Todayâ€™s (March 7th) Apple media event out at the Buena Yerba Center in California brought us some new products from our Cupertino friend. Â Iâ€™ll give you the recap in the order of excitement.
The New iPad
As speculated we did get a new iPad today. However it is not called the iPad 3, just the new iPad. Â I guess Apple marketing folks donâ€™t want to get caught up in an endless numbering scheme. Does this mean we wonâ€™t see an iPhone 5? Â Will it just be called â€œthe new iPhone?â€ Â Weâ€™ll just have to wait and see. Â Here are some of the key features. Â There are so many write ups on the interwebs that have already sprouted that I donâ€™t need to recap everything.
- Retina Display â€“ The new screen will come in at 2048 x 1536 which is equivalent to 3.1 million pixels or 265 ppi (pixels per inch). Â It has 44% better color saturation than the iPad 2. Â To put it into perspective 1080p video is only at 1920 x 1080 resolution.
- Upgraded Processor â€“ The new processor is called an A5X. Â It dual core processing with a 4 core GPU (graphics processing unit). Â They are claiming 4 times the video performance of a Tegra 3 chip.
- iSight Camera â€“ A new back facing camera is 5 megapixels with a 5 element lens and IR (infrared) filter. Â This is basically a simliar setup to the iPhone 4S and will allow for full 1080p video recording.
- Voice Dictation â€“ Now this is not full Siri capability but it is a step in the Siri direction. Â Youâ€™ll be able to dictate wherever the keyboard is available.
- Â 4G LTE â€“ Now this was a prediction I wasnâ€™t sure about but it seems we got it. Â The new iPad will now haveÂ 21Mbps HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA at 42Mbps, with LTE taking the cake at whopping 73Mbps. Â Youâ€™ll be able to use 4G LTE on both ATT and Verizon although youâ€™ll have to pick which model (carrier) you want due to actual frequency restrictions. Rogers, Bell and Telus are also North American 4G LTE partners.
- Hot Spot Capability â€“ If your plan offers tethering you can now make your iPad a WiFi hot spot.
- Physical specs â€“ 10 hours of battery life in normal use, 9 hours when using 4G LTE (which notably requires much more power) so this is a performance improvement. Â The model isÂ 9.4mm thin and weighs 1.4lbs.
- Price â€“ As expected Apple is keeping the price structure the same for the new iPad. Â They are as follows:Â $499 ($629) â€“ 16 GB, $599 ($729) â€“ 32 GB, $699 ($829) â€“ 64 GB (4G price).
- iPad 2 Price Decrease â€“ Theyâ€™re not discontinuing the iPad 2 and theyâ€™re reducing the price by $100 to $399 for the base 16 GB WiFi-only model.
- Availability -Â Available in one week, March 16th, preorders start today.
This is certainly not revolutionary but there are certainly a number of new features that will make it very desirable for new customers and definitely first generation iPad owners. Â I think thereâ€™s enough to swing a fair number of iPad 2 owners to buy the new iPad. Â The retina display is its biggest selling point along with 4G LTE. Â I may be finding myself trying to hock my iPad 2 for a new iPad one of these days.
3rd Generation Apple TV
This wasnâ€™t a big change at all but there is a new generation Apple TV. Â I almost went out and bought one two weeks ago. Â Iâ€™m glad I read the rumor mill and held out. Â I really wanted it for airplay capability and theyâ€™ve done nothing to change my mind. Â Here are some of the new features.
- 1080p Support â€“ 1080p streaming of movies from iTunes
- New Interface â€“ Still not basic iOS interface, but easier to use. Â It is also available now for 2nd generation owners.
- Price â€“ Apple has maintained it at $99 dollars which makes it very accessible to the masses
- Availability â€“ Pre-order now, available on March 16th.
A new version of the iOS has been released as of today. Â A complete list of features is below. Most notable is the ATT network indicator. Â If you remember when the iPhone 4S came out it shipped with a chip capable of HSPA+ which according the ATT is 4G. Â Once you upgrade and youâ€™re in that network coverage area youâ€™ll see your phone indicate itâ€™s on a 4G network. Â Now this isnâ€™t the 4G LTE I talked about above and your speed wonâ€™t change, but you are getting one more G (not the $$ kind) on your phone. Â Iâ€™m downloading the update (albeit slowly because the servers are swamped) right now. Â I live in an area that is supposedly 4G so Iâ€™ll let you know if I get that extra G.
- Japanese language support for Siri (availability may be limited during initial rollout)
- Photos can now be deleted from Photo Stream
- Camera shortcut now always visible on Lock Screen for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation)
- Camera face detection now highlights all detected faces
- Redesigned Camera app for iPad
- Genius Mixes and Genius playlists for iTunes Match subscribers
- Audio for TV shows and movies on iPad optimized to sound louder and clearer
- Podcast controls for playback speed and a 30 second rewind for iPad
- Updated ATT network indicator
- Addresses bugs affecting battery life
- Fixes an issue that occasionally caused audio to drop for outgoing callsn
One notable app update is that they finally made iPhoto available on iOS devices. Â It costs $4.99 and looks pretty cool. Â Last but not least was an upgrade to iTunes in the cloud and the fact that it now supports streaming 1080p movies. Â Thisâ€™ll go well with your new apple TV.
Thatâ€™s it out of todayâ€™s event. Â Iâ€™ll keep you posted on more Apple updates. Â Happy spring shopping!