The iPad Mini was announced at Apple’s special event yesterday, just as was widely expected – as were a number of new Macs. The one big surprise of the day was another new iPad – the iPad 4th generation – or the iPad 4 as it’s likely to be called by most of us.
This was surprising, and frustrating to many recent iPad buyers, in large part because the new iPad, or iPad 3, was only just released 7 months ago – and it has now been displaced and apparently dropped entirely from the iPad lineup. As Alicia talked about yesterday here, the iPad lineup now consists of the iPad Mini, the iPad 2, and the new iPad 4.
As a lead-in to the introduction of the iPad 4, Tim Cook finished off a rundown of the many impressive numbers for iPad and the reasons why it is so loved by users by telling us that Apple are ‘just getting started’ with the iPad and “We’re not taking our foot off the gas”.
Phil Schiller then unveiled the iPad 4 and emphasized that the 3rd generation iPad is the best tablet in the world and the 4th generation iPad ‘just extends that lead’. When describing the performance improvements in the iPad 4 he went even further – saying it puts the iPad so far ahead of the competition that:
I can’t even see them in the rearview mirror.
So it’s worth taking a quick look at what exactly has changed and improved in the iPad 4.
Here are the quick details on the improvements in the iPad 4, over its predecessor:
— It has Apple’s new A6X chip, which is said to be two times faster in both handling of CPU tasks and graphics performance.
— The front FaceTime camera has been improved and there’s a new ISP (Image Signal Processor) that is said to improve tasks like face recognition and image stabilization.
— It has expanded LTE coverage and two times faster WiFi with 802.11n 2.4 + 5GHz.
— The outstanding battery life stays the same – 10 hours, just like the previous generation (which I have to say feels very odd when referring to the iPad 3).
— The iPad 4 uses Apple’s new Lightning cable and has a few other new cables / accessories as well.
And that’s about it in terms of what’s new and improved in the iPad 4. I know many will say this is not a huge upgrade, and they’ve got a point. It’s not the sort of update that should make current iPad 3 owners feel like they must upgrade immediately, or even soon.
The iPad 3 is still a state-of-the-art tablet. None of its powerful features are diminished in any way by the release of the iPad 4; it still runs iOS 6 and has over 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad available for it. It has not become any less of a great device since yesterday. So I don’t see a reason for iPad 3 owners to feel angry about this ‘early’ release of the iPad 4 – though as I mentioned above I know many are upset by this.
I own an iPad 3, purchased on launch day 7 months ago. I do want to upgrade to the iPad 4 fairly soon, but my case is quite different to a ‘typical’ iPad owner. This site is my day job, and it’s single focused on the iPad – so I have a bit more than a passing interest in keeping up with the latest models.
What are your thoughts on the iPad 4? Will you be buying one? If so, which iPad do you currently use?