I've mentioned this several times already on the iPhone & iPad Live podcast, in the new iPad round-table, and on Twitter, but I wanted to get something up here as well. The Retina display is great, but I'm not a designer or a photographer and I still read more on a computer and on paper than I do on my iPad. I have a Wi-Fi iPad so LTE isn't a consideration for me. Dictation is great and will make a huge difference to people who prefer to, or need to, talk rather than type. But for me, none of that is truly compelling. For me, instead of supporting a double density display or a faster network, I would have loved the extra power of that Apple A5X chipset and that extra RAM to do one thing and one thing only -- make my iPad faster.
I hate waiting. I watch lower resolution videos because I hate waiting for streaming to start or buffering to finish. My iPad turns on instantly and I love that. But then when I launch a website, I'm still waiting for pages to render and when I launch a game, I'm still waiting for it to load. Because things like turning on are so fast, when you do have to wait for something it feels so much more apparent.
The iPad 2 was such a speed increase from the original iPad that it I noticed it immediately. Even the iPhone 4S is fast enough compared to the iPhone 4 that I noticed it immediately. The new iPad... is about the same as the iPad 2. That it's the same given a Retina display is awesome, but I can't help wishing it would have stuck with a regular display and been twice as fast again.
The resolution of text or images never bothered me; the speed of getting them to show up on screen did. Maybe that wouldn't have been as sexy and upgrade, or maybe "thinner, lighter, faster" wouldn't have been a strong enough selling point two years in a row, but I'm willing to bet it would have been welcome by many.
Also, let's not forget battery life. It's remarkable that the new iPad gets a Retina display and keeps the same 10 hour battery life as an iPad 2. Imagine how much battery life it would get without it? Probably 17 hours.
Retina display and LTE now done, next year's iPad will probably lose the extra bulk and speed up again, maybe even get longer battery life as well. he upgrade I'll be waiting for.
In the meantime I'll be waiting for my web pages to load and games to start...
Steve Jobs sometimes liked to quote Henry Ford -- "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses". Instead he gave them something they had no idea they wanted until he gave it to them -- a car. With the new iPad, however, I suddenly find myself on the opposite side of that equation. All I would have wanted was a faster iPad.