I’m here today to talk to you about the New iPad, or the iPad III, or whatever Apple is calling it. I got it on Release Day, so I was camping out at my front door and waiting for FedEx. I unboxed it about an hour before I left to attend a conference with my wife. The first thing I noticed is that it is a little thicker than the previous one, but not by much. You can’t tell visually, but you can feel the difference. It is also slightly heavier. I wanted to see if I could set it up without having to connect to iTunes. I turned it on, waited a bit, and was able to triple-click the Home button, which started VoiceOver. From there, I was able to sign in and configure it. Now, if I want to get iPods for my kids or iPads for my parents or in-laws, I can set them up.
iOS, and the iPad in particular, has been one of the most flexible platforms for seniors ever, but they had to have a computer, which is backwards. Now, setup can be done right from the device with iOS 5.1. I took some time to play with my first generation iPad running iOS 5.1, in preparation for giving it to my mother-in-law. I noticed that it’s running significantly slower than the iPad II or the new iPad. Still, for someone who wants to use it for Facebook and email, it’s still a perfectly adequate solution.
The new iPad has one GB of memory, as opposed to the 512 MB memory the iPad II has. It also has a wonderful, although useless to a blind person, retina display, which everyone agrees looks amazing. It has the same A5 dual core processor that is in the iPad II, but it does have quad core graphics. This is why the new iPad gets a little warmer than the earlier ones did. I don’t use graphics, and I use screen curtain, so I haven’t experienced this very much. LTE makes connection speeds much faster. The iPad can also be used as a hot spot, but I already have plenty of options to connect to the Internet, so this is not particularly compelling to me personally. Battery life is also good on the device, and I can use the same case I used for my previous iPad..
If I were sighted, the new retina display would convince me to buy the iPad. LTE and dictation are also convincing reasons to buy, for blind and sighted users alike. The current generation iPad is definitely a content-production device. You can use it to take high deffinition video, and the camera and iPhoto are amazing.
Apple sold over a million iPads on the first day alone, which brings me to a reminder to blind people. Many have referred to Apple as “a flash in the pan.” I don’t feel that hundreds of millions of devices are a flash in the pan. It is exciting to know that these mainstream devices are accessible and readily available to all.
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