Three steps backwards: what Apple is doing wrong with the new iPads

Apple recently launched the new iPad Air 2019 and the new one iPad mini 2019 released. New devices naturally put every fanboy and every fangirl into euphoria. But if you take a look at the technical data, the design and the compatibility with accessories offered by the aforementioned hardware newbies, you are quickly disillusioned. In my opinion, Apple is taking three steps back with the two new tablets, so that the two steps forward (A12 chip and pencil support) are unequal ...

In my opinion, Apple is taking three steps back with the iPad Air and iPad mini for 2019, so that the innovations are no longer applicable.
In my opinion, Apple is taking three steps back with the iPad Air and iPad mini for 2019, so that the innovations are no longer applicable.

Design and function: why a home button?

With the current iPad Pro models, Apple has shown that it is possible to agree on modern technology with contemporary design. There is no home button on the Pros, but the Face ID to unlock and verify. This means that innovations in the iPhone are also transferred to the tablet sector. But why only with the Pro models? It doesn't make much sense to advertise the new iPad Air as “Not only pros need power” and to install an A12 chip accordingly if all the other advantages of the big tablet brother are disregarded.

Connectivity and peripherals: why a Lightning connector?

The same applies to a greater extent to the physical interface of the Apple iPad models for 2019. Not only the Air mentioned above, but also the mini, which is advertised as “Made for great things”, is affected. But how can you achieve great things without the unnecessary detours that a Lightning connector entails when USB-C and USB-OTG are so much more convenient and can be used more extensively? Sure, the Air and mini models have always been made for the average consumer, but they can also use USB-C for a more efficient workflow.

Inset - more interesting posts on the blog:

Little man's periphery: why only Apple Pencil 1?

As already mentioned at the beginning, as a fan of Apple you could be quite surprised when you looked at the iPad Air 2019 and iPad mini 2019 for the first time. After all, the new "Normalo" tablets from Cupertino now also support the Apple Pencil and even the Logitech Crayon (loud heise). What Apple deliberately ignores: only the first-generation stylus works with the flat mobile computers. Like USB-C and Face ID, support for the Apple Pencil 2 reserved for the current Pro models. You suddenly remember 2007 and hear Steve Jobs say: "Who wants a stylus?"



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9 thoughts on “Three steps backwards: What Apple is doing wrong with the new iPads”

  1. I think it's a pity that Apple has dispensed with Face ID and USB-C in the new "normal" iPads. I'd rather keep my old IPad 2018. I particularly appreciate the Face ID on my IPhone Xs. And USB-C is very universal as an interface. For me personally, the Pencil is just a nice addition. Apple missed a good chance here.

  2. Exactly! I think it's a cheek on the part of Apple to bring brand new iPads here, but to only make them compatible with (old) peripheral hardware (= 1st generation Pencil) - and the 2nd generation Pencil it really wasn't invented yesterday.

    Using this crutch, they obviously want to channel iPad purchases in the direction of the "Pro" models, which are certainly (still) more lucrative for Apple - a pure marketing decision. That's what annoys me as a long-time (and for many years very satisfied) Apple user: that filling marketing "drawers" with "completely differentiated" products is apparently more important than flexible options for users/prospects to give even after the purchase.

    Everyone who works with technology knows: Demands or necessities in use now also change in the short or medium term. And if it's no longer right, you can buy from Apple as completely new as possible ...

    1. Yes, I would have been more excited about a new form factor iPad Mini, but I think there are still a lot of people who don't want Face ID and are happy that the iPad still has a headphone jack. I don't know if Apple chose this direction in such a "profit-oriented" way. For me, that definitely means that I can wait for a new iPad without any problems. :D And to be honest: Things have gotten so fast that there is hardly any need for anything new...

  3. Here I allow myself a completely different line of thought about the new iPad and older iPad models:

    Keyword - multiple use / view over the garden fence ...

    Is it possible to connect new or old iPads to cameras via a CABLE CONNECTION (USB2 or HDMI with "intermediate boxes") in such a way that the iPad can initially only serve as a "monitor screen"? Most compact cameras (but also professional models) only have a rather small and amateurish mini screen available as a visual control for photo and video recordings. Since an iPad as a mains-independent additional monitor, focusing and controlling would be much easier.

    Together with a tripod and a suitable holder for the iPad, this results in almost "professional" comfort when taking photos or films.

    Just think further across the board ...

    The Lahnritter (newcomer here at Sir Apfelot's site)

    1. Hello Lahnritter! That is very easy. All you have to do is download the appropriate app from the camera manufacturer to your iPad, and you will usually also have the live image from the DSLR. Unfortunately there is no cable with which you can do this with every camera. The solution is only available for Android tablets. The iPhone and iPad faction is unfortunately dependent on an app from the camera manufacturer. VG! Jens

      1. Hi Jens,
        my main camera is a “mirrorless DSLR” namely the LEICA SL (Typ 601) and there is also an app from Leica for it:

        for free. Although this app offers something for photographers, it is unfortunately still a bit *cough* "too thin" for videographers. In addition, you have to upload firmware V 3.0 to the camera and it obviously still has a few bugs that I don't have in the older firmware I'm currently using. It's always a bit like "plague or cholera" as a choice. But I'll take it easy.

        For photographers, the Leica SL is certainly an unusually good (and expensive) camera, with a very fast autofocus. Due to the mirrorless design, which results in a small "flange size", you can use an adapter (e.g. NOVOFLEX) to adapt practically all old (full-format) Leitz/Leica lenses from the past, but also all NIKON, Canon, Minolta and other lenses put the Leica SL. Before that, I myself even used my almost 30-year-old ZEISS lenses, which were built for my Hasselblad cameras (films in medium format 6×6), via adapter combinations. So that's class.

        The fact that the Leica SL can only process 8 bits internally for video recording when recording on cards and 10 bits only externally via an HDMI output (1.4!) Is not so great in professional terms, as some Japanese competitors can do better. For most purposes of normal users, it should be enough. Actually, you would have to buy an additional device like the one from Atomos for recording and monitoring. But that is now a bit different from the actual topic here. Please forgive me for this. Actually, that belongs more to the photography and video film categories.

        LG the Lahnritter

        1. Thank you for your comprehensive information! I think this will be interesting for some readers. When it comes to apps, I'm sometimes surprised at what some manufacturers deliver. While the cameras are well thought out and planned down to the smallest detail, some apps seem as if the intern had put them together. There is often a lack of seriousness in the matter.

          1. Thanks! In today's photo and video cameras, especially cameras for making movies, the camera software is more important than ever before. Various professional cameras today have freely assignable functions for the existing buttons and setting wheels. Thus, with good programmers who are closely advised by good photographers or videographers, you can really create world-class products.

            In contrast to the Japanese (Canon / Nikon / Sony / JVC etc.) who release new models (hardware + software) every few months, the hardware of the Leica SL (Type 601) is still largely unchanged since the start of series production. That was at least in the late summer of 2015. It's a bit like cars, VW, BMW etc. to Ferrari, Maserati but not so different in price. But you should also take the absolute
            Consider top class in the OPTICS and mechanics of the lenses. on the other hand, the lenses of some hype cameras can almost be seen as “cheap shards”.

            So really good programmers have to work on it at LEICA too. But then they should also be able to deliver good and comprehensive apps. In spring 2016 I complained to the then LEICA-.CEO, for example, that the firmware for the Leica-SL that was currently available for download was not even marked with the release date / version on the Leica download page (!!!) which finally got better. So nowhere is anything perfect and we should all know that and support helpful non-commercial platforms such as SirApfelot from Jens here, also to the best of our ability.

            Your Lahnritter

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