iSlate? I spy more control from Cupertino
Rumours, speculation and state control
Apple is probably going to launch some sort of tablet PC next month, probably on January the 26th, but is this a revolution in computing or a revolution in control?
The iSlate will take the iPhone concept into a decent-sized package, but more importantly for Apple it takes the security and control model into the realm of laptop computing. From there it's a small jump to the desktop and Cupertino control over everything you do on your computer.
Microsoft once suggested that Windows applications should be digitally signed, by Redmond, and that this would remove Trojans, viruses and all manner of nastiness, but the company was swiftly shouted down by customers who feared ceding control to the beast.
Since 2003 the Trusted Computing Platform has tried to do the same thing - creating hardware capable of implementing software policies to control the applications and use to which the hardware is put. In Trusted Computing the user is still free to replace the OS, but if they choose to run one that takes advantage of the Trusted Computing architecture then the hardware will limit the capabilities of unauthorised applications.
But Apple has already achieved that with the iPhone: there are no iPhone Trojans or viruses, and the only worm so far seen exploits handsets that have been hacked by their owners. Apple vets every application, through its obscure and sometimes inconsistent approval process, and who wouldn't want a desktop computer free of malware?
Along with rumours of a January 26 launch date, and orders for 10-inch screens in abundance, stories are circulating that some iPhone developers have been given a nod that if their applications are flexible about resolution then they'll run without difficulty on the iSlate*. This would certainly indicate a shared architecture.
Stick a Bluetooth keyboard on the iSlate and it's a laptop replacement, extending the manufacture-controlled model into desktop computing.
We have no idea if the iSlate will launch in January, or what kind of wiz-bang interface will wow the fans, but we are confident that applications for the iSlate will be limited to those approved by Apple, and that Apple won’t be relinquishing that control any day soon. ®
* Apple has registered the islate.com domain. It seems that iguide.com is also in Cupertino's possession but we're going with iSlate.
who wouldn't want a desktop computer free of malware
Some of use already have that.
OSX versus Android/Chrome
The writer pussyfoots around. Here's a real prediction you can check a year from now. In 2010, Apple's safe-app approach will be proven a much, much, much stronger business and distribution model than Google's laissez-faire approach.
Google's "don't care what you do" model will be riven with complaints and issues about access, versioning, corruption, and fraud.
Apple's so called "control freak" model will allow us to move on with our lives, doing all the things we want to do with computers other than screwing around with computers.
You read it here first.
All your choice are belong to us!
"Personally I like the Ipod app store model because the apps are typically cheap and it has everything I want"
Obviously you never wanted to change the default theme. Perhaps you want use the oddles of space to put flac files on your iphone/ipod touch. Or maybe you want to put a monsterously huge music collection on it and want to use ogg vorbis files instead.
Alas the Great Satan from the Lake of Fire in Cupertino doesn't let you do any of those things.
Fail, fail fail...
And this is why I will never by an Apple netbook/tablet/thingie. With the iPhone, Apple replaced several small walled gardens with one larger one of their own; one so big (once the app store arrived) that most people could ignore the walls altogether. With the tablet however they are producing at least a netbook equivalent (possibly more powerful) and it would appear taking control away. I won't buy a device of that kind of power if I don't have the sort of control I have over my current desktop and laptop computers. I think it will sell in the US, it may do well in education markets, but there is no way I'd buy one for personal use with an iPhone style lock-down.
With regards to the question "who wouldn't want a desktop computer free of malware" the answer is again, for the average non-tech user, if the walled garden is big enough that you can't see the walls, who will care about the restrictions? I would expect most 'hands dirty' developers to be extremely reluctant to go down this path though because of the degree of freedom that is being sacrificed.
This is an excellent example of Apple's core business practice - build a device that does something well, but also has a built in source of downstream revenue. The real question is, can they get away with this level of control in the area of the marketplace they are entering?
Finally, I'm a keen OS X fan but any attempts to move this into the hardware I use will be met with an immediate and irreversible move to Linux. Although hopefully still on Apple hardware. OK, not that hopefully.
Missing Bluetooth Profiles on iPhone, iPod Touch, and hopefully not on iSlate
Author writes, "Apple vets every application, through its obscure and sometimes inconsistent approval process, and who wouldn't want a desktop computer free of malware?"
This process is very tedious, does not need to be as stringent, but it does offer the ability to yank back malware upon discovery - which is a very good thing. People run the service patches from Microsoft, which has the malware scanner & remover inside of it. If Apple added a little "yes/no" dialog saying "Apple detected possibly malicious software titled... please press 'Yes' to remove it" - I think this would make everyone happy.
Author write, "Stick a Bluetooth keyboard on the iSlate and it's a laptop replacement, extending the manufacture-controlled model into desktop computing."
A bluetooth Keyboard, bluetooth Mouse, and bluetooth Headphones were the profiles missing from the iPhone (and presumably from the iPod Touch.) This delayed people purchasing the iPhone (until they just broke down) and is delaying me from buying an iPod Touch. Apple should release them for all iSlate, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
I want to use one of those nice aluminum Apple bluetooth keyboards on some of these portable devices - but Apple has to get their act together.