The iPads didn’t get much stage time and weren’t featured in any demos. What is particularly disconcerting is that Apple has not done a single on-stage demo for the iPad this year. Nothing at WWDC, nothing at last month’s iPhone event, and nothing at the Fall Event. Perhaps if they moved the iPad reveal to the middle of the keynote they could have done demos showing off how the iPad and Mac apps work together. By waiting to reveal the iPad at the end of the event, they weren’t able to demo the new apps and the benefits of 64-bit without outing the new products. Imagine if Xander Soren had demoed GarageBand with 32-tracks on an iPad Air. That’s something that’s never been done before, and would have showed what the product can do in a very meaningful way.
One of the things I've kept hearing from people at last week's iPad event was how impossibly light the iPad Air felt. Like the iPhone 5 before it, it supposedly feels so light as to seem, at first, like it's a fake, a dummy, a hollow blank. Brian Klug talked about it just so on last week's edition of Vector. (Not coincidentally, Ben Thompson is this week's guest, talking about this very topic.)
We saw how thin it looked on slides. We were told how light it was during the presentation, but nobody, not Tim Cook, not Phil Schiller, not Eddy Cue - nobody - took one out on stage and spoke about how it felt to hold, to use, to experience. With the iPad 2, Apple brought experience to a spec fight. That's the element that was missing last week, and the element I very much hope to see next time.