Thursday, 3 March 2011

iPad 2: My thoughts

So after months of rumours, the iPad 2 surfaced last night. A while back, I wrote an article about my hopes for the new iPad (see article “The iPad Of Tomorrow”). Although I provided a handful of ideas that proved accurate last night, there were plenty I missed, mainly because I wrote that article long before the bulk of rumours began to surface.

The problem with these rumours is that they were discussed in such detail, which meant last night’s event brought only a few surprises. And Steve didn’t do a “One More Thing” as he usually does. Quite disappointing, really.

So the iPad is twice as fast, thirty three percent thinner and point two pounds lighter. It comes on AT&T and Verizon and will be sold in black and white. I just hope they keep their promise about the white version, it’s simply beautiful. Then there’s a never-ending list of minor features which all contribute to a better tablet experience (at least they are supposed to).

The new device’s introduction was accompanied with the words “All New Design”. Every time they say this I’m completely thrown. Okay, so the back is now flat and there are two cameras, but there isn’t much more than that. There’s still a home button, it’s still a nine inch device. There is not a single fundamental difference – not one!

iOS 4.3, in my opinion is hardly worth mentioning. It only includes one noteworthy feature, which is Personal Hotspot for the iPhone 4, the ability to share your 3G connectivity with devices that don’t bear 3G capabilities (such as PC, Mac, iPod Touch). But honestly – how long will it be until all of these devices will be 3G ready? It won’t be long until all of this functionality will be rendered totally redundant.

We have the addition of the front and back facing cameras, with full integration with the iPad 2’s built-in apps FaceTime and Photo Booth, and iMovie which will be available from the App Store upon the new iPad’s release. Speaking of which, iMovie looks incredible and is unbelievably good value at just $4.99. That’s the amazing things about mobile apps.

The iPad 2 now supports HDMI out (with the help of a little plug-in). In addition, it will charge your iPad whilst connected, and supports all apps and even supports device rotation. The plug-in will be available for $39.

Smart Covers were introduced. Perhaps this is set to become a tradition – Bumpers for iPhone 4, Smart Covers for iPad 2, what next? Bumpers and Smart Covers are both designed in such a way that will enhance the user experience and keep the device safe, without detracting from the device’s core design. And what is their method? Simply create a case that doesn’t cover the back! Smart Covers snap seamlessly on to the iPad with the help of a few magnets. The underside of the cover contains a microfiber cloth that Apple claim will clean your screen! But we’ll have to wait and see if this actually works.

I’m a bit surprised that the new iPad doesn’t have a Retina display. Apple is definitely in the midst of planning 
to streamline everything, devices and OS’s alike, so it’s a wonder why they didn’t include this.

Once again, I feel as though Apple has purposely underdeveloped the iPad. What about those multitasking gestures we saw a few months back? Although removed from iOS 4.3 after beta one, I think we will be seeing those again. But the iPad 2 is enough to keep people talking for a good year or so, and Apple can get to work on the next iPad.

I can’t understand people who sit there hoping that Apple will enable Flash, because they simply won’t. Apple only have one way of thinking, the Apple way, and will never step outside of the box towards technologies like these. The lack of Flash won’t stop people from buying it, and as long as this is the case, don’t expect any changes.

Steve Jobs said “This will define the category for years to come”. Indeed it will, until someone comes up with the next big thing. The iPad 2, although not the most capable of tablets, will definitely prove to be one of the most successful releases of the decade.

And it looks like my Twitter feed is already filling up with iPad 3 rumours. This tablet era is far from over...

Raffi Maurer


Rakhi Dave said...

My thoughts exactly!! Nice one Raffi

Tali said...

Great post Raffi. The other day I was wondering what the phone of the future will look like and do - any thoughts - lets say for 10 years time..

Darren Bailey, UK said...

We have got used to Apple things being so amazing and earth shattering that when they make a new upgrade to a great product - we feel underwhelmed! Lets remember its a great product and ground-breaking in its sales! Nice blog.

Rick S, New York said...

I just got in the office and read your post. You must mention the branding Apple have gone for here. The cover is unique, workable, multi-use and has.....colors!! Apple now is able to customize the iPad for you without touching the actual iPad. Genius!

James Masters said...

People were down on the event yesterday because nothing was announced about the iPhone 5. The iPad is great and should be admired for what it is.

Moshe Katzenberg said...

After reading your blog I took a look at the Apple site to see the presentation and its really impressive. I am seeling my iPad so I can buy the next one.

Anonymous said...

Why oh why..... no Retina display. This would have been a killer piece of kit with that.

Anonymous said...

The new iPad comes with a whole host of improvements that individually may not sound like much but put together take the iPad onto a whole new plane.

Anonymous said...

I have actually touched this new device and people who suggest this is an incremental upgrade are simply not looking at the bigger picture. The Apple iPad 2 feels and acts drastically differently from its predecessor.

Domo85 said...

This is by far again the best tablet on the market, with no sign of the playbook still and the xoom now looking dated compared to this slim fella it just gives apple a chance to pull an even bigger lead :) p.s. im no apple fanboy but you gotta admire the fact they always pull it off!

Bradavon said...

This looks gorgeous but I'd still rather have a Dual Core Honeycomb tablet. Cameras on the rear seem pointless. They're too big to be useful but a camera on the front would be useful. If you've know someone else with an iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPod Touch.

Anonymous said...

Though I do think the products are generally good (not amazing), apple has one thing up their sleeve that nobody else can seem to match. A bloody amazing marketing department! I’ve never seen new computing tech getting airtime on ITV news at 10pm as it was yesterday night. I’ve got to say, the apple marketing guys earn every penny their paid.

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