New iPads? Who cares?

Actually, I do.

I am going to be purchasing the iPad Air 2 from T-Mobile, the first time I will have purchased a cellular version of the device.  T-Mobile allows you to finance the device interest free, even without a monthly data plan (which would be $10 for 2.5 GB per month).  My current iPad is the 4th generation iPad, and it is time to upgrade.  Why?

  1. Touch ID.  My new iPhone 6 has the Touch ID feature, and it is wonderful.  I was never a fan of using a passcode on my iPad, as I use it as my primary teaching device.  Believe it or not, when I’m teaching, I want to just “be” on my device and not have to fight a passcode.  Touch ID solves that issue for me (and many other users), and it works.
  2. Faster processor.  Apple’s charts showed that the iPad Air 2 is twice as fast as my 4th Generation iPad.  My rule of thumb–at least with these current devices–is a doubling of speed.  There will be a point (perhaps with the iPad Air 2) where we will no longer see such leaps of speed, but we’re not there yet.
  3. Faster graphics processor.  The iPad Air 2 is something to the effect of 10 times faster than my 4th Generation iPad.  Considering that so many of my music apps are graphics-heavy (PDF music readers, Notion, etc.), this will make a big difference.
  4. Anti-Glare Screen.  If you have ever performed on stage with an iPad, you will know why this is an attractive feature.
  5. More memory.  The top iPad starts at 128GB.  That is what I need.

There are other advances…it is thinner, has faster wi-fi, and a much better camera (which will help when using PhotoScore in NotateMe).

There are some things I didn’t like about the recent Apple announcement.  First, starting any device with 16GB is simply inexcusable these days…iPhone or iPad.  I dislike seeing schools buying the 16GB model.  Second, the fact the iPad Mini’s only advancement was the Touch ID button and the colors.  Last year, I liked that the iPad Mini was the same basic device as the iPad Air, just smaller.  Sure, the iPad Mini 3 will still be a good tablet, but it should have gotten an A8 or A8X processor like the iPhone 6 or iPad Air 2.  Finally, I dislike that Apple has kept the pre-64 bit iPads in the line-up.  All of those devices should have been put to pasture, just as the iPad 2 should have been last year (and then was quietly dismissed during the year).

If you have an iPad Air, you don’t need to update–unless you want to.  If you have the iPad Mini (2) with Retina Display, you don’t need to update–unless you want to.  If you have the iPad 2, 3rd Generation iPad, or 4th Generation iPad, it might be a good time to update.  It might be better to wait for a couple of months when Apple starts selling refurbished units.  If you have an iPad 1, it is time to move up.

The other thing to remember is that you can still get a decent amount of money for your used Apple equipment, even an iPad 1.

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