The Apples & Oranges Of The New iPad

As we’re all well aware, Apple introduced the “new” iPad yesterday. And, while I’m still not quite sold on the tablet form factor, I did place a pre-order. Primarily due the iPad 3’s integrated voice dictation capabilities and much heralded “retina” display — likely featuring more pixels than anything else in our homes. Although, I do wonder how long it’ll take app developers to maximize its potential.

During the marketing spiel Apple made several fascinating and dramatic proclamations. I’m not prepared to classify any as dubious, but it looks as if some could be comparing apples & oranges. For example, I was initially stunned when they said, “This new device has more memory and higher screen resolution than an Xbox 360 or PS3.” Yet, after thinking about it, the factoid isn’t so surprising… and what exactly does it mean?

Other interesting points to ponder: Nvidia has taken  issue with the characterization of their competing chipset, utilized by some Android devices, and what exactly is a PC

Slides provided by gdgt.

12 thoughts on “The Apples & Oranges Of The New iPad”

  1. You’re overthinking these Apple presentations. They’re not intended to be factual statements, and mean nothing. They’re just “magical”.

    I mean, really, what does any of these numbers matter to someone using the iPad? They’re for investor calls, really. But, they sell a “lifestyle” and that lifestyle is that you are the best and the most awesome consumer ever. So don’t worry about the details – all you need to know is “if you buy this, you are loved”.

  2. I’m confused by the “when developers take advantage of the new display” comments I’ve seen in several articles. The screen size is the same, so the only thing the “retina display” (I hate that name) does is make everything look sharper and more defined. What do the developers have to do? It’s not like there’s more screen real estate to work with. Sure, they could make things smaller now, but this is a “finger touch” device so you’re limited there.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a very good thing. The resolution on the iPad (I have the iPad 1) has always bothered me as far as rendering text goes. But that will be an automatically (and very welcome) improvement. No developer involvement needed.

    BTW, what the hell do we call this iPad? The New iPad? What happens next year when a newer version appears? You have to differentiate your products with names or numbers (or both). I predict this will cause a lot of confusion.


  3. J4ydubs, Well that’s just it – it’s main selling point won’t be fully realized until third party developers upgrade their visuals from 1024×768 to 2048×1536. So while the size is the same, the clarity can be much better. And I will say the aliasing of the original iPad was annoying when browsing the web or reading (in video it was good enough). It’ll be interesting to see if some apps, like Amazon’s Kindle, will take advantage of native, higher res fonts, or if we’ll have to wait for more of a manual update. But I don’t know that it’ll be automatic, as you suggest, across the board.

    As far as what we call it, I’d go with ‘third generation iPad’ – which is similar to various iPod and Macbook models.

  4. The iPhone 4 was announced on June 7th, 2010. Pre-orders opened up on June 15th. They shipped on June 24th. By June 30th according to one website I found doing a date-restricted google search, there were about 75 apps that had been updated with ‘retina’ (4x) graphics. Included that LogMeIn app I’m looking forward to in higher resolution on the iPad this time.

    I’d say within the month there will be a reasonable set of apps updated. Especially given how much notice a lot of developers had given how widely rumored the retina update was.

    Just from my memory though a lot of apps took a while to get updated, so your favorite app might take several months before its updated.

  5. Also, just to clarify a bit…

    When you’re looking at the home screen, it will be ‘retina sharp’.

    When you’re browsing the web using Safari, or using the WebKit control provided by the OS and used in a lot of apps, it will be ‘retina sharp’.

    When you’re watching a movie, it will be ‘retina sharp’, well actually only as high resolution as the movie was, but potentially ‘retina sharp’ if was 1080p.

    If you’re reading text in any way, in any app, it will be ‘retina sharp’.

    And when an app uses one of Apple’s provided controls or graphics to do something (like a dialog box) it will be ‘retina sharp’.

    What won’t be retina sharp is any graphics provided by the app developer themselves. Those will be blown up 2X and will look the same as the current iPad/iPad 2 graphics, in that each pixel will be turned into four pixels.

    Until the developer updates their apps at least.

  6. Not sure why people are upset or confused by the name. The last four iPod Touch releases have been called iPod Touch, iPod Touch, iPod Touch and iPod Touch. I see Apple as just standardizing the naming.

  7. I always disliked having to read details to figure out which iPod Touch was the subject of the ad or article. I see nothing wrong with giving a distinctive name to such a significant product update. Lets face it is is just more of the Apple snarkiness in that ‘afficiandos’ can say “Well actually the name is ….” and keep that all awesome and best consumer out there curb appeal.

    but then I just bought an Android phone so maybe it is all just my self esteem issues……..

  8. I suspect only the most die-hard Apple fanboys will take umbrage when the rest of us refer to it as an iPad 3.

    As for the Touch, I’ve long suspected its primary market is children who are not old enough to have the “phone” part of the iPhone yet.

    @Dave – the dictation is very useful and I’ve been blown away by the accuracy. It takes a while to get all of Siri’s (or not-Siri-just-dictation’s) formatting commands down – and you realize how different dictation actually is – we all grew up visualizing everything we wrote, but just talking it takes practice.

  9. I have recently been called an Apple fanboy. But I don’t take umbrage at calling the new iPad the iPad 3. It makes more sense.

    To me what was most interesting in the whole event on March 7th was not so much the new device. It was keeping the iPad 2 in the line up at a $399 price point. That makes the iPad vs Android tablet battle more interesting.

  10. Being able to tether w/o paying more is a big advantage.

    Since the iPads have always offered data on a month-by-month basis (no contract), they will now make a great ‘vacation ISP’ option.

    I could drop the expensive (3MBps, $50/month) DSL @ our cabin in the mountains and just use Verizon 3G via the iPad.

    Same for the beach – I don’t have to make sure the place I rent has internet.

  11. Glenn, from Pogue’s iPad 3 review:

    After enjoying the freakishly sharp text in Mail and Safari, you’ll be disappointed in the relatively crude type in, for example, the non-updated Amazon Kindle app. (Amazon says that a Retina-ready update is in the works.)

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