Entries in iPad Mini (4)
We have a suspicion there's going to be lot's of new toys (hardware and software) for creative iPad owners to play with after tonight's show. Be sure to tune-in.
New iPads are a given, but we are also expecting updated iLife apps, plus some kind of iPad cover which could be a bit special given that Apple alluded to it in the teaser invite.
Apple TV fans will be hoping for a serious update to the Apple TV software and perhaps new hardware. A full blown App Store of its own plus game controller support would open up a brand new market for Apple and please many iOS gamers.
Only a few hours until we find out!
We are just one week away from finding out what Apple will do to persuade current iPad owners to upgrade. Here's a look at what to expect.
iPad mini 2
For iPad mini owners that answer is pretty simple, a Retina display.
Many prefer the more manageable size and weight of the mini, but there's no denying that the full sized iPad has a far superior display. It's not yet clear if it's Apple's intent to quadruple the pixel count of the mini's display, hence making it a Retina display, but we certainly hope it does. Going back to a standard display after spending many months with a high DPI display is quite jarring.
If the new iPad mini gets a Retina display it's mostly certainly going to need to move to the A6X chipset. We don't want a repeat of the iPad 3 problems with its underpowered GPU.
We have already mentioned that we expect the new iPad to include a slightly faster version of its new A7 chipset, but it seems likely that it will also include a fingerprint scanner and a more capable main camera module. The iPad 4 is still a powerhouse, so the move to the A7 chipset may not seem like much of an upgrade, however we would contend that readers of this website may well be the ones that benefit most from just such an upgrade.
There are a whole host of apps that could do with a two times speed increase. In fact any application that handles large quantities of photo, video or audio data will be much more usable running on Apple's new 64-bit chipset. Imagine rendering an iMovie project in full 1080p in less that half realtime, that and much more will be possible with the A7X. Apple is calling the A7 chipset 'desktop class' silicon. It most certainly doesn't belong to the desktop class of 2013, but it's right up there with the best of 2009. Not bad for something with a 10 hour battery life and measuring just a few millimetres thick.
Can Apple improve the quality of the screen without increasing the resolution? Yes, we are expecting a slightly brighter, more vibrant display. No extra pixels though, perhaps they'll make an appearance on larger iPad Pro?
Thinking beyond technical specifications, a slimmer, lighter iPad would be most welcome. A 10% weight decrease would be handy, we think Apple will deliver on that front.
Twin speakers to provide some kind of stereo separation would be nice, but not essential. The same can be said of the camera. The current 5MP camera does a sterling job, but if Apple can upgrade it to match that of the iPhone 5s we certainly won't be complaining.
What would you like to see in the new iPad and iPad mini? Let us know in a comment below.
The rumours were true, the iPad mini exists, and will arrive in stores and in the hands of those who preordered on 2nd November. Perhaps the real surprise, though, is the availability of the next generation regular sized iPad on the very same day.
Pushing the iPad platform up
The new iPad, which we will be referring to as the iPad 4 from herein, is essentially the iPad we expected to see in March 2013. It's an impressive push upwards, doubling both the CPU and GPU power of the iPad 3 in just 8 months. With the iPad 4, Apple has created a tablet computer that is fully capable of running just about any collection of code that Apple or third party developers can realistically conceive of. We can't overstate how impressive the iPad 4 is on paper. It's a tablet computer with the general computing power of an iMac from just a few years ago and graphics power equal to the Playstation 3 and XBOX 360. Combine this power with a 3 mega pixel display and a 10 hour battery life and it's not at all hard to see why the iPad 4 is such an important piece of computing hardware.
Pushing the iPad plaform down
We believe that the smaller display of the iPad mini will restrict it's productivity for the kind of activities that we feature on iPad Creative. Having said that, we are completely confident that tablet computers are the future of general purpose computing, so expanding the range is the right thing to do at this time.
The iPad mini is the new entry level iPad. If Tim Cook felt that the best way of protecting the more profitable end of the range was to reduce the size of the display, then so be it. We think that many iPad mini owners will eventually upgrade to the full 9.7" experience, or perhaps even own both.
In our next article we'll take a look at where Apple can push the iPad next. If the iPad 4 is the iPad we expected Apple to launch in 2013, where does that leave the possibility of a refresh in Spring 2013?
In a break with recent tradition, Apple will be providing a live video stream of the "a little more to show you" event this evening. Everything kicks off at 10:00 AM PDT. Though we are eager to see Apple's take on the smaller tablet, we're more excited about the possibility of updated software and services.
Head back here tomorrow to read our take on Apple's new releases.