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The New iPad – Time To Upgrade?

15th March 2012

So we didn’t get an iPad 3 afterall, Apple you tease. The “new iPad” suggests more of a 0.5 update much like the iPhone 4S, with the iPad 3 still to come. As usual it’s a brilliant piece of hardware but is it worth upgrading if you already own an iPad? I’m going to approach this question as a user, rather than as an iOS app designer. Personally I think if you own an iPad 1, upgrading to the new iPad could be a very tempting proposition, boasting a much faster processor, a delicious HD screen and more RAM means you’re going to notice the difference between your heavy first gen tablet and new the sleeker model. For iPad 2 owners however the differences are less obvious. The new iPad’s casing looks identical to the iPad 2, the improved camera will be welcomed by FaceTimers but with only Apple’s apps currently benefitting from the new screen, it could take a while for developers to take advantage of the extra pixels.

So what effect does the new iPad have on developers? Well it gives us an opportunity for our graphics to look even crisper and more beautiful, on a screen that boasts more pixels than your average HDTV. The flip side is, creating an additional set of graphics will take the toll to four versions for cross iOS platform development (iPhone SD, iPhone Retina, iPad Sd and iPad Retina), which means more design and programming time will be required. The additional graphics also mean increased file sizes. Apps will take up more space on the iPad, add to that the RAM restrictions imposed by the iPad 1, may mean the new iPad is held back by its older sibling’s limitations. The obvious way around this will be to release HD or Retina versions for owners to choose between, which may or may not carry a slightly higher price tag to cover the additional development costs.

The new iPad’s tagline is ‘Resoultionary’. Yes it’s a bit cheesy but I like it. It sounds like they’ve employed Tim Vine to create advertising slogans for Apple, but that made-up word is also a little slice of genius. It describes perfectly the noticible defifference between the new iPad and every other tablet on the market. It’s all about the screen baby.

UPDATE: As the reviews come in and more information is revealed, it seems the new iPad’s front facing camera is the same spec as the iPad 2’s. The back camera has received a notable ugrade however, to 5 megapixels with the ability to shoot 1080p video.