Hey there, Tech Savvy fans! Well, this week I think we need to take a look at the elephant in the room — the release of the new iPad that was greatly anticipated.
In reality there were two products unveiled this week at Apple’s event — the new iPad and also a second generation iPad Mini. Apple fans everywhere had been anxiously awaiting the new devices and in true fashion are helping unbelievable amounts of products off the shelves. But let’s break things down a little and figure out what all the fuss is about.
To start things off it’s important to remember that Apple has a tendency to release major items every other year — and this is not one of those years. This is the same thing that happened with the iPhone 5s and 5c; they had noticeable updates but not necessarily to the extent that one might expect.
Some of the similarities the latest iteration, the iPad Air, has with its predecessors has to do with the aesthetics; the coloration is the same and the overall design is very similar. The dimensions are similar but the iPad Air comes in about one-third thinner and one-third less the weight of the iPad 4. Both versions also pack the same 2048x153 Retina display so users can expect the same clarity. Both will run on Apple’s latest iOS7, and both will sport the same camera, storage options and approximate battery life. With all of these similarities, what is all the fuss about then? Power.
The iPad Air will sport the new A7 chip which features a 64-bit base and will also incorporate a coprocessor that is supposed to help the iPad Air work better with some hardware, like the gyroscope, accelerometer and compass, to allow the iPad to run more efficiently. This is the same processor that powers the new iPhone 5s (the iPhone 5c uses the same processor as the iPhone 5 from last year). What a faster processor means is that it should be able to handle the workload from the newer iOS and gives developers more freedom to build bigger and better apps. In reality, just like any well-built machine, what you should experience as a user is just great design.
What’s interesting is that even though the new iPad Air has a more powerful, more efficient processor, there is no indication that this will mean the battery life will increase. I continually find this a mistake, in my opinion, that if someone was looking for a tablet they would rather see it be the same size as the previous model if it got better battery life. At this point if you want something smaller you have the iPad Mini, Google Nexus tabs and Samsung tabs that are the “phablet” size or you can also just use a larger screen phone. Well, Apple doesn’t have a phone with a larger screen but hey, maybe next time, right?
The new iPad Mini also has much in common with the iPad Air. It will also sport the new A7 processor, has a 2048x1536 Retina display and will also have the coprocessor built in. Interestingly, where these changes have helped slim the iPad Air down, they will actually increase the size of the new iPad Mini compared to last year’s model. Both the thickness and the weight are slightly increased in the new iPad Mini, .01 millimeter and .05 pounds respectively. This is really nothing to worry about as this is a very small difference and easily argued that in this case, added size is worth it because of the added processing power.
Both versions of the iPad Mini feature 5MP cameras, Bluetooth 4.0, 10 hour battery life and the same size options. They will also boast the same overall screen size with the same build options. All in all it looks like Apple is continuing their promise of delivering the best iPads yet.
Most of you know by now that I am definitely more in the Android camp, so let’s take a look at what makes these good or bad compared to what else is out on the market. I really enjoy reading the stories after launches like this as the Android and Apple fans duke it out across the blogosphere about why the updates are, or are not, noteworthy and how the other is always wrong. For better or worse, neither side is really right or wrong. I’d like to think that even though I have Android tendencies my Apple friends would at least admit that I give a fair amount of respect to iDevices; after all, competition should make each better.
What Apple has done is create a system that is designed to work collectively; your iPad is going to be the same as anyone else’s. Sure you can change the background image, or sync your music and movies to make it personalized but at the end of the day your iPad has the exact same capabilities as every other iPad out there.
Android on the other hand is not unlike someone building their own home or getting into a fixer upper. You have choice, you have fewer limitations but there are also some inherent risks. Long touted as the developer’s OS, Android is a malleable OS. If you don’t like the way a widget looks, you can change it. Back up — let’s start with you can actually have live widgets. There is far more customization options in working with Android, but at the same time you can also treat our device to a one way ticket to human-errorsville and risk turning your device into a shiny paper weight.
Because of its open structure, Android users have access to root files, or what you would consider the boot files of your device. If those get corrupted you are in for a world of hurt and if it is fixable it takes effort and no short amount of time to get things working again.
Many people can make their device decision with that in mind. Do you want more options but have to work for them or do you want something that will work out of the gate but you may have no freedom to change anything.
I have an iPad and honestly I don’t know if I would get something else. It suits my purposes and I actually enjoy having devices on different operating systems so I can compare what they do. There are a lot of great reasons to consider buying the upgraded Apple products and in many cases I would encourage it. However, what you have to keep in mind is one of Apple’s great marketing slogans, “It’s the best iPhone yet!” I don’t disagree with that statement but what they aren’t saying is that it’s the best device out there. Know what you’re buying and, like I always say, if you can check out a demo in a store, that’s your best bet of knowing what you’ll really like.
■ In Case You Missed It
In other news this week, if you know any students that attend Forestview Middle School you may want to ask them about the coupon book fundraiser they are running right now. DE Media (Brainerd Dispatch and Echo Publishing) have partnered with Forestview and other great local businesses to put together a coupon book that the students are selling to help raise funds to further their education. The money collected from the fundraising will help the kids get experience with exploratory days that will help broaden their horizons and give them experiences they might not have a chance to try first hand. This will include learning new skills, using technology and also help fund student organizations and clubs.
There are deals from restaurants, waterparks and retail shops from around the area and, thanks to our partnership, I’m proud to say that 100 percent of the net proceeds are being donated to the school. As a father of school-age and soon to be school-age children I am a huge advocate for investing in our children’s education and our local businesses are helping make that happen. Find a Forestview student today and ask them if they still have a book, or go online to purchase one from our Daily Deals at www.dailydeals.braienrddispatch.com. The book has over $250 of savings and you can pick one up for only $20.