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iDevices Gaining Traction

As I said in the last post, I had a ridiculously rough week, but that’s finally done, and I can get back to what I love to do.

Apple had their somewhat predictable iPad 2 event this Wednesday, and well, announced the iPad 2. Thinner, lighter, faster, cameras at the same price point. I can’t help but think Wednesday was a whooping for every other tablet manufacturer out there. Even Samsung went as far as saying that they would need to basically take the Galaxy Tab 10.1 back to the drawing board to make up for inadequacies, and that the iPad 2 is “very thin.” They also mentioned rethinking price points, which would presumably make some pretty painful cuts into their profit margins. Unfortunately for competitors out there, Apple still has the leg up since they own almost every step in the creation of iPad. They don’t owe retailers a cut. They don’t owe the OS team a cut. They make their own OS. They sell in their own retail stores.

I, personally, will not be picking up an iPad 2, as my MacBook Air provides more than enough for my portable machine, and with an iPhone 4, an iPad would seem a little redundant. However, I have many friends and family who will be buying an iPad 2 from day one, so hopefully, I’ll be able to do a review next week.

iOS 4.3 also made an appearance as well, and from here, it seems that the update is just a nice under-the-hood boost. Safari should work significantly faster with an updated engine, and it looks like Home Sharing is about to get a huge boost. You’ll be able to actually share media between libraries on the same network, and iDevices will be able to play media off of another computer’s library without syncing. This is great, though I can’t help but think that eventually Airplay and Home Sharing will eventually merge into a more streamlined system. We’ll see, I guess, since having two features perform similar functions (with one being much more powerful) seems a little un-Apple-like. iOS 4.3 also brings hotspot features to AT&T iPhones. This will be absolutely useless to me, as I am not prepared to pay through the nose just to use my computer at slow (compared to Wi-Fi) 3G speeds.

Steve Jobs (looking quite healthy, I must say; he was thin, but he was just as thin as the last Apple event, which means his health really hasn’t deteriorated) made a point to talk about the post-pc era, and Apple’s philosophy. I can’t fully agree with Steve on the post-pc era part. While user experience IS the key point in how well a device sells nowadays, and the iPad seems to offer just that “magical” user experience, the fact that the iPad still needs a computer to sync shows that even Apple has not fully embraced their own vision. I’d imagine that the statement is the same as “the future of notebooks” line back when Apple unveiled the MacBook Air. Both the MacBook Air and the iPad 2 are glimpses into Apple’s future direction, and it looks like a good direction indeed.

Let’s look at what was missing from the event, though. It looks like Apple is not quite yet ready to unveil the revamped MobileMe or their cloud service from their new data center. Glaringly obvious was the lack of a “one more thing” moment during the keynote. I know that I, myself, was fairly disappointed when Steve ended with “thanks for coming,” but what can I do if Apple simply isn’t ready. Also missing was a preview of iOS 5, which will hopefully bring us some nice changes this summer.

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