Two days ago, Apple wrapped up their iPad mini keynote. Now that we’ve all had a while to cool down following the event, I thought I’d take the chance to re-assess everything that was announced and leave you with my thoughts. Obviously, I understand that significant upgrades were made to the Mac range, however as an iPhone website, we’re more closely affiliated with the iPad, so that’s what I’ll be focussing on more heavily! But first, iBooks, because I love books.
The iBooks app has proved insanely popular for a long time, and I know that at least from personal experience, reading books on my iPhone is a really excellent experience. The new update with it brings a small number of really significant updates that I think will really enhance the iBooks experience. All bookstore purchases are now synced with iCloud, so that if you’re reading a book on your iPhone, and you switch to your iPad, you can seamlessly switch and carry on reading right where you left off. I’m about to purchase an iPad, so this is particularly useful to me. (I’ll come back to that later). There is capability to download updates to books, such as corrections, which is a cool bonus. There are now new language capabilities, and some fantastic new social features to make sharing your reading experiences really easy. One update I’m not so sure about is vertical scrolling. Now, instead of turning pages, you can simply scroll through the book as one long documen. I actually quite enjoyed the page turning aspect of iBooks, it brought with it a sense that I might actually be reading a real book rather than staring at a screen, you know, It was a nice homely touch. Overall though, I’m really happy.
There’s a lot to cover, so I’ll lump all these together. The 13″ Macbook pro was given the Retina treatment, and has been given an overhaul similar to that of the 15″ Macbook. The Retina display is a huge update to the Macbook pto, and I’m well aware that the difference is quite simply stunning, the Retina display puts the Macbook 13″ in a league all of its own, that is, if you can afford the entrance fee.
The iMac is now significantly thinner than the previous version, and like every Apple update, it looks incredible. I find myself somewhat baffled at Apple’s ability to keep on making their devices smaller and sleaker with such consistency, and I’m convinced that one day Apple will overstep its innovation, and all its products will simply dissapear. In a similar vein, Apple’s Mac mini also received an upgrade. I’m pretty sure that no one was expecting anything too radical in the Mac range, so in fairly standard Apple style, the Mac mini recieved a nice round of upgrades inside. The kind of hardware updates that will keep the Mac mini, and indeed all the Macs on top of the curve for another year. Although, at the prices Apple are demanding, I’d expect nothing less.
Finally, the iPad. This is the one we’ve all been waiting for, and as the most significant update, I shall award it with the most contemplation. Whether that’s a good thing or not is for you to decide. First up, the iPad mini. I think this is a really neat device. I’m certain that the iPad mini will cater to the needs of many, and as I’ve mentioned before, there will be a whole host of people waiting to buy the device, however, not as many as were waiting before it was announced… Yeah, the mini is neat, but is it worth it? The price has perplexed many, seemingly $329 was simply too much of a stretch, particularly for a device that doesn’t come with a Retina display. I think quite a few disgruntled spectators would argue that the glory of the Retina display is a perk that has been saved for the next iPad mini, a sure-fire method to ensure that the next device will sell to the same standard that this one inevitably will, sadly, I find myself inclined to agree. It could be argued that the absence of a Retina display will keep the price down, but we also know that Apple is perfectly capable of producing a Retina display that size. Perhaps even more infuriating to many potential and current Apple customers was the introduction of a 4th generation iPad. Arriving just 7 months after the 3rd generation iPad, the 4th gen renders the current version out of date, giving it a particularly short lifespan. I imagine that when many customers forked out in March, they were hoping for some kind of long term investment, having paid long term prices. Perhaps more dissatisfying is the notion that this iPad arrived completely unannounced, so no-one really had any time to react to the news, perhaps selling their current model or opting to wait before purchasing. Apple has offered an exchange on any iPads bought within the last 30 days (3rd gen only of course), but this isn’t global policy, so your chances are slim at best. On the other hand, this upgrade hasn’t rendered the current iPad completely useless, so if you don’t mind not having the latest device, then I’m sure you have nothing to worry about. Personally, I’m going to one of the first to pre-order the new Retina iPad in the morning, which I’m really excited about! But what about you? What are your reactions to the event? Are you pleased by the upgrades? Or were you hoping for something else?