app on the iPhone demonstrates how fast the experience can be. Of course, the Tablet can sync any photo album locally for albums you often look at or wish to access while disconnected from the Infernet.
Q. What if I lose the Tablet or it breaks or other issue occurs, where is it backed up if I don’t have a PC or Mac to back it up like with the iPhone?
A. Like Microsoft’s Windows Phone, your Tablef’s entire config will be backed up to the Internet.
Q. How would I update the firmware?
A. Online. The Tablet’s BIOS is Internet and WiFi aware and can perform a complete reset, restore or update after you connect it to WiFi.
Q. What about Apps? Without iTunes to manage them, how do I decide which apps I currently want on my Tablet and which I don’t?
A. The same app on the Tablet that lets you manage your music library lets you manage your apps. Since all apps come from the App Store, they are re-downloaded as needed to sync to your Tablet (or restore a Tablet).
Q. How do I get photos from my digital camera into the Tablet without a computer?
A. iPod connector to micro-USB cable. Plug in your camera, and the Tablet’s software will put your photos on MobileMe quickly and easily, where they will be backed up and safe and accessible and syncable to the Tablet.
Q. What about a built-in SD card reader?
A. Maybe. Might not make it in.
Q. What other ports are there on the Tablet?
A. Headphone jack. Charge through iPod connector. Maybe an SD slot. That’s it. No separate mike jack, micro-USB, dedicated video out port — same as iPhone but with possible addition of the SD card reader port to make importing photos and videos from camcorders easier. iPod connector flexible enough to allow video out, mike, etc. as needed.
Q. What will the Tablet be called?
A. If it is a tablet, and not some other form factor, it will be called iPod slate or iPod tablet or iPod something.
Q. Removable battery? Stylus? 3D user interface? Articulating frame keyboard? Voice text input? Built-in projector?
A. No, no, no, no, no, and no.
A. 32 GB version, $649 +/- $50 USD.
Q. Release date?
A. March to June, probably April.
Q. Built in 3G?
A. More power than an iPhone 3GS but nowhere near as powerful as a Macbook or other full fledged computers.
A. Ridiculously thin. As thin as an iPod touch or thinner. It has the same order of processor as an iPod, but more battery life from the added volume to work with.
Q. Aluminum and glass construction?
Q. Moving parts? Like unfolding flap or slide-out keyboard?
A. 10-11″ screen. High res.
Q. Built-in camera?
A. Tough, tough question. After all, we’ve got cameras on our iPhones and cell phones, and other cameras. If there is one, it will be for iChat, so, front facing! I’d say yes…
Q. What will you be able to do with it?
A. Same kinds of things iPhone apps let you do, but on a larger screen. Meaning practically everything (eventually) except hardcore stuff like software development etc.
Q. Will this Tablet change the world?
A. Exagerations aside, it will be the first non-pocket computer for the masses that will be as easy to use as an iPhone. That says a lot.
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