Apple released the third iteration of the iPad during March. (See the entire Apple press below.) In in less than two weeks, over 3 million of the new units were sold. Quite a feat for a device which is essentially created the "pad" category only two years old ago. I've seen the "new iPad", haven't gotten one yet. I'm still using the iPad 2, but my wife will be inheriting it soon. More on why I'm making the change in a moment.
I was an early adopter of the iPad having gotten it for use in aviation. Being a private pilot meant carrying several pounds of charts and airport approach diagrams in the plane, not to mention managing the charts and keeping track of the books. Clutter in the cockpit was very common. The iPad changed all that. Now all the charts, approach plates, the entire federal air regulations, the airman's information manual, several weather reference manuals, and other assorted aviation documents are all contained in just ONE app. And the cost for all that information PLUS the iPad is less than one year's subscription to the paper documents. Many airlines have adopted iPads for exactly the same use. The reduction in weight will save them several thousand gallons of fuel each year. And that's in just one industry.
As I've written previously, the iPad has become my go-to device for the consumption of content. It's great for reading emails, online newspapers, social media sites, and tons of other content. There are dozens of apps, particularly for aggregating information. Longform has become one of my favorite apps for selecting and reading longer magazine articles. With it, you can select the magazines you which to review, then pick the individual articles to be read right then or saved for later. A few times each week (but still not enough), I can be found at the gym riding a stationary bike reading selected articles from a dozen different magazines on my iPad, all from one app. I still don't write much on the iPad itself, just to answer emails, etc. You certainly can and real keyboards are readily available for it. Personally, I've chosen to continue using regular PC computers and laptops for writing.
So why am I going to get a new iPad? I had thought that I'd skip this generation. That was until I saw the screen. The retina display is quite amazing. It's bright and the color saturation is to put it simply incredible.
Before Computing Center was born in 1978, I had spent about ten years as a photo-journalist and writer working for various newspapers and other publications while a student at Cornell and afterwards. As the digital photography revolution occurred over the past ten years, I've been getting back into photography. I've been slowly moving all my photography to digital and have been looking for just the right software to manage and edit photos. When the first iPad came out, I tried using it to manage and edit phtographs with just fair results. The apps were just OK and the iPad screen didn't render the images the way I wanted to view them.
As I said, the new iPad screen with the Retina Display changes the way you look at images. You can't see individual pixels and images just jump off of the screen. It's hard to explain and the technical description doesn't really describe the experience. The moment I saw the screen, I had to have one!
The other piece of this puzzle is the ability to edit digital images in a whole new way. After years of cropping and manipulating photos in a darkroom, I was used to working with light and images in a certain fashion. Digitally working with photos has been OK, but different. I've never been 100% comfortable with the various photo editing apps for any machine. Along with the new iPad release came a new version of iPhoto. iPhoto works with the iPad 2 and the new iPad (not enough processing power in the original iPad - for now). It allows photos to be edited in much the same way as we used to work in a darkroom. To lighten or darken a portion of an image, simply select what you want to do and touch the area of the image you wish to change. It's like your finger has become this magic wand. Everything is amazingly intuitive. Other apps (including Apple's) just don't work quite in the same way. By the way, iPhoto for the iPad is $4.99. If you are into photography at all, I highly recommend this app.
Lastly, I want to mention using the iPad for business. A number of Computing Center clients are using iPads to access business informations from their desktops, servers, and from the Cloud. All of the major software manufacturers have app versions of one sort or another. Citrix, VMWare, and others make secure, encrypted remote access systems and apps to allow running many software applications from the iPad without any changes to the native application. We've been setting up demonstrations using iPads for our clients to help evaluate whether it's a fit within a particular business. And yes, we can work with virtually any "pad" or smartphone device...not just Apple's. Call or email us if your questions or requests.
Apple's News Release 3/7/2012 - Used with permission
New iPad Features Retina Display, A5X Chip, 5 Megapixel iSight Camera & Ultrafast 4G LTE
SAN FRANCISCO - March 7, 2012 - Apple today introduced the new iPad, the third generation of its category defining mobile device, featuring a stunning new Retina display, Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight camera with advanced optics for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD video. iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G connects to fast networks worldwide, including AT&T’s and Verizon’s 4G LTE networks, and still delivers the same all-day 10 hour battery life* while remaining amazingly thin and light. Beginning today, iPad 2 will be offered at an even more affordable price starting at just $399.
"The new iPad redefines the category Apple created less than two years ago, delivering the most amazing experience people have ever had with technology," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "The new iPad now has the highest resolution display ever seen on a mobile device with 3.1 million pixels, delivering razor sharp text and unbelievable detail in photos and videos."
The new iPad’s Retina display delivers four times the number of pixels of iPad 2, so dense that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels when held at a normal distance, making web pages, text, images and video look incredibly sharp and realistic. The 3.1 million pixels in the Retina display are more than one million more pixels than an HD TV, and with 44 percent increased color saturation the new iPad displays colors that are unbelievably richer, deeper and more vivid. Movies are now capable of playing at full 1080p HD-resolution, delivering an incomparable viewing experience on a mobile device.
The powerful new A5X chip with quad-core graphics was specifically designed by Apple to deliver a fast, responsive user experience while supporting the incredible Retina display. With double the graphics performance of the A5 chip, the A5X provides a superb balance between performance and power efficiency so users can enjoy all the benefits of the stunning new display while experiencing a smooth Multi-Touch™ interface, immersive gameplay, incredible visual depth and all-day battery life that iPad is known for delivering.
The 5 megapixel iSight camera features advanced optics for taking stunning pictures and recording full HD video. Backside illumination allows you to take great photos in low-light conditions and a new video image stabilization feature removes the bumps and shakes typically seen when filming with a hand-held device. Images can be enjoyed on the large Retina display, then edited, enhanced and easily shared with friends and family using the built-in Photos app on iPad.
iPad Wi-Fi + 4G with built-in next generation 4G LTE has the most comprehensive support for fast networks worldwide including HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA, and now both CDMA and GSM iPad users have the ability to easily roam internationally. The world-ready iPad delivers blazing download and upload speeds so web pages load incredibly quickly and email with large attachments can be sent and received easily. Personal Hotspot can be used to share the fast network connection on your iPad with up to 5 other devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB**.
With iOS 5.1, the latest update to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, the new iPad has a number of new features and enhancements including: a redesigned Camera app with video stabilization technology; the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream; support for dictation in English, French, German and Japanese; and Personal Hotspot. iOS 5.1 also works seamlessly with iCloud, a breakthrough set of free cloud services including iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, that works seamlessly with your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content and push it to your devices. When content changes on one of your devices, your other devices are updated automatically.
The new iPad also supports dictation, another amazing way to get things done just using your voice. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard, then say what you want to say and the new iPad listens. Tap done, and iPad converts your words into text. You can use dictation to write messages, take notes, search the web and more. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so you can update your Facebook status, tweet, or write Instagram captions.
Apple also introduced the iPhoto app, along with major updates to iMovie and GarageBand, completing its suite of iLife apps for iOS. iLife and the iWork apps, Pages®, Keynote and Numbers, have all been updated to take advantage of the new iPad Retina display. iPhoto includes breakthrough Multi-Touch features so you can use simple gestures to sort through hundreds of photos and find your best shots, enhance and retouch your images using fingertip brushes and share stunning photo journals with iCloud. iMovie now gives you the ability to create amazing Hollywood-style trailers as you record HD video, and GarageBand introduces Jam Session, an innovative and fun new feature that allows a group of friends to wirelessly connect to play instruments and record music together live on their iOS devices.
iPad runs almost all of the over 585,000 apps available on the App Store, including more than 200,000 native iPad apps, from a wide range of categories, including books, games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. The iTunes Store puts the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store at your fingertips with a catalog of over 20 million songs, over 90,000 TV episodes and over 15,000 movies. The new iBooks 2 app for iPad lets users experience an entirely new kind of ebook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive. iBooks created with Apple’s new iBooks Author offer gorgeous, fullscreen ebooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, unrivaled navigation and much more.
Pricing & Availability
The new iPad Wi-Fi models will be available in black or white on Friday, March 16 for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model and $699 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad Wi-Fi + 4G for either AT&T or Verizon will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad will be sold in the US through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores, and select Apple Authorized Resellers. iPad will also be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and the US Virgin Islands on Friday, March 16. Customers can begin pre-ordering their new iPad today, and the incredible iPad 2 is now offered at a more affordable price of $399 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and just $529 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model.
iOS 5.1 and iTunes 10.6 are available today as free software updates. iPhoto, iMovie 1.3 and GarageBand 1.2 are available today for $4.99 (US) each from the App Store (www.itunes.com/appstore). Keynote 1.6, Pages 1.6 and Numbers 1.6 are available today for $9.99 (US) each from the App Store. Updates are available for free to existing customers. By the end of March iPad will be available in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.