Since Tim Cook officially confirmed on March 7th that the iPad 3 (or shall we say, “new iPad”) will feature what we’d all been anticipating – the retina display – I’d immediately pre-ordered the lateset Apple slate online (Wifi model) and counted the days before the UPS driver would pull up to my driveway. Now that I’ve had the chance to play with the iPad throughout the weekend, I can honestly say that I’m loving it more and more every time I flip open its smart cover. Coming from the original iPad, this is a gigantic leap forward – pretty much like going from a Mazda 6 to a BMW M coupé. For those who, like me, skipped a generation, the new iPad will simply blow you away. It’s faster, packs four times the memory and has a display that’s currently best-in-class.
To all the early adopters of the new iPad who are hoping to add Cydia to their retina-tablet ASAP, fret not as the Dev Team have posted some encouraging news regarding its eventual Jailbreak. This comes on the heels of the iPad 2 running iOS 5.1 being jailbroken by hacker @i0n1c, which he shared with the rest of the community via several pics he posted on his twitter account. Here’s the “good news” the Dev Team posted on their blog:
The new iPad has landed and Apple is currently featuring 32 apps that are now optimized for the device’s 2048×1536 pixel resolution screen. The section – Great Apps for New iPad – features several reading apps like Readability, Reeder for iPad and The Early Edition 2, as well as the newly released games Flight Control Rocket and Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy, which you can bet look smashing on the retina display. Head on within for the full list of links and begin stocking up on some great apps for your brand new iPad.
We’re only a day away now from the official release of the new iPad and reviews have started to appear on the web. While most components on the tablet have been upgraded – the CPU, the rear camera and 4G wireless capability – it’s the retina display that stands out the most. You get the impression that once you set eyes on the high resolution screen, it’ll be pretty darn difficult to go back to anything else. Sure it’s a bit thicker and heavier than the iPad 2, but overall, the new iPad appears to be a heavyweight champ. Here’s the complete roundup of reviews from around the web:
Byword, a popular writing tool for Mac OS, has now landed on the iPhone and iPad as a universal app. Like its big brother on the Mac, Byword for iOS is beautifully designed and supports John Gruber’s Markdown syntax (markup language that easily lets you convert plain text format into XHTML or HTML). More importantly, the iOS version features iCloud and Dropbox syncing. What this means is that you’ll be able to write on your iMac/Macbook, then step away and pick up right where you off on the iPhone or iPad. Other features include word and character counters, auto-wrapping for parenthesis, brackets and quotes, and even support for TextExpander. Byword is now available on the App Store and is currently on sale for $2.99, down from it’s original price of $5.99.
Metaclassy, Byword, – $2.99
Yesterday, Vietnamese website Tinhte.vn revealed the very first unboxing video of the new iPad, as well as benchmarking it with the Geekbench 2 app. Now, they’ve shared on their forums some new photos of the retina display in action. It is clear just how much sharper the screen is, especially when it comes to the text and app icons (notice the icons for Angry Birds and PvZ HD). It’s been noted that the retina-enabled apps are 2.5 to 3 times the size of the previous versions (google translation):
These applications developed by Apple has been upgraded to support the Retina screen, for example with Keynote (iWork software sets), this application previously only content of 115MB but its latest version is 327MB. Numbers from 109MB or 283MB up to, from 95MB to 269MB Pages, iMovie from 70MB to 404MB. On average, these applications increased 2.5 to 3 times the older versions mostly to support the Retina Display resolution, besides adding some new features.
Apple has confirmed earlier this morning that the new iPad will go on sale in Apple retail stores at 8am local time on Friday, March 16. The initial wave of launch countries include the US, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the UK. Yesterday, a leaked photograph of an upcoming App Store display revealed this very info, though it wasn’t clear at the time whether it would apply to the other countries as well. As for those in the US, the new iPad will also be available at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart. If you’re planning on lining up for one (or two) in the wee hours of Friday morning, your best bet is still an Apple Store, where there’ll be plenty more iPads in stock compared to the other brick-and-mortar chains.
The complete press release can be found after the break.
According to 9to5mac, Apple Stores will open earlier – at 8:00am – on Friday, March 16 to begin selling the new iPads. This comes from a “friend in retail” who provided the site with a snapshot of an upcoming Store front signage with the 8am launch time (presumably that would be 8am in your own time zone). This will be quite the change from last year, when the iPad 2 officially went on sale in stores at 5pm. With online pre-orders now pushed back to the 2-3 week time frame, those who wish to get their hands on the newest iPad come March 16th will undoubtedly have to line up in stores nice and early. Also of note: it is not currently known if the new iPads will also be available at 8am in Apple Stores in Canada and other initial launch countries.
Tinhte.vn, the website that benchmarked the New iPad, have also posted an unboxing video and images of a 16GB Wifi + 4G model they received several days ahead of its official release. Their initial impression of the 3rd gen iPad is that while it’s slightly heavier and thicker, the changes may not really be that noticeable to the user. As for the retina display, images look “really smooth”. Here’s the google translated version of their quick run-through:
The folks who run the Vietnamese site Tinhte.vn appear to have gotten their hands on the New iPad and promptly put it through a Geekbench test, confirming that the latest iTablet does indeed have 1GB of Ram (988MB). This will be the first iDevice to hit the 1GB mark; both the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 have 512 MB of ram. As for the Geekbench score, the new iPad settled at 756, which is on par with benchmarks from that of the iPad 2. Not surprising considering that the processor clocks in at 1GHz, meaning there’s no bump in CPU speed. For the complete breakdown of the Geekbench test, hit the source to check out the rest of the screenshots.[Tinhte.vn via Engadget]