Forget What Apple Is Gonna Do — What Do You Want in an Apple Tablet?


The rumors about the mythical Apple Tablet are swirling around at such a rapid pace that my head is swimming. Depending on where you turn, this non-device has a 7-inch touchscreen, a 10-inch screen, a tempered glass screen, a multitouch screen, or even a screen that morphs into a keyboard. Give me a break! It doesn’t exist yet, and the number of people who say the Apple Tablet has a certain feature doesn’t make it so!

Let’s take this approach — what would you like to see Apple put in the Tablet? What features would you find worthy of capturing your dollars? What OS? What apps? Tell us what you want, not what you heard would be there. Add what you’d do with such a beast if it really existed, and it contained the magic features you desire. You’re the ones who are going to buy them, so make your voice heard. Don’t just sit back and take whatever Apple is willing to dole out. Oh yeah, that’s how Apple normally works, isn’t it?

Note: No Apple Tablets were harmed during the production of this post.



To be useful to me, it has to have the full Mac OS (not the iPhone OS), be Wacom pen enabled, and thus allow inking alone and on top of text documents.

In general, Mike Reilly got it right above, and I agree with nearly all of his wants.

I really want an Apple tablet to replace a Windows based Lenovo X60 tablet. I love the Lenovo hardware, but hate Vista. I really prefer the Mac OS and associated apps, though I also want the option to run Windows (7?) under Parallels or Fusion for the occasional (cough) game.

I am a university professor, and am sold on inking and on tablets. They let me read (and annotate!) the millions of .pdf’s I have for research. They save me hours of time I no longer use to file notes and documents on paper. And they let me save countless trees by doing my grading in digital ink (+1600 pages of paper saved per class!).

But please, Apple, give me a workable tablet solution and save me from Windows. And please remember those of us who use tablets for something other than media consumption. The failure to include adequate document handling in the iPhone has so far crippled it for me, and unless an Apple tablet using the iPhone OS radically changes this, I will not be able to justify owning one.


I want a tablet that I can rest my hand on and write on, just like I would write on a pad of paper on a clipboard. All the large tablets I’ve tried force you to “float” your hand above the tablet while you write. All this multi-touch technology should be able to distinguish between the big blob on contact points that is my hand, and the small point that is the stylus…


PixelQi – ebooks, PDF
Solar back – good battery
5 MP camera – external capture
BT keyboard support – legacy input
Runs Mac OS X for the ‘open’ version or iPhone OS for the ‘closed’


As light (300 to 600 g) and small (pocketable) as possible. Apple Keynote and Microsoft PowerPoint inside, which requires Mac inside. Video-out and USB ports. THE ULTIMATE PRESENTATION TOOL.

Gary LaPointe

I want it to run my iPhone apps.
I want to be able to put my iPhone chip in it to use the network (or legitimately tether).
I want it to work outside in bright light (it can go refelctive eBook-ish greyscale).
I want to be able to use a real keyboard with it (BT or tethered).
Front and rear (or rotatable) camera. I’d actually prefer the rotate option.
Sync with MobileMe and with certain folders on my iDisk (files always present).
SD slot or USB ports for file transfer.

Dear Apple, I just want the SD slot / USB to transfer my photos/videos so put it somewhere obnoxious so that Apple’s not afraid of me using it for storage. (Possibly read/delete only?)


A hybrid like the TC1x00 and I’ll switch from PC in the time it takes the apple to fall from a tree.


If the thing is real and any good I’ll replace my Kindle so it has to be able to read pdf’s full screen. If they do a book store they need to match the 9.99 price for books. I’m sure that Amazon won’t be doing any partner deals with other ebook readers for awhile (much like the fact that you can’t put iTunes content on other players (ditto for Zune)).

Next the screen should be 10″, that way I can replace my Dell Mini 10v. (assuming that it has a real OS under the covers).

Also it would be really nice to use the device as a slave screen for my macbook.

So if this works I can get rid of 2 devices and that will cut down on my backpack weight.

It would be nice if the price is under 700 bucks, I’m being realistic here and don’t think that they would release it under 500 bucks (in the netbook price range) but one can hope.


“(much like the fact that you can’t put iTunes content on other players (ditto for Zune)).”

Really? because, I put all of my iTunes content on my Android SD card.

It was a pain to get it all done properly, but it wasn’t impossible.


ok, let me rephrase that to be:

You can’t _easily_ put iTunes content on other players.

I recognize that it’s easy to get music moved (even the old way of burning a cd and re-ripping). Getting video content over to other players is harder (again not impossible).

But if you’ve found a way to connect to iTunes and sync a non-apple device I would love to see a link.



The link would be “google for rsync”.

I converted my older AAC iTunes music to MP3. I rsync’ed the music from my Mac to my Ubuntu box. I have another script that keeps that directory on my Ubuntu box in sync with the music folder on the Android phone’s microSDHC card.

The pain was getting all of the AAC content converted to MP3 (figuring out where the right option was, waiting for all of it to re-download, and then having to track down and re-buy the 5 or so tracks that didn’t get converted). The technical process of getting the data moved was fairly easy.



I would like a long battery life. No requirement for installing itunes. An ability to develop native applications without the need for a Mac. User replaceable battery. Ability to replace any of the standard Apple applications with alternatives. In other words choice.

Mike Reilly

Hi James, This is going to be similar to what I wanted in a Fujitsu tablet earlier this month (to take the place of the p1630); but I’d rather have it from Apple, and I’ll pay “some” more for it, and I’ll expect more.

It must have a 9″ or 10″ daylight screen (maybe larger if the weight stays low), be no more than 2 lbs with an all-day battery, have wacom pen-touch-capacitive digitizer (preferably w/ 512 levels of pressure :D), have min. 120 Gb SSD, have fingerprint reader, have full OSX, and be able to load Win 7 Pro (w/ Parallels or other software).

Not critical, but would like it to have a decent cpu (i3, i5,or i7, or equiv.), 4 Gb DRAM3, minimum bezel, wifi, wireless connection w/ iphone so each makes the other better, ability to connect to iphone provider data plan (hopefully Verizon in June) or use the iphone for wireless data connection w/out losing phone, have 5 Mb autofocus camera (screen side camera can be lower for teleconference. Seemless picturephone via iphone preferred),have slot for reg or mini sdhc card (but can be internal location), have solidly attaching bluetooth keyboard, several usb slots, have v/small outlet brick, have dock which would have: (graphics card for 27″ or 30″ monitor, and seemless i3, i5, or i7 cpu, if not available on tablet), or (ability to connect to high end computer in a way to seemlessly connect to 27″ or 30″ monitor). If possible, I’d like the price under $1,700.

As you can see, my expectations have gotten much higher now that we’re talking about an Apple. Apple is sort of the Disneyland of computers. They dream innovative dreams.


You have my vote for Wacom pen touch with pressure sense. I am not an apple fan but WaCom is something I WANT on an ideal tablet pc and that is why ModBook makes me drool all over it Lol.

And yes it should be able to run Windows 7 because I wont be using as hardcore Mac PC at all.

In addition to it, a 3-row slim slideout keyboard teamed up with touch pad could be nice touch for reasonable accurate speed typing during emails, documentation, bloging or just plain chating. This could also get some good attention from business people too who like to TYPE.

A strong kick-stand in that matter is a must so you will be able to put the device on table/office table, giving it a glance to it during work or other activities. For that slide-out keyboard should be able to tilt or tip to rest its tiny span over surface.

Freedom, PDF reader and movies without kicking the iTunes. Able to attach to other pcs with or better without wire so one can use the same device to drive desktop pcs when needed.

I think for me 7 inchs screen would work, as it will not make device too big to hold on the go. I am not looking this thing to put into pockets of course but looking at netbook sizes I think they should do two versions, one with 10 inches and one with 7 so we all be happy.

Before my list get longer I will end up here. Nice be a part of this.

Thanks James.


I’d like an “Apple tablet” to be able to access the internet without the cripple of the iPhone/touch. In other words, if a ‘new’ Apple device could just surf the ‘net like my six-year old XP desktop does, I’d be happy.

I want to play the audio streams I find on the ‘net. I want to play the videos I find on the ‘net. Just like my ancient MS-based computer does. And I’d like to do it without purpose-built apps for one or even a few radio stations or without the You Tube mandate.

I want Flash capability or whatever capability that will allow streaming playback. In other words, a ‘true’ internet device.

Mickey Segal

I second the concerns about another crippled device. Flash and Java support are crucial for real Web use, as well as multitasking.


I am looking for a 10.1 inch Organic LED display with a slide-out keyboard that has gamepad left/right interface. I want this device to be my eReader and all-around content consumer but the thing that will put it over-the-top is the awesome gaming environment it provides. It should become THE mobile gaming device and rightly kick the DS and PSP to the curb for good. Go Apple. SDHC and USB 3.0 and 5MP camera that support 1080p HD Video. Yes, that’s the ticket folks.

Also, a nice touch would be for Obama gubmint stimulus package to purchase 300 million of these and distribute them free to all Americans thereby creating more jobs and more edumacated citizens and standardize the way we vote and interact with local, city, state and federal gubmints.

Larry Thomas

all of the above, plus the ability to tether to the iphone for FREE!

Also array mics, and voice recognition, I’d love to be able to write a book without typing!


While I love my Samsung NC10, I would really like a light-weight device (perhaps the size of an enlarged iPod Touch) with a hard drive and a USB port so I could transfer digital images from a memory card in a card reader, and to a USB-powered hard drive. I do not like to carry more equipment than necessary when traveling, but photos should always be backed unless you wish to carry a large number of memory cards. If the device allowed me to view the images, and also offered Wi-Fi and/or 3G for convenience, so much the better.



Web Surfing
Inking – Note Taking
Document reading – PDF, Doc, Exel, Powerpoint, etc
Video viewing
Photo viewing
ereader – Kindle
Music playback
sync to desktop
exchange sync
some kind of removable flash storage – I don’t care what it is, just let me add more storage
The ability to act as a mass storabe device

Wirelss broadband would be nice, but not needed
I don’t care what the OS is as long as it is low maintainence


I’d like a Pixel Qi panel with capacitive multi touch and silastic coated Gorilla Glass. (SurePress on Storm and Storm 2 have burned me out on quirky touch tricks)

I’d like it to have a Gobi inspired radio that would let it do Sprint/Verizon/T-Mobile/AT&T voice and data. Voice would be handled via wired or Bluetooth headset and it would have a nice loud and clear full duplex speaker phone capability that could also be used for voice navigation and recognition (for input in quiet areas). Failing that I’d settle for the radio being on something akin to a Compact Flash card so I can buy the unit and slide in the needed card/SIM for the service provider of my choice.

I’d like it to have a vibrator for alerts (you have a new text message) and a rumbler for games.

I’d like the Wifi to support 5Ghz (Comcast has sold entirely too many 2.4Ghz access points in my building).

Mag-safe dock connector.

Comes with a unified inbox email app.

One corner will have a texture to it so I can hold the unit by the other corner and reach around with it to scratch my back. :-)


Honestly, my wants for it depend on what the intended purpose was. Assuming a simple internet/multimedia machine that’s rumored to cost nearly as much as a macbook:
-8.9″/10″ high resolution screen, multitouch w/ haptic feedback
-high end ARM + nvidia tegra on modified leopard/snow leopard + good sound chip
-HDMI out
-24 hour battery life (benefit of ARM)
-USB ports+SD card slot
-IR sensor to use remote with


without question, the #1 key app/feature would be a deal with a mobile provider to allow MULTI-SIM HSDPA/GPRS/4G with same number and a second phone. I want universality in my comms going forward.

OLED would be nice, but at this stage would make it too much $$, prolly version 2.0.


(modification of what I posted as my Android tablet wish-list)

# tablet format (slate; but I’d also strongly consider a convertible tablet/swivel screen netbook type format)
# 9″ or 10″ PixelQi type hybrid touch-screen display (multi-touch would be nice, but not required) 1024×600 or 1280×720/1280×768/1280×800 resolution, both finger and stylus friendly … I go back and forth on whether I’d prefer it to be a 9″ or 10″ display — each has some advantages, but 7″ is definitely too small, and 11″ or 12″ is definitely too big;
# 2 or more USB host/otg ports (keyboard, mouse, storage, networking, modems);
# 1 miniUSB client (charging/syncing) port;
# Apple mini Display Port output;
# external display resolutions for 1024×600, 1024×768, 1280×720, 1280×768, 1280×800, and 1280×1024;
# at least 1 SDHC card slot;
# option for at least 1GB RAM, pref. 2 (512MB, 1GB, 2GB sound like good options);
# SSD/HDD storage options that go at least as high as 16GB or 32GB (for SSD)
# LOTS of battery life;
# Wifi (at last b and g; with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 (personal and enterprise), and Bluetooth (at least HID, DUN, PAN, FTP, BIP, and A2DP);
# a real desktop web browser that doesn’t do the mobile versions of Google Apps, has full Ajax, and can do flash;
# 3.5mm stereo headphone jack;
# PDF, nook, Kindle, B&N, and open e-book formats, with on-screen annotations;
# Mac OS X, not iPhone OS X. Or, a third OS X flavor that has the flexibility and open-ness of Mac OS X (install apps from outside of the iTunes store, things like that), but the finger-friendliness of iPhone OS X. Bonus if it can actually run Mac OS X apps, but if they go with an ARM cpu, it’s acceptable to not have that capability.
# Minimum bevel around the screen, flush with the screen, and as thin as can be reasonably done (doesn’t have to be as thin as a Kindle … perhaps comparable to a MacBook Air);
# Compatible with/clients for Hulu, Netflix streaming, Pandora, and Rhapsody;
# Bonus if I can easily export Tivo content to it, to watch on the road;
# Option for internal 3G data (don’t need voice nor SMS/MMS, like the Alex can do);
# If it can do 3G data, it should be able to act as a Wifi Access Point (like a Mifi);
# Able to use ssh/terminal with 80×24 characters AND a portrait mode virtual keyboard on the screen at the same time; ssh has to have port forwarding; and
# VNC client that is able to integrate with ssh port tunneling, and VNC passwords.


And, of course, that’s in addition to all of the media capabilities that Macs and iPods have already (music and video formats).

Oh, and, it should be able to act as a stand-alone device (no need to sync to a Mac nor PC). Just like a Windows or Linux tablet/netbook.

Rick Lobrecht

I want a smaller device, 10″ max, although 8″ or 9″ would be better.

A specialized OS, so that the apps for it are designed for it. Ultimately, this is what I think ruined the Windows Tablet PCs.

Apps I want
-Evernote, with offline support
-Exchange support for calendar, tasks, contacts, and mail
-Iliumsoft eWallet (or another password wallet with Mac OS, Windows, Windows Mobile, and this support)
-Read plus annotate for Office files, PDF, etc.
-eReader, nook, and Kindle apps

DbryJ Music

My #1 requirement for the Apple Tablet: the ability to use Google Reader! And it better be fully compatible with the iPhone apps store too. 3G or 4G would also be quite nice.

I plan to use the Tablet as my primary device for e-reading on the go. I’d also like to distribute free music apps through the app store so I can reach a new audience. Success in music business 2.0 necessitates becoming intimate buddies with the social media, new media, and techie crowds (they’re the ones downloading and buying the most music) and the Tablet would be a great way to facilitate that process.

Plus, all the cool kids are gonna have it. If my guesstimations are correct then a large percentage of the early adopters of advanced mobile devices are gen-Y hippies. That is precisely the audience I’m trying to reach so let’s hope that Apple delivers on its (non-) promises.

Dexter Bryant Jr.

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