Thoughts on Today’s Apple News 

iPad: The Hardware

Retina display iPad. Is there anything else to say? I cannot wait to take a look at this thing.

Without changing the case or button layout, Apple has re-defined its tablet offering. It’s all screen, and with four times the pixels, it’s got to be breath-taking.

4G/LTE caught me a little off guard. Historically, LTE chips have been very power hungry. With the new iPad being a tad heavier and thicker than its predecessor, my guess is that while Apple has gotten the power consumption down on these chips, it still had to pack some extra battery in there to make up the difference. I suppose we’ll know when iFixIt tears one down next week.

(For what it’s worth, I will be going Wi-Fi only again. I already pay for Hotspot on my iPhone’s data plan to connect my laptop and iPad 2, and enjoy the flexibility that gives me.)

I’m glad the camera got updated, but with an iPhone 4S in my pocket, and the fact that taking a photo with a tablet feels ridiculous, I’m not sure I’ll use the new optics that much.

iPad: The Software

It all of these hardware events, Apple reminds the world that it views itself as a software company. Apple makes hardware to run its software on. iPhoto is a clear example of this. Clearly, Apple was waiting for this iPad for this software. The demo made it look more powerful than the desktop app.

I hope that iCloud can become the magic sauce here, making it easy to keep albums and more in sync between the OS X and iOS versions. If importing has to take place on both ends (or Photo Stream as we know it today is used), the whole thing will just feel clunky.

After today, iWork and iLife are both present on the Mac and the iPad. (iWeb and iDVD being dead, for all intents and purposes.) It is clear that Apple wants people to be creative on either platform, and with software like this, they can be.

iPad: The Name

I’m glad Apple dropped the number from the name. “iPad” says it all. It isn’t the first time Apple’s done this, either. The iPod was just “iPod” for years, and it did pretty well.

I hope we see Apple do this with the iPhone, too.

The AppleTV

I’m psyched that the AppleTV is still an independent box, and is still just $99. Going to 1080p at the same price point is even sweeter. We’re installing over two dozen of them at work in the next few months, and getting the spec bump at the same price is awesome.

The new UI looks really good in photos. (I’m hoping to update an AppleTV later today.) I really think Apple is inching forward to a place where this thing has more apps/channels on it.

This is the third big UI update to the AppleTV, and I think it shows that Apple is still struggling to get it right. That said, the AppleTV is years ahead of anything put out by other companies. Apple isn’t content to let mediocre work sit stagnant, even if their product is doing well in the market.

That’s how you end up not doing well in the market, after all.

The Rumors

Everything announced today — and more, as usual — has been circulating the web for some time. It’s really lame to not be surprised anymore. I guess the new way to have fun with this is to guess which rumors are accurate.

Wrap-Up

Overall, I think today — as big as it was — was an evolutionary step forward. I am not saying that I am disappointed in today’s announcements, or think Apple missed the boat on any of the features it added. I think the company knocked it out of the park today.

Expecting revolution every year is insane. Besides, that new iPad looks like one hell of an upgrade. I can’t wait to get mine.

Oh, and iTunes 10.6 is out, as is iOS 5.1. And all of those Apple iOS apps listed above? They got updated, too.