Phew! That March 7, 2012 announcement date rumor turned out to be accurate. Apple will indeed be unveiling their next generation iPad in San Francisco this coming Wednesday, and it will not doubt dominate the news, and our attention, for weeks to come. As we wait for that giant wave to hit us, however, there's a lot of other interesting stuff happening...
iPad 3 event
Now that invitations have gone out and the iPad 3 event is official, we went through all the hardware and software rumors we've been tracking and put together a monster iPad 3 event preview. Georgia also put together a couple of polls asking for your iPad 3 expectations. Make sure you get your votes in.
While a ton of material has allegedly been leaked already, including what could be a fairly complete outer casing there's still a lot we don't know. Especially about the software.
What apps will Apple show off on stage? They've done GarageBand and iMovie in the past? What's left? What will be the big hero features that highlight iPad 3 commercials for the next year? And will it get Siri? Many of us would love to see Siri on the iPad 3, but there are a lot of challenges Apple will have to overcome to make it a great experience.
All we can do now though is sell off our old iPads, watch for last minute rumors, and wait for Wednesday.
Speaking of rumors...
iMore is fairly cautious about posting rumors when we get them. Several times we've gotten good stories, sat on them to check and check again, only to see a mainstream publication run the story first. That's okay. Sometimes it's better to sure than first. When we do run something it's because we've got a good reason to, so it's nice when something like the March 7 iPad event date pans out. (Sometimes it's even hilarious.) Now we'll just have to see what happens with the quad-core processor we, and several others, heard was on board, the March 30, 2012 released date we heard about last week, and that big micro-dock story for the iPhone 5.
We link to a lot of other sites' rumors though, and there has been a ton of iPad 3 stuff lately. Some of you seem to love it -- you get angry if we take too long to get them linked up. Others of you don't seem to care for them very much at all. The good thing about the timeline nature of web sites is that you can always skip something that doesn't interest you and go on to something that does. But for interest's sake, here's how we're handling it.
Our current strategy is to post anything that gets a lot of attention and try to provide some analysis and some context. If it sounds possible, we'll say so, and if it doesn't make sense, we'll tell you that too. If it's just utterly ridiculous, we'll err on the side of not posting.
Our job is always and only to serve our readers, viewers, and listeners. If that means helping sort through the deluge of rumors that come up before a major Apple launch, that's what we'll do.
Which brings me to what we won't do.
Linking to Linkbait
Definitions for linkbait vary. Here's mine -- when someone smart posts something incendiary, outlandish, or otherwise asinine in a faux attempt to be controversial and attract negative attention. When it comes to iMore, that means dumb Apple stuff. A lot of big sites and big personalities have been posting dumb Apple stuff lately and it's really tempting to take the bait and respond. We've done that in the past. But it never e that just shows them it's working and encourages them to do it more often.
I love snarky rebuttals, but I can't read the pull quotes that are being rebutted anymore. Claim chowder takedowns are worth a chuckle but all they ultimately beget are more chowder claims to take down. Whether it's on websites or Twitter, links to dumb Apple stories only proves their formula and all we end up getting are more dumb Apple stories. There's so much intelligent, insightful, inspiring commentary being written in the Apple space it's really disheartening that the dumb stuff seems to be getting so many links. What we really need is an un-link protocol. Absent that, there's still something we can do.
We're going to make up for the linkbait we don't post with high quality, carefully curated links to really good content from really smart people. Like Richard Gaywood's recent article on TUAW about Retina display Macs, iPads, and HiDPI: Doing the Math that we linked to earlier in the week.
Here are some more:
- OS X @2X by App Cubby's David Barnard, which continues the exploration of Retina display Macs.
- iPad 3′s Retina display means trouble for many apps due to Apple’s 20MB 3G download limit by The Next Web's Matthew Panzarino, who rightly asks what inflating app sizes will do for impulse app sales.
- Retina & Universal by MacStories' Frederico Viticci offers some potential solutions to the problem.
- Frequent, Intense Mature and Suggestive Themes by Marco Arment looks at Apple's ongoing, inconsistent, flabbergasting practice of labeling any app with a built in web browser (UIWebView) as 17+ and scaring potential customers with warnings of "Frequent/Intense" content.
- The Readability Fallacy by Ben Brooks about the confusion Readability's business model causes for content creators and users of the service alike.
I don't agree with all of their opinions either, but when I read thought-provoking ideas, it causes me to question my own preconceptions. Sometimes I change my mind, sometimes I don't. But either way I've gone through a process, sharpened my thoughts, and come to have better opinions.
When I read the dumb stuff, even when I read smart people explaining why it's dumb, ultimately I still feel dumber. I'd rather focus on the smart stuff.
Speaking of the smart stuff
Those new columns I mentioned last week just keep getting better.
- How I use my iPhone for police work is from CrackBerry.com's David Boyd and delves into how law enforcement officers can benefit from Apple's mobile tech.
- In defense of Cydia, the jailbreak app store is Ally's counter-argument to Georgia's Agony and ecstasy of Cydia piece from a couple weeks back.
- How to make your iPhone photographs more powerful with negative space is the latest entry in Leanna's outstanding iPhoneography series.
- How my iPad helped me learn to play guitar is a wonderful piece by Gary that makes me think even I have a chance at figuring out how to jam...
- Nexia Home Security Bundle review: The future of iPhone home automation is now has Georgia taking a look at home automation, iPhone style
Look for more to come, even if we take a pause this week to cover iPad 3.
Adobe Photoshop Touch
One of the things that didn't get written last week was my Adobe Photoshop Touch review. I've been using it all week and I'm still deeply conflicted by it. On one hand, it's a fantastic app, with excellent tutorials for beginners, and that brings a lot of great features and functionality to the iPad, and shows just how incredible big screen, multitouch devices can be for content creation. On the other, it's a terribly frustrating experience that stymies my attempts to really use it at every turn.
I'm not sure if it's because Photoshop Touch is an AIR cross-compile and not a native iPad app, and that reduces its intuitiveness and raises the cognitive overhead for almost every activity. It could also be some of the UI decisions, for example having an & button is an odd, utterly opaque choice. I'm assuming the iPad also imposes limitations, for example the maximum canvas size is fine for blog images but way too constrained for professional work. (Could an iPad 3 with more processing power and RAM overcome this?) The masking is also far too imprecise for my tastes.
The bottom line for me is this -- I've worked as a designer for over a decade and lived in Photoshop for years, and I while I can have a lot of fun with Photoshop Touch, I can't even begin to do real work with it.
It doesn't even natively support PSD files for crying out loud.
There's a real opportunity here for a Pixelmator or Accorn or even an Apple-made iPhoto/Aperture to redefine the king of the imaging hill for the next generation of computing appliances.
Adobe should be scared out of their socks about that. They should forget all this AIR/Flash nonsense, forget protecting the platform lock-in, roll up their sleeves and focus 100% on making a fantastic content creation app again.
Join us on March 7
We'll be on Ustream Wednesday at 1pm ET/10am PT/6pm GMT during the iPad 3 event with a special edition iPhone Live podcast, and we'll follow up with a post-game show during our usual 9pm ET/6pm PT/2am GMT. Whether it's an iPad 3 or it gets another name, whether we see a 1080p Apple TV or a new iPod touch, whether new Time Capsules are in the wings or something completely new, we'll give it all the commentary, color, and analysis, it can handle. And we'd love for you to join us.