The new iPad isn’t new anymore; in fact it’s not even on sale anymore. The newer new iPad is the iPad 4th generation. No wait, it’s the retina iPad. Those of us who bought its predecessor now own the old new iPad, or is it the retina iPad 3rd gen? No, that sounds absolutely wrong. How did the iPad naming convention get so crazy on us?
When Steve Jobs first unveiled Apple’s ‘magical, revolutionary’ tablet it had a simple, catchy little name: iPad. Despite all the jokes about other sorts of pads, the name was a great fit in the iDevices lineup and seemed to fit the device quite nicely.
A year later a new, improved model launched – and the name stayed simple: it was the iPad 2.
Then in March of this year, we saw the release of the latest, greatest iPad right on the annual release schedule – but the naming for the magical tablet went a bit off the rails, or perhaps in a new direction. I remember following the announcement event for this one and I, like lots of others, kept thinking ‘when are they going to say the name of it?’. Because throughout the unveiling event they constantly referred to it as ‘the new iPad’ – not iPad 3 or iPad HD or any of the other names that had seemed like obvious choices for the 3rd gen iPad with the amazing new retina display. So we all thought they were holding back the new name for some odd reason.
The event ended and it was still just the new iPad, which seemed quite odd. For starters, if Apple carried on with a yearly release cycle, then in 2013 would we have ‘the newer iPad’? And would 2012’s model be the old new iPad, or the almost new iPad? Then of course these new iPads started shipping and the box they came in just said iPad, not ‘new’ iPad – and the consensus seemed to be that Apple would likely stick with just iPad. As with their Mac PCs, iPads wouldn’t need numbers anymore just as we don’t have a MacBook Pro 2 or an iMac 4. Fair enough.
Here’s a big poke in the eye for all those who still claim the iPad is just a ‘consumption’ device: a novel written entirely on an iPad. It’s called ‘The Darkest Lie’ and its author is Angela Day.
Angela was kind enough to email me and let me know about the new book and its Kindle edition yesterday. I have to admit I was initially interested purely because of the written on an iPad angle – but once I read the first paragraph of the Prologue I was hooked by the writing and the story. I got through a couple chapters last night and I’m finding it a very exciting page-turner so far.
It’s also very hard not to love the backstory for this novel that Angela shared with me:
My iPad made my lifelong dream possible for me in a way that no other device could have. I’ve always wanted to be a novelist. By always, I mean it was a clear goal by the time I was 7 years old and my passion has only increased. But life was too busy for me- in college I was double majoring and we had a surprise pregnancy 6 weeks after I got married. Two children and a teaching job later, my passion has never dimmed but my time is all used up.
Getting the iPad and putting Pages on it changed everything for me. The iPad is portable, more so than even my 10″ netbook was. It doesn’t click when I type on it so I never had to worry about making noise or interrupting during a boring PTO meeting. It boots literally at the push of a button, so I could write a few sentences in line at the grocery store or waiting in the parking lot to pick up my kids. I typed everywhere. During my kids lessons, waiting in line, one handed while making dinner- internet research, spell checking, iCloud backups, everything I needed to finally write a novel in one device I could carry in my purse.
After almost every Apple keynote I like to step back, try to see the big picture and get my bearings on where Apple is positioning itself and its products. A way to review things we saw that were surprising as opposed to things that were expected. Here are my first impressions of the Apple media event, which was already dubbed “iPad mini Launch” event by many in the tech press, but which surprised in the diversity of its additional announcements and thus turned out to be more significant, in my view. Continue reading →
The advent of the iPad has undoubtedly further cemented Apple’s prominence in education circles. During today’s keynote, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the iPad an “incredible learning tool”, currently available for 80% of the US high school curriculum and for 2,500 schools in the US. A great aid for educators has been the iBooks Author app, which enables teachers to create their own interactive textbooks for the iPad platform. It was very fitting that Apple announced today an update for iBooks Author.
This update can be put squarely into the column of things that do not surprise us at all. Not only was an enhancement expected, for anyone who deals with education or who spends time with kids the impact that the iPad has had on education in the US and also internationally has been mind-boggling.
The update brings new features: integration of custom fonts, addition of mathematical expressions and improved audio support, as well as easier upload to iBookstore, and promises to make creation of a text book an even easier and pleasurable experience.
I got this lovely Father’s Day themed promo email from Apple this morning – touting the iPad as ‘The gift Dad won’t take his eyes off of’ – and featuring Bruce Springsteen’s new album, Wrecking Ball, as well.
My dad’s no longer around, and if he was I’m certain I’d have got him into the iPad before now. As for me, well of course I’m set in terms of iPads and I’ve already got a number of the songs from Wrecking Ball in Spotify playlists – so my family might have to get their thinking caps on. :)
Are any of you planning on gifting an iPad to a lucky father this year?
I very rarely spend a day without spending good chunks of time with the iPad. My family and I take very rare and very short vacations over recent years and generally my iPad comes along with us and I still work a little during down time.
So today will be a bit of a strange day. My wife and daughter and I are heading to Sea World for a day trip to celebrate the end of the school year. We’re all very psyched up for the trip – especially my daughter who is going for the first time ever. And the iPad will not be coming along, as it’s going to be a long, wet day.
I’m pretty sure Sea World will provide more than enough fun to keep me from missing the iPad. Oh, OK – maybe I’ll miss it a little. I should be back to regular posting on Friday.
Tim Cook did a lengthy interview at AllThingsD’s D10 conference last night, and of course he had lots of interesting things to say about many of Apple’s leading products. He had plenty of interesting things to say on the subject of tablets as well.
When Walt Mossberg asks him about Windows tablets due out later this year and mentions how Micosoft’s vision of them is as a sort of continuum from the PC – and that some of them will be ‘just tablets’, some will be clamshell from, some will turn around to make them a tablet, Cook responds that in his view the tablet and the PC are different and adds:
You can do things with the tablet if you’re not encumbered by the legacy of the PC, if you view it as different.
He also mentions that if you pull over too much of the ‘leg weight’ of the PC market then maybe you end up with something not too far off the tablet of ten years ago. And of course that’s the sort of tablet that never gained any traction with users and never had any great market impact.
Cook also talks about how Apple did not invent the tablet – but quickly adds ‘”We invented the modern tablet”.
The whole video is well worth watching, and I think Cook’s points are very well made, and to me suggest that Microsoft still doesn’t really ‘get’ the tablet arena they’re about to enter.
John C. Welch has written a very good article for arstechnica about the iPad as an additional tool (rather than a straight-up laptop replacement) for sysadmins and IT professionals.
Welch gives a very good rundown of what the iPad is capable of, and what it can’t (yet) be used for – where it can prove useful day to day and where a laptop or desktop PC is really needed. It’s interesting to see that in some cases the limitations are due to lack of appropriate apps for a task, rather than it being impossible to consider the iPad for a particular job.
Here’s just a small excerpt from his piece:
The iPad, on the other hand, is quite enjoyable to use for sysadmin tasks. For one, the size is just about perfect. It’s big enough that even my ape-like paws can type at a reasonable speed, manipulate screen elements, etc. It’s not so big that you can’t easily carry it, but it’s big enough that you can wedge it into a rack or prop it up on a CD tray so the display is easily accessible. … Don’t get me wrong, I love my 17” MacBook Pro and am definitely a fan of that beast. But there are times when it’s just too big for the situation and an iPhone is too small. The iPad’s superior battery life is also of no small comfort when you’re in a situation where you won’t be able to plug the device into AC power for some time.
I worked as a network engineer, network manager, and IT consultant for many years – and I would’ve loved to have had an iPad as an additional tool, for some of the very same use-cases as Welch talks about.
The whole article is a very good read, check it out at arstechnica when you have a chance.
During the question and answer segment of today’s Earnings Conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook made some interesting comments in response to a question of what the company thinks of their competition on tablet market. What follows is a paraphrasing of his direct remarks.
He began by stressing that Apple was happy with the 15.43 million iPad units sold in the final calendar quarter of 2011, explaining that it was consistent with their long-term belief that the tablet segment is a huge opportunity for Apple over time. Indeed, he explained that they believe that the tablet market will be larger than the PC market; tablet sales are already seeming to exceed desktop sales in US.
With regards to the competitiveness of the iPad, he feels that the iPad is in a class by itself. Their focus is on optimization of apps that take advantage of larger canvas. The iPad has a wealth of quality apps available, compared to only a few hundred on competitors’ offerings.
He closed by saying that they don’t see limited function tablets such as e-readers being in the same category as iPad. These limited-function tablets will have customers and they will sell a fair number of units. However, he opined that people who want an iPad will not settle for a device with less functionality.
He delivered a smile-inducing full stop to his remarks, saying that last year was supposed to be year of the tablet. Rather it was Year of the iPad.
The news today that Apple has sold 15.43 million iPads during the final calendar quarter of 2011, means that the total number of iPads sold for 2011 (that’s sold not shipped) is just over 40 million. The last quarter’s sales are 111% growth compared with the same quarter in the previous year.
These are mind-boggling stats no matter now you slice it.
With these solid numbers in hand, the future looks bright for Apple and iPad. Stock price is currently over $420. iBookstore is now being fed by ebooks created on the new iBooks author and iTunes U is free to fly.
So much for the year of the iPad killer.
In case you were questioning my math – here it is from the horse’s mouth: