Steve Jobs in April 2010:
Q: How do you close applications when multitasking?
A: (Scott Forstall) You don’t have to. The user just uses things and doesn’t ever have to worry about it.
A: (Steve Jobs) It’s like we said on the iPad, if you see a stylus, they blew it. In multitasking, if you see a task manager… they blew it. Users shouldn’t ever have to think about it.
Given the above, one of this week’s top iPad rumors is a heck of a strange one to see. As Apple Insider reports that an Apple analyst with a solid reputation, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, is predicting that Apple will offer a stylus this year for the heavily-rumored, 12.x inch iPad Pro:
In a report obtained on Sunday by AppleInsider, well-regarded analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said numerous stylus-related patents filed by the Cupertino-based company (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc.) and his own research lead him to believe the iPad maker will launch a stylus in the second quarter of this year to compliment the 12.9-inch so-called “iPad Pro.”
“Given that it’s more precise than a person’s fingers, a stylus can be more convenient to use than the combination of keyboard and mouse in some cases,” Kuo wrote. “Therefore, we believe Apple’s stylus will improve the user experience of 12.9-inch iPad.”
Strange as this rumor may be on the face of it, Apple have a bit of a track record for bringing out products that Steve Jobs has previously had nothing but contempt for. Heck, the iPad mini is a prime example of just that. So I won’t be shocked to see a stylus as an iPad Pro companion at some point this year.
The big question will be if the stylus is any good. I honestly haven’t seen any stylus for a mobile device that has really grabbed me since way back in the days of Windows Mobile.
Well, right about the time we’d expect, we’ve got rumors of a date for this year’s iPad announcement event. And that date is Thursday October 16, at least according to rumors reported by 9to5Mac and others yesterday. Now of course official invites have not yet gone out from Apple and we have also not seen the damn-near-official ‘Yep’ from Jim Dalrymple at The Loop – so take the 10/16 date with as many grains of salt as you fancy for now.
One thing that seems to be the strong consensus view at the moment is that expectations are low for the new iPad announcements this year. The iPad event is said to be held on Apple’s own campus, rather than a bigger external venue like they had last month for the new iPhones launch. It also looks like the focus of the event will be split between new iPads, the new version of Mac OS X (Yosemite), and new Retina iMacs.
9to5Mac outlines the low expectations for the iPad announcements:
the iPad update is expected to be minor — likely adding a gold option, Touch ID and an anti-reflective coating on the screen. We also haven’t heard much about the split-screen multitasking since it was left off the initial iOS 8 release.
A ‘big’ wild card would be the 12.9-inch iPad Pro which has long been rumored for early 2015 but as we know from the Apple Watch, Tim Cook isn’t shy about announcing new categories early.
Obviously, I’m hopeful that Apple will exceed the low expectations in some way. Maybe by unveiling that bigger iPad Pro, or even with some unexpected new upgrades and features for the iPad Air and iPad mini.
The iPad rumor mill is finally starting to churn a little more over the last couple of weeks – and it’s about time since October has become the new standard timeframe for new iPad launches. This week’s iPad rumors are in keeping with the general theme of low expectations for October iPad announcements.
The gist of what I’ve seen this week is something like this:
— Expect a new iPad Air next month – with not a huge amount of change to it, but adding the TouchID feature, likely a little slimmer, and possibly 2GB of RAM.
— Either a Retina iPad mini with very little changed or no new Retina iPad mini until Q1 of 2015.
— Then the long-rumored iPad Pro – at a whopping 12 or 13 inches – but the middle of 2015.
I’m a Retina iPad mini user and enjoy the smaller form factor, so of course I’m hoping that these latest rumors are wrong about the lack of a new mini until early next year. I am looking forward to seeing Touch ID on the iPad though, and the iPad Pro has always sounded like a natural addition to the iPad line.
It shouldn’t be too long now before at least some of these rumors become actual announcements from Apple.
Next Tuesday, September 9, Apple is holding one of their special (announcement events. This has been expected to feature the unveiling of two new iPhones and possibly the mythical iWatch that’s been rumored seemingly forever.
Now, according to one Wall Street analyst, there may also be a new iPad Air unveiling at Tuesday’s event – as Apple Insider reports:
At a media event already expected to be packed with the unveiling of two new iPhone models and a so-called “iWatch,” the company may also showcase its next full-size iPad Air with Touch ID fingerprint sensor and a new gold color option, according to well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Further speculation from Kuo suggests that the 2nd-gen iPad Air will see some substantial upgrades, while the Retina iPad mini may not see much change at all:
Specifically, he believes the next iPad Air will have an anti-reflective screen coating, a full-lamination touch panel, a new gold-colored casing, and a next-generation A8 processor. He also expects the device to adopt the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that debuted last year in the iPhone 5s.
Kuo said that the iPad mini “may” be updated this year with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, but expressed less confidence about the company’s diminutive 7.9-inch tablet.
As a fan of the smaller form factor iPad mini, I’m certainly hoping that last point is proved inaccurate. I also wouldn’t be surprised at all if this particular rumor proves false and all new iPad announcements are held off until a separate Apple event in October.
What do you all think? Would you bet on seeing new iPad details at next Tuesday’s event?
This week’s big iPad rumor is all about a much bigger iPad. It’s a rumor that was around for months back in 2013 and has now surfaced again via a report by Bloomberg, which says production of the much larger new iPad is set to get started in the first quarter of 2015.
The report states that the new larger iPad’s screen will measure 12.9 inches – a big step up form the current largest iPad Air model at 9.7 inches.
There would be a number of potentially ripe markets for a jumbo-sized iPad. One that was frequently mentioned when the 12 inch iPad rumors first started was the education market, with the large iPad replacing textbooks. Ironically, I’ve also read a report this morning on how the momentum of the iPad in the education market is on the wane. Maybe this rumored larger model would help address that.
What do you all think about a nearly 13 inch iPad? Would you use one?
This week’s big iPad rumor is all about an important predicted spec upgrade for the next-gen iPad Air – a bump up to 2GB of RAM, as 9to5Mac reports:
A new report from Asian site TechNews.tw claims information from the Apply supply chain points to the next generation iPad Air doubling up on RAM from 1GB to 2GB
If this rumor is accurate that would be good news, though not great news I’d say. Great news would be 3GB of RAM or more for the top-end of the iPad line.
RAM has been the weakest spec detail on the iPad for years now, and it lags well behind some rivals. Heck, it even lags way behind the LG G3 phone that I carry – which has triple the amount of RAM of the current iPad Air. And a number of other leading smartphones offer double and triple the amount of RAM of the iPad.
I’ve been complaining about this ‘feature’ of the iPad for years, and I really wish Apple would give some serious new love to this memory spec of the iPad lineup.
If this latest rumor is right though, it doesn’t sound promising in this area, since it also speculates that the next-gen iPad mini will still offer just 1GB of RAM.
Well, it’s around that time of year, when we can expect new iPad rumors to heat up and, eventually, Apple announcements to come. The latest news / rumor, via Bloomberg news, is that production for the next-gen full-size iPad is already underway:
Mass production of a full-sized iPad with a 9.7-inch screen is already under way, with an unveiling projected for the end of this quarter or early next, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. A new version of the 7.9-inch iPad mini is also entering production and will probably be available by the end of the year, they said.
According to 9to5Mac, the feature list for the next iPads (full-size and mini) will include faster A8 processors, the TouchID fingerprint scanner, improved cameras, and (at least on the full-size model) a new anti-reflective coating that’s said to make the iPad easier to read in sunlight or similar conditions.
A faster processor is always welcome, TouchID would be a nice addition, but my one BIG wish list item remains the same as it has for years: More RAM. This is long overdue and is an area where the iPad is extremely weak compared to several rivals and even many high-end smartphones by now.
The latest iPad rumor is an exciting one – the prospect of spilt-screen multitasking for the iPad in iOS 8. 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman reported on what he’s been hearing on this topic yesterday:
iOS 8 is likely to supercharge the functionality of Apple’s iPad with a new split-screen multitasking feature, according to sources with knowledge of the enhancement in development. These people say that the feature will allow iPad users to run and interact with two iPad applications at once. Up until now, each iPad application either developed by Apple or available on the App Store is only usable individually in a full-screen view.
This would obviously be very good news if it proves true. I especially like the sound of this level of additional inter-app functionality:
In addition to allowing for two iPad apps to be used at the same time, the feature is designed to allow for apps to more easily interact, according to the sources. For example, a user may be able to drag content, such as text, video, or images, from one app to another. Apple is said to be developing capabilities for developers to be able to design their apps to interact with each other. This functionality may mean that Apple is finally ready to enable “XPC” support in iOS (or improved inter-app communication), which means that developers could design App Store apps that could share content.
Microsoft heavily promotes this feature on their range of Surface tablets. It will be interesting to see whether Apple decides to match or, more likely, improve on it in iOS 8 for the iPad.
Do you remember Clippy? He was a chipper guy, who when I first saw him in Windows as a spotty teen I thought “that’s cool, an interactive comic character who will help me use Office 97!”. Clippy was great, and then 2 minutes later I learned how to use Office properly and he quickly became annoying. I suspect his intention was to educate us in a fun and interesting way about Office 97 in those pre-web 2.0 days. Great idea, but we didn’t actually use it in practice.
This is how I feel about Tocomail. Great idea that works, but it fills a niche that probably doesn’t need to be filled. Tocomail is an interesting concept. It’s positioned as an app with e-safety at it’s heart by providing a controlled environment for children from the age of 5 to have their own email account. Signing up for a Tocomail account will give you as a parent the ability to set up an email account for your children. You can populate the address book with safe contacts, for example your family and friends, and your children can email these people from directly within the app.
The way the app is set up means that your child can only email these contacts and no one else. Likewise, only the people on the contacts list can email the child’s Tocomail account. If an email comes from an address not on the contact list then the email is put into a catch all account which the parent can log on and inspect, rather than going to the child’s inbox. Setup is easy enough. You as a parent have to create an account with Tocomail, and then you can create an email address for your child (ending in @tocomail.com). You can set up multiple accounts for different children in the same app and switch between them. You then have two user interface options, both of which have a couple of differences.
One of the latest rumors leading up to Apple’s iPad announcement event today says that Apple is testing new ‘Surface-like’ keyboard cases for the new iPad 5 that’s expected to be unveiled at the event.
As MacRumors reports, at least one former Apple staffer thinks a new keyboard case could be announced alongside new iPads today:
According to ex-Apple Developer Relations employee and industry analyst Jamie Ryan (viaGizmodo UK), Apple has been testing a first-party keyboard case to be potentially released alongside the upcoming fifth-generation iPad. The case itself would reportedly be similar in nature to Microsoft’s Touch Cover, which is made for the Surface line of tablets.
I’ve been speaking to a couple of people at Apple for the last few days and they have told me that a case for the full size iPad that mimics Microsofts touch cover has been prototyped. It’s not clear whether the process is far enough along to make this Tuesdays event but they did say a few different styles had been in testing for a while.
This is an iPad rumor that doesn’t seem at all far fetched. A number of 3rd party vendors have been making iPad keyboard cases for years now. Some of them are very good too – like the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad mini shown above.
If Apple offers a keyboard case that rivals or betters some of those from companies like Logitech and ZAGG I’d definitely be interested in trying it out.
What do you all think? Would you be interested in an iPad 5 keyboard case?
As the expected new iPads announcement event looms just a week away now, the rumors and leaks about the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2nd gen continue to spread.
A couple that have caught my eye this week relate to slight changes in size for both the iPad 5th gen and the iPad mini 2. The iPad 5 is expected to adopt a more ‘minified’ style and becom slightly slimmer and lighter. Along with this slimming down, Apple Insider reports that Apple will offer a new iPad Smart Cover to fit the new iPad 5.
While the iPad 5 gets trimmer, the iPad mini 2 is expected to get bigger – though only by a tiny bit – to be able to support a Retina display. MacRumors outlines how very small the iPad mini 2 size increase may be:
Some Chinese case-makers expect the new iPad mini to be roughly 0.3mm thicker than the current model, going from 7.2mm to 7.5mm, according to a report from Mac Otakara. The cases also indicate the device will be 0.2mm wider, growing from 134.7mm to some 134.9mm.
A number of iPad mini backplates, supposedly from the new device, have leaked over the past few months, with no hint that the size of the new mini will be different from the old one. However, given the small size changes in the new report — only 0.3mm difference in thickness — it would likely take a micrometer to notice any change.
Both of these latest rumors make good sense to me. A new Smart Cover seems a no-brainer as they’ve been popular and effective cases several generations of the iPad and iPad mini already. And the iPad mini being a little bit larger to handle Retina display would follow the precedent set when the iPad 3 went Retina.
iPad 5 render image above courtesy of Martin Hajek