The dust has settled and we’ve had a few hours to assimilate the information and even play with some of the new software. We weren’t invited to the event, so there was no hands on with the new iPad, but even from the video (Ryan Block’s segment at the beginning of MacBreak Weekly #289), the much hyped resolution is AWE-mazing! Knee-jerk reaction, this was a good announcement.
Here’s a quick recap:
The Third-Generation iPad
- Retina display (2048 x 1536 pixels, 264 pixels per inch)
- A5X chip (dual-core cpu, quad-core gpu)
- 5MB iSight Camera (ƒ/2.4 aperture and a five-element lens)
- 4G LTE (hotspot capable if carrier supports it)
- 10 hours of battery life (9 hours using 4G LTE)
- .6 mm thicker and .11 pounds heavier than iPad 2
- Available March 16, 2012 in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore & Australia
- $499, $599 and $699 for 16, 32 and 64GB. $629, $729 and $829 16, 32 and 64 GB with 4G
- Apple Care+ for $99 (“repair coverage including up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage”)
- Japanese language support for Siri
- Delete photos from photo stream
- Camera shortcut always available from lock screen
- Camera face detection
- Redesigned camera app for iPad
- Genius mixes and Genius playlists for iTunes Match
- Audio optimized for iPad to be louder and clearer
- Playback speed controls for podcasts on iPad
- AT&T network indicator
- Bug fixes for battery life issues and occasional audio on outgoing calls
iWork & iLife
- Pages, Numbers & Keynote updated to support new retina display
- Garageband update (Jam Session and Smart Strings added)
- iMovie update (outlining & storyboarding added)
- iPhoto for iPhone and iPad
- Plays 1080p video
- iTunes in the Cloud plays both music and movies
- Photo stream support
- Airplay from iPhone, iPad, iPod
- Powered by A4 processor
- Updated to version 10.6 to support 1080p video content for new Apple TV
What does all this mean?
The iPad, like many of Apple’s products, hardware or software, is an evolving thing. At it inception, it was a device that was defining a new category of hardware. Limited and flawed as it was, it did exactly what it was designed to do, show the users what they didn’t know they needed. We couldn’t get enough.
Then, with the iPad 2, despite the propaganda another incremental step, this tablet morphed into an incredible consumption device: books, magazines, comics, movies, television programs, music, podcasts, websites, social media. You name it, the iPad 2 delivered. Again, it wasn’t perfect, and many people rightly lamented it’s short-comings. Yet, like it’s predecessor, it did the job it was created for perfectly; it taught the users how to use this device that they now needed to have. We ate it up.
So, now that the users know we need a tablet, and know what it is capable of delivering, the new iPad has changed into a creation device. Finally the iPad is truly a post-PC product. Before it was still an accessory to the MacBook Pro or iMac in that if you were going to shoot and edit a movie, or edit photos, or the like, you would work on your computer and then view the results on your iPad. Granted, it is still not powerful or versatile as a desktop or laptop, but this is yet another incremental step. The users now have the capability to create content, and as soon as we’ve got this step down, give or take a year, we’ll see the next iteration, which will bring even more capabilities.
Is all of this perfect? No. Could they have made more, added more, charged less, etc? Sure. Should they have done things differently? I don’t know. I do believe it could be argued both ways, with valid points on both sides. What’s a more important question, and I believe at the core of what Apple is doing, will the new iPad do the job for which it was created? Considering their track record, invariably yes.