Tag Archives: Apple Tablet

iPad Pro goes on sale Wednesday!

Apple – Press Info – Epic 12.9-inch iPad Pro Available to Order Online Wednesday & Arrives in Stores Later This Week:

CUPERTINO, California — November 9, 2015 — Apple® today announced iPad Pro™ is available to order online on Wednesday, November 11, from Apple.com and will arrive at Apple’s retail stores, select carriers and Apple Authorized Resellers starting later this week. Apple Pencil™ and Apple’s new Smart Keyboard, also available to order on Wednesday, bring breakthrough levels of precision and utility to iPad Pro.

(Via Apple.)

It looks like I can finally take that envelope full of money I’ve had taped to the underside of my desk since about December of last year and put ‘er to good use. I’m so glad I followed my heart and didn’t blow it on something stupid, like having water service restored to the house.

Yup, I’m planning on buying one as soon as they’re available. The full reasons are good fodder for a column, but the short version is that I’ve spent the past five years waiting for exactly this kind of device. I feel like I’m buying an early-generation Tesla. It’s both something that I have a real use for, and an investment I’d like to make in the future of a platform.

Between one thing and another, I don’t think I’ve ever bought as much personal Apple hardware in any previous year as I have in this one.

I dunno what time the ordering window opens but I’ll be keeping a close eye and a twitchy finger on the Apple Store app on my iPad Mini until it does.

One More Lame Analogy About The App Store

I’ll post this thing that just occurred to me, because I amused myself with it and it seems to sum up the situation with the App Store.

Before the App Store, Mac apps were like a comedy or a drama on HBO. Big budgets, top talent, and absolutely no restrictions. Everyone was working under just one limit: what’s the best thing they could produce?

After the App Store, Mac apps are like a show on network television. The limits there are much more real: what’s the best thing you can produce, under the restrictions imposed by broadcast standards?

The way I see it, under the new rules, there’s the risk that Mac software might occasionally be as good as “The West Wing” but it could never be as great as “Boardwalk Empire” or “Curb Your Enthusiasm” or (the absolutely shattering documentary) “How To Die In Oregon.”

“Futurama” and Conan O’Brien were forced to flee to cable TV, while “Family Guy” and Jay Leno continue to flourish on networks. Honest to God…is that what you’d like to see happen to Mac software?

[Notes: Yes, thank you, I know that “Family Guy” was exiled to cable for a bit before being brought back to FOX. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s a lazy, sucky show. And the larger point is that creative endeavors don’t exactly flourish under content limitations.

At minimum, the new rules represent a major (and hopefully only temporary) setback. It’s going to take some time — maybe even a couple of years — before developers learn how to do everything they need to do under App Store restrictions, and Apple learns which of these restrictions could stand some loosening up. And until that happens, there will be some very real limitations on how good a Mac app can be.]

Apple Tablet Week: The Event Liveblog

Hands-on, and Questions.

Screen resolution is 1024×768 at 132 dpi.

Reading books on it: text sure isn’t as crisp as a Kindle. But it’s illuminated and anti-aliased so on the whole, the lower resolution is in many ways more readable than e-ink.

Feels very light in the hand. I’m not as worried about Arm Fatigue as I was.

This thing is FAST. I stretch-zoom a webpage and it keeps up with me now matter how fast I zoom and scroll. When you turn a page in iBook, it’s not “an animation of a page turning”…you are TURNING a freaking PAGE.

iBook will let you read free previews in some fashion. But nobody could give ne specifics. Read a special preview, online only? Download the first couple of chapters to the device, like Kindle?

Keyboard easel accessory is $69. It doesn’t fold for travel. Has special iPad buttons to go Home, etc.

Keyboard can keep up with my 100 WPM easy.

Virtual keyboard is more “tappable” thN “typeable.” you can easily type with all fingers, but you need to be slightly more deliberate than normal.

Same mechanical buttons on the iPad itself as on the iPhone.

Hold the lid of a small MacBook and you’ll get the general effect.

Steve is on the demo floor, being interviewed by Mossberg. I am trying to get a photo without compromising my “Steve doesn’t know my name” status.

OS and UI experience: it IS an iPhone. The OS will probably have to be renamed. Every time the UI confused me, it was because I expected it to work unlike an iPhone in some way.

Some of my early impressions, while the video plays

My firdt chance to breathe since the shows started. Very underwhelnmed by the lack of unexpected fresh new I. But then again, maybe a reinvention of the touch UI would have been gauche. This appears to be a statement that “We developed the iPhone to be a great touch OS that could scale to anything.”

So its all one universe. Yu learned to use the iPhone…goog so you now know how to use an iPad. You shop at the iTunes Store? Good, thats how you buy things for the iPad.

“We were right all along,” I think is their dstatement swith the iPad.

Pricing is KILLER. This thing will moip the floor with just about anything. Its so easy to talk yourself into spending anoter $100 to get an iPad inhstead of a netbooki or even $240 more for this instead of an ebook reader.

And the “pay as you go” is another key to this thing’s success’ I think Apple has worked hard to erase obstacles to purchasing this.


A nice little easel.

A dock easel…WITH A KEYBOARD?! Okay, Im an iudiot. I was certain that it wouldnt have any sort of keyboard option.

Also a little leather book cover.

Inspirational little video with Mr. Ive.

AKA “OK, journalists, we’ll let you rest your fingers for a little while.” Thank you, Apple,. yes I need a rest.

Connectivity and Pricing

Very neat: caqn create onscreen forms (like a clipboard) for data entry.

Each app will be $9.99. Compatible with iWork on Mac. Can connect to projectors. Purchase on the App Store.

Steve is back.

Syncs to your mac or PC via iTunes, like an iPhone, via USB. Syncs all data.

Data is synced back to your desktop.

Can have it with or without data plan.

Two plans: 250 megs a month for $14.99. UNlimited plan is $29.99 a month.

VERY good pricing.

Says its a breakthrough pan with AT&T which includes hotspot access.

NO CONTRACT. Pay as you go. Pay and activate right on your iPad.

THIS IS INCREDIBLE. Okay, that solves so many of Apples problems.

Breakthrough deals in US, hope to have international deals by June.

All iPad 3G models are unlocked. Uses new GSM Micro cards.

(I might be imagining things, but I think there are people in front row seeded to start applause. I sense a little bit of fatigue among the prtess.)


When we set out to develop the iPad, we had ambutious tech goals and UI goals…but also a very aggressive price goal: we want to put this in the hands of lots of people. Just as we could jmeet or esxceed other goals…

IU am thrilled to announce that the orice starts at $499.

WHOOOO! Cheers and gebnuine applause.

$699 for 64 gigs, base orice is 16 also 32 valk.

3G adds $129 to the porice of each.

Yes, fuck you, Crunchoad.

Wuill ship WiFi models in 60 days.

Will probably ship 3G models in 90 days.



Steve says that he gave team the task to see what they could do with iWork on the tablet a year ago. Habnds iut off to Schiller.

Keynote. New version of Pages. New version of Numbers. All of them look like documents, very sinple UI


Runs in landscape mode.

Uses multitouch gestures. How to drag multiple slides?> Tap first one to pick it up, then tap others to Pick Them Up so to speak. Uses multiutuoch very well.

Very tactile, obviously. You grab all of your art, and other content.

Much of this is modal…you go into Animation Mode to define how an item will animate or transition. (Tap the Done button when youre done, to return to the main part of the app)

Tap the Play button to presentl.

ASLso includes the Magic Move feature of desktop Keynote. Looks very very pretty, overall. Slick and smooth animation and transitions.


Uses the sajme gallery motif you see ebverywhere else…like the way you scroll through open webpages in iPhone safari.

Turn horizontal for a fullsize keyboard.

New Page nbavigator tool. Taqp and scroll, manifying glass will show you a preview of the page yu
re scrooling through.==

Demos autowrap around an image. Drag the giraffe and it just keeps dynhaicaly reflowing all of the text around it.


Most impressive. You see folder tabs across the top.

This could be the first Fun spreadsheet app. Its all tactile.

Brings up a custom soft keyboard for each task (numbers, dates, formulas)

Steve comes back to show off books!

You can watch live game videok, as with other app. But this makes me excited about TV on this device…MLB has done a great job with Enhanced Presentation, embroidering video with more stats and content.

Apple comes out to remind us that it also runs all iPhone apps as is.

Steve sounhds a little raspy,.

Apple has done a great job of pioneering dysfunctionality wuith the Kindle or thats what I thought he said.

Shows off a new app called iBooks.

New iBooki Store. Looks like it has the same parity with music and apps.

Five huge publishers aqre already on boardf and it goes live today!

(Okay, I was wrong. I thought Apple would be content to have multiple bookstore apps)

Library flips around like a bookcase in a murder mansion to reveal hidden passage to the store. Looks like a WAY richer experience than Kindle Store. Book downloads directly to the device.

UI is like aq book. Tap anywhere on left or rtight tur pages, or flip graphically.

UI controls fade away when youre reading. Caqn avbe any kinds of photos.

Yay, it uses the epub format.

What kind of DRM, I wonder?

More app demos, starting with EA

EA came onsite, he says. Need For Speed demo looks GREAT. You steer by steerng this steering wheel sized item.

Tap the rearview mirror to look behind you.

Performance looks awesome.

Reminds me that we still dont know what the resoloution of this screen is. How many pixels in each dimension? But this racing game looks fantastic.

Last up is MLB.com. I love their app for the iPhone.

Live Game gameday dispolay is fantastic. Tap anything for details, tap players to gflip out their baseball card. Bideo highlights play while the game is playting live behind the video.

Developers! Dvelopers! Developers!

We gave some developers this SDK just TWO WEEKS ago to see what they could come up with.

Gameloft first up. Has added new controls and hestures…iPad game has thumbpaqds on either side of the screen. Also integrating controls that use twisting and turning the pad.

Killing enemies by dragging a selection rectangle hardly seems sporting, does it?

(game is Nova)

Next up: New York Times.

Martin Nisenholtz gives demo, aided by two people.

Looks a little like Tim Gunn’s brother, which I mean as a compliment.

Finite snapshot of time, superi0or reading experience.

Flip through sections, tap into sections, bruing down a menu to have a list of menus. Can tap to select articles to sunc to your iPhone.

Reading experience looks great…resize things with a pinch, open slideshows.

I dont know if theyve really licked this yet. It looks like theyve just regformatted their articvles for multiple columns to fit the orientation of the screen.

But certainbly not a simple Make It Into ASn Ebook approach. Looks very browsable and discoverable, as a newspaper should be. You know, where you just leaf through pages and encuonter articles.


Popular iPhone app, by a one person shop done by Steve Sprang.

Slide through a pretty ghallery. Your paintings can be edited…tap to edit. Layers and brushes. Store your favorite brushes in a waterciolorlike palatte.

Oh, kinow maqny artists who will go NUTS for this.

Can zoom in for finer control. All done via fingers.

Can record the process and play it back. Says its a true portable paint studio.

Very neat demo.

Next: electronic arts. Steady on, pull up your astronaut diapers, this could be great.


Awesome: runs all iPhone apps. Either in a small TV like window, or tap a 2x button and itll d0ouble the size. And the resolution, I wonder?

Runs these games and things without any modigfication. On the bigscreen here it looks great in fullscreen. Smooth, highly detailed.

Hey, he also has that great Piano Pro qapp


If the developer spends time modifying it, though…?

Says We modei9fied all of our existing iPhone apps to look great on tyhe iPad. To that end, theyve modded the iPhone SDK and are releasing it TODAY.


9.7 inch ips display

1.5 pounds, .5 inches thick–

1 ghz Apple A4 processor

16-64 gigs of storage

WiFi 802.11n BT2.1 + efdr

30pin connectore, speaker, microphone.

Battery – 10 hours of battery.

Month of stabndby time.


How do they solve onewindow UI? By populating dropdown menus as if theyre windows, almost (dropdown list of ihnbox messages, or can open it as a pane in the message w9indow.

Looks like a very unclottered interface.

Onscreen keyboard. He
s typing at what appears to be less than blazing speed but fast enough. It autocorrects like an iPhone.


(Everything works in portrait or landscape, incidentally)

FLick through photos. Looks like a lightable sort of interface. With albums and stcks.

If your photos are on Mac, itll recognize faces and everything. Locations?

Mostly flicks thro0ugh ijmages.

Yes, places. Big map with phots pinned to it.

Once again we see that tapping a buttobn in the “menubar” drops down a little media-rich window full of content UI.


Builtin iPod. Looks like iTunes.

BIG album qart is possible. Lots of us are going to have to upgrade our imagery! Mine are all 320p

iTunes Store

Looks hgreat…much better than the desktop edition. I hope this is what well see when we can do this via qany web browser. Very touchable.


Drag your finger over dates to look at content.

Contacts. Looks like an address book.


Page curl in cornerk, peel it up to switch views. Looks to be Google Maps (Bing usuqally waterjarks its content)

Works like the iPhone app. Doesnt lok like theyve added much. Aplause for google street view (which oes look good).


YouTube. “Wet And Woofy” is the name of the video hs selects. Its in hi def. I bet some google searches will turn up smutty videos with that name. If not right now, then definitely tonight. :)

Very uncluttered. I might even call it TOO uncluttered, almost stark. Video player also looks exactly like the iPhone video player.

It’s looking as if “A big iPod Touch” is looking like its distressingly spot on as a description.


Unblock scrteen like an iPhone.

Demos NYT website. Tqaps for stories. Very pretty screen. Lots of nice scrolling.

Aha: missing pplugin slug for flash content, I think.

Menu titles are little icons; tap to drop down the menu.

TIME website.

Fandango website.

Looks exactly like Safari, with aqdaptati0ons for touch (maqke big targets for touch).

National geographic.

Steve appears to be just ignoring the audience and enjoying browing the web with the iPad. Lots of silence and tappinh.

Looiks very, very fast.

iPad is shown off

SO much typing…sounds like qa house being consumed by termites in here.

We see an onscreen keybvoard 9in qa screenshot of the mil app.

Calendar looks pretty. All of these apps tke full advantage of the screen.

The Engaqdget shot of the mqap app was spot on.

iTunes looks like desktop itunes.

m a little disappointed; this does look like a big iPhone, UI and everything.

“Awesome to watch TV and movies on.”

Now he shows the demo.

The Main Event!

Steve starts with a tease. Apple inbvented the laptop, he says, at least in the form we know it.

Then Apple reinvented the phone.

We all use laptops and smartphones now. The question: Is there room fort a third category of device in the middle?

Device must be far better at key things. Like:



Enjoying and sharing phots
Watching videos

Must be better at these sorts of tasks than a laptop of smartphone.

Netbook? No, thy arebnt better at anyth9ing (laughter applause). Smaller and slower, poorer displays; theyre just cheap laptops.

We thu

Yes, its calloed the iPad.

Looks a lot like a big iphone with a macstyle dock.

And we’re off!

Steve takes stage without intro. Embarrassing when press and analysts iissue a standing ovation. I think it’s just the front section of Special Guests.

Kicks off. He has something special to show, but first, some updates: sold a stupid number of ipods.

3 billionth app doqanloaded. Gee, theyre not telling us what it was. A little embarrassing? :)

15.6 billion dollqrs in q1 revenue this year. An army of gold robots to execute the unwilling can only be a year off.

Most Macs sold are MacBooks.
By revenue, Apple is the largest mobile tech company in the world.


Settled into my seat. The room is about the size of a medium movie theater. I’ve chosen a seat on the aisle about halfway up, selecting a good view of the stage. Sharing a row with the Macworld folks, Gruber, and Jaqui of Ars.

It’s a sea of screens. Everybody is liveblogging or taking notes. It’s almost as if we’re watching a live livestream or something.

I am struggling not to hum a quiet Dylan impression as “Like A Rolling Stone” pumps through speakers.

Lights are dimming slightly.

Second post!

Wait, I’ve just figured out who we’re going to blame for all this: people in the room playing Warcraft on the cell network and killing all of the bandwidth.

Good. Picking a scapegoat is the most important part of event preparation, you know.

First Post! Awzorrr!


Okay. So here’s how I hope this is going to work: I’ll have my MiFi, my Hackintosh, and my Nikon pocket camera with an EyeFi card in its SD slot. In a perfect world, this would mean that instead of flooding Twitter with an endless series of observations, thoughts, and bitchy comments, I can do a real liveblog — complete with photos as-we-go — just like I’m some sort of modern tech journalist or something.

Keep refreshing this page for updates. And if it doesn’t work…


No, we mustn’t think that way. It will work. It will work.

(Shut up!!!!)

The Apple Tablet Trip: A Little Light Packing.

Minimal Packing.jpg

I’m off to San Francisco. On Wednesday, I will enter an auditorium at Yerba Buena Gardens and sit down. Apple will then say things to me and a few hundred of my closest friends.

This ends the factual portion of my pre-event coverage. Everything else (I must remind myself) is mere Speculation. Though if Apple doesn’t plan to announce their rumored Tablet at the event, our first tipoff will be the protective floor-to-ceiling wall of chicken wire that’s been erected between the stage and the audience.

But I’m sure that Apple is well aware that we’re hauling our butts alllll the way out there for just one reason: to hear Steve Jobs sing the theme from “Rawhide.” If it turns out that the biggest news to come from the whole Event is a new blackish-purplish color for the iPod Nano…?

No, that’s not going to happen. I felt pretty safe when booking my flight well a few weeks ago because of the nature of the January 27 Event rumors. They certainly had all of the ineffable earmarks of a managed leak rather than random speculation.

And I should (gratefully) point out that this will be the cheapest trip to San Francisco in Team Ihnatko’s league franchise history. I had two different offers of guest rooms to sleep in, so I decided to play “chicken” with the various travel sites to see how desperate hotels get as the clock ticks down. I was hoping to get a four-star hotel next to the convention center for $8 a night. Instead, on the day before my flight I got a 3.5-star hotel a 15-minute walk away for $75. I learned that the “butter zone” — at least for this trip — seemed to be about a week before check-in reservation. That’s when the best hotels released their rooms to the deep-discounters.

(I’m exceptionally skeptical when I read people’s Tweets about fantastic room rates for Macworld Expo and the like. $149 is no bargain in San Francisco. I’ll pay $100 a night if I’m desperate; otherwise, I know I can find something very good for under $90 by performing a little due diligence.)

I’ll soitenly have much more to say about the event and my time in San Francisco as the week progresses. For now, I’m wrestling with a self-imposed challenge:

I am determined to make this my very first Carryon Luggage-Only trip to San Francisco.

Companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to calculate the exact dollar amount that will suddenly cause consumers to revolt and decide that their product, service, or pill-popping lead singer just isn’t worth it. Apple’s certainly wrestling with that question as they choose the right price for their (rumored!) Tablet.

It’s unpredictable. We’re a fickle marketplace. I can only say that when airlines instituted new fees for checked bags, I sighed and accepted that airlines define success as “we lost way less money than our closest competitor last year.” I didn’t think they were totally out of line to ask for a small fee for each checked bag. When the fees started to creep up, I didn’t really flinch.

Okay. But with the latest round of increases, those fees are now $25 a bag. Each way. One suitcase adds fifty dollars to the price of a ticket!

No. No, no…NO. I’ve reached my limit. I’ve finally had that moment when I feel like a sucker for disassociating those fees from the cost of my airfare. And I feel like a lazy spendthrift for not getting myself in the habit of being thrifty about the things I take with me on trips.

American Airline’s luggage increase doesn’t take effect until February. But there’s no time like the present. This relatively short trip — which includes only one real “business” day — will be a good initial test of discipline.

I’ve instituted a new mission rule:

I will not check a bag unless it’s absolutely the cheapest way to get absolutely indispensable things to my destination.

The two key words being “cheapest” and “indispensable.” If I’m flying somewhere for a formal event, checking a full-size garment bag for my tuxedo is a permissible option. But only if “rent a tux when I get there,” “ship the tux ahead of me via UPS” or “stuff the tux in a carryon and have it cleaned and pressed before the event” are all more expensive than checking the bag.

I have just the thing to help me in this campaign: Pelican’s 1510 Laptop Overnight Case. It meets the maximum FAA definition of overhead-stowable luggage, which is very good. What makes it very great is the fact that it’s made with the same materials and engineering that Pelican uses when designing a case that can protect a 24″ CRT from baggage handlers.

That was a big concern for me. I’m usually assigned to the boarding group that’s technically numbered “4 or higher” but which a more forthright industry would simply announce with “Okay, all the riff-raff we barely give two ****s about can grab now grab their live chickens or whatever and board the plane. Whoops! Sorry, I think you people refer to it as the ‘sky trailer’, don’t you?” By the time I board, the overheads might be full. That’s a bad time to realize that you packed that thin nylon rollerbag with the expectation that you’d be carrying it personally to its destination.

Mind you, I’ll still be packing anything valuable or fragile in my laptop bag. But that hardsider will give me a little piece of mind. It utter intolerance of your desire to overstuff it will also enforce the aforementioned new self-discipline.

(Another bonus of its built-like-a-tank-ness: during my trip this weekend, I used the Pelican as an laptop table while I waited for the train to New York and then as a seat when I waited for my train back home. This thing is bloody sturdy.)

It’s nicely fitted-out inside, with a big zippered compartment for clothes and accessories and custom-fitted bags for your laptop and cables that Velcro in place, right inside the lid.

Choosing a bag was easy. Deciding what to pack will be a challenge. The “one pair of undies per day” rule is a sensible one and will remain. Everything else is open for discussion. Tonight I found myself going through my socks and wondering if I shouldn’t favor the thin ones over the thick, comfortable hiking kind I normally wear.

I want to pack my black blazer. Can I afford it? Or should I take the unstructured “hybrid” shirt/jacket that fills many of the same duties but takes up less space?

It’s the selection of tech gear that’s causing me the most angst. I travel with an SLR. That’s usually not a question. But can I absolutely count on being able to wear it on board like a big black medallion? Or should I take the pocket Nikon instead, just for safety?

At least I have an “free” carryon option for the SLR. What about my netbook? I have the nagging feeling that I’ll have to leave it behind.

Which would be a damned, damned shame. A netbook is a godsend during a conference or an event I need to cover. All I need is something with a keyboard and system resources that’ll let me take some notes, do a little research, and post a few things. The MacBook Pro is Captain Overkill; it’s a hell of a lot to be carrying around a convention hall. I can’t count on the battery lasting through a 90-minute keynote with furious typing and WiFi action, and a 15″ laptop is a pretty big thing to take into a keynote hall where you’re all going to be packed in, kneecap to kneecap.

So. Hmm. Under this new self-imposed restriction, can I afford the luxury of bringing two computers?

Or can I do something as daft as leave the MacBook at home? It’s not the processing power I’d miss…it’s the fact that it’s my entire creative universe, with every tool, project, and scrap of research I work with every single day back at the office.

Damn. A side-goal is to avoid relying on my laptop bag as an Equalizer, packing it to the gills. Otherwise, there’d be plenty of room for both.

Well, I’m sure it’ll work out. It’s an experiment. Initial failures can be expected.

New York was a very minor test-run, to re-familiarize myself with the bag. It was just an overnight, so the packing was simple and even my laptop bag was very light on my shoulder. It was a bit of a thrill, I must confess. I felt like…well, like a normal traveler. You know, those people who seem to have taken just the essentials and who can glide onto a train or an airplane effortlessly, instead of looking like a stevedore trying to manhandle four casks of molasses onto a clipper ship in one go.

So overall, I think this new Mission Rule will be good for the soul. Limitations and restrictions build muscles: after all, the only way to succeed with greater restrictions is through greater thinking.

All I know is that I’ll probably have fewer incidents where I’m unpacking my bag in a hotel and discover that I’ve just taken the 13.5 volt charger for a portable hard drive I haven’t used in a year on a little 3,000-mile vacation away from the office. I’m looking forward to that.

You’ll have to excuse me now. I’ve just remembered that I need to find an 8″ plastic baggie for my toiletries, none of which may contain more than 3 ounces of liquid.

Apple Tablet Event hits “Doonesbury”


Oh, good heavens. It looks as though Garry Trudeau is doing a whole week’s worth of strips about the Apple Tablet event this week in San Francisco.

To clarify: one of the most popular strips in the world is doing an entire week’s worth of comic strips about an event in which a rumored (rumored) consumer product might (might) be shown off for the first time.

I think we now need to create a new word for “hype” that only refers to the sort of buzz that an Apple product can generate. At this stage, the only way for the Apple tablet to get more press would be if it got into a car crash after its wife beat it with a golf club.

Incidentally, that thump…thump…thump you’re hearing is the sound of Microsoft’s CEO pounding his head against his desk over and over again. You did a heckofajob with that CES keynote, Ballmie…