Monday, March 19, 2012

First Look at New iPad

As some of you already know, I bought a new iPad and got it on Friday. So, what's new and worthy in this new version and how does it differ from the competition?

The reason I took the plunge was because of the vastly improved screen resolution. You may have heard me whine about fuzzy type in previous models. I found it difficult to do much reading because the type wasn't crisp.  I'd start focusing on the pixels in the print and background and get distracted from the content. This is no longer an issue. The type is sharp and clear. It rivals the e-ink e-readers. Photographs are also stunning at high resolution. I subscribe to National Geographic on the iPad. The April edition has a cover story on The Titanic. One of the pluses to the iPad version is that you can zoom in and move around to look closely at various parts of the sunken vessel. The rendering is pretty speedy and the detail is jaw dropping. Know that I'll be using this as an example as I talk about where e-books and e-publishing are going.

I'll still keep my e-ink devices for most of my e-book reading. I prefer not to read for long periods of time on a backlit screen. And the new iPad is even heavier and bulkier than the iPad2. But for newspapers, magazines and children's books (anything with multimedia and interactive features), the iPad is the go to device.

Some people are impressed by the camera quality. I'm still not sold on taking a lot of pictures or videos with a device so large but I might come around given the right circumstances. But it does seem evident that Apple sees the iPad as a device not only for taking photos and videos but for editing them. The new iPhoto app for iPad has a lot of amazing features. Adobe Photoshop has also come out with an iPad version. In addition there are several movie editing products, including iMovie and Avid.

For those of you out there looking for a tablet not from Apple, you continue to have a lot of choices but none of them quite measures up to the iPad. The Kindle Fire continues to be a viable low cost tablet alternative, but without the bells and whistles. There are some decent Android tablets out as well, my current favorite is the Asus Transformer Prime. But the Android tablets are second tier devices at this point, particularly in the apps department. I presume some of the Wow apps will eventually come to Android. But when you're an Android user, it seems you're always waiting and wondering when and if the next tasty tidbit will come your way and resenting Apple. If you're really in the market for a not Apple tablet, I think I'd wait for the Windows 8 tablets that will presumably be coming later this year.