Monday, February 28, 2011

iPad 2 at the Steve Show this Wednesday

So, we're about 2 days from the new, highly-anticipated iPad2 announcement, courtesy of the Steve Show. Let's take a look at what we're expecting, not expecting and how stupid some people really are.

Firstly, and I really had to post this first, just to get it off my chest, is the retina display rumour. I mean, come on. Give me a break people. My Macbook Pro 17" doesn't have 2048x1536 resolution for one. What is seriously the point of extrapolating the move to retina display on the iPhone 4 as a move to retina on the iPad?

a) They're different devices for different uses. iPhone is generally held much closer to your face when using it, since that's the most comfortable field of view. With the bad resolution, you were having to zoom every damn web page and scroll around just to read anything. With the retina display, you're relieved of that. The iPad on the other hand, is not held that close, so the display looks just fine

b) Just because you can make a smartphone size high-resolution display doesn't mean you can make one in 9.7 inches. And if you could, it would be pretty expensive. People are already complaining about the price of iPad alongside, say, a crap 15" PC laptop, and this move wouldn't do anything but up the price even more.

c) Do you really think that the current decent iPad games would run at that resolution with the current hardware? If you do, I'd like some of what you're smoking pl0x, kthxbai.

Alright, I guess I laboured that point enough. Let's get onto some other rumours:

- Front and back facing cameras. Yes it will happen. No, I'm not all that excited. I prefer to Skype without video and I have my phone for a camera already. Imagine holding up an iPad to take a photo? Sure it might be kinda fun for a few minutes to use it as a video cam or play with photo booth, but this is not a deal breaker of a feature if you ask me. Phone is for camera, iPad is for other stuff.

- Up to 1mm thinner, a couple dozen grams lighter and now with tapered edges! This is also not a deal breaker in any way, shape or form. Okay, sure I've drooled over the new Macbook Air for a while now and how thin it looks with those tapered edges. I'm sure I'll find it sexy looking. But it isn't why I'd get rid of my current iPad.

- More RAM. This is closest to the deal breaker. However, with enough iPad1s in circulation, it's going to be a while before developers start making games that are iPad2 only (for obvious financial reasons). So it's probably going to be plausible to hold onto the current model until at least the next revision which hopefully goes to the full 1GB that other tablets already have. My one use-case currently is being able to start Dungeon Defenders without having to reboot the iPad immediately before.

- Faster Processor. See above. These are both a given. They will happen. And when you try the new one with some slow-loading game, you'll want the new iPad. So just refrain from borrowing your friend's iPad.

- Some sort of card reader thingy. I could honestly care less. Why do I need that? If all apps have access to the stuff on there, perhaps. Otherwise it'll be a place to put photos. Not interesting.

That's it for the rumours. Not really all that interesting, to be honest.\

Here's what I would like to see on Wednesday - an announcement of iOS 5 and a bunch of tangibly useful features (i.e. not printing or some shit like that). An announcement of new games that we haven't heard about. An announcement that one of the big three will be finally ported, for the love of god, to iPad (Skype, Spotify or Facebook). An announcement from some game dev companies that they're bringing full versions of games to the iOS devices, not these "Demo version" games we currently have.

The one thing I can be 100% sure about is that here in Finland, we're going to be waiting a long time for that new iPad2 to hit the shelves (I mean, the first iPad just arrived in Finland) and then we're going to be charged for it like somehow the euro is worth the same amount as the dollar...

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