On a Wednesday morning in early March, Apple unveiled their latest and greatest iOS tablet. Rumors had claimed that the device would be quad-core, but it turns out that the device only touts a dual-core processor with a quad-core graphics processor. It’s not all that disappointing though, because they also showcased the new iPad Retina display – it’s the best-looking display you’ll ever come in contact with at a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. What’s crazy is the fact that this display exceeds the amount of pixels in an average HDTV by over a million. It’s really something you have to see, just as the event invitation Apple sent out last week asserted.
Keep reading for a full roundup of what took place at this year’s iPad event.
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The Retina Display
Apple's comparison of a non-Retina iPad to the new iPad with a Retina display
First and foremost, we have the most important feature in the new iPad. It was the most expected feature ever since the release of the iPhone 4 in June 2010. Users had suddenly hoped that their iPad would soon tote such a remarkable display so that they may enjoy their digital life just as they did their regular life with true high-definition. And actually, Apple went further than ASUS did with their Transformer Prime.
Instead of a paltry 1920 x 1200 pixels, the iPad now offers 2048 x 1536 pixels — more than any “high-definition” content out there. Ergo, Apple has redefined the denotation of what high-definition means to us. They are working to make 1080p video the foundation by which we watch films, meaning that we will never again see even 720p on our tablets. Currently, they are working to bring as much 1080p content to the iTunes Store as possible, though right now there aren’t many videos that come in such quality. Hopefully they’ll be adding a lot more in the coming weeks.
What Apple says:
In order to create a display with four times the pixels, we had to design it in a completely new way. You see, every pixel in a display has multiple signals telling it when to light up. But when you have a lot of pixels and a lot of signals on the same plane, signals get crossed and image quality suffers. To make sure everything on the new iPad looks crystal clear, Apple engineers elevated the pixels onto a different plane — separating them from the signals. It’s technology that’s breakthrough. Just like the new iPad itself.
The A5X Processor
As a few rumors had claimed, the new iPad now touts a dual-core A5X processor that has a quad-core graphics processor built into it. While this is no quad-core processor, many of the hands-on articles across the Web have claimed that it’s more than sufficient enough to do anything you need on the device.
What Apple says:
The A5X chip with quad-core graphics drives four times the pixels of iPad 2 yet it delivers the same smoothness and fluidity iPad is known for. Even with all that extra oomph, the new iPad still gets an amazing 10 hours of battery life.
The 4G LTE
Apple officially unveiled their first 4G LTE product ever yesterday. This means that you will now be able to communicate with the Internet at over ten times the speed of 3G, provided that you have 4G LTE coverage in your area. Apple is now offering a unified 4G iPad that can communicate with any 3G or 4G network globally, from AT&T in the U.S. to Rogers in Canada with more to come in the future.
What Apple says:
The new iPad supports fast cellular networks the world over — up to 4G LTE. So you can browse the web, stream content, or download a movie at blazing-fast speeds. It also works on GSM/UMTS worldwide network technologies including HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA — the fastest 3G networks out there. You’ll see downlink speeds up to 42 Mbps with DC-HSDPA and up to 21.1 Mbps with HSPA+.
You may have noticed that I’ve been referring to Apple’s newest addition to their iOS tablet family as “the new iPad”, rather than “the iPad 3″. Well, it seems that Apple has decided to change the name of their tablet to simply “iPad” just as they’ve done with their Mac and iPod touch products. I’m not quite sure why they’ve done this, but it’s definitely confusing to some since the older iPad is actually called “iPad 2″. It makes one think that the older model is the newer model, which isn’t all that helpful, but I’m sure they’ll figure out how to market it differently eventually.
Siri dictation that's offered on the new iPad's on-screen keyboard
I must admit that Siri would have been a great addition to the iPad, but Apple must have thought otherwise. Instead of a full Siri voice assistant, they have integrated Siri’s dictation into the keyboard for a faster method of input than typing. It’s available in six different languages and activates with a simple tap.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem that the current generation iPad will be getting this feature, even with a software update. However, it is possible that the new iPad could receive an actual Siri assistant with an update to iOS — once it’s out of beta, perhaps?
What Apple says:
Write an email. Send a text. Search the web. Or create a note. And do it all with only your voice. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard. Then say what you want to say while your iPad listens. Tap Done and, just like that, your spoken words become written words. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so you can do things like update your Facebook status or share a thought on your Twitter feed.
The 5-Megapixel Camera With 1080p Video Capture
If you’re going to introduce a device with a beautiful high-definition Retina display, then it would only be proper to bring a much more fitting camera with it. Apple seems to have agreed with my little idea and they’ve introduced a completely new 5-megapixel camera with the new iPad. It not only brings a huge boost in megapixels, but also 1080p video capture at 30 frames per second. There’s not really much more you can ask for in this feature of the tablet and Apple is calling the new camera “iSight”, strangely enough — you may remember that they recently changed the camera name on their Macs to “FaceTime HD camera”, not to mention iSight used to be the name for a webcam, not an actual camera that’s meant for capturing pictures and video.
What Apple says:
The 5-megapixel iSight camera features a backside illumination sensor that captures great-looking pictures whether by sunlight or candlelight. Autofocus, tap to focus, and tap to set exposure functions mean every photo you take instantly becomes a frameworthy gem. And with built-in face detection that automatically balances focus and exposure across up to 10 faces, there’s more room for more grins. So everyone look at iPad and say “Cheese.”
The Same Great Battery Life
Even with the addition of a Retina display, 4G LTE — which is notorious for its ability to rapidly decrease the battery of smartphones that utilize it — and a quad-core graphics processor, Apple claims that the new iPad’s battery life will remain the same. This means that you’ll get ten hours on Wi-Fi and nine hours on 4G LTE, which is nearly unheard of since most tablets die after about for or five hours of use on the 4G network. It’s possible that Apple has found a way to optimize the radio for less power consumption or something, but as long as it works as it’s supposed to, I’m happy with that much battery life.
What Apple says:
The new iPad features a Retina display with four times the pixels of iPad 2 and quad-core graphics. How much of an effect does that have on battery life? Almost none. You still get up to 10 hours of power to read, watch, play, write, and create whatever you want, all you want.
The Apple TV
The beautiful new interface in Apple's latest TV box
And last, but certainly not least, Apple unveiled their latest Apple TV. It has an entirely redesigned user interface, is capable of playing back 1080p video, and more. It’s really going to raise the bar of quality in regards to streaming, though it won’t fare well with people like me who have only a 1.5 Mbps connection at their home.
The new user interface is available on the older Apple TV in a new software update that brings it to version 5.0. So, if you want to view your Apple TV in the beauty of what you see above, then go update it!
GarageBand for iOS was updated with many new features including optimized graphics for the new iPad’s Retina display, a “Jam Session” feature that lets you “jam” with your friends who have iOS devices, Smart Strings with an entire orchestra, and more. Here is the full list of changes:
Start a Jam Session to play or record live with up to three of your friends using iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch*
Conduct an entire string orchestra using Smart Strings
Use the Note Editor to adjust or fine-tune any Touch Instrument recording
Combine recordings to free up additional tracks using Track Merge
Keep your GarageBand songs up to date across all your iOS devices with iCloud*
Share your songs directly to Facebook, YouTube, and SoundCloud
Perform retro and modern synth bass lines and grooves with new Smart Bass instruments
Play synth melodies and arpeggios with new Smart Keyboard instruments
*Jam Session and iCloud are available on iPhone 4 or later, 4th generation iPod touch, and all iPad models.
Apple brought iMovie for iOS to version 1.3 with optimized graphics for the new iPad’s Retina display, the ability to create film trailers, the ability to create a song in GarageBand and send it right to iMovie, and more. Here’s the full list of changes:
Create beautiful movie trailers with stunning graphics and world-class soundtracks*
Swipe up on the playhead to freeze a frame in your video
Preview music and sound effects in the Audio Browser
Create a song in GarageBand and send it directly to iMovie
*Trailers are available on iPhone 4 or later and iPad 2 or later
In addition, Apple released iPhoto for iOS with many, many photo editing features that can only be covered in a review. Here’s a short overview of them for now:
If you are lucky and pre-order one now, then it should arrive at your doorstep on Friday, March 16th, the official release date. If not, then try heading to your local Apple retail store to grab one before they’re all gone.
I’m sure you’re desperate to know what journalists are saying about this new iPad, so here’s a succinct list of quotes from prominent pundits across the Web:
When looking at webpages or books, text just jumps off the screen. It’s almost a bit surreal how clear it is. Games look great, though most titles haven’t been tweaked for the new resolution. What’s most impressive is that the hardware driving the display doesn’t hesitate at all. We didn’t see any lag or weirdness when zipping around in apps.
Performance seemed snappy (though we had few complaints about performance on its predecessor). …
It’s impossible to put into words just how good the Retina display is on the iPad. It’s not just images that look sharper, it’s text too. Reading a Web site or an iBook on the iPad’s display is incredible. Even the home screen on the iPad is crisper and sharper than I expected.
After playing with the new iPad at the Apple launch event Wednesday, I am certain of three things. First, I am going to get heartily sick of calling this thing “the new iPad.” Secondly, the new retina display looks absolutely gorgeous in any app you care to name. And thirdly, not a single other thing about the device’s outward appearance has changed.
I’m very satisfied with Apple’s newest product release and have already purchased one. What’s more, I’ll be reviewing it here at iPad.AppStorm, so please check back in the coming weeks for a very in-depth look at what looks to be Apple’s finest yet. But hey, what do you think about the new tablet? Is it worthy of your admiration or will you just wait until the next one comes out? Let us know in the comments!
You can learn more about the new iPad here, pre-order one here, and
If you’d like to watch the full new iPad announcement keynote, then feel free to head over to Apple’s page to do so — it’s definitely worth a view as they actually did very well announcing and demoing the product.