There are so many millions of iPad users that no simple explanation can cover all use cases. But my take, since last year, has been that the full-size iPad is best seen as an alternative to a laptop, and the iPad Mini as a supplement to a laptop.
It’s very hard to describe how good the iPad Air feels in your hand without actually picking one up. It’s kind of like the first time you saw a Retina display for the first time—shock.
The other thing you will quickly notice is that while the screen size of the iPad Air is the same as the previous generation, the Air is actually a smaller device. The height is the same, but the width is considerably narrower.
Apple made the distance between the edge of the screen and edge of the iPad smaller on both sides, accounting for the smaller size. The iPad Air now resembles the iPad mini in that respect.
This smaller size is great. If you have decent sized hands you can type with two thumbs on the iPad in portrait, something I wasn’t really able to do with the last generation iPad without a lot of stretching. Clearly a full-size iPad is not something you will be thumb typing with all the time1, but it does give you an idea of how much smaller the iPad Air is.
The iPad Air also comes with Apple’s A7 chip, the fastest chip the company has manufactured to date. Power has never been something I worried about on an iPad and I certainly won’t be worried with this new version.
The A7 is a 64-bit chip that is packed with power. There aren’t any apps or any situation that I have tried or can think of that would slow down this iPad. In fact, the A7 chip has twice the processing power and graphics performance as the A6X chip found in the iPad 4. That’s an astounding amount of power increase for a single generation.
The Air is also equipped with the M7 chip, a new coprocessor first introduced on the iPhone 5s. The M7 takes data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass and can deliver that information to apps without accessing the A7. This ultimately means power savings for the user because the more power hungry A7 doesn’t have to work at gathering that information.
Speaking of power—let’s talk about the battery. I don’t use my iPad all day, every day, but I do use it on occasion throughout the day. For instance, if I have an appointment, I’ll take the iPad with me and do some writing. I did that today.
I sat for a few hours today, utilizing LTE for Internet, and writing in Byword. I was doing simple things really—nothing that was taxing for such a powerful device, but still important work for me.
Not a good move on CNET’s part.. Really hate when companies do stuff like this…
An email went out to Buffer customers at about 4pm ET today informing customers that Buffer, the popular social media scheduling service, was hacked:
I wanted to get in touch to apologize for the awful experience we’ve caused many of you on your weekend. Buffer was hacked around 1 hour ago, and many of you may have experienced spam posts sent from you via Buffer. I can only understand how angry and disappointed you must be right now.
Not everyone who has signed up for Buffer has been affected, but you may want to check on your accounts. We’re working hard to fix this problem right now and we’re expecting to have everything back to normal shortly.
The iPad 2 was released in March 11, 2011 for $499. Apple reduced its price to $399 in March 2012, and they announced this week that it will continue to be available at that price, probably until at least late 2014.
Steve Jobs proudly presented the iPad 2 to the world, in his second-to-last keynote, proclaiming that it had a whopping 65,000 apps. It was the first iPad to offer Verizon 3G, cameras, Smart Covers, and GarageBand, and it shipped with iOS 4.3: not only did this predate iCloud, but it predated Siri, which debuted seven months later on the cutting-edge iPhone 4S.
BlackBerry was still a month away from releasing the PlayBook, HP was preparing to launch the TouchPad shortly after that, and the Kindle Fire was still six months out. Google was busy finishing the first version of Google+. President Obama hadn’t yet been re-elected, Osama Bin Laden was still alive, and most of the Arab Spring hadn’t happened yet.
It was a while ago.
I wasn’t entirely surprised about keeping the iPad 2 around again this year, I was surprised about keeping the iPad Mini first gen around, but I actually liked that model, as do many other people so it’s not a huge surprise.
Keeping a lower priced unit around makes sense, and it also works for the upsell… You have the two units side by side, the iPad 2 next to the iPad Air, and people can try them both out and see the difference…
I’ve seen several people decide on the newer unit after trying them both out with the same apps, and now with the new form factor of the iPad Air, placing them side by side will make it stand out even more.
Hundreds of fake reviews of BBM.
BlackBerry’s BBM app was downloaded 10 million times within 24 hours, but at least on Android, some of its many positive reviews seem to come from a less than savory source. Writer Matt Baxter-Reynolds noted yesterday that a huge number of reviews contained the exact same praise for BBM:
Thank you so much blackberry team. I was waiting this app. Its really great user friendly and smooth Blogger Terence Eden looked through more reviews and found more evidence that somebody was astroturfing the Play Store. In addition to the sheer numbers he found, at least one person seemed to have accidentally copied and pasted more of the text than intended: “Dear Mr Ahmed, please post the following comment on the new BlackBerry Messenger APP…” Fake reviews are a frequent issue across many sites, and a September crackdown resulted in fines for 19 companies. More recently, Samsung was fined for hiring commenters to talk up its own products online and leave negative comments about those of its competitors (allegedly HTC.)
Could this have been Blackberry themselves or someone looking to harm Blackberry?
Generally.. most times people post fake reviews.. They get caught.. So this could be a good way to give Blackberry a black eye by pretending to be fake reviews by Blackberry…
Over the course of the past decade, we’ve seen many changes to OS X – some iterative, some significant. OS X’s newest incarnation, “Mavericks” or version 10.9, is a bit of both. It doesn’t significantly rework the user interface like Apple did with iOS 7, though there are some nice tweaks. Apple did make a number of changes under the hood to improve performance and efficiency, however, especially for mobile users.
Richard Burton gives a brief history of Mavericks, the place:
Millions of people are about to update their operating system to OS X Mavericks and will have a photo of a wave as their background. I thought it might be interesting to share the story of the man who pioneered this wave. His name is Jeff Clark
(Via Shawn Blanc)
John Gruber talking about Microsoft’s Frank Shaw:
Microsoft’s Frank X. Shaw:
The Surface and Surface 2 are less expensive than the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively, and yet offer more storage, both onboard and in the cloud.
… come with full versions of Office 2013, including Outlook, not non-standard, non-cross-platform, imitation apps that can’t share docs with the rest of the world.
I don’t want to argue about Shaw’s whole piece; overall, he makes a clear argument for Microsoft’s vision of tablet computing. But that second bullet point quoted above is a doozy. There’s nothing “standard” about Microsoft Office, and there’s nothing “imitation” about the iWork apps. Microsoft Office certainly remains the most-used office software in the world, but its ubiquity makes it no more a standard than Windows itself. But most interesting to me is the accusation that iWork is not “cross-platform” — what then, is the iWork for iCloud web app version of the suite?
Betting against the iPad as a device on which people can work, for any meaning of “work”, is a bad bet in the long run. Shaw though, is doubling down on just that bet.
Dave Mark, over at the Loop Insight also commented on Shaw’s article today:
And so it’s not surprising that we see other folks now talking about how much “work” you can get done on their devices. Adding watered down productivity apps. Bolting on aftermarket input devices. All in an effort to convince people that their entertainment devices are really work machines.
In that spirit, Apple announced yesterday that they were dropping their fees on their “iWork” suite of apps. Now, since iWork has never gotten much traction, and was already priced like an afterthought, it’s hardly that surprising or significant a move. And it doesn’t change the fact that it’s much harder to get work done on a device that lacks precision input and a desktop for true side-by-side multitasking.
Really Frank? How many tablets in the world have Word on them? How many have Pages? I would wager that any iPad productivity app will have more “traction” than any comparable Surface app.
And I use my iPad every single day, all without a single bolted on aftermarket input device, just the ones I was born with.
As to precision, I would love to see a side by side comparison of the iPad and Surface touch precision. I can’t imagine the Surface even coming close. Yeesh.
I have used both the iPad and the Surface… I use my iPad every day, I am writing on my iPad right this minute.
The Surface, I found you had to use the keyboard or a mouse when you entered desktop mode, Precision went out the window..
With the iPad, I do use a keyboard, but I don’t have to.. In fact, I really only use a keyboard when I want to do some heavy writing. I actually wrote the majority of the Twilio Cookbook on my iPad, and I’ve been using my iPad to work on the new book as well.
Jim Dalrymple said it best:
Shaw would do better by getting Microsoft to make a product that people actually want to buy.
As for spreadsheets and presentation software, the only competition I’m aware of is Excel and PowerPoint from the MS Office suite. I’ve never used PowerPoint and haven’t used Excel in almost 20 years, but David Sparks says their AppleScript support was better than iWork’s even before the purge. Now Apple is essentially pushing its power users toward Microsoft. It’s a funny world.