WHAT WILL IT DO?
Video: Since iTunes already sells television shows and movies, playing those shows on the iPad's portable screen is a no-brainer. The experience looks super smooth, and apple clams the device will have a 10-hour battery life. But will there be a video subscription service?
Gaming: Apple is concentrating heavily on the gaming market, a space the company has never broken into effectively. Current ads for the iPod Touch emphasize the device's utility in the gaming market. And gaming will be a big component of the iPad.
Apple invited game developer GameLoft on stage to show off a new first-person shooter called Nova, that the company reportedly built in under two weeks. Apps from the current iTunes store will play on the iPad too, including a few games that Steve showed off during the event, such as Snowcross -- a snowmobiling game. A new SDK will allow developers to take advantage of the device's multi-touch capabilities. These games will doubtless take advantage of the built in accelerometer and networking technologies.
E-Books: Many, many published reports indicate that Apple is looking to move into the burgeoning electronic book space. According to people familiar with the situation, HarperCollins Publishers (among others) is negotiating with Apple to make electronic books available tablet device.
HarperCollins is expected to set the prices of the e-books, which would have added features -- possibly video, possibly interactivity -- with Apple taking a percentage of sales. Details haven't been ironed out, of course.
In addition, recent rumors suggest the New York Times has been actively working with Apple to develop "a new version of the newspaper's iPhone application offering video and optimized for a large-screen tablet device."
If that turns out to be so, it's expected that the books will be made available on iTunes, just as the company now sells e-books for use on its iPhone and iTouch devices. That means Apple will become a player in the online book industry, where Amazon is already a major player.
Content Creation: Many journalists, focusing on the bright splashes of color in the invitation Apple sent out to journalists, are speculating that Apple's new device will focus on content creation. But what that could be is anyone's guess.
WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?