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iPad – is this 1 week Apple should forget?

I’m away for just one day, and look what happens?

iPad mistakes
image courtesy of author

Seeing in to the future

Earlier this summer, I wrote a blog all about iPad being confused. Turns out, after this week, I may just be right after all.

Yesterday, as you’ll know, I was of visiting another creator, but that gave me a chance to take in what Apple launched this week with their ‘new’ iPads.

Confused? I know I am.

So much choice

In my mind, Apple had a perfect chance to this week to finally simplify the iPad lineup, that is now bloated, and a mess. Today, visiting Apple’s iPad page, the choice you’ll be faced with is this tidy lot (prices shown in dollars);

  • iPad 9 – $329
  • iPad 10 – $499 (new)
  • iPad mini – $499
  • iPad Air 5 – $599
  • iPad Pro 11-inch – $799 (new)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch – 1099 (new)

Apart from the six choices shown, of course, there are numerous configs for each model as well. Choosing storage & connectivity, means making the correct choice for you, and your needs, much tougher than it should be.

In the run-up to the release this week, the rumour was that we’d be getting a new base level iPad. As it turns out, even that is now a misnomer. What we actually got was a new, second-cheapest level iPad.

The Pro’s and cons

iPad Pro gets the new M2 chip – more speed! Just what iPad needs, right? Still, and still with no signs of pro apps. The M1 was plenty, plenty quick enough for all the tasks that you either can, or would want to carry out on an iPad.

You can capture ProRes video now because of a new media engine, but really, who is going to use an iPad Pro over an iPhone 14 Pro?

Then on to the another odd inclusion – what Apple have chosen to call the hover experience. Using Apple Pencil, it means you can ‘sketch’ on your drawings, by hovering 12mm above the LED panel. I think that’s been available on some Samsung tablets for a few years now, and must surely be a very niched requirement? Would it be enough to make you change?

Other than some upgraded wi-fi, that is pretty much all the iPad Pro’s got this time around – basically, more of what they didn’t need – speed! Enjoy…

The not new base model

The news for iPad 10 was marginally more interesting.

It now comes in four pastel colours, if that’s your thing, and, it’s now the newer, squared off looking design. At least it looks better, and fits in among their other products now. It’s clear, this ‘redesigned iPad 10, is the based on the bones of the current iPad Air, though.

The camera is, at last, in the right place, on the long edge. That will make using it for video calls, much more natural and convenient. But this is where the story starts to get vert twisted. Pay $499, and you get the camera, where it should always have been. But pay $799 for the new iPad Pro 11-inch, and the camera stays in the same place as before.

As this has been something that has been moaned about by iPad users for years now, would it not have made sense to have moved the camera for the Pro users first? What am I missing? Sure, I understand it will have saved them money, not to place the camera in a new position on iPad Pro, and the attending re-tooling, but this is Apple. Technically, iPad 10 is new, and redesigned…but is it really that different from the Air?

Are you joking?

If you want to add a keyboard to your new iPad 10, sure you can do it, but only with the exclusive new magic keyboard folio case, which is a two-part affair. What that really means to you is, you cannot use an old iPad keyboard you may have lying around. If you are/were tempted to upgrade to iPad 10, it will cost you the iPad and the new folio keyboard. Surely, a home goal.

But if one home goal was not enough, they popped another in to the net with the Apple Pencil.

Great, at last, iPad 10 now gets shipped with a USB-C charging port. But the only pencil that will work and is compatible with this iPad, is the 1st generation Apple Pencil, which is charged…yup, you’ve guessed it…via lightning. What? Explain that to me again.

So to get around this one, Apple expect you to buy an adapter to charge your pencil. Not only will they charge you another $9 for it, but it looks, what it is…a bolt on, after-thought. It’ll look ugly as hell. And how can this ‘all-new’, re-designed iPad 10, ship with a basic config of only 64GB of storage in 2022?

Who are they for?

That is what I am left thinking – well, I’m left thinking a whole lot actually, but specifically, who are these newest iPad’s aimed at?

Current owners of M1 iPad Pro’s, surely, will not feel compelled to splash out another $800+ for the little bit of extra speed and the hover function?

And then, for more consumer level, average, iPad users, is there enough that is compelling about the iPad 10 that would cause them to trade on from the iPad Air, or even iPad 9? What do you think?

How did this come to be?

Apple is a trillion dollar, net-worth company. They have not achieved that mistakenly. Top-tier management, strategy, amazing product design, and marketing, generally lay behind Apple’s success.

But then – then you get days like this week, and products like these iPads. How did such lame upgrades make the grade? I’d imagine that these iPads have been in development for some while. If nothing else, surely, someone in R&D could have bought up the Apple Pencil and lightning adapter debacle? And for those of us that are devoted Apple users, it, sometimes, is not even the cost. It’s more the feeling of being taken for a fool. It is almost as if they are taunting these potential iPad buyers, by saying “we know you’ll buy anything”.

I don’t think I need to qualify the fact, that I love Apple products. But weeks like this do leave me aghast. Luckily, very luckily as it turns out, I am not an iPad user. I have an iPad mini that is a few years old, and all I do is check Twitter on it, and take in some content. Not only is that what iPad seems ideally suited for, but it seems that is where Apple are leaving it to languish. With that bafflingly large array now, the choices may be huge, but the net result of what you can do with them has shifted little.

Still no signs of Final Cut or Logic and, oddly, there even seems a shift toward pushing Davinci resolve, rather than their own FCP.

Nope, I stand by my comments from earlier this year – iPad is confused, and that’s before we get the final release of Stage Manager. I think the next few weeks may not make for enjoyable reading for the guys at Apple.

The sad thing is, though, they bought all this on themselves. Surely, focus on what iPad was always meant for, and make it the best at that. Stop trying to dress it up to be something it’s now, never going to be.

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Get in the vibe and listen along to today’s chosen soundtrack. I wrote this whilst listening to get in the vibe and listen along to today’s chosen soundtrack. I wrote this whilst listening tohttps://music.apple.com/gb/album/the-essential-michael-henderson-vol-2/210170601

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