Could this be an Apple engineer working out issues on the company's new iSlab device? We'll find out Wednesday!
The rumors seem so certain that Apple will introduce a new kind of computing device on Wednesday that tonight is known in geek circles as "All Tablet's Eve," the last night before months (nay, years) of speculation finally culminate in an answer from Steve Jobs.
But the one thing nobody seems certain about is what the thingamajig will actually be called. Some seem to think it will be the "iTablet" (not as smooth as a gel-cap!) or the "iSlate" (too close to slate.com!). It might also be the iPad, The Canvas or, if Steve Jobs is feeling especially loopy, the iPapyrus. That last one was my idea and I can already tell you hate it.
While the name will probably seem like a foregone conclusion by Wednesday afternoon, we won't see the sweat and labor it took to get there. Here, now, is a secret peek at the (conceivable) names Apple had to pass up to get to whatever it is we are introduced to at the big event:
- The iOMG! — Who needs all those older readers with their death-grip on the printed word? The iOMG! would have no keyboard, virtual or otherwise, and would be focused entirely on gesture-based computing and interchangeable fashion cases to appeal to a younger audience. It would also include a free season of Gossip Girl, redeemable on iTunes.
- The iSurLaTablet — Crafted with aluminum, stainless steel and a copper exterior, this durable kitchen companion can hold 500,000 recipes and can be used as a counter-top cooling plate for skillets, cookie sheets and roasters. Not everyone can use a virtual keyboard, but everyone has to eat.
- The iSlab — It's not a pretty name nor a pretty device. Steve Jobs breaks all the rules of design by introducing a computing device that resembles a limp lump of week-old side-o-beef. Sure, it does eBooks, but you'll probably want to carry it around in a large Ziploc bag. Inconvenient? Perhaps, but so, so visionary.
- The iSlapp — Inspired by the "Slap Bet" storyline of the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother, the iSlapp comes pre-loaded with 12 slap-related applications (or "Slapps") including a Slap Bet Countdown app, an app that keeps track of slaps you are owed and slaps you owe (Slap Tracker) and an app that uses the device's accelerometer to detect slaps delivered with the iSlapp itself.
- The iTable — Not to be confused with Microsoft's Surface computer, this stunning device folds out to reveal a 75-inch OLED screen and legs to hold it up. It's a computer, yes, but it's also a very nice table. What? You think you could do better? Tell it to Steve Jobs.
Care to place your bets on the name now? Post in the comments.
(Further reading: Linda Holmes on things that would make an Apple tablet a bargain and The Economist on likely names.)