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back to article You like iPads, you like things called 'Air'. You will LOVE this puppy

As expected, Apple refreshed its iPad lineup on Tuesday morning. Unexpectedly, it renamed its top-of-the-line 9.7-inch tablet to the iPad Air. Seeing as how the MacBook Air has been one of Apple's most successful products in recent years, it's perhaps no surprise that Cook & Co.'s marketing folks decided to borrow some of that …

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Innovation ...

... we've heard of it.

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Anonymous Coward

Take the best tablet and make it better. Can't wait to see apps making use of 64bit and the A7 power - time to upgrade my iPad 2 ;-)

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FAIL

Re: Take the best tablet and make it better

By fitting a motion sensor that can't quite get directions right?

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"Take the best tablet and make it better. Can't wait to see apps making use of 64bit and the A7 power - time to upgrade my iPad 2 ;-)"

If only they had. Both. Either.

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"Take the best tablet and make it better. "

Yes, the new Nexus is very good indeed.

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Hard Acts to Follow

Cook and David Moyes could console each other on how the last boss made their lives so much harder...

Today was a day of meh from Apple, Nokia took the spoils.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hard Acts to Follow

Noki-who - really. Meh - Maverics and new apps would have been significant on it's own - oh and Maverics is free whereas Windows 8 is how much as an upgrade...??

Add in the new iPads, new Macbooks, Mac Pro etc. and it's a lot to announce.

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Re: Hard Acts to Follow

"Today was a day of meh from Apple"

Rubbish. The announcement that Apple's desktop OS is from this point hence to be free was pretty big news.

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Re: Hard Acts to Follow

"oh and Maverics is free"

Guess you didn't notice where they hid the price.

So their business model is still working with their target audience, poor b*st*rds.

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Re: Hard Acts to Follow

"Rubbish. The announcement that Apple's desktop OS is from this point hence to be free was pretty big news."

Have I got a deal for you...

- From now on I'll sell you fries at twenty dollars a helping and give you free ketchup.

- Yo! No one else gives free ketchup. High-five me for that!

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WTF?

Re: Hard Acts to Follow

Would you please enlighten us as to where Apple has hidden the price of Mavericks?

My 2009 MacBook is downloading it now. The front page in the apple store clearly says FREE.

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Re: Hard Acts to Follow

Just like google's. Their apps are free too. And its only big news if you own an intel based Mac.

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Anonymous Coward

Faster, lighter, thinner, iOS 7, 64bit A7 what's there not to like and sets the bar that bit higher. Sure there will be plenty of Android people criticising but they would never have bought it anyway. For someone buying a new tablet or upgrading an older iPad it's a great option. Nice to see the older (and still perfectly good) iPads still being sold at lower prices.

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old ipad still too expensive

"Nice to see the older iPads still being sold at lower prices"

Yep yesterdays technology sold at todays prices. Google must be really worried

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A potentially "killer" (overused word that) aspect to this new iPad, that surprisingly wasn't particularly discussed, is the much enhanced gaming potential it holds. The 64bit processor and beefed up graphics are, with this generation, now close to matching (if not exceeding an xBox 360) console level of graphics. Pretty good for a non-dedicated mobile gaming device. I expect some premium franchise games will now get ported (or new iPad specific versions produced). latest Modern Warfare, Grand Theft Auto etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: old ipad still too expensive

It's Apple's older technology but still people want it because it's still very good.

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@SuccessCase (much enhanced gaming potential)

Sure, casual games on the iPad will get better. They will still only be casual games, however.

Tablets will always be a casual games ghetto, simply because the form factor will never allow for a GPU that comes anywhere near the performance of larger, mains powered dedicated games consoles.

Every increase in tablet GPU performance will be exceeded by a greater increase in contemporaneous console and gaming PC performance.

Yes, the casual games will get better. There will be no comparison however with the experience that will come from, say, using the Oculus Rift with dual 4K screens running at the required minimum 60fps on a high end gaming PC (http://gamerant.com/oculus-rift-4k-resolution/).

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JDX
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Re: @SuccessCase (much enhanced gaming potential)

iPad is already more powerful than a gaming rig from a few years ago, so I'm not sure what your point is. A console is always far less powerful than a gaming rig but consoles are where the majority of non-casual games are played.

The issue with iPad is the UI, not the processing grunt.

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Re: old ipad still too expensive

It's Apple's older technology but still people want it because it still has an Apple logo on the back

FIFY

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Re: old ipad still too expensive

"It's Apple's older technology but still people want it because it's still very good."

Did you consider the possibility that it's aimed at the sort of buyer who doesn't know any better and never really understood those computer thingies anyway?

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"now close to matching (if not exceeding an xBox 360) console level of graphics"

You are aware you are comparing a brand spanking new iPad that goes for several times the price of an old and fading gaming console, aren't you? Comparing the two is a bit like comparing pears to papaya since the new Xbox One will be about the same price as an iPad Air but that's about where the real comparisons stop. Sure, they both have processors and run software but so does the ECU in my car which, to put it in context for whatever it's worth, is close to matching if not exceeding the processing power of the 80286 I had a couple decades ago. Sorry, to me both comparisons just sound silly.

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Did you just???

Did you just compare the performance to an XBOX360? Well, not going to rip into the tech details there, not worth my time. I will reserve my conversation with people of my peers who actually design and work with HW and SW design.

Lets talk architecture. Yes, it's a 64bit processor. Hooray you say? Well, it's because all fanbois are sheep, and just knows terminology without actually understand the implications. Let me clarify this point, unless software were written to utilize the low level changes, and actually were optimized for it, the gain is zero (sorry, some existing apps might have a negative gain). This has been the issue on all platforms, as soon as they migrated from 8 to 16 to 32 - there were always new obstacles to overcome. For one, memory. I will not going into mem structures with fanbois, since most will not understand 99% of it, but it's best you read up and educated yourself. There is so much more apple is not telling people on this change, it's a joke.

And btw, enjoy your Samsung manufactured processor (yes fanbois, your enemy actually MAKE your beloved brain for your ithingy).

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IT Angle

Re: Did you just??? @Ben 54

The 64bitness is far less important (as you point out) than the fact that it is a newer ARM revision, which amongst other things adds registers - the benefit of which you ought to fully understand.

Apple are not hiding anything nor claiming anything that the new architecture is not.

Get over yourself!

(That being said, xBox vs. iPad was a strange comparison)

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Re: Did you just???

Yes, the Apple-customised ARM processor is made in a Samsung fab which Apple will switch production to and from whenever it suits them technically or commercially. What's your point?

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Anonymous Coward

Fixed!

An Android tab, for someone buying a new tablet or upgrading an older iPad is a great option.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fixed!

No. No it isn't.

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Re: old ipad still too expensive

Its still for sale cos Apple know the dangers of holding stacks of old stock, so they do what they do best, re-market it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: old ipad still too expensive

Ah, you mean around 95% of the market. The overwhelming majority who don't sit there trying to score points using benchmarks and becoming sexually aroused by discussions around such main stream subjects as memory bandwidth or heat dissipation. :-)

That same segment most, if not all manufacturers are chasing.

It seems to me that being a geek in any way shape or form these days is a losing bet. In most cases a device will do all anyone needs but playing the geek game will always see something else made by someone else being in some minor respect "better".

Better, I think, to make your own decision and enjoy your purchase - life's too short to get lost in worthless stats for the sake of them today..

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Re: old ipad still too expensive

Those iPads 2 are bought by schools and/or companies. (mine being one of the them).

Yes those customers were worried of being forced into changing cases, charging devices and car setup if the iPad had been replaced by a similarly priced iPad4.

It's not about the specs, it's what you do with it and believe it or not many companies have far more use for those than they have for the latest Nexus (however "good" and however priced).

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Re: @SuccessCase (much enhanced gaming potential)

Tablets will always be suited to casual games because the input system is so basic. Touch is great for popping bubbles but not much use for 3D games.

For console-like games, you need console-like input devices such as joystick, wiimote, kinect, etc.

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Re: old ipad still too expensive

Both versions are equally valid....

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Re: Did you just???

@Ben 54

Actually you, like many people on this subject, are talking horse manure.

http://www.mikeash.com/pyblog/friday-qa-2013-09-27-arm64-and-you.html

What's that about fanboy's being sheep? Applies to tech half-heads who regurgitate what they think they know before checking out the actual capabilities of the thing they are commenting on.

Additionally your remark re-Samsung. They are a fab plant. They won't know the logic of Apple's customisation. Their contract will forbid them even reverse engineering it (which is now very difficult to do in any case). They can't use the processor if they want to. Samsung themselves use off the shelf arm processors and Apple employs more chip designers than Samsung. Apple are in fact one of the world's largest employers of chip designers.

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Re: Did you just???

"Apple are in fact one of the world's largest employers of chip designers."

Sadly, this factoid does not stop the fandroids spouting of about how Apple is not a tech company though, does it.

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Re: old ipad still too expensive

i.e. most consumers!!

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JLV
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re. Tablets will always be a casual games ghetto

Hmmm. To each his own.

I have a PS3 and an unused Wii. I also had an Xbox gen 1.

My background is hardcore wargames, strategy and FPS or RPG. Much prefer turn-based over real-time in most strategy/wargames. Past games: early Civs, Steel Panthers, pretty much the entire Total War series, Barbarossa, Quake. Most of these were on PCs.

There are excellent games on consoles (I mostly like RPGs). But they do not really correspond much to what I like on PC games. Tablets have a better chance to evolve in that direction.

The problem as I see it is the limited way a console allows you control things quickly. You can run, turn and hit action keys very well.

You can't really aim quickly like you would with a mouse pointer, nor can you navigate complex menus to check/activate items, or group select units. Forget the complex commands you can have with keyboards. So there are whole categories of games which drop out of consoles, though there are other categories that are best on consoles.

Btw, a similar problem happens when people try to use a TV/console to surf the web. It sucks, because of the controls.

Civ on a tablet (iPad in this case, but it could be a Samsung) is much less dumbed-down than Civ on a PS3. Battle Academy is a fairly challenging turn-based wargame. Total War is stripped down, but not an easy game to beat.

The price of tablet games IS casual, sure. And there are plenty of stupid games on tablets (Unhappy Volatiles comes to mind). But tablets come closer to delivering a mouse/keyboard combo's fine-grained UI than a console's controller or a WII/Kinect. For the games I like, that's an edge.

Just because it ain't got fast graphics doesn't mean you can't code a clever game. Quite the contrary in fact - too many classic games are mangled when the focus is only on graphics.

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Do space optimisation nerds exist?

Is there a hardcore of designers who obsess over every millimetre in the same way that some programmers obsess over every processor cycle? I think maybe some of us are finally learning what it feels like to be the one giving the glazed-over look following an optimisation boast rather than the one receiving it.

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Re: Do space optimisation nerds exist?

Oh dear, that's just too true.

On the other hand, without size optimisation if things were to go the same way that most Windows applications operate with regards to the optimisation of processor time, we'd be stuck with tablets that are about 2 metres thick.

Efficiency != Buy newer hardware

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The old New iPad

It was - is - called 'The New iPad'. I'm already confused

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Anonymous Coward

So far from being the champions of usability and making software useful Apple seem to have turned in an engineering willy waving company trying to amaze people with rather pointless stats.

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Anonymous Coward

I would not call significantly better battery life and memory compression just 'willy waving' - but oh if Google / Samsung had done it - well guess in 6-12 months they probably will.

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Stop

...... trying to amaze people with rather pointless stats

Isn't this the domain of Samsung?

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Not even particularly impressive stats either - the Sony Xperia Tablet Z was released 6 months earlier and is 0.6mm thinner. And on top of that it's waterproof and has a micro SD slot.

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"I would not call significantly better battery life and memory compression just 'willy waving'"

Exactly.

If you're reduced to boasting about business as usual in the technology industry (yeah, battery got better, yeah, memory got better, yeah, CPU got better, etc.) it's better to keep your willy out of sight.

Or you could take the t*ss*r approach and stick a glowing Apple on it. Cool. Not.

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"I would not call significantly better battery life and memory compression just 'willy waving' - but oh if Google / Samsung had done it - well guess in 6-12 months they probably will."

*cough*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zram

I believe it works in the same manner - compressing swappable items in RAM, etc.

That's been in the kernel as staging (experimental) since 2.6.37.1 - AKA Feb 2011. And wiki reports Chrome OS already uses it.

So hardly revolutionary. Interesting to see it be used by default, and hopefully it might save me having to close my 400 tabs in Firefox (lazy bugger, me) as it gobbles up 3+gb of wired RAM....

On the rest of it, was surprised at the free Mavericks update (which is now installed - I'll have to suppport it to a degree), and price changes on the MBA/Retina MBP range...

Overally a more interesting announcement than I was expecting. Still a bit 'meh' about the Mac 'Pro' though. It can edit 4k in realtime - woo. In a year, most real workstations using addin cards (RED Rocket etc) that can gobble up the full PCI-E 3.0 x16 bandwidth will be doing 4k editing in multiples (or is it fractions? You know what I mean) of realtime...which you just can't do with Thunderbolt 2 to the best of my knowledge - not enough bandwidth, period.

I'll definitely have a play with one if I get the chance though - shiny stuff is shiny stuff, regardless, and I like shiny stuff.

Steven R

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@Darkimmortal

Started looking at the Xperia after seeing your post. It also has an FM radio, IR with nice TV guide app, NFC, a higher res camera, and is about 20% cheaper. Hm.

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"So far from being the champions of usability and making software useful Apple seem to have turned in an engineering willy waving company trying to amaze people with rather pointless stats."

With Jobs gone then this was inevitable. Jobs understood that the vast majority of people are not obsessed with engineering checklists and that is why, under the Jobs regime, (almost) every time apple released a product two things happened:

* A brief flare of nerdrage erupted on the Interwebs because the new device did not support <geeky things>

* The other 99% of the population didn't care and thought that this new shiny thing was a must have because it was easy to use, partly because it wasn't over burdened with <geeky things> they didn't care about.

Now that Jobs is gone they have Tim Cook, and let's just say that Tim Cook may be a fine administrator but I don't see him standing up to say NO! to a phalanx of beardies who are suggesting that adding more <geeky things> would be a good idea because, uh, Samsung are doing it.

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That might be very GOOD for Apple. Because the missing <geeky things> currently make the iDevices markedly inferior. While geeks tend to be a small proportion of the population, they punch above their weight in buying power.

Incidentally, I'd rather see a thicker device form factor, with a MUCH longer lasting battery. Can you imagine how long a modern mobile phone with a battery making it the size of a late 90s one would last?

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