New iPad Mini, iPad Air

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/18/new-ipad-mini-ipad-air.html

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#3

I’m likely the only person, but I’m a little disappointed that the iPod Touch didn’t get an update today. I still use my 2015 model daily, but it’s starting to show its age in performance and battery life.

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#5

Which one did they let you play with, @beschizza? Both? Did you give them back?

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#7

Haven’t played with either. I’m a little wary of checking them out at the shop as I have enough gadgets

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#8

Sensible. There are way too many gadgets. Enough is admirable.

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#9

This is kind of my problem with the comparison between Android and iPad - they compare a $50 Android craplet versus a $1200 iPad Pro 12 with a $100 pencil and $500 worth of software.

And in turn, it has messed up the Android and Windows Tablet markets since instead of making nice, well sorted, easy to use tablets that are only slightly cheaper than their iPad counterparts, they make unpolished tablets that are crazy cheap compared to the iPad counterparts.

I mean, I have a Dell Venue Pro 8" Windows tablet from 2013 with Windows 8.1. It runs a full x86 Windows stack on a device that has the same form factor as a fire tablet. I would like one with more RAM and memory, and Windows 10, since Windows 8 is no longer supported. It cost $300 and it is a nice, polished, well-made little tablet. Unfortunately, manufacturers started making really, really cheap Windows tablets and they pushed the price down to about $100 for a crapware tablet that didn’t work so well and had hardware and software problems so no one bought them because they were crappy - but no one bought the $300 tablets that worked well because it’s not like you can have a bullet point on the description to convince people that buying a 3x as expensive device is worth it because it actually works.

And the same thing happens with Android, too. A crappy $50 android tablet suuucks. A $500 Samsung Android tablet is pretty good, and has almost as slick of a user interface as an iPad, while having a lot more power under the hood. But because you can get the $50 one, everyone thinks of the $50 one and not the $500 one.

(And yes, although not current generation, I have had an iPad and a Samsung Galaxy Tab and a Asus Memo tablet and the Dell Venue 8 Pro mentioned above and a Fire HD Tablet and all kinds of crappy $50 tablets. An iPad is, IMHO, a bit better than a high-end Android tablet, but the Android tablet is still a lot less expensive and perhaps more cost effective.)

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#10

Maybe that is the problem, maybe the problem is that Android is financed by advertising. I don’t know whether recent Samsung tablets are any better, but I have an old tab S. Wonderful hardware and absolutely gorgeous screen. But the preinstalled software was so bloated that I was thankful I could wipe it and replace it with cyanogen. I found the default iPad install noticeably less irritating. I agree it is far from perfect, though.

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#11

I bought the iPad mostly just to run Procreate. Then I started using GoodNotes as well and that’s about all I want from it. There are no tablets in the Android space that I’m interested in (none are as good as iPad + Pencil) and I do not want Windows on a tablet. Keep in mind I’m not anti-Android (my phone is a Pixel 2) nor anti-Windows (my laptop and desktop run Windows).

The last Windows tablet I had was in the form of a Surface Pro 3 and compared to my iPad, it was slow, had a short battery life, the stylus (and palm rejection) wasn’t great, and the software was situation was mixed. Photoshop is there and it’s nice but I didn’t find any note taking applications I liked. Windows itself isn’t a great tablet OS.

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#12

Holy crap, a mini update! I thought for sure they were just letting it languish in the store until they finally sold through the last of their back stock and just let the form factor die off completely with as little fanfare as possible. The fact that they’ve been asking $399 for essentially 5-year-old hardware has been completely ridiculous.

I’ve been trying to figure out the best path for replacing my current 1st-gen mini for a while now that threads the needle between features I’d like and the form factor I prefer… looks like decision paralysis has finally paid off.

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#14

My younger daughter was quite enthralled will the current pencil but her iPad does not support it (that is my story and I am sticking with it and not looking anything up).
I will not be mentioning these new releases to her.

Edit: I also wish they would have updated the iPod touch. I have to do in family tech support for two - although they are being used less often.

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#15

Make sure to setup touch id. my daughter has been using a new ipad pro for a year as her main school computer and art tablet. the keyboard cover shorted out as they are prone to do (see the replacement program) and in shorting out locked the ipad to “disabled” mode. there is no way to un-disable a ios device other than factory restore. not even with the master itunes account. all her school work and art for a year lost forever, deleted intentionally, by apple because a password was misentered too many times by their faulty keyboard cover.

We had Apple Care, worst experience ever. 2hrs to even get them to allow us to mail in the cover for replacement, they wanted me to drive it to the nearest apple store 5.5hrs away.

My recent experience with Apple support, and their recent choices, removing ports, thermal throttling, etc. i’m looking to move from the apple eco-system for good.

The usb-c port in my new macbook is starting to go, it is the only port in the whole machine. once it goes, no power, no way to get my data off, nothing. single point of failure for everything with zero repairability. i’m done.

the new hp specter x360 looks nice. :slight_smile: as does asus’s latest laptops. they have pen support, touch, and everything else apple lacks.

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#16

if someone doesn’t have touch id setup you can take their ios device and mis-enter the password a bunch, wait the timeout, typically 10min, and misenter them again, locking the device forever making them have to factory reset and lose any non-backed up data. nothing they can do to unlock it even with all the passwords in the world unless they have touch id. all their photos, everything, gone.

basically, you can’t and should never use an ios device as your primary device, ever. without a computer setup with itunes, and the touch id setup as a secondary login method, you can be locked out of your own device and have your data wiped by anyone with casual access to the locked device. a sibling, child, spouse, friend, room mate, they don’t need a password, just to mash misenter, and bam.

apple sucks.

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#17

You can turn off “erase all data after 10 failed passcode attempts” in Settings > Touch ID & Passcode (for iOS 12 at least, it may be in a different sub-menu on older OSes), and I don’t even think it’s enabled by default. This setting applies whether you have TouchID/FaceID enabled or not. Biometrics will force you back to password entry after 3-5 failed attempts anyway.

I should also note that for someone to maliciously trigger this functionality on their own, they would need a lot of patience and uncontrolled access to your device for over an hour, as the lockout timer increases exponentially for each failed attempt—it’s an hour long after the 9th attempt, and you’d need about half an hour to even get to that point in the first place.

I should also also note that, just like every other electronic device that houses data you care about, you should be backing it up so that a device loss or failure of any kind does not result in permanent data loss. You can still back up iOS devices to your local computer via iTunes if you’re paranoid about Apple’s cloud or have more data than will fit in iCloud’s paltry 5 GB of free storage.

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#18

It’s something like $150 to upgrade the memory another 200 gb. One hard-wired option (mini).

I don’t want to put all my media in the cloud (completely wi-fi or cellular data dependent) under some rental agreement when roomy SD cards are under ten bucks, and falling.

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#19

Yes, but that is actually a different feature that erases it immediately. We had that off. If the iOS device becomes disabled, then disabled again, it enters a permanent disabled mode that doesn’t have any time to unlock. This cannot be turned off according to apple. The data isn’t erased, but there is no way to unlock the device using anything except touch id, the only option is to do a factory reset on the device which deleted all the data.

We spent over 8hrs with Apple Care on that bit, plus 2 hours on the cover, and took it to both local component level apple repair shops.

this is a common problem, especially for parents of young kids as they mash, nothing can be done.

she had icloud backup, but it was full with 2 school iMovies, so none of her photos, none of her procreate artwork, and most of her school work was gone, despite nothing being wrong with the device, having the main account password, etc. worst engineering choice possible, like so much of what they do lately. she is a regular person, using the device the way any normal person would. the failure was 100% artificially created by apple’s faulty implementation, one should always be able to unlock with the authorized master itunes account.

this type of lockout can happen after the first 10min lockout, depending on how rapidly the attempts are made, etc. it is an algorithm. it isn’t a fixed progression like you describe and hasn’t been for some time. lots in the forums on this, lots of users have had this exact issue. lots.

her perm. lockout happened because of a faulty keyboard cover. the high failure rate in the $300 keyboard cover because of the type of ribbon cable they used in the magnetic connector part can cause users devices to become perm disabled. known issue. the keyboard cover has such a high failure rate there is a replacement program for them outside of apple care.

again we had full apple care. apple support was the worst support experience i’ve ever had. period. even in the dell hell days.

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#20

Leaving Apple is a totally ok with me choice, but I’m going to have to point out that leaving over “thermal throttling” makes you a little late to the party (like all the PowerPC G4 systems were thermally throttled, every single iPhone and iPad has been thermally throttled, and all the laptops and desktops with Intel CPUs have been thermally throttled).

Some of those devices are designed so in normal air temperatures you can’t trip the thermal throttling unless you max out both the CPU and GPU at the same time (that is incredibly rare, it is far more common to max one or the other). Most however can’t keep up with the heat a “modern” CPU (and.or GPU) can put out, so they can run full tilt for fairly short periods of time (longer in the cold though).

The only real alternative is to let the CPU/GPU melt itself, or ship ones that never can hit what the factory says they can do. Laptops and phones and tablets just don’t have the physical space, or power budgets to cool a modern CPU/GPU…
…and a great many common workloads are actually well served by “run fast briefly”.

Not by any means all workloads (it is a poor fit to my development work, my “work work” can max a dozen CPUs for 15+ minutes, my “home project” for about 3), but a huge number of workloads max out for just seconds at a time. Sometimes only fractions of a second.

I think it is nice that my devices work well on those workloads (feel peppy). Even if they can’t sustain that kind of sprint for the longer tasks that I do less frequently.

All that other stuff you point out though, sure. I mean I’m sure I could talk about a few that are less stupid-bad then people think, but most of them are not a misunderstood good thing (unless you had “soldered RAM” on the list, and I think people have moved past that…and even there it is only “good for most people, and partly bad for me specifically…and probably partly bad for most people that complain about it”)

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#21

As a lifelong loyal apple customer, my last interaction with Apple Care support was so bad, and their current tech path so meh, it made me realize, the apple i used to know and love no longer exists at this moment in history. things pendulum. i’m done the grieving phase. time for acceptance? that’s the next one right? time to invite tech that excites me back into my life.

they no longer make the exciting stuff, or the best stuff, or even interesting stuff. iterations of overpriced meh. just like their phones.

my reasons for leaving are that i’ve been at this party since it started, and the recent arch of changes OVERALL make me sad. i’ve cut them slack a million ways. sure we have no digitizer in the screen, sure we have no touchscreen, sure we need a carry basket of dongles and plug in everywhere because apple has body issues or whatever, sure things aren’t replaceable or upgradeable anymore, sure the keyboards SUCK for typing, sure there aren’t enough ports, sure whatever, i’d put up with it BECAUSE they always had some area where they still offered a bit more or something i couldn’t get elsewhere. now that they aren’t leading in any area, my sole remaining reason is my ecosystem investment.

the don’t have the best build quality, they don’t have the best developer stacks, what is the compelling argument? i no longer have anything to hold onto as an excuse to not switch.

i recently switched to android from iphone and couldn’t be happier. i’m not going to pay more for a mobile os tablet than a laptop computer. if i’m going to get a new laptop i’m going to get the very best one, and they aren’t competing like they used to. i already have a roku, amazon fire, chromecast, plex, no way i need an apple tv. or apple watch. in a few years apple went from leader everywhere, to i’m not sure there’s a place left they even make the most sense. they’ve been out of the server competition forever, i still love macos mostly thanks to alfred/iterm/homebrew, but win10 with wsl is now a better unix stack for development, if only there was a win10 version of alfred.


about thermals, that isn’t why i’m leaving. these intel chips have built in thermal throttling, as an inbuilt safety feature, but that is a shit engineering way to run them by default. “scraping a half height ceiling” is what they call it. that only gives you a fraction of their intended performance and lifespan.

intel specifically states they don’t recommend running their processors this way. active throttling, down voltage regulation, increasing cooling are all supposed to kick in before major performance hits kick in just to keep the processors cool. there is a reason the latest macbook pros are taking so much heat over the shit design and why they only reach a fraction of the benchmarks that other machines do using the same cpus.

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#22

Just get an older used iPhone and don’t activate the cellular part.

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#23
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#25

I keep thinking “time to get a new iPad” but since my iPad 3 still works fine I still haven’t been able to justify it.

I do own a little Asus Windows 8.1 tablet thing where the keyboard part makes it an actual laptop. I own it only for one tiny little program that doesnt behave well under WINE. Wifi is off. It will remain as is until the day it fully dies.

@redesigned sorry to hear about your kid’s data loss but I’m wondering since you obviously have one or more Apple desktops, why weren’t you backing up the iPad to one of those? or at least pulling off the larger iCloud content to local storage to allow for full backups. If I missed some key detail you already shared please forgive me.

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