After a long wait, Apple has finally announced that it will hold a press event next week to show off a new “creation.” Since the company’s iSlate has been rumored for so long, the pundits are out in full force, claiming the tablet will be unveiled by Steve Jobs at the show.
It’s certainly likely. Apple’s tablet has been the topic of conversation for months now. Each week, a new piece of the puzzle is added, causing more and more people to believe that Apple really will unveil its iSlate at the event.
The iSlate has the potential to be a groundbreaking product, but it’s not the only hope most folks have for the future of the hardware company. Realizing that, we’ve decided to take a look at all the things we would like to see Apple unveil at its press event. From the iSlate to a new iPhone OS, there are some things that we definitely want to see at Apple’s press event.
Let’s take a look:
1. The iSlate
This is an obvious choice. The iSlate is what we’ve all been waiting for. Whether or not it will boast all the features so many of the reports have claimed it will remains to be seen. But if Apple does finally announce the device at its press event next week, it’s sure to be one of the big news events of the year. It will also start a battle for slate dominance between Apple, HP, and several other tablet vendors.
2. New iPhone OS
It’s time for a new iPhone OS version. Since Apple released version 3.0 of its software, the competition has caught up. Most touch-enabled devices now feature multitasking, an improved interface, and much more. Apple needs to keep pace if it wants to maintain its lead in the market. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it will need to totally revamp its software, but if it wants to keep users happy, it needs to add multitasking and better application management.
3. Revamped iTunes
The iTunes catalog is getting old and bloated. The company’s store has grown at such an astounding rate, thanks to movies, TV shows, and apps, that it’s becoming unwieldy. That could pose a problem for Apple down the road, since iTunes is quickly becoming one of the main contributing factors to its financial success. How Apple will go about updating iTunes is anyone’s guess, but it should start by making it easier to find apps. With that simple addition, the store could be far more appealing.
4. An iMac refresh
If all the rumors are indeed true, Apple is focusing its future in hardware on multitouch. Aside from a tablet, nowhere would touch make the most profound impact than on the company’s iMac line. It seems perfect for such a function. The iMac is specifically designed for home users who require a basic computing experience. Unfortunately for Apple, HP is competing in the same space with its all-in-one PCs and lately, those devices have trumped the iMac on a number of fronts. What better way to even the playing field than to unleash full multitouch capability in the company’s line of iMacs?
Apple Needs to Deal with Much Unfinished Business
5. The iSlate SDK
In order for the iSlate to be successful, it must work well with the applications available in Apple’s App Store. That means Steve Jobs should announce an iSlate SDK for app developers, so they can bring their creations to Apple’s new product. Unveiling an iSlate SDK would not only enhance the value proposition of Apple’s latest computer, it would also help the company sell more apps in its store. It’s a win-win.
6. Web music service
Ever since Apple acquired Lala, I’ve been waiting for the company to do something with it. At next week’s event, Apple could use the platform to announce a Web-based iTunes service to compete on the same level as Apple’s main competitor, the Amazon MP3 Store. It can offer streaming, full downloads, and much more. Lala could be Apple’s chance to make a real mark on the Web.
7. Updated iLife
Apple’s iLife suite is in desperate need of a refresh. For too long, services like GarageBand, iMovie, and the rest have offered the same, basic experience. That said, those applications are integral to Mac OS X and they’re used widely by many amateur artists. Considering so many similar apps boast far more powerful features, it might be time for Apple to do its part to help its users get more out of their creations.
8. Remember the Apple TV
Dubbed a “hobby” device by Steve Jobs, the Apple TV has been hobbled by Apple’s decision to ignore it as it attempts to control other markets. Meanwhile, the set-top box space is there for the taking. Apple has an opportunity to be a major player in home entertainment. But it can’t do that without a solid set-top box to lead the way. With the help of the App Store and a few other features (like DVR), the Apple TV could become a must-have in any living room.
9. Security talk
Whenever Steve Jobs takes the stage to announce new products, he spends far too long discussing the success Apple has enjoyed since his last presentation. Rather than spend all that time discussing financial performance, maybe Jobs should talk a little more about security. There’s a common misconception that Apple’s operating system is fully secure and there’s nothing to worry about when using it. That’s outright false. And so far, Apple has done little to inform users that there are real ramifications for their actions. The longer it takes Steve Jobs to talk about security, the more likely a major security flaw will impact Mac OS X users.
10. Grooming a successor to Steve Jobs
This one might come as a surprise, but Steve Jobs needs to start working on grooming his successor. Steve Jobs is Apple. Investors have placed millions of dollars into the company out of their faith in his ability to lead the hardware company. But he has also faced health issues in the past that have caused some to wonder just how long he’ll stay at Apple.
Steve Jobs is arguably the only CEO in Apple’s history to efficiently lead the company. If and when he leaves for good, who should investors place their trust in? It’s a valid question that needs to be answered sooner rather than later. And that can be done most effectively by giving his chosen replacement more time on stage next week.