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This Week in Tablets: Samsung's new Galaxy Note 10.1 shows off multi-tasking tweak, but what about other tablet needs?

Also inside: Apple climbs to unprecedented heights, Lenovo jumps the gun, and Motorola Mobility suffers Google cuts.

One of the more interesting stories of the week was Samsung’s release of its 10.1in Android-powered Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet. The tablet was received enthusiastically by critics, which is all well and good. One of the new tablet’s features—the Galaxy Tab’s built-in “multiscreen” Android OS tweak, which enables you to run a few select apps—browser, video player, photo gallery, email, S Note, and Polaris Office—while side by side on the same screen—stands out in a way that is surprising because it seems so obvious in retrospect.

In a world full of 10in tablets, desktop operating systems that have multitasked for years, an ecosystem with millions of apps begging to be run simultaneously, and dual-and multi-core processors, how is it possible that it took this long for someone to figure out how to run apps side-by-side?

It got me thinking: What other obvious tablet necessities are we overlooking?

Based on computing’s past, this much we know: In five years, we’ll look back and laugh at some of the essential, everyday features tablets omitted in their first few generations of existence.

I present the following oversights for your consideration:

The stylus

It’s becoming clearer and clearer that in some way, shape, or form, the pen stylus will certainly be a feature/object that many people will find indispensable. Steve Jobs rejected it, and this combined with Apple’s breakthrough with the iPad explain why we’re just now beginning to embrace the lowly digipen.

In years, the stylus will be considered an essential element for numerous tablet users, particularly with regards to business and productivity.

Samsung is opening eyes to the possibilities and efficiencies of using a stylus with its Galaxy Note tablet.


Despite the onset of the cloud, system memory and storage memory will also feel increasingly crude, limited, and even slow as time moves on.

Right now, we’re all probably over-rating the cloud and under-rating local storage. As the costs of the former rise and the costs of physical memory continue to drop, this will likely change.

Plus: When have we not looked back in awe on the seemingly minuscule amounts of memory? The answer is never. Literally.

Built-in TV connectivity

I spent the week reading multiple stories about Apple TV, and how the company is in talks with Comcast to carry live TV content on the device. Kind of a no-brainer, right?

The more I think about it, however, the more it makes sense to simply integrate this kind of functionality directly onto tablets themselves. Integrating Apple TV into all iPads and other tablets, or simply offloading the video streams directly to mobile devices (already in progress in many ways) is only part of the solution.

Allowing non-cable/satellite subscribers to access this kind of content is the next level. I’ll say this much: If the Comcasts and AT&Ts of the world don’t figure it out, they’ll be ceding significant territory and opportunities to Google via YouTube.

I also wouldn't be surprised to see these devices begin to support HD over-the-air broadcasts.

Digital displays

Do you really think that three years into the tablet revolution, Apple’s Retina Display for the third iPad will remain the pinnacle of tablet design for years to come? Nope, not likely. OLED, flexible displays, and even two- and three-screen tablets will make the current state-of-the-art feel fat, small and clumsy.

Undo as an uncomplicated touch gesture

I’m still amazed that I can’t quickly undo an iOS error—like the incorrect auto-corrects that occur on an everyday basis—with some type of gesture and/or swipe. I expect this to be addressed in the next 12 months.

I’m going to stop now and reserve the option to continue this next week. If you have an idea for an obvious tablet oversight, however, feel free to leave a comment below.

Winner of the week: Apple and Lenovo

Apple’s climb to its highest stock price ever at $648.19 is big news. The fact that the company could do so after badly missing Wall Street’s forecasts for last quarter is a testament to the acknowledgement that the ‘iPhone 5’ will sell like crazy.

As exciting as the Apple news was for investors, a few subtle announcements by Lenovo last week also get a nod for the feel-good tablet story of the last few weeks.

Lenovo’s announcement that it would be shipping a beefy follow-up to its ThinkPad Tablet, with a fully functioning version of Windows 8 on it, pleased me. Provided the specs come in on the high end of the scale, this will be a device worth reckoning with for both IT and business users alike.

And, making matters even more intriguing for Lenovo, Financial Times reported today that the PC manufacturer is close to overtaking HP as the number 1 PC manufacturer in the world.

Loser of the week: Motorola (and Google?)

Google’s announcement that it would slash the workforce of Motorola Mobility by 20 per cent, with likely cuts to the company’s tablet and smartphone lines, was a bit of a surprise.

It makes sense—Motorola Mobility isn’t exactly killing it on the mobile device front, and I’m sure there were lots of redundancies post-acquisition. Regardless, 4,000 lost jobs is a big enough number that I’m wondering what Google is going to do with this division.

On the horizon

While we’re beginning to hear about Windows 8 tablet announcements from third-party OEMs such as HP (which promised a “unique” enterprise tablet earlier in the week), Microsoft still has yet to announce pricing for its Surface tablet.

Rumours are swirling around a $199 (likely £199 in the UK) price point based on an Engadget report, but so far there’s no official word from Microsoft. We’re in a hold pattern here, and likely won’t find out anything until after Apple’s mid-September event, which is yet another thing to be on the lookout for.

(As an aside, analyst Rob Enderle thinks a $199 price point for Surface may infuriate Microsoft’s partners so much that they might even sue the company. for fraud. That’s a little extreme, and not likely under any circumstances.)

Finally, it’s worth mentioning is that TabTimes recently announced the formation of the TabTimes Think Tank, a new content advisory board comprised of tablet luminaries like QuickOffice’s Alan Masarek that will help guide TabTimes conference programming and overall editorial efforts.

Article source: TabTimes