Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gruber does his iPad 2 review, saves me the hassle

I know I won't be one of those standing in line tomorrow (or even today) to get my hands on the new iPad 2. Buying the first iPad on launch day was unusual enough for me, buy version two immediately is out of the question.

I did the same thing with the original iPhone -- well, kind of. I was one of those who thought that Apple getting into the phone business was bad news, it would distract them from their Mac business so I was a bit skeptical. But weeks after the original iPhone launched I noticed that the phone was, well, amazing. So when I needed a new phone a couple of months later it was easy to leave Sprint for AT&T in order to get it. I had no regrets -- in fact, I thing that first iPhone belongs in the Smithsonian, its that amazing to behold, only the iPhone 4 beats it for pure design genius.
But the iPad was a whole new ballgame. I thought then, and think now, that the iPad is the most important thing to happen to the news business since the web, and while its impact on readers will probably be less than the web, it should prove more positive to publishers than the web initially did.

What about iPad 2? The second version of Apple's tablet won't be a game changer, the first iPad accomplished that. So, in the end, any review of the iPad 2 should probably be left to the tech writers. That brings us to Daring Fireball's John Gruber. He has reviewed the iPad 2 this morning and has probably done the best job so far.

Here are a couple snippet's. but I strongly recommend, assuming this is of interest to you, that you read the whole thing:

It is a refinement of the original iPad — an impressive one, in several ways, considering that it arrives just 11 months after the original. But it is in no way a radical or significant departure from last year’s model. The fact is, Apple got it right with the iPad 1 in almost every way, and the iPad 2 reflects that...

...In short: the iPad 2 is a little lighter, remarkably thinner, and feels much more comfortable to hold. For all practical concerns, the display is identical to last year’s iPad...

...A year from now we might look back upon the iPad 2 as having been built for gaming...

...Smart Covers are so cool that I can imagine iPad 1 owners — who think they’re happy to stick with what they’ve got — changing their minds and deciding to upgrade upon seeing Smart Covers in person.
That's more than enough, let's not aggregate too much, right?

The next review I want to read will be from Andy Ihnatko. Ihnatko has already written a kind of pre-review of the iPad 2 for the Sun-Times, but his actual review will probably come tomorrow. I assume that like Gruber, Ihnatko now has his review copy of the iPad 2 and is busy testing and writing about it.

Sadly, Apple does not send me review copies of its products. (hint, hint)

Yesterday I posted a look at the AirPlay feature inside the newly updated iOS. I worked with it some more last night and so far my impressions are very positive. You see it is one thing to tell a customer that they can stream their videos and photos to their TVs (via Apple TV), it is another thing to do it well. A bad user experience will kill off any new technology, of course.

The next, and probably last post on the topic will center on the Personal Hotspot feature, and the whole issue of connectivity and media. Look for that this afternoon.