As I wait for my new iPad to be delivered, I fondly remember all the great things my original iPad has done for me. I am anxious, believe it or not my new iPad has been sitting in a warehouse only a couple of miles from me for over a week now. I didn’t buy an iPad 2 and some of the things about the new one are true for the 2 but I think the radical improvement will be just like starting a new. So let’s go.
1) Retina Display. People can explain and argue about what is really a retina display till the cows come home, and that is all fine but it really does not matter. What really counts is how good the new display looks. Judging from what I see on the iPhone and the history of excellence Apple has, this will be the most stunning display in the history of computing. It might not be much a couple of years from now but for today it will be the window to reality, everyone will be talking about the display. It will bring your images to life in a new way, they will now have all the color and crispness they deserve. At 2048x 1536 pixel resolution, you will want to show only your best work as flaws and heavy cropping will also become that much more noticeable.
2) New Cameras. 5 Mega pixel stills and 1080p video are an upgrade to the new iPad and bring the cameras up to an almost pro level, certainly to a point that the images can be used as part of a professional project. We all have lenses and DSLR’s for the most part and can do pretty much all we need, but imagine how easy it will be to grab an iPad and make a wide-angle shot or a quick 38 second video without having to swap out lenses. It’s going to be a lot easier.
3) Apps. iOs5 and the new iPad are ushering in a new class of touch based photo editing applications. iPhoto, Snapseed, and Photoshop Touch to name a few, all give the kind of editing power of their big brothers but allow the user to live within the iOS ecosphere. Pretty cool not having to hand off images between computers so much any more. There are other apps too. Want an education? Head over to iTunes U, one of my favorites is still iBird Pro which has evolved into a stunning iPad application that is informative beyond description. If you are in North America it is really a must have.
4) Mobility. It was not all that long ago that devices like the iPad were nothing but science fiction. With LTE the new iPad is functional pretty much anywhere. It just works! Need I say more.
5) Publishing and Sharing. Twitter integration, Facebook, Google+ and a whole plethora of social apps work almost seamlessly on the iPad. If you can’t get your word out now there is no technical excuse for it. Probably the biggest part of the iOS 5 ecosystem is the new iBooks platform for the iPad. iBook author (a Mac OS application) allows any would be author to put together a stunning multi media book and even sell it if wished. One thing that some people may not know about is iBooks don’t have to be published in the store, you can install you own books on individual devices making sharing among family and friends easy.
6) Portfolio. I actually think that a traditional print portfolio is still the best way to show your work. Two reasons for that, you don’t crop for a screen size and high quality printing is still the best resolution to display images. That said, a retina display iPad is the best digital solution for a portfolio. I have tried a few portfolio apps and quite frankly a lot of them are horrible, so be wary. In the end I landed on the Smug Mug app. You have to be a subscriber to the service but he app is free. It is a high quality, always working, no-nonsense way to display your pictures.
7) Connectivity. The new iPad is available in 4G LTE for both AT&T and Verizon. PC World shows both AT&T and Verizon are averaging about 25Mb speeds with peaks as high as 40 Mb. Even with lesser quality connections 4G transfer rates are equal to or better than most home internet service. With reasonably priced data plans and hot spot tethering the new iPad becomes as useful as a laptop in most situations. Not just for scanning the internet it now becomes a go to device in the field for both consumption and creation.
8) Presentation. The iPad can now connect to televisions, projectors, and other computers both wired and wireless giving the user the ability to do a presentation in almost any setting. Keynote and soon PowerPoint software will allow one to display high-resolution images and 1080p video and now recent iOS upgrades allow mirroring which lets the presentor see exactly what is being displayed on the big screen.
9) Multimedia. For years I have heard about how video is going to consume the still image experience and have not really seen it materialize, but I think that time has come being led by the iPad and iOS operating system. Not just video either but rather a true multimedia. I am talking about graphics, quality audio, voice over, and interactivity too. These are all things that we all want and will have to do. With iPhoto, iBooks, iMovie, Garageband, and a bunch of third-party applications he new iPad is going to be incredibly useful for both consuming and creating that content.
10) Storage. I really don’t recommend doing it but with a camera connection kit you can download images directly from your DSLR, edit, share and store them all on an iPad. I think there are much better solutions but with the larger capacity devices you can store a lot of photos. I see the iPad as a far more valuable device in its ability to interface with cloud storage solutions. Mobile Me Gallery actually worked pretty well but that is going away in favor of iCloud. iCloud is a confusing mess right now and I won’t use it, but other image storage cloud services like Dropbox and Smug Mug work great with the iPad. Beautiful crisp resolution and the ability to selectively download pictures for local storage are two features I really like.
So there are 10 reasons why I am anxiously awaiting my new iPad. How do I know it is going to be so good before I have even seen one? Somethings you just know!
*Update-Yup after my first day with the new iPad, it is everything I thought it would be!
Full disclosure–I am a shareholder of Apple Inc. and that has me feeling pretty good right now.
If you are still waiting for your new iPad you can check out some more of my photos at www.ronboyddesign.com