Apple iPad Announcement Aftermath

My meta-analysis was correct on all counts, except for the inclusion of the A7 in the new iPad 5, which Apple hopes you will call the "iPad Air" because everyone refused to call it the "New iPad." The decision to use the same exact chip in the iPad 5 as in the iPhone 5S is somewhat baffling, and will be deeply worrying for people previously burned by the iPad 3. The iPad 3 shipped with an inferior processor incapable of keeping up with the huge retina display, and suffered a life-time of sluggish performance and annoying bugs. Developers consistently tell me that the majority of their bug reports come from iPad 3 users.

I can't help but wonder if we're being setup for the same failure to deliver on performance, while trying to squeeze down into a smaller form factor for pure fashion. The iPhone 5S retina resolution is 1,136x640, whereas the iPad 5 resolution is almost twice as large at 2,048x1,536; yet the same processor is meant to be driving both.

My iPad 2 outperforms the iPad 3 when just moving around in the homescreen or switching apps. Apple seems to agree with the value of the iPad 2, by not only keeping it in their lineup for the next year, but also keeping it at the $399 price.

As predicted the iPad Mini Retina has been announced, also for $399, and they will continue to sell the old Mini for $299. Interestingly the iPad Mini Retina is also running the A7 chip.

GarageBand will indeed be free for people purchasing new iOS 7 devices, and new Macs. It is set to get a massive update today, but presently it has been pulled from iTunes. The update pumps the track count to 16, and all the way up to 32 tracks on 64-bit (A7) devices. There is also going to be some session drummer feature, but I believe I heard that will be a separate IAP.

Update: The GarageBand update has landed, and it is surprisingly free for everyone. The new version with Inter-App Audio will only work on iOS 7, but everyone can take advantage of this! If you try to download from an iOS 6 device it will offer to let you download the last version that worked on iOS 6.

What's new in GarageBand v2.0:

  • All-new streamlined design
  • Create a song with up to 32 tracks* using Touch Instruments, audio recordings, and loops
  • Record compatible Third-Party music apps using Inter-App Audio in iOS 7
  • Drag and drop audio recordings to create Sampler instruments
  • Support for AirDrop in iOS 7
  • 64-bit support

* Requires devices with the A7 chip.16 tracks available on iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad (4th generation), iPad (3rd generation), iPad 2, iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation)

Buy GarageBand on iTunes: Freemium

Apple iPad Announcement Event

Today is Apple's big press event to unveil the iPad 5, following last month's announcement of the iPhone 5S/C.

Since this comes so close to the iPhone announcement there is a great opportunity for meta journalism. I try to avoid reporting on rumors, but Apple engenders it with their obtuse relationship to the press. If you pay attention to who got the iPhone 5S/C announcement right, it stops feeling like rumors when the same people tell you what's coming next in this announcement.

Here is my meta-analysis from other people's analysis of this announcement, based on their accuracy on the last announcement.

iPad 5

Duh. A7X/64-bit, but now packing 2 gigs of RAM, so we should see some big performance gains on music apps that use a lot of high-quality samples. This also means there will hopefully be less crashing from memory hogging apps.

The form factor is expected to change too, now with a much thinner bezel around the sides similar to the iPad Mini released last year. This will make the iPad feel smaller, while still offering the benefits of the 10" screen.

iPad Mini Retina

There are conflicting reports on whether Apple will release an iPad Mini Retina. There are some challenges here for Apple, since they essentially have to ship this with the beefy A6X that powers the iPad 4 in order to keep up with Retina. Unfortunately that processor will suck down the smaller mini battery in a hurry, and Apple tries very hard to push battery life as best as they can. There are a lot of people citing supply-chain issues are effecting Apple's Mini plans as well.

I'm inclined to agree with those who say, "Come hell or high-water... Apple is releasing a Retina mini" today to compete with the many tempting Android tablets that have arrived this year in the 7-8" range.

iPad Maxi (13")

Creatives in both music and visual arts would love a slightly bigger iPad, and a Maxi would position iOS a little better against the larger Windows tablets. However there is no indication that we will see one announced today.

There is still hope though, as one developer pointed out to me that the shift to a Flat design in iOS 7 is also a shift to Vector art assets. Vector images can be scaled to fit any size screen, and even new aspect ratios like 16:9, without having to redo all of the UI elements. As apps move to iOS 7's flat design it becomes less of a hassle for developers if Apple releases a 13" widescreen tablet next year.

Apple TV

Nope. They might do something with this platform, but absolutely no one expects them to announce anything today.

Apple iWatch

No show again. The long rumored iWatch has had some in the Chinese press swearing they've seen the things, but the earliest estimates from trusted sources put this into the 2nd Quarter of 2014. That date is mostly just speculation on the idea that Apple is racing to get an iWatch out before Google releases the Google Glass.

There might also be some finer details on the availability of the Mac Pro, and Mavericks, but I haven't been paying attention to those rumors. One interesting story surfaced over the weekend on Mac Rumors, which suggests that Garageband will be added to the iLife Suite. This is a collection of apps, like iMovie, that are free to people who purchase new iOS 7 devices. So that's like saving $5 off the $500 price of that iPad 5 you were eyeing!

Watch it live!

The event will be streamed live on Apple's site at 10:00AM Cupertino Time (GMT -7). The bullshit flows quite freely in these events, and even I find myself being taken in by the propaganda at times. To dilute the koolaid I like to listen to these streams on Leo Laporte's TWIT network. Today Leo will be joined by Sarah Lane, Andy Ihnatko, and Alex Lindsay as they all go Mystery Science Theater 3000 on the event; to poke holes in Apple's nonsense. You can watch TWIT on various live streams, including audio only, at http://live.twit.tv

technoBox 2 Updated with AudioCopy & Inter-App Audio

AudioRealism updated technoBox 2 with the much requested support for AudioCopy, and as an unexpected bonus; Inter-App Audio is also included in this update! A price increase also came with the update. All of this comes quickly after the update adding X/Y pads, confirming developer Mike Janney's recent statements on continuing to develop for iOS.

What's new in technoBox 2 v2.2.0:

  • Improves GUI performance on iPhone 4
  • Adds support for AudioCopy
  • Inter-app audio enabled

Buy technoBox 2 on iTunes: $7.99

iOS Update Vol. 57: IK BlueBoard Bluetooth MIDI Pedalboard

This week's Sweetwater iOS Update features IK Multimedia's recently released BlueBoard, a $100 Bluetooth pedalboard. There are some really handy tech tips included in this episode; such as the fact that the BlueBoard is using Bluetooth Low Energy(LE), and is therefore limited to communication with other Bluetooth LE devices.

Twink - Minitaures Vol 1.

Reader Mike Langlie put together a project he's calling Twink, a toytronica band with an awesome website. His first album, Minitarues Vol 1., was composed entirely on Yellofier with samples from his toy box!

If you like found sounds or just plain weird, this has a lot of both to offer!

 

Album Description:

Nine miniature songs made entirely with the Yellofier iPhone app using samples from Twink's own toy box.

What started as a way to pass time on a short train trip grew into a full mini album of audio experiments. The Yellofier app (developed by the band Yello, most famous for "Oh Yeah" from the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off) is a perfect tool for the Twink workflow. It helps create complex tunes out of simple sounds and structures, mixing hi-fi technology with a certain wonky charm.

Buy Yellofier on iTunes: $2.99

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