Some final thoughts on the presumed Apple Tablet on the evening before it's widely assumed to be announced. I was engaging in some idle speculation about the would-be Tablet with a friend today (Seriously, though. I really don't think about it that much. It's taken an inordinate amount of my blog space lately, though...), and we had some followup thoughts.
As I'd said the last time I wrote on this subject, that the idea of a varying docking stations would greatly appeal to me. The idea (not even mine, originally; Those being of Tim Van Damme) being that a docking station - where the tablet did provide some processing power but was supplemented by a standard processor, memory, and possibly video and storage, as well as USB and Networking connections - would make the Tablet a very viable option to me. Tim envisions, and I agree with the usefulness, of an iMac-like and laptop-like docks for the Tablet, where the Tablet is not seen in the former, but is the primary display of the latter. During my conversation today, I realized that while this could be awesome, it seems to be concealing a deeper urge.
What I'd like to see is less syncing. I'd like a more seamless connection of my data on disparate devices. Instead of an iMac-like or laptop-like dock, I'd just like an easier cooperation between my experience and data and thoughts than syncing via iTunes! I'd like a flow that I don't need to think about when moving from one to the other. If I'm in my living room watching TV (a rarity, but it does happen), and jot some notes down, check a couple things on the web, and maybe create some interesting doodles, I don't want to have to sync with bloody iTunes to do anything with them later.
As I'd said before, I don't have any inside info. (Really, if I did then everyone would...) I don't even know if there even is an Apple Tablet coming to market. (I'm sure there's an Apple Tablet, and probably has been for 10 years, but not necessarily a product.) Even if there is something coming out soon, I don't know how how it would be marketed and intended to be used! But the segment who's been clamoring the most for this product has been the Graphics industry. I can see how a seamless flow from a Canvas or photo manip app (never mind the Sketchpad, notebook, or sticky-notes for the rest of us) could be sheer heaven. In fact, I can see little but frustration from an artist having to rely on iTunes to sync their work from the Tablet to their main computer. (Yes, I now know that Lightroom does sync your iPhone's photos, but I'm envisioning a different workflow than an iPhone...).
I'm sure that a seamless workflow transition is possible, but I don't know what the cost would be. Given NFS and the miracles of wireless ethernet and Bonjour, I'm sure that Apple could make something wonderful (and are probably working on it somewhere within Infinite Loop), and I really hope that it sees the light of day soon. I've faith that smarter people than I are working on it.
With that, we'll see what tomorrow's announcement brings...