Friday, March 23, 2012

The “New” iPad – A Review

My new iPad came in last week and I ran home and started to play with it.  After turning it on and starting to restore the device from my cloud backup at Apple, the first thing I realized was it was going to take a while, I'm not sure if it's because of my connectivity, the amount of apps I had or if everyone was hitting Apple's servers at the same time, but it was taking forever to load.  Then I realized that even though I was backing up to Apple's cloud service that none of my pictures were being restored, this meant I had to plug into my MacBook and download the pictures again (I like having my pictures on my iPad).  As all of this was happening I realized that the iPad was getting sort of hot, not uncomfortable, but not as you'd expect it to.  After several hours restoring the device I came to my final conclusion, my pictures on this new iPad were out of this world gorgeous!  Anyway here are my findings:

I figure this is the big news right now, so let's hit this first.  The warmest I noticed it getting was when I was downloading material to it, since then it's gotten warm, but that's about it.  People have theorized that it's the new Retina display getting hot, but I'm thinking it may have something to do with the antenna or I/O on the device.  I know my iPhone gets really hot when it's looking for a signal and can't find one and I think (This is all theory now) this is why some iPhones have "exploded" in airplanes, I think people plug them in for power, forget to turn off the antenna and the device goes nuts (if you leave the device unplugged it will simply run out of battery in a very quick fashion).   Anyway, since my initial install I haven't noticed the new iPad getting uncomfortably warm.


The display is VERY nice, though unless you're a photographer or artist, it's not worth the money to get a new device JUST for the display.  If you are a professional photographer then this could be as powerful a tool as your camera, especially when it comes time to showing off your portfolio.  I'm an "accidental" photographer, my that I mean I take a lot of pictures and pray that at least one looks great, the new iPad makes almost all my pictures look great (and make me look like an artist).


There's a catch with the display, this comes down to the programming bits.  When you build apps to take advantage of the new iPad, you need to build any image for the app for both normal resolution and for the new iPad, this means that every app will need twice as many images in it.  The new images are also quite large, so expect apps to get larger.  The camera on the new iPad is also 5 MegaPixel, which means that images will be larger.  Finally any movie that you download you'll want to make sure is HD, so if you find the 16GB iPad a bit cramped and are looking to upgrade, then you might consider a 32GB iPad.


I picked up a 4G/LTE version (Verizon) and had to test it out some.  I first tested it at my office and didn't get great findings, but then I tested it at home where I have a better cell connection and the results were astonishing.  The speed in both directions was similar to my wireless settings.  Getting 11Mbps download is incredible.  Yeah in the end my wireless network was faster, but to have this type of download speed on a mobile device is fantastic.  Of course as with all things there's a downside.  At those speeds you'll rip through your download allotment very quickly, especially if you're using the iPad's network in place of your personal network.

You can also turn on a personal hotspot and use the iPad as personal hotspot, again hopefully you have the data plan to support the downloads.  I believe Verizon has offered this at no additional cost.


To be honest I haven't noticed any speed improvements over the iPad 2, I think most of the speed improvements went to the display.

Should you get it?

I'll stick by my original statement a couple of weeks ago and say, if you're a developer or are looking to upgrade an iPad 1 or have no iPad, then it's a great device to get.  I'll add onto it that if you're a photographer or artist of some sort, then the new iPad could be as essential a tool as your camera.

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