Even though I will warn you, as I was warned, that these videos are almost certainly clever fakes, the Mac addict portion of your brain will likely still experience a pleasurable thrill when you see them. I first saw these over at Cult of Mac, but they’ve been making the rounds, with TechCrunch and Gizmodo also weighing in on the veracity of these movies purporting to show the upcoming Apple (s appl) tablet device in action, running iPhone OS.
Note that this isn’t claiming to depict a production model of the tablet, but rather some kind of development hardware toolkit in action, which is supposedly why the volume controls and other buttons are located on that external hardware controller device and not on the tablet itself. Additional screenshots have been posted to the MacRumors forums, with some showing the “About” panel, mobile Safari in action, etc.
The problem is, if this is supposed to show something that’s actually made by Apple, then it’s very early days indeed. Apps mostly seem to run in their original resolution, so that you end up with what looks like a bunch of different iPhones running simultaneously on the same screen. Assuming the device was anywhere near complete enough to be in the hands of a few lucky developers, I’d also have to say that Apple would likely have done a little more work on its own basic software suite.
Despite the iPhone-emulator feel of the demo, it is undoubtedly cool, and whoever has invested the time and money to come up with this deserves massive kudos for doing so. At the very least, it appears to allow true app multi-tasking, which is something that actually makes the concept of a large-scale iPod touch-type device genuinely appealing. The dock-like app bar at the bottom of the screen is another great idea, since a home screen-style setup on a device this size would probably make for a rather cluttered UI.
There is a very small chance this could be real, and if it is, it raises a lot of questions about how Apple will deal with running iPhone apps on significantly different hardware (the keyboard, for instance, which can’t possibly stay relegated to a small, fixed space), and how third-party developers will deal with the same issues. Really, the whole thing makes me suspect that a straight-up port of iPhone OS for such a device really isn’t the best solution, and that instead a Snow Leopard install that takes some touchscreen cues from 3.0 makes much more sense.
Check out the videos below.