Thursday, September 2, 2010

iOS4 now announced for iPad

As I hoped, the latest Steve Show announced the iPad iOS4 update, but for November. One might look at this as rather negligent, to be honest, but it does seem to go hand-in-hand with just about everything else that goes on in the iPad space.

We've had iOS4 for iPhone for a good few months already. That software update combined with the new iPhone has managed to overshadow the iPad rather well in terms of functionality. Only months after it's limited availability release, and during a time when Apple still struggles to keep up with demand.

The iPad's worldwide availability is still really limited. You can't officially buy them here in Finland, but you can go pick up the iPhone 4 easily - a product that was released months and months after the iPad. People here are starting to wonder if they'll even bother selling the iPad at all in Finland. They haven't even announced the next list of randomly-picked countries that are winning the iPad lottery.

Then take a look at the apps. No native Facebook. No native Skype. No iTunes remote. No iMovie (you can't even get the iPhone version on the iPad). App developers seem to be putting the same amount of care and effort into supporting the system as Apple themselves are, with a majority of apps still coming out for iPhone only and separate "HD" releases instead of universal apps when the iPad version finally arrives. In fact, for the most part, the only thing that's really impressed a majority of people I've shown my iPad to has been FlipBoard.

And then, for the extra 4-5 month wait, we don't get any new features on top of what the iPhone will be getting. No new interface that makes use of the larger screen. No widgets. I'm going to bet they don't even re-add the apps they dropped from the original iPad release like the clock, stocks, calculator, compass or weather.

And no mention of better iPhone-to-iPad integration.

What did they spend those 4 months doing, because if you ask me, porting folders, game zone (or whatever its called) and multitasking over to a slightly larger screen shouldn't take that long. Hell, they didn't need to port facetime, HDR or any of those multitude of fixes that have been bothering iPhone users.

It all adds up to neglect and a feeling that they released a product that they weren't willing to support with the same enthusiasm as they even support a cell phone. Or are they just not feeling the pressure from the tablet competition enough to get their development into gear? It certainly does leave me, an original owner, with a rather bad taste in my mouth, and a feeling that I won't be in a hurry to buy next year's model unless they change their tune.

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