I’m going to split my thoughts on the Apple announcement over a few posts, but I’ll keep them segregated by topic.
I’ll start with the headliner … the new iPad.
It is not iPad 3, or iPad HD, or iPad Pro … or anything else. The new iPad is just that: iPad.
It now falls in line with the other product lines from Apple including the MacBook Air, the Mac Pro, the iMac, the iPod touch, the Mac mini, and many others as being simply a product line with updates but no number or number-letter combination tacked onto the end.
I’m guessing we’ll see this also move to the iPhone later this year, so don’t expect an iPhone 5 but and iPhone (6th generation). I like it for its simplicity, and I think that consumers are going to not really notice after a short time of some slight confusion.
After moving from an iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4S, I can state that the move to a “Retina Display” is a HUGE move for the iPad. From all accounts, the other aspects of the display have also been improved and tweaked to really create one of the best displays you can possibly buy at almost any size.
You’ll just have to go and take a look at it.
A dual-core CPU coupled with a quad-core GPU, it is an updated version of the A5 processor used in the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S last year, which was quite snappy and a big updated over the A4 from the year prior.
Adding the quad-core GPU makes sense with the 3.1 million pixels that it will have to push for the new display. That is where the main update is and we will see if the A5X will come to the next iPhone or if Apple will pull out a redesigned A6 in seven months (or so).
There is a substantial update for the camera on the back of the iPad, bringing the optics from the iPhone 4S and coupling it with a 5-megapixel camera. You’ll actually be able to take pictures to share with this camera. I’ve been using the iPhone 4S as my only camera since I got the phone and it works really well.
The front-facing camera did not get an update.
The use of the name “iSight” is a good blast-from-the-past and kind of funny. Will see if Apple brings the name to the rest of the line.
The last thing the new camera can do is record 1080p HD video. You have a new display and you need to fill it with something.
They added 4G LTE for both Verizon and AT&T. That’s about it.
Data prices are the same as with 3G-only, so check with your carrier.
iOS received an update to 5.1 during the event and the two noticeable changes are this:
- If you have AT&T, you will now see “4G” for their “4G” service (read: faux 4G)
- You can get to the camera from the lock screen with a gesture all of the time (no double-tapping the home button)
Apple also added a larger battery to the iPad so it is slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2 yet thinning and lighter than the iPad (1st generation). The larger battery means that even with the larger, better screen and the addition of 4G LTE, the new iPad gets the same battery life.
Also, no Siri for the iPad. They added dictation, but no Siri. Why? I’m not sure, but Siri is still in “beta” and maybe they are just not ready to roll it out to more devices.
So that’s about it for the iPad. It really is a big update from the iPad 2 and a MASSIVE update from the iPad (1st generation), so try and get yours hands on one on or after March 16th to see for yourself.