It’s here! It’s here! The iPad 2 is finally here! And it’s… yeah…
In a typical Apple gimmick, Steve Jobs took a break from his medical leave to get on stage yesterday and announce the new version of the iPad (aka Jesus tablet), the “revolutionary” product that sold 15 million units in just over one year. And what I have to say is “meh…” (and I’m not the only one). Apart from some nice little additions, there’s nothing too exciting about this iPad 2.
They did address some of the reasons I mentioned as to why the iPad is a useless device, though. The iPad 2 now supports multitasking (due to a newer version of iOS) and has a front facing camera to make it possible to make video calls using FaceTime. It allows for HDMI output, which is a no-brainer if you intend to do presentations on it, although it will cost you to get the adapter needed for it (in good Apple fashion). There’s some other stuff like a faster processor, and a reduction in thickness and weight.
And that’s about it. A few small tweaks here and there, a fancy video touting it as a magic device, and off you go, there’s nothing else to see. Wait, there’s also this, the magnetic cover:
Yes, that’s right, in what was supposed to be a major technology announcement, the thing that stands out is a fancy screen cover…
So what was left out? Well, there’s still no practical way to get stuff in and out of the device (except for using iTunes). No SD card slot, so forget about taking it on a trip and dropping the pictures you take with the camera into the iPad (unless you shell out some money for the adapter, of course). Yes, you can use the rear-facing camera to take photos, but besides being only 5MP, it’s just silly. I can’t believe that Apple, being always so minimalist in all they do, decided to add this completely superfluous feature. Also no USB, and any hopes of Apple introducing the new Thunderbolt in this version of the iPad (like it did in the new line of Macbooks) are gone.
But if you think I’m at all surprised with all this, let me tell you I’m not. This is what Apple has been doing for a long time (first the iPod, then the iPhone, and now the iPad). Start with something that looks impressive enough to sell a lot but with a lot of obvious things missing (and let me add that some of those things could have been included from the start, but were probably left on hold just to have more to show in the next version), and then keep releasing new versions with small improvements and more features, thus keeping the money machine working. And it has proven a great model, so why change? While people keep throwing money at Apple for every shiny new device they launch, they’ll keep doing it this way.
And that’s that. When’t the iPad 3 coming out?