Technology moves fast, and it finally seems the tablet wars have began to sizzle out. Just a year ago, every manufacturer was trying to claim a stake in the tablet market, but ultimately most of them failed. now that Microsoft has officially entered the game and the Google nexus has shipped, whats next for the tablet computer.
Research is already being done into more flexible screens, to the extent that they’re paper thin and can be folded and put into your pocket. This technology will revolutionize the tablet market as it will allow devices to be more portable than every before. The iPad or even Google’s Nexus tablet are light-weight with the later being a mere 7’inches, but these device still can’t be carried around like a smartphone can, and making them smaller defeats their purpose. This leaves technology companies with limited options and most of them are focused on flexible displays with a resizable form factor.
Another factor thats to be considered are the accessories that are available for tablet devices. Microsofts Surface is given its edge largely based off of its keyboard case. On a tablet device input is everything- You have to be able to control the device very precisely to do any sort of content creation. This is one of the major hurdles manufacturers have to overcome, tablets can no longer remain content consumption devices if their truly the future of computing. To do this companies have to introduce better ways to handle and control their devices, much like Microsoft has with the Surface. Microsoft has not only included a keyboard with its tablet, but has also built a stand into the tablet itself. Keyboard cases aren’t a new concept as the iPad has an abundant assortment to choose from, manufactured by a variety of companies. The difference is that the iPad doesn’t have a first party accessory- or a keyboard case manufactured by apple itself.
Tablet devices are also going to get more powerful, its inevitable that the devices we use today will pail in comparison to what we’re going to be using down the road. The problem here is what are we going to do with all of that power? From a consumption device perspective we may need the added specs to process video at higher resolutions ( such as 4k) or we’ll need it for better graphics for games and apps. Now, if we’re creating content on these new devices, such as editing photos and movies, it’ll all be possible as even devices today are able to do a basic job of performing these tasks, but more power will mean a more powerful toolset. This is where developers come in, we have to forget how we have been doing these tasks on desktop computers and start from scratch. We can’t manipulate content the way we are used to to doing it and instead have to develop different ways to interact with the programs them selves.
Developers have already started to create apps that are easier to use on tablet devices, such as Adobe’s Photoshop, but these apps aren’t anywhere near their desktop counterparts. In a way their companion apps intended to be used with the desktop software- much like the tablet itself and how it too is a companion device, not intended to replace a desktop just yet.
Tablets have come a long way in the last few years. Many companies believed that Apple was making a huge mistake with the original iPad as every other tablet that came before it had failed in the consumer market. Now almost every company is chasing after the next generation of tablet computers, but to make their mark their product has to truly be different.