MacTabletNetbookThingy

25Jan10

Apple has been working on a tablet form-factored device for a very long time now (at least a decade). Every few years rumors start to boil up that the device will be released “real soon now.” Sometime last year, these rumors started to pop up again, but this time with a renewed vigor. Here we are now two days before yet another super-hyped Apple event, and it seems that this time it will happen, Apple will indeed release a tablet form-factored device.

Though I am certainly not an expert pundit, there’s one thing I’m fairly sure of: Apple will not take an existing interface and shoehorn it into the new device (which is why every single Windows based tablet has failed). I expect the operating system will be similar in many ways to iPhone OS, and under the covers it will most certainly be a variation of OS X as found on most of Apple’s devices & computers (older iPods, as well as Airport and TimeCapsule run different operating systems).

This will, of course, make the MacTabletNetbookThingy (so christened by Key Ray of the most excelent Mac OS Ken daily news podcast) relatively easy to program for to developers who are already familiar with Xcode, Cocoa, and Objective-C. The device will also most certainly have some form of Safari, so web developers versed in the latest iterations of HTML 5, CSS, and JavaScript will also be able to develop for it, albeit web-based content only (as a bonus, such sites will work in any modern browser).

Though I am not yet anywhere near the developer I’d like to be, I am excited by this. Many of the ideas I have for iPhone and Mac desktop programs would also work on such a device. I can think of many applications which would be useful to tabletop RPGers and miniature gamers (my initial target audiences). I am keeping track of these ideas (and am open to suggestions), and hope someday you will see them.

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