Category: Apple


Being Responsible

cabaretSo, despite today being a minor government holiday, “National ‘People who Ignore the fact that we have Veterans’ Subjugation Day” it was also the first day of the next step in my work career.

I always joke that creative types are never really un-employed. They just don’t have people paying for their talents at the moment. In software one can go from feast to famine fairly quickly. But honestly, in any field one can do the same.

Obviously, the income I’m best going to be able to generate is going to come from two sources. Unrealistically, it will come from becoming a Texas-Hold ’em overnight sensation and I will transform $2, 000 into $2,000,000 by the end of the week. Fortunately, schizophrenia is only in my family history; so I am able to more adeptly look at reality.

I am an Apple 3rd party engineer. It just so happens, the party has come to my house. So now it’s time to finally put up or shut up. I’ve been a member of Apple’s third party development program in one form or another for about 20 years. I have a tonne of history that includes operating system bugs in the Apple OS that date back to Mac OS 7.6.1 (Yes, kids there was an Apple OS before OS X) I do also have correspondence with Apple that goes back over 30 years due to an issue that I found in Apple DOS 3.2.

However, there are certain financial ducks (I fix an autocorrect that really didn’t help here) to get in a row. First was the responsibility of notifying the 2nd of my 3 primary creditors of my financial situation. Fortunately, I’d been paying insurance on my primary credit card against work termination. This insurance should cover my minimum payments and may forgive some of my debt.

I also filed for state assistance. Knowing that this lugubrious process is by design complicated and demoralizing. However; the important part is that I did it. So, I can admit… right now I have savings; they will dwindle; I am taking steps to take on contractual work, and will hopefully generate more income soon. Until then, I am not a moocher, but think I have earned the assistance that I have been contributing into in the event of this kind of a situation.

Finally, I have applied to get a full vendor’s license for Apolo Productions out of my home. I have had an EIN for Apolo for over a decade. I have just rarely needed to tap on it. But putting in the application I can start using these licenses again and update my “Lack of Corporate” headquarters with Apple to allow them to pay me if any apps I publish see fruition.

In the mean time my spouse is hopefully going to ramp up her Art business again through a few different points. Etsy for crafts. I hope at some point to display the mural she’s been working on. Not bad for someone with a Chronic Spine Injury.

My business plan is to create a few apps. Some that are free; but free only in as much as I don’t believe they warrant selling them. Anything I sell has to be for a reason. The core reason is that I feel in honestly fills a marketable niche and I want to think thru how the app is best monetized. People are very careful now-a-days with how they spend money on apps; even though they do it at an alarming rate. The trick is to have the right app with the right monetization.

Do it right; or don’t do it. The stuff to the side is meant to be for learning and thus for free.

Shorter posts but more frequent for a while. Please note… While I don’t get a lot of comments on the blog; both comments and sharing of these posts are appreciated. This feedback is a tangible connection as I make a lot of decisions.

Thanks for listening. Thanks more for talking.

blenderSome people ‘fire’ months, years, etc… I was very close to firing a whole lot more after a very bad week.

In a period of 6 days, my very expensive King Size Bed that we saved a lot for had the frame crack and the mattress drop. As a result, my spouse and I have been sleeping separated. She on the side of the bed that is okay with an equally expensive mattress that helps her back that was injured permanently by a careless 19 yr old driver. I on the other hand have been relegated to my office to sleep on a bed I got when I moved out to the West Coast to pursue being a software developer. About $200 from Ikea, 13 years old, survived the trip back to Pennsylvania… But it’s too soft for my dear spouse. This was strike one.

Monday, I did a very grueling presentation for work on a project I’d taken on myself. The presentation went okay, but there were chinks in it. Worn out, I came home and got hit with the flu. 102 temperature and the whole “useless as all hell” misery. I didn’t have enough energy to sit up most of the time. Water and the occasional saltine (so much for GF). This took me down for two days where I really needed to be fixing the chinks in my presentation. Make that strike two.

Today, my company and I parted company. I’m not going to go into a lot of details. There’s no need to. It was a good job, but the fit simply wasn’t right. I don’t know if I could have or would have changed enough to make it a good fit. These changes never come at a good time. It is what it is. The team/group will do what they will and I will do what I will. It just so happens that it will now be on two separate paths. But we can switch sports and call that the hat trick for the week.

So, I do what I always do at this point… Update my resume and contemplate semi-finished pieces of code projects that hit some stumbling block or another. Or at least I contemplate  contemplating it while avoiding all responsibility on my first night free by reading too much internet. (My random 80’s mix in the background has just started Rickrolling me)

One of the famous people I subscribe to on Twitter (I like to refer to this as Schizofreindia) is Producer/Writer Jane Espenson (@JaneEspenson). Apart from being a linchpin in the Buffy family, she’s also the creator of Warehouse 13, and she’s been a writer, executive producer, or contributing producer on everything from Once upon a Time, Torchwood, Dollhouse, to Tru Calling, Firefly and Angel. She is greatly respected in her arena.

A few weeks ago, I noticed she posts to twitter an occasional “writing sprint.” I’d love to blog more (and maybe I will now) but at the time, I think I noticed it in the evening as it was winding down. A writing sprint is basically an hour devoted to total focus writing on one project. It seemed like (given the chance) it would be at least motivation to try. Sadly, I just filed it away and didn’t think much of it.

Tonight, I am sitting in the living room contemplating what waste of time I will stay up too late watching on the telly. And then I see it:

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 10.26.02 PMNot “writing”… Any Project. I contemplated my latest block in a software project. I could go into very droll technical details but it is simply defined as “Multi-Threaded CoreData” Either of these terms can strike fear into even advanced Apple Coder Types, and here I was trying out how to get both at the same time. And honestly, I really wasn’t good at CoreData as it was without adding in the monster of trying to drag it kicking and screaming into the world of being Multi-Threaded; which I can guarantee you… It doesn’t want to be.

But, hey. I had a project, a goal, and at least an hour for bruising my head on the keyboard some more. Why not?

Why not indeed. At 50 minutes in; it worked. I didn’t simply make it work. But I understood why it worked, how it worked, and that I could make it work again. I also wrestled down a nice little steaming pile of other Apple coding technologies that I’d pretty much avoided.

In the world of coding there is a very important step. It’s called Source Control. What this is, is carefully storing your changes on a server so that you can see your work, roll back your work if you do something truly bone-headed, and have a secure way to share work with others. The act of saving your work is called checking-in. And sure enough, I hit the Check in and pushed to my save server and looked at the clock. 9:59.

I’m the type of coder (nay artist) who when I finally defeat something I will jump up, punch the air, shout “YEAH!”, etc.  (Did I mention… maybe not the best fit for my old job)

I had no choice. I had to revel in my schizofriendia just once.Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 10.37.53 PM

You see “Schizofriendia” to define a term is not the act of following someone famous. It is the concept of writing to someone famous with (for example) nearly 100,000 followers and being the slightest deluded that your comment isn’t just fodder for the internet vacuum. I guess this instance wasn’t Schizofriendia. Because I wasn’t writing it for her, I was writing it for anyone else who might be following her tonight also trying to find their own motivation to succeed.

In a week of what one could call major failures. In a week where one could easily discard all motivation and just slide down a whole. One success can keep a dimming light burning.

One success can do that…

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 10.45.07 PM

But an added word of encouragement that was unexpected can light a new path in ways it has never glowed before.

Nothing gets fired, it just finds a new course and path. A better fit

Twas the week before DevCon
  and all through the net
all the banners were leaking
  more news yet to get.

  The rumors were hung
by the bloggers with care
  in the hopes that this rev
was filled with great flair.


Okay enough with the really bad filking. With just a hair over 5 days until the keynote of WWDC 2012 it’s time for my annual predictions. Some will carry vegas style odds which I will not cover or take bets on.

The post is rather disjointed as I am in the middle of crunch on a project that we wanted to fire off before or during WWDC… But, we’ll get it when it’s done. Not when it’s convenient.


HARDWARE:
It’s obvious that the Mac hardware line has gotten very long in the tooth. We’re definitely seeing an upgrade of the entire line. Also, as mentioned in my 2012 overview posting. Expect there to be some mixing/realigning of the Macbook Air/Macbook Pro line. With external monitors the 17″ may not be long for this world. (A shame because it’s been my primary model for about 6-8 yrs)

The Mac Pro may FINALLY see a body redesign. There’s a lot of wasted space in there. The device has somewhat subsumed the XServe which had that nice 1U body form. So the Tower may see a form factor change to make it more compact for the server room. I’m thinking something akin to the Mac Mega (Opposite of Mini). I don’t expect it to look like a Mini except maybe something a little more streamlined.

The Mini and the Airport Time Machine have continued to sort of drool into each other. We may finally see the fusion there.

Hardware updates?

  • The delayed intel chips,
  • thunderbolt and BTLE everywhere.
  • Better cameras.
  • Better video cards.
  • Better RAM and drives.
  • And likely more devices with OUT the DVD. (Anyone else remember, “No Floppy”?)

The OS? Well we’ll get to that next.


OS X 10.8:
By the rumours boards it would seem that we’ve seen 5 seeds of the OS. Or more correctly 3 with 2 updates. Comments from forums by people breaking NDA is that the new OS:

  • For starters is snappier. (I had to)
  • Is more stable that 10.7
  • Has good feature add.

So, Is 10.8 ready for Prime time. Will the new devices release with 10.8?

I’m going to give the release of 10.8 an even 50% chance of being released either at the keynote or within a week of it. I will give the announcement of a release date 100%.

How much will OS X 10.8 be?

My belief is that there is a 75% chance that
    OS X 10.8 will be free
to 10.7 users and
    $29.95 for 10.6 users. There will also be a direct upgrade path for 10.6 users.

Is there anymore to OS X 10.8?

I believe so. But as for what. I’ll return to after my comments on iOS.


iOS 6:

So lets talk about iOS 6. There’s been no actual word from Apple that there will be a release of iOS 6.0. However… 5.0 announced at WWDC 2011. Apple has stated that it wants to move to once/year OS updates. So… 6.0 is a reasonable assumption. And now my wish list and percentage chances. (Please note… percents are per line… not additive)

We’ll start with the easy OS features and changes:

  • Open GL improved (100%)
  • UIKit improved (100%)
    Gaming and UI are iOS’ bread and butter. A lot of effort goes in here both in presentation and development. Struts, storyboard, etc. Expect some nice things here.

  • Multiple exchange calendars. (40%)
    A common wish list item for enterprise. (I know I could use it)

  • Built in VNC.(65%)
    Apple remote desktop and screen sharing between iOS devices and between iOS, Mac, and Apple TV products. Would also work with XCode for debugging. (65%)

The next set are my big ticket items. Things that we’ve been hoping for that will be full developmental APIs.

  • Core Mapping(80%)

    A reworking of Mapping and Core Location. Now includes full non-Google maps, find my friends/phone and 3 dimensions of location.

  • Core Dictation (Includes Siri)(75%)
    Many times a product has started on one device and then spread. Siri will wind up on all iOS not just iPhone and likewise dictation will be on the iPhone4S. The API will be opened to developers. Apps will be Siriable. Dictation will be programable.

  • tvkit.framework (Apple TV 2 & 3 only)(65%)
    In the pre push for the TV, Apps will finally be allowed on the Apple TV.

  • Core Messaging (IM and Mail)(60%)
    Finally taking a page from address book and media… Mail and Messaging will be open programable. The messaging backend will be federatable so that other systems can use it.

  • Core Profile (Parental/Enterprise settings)(55%)
    Configuration of a device will be upped with Core User to allow both an enterprise device with FULL configuration and also Parental Supervisory controls. (Which on retrospect are really the same thing)

  • Core Process(40%)
    True backgrounding processes – The ability to create small daemon like code to run in the background and signal notifications. (Great for accessories)

  • Core User (Multi User) (Feature: 65%; API 30%)
    At long last an iCloud alternative to having more than one user on an iOS device. It may not be pretty but it will work. A core OS will live on the device and then you’ll iCloud shift active user.

  • springboard.framework(25%)
    Configure the look of the home screen, app pages, and folders.

  • Core “Something Else”(65%)
    I still think there is a WHOA feature that no one has touched on. I think that Core Something Else will be on both iOS6 and OS X 10.8


FOR DEVELOPERS:
I think we’ll see

  • XCode 4.5 / 5.0 – Depends how much the UI and the engine get revamped. (90%)
  • Raise the beta bar over 100 users – a common complaint (50%)
  • iOS Developer Frameworks – iOS devs will have a way to build framework bundles not just linked libraries. (Also requires an approval process) (40%)
  • There will be discussion on Radar. (25%)

THE APP STORE (iOS/OS X)

  • Tiered Upgrades. A common complaint

ANNOUNCEMENTS:
iPhone5. If the phone will be releasing by the end of Summer/Early Autumn (with iOS 6)… Then there is a 60% chance of announce. After that… don’t hold your breath. I do not Believe they will be releasing the iPhone for a while because it probably depends on iOS6 which I believe is also still under dev.

The famed Apple GOD TV. (As opposed to the Jesus phone, as it used to be referred to)… I think that the TVKit.Framweork will be the tip of the iceberg. I think it will tell people that the AppleTV (2 and 3) aren’t a hobby anymore.

That being said… I don’t think we’ll see the TV announced. No sensational “Thus spake Zarathrustra” moments on this. It needs an event to stand alone.

Other things that I just don’t have the effort to get all crazy about:
iTunes updated
iLife updated

I think this year’s WWDC may be worth writing home about.

I’m not going with a cryptic title for this piece. There’s enough confusion out there in the world of technology and marketing that being cryptic on a “Should I buy” post just isn’t fair. Before you trust my word I need to make an open disclosure.

I am invested LONG in Apple. I have purchased stock in Apple at $405 in 12/11; $90 in 12/08; and $12 in the mid 90s. My career is also focused on being a third party software engineer on Apple’s product platforms. I have been doing so professionally since the mid 1990s. Currently I write iOS apps and Mac apps full time for an amazing company. I have an Apple ][+ on my office desk. It is to replace the Apple ][ (not a plus) that I received in 1979 that was lost in a move. Finally, I am the owner of an iPad (G1, WiFi model, 32G)

So many reviewers out there will tell you whether or not you should buy the new iPad based entirely on its new feature set. Anyone who talks about that and doesn’t comment on the end users’ needs really isn’t giving you any worthwhile buying information.

To help supply better information for purchasing decisions, I’m going to first discuss what separates the iPad from the Desktop PC and smartphone to make it a worthwhile product to own in general. Second, I’m going to break potential buyers up into four ownership groups and address what most other reviewers are saying. (Side note: Developers, you’ve already pre-ordered yours, right? Because a surprising number of your customers certainly have.) Next, I’ll focus in on a few specific classifications of people (Students, Artists, Business, etc.) to outline potential use/need concerning a purchase. After, I’ll explain and justify my own reasons for pre-ordering a new iPad as soon as the Apple Store let me. Finally, I’ll comment on Apple’s release schedule and the nature of the rumour mill vs. buying/waiting for devices.

With the iPad (G1) I came to the realisation that Apple had found a way to split computing into a new sub-category of activity: consumptive computing. The average user doesn’t make complicated movies, software, or Office documents. They often run in-house applications (usually back-ended into a database) and modify a string of templates. Other than that they do a lot of email, research, and on PCs play solitaire and minesweeper. (Yes, I realise that is out of date). Amusingly, until recently in most offices the individual contributors who did the creative work (Coding, Complex document layout, graphics) often had to fight for better equipment while the management and “CxO”s got the really good stuff.

Consumptive computing is all the stuff you can do without a lot of creation (e.g.: web surfing, email, music, picture organisation, Office document review, games… etc.) You really don’t need the number crunching power to display. (Granted, playing games are different…, kind of; but not in comparison to rendering games), As a result, I’ve often said that the iPad has turned my computer back into a Creative Computing device. I write code on it. I manage databases. I create complex spreadsheets. Occasionally, I caption videos for my family. Happily, I also consider what computer activities I could write an app for to get those activities off the computer and onto my iPad. It would seem that business agrees. Apple recently stated that 92% of the Fortune 500 companies were testing or distributing iPads to their employees.

In general, I believe the iPad is an ESSENTIAL computing tool that everyone should have though it DOES NOT YET replace the desktop/portable computer for everyone. I also do not think at this stage that everyone needs a desktop/portable computer.

There are four types of people out there in the pre “New” iPad world: People that do not own a tablet computing device; people that own a non-Apple Computing device, people that own the 1st generation iPad, and of course people that own the 2nd generation iPad. Noting that I believe everyone should have an iPad; I’m going to spend little time on the group of non-owners in this section, as the reasons are far too broad to lump these people together. Suffice it to say that between eBay, refurbished units, the maintenance of the iPad2, and the new models there are loads of feature and price points available to either jump in or wade in a toe at a time.

As mentioned at the top, I do prefer Apple products. My experience with Android has been akin to my experiences with Windows. I so want to like it, but then the limitations trip me up. And while there are occasional things they have that the corresponding Apple product doesn’t. The problems, complexity, issues, and over all lack of dependability just sort of leave me looking to see if I can solve the missing issue on my Apple device.

There have been over 100 tablets in the past year. Most of these stalled out of the gate. Apple has a huge advantage in the space. Now… they do currently come in one and only one size. And there is a minimum price point higher than units from the competition. It is true that you can get a Kindle for less money to read books on a paper like screen. There is also the Kindle Fire, which I think Amazon just spun off to a new division as it was manufacturing and selling those at a financial loss to the company. Android did release “No really, ‘The Ice Cream Sandwich OS’ will do everything that we promised the last OS didn’t do.” And of course there is the “Google is definitely the lesser of two evils than Apple” camp. To the latter I can only say, “No Corporation is without evil. You just pick which evil you can personally relegate in your soul.” At my office I’ve had at least 3 co-workers switch to iPads and regret ever having been on any other smart platform. So, all I can say to the owners of the competition is: “Try it. You may like it.”

To repeat my earlier disclosure: I am an iPad (G1) owner. I did not buy the iPad on day one. I was hesitant. I too bought into the “It’s a big iPhone” head scratching. The reality distortion field of Steve said, “You have to touch it to realise it is magic.” And after handling one in an Apple Store I knew I wanted one. At the time I was between jobs so it wasn’t in the budget. Even when I got a new job, I thought it’d be best to wait until after the move to the new city. My overly tech-endowed mother-in-law (who comes to me for a good bit of tech support) however was utterly surprised that I didn’t have one and suggested I get one to help with the move and to celebrate having a new full-time job. (Best suggestion, ever)

The new iPad is leaps and bounds beyond the first model. When the G2 came out there just wasn’t enough flavour to convince me to drop and buy. A camera was a nice touch, but I had one on my iPhone and computer. The speed was great if I needed a camera. About the only think I wish I’d gotten the G2 for was the weight difference. The G3 however, takes all the G2 additions and adds in enough that now it’s worth moving up. The camera is now far more robust than the one in the iPhone. The dictation capability can take the place of typing. The iOS platform as a whole has grown robustly enough to purchase a model that will take advantage of a new generation of apps. In general (but not necessarily specifically for all) a move from an iPad (G1) to an iPad (G3) seems to make good sense.

The G2 iPad is really a strong machine. I’d actually say that the G2 is the first full-feature iPad with the G1 sort of being the iPad early adopter’s release. By the time the G2 released the App Store was beginning to show a good number of apps that specifically targeted it. The camera was pretty good. Most of the other technology was sufficient to not leave people clambering for more. As a G2 owner, how should you look at the new iPad?

The big feature hits from the G3 iPad is far better graphics, dictation, 4G, and BTLE. In the case of the latter two I view these technologies at this time in the same way I did with Apple dropping a floppy drive in deference to the USB port. 4G and BTLE are most assuredly future technologies that will be in everything and available everywhere. Currently they are neither. If you’re getting the device for that reason, I hope that you have access to the technologies dependably (engineer, researcher, big city denizen) because you’re likely to be disappointed otherwise with the lack of use for these things.

Okay, then there is the graphics and the dictation. I really was hoping to play with Siri on the new iPad. I have watched dictation technology for many years. I’ve always been suitably unimpressed. For me, dictation would be better integrated like Siri as a utility. “Make an appointment for foo.” I have seen the video of the keynote presentation. We’ll have to see if the dictation is really up to speed or on the other hand we can look forwards to a new web site similar to “Damn You, Autocorrect” and “Why Siri Why.”

I’ve intentionally avoided the question of the graphics because you can’t make a fair decision about the iPad 3 from an iPad 2 point of view based solely on the fact that the G3 does in fact have “über” graphic mojo.

Unwritten disclosure: My spouse is a full-time artist. I purchased her an iPad 2 for the holidays this past Q4. My wife is an artist. She also whimpered at me quite pitifully when I explained the new graphics on the iPad G3.

Unless graphic quality is your bread and butter for work or personal life, I think iPad 2 owners can and should hold off of the new iPad. It’s tempting, but in general it’s going to be 2-4 months for the first app updates to really hit the streets that make the app look better for the device. It will likely be 6-9 months before a new generation of apps comes out that really make the new device scream.

So what does it mean to have graphic quality be your bread and butter? Picture quality and rendering speed become more essential. So this is both a gamer’s platform as well as an artist’s platform. In both cases however, you’re looking at a quality level that one really only needs if they intend to devote that level of work to the iPad. It’s certain that this quality (or better) will become commonplace eventually, but again at this stage you’re paying for bleeding edge, and the bulk of apps will not cater to this for 6 months or so. In general, if you want to start moving your personal work and gaming to the higher resolution and quality or if you’re looking to shoot HD video with an iPad… that’s where your consideration should go.

There is one last thing I haven’t mentioned that the iPad (G3) brings with it that hasn’t received a lot of press. There is the newer version of the Apple Care protection plan. A note on this… It may seem like a surcharge, but I personally ALWAYS figure in the cost of Apple Care with any hardware that I buy. If a pixel goes south 6 months in, I want my unit replaced. I STRONGLY recommend that any purchase of Apple hardware include Apple Care support.

The new Apple Care for the iPad (G3) includes a feature added for the iPhone 4S. The new Apple Care “…adds coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage due to handling of your iPad, each subject to a $49 service fee.” Apple calls this “Accidental Damage from Handling” or “ADH”. The legal documents continue: “ADH coverage only applies to an operational or mechanical failure caused by an accident from handling that is the result of an unexpected and unintentional external event (e.g., drops and liquid contact) that arises from your normal daily usage of the Covered iPad as intended for such Covered iPad.”

There are some standard exceptions: Scratches and dents that don’t effect operation. Damages caused from unauthorised use (opening the unit, modifying the unit), units outside the company of purchase, units damaged before the Apple Care service was bought. (That’s right, no coverage for pre-existing conditions)

The days of dropping your unit in water and being out $$$ are over. And you get 3 units over the lifetime of the Support. You get the original and two replacements with ~$50 fees for each replacement.

As mentioned, I spent three hours trying to force my way into the Apple Store after the Keynote announcement to pre-order the iPad, which I’d already discussed with the family. Before this purchase I own a first generation iPad with 32G in the Wi-Fi only model. I have an iPhone 4 with 32G. I also have a 2 yr. old MBP 17″. My wife received the iPhone 4S to replace her iPhone 3GS and got an iPad2 for a holiday gift. She has a 15″ MBP from last year that was a birthday present from her mother. This has been the first time that she has had all better/newer equipment than me because typically I was purchasing new and handing down.

Personally, I did not opt for the iPad 2 or the iPhone 4S because I felt the feature increment was not sufficient that the Return on Investment made up for the cost of the original devices. Granted over a short time I did come to covet her iOS units. Siri is quite nifty and the camera on the iPad is quite impressive. But they never seemed to really motivate me to update.

The iPad 3 however was an increment on the increment of the iPad 2. My iPad is also beginning to show some definite wear and ‘love marks.’ Most of the corners are dented from drops (though there are NO scratches on the glass). The volume button sticks sometimes. I also noticed that development wise, I really wanted to use the office iPad 2 (test equipment) to see apps running at the higher quality. (Don’t get me started on my iPhone 4; that’s another post for another time)

For the first time I will be buying the Net-enabled iPad. I will also be buying the 64GB version. Currently, I have found myself using the tether mode from my phone for my iPad Wi-Fi while travelling. I also find that my iPhone is becoming more and more an iPod Touch with Phone. There are a couple of quick apps I like on my phone, but most of the heavy App work I’ve moved to the iPad. I’d rather not have to be maintaining the iPhone charge to assure net for the iPad. Thanks to iMessage, my SMS usage has dropped through the floor. Personally, I’d love to run down my phone contract to what I actually use.

So from a feature-over-feature point of view, the G1 to G3 update makes sense. From a “Where do I want my net” point of view, the Wi-Fi to Net iPad version makes sense. As a developer who needs to cater to fast adopters it makes sense to have the new model closer to me. And this is how I came to the conclusion that this update was not merely a good idea but for me personally, necessary.

This leads into the Apple update schedule. Earlier this year I made some predictions about the Apple product schedule. It would seem that Apple is driving towards yearly feature updates of all its product lines in both software and hardware. (At least the ones with high relevance in the ‘Post-PC’ world.) While those updates may not be as flashy as the ones that occurred during the time that updates took 2-3 years, they don’t lack for advancement. In the hardware world, it also seems like Apple is getting into a cycle where there is a current model and the previous model. Keeping the older unit alive while the new version takes over. This begins to remove the feel of “Obsolescence before you get it home.” Also by having smaller upgrades Apple doesn’t force you to update whenever there is a new version.

So, should you plunk down cash and buy ‘the new iPad?’ I’m not going to tell you one way or another. Personally, I think if you’re reading this through a reader, or a web page, or the like… You should own _an_ iPad. If you have an iPad 1 and like the technology then updating is a good idea. If you’re an iPad 2 owner, I think you need to consider whether to upgrade very carefully. I think your iPad 2 is going to be sufficient until the next revision 6 – 12 months down the line. If you’re a Kindle, Samsung, Windows tablet owner; I think now is the time to really put your prejudices under an objective reality check and take ‘the new iPad’ for a test spin.

Inevitably, decide for yourself; but understand not merely the feature set, but how it applies to your own needs and uses.

Well, it’s been a few months and as we hoped, March is going to be iPad month. And possibly other surprises. So here are my Vegas style picks. I’m going to use my standard % of it happening rather than betting odds. About the closest I come to that is the name.

Not a lot of formatting. But comments welcome.

BookStore Glee: 90% – Yes, they will talk about the success of the new TextBooks.

Multi-Size 30% (iPad mini) – I really don’t see this coming this quarter. Maybe by year end.
BTLE: 100% – It’s in the 4S it’s in everything forthcoming (Not sure yet)
Siri: 90% – It fits into this whole iCloud, TV, miasma expectation (Dictation)
Quad Core, Faster Processor: 95%
Better cameras than iPad 2: 90%
Thicker: 80% – but only by a teeny bit
Heavier: 40% – Potentially only some models.
Home Button: 90%
Retina Screen: 90%

iPad HD Name 60%
iPad 3 Name 40%
Special Chinese ProView F.U. Name: < .01%
I guess you just can’t get much more ProView F.U. than calling it just “iPad

Price point same:75%
Price point lower:40%
Price point higher: 30% (4G LTE not factored)

4G (something) Model: 95%
4G Model separate: 75%
4G Model higher price point: 75%
Missed that the 4G Model would be on top of the 3G model

iPad 2 still sold in 16GB config: 80%
iPad 2 cheaper price point: 80%

new iPad in 16GB: 35%
new iPad in 32GB: 100%
new iPad in 64GB: 100%
new iPad in 128GB: 80%

Battery life up: 80% (Sorta)
Battery life up > 10% : 75%
Battery life up > 15% : 50%
Battery life up > 30% : 40%

Battery life the same despite higher tech which brings it down to the same.

New App(s):80% (iPhoto)
New Version iWork:70%
iOS 5.1.x: 70%
iOS 5.5: 40%
iOS 6.0: 5% – WWDC: Precursor to iPhone 5

-=-=-=-=-=

Apple TV – 90%
Version 3 of current system: 75%

Name: Apple TV – 60%
Name: Apple TV HD – 80%
Name: iTV – 0%
Name: Apple TV 3 – < 5%
Name: iMediaTV – 40%

Will have 1080: 100%

Will run iOS apps: 10% (WWDC: Precursor to iOS 6.0)
Full Screen TV: < 5%

TV Stations ala cart/apps: 45%
Announced with < 10 stations/apps: 40%
Announced with < 5 stations/apps: 20%

Claiming the existing apps (Netflix, hulu, hbo, etc): 75%

iPad control for Apple TV: 75% (Remote App updated)
New Remote App: 75% (See above)

Will be combined with Time Capsule: 60%

===========

Final line up

iPad 2 : 16GB Lower Price point
iPad HD: 16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB matching old price points for wifi
iPad HD 3G: 32GB/64GB/128GB matching old price points for wifi + 3G
iPad HD 4G: 16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB about 15-20% higher matching old price points for wifi + 3G

Apple TV HD: 1080p: $99
Apple iMediaTV: 1080p + 2 Tera Storage Time Capsule $299

Remote App for iPad (free) (Update)
iWork Upgrade. Free for previous buyers as update.

===========

Comments and grades:

I’m pleased. I didn’t do too badly here. I put my money on iPad HD as the name and Apple went for the ‘iPad’ means current approach. Which in its own way is a huge F.U. to ProView. Interestingly, there really weren’t any BIG surprises. iPhoto was nice, but they’ve been working up to it. In general I think the biggest surprise for me was an excellent delivery of why the new features are the right amount of evolution and why they have value.

Next up? the new iPad. I ordered one as fast as I could. Should you?