The image above sums up my thoughts, I ordered a 64Gb WiFi only iPad 3rd generation as soon as they were available for pre-order in the UK. As the owner of a 32Gb first generation iPad that I use every day it didn’t take much consideration. I recently read 35 years of the weekly UK comic 2000AD (over 1700 issues) on my iPad, and as a subscriber to the comic I can’t wait to see it on the 3 megapixel HD+ display. I want to see how much better HD video looks , and photo’s, and text. That’s enough reason for me to want one asap, without the huge processing and graphical performance boost over the first iPad. Decent camera with iMovie and iPhoto? This just highlights the different approach Apple takes to the competition. It’s not about the hardware specifications, it’s about what you can do with the device.
The one thing I can’t grasp is how some news sources have claimed the new iPad (iPad G3) offers little more than “incremental improvements”. Sure, the iPad G1 had a good screen, and the iPad G3 has a better screen, but that’s like saying 1080p HD is just a little jump over standard definition. The iPad G3 camera can be described as just an improvement over the iPad G2 version. That doesn’t acknowledge that the iPad G2 camera was poor and the iPad G3 camera is a 5 megapixel version of the iPhone 4S camera, one of the best phone camera’s currently available.
I don’t use the Android operating system, but I am happy that it exists and continues to be very popular. Likewise, I’m happy that Microsoft has a Windows 8/Metro strategy that looks credible. Aggressive competition is good for the consumer, and drives innovation. Unfortunately some people just can’t seem to spot a killer product that has in previous models twice proved to be a massive success.
As widely predicted Steve Jobs has today unveiled the iPad tablet computer. There’s little in the specifications that hasn’t been discussed over the past few weeks, so here’s a brief rundown on what’s included.
- 9.5 x 7.5 x 0.5 inch body
- 9.7-inch LED-backlit glossy Multi-Touch display with 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi). Described as widescreen at the Apple iPad specs page, maybe the reality distortion field has broken on this feature.
- Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology
- 3G on selected models – UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz) and GSM/EDGE (850, 900,1800, 1900 MHz)
- 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB flash drive. Interesting choice of description, drive not memory. Will this be externally accessible?
- 1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip
- Built-in 25Whr rechargeable lithium-polymer battery offering up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music
The hardware specs are good, but the apps are even better. iWork for iPad looks very usable with the optional keyboard dock, and media apps closer to iLife than iPhone make the iPad look like an accomplished media device. Pricing also starts lower than was widely expected:
The only thing I find disappointing about the iPad is the home screen, which looks like nothing more than an upscaled iPhone screen with a background image and way too small icons. Given how smooth and intuitive the demonstrated apps look is this really what Apple plans to present as the starting point of the iPad experience?
Just about every site covering anything vaguely Apple related has pondered what might be announced at the ‘Come see our latest creation’ event on 27th January. If there isn’t a Tablet PC announced the internet will ignite with the wrath of a million Apple fanboys. On top of this the rumours of Iphone OS 4, iLife 10 and updated Macbooks mean that some of these aren’t going to be included. Just for fun, here’s my predictions on what will be announced tomorrow.
- Called the MacPad. iPad is too obvious, and iSlate and iTablet are too awkward sounding.
- 10 inch screen, resolution 1280×800 for all the iTunes HD content. This gives around 150DPI for use as an eReader. Possibly in two versions for LCD and OLED, until the OLED price comes down.
- The OS will be something between the flexibility of Snow Leopard and the ease of iPhone OS. Maybe a dashboard type display with selectable widgets/feeds/ information. I would include the ability to run iPhone apps in a 320×480 window or full screen tablet apps. And multi-tasking.
- 32-128Gb Flash Memory on board dependant on expansion options, so a worthwhile amount of HD content can be stored. Streaming HD content and audio from your iTunes account at home with a fast data connection.
- An SD card slot. The Macbook Pro’s have them, and a 10 inch tablet would make an excellent photo viewer/editor.
- A USB port, possibly miniUSB if the Tablet is as thin as the photoshop fake’s are hoping. This really opens up the device for adding an external HD stuffed with content, but realistically isn’t likely as most other peripherals would plug into a dock connector. How about a dock with USB available for third party expansion options?
- Universal 3G ability rather than tied to one service provider, just add your own 3G sim. Maybe a data package as an option, but not compulsory.
- A P.A. semi highly integrated processor?
- Front and back video camera’s for video calls is a killer app for a tablet.
- eBooks magazines and newspapers in iTunes, just like the Amazon Kindle store with lower prices and higher volume.
- Grand Central and OpenCL support bringing a big speed boost to HD encoding. What’s the point of building these technologies into Snow Leopard if Apple doesn’t use them?
- iDvd gets new authoring abilities for the Tablet and HD content, or a new app is added to do this. Dvd’s can package photo slideshows and multiple video’s, so file based media needs the same.
- A simplified version of iLife for the Tablet would be nice, offering basic photo retouching and video editing.
iPhone OS 4
- There’s no denying the iPhone seriously needs a good home screen showing calls and messages, calendar etc. Other platforms, especially Android, are catching up so something flexible but simple is required. And an easy way to switch 3G, WiFi and brightness like SBsettings would be nice.
- Irrespective of what the iPhone doesn’t do well it’s still selling in large amounts so how badly are improvements needed? I’m betting iPhone OS 4 will be saved for the WWDC mid year, and an update to V3 will add tablet support and some new features.
- Nope. It’s a tablet event.