... we've heard of it.
As expected, Apple refreshed its iPad lineup on Tuesday morning. Unexpectedly, it renamed its top-of-the-line 9.7-inch tablet to the iPad Air. Seeing as how the MacBook Air has been one of Apple's most successful products in recent years, it's perhaps no surprise that Cook & Co.'s marketing folks decided to borrow some of that …
"Rubbish. The announcement that Apple's desktop OS is from this point hence to be free was pretty big news."
Have I got a deal for you...
- From now on I'll sell you fries at twenty dollars a helping and give you free ketchup.
- Yo! No one else gives free ketchup. High-five me for that!
Faster, lighter, thinner, iOS 7, 64bit A7 what's there not to like and sets the bar that bit higher. Sure there will be plenty of Android people criticising but they would never have bought it anyway. For someone buying a new tablet or upgrading an older iPad it's a great option. Nice to see the older (and still perfectly good) iPads still being sold at lower prices.
Ah, you mean around 95% of the market. The overwhelming majority who don't sit there trying to score points using benchmarks and becoming sexually aroused by discussions around such main stream subjects as memory bandwidth or heat dissipation. :-)
That same segment most, if not all manufacturers are chasing.
It seems to me that being a geek in any way shape or form these days is a losing bet. In most cases a device will do all anyone needs but playing the geek game will always see something else made by someone else being in some minor respect "better".
Better, I think, to make your own decision and enjoy your purchase - life's too short to get lost in worthless stats for the sake of them today..
Those iPads 2 are bought by schools and/or companies. (mine being one of the them).
Yes those customers were worried of being forced into changing cases, charging devices and car setup if the iPad had been replaced by a similarly priced iPad4.
It's not about the specs, it's what you do with it and believe it or not many companies have far more use for those than they have for the latest Nexus (however "good" and however priced).
A potentially "killer" (overused word that) aspect to this new iPad, that surprisingly wasn't particularly discussed, is the much enhanced gaming potential it holds. The 64bit processor and beefed up graphics are, with this generation, now close to matching (if not exceeding an xBox 360) console level of graphics. Pretty good for a non-dedicated mobile gaming device. I expect some premium franchise games will now get ported (or new iPad specific versions produced). latest Modern Warfare, Grand Theft Auto etc.
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Sure, casual games on the iPad will get better. They will still only be casual games, however.
Tablets will always be a casual games ghetto, simply because the form factor will never allow for a GPU that comes anywhere near the performance of larger, mains powered dedicated games consoles.
Every increase in tablet GPU performance will be exceeded by a greater increase in contemporaneous console and gaming PC performance.
Yes, the casual games will get better. There will be no comparison however with the experience that will come from, say, using the Oculus Rift with dual 4K screens running at the required minimum 60fps on a high end gaming PC (http://gamerant.com/oculus-rift-4k-resolution/).
iPad is already more powerful than a gaming rig from a few years ago, so I'm not sure what your point is. A console is always far less powerful than a gaming rig but consoles are where the majority of non-casual games are played.
The issue with iPad is the UI, not the processing grunt.
Tablets will always be suited to casual games because the input system is so basic. Touch is great for popping bubbles but not much use for 3D games.
For console-like games, you need console-like input devices such as joystick, wiimote, kinect, etc.
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Hmmm. To each his own.
I have a PS3 and an unused Wii. I also had an Xbox gen 1.
My background is hardcore wargames, strategy and FPS or RPG. Much prefer turn-based over real-time in most strategy/wargames. Past games: early Civs, Steel Panthers, pretty much the entire Total War series, Barbarossa, Quake. Most of these were on PCs.
There are excellent games on consoles (I mostly like RPGs). But they do not really correspond much to what I like on PC games. Tablets have a better chance to evolve in that direction.
The problem as I see it is the limited way a console allows you control things quickly. You can run, turn and hit action keys very well.
You can't really aim quickly like you would with a mouse pointer, nor can you navigate complex menus to check/activate items, or group select units. Forget the complex commands you can have with keyboards. So there are whole categories of games which drop out of consoles, though there are other categories that are best on consoles.
Btw, a similar problem happens when people try to use a TV/console to surf the web. It sucks, because of the controls.
Civ on a tablet (iPad in this case, but it could be a Samsung) is much less dumbed-down than Civ on a PS3. Battle Academy is a fairly challenging turn-based wargame. Total War is stripped down, but not an easy game to beat.
The price of tablet games IS casual, sure. And there are plenty of stupid games on tablets (Unhappy Volatiles comes to mind). But tablets come closer to delivering a mouse/keyboard combo's fine-grained UI than a console's controller or a WII/Kinect. For the games I like, that's an edge.
Just because it ain't got fast graphics doesn't mean you can't code a clever game. Quite the contrary in fact - too many classic games are mangled when the focus is only on graphics.
"now close to matching (if not exceeding an xBox 360) console level of graphics"
You are aware you are comparing a brand spanking new iPad that goes for several times the price of an old and fading gaming console, aren't you? Comparing the two is a bit like comparing pears to papaya since the new Xbox One will be about the same price as an iPad Air but that's about where the real comparisons stop. Sure, they both have processors and run software but so does the ECU in my car which, to put it in context for whatever it's worth, is close to matching if not exceeding the processing power of the 80286 I had a couple decades ago. Sorry, to me both comparisons just sound silly.
Did you just compare the performance to an XBOX360? Well, not going to rip into the tech details there, not worth my time. I will reserve my conversation with people of my peers who actually design and work with HW and SW design.
Lets talk architecture. Yes, it's a 64bit processor. Hooray you say? Well, it's because all fanbois are sheep, and just knows terminology without actually understand the implications. Let me clarify this point, unless software were written to utilize the low level changes, and actually were optimized for it, the gain is zero (sorry, some existing apps might have a negative gain). This has been the issue on all platforms, as soon as they migrated from 8 to 16 to 32 - there were always new obstacles to overcome. For one, memory. I will not going into mem structures with fanbois, since most will not understand 99% of it, but it's best you read up and educated yourself. There is so much more apple is not telling people on this change, it's a joke.
And btw, enjoy your Samsung manufactured processor (yes fanbois, your enemy actually MAKE your beloved brain for your ithingy).
The 64bitness is far less important (as you point out) than the fact that it is a newer ARM revision, which amongst other things adds registers - the benefit of which you ought to fully understand.
Apple are not hiding anything nor claiming anything that the new architecture is not.
Get over yourself!
(That being said, xBox vs. iPad was a strange comparison)
Actually you, like many people on this subject, are talking horse manure.
What's that about fanboy's being sheep? Applies to tech half-heads who regurgitate what they think they know before checking out the actual capabilities of the thing they are commenting on.
Additionally your remark re-Samsung. They are a fab plant. They won't know the logic of Apple's customisation. Their contract will forbid them even reverse engineering it (which is now very difficult to do in any case). They can't use the processor if they want to. Samsung themselves use off the shelf arm processors and Apple employs more chip designers than Samsung. Apple are in fact one of the world's largest employers of chip designers.
Is there a hardcore of designers who obsess over every millimetre in the same way that some programmers obsess over every processor cycle? I think maybe some of us are finally learning what it feels like to be the one giving the glazed-over look following an optimisation boast rather than the one receiving it.
Oh dear, that's just too true.
On the other hand, without size optimisation if things were to go the same way that most Windows applications operate with regards to the optimisation of processor time, we'd be stuck with tablets that are about 2 metres thick.
Efficiency != Buy newer hardware
"I would not call significantly better battery life and memory compression just 'willy waving'"
If you're reduced to boasting about business as usual in the technology industry (yeah, battery got better, yeah, memory got better, yeah, CPU got better, etc.) it's better to keep your willy out of sight.
Or you could take the t*ss*r approach and stick a glowing Apple on it. Cool. Not.
"I would not call significantly better battery life and memory compression just 'willy waving' - but oh if Google / Samsung had done it - well guess in 6-12 months they probably will."
I believe it works in the same manner - compressing swappable items in RAM, etc.
That's been in the kernel as staging (experimental) since 188.8.131.52 - AKA Feb 2011. And wiki reports Chrome OS already uses it.
So hardly revolutionary. Interesting to see it be used by default, and hopefully it might save me having to close my 400 tabs in Firefox (lazy bugger, me) as it gobbles up 3+gb of wired RAM....
On the rest of it, was surprised at the free Mavericks update (which is now installed - I'll have to suppport it to a degree), and price changes on the MBA/Retina MBP range...
Overally a more interesting announcement than I was expecting. Still a bit 'meh' about the Mac 'Pro' though. It can edit 4k in realtime - woo. In a year, most real workstations using addin cards (RED Rocket etc) that can gobble up the full PCI-E 3.0 x16 bandwidth will be doing 4k editing in multiples (or is it fractions? You know what I mean) of realtime...which you just can't do with Thunderbolt 2 to the best of my knowledge - not enough bandwidth, period.
I'll definitely have a play with one if I get the chance though - shiny stuff is shiny stuff, regardless, and I like shiny stuff.
"So far from being the champions of usability and making software useful Apple seem to have turned in an engineering willy waving company trying to amaze people with rather pointless stats."
With Jobs gone then this was inevitable. Jobs understood that the vast majority of people are not obsessed with engineering checklists and that is why, under the Jobs regime, (almost) every time apple released a product two things happened:
* A brief flare of nerdrage erupted on the Interwebs because the new device did not support <geeky things>
* The other 99% of the population didn't care and thought that this new shiny thing was a must have because it was easy to use, partly because it wasn't over burdened with <geeky things> they didn't care about.
Now that Jobs is gone they have Tim Cook, and let's just say that Tim Cook may be a fine administrator but I don't see him standing up to say NO! to a phalanx of beardies who are suggesting that adding more <geeky things> would be a good idea because, uh, Samsung are doing it.
That might be very GOOD for Apple. Because the missing <geeky things> currently make the iDevices markedly inferior. While geeks tend to be a small proportion of the population, they punch above their weight in buying power.
Incidentally, I'd rather see a thicker device form factor, with a MUCH longer lasting battery. Can you imagine how long a modern mobile phone with a battery making it the size of a late 90s one would last?
Weird, while I am only an amateur photographer, I find I taking photos with a real viewfinder much better than with an LCD, the exception being when I am using the LCD to allow me to take a photo from a point I cannot get my head to...
Sure the big screens would be great to review the photos, or even as a remote viewfinder, but NOT as the main viewfinder physically attached to a camera...
Hmm Samsung do a remote viewfinder on their cameras I think!
"I'm a professional filmmaker and I would beg to differ, sir; I think iPads are great for taking photos and videos - we've spent all our lives peering at tiny little LCDs or through viewfinders when we make images; finally a nice big picture to look at. Really lovely IMHO, a big step forward."
Eat your heart out, Canon, Nikon, Leica, Sony... - you're designing it wrong.
and it also includes the battery-saving M7 motion processor that's in the top-of-the-line iPhone, offloading sensor-monitoring and processing duties from the A7
That would be the motion processor that's turned out a bit dodgy?
Oh, and graphs without numbers == meaningless. Those are practically the same curve, yet one is "8x faster" and one is "72x faster". Get lost.
Based on iPad3 & 4 benchmark results, I see no reason to disbelieve them. iPad2 smashes iPad1, iPad3/Retina smashes iPAd2, iPad4 smashes iPad3. The stats are on the web for all to see.
Whether all this power is of any use is a different question - the other manufacturers are increasing the grunt of their devices just as quickly.
Based on iPad3 & 4 benchmark results, I see no reason to disbelieve them. iPad2 smashes iPad1, iPad3/Retina smashes iPAd2, iPad4 smashes iPad3. The stats are on the web for all to see.
I'm not contesting that newer chips are quicker, that just makes sense, but if the numbers are real, then why use bullshit graphs to show them? Why not have a real graph, if you're not exaggerating things?
"That would be the motion processor that's turned out a bit dodgy?"
No, as I'm sure you know...! You're just trolling with this. It's not the copro (mopro?) in this case, it's a difference in calibration between one brand of sensor and another, and was resolved by 7.0.3 anyway.
I'm sure that won't stop the haters banging on about it for the next year though.
My god talk of little innovation and small progression, a thinner tablet with an incremental processor upgrade??
Most people bulk out the iPad with a protective case so their is little point in a thinner tablet. Especially since you have spent so much money on a thin tablet you are going to buy the obligatory bulky protective case since we can only assume it will be near impossible to fix should you let it drop.
A bit of an own oxymoron from Apple a thin, weak, expensive device that users will bulk out with a protective case to protect it.
One might, if one were to be a bit pedantic, suggest that moving from a 32-bit processor to a 64-bit processor is something that qualifies as a bit more than an "incremental" upgrade.
But far be it from me to be that pedant. Carry on!
"One might, if one were to be a bit pedantic, suggest that moving from a 32-bit processor to a 64-bit processor is something that qualifies as a bit more than an "incremental" upgrade."
I, however, will be pedantic and say that I think it is exactly an "incremental" upgrade... what other increment is there from 32-bit? 33-bit? 48-bit?
I can't make a comment on whether it will be more than incremental for performance, though.
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Re: A thinner tabler is that it, how robust, it will need a bulky case????
Hmm, while I do not recall a 33 bit architecture, we certainly have had 36 & 48 bit architectures in the past as well as varying number of (n)bit memory addressing systems where n>32, so yes, there are other values of the increment.
The big changes in the A7 chip are not the 64 "bitness" of it, and your claim to know something about this subject suggests you might do well to actually brush up on the subject before ranting away and making yourself look silly.
On second thoughts, rant on ...
Nah, not just Asians. I know one (very Anglo) Apple fan who insists on using his iPad to take pictures rather than his iPhone. I pointed out that not only did this look silly, but that the camera on the iPhone would yield better pictures. He tried to argue that the cameras were exactly the same, and I could not be bothered to direct him to the tech specs.
I think it has something to do with the bigger screen. People equate the immediate viewing experience of "iPad photo is bigger on that big screen, thus is better" (actual megapixels and f-stop ratings be damned).
Calling it the iPad Air is legitimate, given that it is thinner and lighter than its predecessors. I approve of the improvements in CPU and graphics performance, but I'm puzzled how they were achieved if it still uses the same processor. Perhaps that wasn't clear in the article, and they actually are using a different implementation of the same architecture.
Pity they didnt suffix it with an "S". and the $100 increase for every incremental iteration of memory (which actually cost pennies these days) is eye gouging.
Where are the panting fanboys having orgasmic gasps ? OR is it that Apple have shafted them so deep, that many are saying, enough is enough !
So whats new? 64 bits processor? Thats all? Does it wipe my bottom?
and, as with every other Apple release in the past five years, the haters will be shown to be wrong in their analysis and their opinions. Their bile will be on view forever here on the interwebs for all to see - lol.
The problem is that the haters simply can't get past their envy and hatred for the world's most successful company, a company which continues to provide an enormous number of punters with exactly what they want - apparently.
And for the logically challenged, this statement does not preclude that other manufacturers can and do provide what other punters want.
They simply cannot come to grips with the fact that their opinion has no merit and is worthless. Sadly we must read these broken non-insights in here on a daily basis.
Interestingly, I heard some idiot analysts on Bloomberg today, they sounded like the haters in here - clueless morons as well - I say this having had first hand experience with quite a few WSAs (aka. wankers)
The maps app is fine, better in many ways than its predecessor (features Google refused to offer on the iDevices). However, Apple aligned itself with one of the world's major suppliers of data to feed their own app, and the completeness & quality was not to the same level that Google provided previously.
These are two statements of fact, and the end user experience was not up to Apple's standards and worse in many ways than the app that Google had previously provided.
The fact that everyone (including you I guess) blamed the poor user experience on the App, merely indicates the lack of nuance and understanding that the anti-Apple (and pro-Google) brigade demonstrate on every available occasion.
The whole exercise was Google throwing its weight around, successfully.
Don't let the facts get in the way of your bias though, carry on.
"Re: Lol @ the hate.
haters... wrong in their opinions... bile... can't get past their envy and hatred... logically challenged... opinion has no merit and is worthless... broken non-insights... idiot analysts on Bloomberg... sounded like the haters... clueless morons.... wankers"
No hate there, then. Nice to have a balanced appraisal of those "haters".
Are you a "Genius" (Sales Assistant), by any chance?
What is this nonsense I see everywhere nowadays about "haters"? I might think something is poorly designed, unpleasant to use, inconvenient, even plain dumb. Or I might dislike something (such as crayfish, let's say). How does ANY of that make me a "hater"?
Looks like a rather simple-minded way of poisoning the well wholesale. "Anyone who disagrees with me is a HATER" (and that's obviously a bad thing to be).
"Typical; fAndroids and arm-chair experts criticising the best technology company in the world.
Now there's a surprise."
Yes. The thought they they are the best technology company in the world would, indeed, come as a surprise.
Most litigious? Least value? Highest on the iChav scale? Most undeservedly self-congratulatory and unwarrantedly boastful?
No surprises there.
I suggest you read up on who actually MANUFACTURE the processor in your ithings. Apple assemble, they hire foxcon to do their dirty work. They don't manufacture any processor themselves. How can you even class them the best tech company when they are merely assembling other peoples tech? Even more embarrassing, the "brain" is made by the people fanbois hate all the time. Don't believe me? One example of the 5s http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/09/20/samsung-confirmed-to-be-manufacturer-of-apples-new-a7-chip-in-iphone-5s
that the speaker point out the back of the damn things?
Seriously, who though this was a good idea, you have to turn it all the way up to hear it, and bother everyone in the room. I always end up coming up with a mess of a contraption using menues or placemats to bounce the sound off of. Every time I want to watch a video on my iPad, one of the only things it's really good for, I need a Rube Goldburg machine just to hear it.
Although I've now moved into the Android ecosystem entirely with Android tablet and phones, I can still appreciate the great engineering that goes into the iPad. The 4 was lovely, and it looks like the air will be even better.
However, there's no chance I'll be buying one- a nexus 7 and cheap windows laptop cost about the same (Â£500 or so) and are more flexible for my needs
Apple devices generally look amazing but they're too expensive, especially beyond the base model (those with more storage + 3g/4g variants) and when the cost of peripherals is factored in.
The reason Android has exploded as a platform is because tablets exist at all price points and it's not hard to find a perfectly good tablet for < £200 in 7" and < £300 in 10". And if someone does have the cash there is a choice at the top end too, some such as the Galaxy Note 10.1 could give the iPad Air a run for its money in terms of features and functionality.
"The reason Android has exploded as a platform is because ..."
... it is free for manufacturers and they can sell cheap crap using it, at price points for which there is always a ready market. Oh yes, and the fact that geeks like it.
There are exceptions, Samsung, Sony, Google Nexus.
I wonder what the sales of non-name Chinese underpowered, unusable crap tablets is compared to premium products?
Chinese cheap tablets sell well, and generally work fine. Not as quick, but handle games and video playback well, both of which are a major use case.
But if you want to go a bit more expensive? I just bought a 9" Nook HD, for £129, and its utterly great. It does absolutely everything I need just as well as an iPad would (not to say that would be the same for other users). So, can anyone explain what benefit the extra processing oomph of this latest iPad is?
It seems the only unexpected thing about Apples announcement was the fact that they called it the iPad Air...
It was nothing we didn't expect, the iPad mini design, which was lighter and thinner. I don't blame Apple though and I think it will be a big seller. They are taking the same approach that they use with their Macbooks and the fact they called it the iPad Air seems to point to them going down that route too.
Who can blame them for making revisions to a winning formula? I don't own one (I prefer Android personally) but this is a successful product that they've made thinner, lighter and faster. Yeah you could add a USB port or a HDMI out, but that's not their plan their end game is to get you on the iTunes and AppStore gravy train so your content is all in the cloud and you use Apple TV if you want to view things on the big screen..
I think we will start to see another model next year onwards being realised where they'll do a pro version alongside the Air version. Maybe the pro version will run OS X and be aimed more at people who design and do computerised drawing and include a stylus
"IMPROPER LINE EXTENSION!"
And yes, that was meant to be shouting. What was the point of the MacBook Air? Laptops were big and heavy and awkward to lug about, so let's make one that's small and light.
What's the point of the iPad Air? Fondleslabs, er, tablets are small and light and child's play to carry around, so let's, er,...
"It's no wonder the market went blah at the news."
You don't really understand the market do you?
The market moved leading up to the release, where everyone placed their bets. This is how it works.
The market will now stabilise to the level the market assesses looking forward including the evaluation of the affects of the now released products (rather than speculation).
I've heard no mention of the new iPad's ability to use fully functional swype typing. That is the main reason I gave my 4th generation iPad to my son and got a Nexus 7. Processing speed was an issue as well on that iPad, but that is addressed in this newer version. Paris! Because she knows power of a swipe. That is all.
New Apple kit, usual lovers v haters banter on here, even the usual Apple users complaints re whatever they think Apple should have added like mSD slots etc; dream on, its another hole in the casing and a remote chance some bright soul might find a way to boot a different OS on to an i thing.
But all these calls for something new and innovation, what exactly was anyone expecting?
Everything is down to money and despite Apple having a pretty decent bank balance, innovation that curtails adding to that cash pile and stock value, because thats all the shareholders are interested in, simply isn't going to happen any time soon. Ditto all the other companies.
Real innovation will take someone with VERY deep pockets and no shareholders.
good news and updates from apple...lets face it there is no other tablet or mini-me that has the power performance or quality as their devices...its as simple as that...you'll get the odd Nexus user adding their simple suggesitons but we all know it doesn't really compare..expandable space isnt enough...however that is definitely one thing apple should start to introduce. BUT one thing that i just cant understand for the life of me which milly wood on cNET also expressed is how they can justify selling the iPAD 2 for $399..its just an insane amount for a 3yr old device...$399 my goodness...i'm sorry apple thats just damn greedy and insensitive of you to the loyal apple fanbois and anyone who actually might still want a 2..(and there are still many including schools - governing bodies - and small business and the odd cheapskate who probably still do use or want them. apart from that...keep up the good work....$399 unbelievable..lol
So Apple ups the performance by 100%-800% while at the same time reducing the weight by almost 50%, making for much improved usability and people still complain about a lack of innovation?
Compare this to the new Surface 2 or lets say the Xperia Tablet Z and explain to me how those are more significant updates than what this iPad Air brings to the table.
It has no 3g, just wifi.
Bizarrely, it therefore doesn't have GPS, making it totally unusable outside the home.
Even more bizarrely, I let her waste her money on this.
So we're driving in the car, and I ask her for a traffic update over my wifi, and as we're going past cars, it changes where it thinks it is, based on where other people's phones have their tethering enabled.
So useful. I can't understand why everyone doesn't have one. You can lead a chump to an Apple Store, but you can't make them think.
Since everything, including the Macbook Air 11" at 1.08 kg (2.38 lbs) and the new iPad mini at 331 g (0.73 lbs), is listed on Apple's website so precisely, it's deceptively inconsistent for them to list the 469 g iPad Air as simply "1 pound". It's really 1.03 lbs. Apple should be more careful about things like this because someone will notice and suggest they're lying. I don't really care, but I think Apple should. They should have either found a way to cut that 15 g (or 0.5 oz) or admit that they didn't _really_ make it "1 pound". It's an arbitrary figure anyways, but if they want that ring of perfectionistic conformity to imperial or metric measurements, they should actually conform to it. Otherwise, they're just making a big deal out of something they never actually accomplished. This far into the game, Apple should be more careful, in my opinion. They've got lots of competition and their own appeal rests a lot on people assuming they're the best, without doubt....
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