Apple won't be doing you guys any favours. Not that I mind, if I wanted wank, I'd be reading elsewhere.
When introducing the iPad 2 on Wednesday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs referred to it as an "all-new design." That assertion could kindly be called debatable. More accurately, the iPad 2 is a refinement and speed bump to the original iPad. Its new higher-performance processor and improved graphics are, to be sure, welcome upgrades. Its …
Apple won't be doing you guys any favours. Not that I mind, if I wanted wank, I'd be reading elsewhere.
Apple has traditionally never done El Reg any favors, and in fact actively snubs them, IIRC. (And I'm pretty certain a staff will either back me up on this or correct me if I'm incorrect.)
Personally, I think the snub status of El Reg re. Apple is only positive - there are enough fawning mags begging for advertising revenue out there.
It shows that the Apple marketing droids are not that clued up - their snubbing of El Reg only enforces their status as independent thinkers.. Think of it as a sort of secondary Streisand effect :-).
Go El Reg!
Endless Apple non-stories milking the hype. The Register is shameless in it's faux Apple abuse to lure in viewers and puff up the ad revenues. 'Independent thinkers' is stretching it a bit, IMHO. It would be interesting to know how many Apples are in use at the Register offices, including iPhones...
The Financial Times report dubbed Apple as the masters of the 'Goldilocks' update - i.e. not too much, not too little, but just right. It is a fine line between enthusing users to upgrade and pissing off early adopters and Apple actually understand this. USB, SD card, and now HDMI are available with an adapter, but some people won't be happy until it comes with a bridge for them to live under!
Rik, when you have a product that comes from nowhere and ships 15 million units in nine months then maybe you'd have a point. Until then keep your smarm to yourself.
This is going to sell shedloads and the rest of the pack very little indeed.
It's not about specs it's about function. At the moment the highly spec'd Xoom has no actual functions. There is very little you can do with it. Meanwhile... there are tons of things you can do with the iPad.
Still no SD expansion, still no (proper) multitasking.....
Maybe that'll be in number 3...
In the meantime I'll be happy with my galaxy tab thanks (I'll be fair, IF the new camera is 5mp, then that beats the 3mp from the old galaxy tab - but still missing the flash and the 1.3mp front camera)
> ...when you have a product that comes from nowhere
It's an overpriced iPod.
It didn't just "come from nowhere". It's the culmination of Apple's entire non-computer product lines.
"specs" are what allows "functions" to work.
The iPad didn't have any real apps built for it either outa the gate.. But it didn't take long for those to start showing up - and I bet in 3 months you will see quite the offerings.. Android does however do a better job of making use of existing widgets and apps built for the phone version by taking advantage of the desktop space.. not to mention Honeycomb/android already has better notifications and has done more faster than apple in terms of turn around time to market for new features.. Here we are a year later with the iPad 2 and its demo'd with the features it should have had outa the gate and still nothing fresh and exciting. If you ask me - Apple is stuck in neutral now that the competition has arrived.. and its just going to look even worse 3 months to 6 months from now.. iOS needs an overhaul.
Surely the iPad is based on the Newton?
Apple wanted to deliver years ago but the stylus-hating lot that we consumers are made it a failure (albeit loved). Other OEMs have tried and found the same issues
Let's face it, technology has begun to catch up with what people want...
1. Instant-on. You cannot understand how important this is
2. Support for grubby digits and not pricky things
3. Natural gestures
4. It has to look nice
5. It must be priced high enough to appeal to the well-off folk and not the Oiks
6. Oiks will be allowed to have one if they save up pocket money
I think undoubtedly that the iPad is a success. I don't, however, feel the urge to buy into the Apple version of Utopia (and that's including the free 3g iPad I could have had from work).
Also, I do have the feeling that an iPad Nano, 7" screen version, would fly off the shelves like hotcakes. Unless it was released at the time the clocks go backwards or forwards and all the alarms fail to go off ;-)
A big question will be how many iPad owners "upgrade". Given the camera, I think a lot.
How exactly is Android innovating faster?
The Tab has been out for several months now, and exactly zero innovation has occured to it or the oversized phone apps that run on it.
Despite all the good talk, you still can't a Honeycomb tablet, and the Xoom hardly brings anything to the game that the iPad doesn't.
If the iPad should have had all see features out of the box (how many dual core mobile processors where there in April 2010), then it would have made the Tab and Xoom look like even more pathetic catch up devices.
The best you can come up with is a notification system. Don't count out this being sorted with iOS 5 which will no doubt be announced with the next iPhone. See, I can do speculation on how things will be in 3 months too...
When the competition eventually arrives (can anyone yet buy a Xoom, 10" Tab, PlayBook or HP TouchPad yet -- will any of them be available before the iPad 2?), then we'll see. Personally, I don't give any of these pretenders much chance.
Erm what is this "proper" multitasking you speak of? Perhaps you don't know what multitasking is? multitasking is nothing to do with the interface, it is at the kernel level and iOS and Android both have it since they are based upon fully capable kernels.
I suspect you're referring to the user interface, just because you can't see two applications at the same time does not mean there's no multitasking going on.
What have you tried to do and found that you couldn't? Oh you don't own one, so you have no licence to comment on how well it works. As for Android's multitasking, the way iOS does it is very similar actually.
The iOS multitasking has templates for various scenarios, music in background, networking in background and games. These templates determine what to do in the event the application becomes idle. So a music player would carry on playing, a game would pause and a network enabled application would carry on downloading.
What isn't multitasking about that? do you really want a game to carry on playing when you change applications?
That said, I'm not impressed with the iPad 2, despite the fact that the hardware hasn't really improved much (although I'm sure it now has more RAM) it is the software I wanted to see improved. iOS5 should have been previewed and iOS4.3 doesn't add anything I really want.
Yeah, and until you're a pro writer you should keep your snark to yourself.
I've always had problems getting any enthusiasm for this argument. The whole "don't criticise unless you can do better" thing is so stupid that I always suspect perpetrators of trolling.
What you say is sophism. Of course iOS has the ability to Multi-task, but it doesn't let me do it unless if its an apple app and still it does it the way apple wants.
E.g. when downloading a podcast to my iPad, if I leave the application (e.g. because I wanted to start the iPod player, or check the sports scores), the download stops because although it can multi-task, it won't let me. The fact that I can resume when I return to the app is little help since I have better things to do, than look at a downloading progress bar.
If I want to enable real multi-tasking I have to Jailbreak the machine with all the headaches that entails because Holy Cupertino, doesn't want me to be able to choose what I want to do.
So yes you're right but actually you're totally wrong.
You've obviously got broken software. Multitasking is extended to third party applications, in much the same way as it is in WebOS, which appears to have been the model.
While it's always possible to pick apart the specs, and find something to claim a distinction on, no objective definition of multitasking would exclude what third party software can do on the iPad.
Obvious question number one: I take it that you're downloading podcasts using a third party app, and not the iTunes app (which does allow it to run in the background)?
Obvious question number two: I take it you've upgraded your iPad to 4.2, which adds multitasking support?
If yes, then you *should* be able to leave the app and have the download continue in the background, at least up to a maximum of 10 minutes. That is, if the app developer has written the app to take advantage of the Task Completion API that appeared in iOS 4.
I've just downloaded a podcast in the background using my iPad, so I'd say you are the one who is totally wrong.
Do you actually own an iPad or do you just have a set world view based on how things used to be on iOS 3.x?
Next you'll be telling us that the iPhone doesn't allow any third-party apps and only works on EDGE.
Hang on... you're not Dr John Smith are you? Your TARIS clock is wrong, you're posting on the forums about a year late.
OK to answer all the smart alecs who think I can't tell the difference between multi-tasking and task switching...
1) My iPad is running iOS 4.2.1, which contrary to your statements only does "proper" as you call it multi-tasking for some (mainly Apple) apps.
2) Correct, I'm not using iTunes to download the podcast. I thought I made it clear when I said that only Apple apps enjoy full multi-tasking support.
3) That was just one example - this is not specific to the podcast app I was using. I have a number of other apps that experience similar limitations:
- The app that streams music from my NAS server stops playing when minimized.
- The web browsers I use that can download files from the web (perfect browser, Atomic and iCab) also have their downloads frozen when minimized. Anyone who thinks differently and owns an iDevice is welcome to try. Safari can't download anything so it won't tell you.
- The various file browsing apps I have from the app store also do the same (AirSharing, Filer etc)
- The book reader I use when downloading books from my PC.
4) I did manage to get real multitasking after I jailbroke the iPad. That allowed me to install Backgrounder which allows you to set different multi-tasking profiles for any app you want, so that you can have some things (e.g. mobile terminal and Cydia shut down fully, others to use native multitasking, and the ones that need it to use Backgrounder which runs them as if they were in foreground even if minimized.
5) @Anonymous Coward: You're a twit. I've been using apple (and non-apple) hardware for years. My opinion is based on actual technical knowledge and understanding, something you seem to lack and think you can make up for by being a smart a*se.
Paris because you share an IQ with her - all two digits of it.
"Rik, when you have a product that comes from nowhere and ships 15 million units in nine months then maybe you'd have a point. Until then keep your smarm to yourself."
This kind of gibberish is the last line of defence of clueless fanboys/girls of all kinds everywhere. Don't like Justin Bieber? Have you had any international mega-hits? Do you have a vast following among teenaged girls? If not, WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT IT, EH? Bit disappointing it's coming out this early in the game…
Since this response thread is getting a bit long, and has some incomplete comments, lets go over a couple things:
iOS has multitasking, yes, but only for Apple apps, such as iTunes (plays music in the background) for instance. Android 3.0 (on the Xoom) has full multitasking (allows any 3rd party app to run in the background [such as your alternate favorite mp3 player] while surfing the web [on say, Firefox or Opera]). Android 2.x has had partial multitasking (similar to iOS) which allowed some apps such as the music player to run in the background.
As far as the iPad being some product that "came out of nowhere" and sold 15mil units, that's "shipped" 15mil units. Likely most all will be sold (or returned/RMAed). Apple doesn't release its actual floor-sell numbers. Also, tablets have been around for ages. Most used a stylus or the like due to not having capacitive screens (at least at affordable prices) until recently, and resistive screens had a hard time on the uptake. It was pointed out recently that the first "iPad" actually appeared in some episodes of "The Tomorrow People," a show that aired several decades ago. Granted, it was just a stage prop, but it functioned the same as a current-gen iPad (fingers to gesture and interact with the screen, same case design even, but likely used USB to interface with :P). So no, not "out of nowhere," just a better take on what was currently being offered (the iPod Touch).
As for "not being able to get Honeycomb or the Xoom," this is false. The Xoom is on the shelf of my Verizon store as of last week confirmed. Likely longer. It was sitting on the shelf doing its song and dance right next to the iPad1. The salesperson actually pointed out a funny incident about why the Xoom was better than the iPad: the websites used, by default, to do certain actions. She tried to use an iPad to look up a local chinese restaurant. It gave her a small handful on a map, which she could click on it it would take her to fullscreen website for the business (opens Safari to do so). On the Xoom, she showed me, the Google Maps came up with more eateries, and when touched, would provide an info bubble containing address, phone number, and a few links, one of which was their menu from allmenus.com. This would pull up in the browser, sure, but the MOBILE version, so it was clear to read and you didn't have to navigate around on the website. These little nuances are what is making Android a better platform. There are a TON, as I'm sure iOS has many as well. I just know that Android is likely going to have more over time, simply due to the nature of its driving force: Open Source and Google. Google does great for giving you the information you want as quickly and easily as possible (hence the embedding of allmenus.com in their business results). Apple has no such hooks (for better, likely worse).
Likely, the market will tip to a similar ratio we currently see of Apple vs Microsoft, but in the tablet market of iOS vs Android. Android will proliferate merely because it costs less, and supports more things. Apple will continue selling their products to those willing to pay the markups, and they'll be perfectly content with it. Why? Their markups. They were never a volume company. I doubt they know how to be, as proven by their marketplace (oh, "App Store," as they're trademarking...) that they've severely mismanaged. (argue against this point, and I'll simply posit "then why do they have the DoJ sniffing around about monopolistic practices?").
As for why I won't be buying an iPad2:
No SD card.
Requires iTunes, which means it can only "sync" (receive files/music/etc) from one computer and you can't "restore" the files back out the computer if your computer goes down, so even though you have a copy, it's not a "backup" copy. That is, unless you jailbreak/hack/etc, but those should be unnecessary....drag & drop please.
Really, those are the only two arguments (besides MAYBE cost) that would hold water, as arguments such as "functionality" and "true multitasking" go both ways. If you use an Apple piece of hardware, expect to be forced to use their Apps too. iBooks, The Daily, iTunes, et al. They're the only non-neutered, or "tax"-free options.
- amongst others, Spotify can continuously stream music; streaming and playing audio from the background is one of the specific types of multitasking Apple explicitly wanted to allow. A direct quote from their documentation: "Applications that play audio can include the UIBackgroundModes key (with the audio value) in their Info.plist file to register as a background-audio application. This key is intended for use by applications that provide audible content to the user while in the background, such as music player or streaming-audio applications. When this key is present, the system’s audio frameworks automatically prevent your application from being suspended when it moves to the background."
- "Any time before it is suspended, an application can call the beginBackgroundTaskWithExpirationHandler: method to ask the system for extra time to complete some long-running task in the background. If the request is granted, and if the application goes into the background while the task is in progress, the system lets the application run for an additional amount of time instead of suspending it." That's how a well-written browser can continue downloading files when in the background.
- there's an execution mode, designed with VoIP clients directly in mind, that allows a piece of software to connect itself to a socket and subsequently wake on demand. That's how a file store-type application could accept and transmit files without having to be kept in the foreground.
- I'm counting this as the same problem as the file stores on a technical level, though I appreciate it much better demonstrates how the alleged deficiency can directly a task that's an upfront promoted feature and a reason that non-technical people will possibly buy the device, whether rightly or wrongly.
So: yes, the request to continue arbitrary task processing may be denied. Yes, the best support is for event based tasks, and it's a simple fact that the number of permissible event hooks is small.
No, that doesn't mean that multitasking isn't supported, or that it isn't 'real' multitasking. Multiple tasks can run, simultaneously. That's multitasking. Your complaint, taking it at its strongest, is that Apple will sanction only certain types of multitasking, which cuts to issues of approval and control rather than technical software issues.
Actually, it's one tribe against a loosely knit coalition of anarcho-syndicalist collectives.
250 000 virus-ridden apps served from its app store, thats pretty damned innovative!
Step One: Get the multi-tasking situation on iOS wrong.
Step Two: Compare one non working stage prop is equivalent to making an 15 million working product with real world cost, engineering and production constraints.
Step Three: Complete ignore that Apple use Google services as well. Also ignore that although Android is open source, it is developed in secret. And the Google apps aren't open source.
Full of holes. You can make some good cases for Android, but you hardly make any.
Old woman - it may be, but that would require a simple majority when voting on non-executive matters but a full 2-3rds majority...
Or something like that.
Paris - because she likes majorities too.
have you ever used an android device?
Mine came with wordprocessor & spreadsheet that syncs with my online office choice,
yet I have to buy it for the ipad.
My android phone will run remote access programs in the browser, I have to spend $30 to get similar functionality with my remote destop provider on the ipad.
I can copy any files to and from my android phone, can I do that with my ipad? fat chance.
I can play ANY media file i have tried on my android phone, it takes me hours to convert for itunes to bother to take them.
I can run java apps on my phone, I can access ANY web page on my android phone.
and this is a PHONE not an ipad, not a tablet, just 2.2 android.
If your in any kind of business you would realise the ipad is just a toy not a tool.
And with apples locking down of apps, it means many apps will just never appear on it.
Yeah, thanks for that, I too have been using Apple kit for years and have actual technical knowledge and understanding based on actually working for several companies writing actual OS code.
There are many types of multi-tasking, but they broadly fall into two camps: Pre-emptive and co-operative.
Generally speaking, for end-user systems you would want to use pre-emptive multi-tasking so that the OS controls the amount of time each process is actually running - bare in mind that in a single CPU system only one task is actually running at any one time, it's just the fact that the switch between running tasks happens so quickly and frequently that everything appears to run simultaneously.
Windows 3.x used co-operative multi-tasking and while it didn't matter for 90% of the time you would always manage to find at least one program that didn't release the CPU regularly enough or at appropriate places.
Apple's iOS has always been a pre-emptive multi-tasking OS, but prior to iOS 4 they only allowed some of their own programs to do it and prevented third-party ones by the fairly straightforward method of having the OS kill the foreground task when the home button is pressed.
At iOS 4 Apple created a framework where programs could register to perform specific activities in the background (e.g. playing music, downloading) and they changed the default action of the home button to put a program to sleep instead of killing it.
Backgrounder doesn't enable "real" multi-tasking, that already existed, it intercepts the OS calls and applies a different model, clearly that model is more appropriate for the way you want to use the device, but they are just differing solutions to the same engineering problem of how to balance battery life and user experience.
I would also suggest that if you can't download a podcast in the background on your jailbroken device, but I can on my vanilla device then there's a reasonable chance that your jailbreak or one of the jailbreak apps is the cause of your problem, not the OS.
You couldn't be more right.
If it made any sense at all it would mean that nobody was ever allowed to criticize anything that they hadn't already done better themselves.
"If the iPad should have had all see features out of the box (how many dual core mobile processors where there in April 2010), then it would have made the Tab and Xoom look like even more pathetic catch up devices."
Uh, how could the Tab and Xoom be catch up devices to a product that came out after them? The iPad 2 is a catchup device because the market surpassed the original iPad in the spec department. Apple is trying to catch up to the better hardware that is out there.
Your comment shows that the reality distortion field is apparently alive and well.
Shane Menshik, as much of a android fan I am I would have to say that the android is still not innovating but merely drafting. When the iPhone came out, everyone followed suit and began making more and more smart phones; when the iPad came out, everyone followed suit and began to make tablets. "Innovation means to begin or introduce something new." At the moment Android is just following whatever Apple sets, and they have no idea what to do next unless Apple makes a move. That clearly is no way in shape or form innovating. I do agree that Apple currently is in neutral, but Android needs bring some actual innovative ideas to the table to make any sort of noise. Also next time do not use "innovating" so casually(makes android supporters look bad).
So effectively the iPad 2 is the equivalent of FIFA 11.......same game but a little more shiny.
As a gamer, I'm going to have to say No way. There are a lot of good games out there that will run a lot better on the iPad 2. The 9x graphics upgrade will make games like Amazing Blue Fugu and Angry Birds that much smoother!
Actually, The Register has been banned from Apple press events already. If you want to get on the list, you have to print only positive things.
And the run down of the hits and misses for the iPad2 is accurate, and not certainly not positive. The fact that memory isn't disclosed, is the biggest concern for me. I have an original iPhone 3, and it is getting worse and worse, because new apps require so much memory. I'd only consider the iPad2, if it has 512MB.
"...I have an original iPhone 3, and it is getting worse and worse, because new apps require so much memory..."
I know what you mean - new apps strain my Amstrad 1640 to buggery.
Some won't even run...
Memory is sort-of a moot point.
If the iPad is only every going to have 256MB of memory then what difference does it make as all apps will be written within that constraint.
When you say that you want 512MB what you're *actually* saying is that you want an amount of memory which a machine three years from now may have (as you're trying to future-proof your purchase). Who's to say how much memory a future machine will have? However, with that sort of logic you'd never buy one as there'll always be a better one out next year.
@the guy above me
You sir a sadly mistaken, the Xoom already has 1 gig of ram.
So different processor, diferent graphics, cameras, sound, new operating system, case... I would really like to know, what was apple supposed to do for you to say, it is iPad 2, not 1.5. Get real, ppl, if you got PC with different graphics, different CPU, different case, new OS... different EVERYTHING, would you say it is the same, or would you say it is new?
Maybe they could have switch from tablet, to air conditioning units, then it would be redesign? Right?
I think that you may be conflating two things here. Nobody is saying that the iPad 2 uses secondhand parts or anything so it's clearly "new" in that sense.
But if Dell were to tout a computer as "completely new" and you found out that it had just a slightly faster graphics card, or cpu or whatever but all still from the same generation of tech then would you not say that they were being a bit excessive in talking up the innovation? To justify the stuff that Apple have been saying you'd need some sort of generational shift, not just an iteration on the tech that was there before. From the stuff that I've read, maybe only the move to dual core fits that description? And that's just one part. Yes most things have been upgraded a bit but that doesn't a priori justify the hype.
Look, Amazon put out new kindles, with upgraded components under the (tweaked) case and (I'm sure) firmware upgrades along the way. I've not heard them touting every new version as if it was the second coming.
@bolccg: " if Dell were to tout a computer as "completely new" and you found out that it had just a slightly faster graphics card, or cpu or whatever but all still from the same generation of tech then would you not say that they were being a bit excessive in talking up the innovation"
You - and the author of the article - are taking a lot for granted. You don't just toss a lot of extra components into a box (especially ones that can easily consume a lot more power) and expect everything to work in the same way. It doesn't matter so much for a desktop - just suck up whatever power you need from the mains. But this device is running from a battery. They also wanted to make a very small device significantly smaller... and lighter... with more components... and make it faster... and keep it running for 10 hrs under normal load. I bet the designers were sweating blood to make that work.
Great design always presents itself in a way that seems conceptually simple - far simpler than a crap design usually. Good designers often face the paradox that their extra efforts are perceived to entail less work. It can take many more design iterations to refine a product from "functional" to "a joy to use". If the new iPad was simply a faster version of the old one, I'd be sceptical too. But this release fully deserves the v2 moniker.
You are right of course - an awful lot of development effort has gone in to this device to make it smaller, lighter, add cameras (I work with mobile device cameras, and I know what a pain they are to get going and working), make the battery last longer. That is, no doubt, a lot of effort.
However, from the point of view of the end user, all they see is something that looks the same, and has a couple of cameras on it. (Camera they already have in their cheap as chips mobile phone.). So from a designers POV - it's completely new, from a customers pov, it's much the same as the last one.
I would say the POV of most end users, and more importantly, potential customers, is that it is faster, thinner, a little lighter, has cameras, and for $500, they may get all the power, but less storage and no 3G. It's us techies who sniff and parse each element with derision and condescension in order to prove our crabbed view of the world.
Looking at the bright side of this burgeoning versioning debate, at least Mr. Myslewski didn't dub it iPad 1.0.1, i.e., he recognizes that some non-trivial evolution took place.
Different outside shell and and advancement in the hardware. FWIW, I think Dell bumps up the major number, or gives a product a new name, when that happens.
You would be correct if they kept the same physical specs, but Im pretty sure everything in the new ipad is different from ipad one. This isn't just swapping a cpu and gpu. it redesigning the logic board and processor to fit in faster specs while using less battery (the ipad 2 has a physically smaller battery). If you dont see that redesigning the shell to decrease weight and still fit 10 hours of battery life is a technical challenge than I dont know how to convince you otherwise.
The hype I agree with you is a bit out of proportion, but theres nothing anyone can do about it. Apples a big company and financial reporters have to report on it or they loose big bucks. This isn't a spectacular release, but its an entirely new inside out design.
I passed on the original because of the lack of cameras. When my next grandchild arrives in a few weeks, my daughter and I will each have one. The hospital has wi-fi. Worth the price of admission right there. Mr. Molloy is correct. it IS all about function. I've already selected quite a few apps I will be purchasing. This device (wi-fi only) has exactly what I am looking for.
You're going to spunk a grand on the 12-24 hours that your daugther will get to spend in the maternity ward before she gets ushered out the door? Crikey..
You need to add the iPad cost to that!
I think you'll find that it will work after they have left hospital...
So you have been waiting for this to have a device with a camera and there is wi-fi? How about your laptop, or netbook or mobile? Another apple customer, very little brains.
you could buy a camera, which would probably fit in your pocket and be relatively unobtrusive when in use, and a book to pass the time.
What's that? You're made of money? OK, carry on.
He's got the money. Not everyone has to have a wallet like a nun's proverbial.
Call it what you will, v1.5 or v 2, calling it a FondleSlab is more amusing though.
I for one want one. Thing is Apple products do the job. Its not just talk, they do just work.
It'd be better if El Reg's criticism of Apple focused on the more constructive side - like the rigidity of the requirement to use Apple's distribution channels and philosophies to deploy software. There is an argument for keeping abominations like Flash off people's devices - it is partly the reason why said devices do just work. Given the right constructive criticism Apple may be kept honest and provide mechanisms that allow openness without compromising functionality for unwitting users.
Just trying to help you there buddy :-)