Was it me, or did today’s Apple announcements feel a little… uneven? I had to take a moment to digest what Cupertino dished out today and came up torn about it. I agree completely with Todd’s Top 5 Features On The New iPad. And yet, I can’t help but also feel a little cranky about a few things.
We’ve already published that Top 5 Best Features list, so to balance it out, here’s another take on the day’s event: The Top 5 Worst Things About the New iPad.
The 5 Worst Things About the New iPad
Dual-core processor: The A5X with quad-core graphics processing is a much-needed upgrade, especially in light of what Cupertino envisions this device doing soon. And yet, there are still users who won’t care because it’s not quad-core — which has become akin to a “designer name” in mobile tech. For now, it’s like the Gucci of mobile processors. Will prospective customers wait another year for it? Some might, but others will jump ship and satisfy their tablet needs elsewhere. Even if the A5X performance is stellar, it’s still a perception thing. I genuinely think Apple made a mistake by not including a quad-core here.
No higher storage option? Let’s take stock for a second. Apple just launched iPhoto for the iPad along with a sweep of updated iWork and iLife apps (including the popular iMovie), which are guaranteed to use up space. It also unveiled 1080p video capture, as well as a beautiful new Retina Display that’s just waiting for RD-optimized (read: huge) iOS apps to take advantage of them. But despite all that, there’s no way to up the built-in storage? What’s up with that? That there’s no 128GB version to go along with all these changes just doesn’t make any sense. I guess there’s still iCloud, though ongoing fees for upgraded cloud storage will cost you. And good luck if you have LTE — of course AT&T and Verizon both have LTE data caps. (You didn’t think otherwise, did you?)
No Siri: This is a big fat fail. Dictation is better than nothing, but there were loads of iPad hopefuls holding out for our girl Siri. And there’s little chance that the iPad Mini — even if it does come this fall, as rumored — will come in to plug up the holes with voice command and a quad-core chip on board. (There’s hope, though — since it’s a matter of software, Siri on the iPad could come later via update.)
Slightly heavier, fatter depth: It’s 9.4mm now, up from the 8.8mm of the previous model — which means any close-fitting iPad accessories have suddenly become obsolete. Again. And the weight’s going up 50+ grams? Um, aren’t devices supposed to get sleeker over time? Instead of unveiling a sexy new take on the Apple design aesthetic, it pretty much gave us the same old thing, but fatter.
No name: It’s understandable if the company’s moving away from a numbering nomenclature, to match its line of Mac products. Thing is, this breaks with the previous naming convention for mobility products, making things just plain confusing. A year later, we still refer to iPad 2 as the iPad 2. But this time next year, we can’t possibly still be calling this “The New iPad.”
Like I said, I’m torn. Overall, the upgrades are good, and I have no doubt this will sell well. (The pundits are already speculating that it will boost 2012 iPad sales.) And in truth, I have to acknowledge that these announcements offered a lot of what I wanted to see in the new iPad. So then what’s my problem?
Well, I guess there was a hope nestled in here for some sort of “one more thing.” I’m harking back to the old days, I know, but these features coupled with something genuinely new could’ve wowed people. The company could’ve offered something, anything in the way of new iOS 5.1 features. Perhaps even a new material or some sort of outward-facing design element gracing that all-too-familiar form factor.
Instead, that old critic’s reaction (which is something of a cliché now) steps in yet again: While good, this iteration feels evolutionary, not revolutionary. I was reminded of this sentiment on Apple’s own website.
It leaves a feeling similar to being set up with the neighbor’s kid — your mom says, “Oh, you two will get along great! S/He has a wonderful personality.” Even if that’s true, you still hold out hope that there’ll be something there that will make you fall in love at first sight.
Even though tech is anything but just skin-deep, there’s something to the experience of having that visceral pull. I had it when I saw the Galaxy Nexus, the Note and the Eee Pad Transformer. I felt that way with Lumia 800, not to mention the iPhone 4 and the first iPad. But somehow, I’m lacking that feeling with this iPad. At the end of the day, it’s a slightly chubbier, heavier, no-name device with speeds and graphics that might well be amazing, but we can’t see it for ourselves yet.
One thing’s for sure: Those speed gains, enhanced graphics and display will have to be positively monstrous to change that. Given what we’ve seen so far, they may be. We’ll have to wait for the device to land in the TechnoBuffalo offices before we can know for certain if this is “like” or “love.”
What was your take on the new iPad? Do you have a best/worst list of your own?