iPad 3rd-gen first impressions
Amazing. Seriously amazing. I really love the Retina Display on the iPhone 4/4S, but this feels like a step forward even from that. Not because it's a better display (which it may well be), but because the much larger scale of the screen makes it feel transformative to the experience of looking at a Retina Display and using an iPad.
The brightness, color, and richness were all great. I'm reasonably sure they brought the display closer to the glass like they did with the iPhone 4/4S Retina Display, but I'm not willing to commit that to the record. The resolution is what brings it home though. Let me put it this way: when I pulled up a nice, high resolution photograph on the iPad 3rd-gen, I genuinely could not tell the difference between what I was seeing onscreen, and a nice, beautifully shot, well-printed, glossy photograph. It was seriously to that level.
It's the best display I've ever seen. Anywhere, period. And it makes a meaningful difference to the experience -- it's not just a spec.
So, is it really heavier? And thicker?
Yes, and yes, it's a little thicker and a little heavier than the iPad 2, and if you used that iPad, it's probably something you'll notice right away. The good news is the iPad 3rd-gen is not so much thicker or so much heavier that you'll really care; my guess is that by day two you won't notice the difference anymore. It's definitely not what I'd call a step back.
How's the camera?
Hard to say for sure because it was a pretty closed environment to test, but it looked great -- as good or better than the 4S camera, from what I could tell. You shouldn't really be shooting photos from your iPad because you look like a huge dork, but if you need to, this rear camera is finally worthy of the iPad.
Should I upgrade?
Man, that's such a personal question. If you have an original iPad, I say sure, why not. If you have an iPad 2 and really love it, then you probably already pre-ordered before I even posted this. If you're still on the fence, I really like Blam's (from The Wirecutter - thewirecutter.com/2012/03/new-ipad/) advice: "if you use your iPad 2 fewer than 10 hours a week, don't upgrade." Seems reasonable. I am personally well above the 10 hours per week mark on my iPad.
Which version should I get?
Unless you're pretty wild with the amount of media you bring with you at any given time, I tend to recommend people get the 16GB version. I'd definitely suggest getting it with 4G, though -- that's something that, when you need it, you simply cannot do without. I'd buy Verizon, but you probably already have an idea of whose coverage is better in your area.
Any other questions I can answer? Post 'em below and I'll update!
at the bottom
iOS devices without a cellular connection only use Wi-Fi for Location Services (if a Wi-Fi network is available).
GPS is available on iPhone and iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models.
(date on the article is pre-LTE ipad, so add LTE to that last bullet)
Just take your iPad to your local Apple store and tell them you want to donate it to TFA.
My daughter is with TFA in San Francisco, and the impact she and her 9000 associates are having in transforming American education is stunning. Her first grade class of children of Latin American families come speaking only Spanish, and leave reading and writing at or above the levels of peers from English-speaking families.
All over America, political forces are at war with teachers and education, and combined with the impact of the economy, those forces are having a devastating impact on the very schools where TFA places its young, idealist teachers. Show them you support and appreciate their work - give them your iPad! It's even tax deductable as a charitable contribution!
Thanks! Mel Snyder
1) Unlike my phone, I only ever use my iPad in places that already have Wi-Fi. Home, work, Starbucks & other coffee shops, friend's houses, etc. I pull out my phone all the time on the bus, but I'm not about to pull out my iPad there (to easy for someone else to grab, or just bump into when it's crowded).
2) My iPhone has 32 GB, and it's nice to have the same capacity on my iPad so I can keep the same music playlists, videos, photos, etc. synchronized across them.
With the 2012 iPad it's actually going to be even more important to have a higher capacity to hold higher def videos and photos, and larger app like games that have higher resolution graphics.
BTW, I'm advocating use of the term "2012 iPad" rather than "iPad 3rd gen" or "3rd gen iPad" or something like that to distinguish it. This matches the way different generations of Macs are discussed, now.
Anyway, iPod (and Apple TV) updates haven't synched up very well to a yearly cycle, but so far iPads and iPhones definitely have. And how old is a 2nd gen iPod touch? Few people wouldn't have to look that up. How old is a 2010 iPad (aka original iPad, aka iPad 1st generation)? Two years. How many generations back is it? Two. Simple.
1. If I didn't get 3G I'd regret it later. Has a SIM in it for a month then just use tethering to the iPhone now.
2. 64G because, well, you can never have too much storage. Mostly mine is full of PDFs, books, manuals, etc.
3. Playlists not an issue - I mean, I have some podcast Videos on it (@Veronica's for example) for the daily commute, but the iPhone always has the audio stuffs.
BTW, I bought the iPad 1 based on what Apple and Apple Dealers told me - iPad2 launched 2 weeks later and they wouldn't take it back (only 14 days in Australia vs 30 in the US).
Will I upgrade ? I'm seriously thinking of going Android for phone AND tablet now - all because of Apple's "walled garden" approach. Yes, I can understand they want to "protect the customer experience", but some of us don't WANT protecting !
As for tablets, the only Android tablets I've seen that aren't horrible are the ones that are as far from the stock Android interface you can get, the Kindle Fire and the nook. There is a paucity of tablet friendly Apps for Android, so what you end up with most of the time is automatically resized phone apps that don't exactlly play well (in part due to screen size fragmentation).
Finally, malware. Not an issue on iOS, definitely an issue on Android, even on the Google Marketplace (or Play or whatever they call it now?). Sure if you stick to the well known apps you'll probably be safe, but then you might as well have gone with iOS, they are available there and generally in much better shape. iOS users tend to pay for more apps, while piracy is a big problem still on Android so devs spend more time there and you get higher quality apps because of it.
Basically unless there is a specific functionality on an Android device that you MUST have, like a type of App Apple won't ever install (maybe you REALLY like game emulators for old school gaming?) I can't recommend Android at all, you are much better off going with iOS or acutally, Windows Phone which has its own unique features and approach.
Of course in the end its your money, so you know do with it what you want.
It was announced at Google I/O last year that they have agreements from both carriers and manufacturers alike to provide upgrades to the latest versions of Android for 18 months after the devices are launched. Carriers are strongly encouraged to not create their own custom UIs as they will now have to maintain them and ensure that they are compatible with new versions of Android.
Also, they have followed through on establishing guidelines for developers to ensure that their apps fit into Android well, and will be easy to maintain as Android evolves. While there is still no review process to enforce this, it is in the developers interest to follow these to gain a wider audience as well as make it easier to keep their apps running on future versions. Check it out: developer.android.com/design/index.html
Yes, it's taking a bit longer to get existing devices up to Ice Cream Sandwich (my Wifi Xoom and Galaxy Tab 10.1 are still on Honeycomb), but still they are taking steps in the right direction. As a heavy user of both an iPhone and the Nexus lines of phones, I can definitely say that Google is doing a lot more work and has come a long way to being more of a mainstream device, while iOS feels stagnant (or mature, if you prefer).
For those that don't want to, that's fine - I have no problem with that. They can stay inside the "walled garden" and have the illusion of security if that's what it takes to make them happy.
Which means: it's up the the carriers and the hardware manufacturer to decide if your device can or cannot backup to the cloud.
here's more from the API description: Data backup is not guaranteed to be available on all Android-powered devices.
Because the cloud storage and transport service can differ from device to device, Android makes no guarantees about the security of your data while using backup
And you want your carrier or hardware manufacturer to dictate when and if you'll get an os upgrade?
iOS 5 captured approximately 75% of all iOS users in the same amount of time it took Gingerbread to get 4% of all Android users. Even more astounding is that 15 weeks after launch iOS 4 was at 70% and iOS 5 was at 60% while Ice Cream Sandwich got to just 1% share at the same age.
I'd be livid if a 2 year old phone couldn't run ICS because the carrier needs the space for bloat ware. iOS 5 runs on iPhones released in 2009.
I make the choice about what gets installed (rather than some app developer deciding to hide something in there, or Google adding some sort of personal info tracking doo-dah. Anyway if you really want to you can jailbreak your iPad though why you'd want to is beyond me).
I subsequently take no risks.
Two out of three ain't bad, and I don't much like the third ;)
Anyway, it's easier to get yourself a 3G/4G data connection with a Mifi or tethering to a phone than is it so crack open an iPad and solder in more Flash RAM. :)
Yeah, there are WiFi hard drives, but that's not a seamless expansion of storage. A Mifi or tethered phone *IS* seamless data access, though. You'll even get location info passed along from their GPS chips.
AND, at least in the U.S., a Mifi is a lot cheaper than the added $129 premium for data hardware in an iPad.
Note: I'm NOT arguing against getting an iPad with 3G/4G, I'm just saying that if I had to pick only one enhancement over the stock 16 GB model I'd go with 32 GB of storage first.
My budget means a balance between capacity and connectivity and although I'm still umming and ahhing I'm going to go 64/Wifi.
I've never found myself wishing my iPad or iPhone were under the "open" control of Google and the advertisers and carriers it makes its money from.
But if you want to actually do anything on the tablet that requires custom software, you are literally doomed if you get an Android pad. That market is going nowhere fast, and it will get there even faster with this new 2012 iPad. I would not put money on the Android tablet market never going anywhere at all, and ceasing to exist in the mainstream in the next few years.
I'm pretty sure this device is set to slow down the sales of Macbook Air and many other entry level PC's. The image quality of the 5MP camera is excellent, quad core and the display make it a device not only for the consumer but for other proffessional's like automobile engineers, artists and maybe even newbie photographers.
I'd definitely want to buy a Wi-Fi only 32GB, considering there's no 4G in India. But, I already have the iPad 2 and would rather wait for the next iPhone because I'm prettty sure it is gonna follow the footsteps of the 2012 iPad.
As for recouping investment - why should you believe that's possible today? Technology turns over too quickly to do that. I laugh each time I see a Craig's List posting for a 4 year old camera or laptop, priced at a 10% discount off the purchase price...e,g. "This camera cost me $1000 four years ago, but you can buy it now for just $900!"
When the time comes to upgrade to a new iPad, contribute it to Teach for America, and claim what you think is a fair price as a charitable contribution on your income tax. Teach for America is transforming our education system, and its young, tech-savvy teachers will put it to great use!