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Apple’s Magic Mirror: Expert Designers Discuss the Mac Tablet

What will Apple’s new tablet look like? What will it do? And why will we want it? Four of our expert designers weigh in.

Rumors are a-swirl about Apple’s new tablet, which may or may not slip into our anxious little hands around September. But what will it look like? What will it do? What will it be named? And why will we want it? Speculation abounds, but we wanted an expert opinion. So we tapped four of our expert design bloggers to tell us exactly what they thought we should be expecting from Apple’s newest game-changer.

apple tabletJohn Edson, LUNAR: If the rumors come true, it won’t be surprising. And it will be surprising. The news here is that the world is on the edge of its proverbial seat waiting to see what Apple will amaze us with next. And yet, Apple has such incredible discipline in its use of design that when we do see this device, we’ll all look at it and say, “of course.” There will be little mystery about the general aesthetic, the tight integration with iTunes, the wireless connectedness. We’ll shrug and complain that it could use a built in keyboard or an easel stand, but we’ll marvel at the wonderful screen, the attention to detail, the delightful way that they’ve married iPhone and MacBook Air into a totally new device.

Tom Dair, Smart Design: Yes, I think it’s definitely coming. Maybe all the reasons why aren’t totally worked out yet, but it seems like the next logical step utilizing touch screen technology and with the success of Kindle, Apple needs to get in the game. My guess is that it will look like a substantially larger iPhone–you know, basically a fairly thin, rectangular screen front with rounded corners. Duh…who woulda thought? Forget about productivity, without a real keyboard an Apple Tablet will be primarily a media consumption device…movies, photos, books, other? Could be more useful if I could hook it up to a large HDTV. Personally I find trying to watch a movie on an iPod a pain in the neck, literally. Outstanding issues, in addition to a laptop and a mobile phone:  Will enough people really want to carry around a third device and, how much will I have to shell out to get one?

apple tabletJennifer Bove, Kicker Studio: I can’t decide if the Apple Tablet is meant to replace my iPhone or my MacBook Pro, or add a *much-needed* third portable screen to my life. I wonder how the iTablet is going to impact our already-screen-crowded public spaces. If it has 3G, as it’s rumored to, and it’s easier to type into than the iPhone, we might see pedestrians look up more frequently as they’re crossing streets while texting, and more sharing of digital photos and videos over brunch. If it’s too big to carry in a pocket, perhaps people will use it alongside their laptops, so they can consume more media while engaging in more online multitasking without losing as much screen real estate between the two. I wonder if it’ll make it any easier for me to Tweet from my car?

Brett Lovelady, ASTRO Studios: The Apple Tablet, aka…iPad, iTab, iYiYi? I think the Apple iTab will be the closet thing to a personal “magic mirror” we’ve ever seen. Something Applites narcissistically stare deeply into daily, refining every detail to reflect who we are to ourselves, sharing with others the nipped-&-tucked digital personalities we’ve crafted. And did I mention I can’t wait to get one?

About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato.



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