What TiPb Really Wants from the iTablet -- No More Tech Support Calls from Mom
TiPb's iTablet hopes and dreams are fairly simple -- Apple, please make us a device we can give to our moms and never get another tech support call back from them in our lives.
Okay, maybe never is dreaming in AMOLED color, but we'd settle for seldom at this point. And we don't mean to pick on mom -- feel free to substitute or add dad, siblings, neighbors, and everyone else to the list.
Now, almost no one outside of Steve Jobs knows exactly what Apple will be releasing at "Come see our latest creation", yet everyone and their blog is speculating, including TiPb. Doing for print media what they did for music? Sure. Great. Nice. Text books, subscription TV, iWork touch? Fine. Fine. Fine. Content and apps you will bring we have no doubt. We expect no less. But we want that one more thing, and we want it pretty much to be what Daring Fireball, Ars, and Marco Armant suggested almost a month ago -- a modern, highly abstracted re-conception of the personal computer meant for mainstream users.
Apple helped bring the CLI (command line interface) to the masses with the Apple II, the GUI (graphical user interface) with the Mac, and the multitouch interface with the iPhone and iPod touch. Each has been easier for more people to use than the one before, but the iPhone and iPod touch traded mobility for functionality to the extent that while great devices, they can't fully replace netbooks or laptops, which is the sweet spot for consumers.
An iTablet could. An iTablet that removes any care or concern about right vs. left mouse clicking, saving files within hierarchical directories, icons disappearing from docks, files littered across the desktop, disk and other maintenance, complex software installations, windows getting lost, drivers causing disasters, and all the headaches that come with a regular person trying to manage a monstrous modern computer system like Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux.
Google is trying to do a lot of that with Chrome OS, but that will still be a WIMP (windows, interface, mouse, pointer) GUI that's basically a browser and subject to the greatest terrors WebApp interfaces can bring.
If Apple can bring an iPhone level of usability to a tablet sized device and give it just enough productivity to let regular people edit what documents they need to while enjoying incredibly easy access to their magazines, newspapers, books, videos, music, games, and apps... If Apple can make a device that "just works" for 80% of mainstream users... If Apple can make a computing product that I can give to my mom and not have to worry about getting a call saying "where did my internet go?" or "I swear it's clicking on things by itself"...
If Apple can do for the personal computer once again what they did with the Apple II and Mac -- make it more usable for more users -- then that's all TiPb really wants.
Will we get it? Shrug. Apple's track record is fairly good, and a lot of people smarter than we are seem to think it's the next logical step, so all that's left is to cross our fingers, throw away our tech support hotlines, and wait for Wednesday's "Come see our latest creation".