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New iPad Launch and My Predictions

New iPad Launch and My Predictions

So the launch of the iPad 3 iPad H “new” iPad has come and gone, and we have an exciting new iPad on the scene. For a quick review, I should start off with my predictions for the iPad 3 launch, which I posted the night before the event. I’ll add some commentary to each of these on my initial thoughts.

1. iPad 3 with double pixel display, LTE and better cameras.

Almost 100% right, but fairly obvious. Of course, it isn’t an iPad “3”, and it seems only one of the cameras is improved. But it is quite “resolutionary“.

Of course, the LTE (4G) functionality will be brilliant for those who work out of a set environment (like I do regularly), and the personal hotspot feature may actually save money (one less device to carry around, and one less mobile broadband account to pay for). It will be interesting to see if Telstra will allow that feature…

The double pixel display (“retina display”) is going to be great for people who work in content. As I am writing this (on my iPad 2), I am also writing a couple of books, reviewing and preparing reports for consulting project clients, and regularly conducting scuba diving and first aid instructor programs. For all of these things, this is a great device.

There are of course other new features that are great, including the new Bluetooth capabilities.

So will I get one. Yes, but not immediately. I would pre-order one straight away if I didn’t have an iPad 2, but am going to wait and see a little bit to see what Telstra does, and to play with one in store. The new iPad is great, but my iPad 2 is still brilliant, and I am good with that for now.

2. iPhoto or Aperture for iPad

Nailed this one. iPhoto made more sense than Aperture, because it rounds out the iLife suite on iOS.

This is a great app, and I am certainly going to play with it, and probably do a full review later during my iPads of March. The (pleasant) surprise in this for me was the fact that it is an iOS app that works nicely on the iPhone. I particularly like the ability to be able to send images between an iPhone and iPad, via WiFi or Bluetooth.

3. Apple TV with HD Display

Again, nailed it. Again, this was pretty obvious.

I do like the new UI design. Apple is clearly bringing the UX on devices like the Apple TV (and Mac) much closer to the iOS standard found on iPad and iPhone (yes, I know Apple TV is an iOS device, but previously the UX was quite different).

This new UX seems to lay a better foundation for future third party “app-ification” of the Apple TV.

4. iTunes Movies (and possibly Television shows) in HD

Done. Its good to see Apple getting behind 1080p. Of course, the new iPad and new Apple TV made that necessary. And vice versa.

5. iOS 5.1

Done. Again obvious.

Downloaded to 2 iPhones, an iPad and an Apple TV. Working well all round. The changes are most noticeable on the Apple TV, but some nice tweaks on other devices.

I look forward to better battery life.

6. iWork ’12, featuring built in iCloud support

Should’ve been clearer that I was refering to the OSX version of iWork.

This was my “stretch prediction”, and sadly it missed. I have to believe that it must be imminent. If Apple wants to continue to make inroads to corporate and institutional customers, it needs this integration to be seamless.

And it needs to do that before the rumoured MS Office for iPad is released.

Final Thoughts

5 out of 6 predictions isn’t too bad, but I admit that 4 of those (other than the iPhoto one) were pretty obvious.

Apple is clearly setting the scene with the tablet market space, and competitors are struggling to compete. Whilst there are other, competent, tablets out there, I reckon the “new iPad” will maintain number 1 position, by a mile, for the next year, and iPad 2 will be the number 2. The iPad 2 is clearly being targeted to more price sensitive markets, such as education.

Apple also released a slew of new and updated apps yesterday, including all iWork and iLife apps on iOS, and a number of OSX apps, including iLife and iBooks Author. I like the look of the new configurator app that allows centralised control of a fleet of iOS devices. Again, clearly a play for corporate and institutional customers.

My iPad Launch Predictions

My iPad Launch Predictions

We’re less than ten hours away from the big iPad 3 iPad HD launch, and considering I am in my iPads of March, it’s a topic I am thinking lots about. So I thought I would make my predictions about what we might see. Of course, a lot of thesis just repeating what other, more knowledgeable people, have predicted, but what the hell.

So here goes:

  1. iPad 3 with double pixel display, LTE and better cameras
  2. iPhoto or Aperture for iPad
  3. Apple TV with HD display
  4. iTunes Movies (and possibly Television shows) in HD
  5. iOS 5.1
  6. iWork ’12, featuring built in iCloud support

Of these, 1, 3 & 4 are commonly predicted. I think photo management (#2) on the iPad is definitely something we want to “see. And touch“.

As for item 5, I reckon that’s a no-brainer. iOS 5.1 is going to be needed for items 1 & 3, and should e interesting to see if it has any secret new features.

Now item 6 is my stretch prediction. Maybe it’s because it’s something I want need to see. It’s high time that iWork on the Mac supported iCloud, and I don’t think Apple can afford to wait until the release of OSX Mountain Lion in 6 months or so.

So check back in tomorrow and we’ll see how I went.

First Contact – Documents in the iCloud and iA Writer

First Contact – Documents in the iCloud and iA Writer

When Steve Jobs announced iCloud in June, the thing that struck me more than anything else is that at last Apple was providing a methodology to allow easy “intra-personal collaboration” – that is an easy method of syncing documents you are working on between your various devices – desktop, notebook, iPad and iPhone. All the other features (calendar, address book, iTunes in the Cloud, etc) are great, but for me the real promise lays in the integration of iWork, and third party apps into iCloud.

ICloud Photos iPhone4s iPad MBP15inch PRINT

When iCloud was launched in October, I was pleased with how simple it was to setup iCloud on all my devices, and how well it works for iWork documents on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad). I guess I wasn’t alone however in my disappointment that the MacOS versions of iWork don’t support iCloud, meaning a clunky download/upload process would need to be put in place everytime I wanted to work on a document on my Macs.

Lets face it, for many professionals productive work generally involves most stuff being done on a desktop or notebook computer, with refinements, edits and updates being done on-the-go. So syncing between two iOS devices is nice, even necessary, but it is certainly not efficient.

I guess its only been a bit over a month, but the iCloud Documents in the Cloud concept is more gimmicky than anything else if there is no real ability to seamlessly work on documents, regardless of which device you’re working on. The magic will start to happen when I can pick up where I left in a document from one device to another.

So I was really pleased when the folks at Information Architects Inc announced yesterday that the iPad and Mac versions of their iA Writer app now support iCloud.


iA Writer has long supported DropBox syncing, and thats a good way of moving documents back and forth. I use DropBox for many things now, but I’ve always had the feeling that iCloud may one day be something even more special.

This post represents my first use of iCloud and iA Writer. I have so far worked on this post across several devices. I started on my iMac, moved to my iPad, and then to my MacBook. I am back on my iMac now. Whilst this sounds geeky, it does represent how I might very well work on posts and articles.

Unlike DropBox where I have to save documents in a special Finder folder than then syncs, in iCloud I can save anywhere on my system, and just tell iA Writer to add the document to iCloud. Shortly thereafter it appears on my other devices. Edits can be done, and things move back and forth quite nicely.

iA Writer is a lovely app. It is a simple text editor with mark-down capabilities. The screen is simple – black text on a plain white background. Using MacOS Lion’s fullscreen mode, there are no distractions – a really useful feature when writing. It has a similar mode on the iPad, taking away the top bar with its many distrations – not the least of which is the time!

Its too early for me to say whether I like iCloud or DropBox better, but I am certainly intrigued by the possibility of iCloud. Once its really working, it will easier for non-technical people to use, as there are no special setup steps. Just save a file and tell the app to put it in iCloud. When you no longer need the document in the cloud, simply tell the app to remove it from iCloud, then you’re done. Simple as that. But I can say that iA Writer is a winner for me, and for now I’ll keep using that with iCloud, and leave DropBox in other apps and for general data.