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In my opinion, Apple is taking three steps back with the iPad Air and iPad mini for 2019, so that the innovations are no longer applicable.

In my opinion, Apple is taking three steps back with the iPad Air and iPad mini for 2019, so that the innovations are no longer applicable.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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  1. Beatrice Willius says:

    I can happily do without FaceID and USB-C. I agree with you with the pencil.

  2. Horst Hader says:

    I think it's a shame that Apple has given up Face-ID and USB-C in the new "normal" IPads. I prefer to keep my old IPad 2018. I especially appreciate the Face ID on my IPhone Xs. And USB-C is a very universal interface. For me personally, the pencil is just a nice addition. Apple missed a good chance here.

  3. Peter Lode says:

    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.

    Obviously, one wants to use this crutch to channel iPad purchases in the direction of the (still) more lucrative "Pro" models for Apple - a pure marketing decision. This is what annoys me as a long-time (and for many years also very satisfied) Apple user, that filling marketing "drawers" with "ready-made, differentiated" products is apparently more important than flexible options for users / interested parties 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 ...

    • sir appleot says:

      Yes, I would have been more happy about an iPad Mini with a new form factor, 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 whether Apple chose the direction so "profit-oriented". For me, that definitely means that I can wait for a new iPad without any problems. : D And to be honest: These things have become so fast that you hardly need anything new ...

  4. Lahn knight says:

    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 ...

    Can new or old iPads be connected to cameras via a CABLE CONNECTION (USB2 or HDMI with "intermediate box") 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 acts as an additional monitor that is independent of the mains power, 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 filming.

    Just think further across the board ...

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

    • sir appleot says:

      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

      • Lahn knight says:

        Hi Jens,
        For me, the main camera is a "mirrorless DSLR", namely the LEICA SL (type 601) and there is also an app from Leica for this:

        free. Only this app offers something for photographers but unfortunately it is a bit * cough * "too thin" for videographers. In addition, you have to install firmware V 3.0 on the camera and it apparently has a few bugs that I do not have in the older firmware that is currently in use. There is always a bit of "plague or cholera" choices. But I'll stick with it.

        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 focal length", you can use adapters (e.g. NOVOFLEX) to display practically all old (full-format) Leitz / Leica lenses from earlier times, but also all NIKON, Canon, Minolta and other lenses set the Leica SL. Before that, I even use 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 great.

        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

        • sir appleot says:

          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.

          • Lahn knight says:

            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 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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