The iPad officially turned 10 years old yesterday! Hurray! A full decade has now passed and so much has changed with the hardware and software of the iPad and how I use them. It’s natural to look back after a milestone, so now is a good time to do just that. (You can see my previous strolls down memory lane here and here.)
This is certainly ground that has been covered in MANY articles, both before and after the release of the new 10.5” and 12.9” iPad Pros, and for plenty of reason. Apple’s marketing has placed the iPad Pro squarely in the conversation as a primary computing device, and encouraged this kind of examination. However, because the conversations tend to center around those of us in the Apple blogosphere and the tech community at large think, they usually focus on the iPad as a laptop replacement for US as “power users,” rather than more typical users.
I am a little ashamed to admit that I have been neglecting my iPad 3, a lot, over recent months. I got an iPad mini on its launch day morning last November and it quickly won me over with its wonderful lightness and form factor.
Like others, I was initially skeptical about the 8 inch (or near enough) tablet form factor, but after just a day or so with the iPad mini I was a big fan of it. All these months later, I still am and it’s easily my most used device. I’d say my usage pattern on tablets recently has been around 60% iPad mini, 30% Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and only 10% iPad 3.
This past Monday I wanted to get a multi-screen setup going while taking in Apple’s WWDC 2013 keynote event. I decided to view Apple’s live stream on the iPad, follow the Engadget liveblog in Chrome on my iMac and use Evernote on the iMac to take quick notes during the event.
The iPad 3 screen was the obvious bigger, better choice for watching the Apple live stream. It also served as an instant reminder of how fabulous the iPad 3’s Retina display is, and of just how much I’d been neglecting my big friend.
The heck with stealing the towels – at this hotel you’re going to want to leave the towels and sneak out with a gold-plated iPad.
As Business Insider recently reported, the Burj Al Arab hotel, touted as one of the world’s most luxurious hotels, is offering gold-plated iPads as a luxury amenity.
When guests check in, they’ll be given their own gold iPads, which will serve as a “virtual concierge” that offers information on everything from the hotel’s restaurant menus and spa treatments to housekeeping and butler services.
The iPads are given to the guests for the duration of their hotel stay. If they grow attached to them they can be bought in the hotel’s boutique. I couldn’t find the price for these gold-plated iPad 3 models at the hotel site or the manufacturer (Gold & Co)’ site. I guess that puts them firmly in the ‘If you have to ask…’ category.
I nearly always find myself saying this when I see these sort of ridiculous gold or jewel adorned iPads and iPhones, but I honestly find them extremely ugly.
Anyway, look out for these next time you’re spending a weekend at the Burj Al Arab – and when you do, let us know in the comments if the towels are gold too.
Everybody loves a super slim iPad keyboard case right? Well, maybe not everyone – but iPad keyboard cases styled to look thoroughly ‘Apple-like’ or to make the iPad look a little but like a MacBook Air have certainly proved popular.
Here’s one from a surprising source that looks very promising. It’s the ARCHOS Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad. ARCHOS are well-known and have a good reputation for making portable multimedia players – this new iPad accessory is the product of a new division in the company that’s focused on ‘sharing ARCHOS innovations with other brands’.
There’s a lot to like about the specs for this product – starting with its claim to be the thinnest of the thin when it comes to ultrathin keyboard cases of this kind. It’s just 5mm thick and weighs only 0.5 pounds – both are well under the specs of the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for the iPad. The rest of its key features sound quite good too:
- Adjustable kickstand – Allows one to adjust their iPad for the best viewing experience possible
- Magnetic bonding to the iPad – The keyboard is magnetically held to your iPad
- Automatic screen switch on/off Function – The iPad will turn on or off when the keyboard is removed or placed in the cover position
- Long battery life – Enjoy with your iPad for months thanks to a long battery life via a Bluetooth connection
- Aluminum Back casing – Stylish aluminum back casing to match your iPad
- Full QWERTY keyboard – Type easily with a full keyboard and work quickly with iOS shortcuts
Oh, and it’s going to be priced at $79 – which is well below any iPad keyboard cover of this type that I’ve seen.
It’s due out in March and I’m definitely looking to get hold of a review unit.
You can see more detail on the new ARCHOS Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad at its product page on the ARCHOS site.
Apple’s latest TV ad for the new iPad started airing last night. This one is titled ‘Do It All’ and it showcases a handful of great uses for the iPad.
These range from sending a note and making a point (in a Keynote presentation) to making a masterpiece (in a painting app) or learning something. As ever with the iPad TV ads it does a great job of showing off iPad apps and the wide range of things you can do on an iPad.
The ending line is a good one too:
do it all more beautifully than ever with the stunning Retina display.
What do you all think of this latest iPad TV ad?
It’s nowhere near as glamorous as a retina display or AirPlay Mirroring, but incredible battery life is still one of the iPad’s great features.
I’ve had a perfect reminder of that over the last week or so. I bought a new iPad 3 as a dedicated testing device 8 days ago. I have not charged at all since buying it and beginning to use it last Monday (May 21). It’s sitting on my desk now at 24% charge.
Admittedly it has had some days of little or no use; but it has also had a few days of relatively heavy use. On the day I bought it, I used it for somewhere around 8 hours on and off while getting it setup as I wanted it, installing some apps and generally breaking it in. Last Friday I jailbroke it with the new Absinthe 2.0 jailbreak and it got many hours of use through the day and night testing the superb new Quasar jailbreak app that allows some real multitasking on the iPad. In fact that evening I did a lot of testing of running multiple windowed apps – watching video on Hulu Plus, playing a football manager game, and running Twitter, Reeder, Flipboard and others nearly all the time.
My everyday iPad 3 also gets great battery life – but this new one has just highlighted it nicely for me – with its impressive eight day initial run.
So let’s step back and look at the bigger picture here. Today Apple unveiled the 3rd generation iPad. This brought lots of things that we were expecting. We wished for and got a Retina display, ultrafast speed via 4G LTE, a better camera (5 megapixels) and a faster chip (A5X). We also got a few things that were not really expecting, like an iLife refresh featuring iPhoto for iOS, HD video recording and Dictation (note: no Siri).
What we did not get was a name. Despite two divergent theories heading into the announcement today, it was neither hailed as the iPad 3 nor the iPad HD. It’s simply called the new iPad. Not even “n” capitalized. Continue reading
Apple is, as expected, unveiling the new iPad as I type. They still haven’t told us its name, but we do know the big new features of it. These include:
— Retina Display at 2048X1536
— New processor with ‘quad-core graphics’.
— 4G LTE support! And they claim battery life remains just as good as it has been.
— HD video recording in 1080p.
— Improved iSight back camera.
— Voice dictation.
— Prices stay at the same levels as with the original iPad and iPad 2.
We’ll have lots more coverage and thoughts as the day goes on – maybe we’ll even know the name soon.
Not much longer to wait now, for the next-gen iPad announcement at least. Then we might well be into waiting on the release and being able to pre-order but lets not worry about that just yet.
If you’re looking to follow along live with Apple’s iPad 3 / iPad HD event starting in a little over an hour (at 1:00 Eastern) there are a number of good sites that always offer excellent liveblog coverage. Fortune Tech has got a good list of a number of these here.
My favorite for these events is gdgt with Ryan Block generally providing excellent, instant analysis. This is their liveblog page for today. And here are a few others I’ll be following on my iPad and MacBook Pro:
It looks like Apple will not be livestreaming the event today. There will be some live streams on Ustream, but in the past I’ve found those are often poor quality and that they drop in and out frequently. Your mileage may vary.
Oh, and of course I’ll be sharing some thoughts and reactions here throughout today.
It looks like the next-gen iPad Apple announces today, the iPad 3 or iPad HD or whatever they name it, may well have support for LTE data networks. If so, this will offer a huge speed boost, and depending on the pricing for data plans this would become a very attractive option for those who want always-on connectivity for their iPad.
Latest reports and rumors say the new iPad will get LTE support and that there will be models for both AT&T and Verizon here in the US. If you’re trying to weigh up which carrier would be better to go with if LTE is confirmed, I’d suggest taking a look at this good article by Steven Sande at TUAW. The piece looks at a number of ways to compare the two carrier’s LTE networks, from local and national coverage to network speeds.
My main concern in this area is local coverage here in Austin. I looked at the coverage maps for AT&T and Verizon and AT&T looks very solid –as you can see in the screencap above. I found their maps much easier to work with than Verizon’s too. I’ve been with AT&T on both iPhone and iPad for years, so I’ll very likely be sticking with them for whichever data plans are available for the iPad 3 / HD.
Here are the AT&T and Verizon coverage map pages.
If LTE is confirmed, will you be looking to get an LTE model?