The past days, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Internet Tablet. Ok, so much of that thinking comes from the energy that I’ve been seeing in news/social about Jolla Mobile. But, the other part was sparked in part from work with Tiddly Wiki that I’ve been doing, and the memories of my N800 sparked by recollections of Maemo/MeeGo by Texrat and Bergie. In a very real sense, I’m just about ready to sell both my iPad and N8 and get back to a device like the N800. But, I know what I didn’t like about that device. There are some refinements and impossibilities that need to be addressed.
There was nothing perfect about the size of my old N800 except for its screen and thickness. It was very much large enough to do just about any measure of reading – and portrait mode would have made it work even better at times. It was a large enough screen for web browsing – whether the browser rendered things nicely was another issue. And finally, at least towards my needs, it was just large enough that writing notes or annotating PDFs was possible. As a thin device, I didn’t have a problem getting it my pockets. It was just so much longer than my pockets (add 2.5in to that 4in screen) that it would stick out and mean that it was either a cargo pants or hand-carried device.
I’d love to keep those aspects right there. Getting some hands-on time with the Samsung Galaxy Note and the new S3, I am seeing some of that size aspect being taken into account. Really nice to read about the battery life not taking a considerable hit either. Though, the N800 had expandable memory, which I need (am at 48GB on my mobile and I definitely need to move forward in that size deptartment).
The size of the N800 became a negative when I wanted to go low-key with my mobile. Perhaps I would be biking and want something more pocketable while playing music, or I would want something that was more fashionable with a jacket and dinner outing. The N800 was not built for that. A device sized right should also have that aspect taken into consideration. Ideally, I’d love a 4in screen, no bezel, and an ability to scrunch it down an inch (adding whatever mm needed for making it plump) so that it could be more pocketable when needed.
I go back and forth about browsers and the act of web browsing. Not because I don’t appreaciate a good website design (heck, I just tweaked the one on this blog), but because has beeen an increase in times when I’m in a browser, but need more than just the ability to reload, bookmark, or go forward/back. If I’m on Twitter, I’d love to see the browser controls change to the Tweet, Retweet, Refresh, Search, etc. buttons. If I’m in one of the admin panels for my WordPress or Tiddly Wiki sites, to see the controls change for editing needs, and expand into the file system of my device and any other online properties that I’ve connected that admin panel to for media integration. If I’m doing email, not just change the controls, but literally make the URL bar “me” and create a sub-bar for the persons I’m writing to, showing that they are online and such. Its only a 4in screen, so much of the PC-interaction paradigm should be shifted to something… better.
That’s more than a browser. That’s something which would be a browser on steroids, with extensions, plugins, and more sharing of data w/my knowledge than what’s happening now. If the browser for this new tablet could do something like that, then I’m in for this kind of device.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t have a web server on the device, connected to my on-board content management system (Tiddly Wiki), able to use social/email/ad-hoc WLAN to share content, and content produced in HTML, XML, and SVG.
A camera is a must, but it would have to support video calling with Skype and other VoIP folks, as well as give me something that makes capturing moments worthwhile. And then that same idea of a contextual editing window from the browser – yea, let that happen with images so that they can go to a blog/tweet, be shared/accessed, or just archived for later.
And lastly, it would need to replace my phone. It would have to be a skillful mobile phone. I want to see utilities like AfterCall, fast search, and integrated messaging across various services. Time, location, and basic learning for a profiles feature indeed… but not connected to a network for augmentation unless I allow it.
If I can’t develop my ideas as if its scrap paper, then its not versatile enough to be that tablet.
Still Tainted by the Morph Concept
This is what I’m thinking. As much as I want to take that step back to the N800, or even submit to that Galaxy Note & Google side of things. Its still a bicycle until something more happens (AR, AI, and probably cybernetics), but sheesh… having these thoughts lately have had me thinking hard about the point of all of this if I’m not the first agent creating digital value in front of me.