It’s an exciting time for Apple fans, after the brand new iPad was unveiled by CEO Tim Cook at an event in California yesterday. Since the press invitations teased us all by promising something we “really have to see. And touch”, the rumor mill has almost spiraled out of control.
First we expected the iPad 3, then the iPad HD. What was unveiled yesterday was labeled simply as ‘the new iPad’. As expected, Apple’s new tablet includes a greatly improved screen (to match the ‘retina display’ already seen on the iPhone 4 and 4S). Other new features include an improved processor, a five megapixel camera, and 1080p video recording capabilities. Despite a new speech recognition function, some Apple fans may be disappointed to note the lack of Siri software seen on the iPhone 4S.
Most of these new features had been predicted by keen spectators – just part of the online rumor mill surrounding the third iPad release that started a long time ago. Apple has an inimitable way of creating hype before a product launch. This is perhaps down to its relatively small product range – there is not often an air of hysteria surrounding a new Dell or HP release, for example. Since the launch of the original iPhone in 2007, there has been a major build-up preceding every Apple product launch, even those that turn out to be just small upgrades on existing devices.
Recent product launches have arrived with less of a bang, but could make waves in the tech world. So, aside from the hype, how does the new iPad match up with the other new kids on the block?
On the other end of the scale to the sleek, feature-packed iPad is the Raspberry Pi. The £22 ($35) British-designed system is a bare-bones computer designed to assist students learning about programming. The system has the potential to change the face of ICT learning and could inspire a new generation of tech workers. It’s also been generating a buzz on the Web, without the need for glitzy press events or unfounded rumors.
Aside from the Raspberry Pi - which was launched by a small British startup - an established tech giant is also releasing something new. We all knew it was coming, and now Microsoft is putting the final touches to its Windows 8 operating system. The new OS is specifically designed for touchscreen devices – the new focus on Windows PCs – but is also suitable for more traditional machines. Despite few major changes, Windows 8 is designed to enable a new generation of desktop devices that fit with today’s mobile trends.
Despite being the most talked-about tech launch of the month, the third iteration of the Apple iPad is no great departure from previous generations, so is unlikely to make any great mark on the future of technology. Those products that emerged a little more quietly could end up affecting the tech world more greatly.
Do you think the new iPad is worth all the hype? Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts.
By Kasey Cassells, e-Content Writer, IDG Connect
Phil Muncaster reports on China and beyond