The iPad lineup to me doesn't seem particularly confusing at all, other than perhaps the naming. There's pretty clear differentiation across the products and price points. I'll be honest, I think some of your questions are deliberately overstated; I think Apple expects "non-tech people" aren't ripping their hair out over the difference between Lighting and USB-C, because they look at the charging cable that came with their new iThing and can pretty easily figure out which end goes into the iThing and which end goes into the wall socket. Most people don't connect their iPads to their MacBooks. Most people shrug at the weird naming. These are mostly tech pundit problems. I would love it if the MacBook lineup could be as clear and non-stupid as the iPad lineup again.
I think it's appropriate to ask whether this would've happened under Steve.
There are certainly things Apple has done in the last five years that make me ask that question, from the Touchbar to the butterfly keyboard to the way iOS's text editing controls, especially with external keyboards, are still shit compared to the Mac after nearly a decade. "But the Air is thicker!" is...just not one of them.
Apple's only mistake with the new Air, IMO, is not keeping the old keyboard. I'm right on the verge of needing a new laptop and I'm eagerly looking at a MacBook Air 2018; the keyboard gives me pause, just because it's different than what I'm used to. But the Air name alone, the form factor, and how it's built is basically perfect for me. It does everything I need and then some without making me wait.
As to which you should be choosing though...that is a tough one. The MBP line doesn't feel as unique as it used to, as the price point is just too high for me to justify it to anyone, and the low-end MBPs are basically just heavier MacBook Airs.
(I wouldn't be surprised to see a new keyboard design roll out across some Mac laptops as early as this year, but if it does, it won't come to the Air for a while. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the new design is still optimized for extreme thinness.)
It's also wonderful that when I need a new machine it's just $350.
Most people still have usb a peripherals, so the laptop situation is confusing. I do podcasting and had to advise someone in the industry on the i/o of new macbooks, it's not obvious for most.
Because as a 12" MB user who'd like some 2019 performance, I can't think of any other good reason.
Apple has always expanded their lineups to reach the maximum possible market, going both down and up for price points.
I also think you have how customers buy products totally backwards. Apple makes products for a price point and margin. Everything works back from that. Large differentiators are size and power. No one first thinks “I want 128 GB of storage, what are my options.”
That’s not to say that Apple’s current lineup doesn’t have issues, or that there is no confusion amongst models. You correctly point out several of those.
I’d say much of the current confusion in the line has to do with maintaining price points and preparing for ARM in the coming years.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPod_Classic#Timeline_of_full-...
Mac lineup tho... makes less sense.
There is the budget tier with the 2018 regular “iPad.” It uses old hardware but is otherwise relatively cheap and capable.
Next step higher are the iPad Air and iPad Mini. They use current generation hardware and support all the same things the regular iPad does. Pick the Mini for something smaller, or the Air for a regular sized iPad. Bonus with the Air is that it can be used with a Smart Keyboard, so if you wanted an iPad Pro + Smart Keyboard combo before but couldn’t justify the $1000+ price tag then now’s your chance to get in with something a bit cheaper.
At the top end there is the iPad Pro in two sizes. They don’t have TouchID, have FaceID, and support Pencil 2 and USB-C. The non-Pros all support Pencil 1 and Lightning.
But because Apple didn't standardize on it, it will hopefully never get wide adoption.
That said, I'd it does eventually seep into Apple's low end, that will just make it easier for the company that takes a usability-first approach to designing a mobile OS, when they come to eat Apple's lunch.
I think that's a huge opportunity for whoever builds up enough gumption to think a new mobile OS startup is worth trying.
>3D touch just feels like random events are happening for no reason.
I completely disagree, random events is what you get "Between long press, tap, and drag"--3D Touch gives you a similar semblance of control over your smartphone that you'd expect from other HIDs like a mouse. Maybe it's an age thing though, I'm in my 20s, and haven't been able to get my parents to adopt 3D Touch features.
Another feature I use all the time is 3d touch on apps which have quick shortcuts.
Where I agree is that there is too much of a fine line drawn between long press, drag and 3d touch and it is far from easy to be able to activate the desired one 100% of the time.
3D touch is a the equivalent of "just add more buttons". Sure, people will use the buttons. Doesn't mean it was the best design.
I think it is kind of similar for macbooks now, if there is a suffix, it means it is somehow better than the base model. (although macbook Air is larger than a macbook... which is weird)
MacBook Pro > MacBook Air > Macbook
iPad Pro > iPad Air > iPad ( The Mini actually fits into the Mid Range )
It is similar on iPhone, where I expect Apple to drop the number from naming scheme and just go with
iPhone S > iPhone R > iPhone
Basically Apple is transition all of their product line into three different segment, each with different display size and prices. And I guess these transition will make a lot more sense once the 2019 and 2020 product are out.
Upgrading an older machine required multiple nested dongles to get to firewire.
To be fair, I have multiple desktop computers, laptops, and servers in my house. And for work we each get a development laptop and a desktop with multiple monitors. So I'm no luddite by any stretch.
But it fits in the front pocket of a pair of Dockers type pants. Meaning, I often leave my phone at home and carry just my iPad.
It travels with me to work and home. I bring it to meetings instead of my laptop, unless I am coding. I leave it open to skype so that conversations don't break my typing flow.
It sits in front of my computer while I am home playing youtube. I bring it onto the front porch on a cool evening for kindle and carcassonne. And it goes with me to the hot tub.
I originally bought it as a travel companion device. But found it fit so well, that I just carry it with me pretty much anywhere.
Not crazy at all. For millions of people around the world, even in developed countries, a phone or tablet is their main computing device.
There was an Apple presentation about it once that mentioned some crazy percent, and I bet it's only gotten larger since then.
I use it for browsing the internet casually. As soon as I get to work I hook it up trough my USB-C hub to DeX to watch plex. When I get home, if I want to get some work done I hook it up over DeX and boot ubuntu on it.
I don't bring a computer with me when I travel, I use RDP from DeX if I need to do some real heavy lifting that the Ubuntu distro I have can't do (which rarely happens, but does happen.)
At this point I could go months with my phone, a USB-C PD charger, an HDMI cable, and a cheap ($20) USB-C hub.
DeX is criminally underrated and the major reason I'm going Android (Samsung more than Android even) over iOS this generation. Granted, I'm losing out on security/privacy :(.
Even though I use it, I'm seriously considering uninstalling Skype on my iPad, since the idle battery drain of Skype is more than everything else on my iPad combined.
Very much like a smartphone, but with a bigger and better screen.
Apparently it's the "phablet" of a few years back, finally implemented well.
I learned and read quite a lot on it!
Actually that's package-on-package. The LPDDR4X DRAM is glued (well, reflow soldered) to the back of the A12 Bionic.
I'll grant that this is not the fault of the iPad Mini itself. I blame web standards and browsers for not requiring all parts of a page to scale linearly and re-flow cleanly. It is (in theory) a problem solvable entirely by software. However, the reality of the web is what it is. If you don't have perfect eyesight, it's better to buy a large iPad with the same resolution as the Mini, and then everything is nice and legible. It's a shame because I love the portability of the Mini.
If you ever find a solution, please, let us know! Thanks!
He said one of the reasons for USB C in the Pro is that the tablet draws too much power to charge and operate at the same time over lightning. Also, for 'pro-level' jobs like editing 4K, USB C has much, much faster transfer speeds.
That doesn't sound right - current iPhones support the fast charging rates of the 18W Apple iPad charger over lightning. And the 10.5" and 12.9" iPads Pro support USB 3 (5 gbps, not 10 gbps like the new iPads) speeds over lightning.
I am hoping USB4 will fix all of these and made two spec of cables. One for Sub 25W, one for 100W. Along with stricter control no USB-C connector. May be then it would make sense to make the the transition.
You want USB-C? Ok. That means new case. Might as well make other changes because you have to pay for tooling again. And all the assembly lines have to be updated. And people retrained on the new assembly procedures.
All that costs money. And they want to hit a low price point. So they put a new chip in the old thing (and a new screen? But same size) and don’t have to raise the price.
The mini is already more expensive than the iPad. You think an extra $50-70 would help it sell better? All for USB-C?
Have people gone insane?
The assertion being made isn't that the USB-C port costs $50. It's that switching to USB-C would require up-front investment that keeping the Lightning port -- which is also still being used in all of Apple's phones and all of the other "non-Pro" iPads -- doesn't.
In terms of compatibility, continuing to use Lightning is probably better for the target market of the consumer-level devices. More importantly though, using Lightning lets Apple ensure that any accessories will provide a reasonably good experience since they distribute all the connectors to approved third-parties through the MFi program.
!remindme 2 years
The only serious annoyance I have is the lack of USB-C... all my other devices (laptop, phone, headphones, etc.) are on that new port now and I only have to carry a single charger. Except for the tablet :(
Or maybe they couldn't have just quickly re-tooled and redesigned everything without making the price too steep compared to the other models.
And why would they? These models will sell like mad. It's not like there's any actual competition in the tablet market. Google doesn't care and Samsung releases a half-hearted attempt every now and then for the hardcode iOS allergics.
If they put iPhone version numbers across all their products you'd have obnoxious names like iMac 19s Max. Calling them by their size and year is more meaningful than trying to remember "How old is an iMac 14?" since they aren't on a strict yearly release clock like the phones are.
Think I'm gonna spring for the new mini and give my old mini to the boy.
Yeah, I bought a One Mix Yoga 2S for that purpose. I understand the need for pure tablets for some but you can't beat that little powerhouse of a laptop-tablet. The hardware practically matches up with the latest Macbook Air -- Amber Lake Core CPU, 8GB RAM, NVMe SSD. It's 7". I love, love, love it for emergency purposes. Not an everyday workhorse but if you are on call ... beats hauling a 14" laptop everywhere for those once-in-a-half-year emergencies.
It's like a console, not a computer. The software is matched to the hardware, you don't need to worry about it. The Air 2 has 2GB of RAM and it plays X-Com smoother than my PS4 lol. So honestly, no need to worry about the specs.
I've found the iPad line to be extremely long-lasting as well.
I know that the HN crowd likes to complain it's not a "real computer," and I agree it's not the same thing, but it IS a pretty awesome portable computer-like console :)
At most you might notice that some memory hungry apps that don't suspend correctly "start over" when switching between multiple apps.
Correction: memory hungry apps that don't implement state restoration correctly.
Ignore the specs. Try one out and you'll find that it simply isn't an issue in the vast majority of cases. iOS is very good at managing RAM.
Also with the new multitasking features added in recent releases, additional memory becomes a bigger feature add.
I wouldn't want to work on it all day, every day. However, it's convenient to carry, and it runs Android and Linux apps reasonably well. So, if I want to work remotely for a week and then take a month's vacation, I can use Sublime on the Slate and then totally unplug from work without lugging a MacBook around. I can download Netflix for planes/trains/buses. And of course, it's perfect for any web surfing.
I realize it's a luxury to have a device that's just for relaxing in bed or taking on the road, but the Pixel Slate is really underrated for that use case.
I have a Dell 2n1 running Windows 10.
But some of these interface issues are just hard. How do you make the same interface work well when you're using your finger on a small tablet vs using a trackpad/mouse connected to big monitor?
Overall I really enjoy my Go. It's great as a tablet for tablet things, and if you want to do computery things like use an Office suite, snap on a keyboard or plug it into a monitor and it works fine there too. Using Office for very long with touch is not something I'd want to do even if the UI for it was perfect so it seems like a strange complaint to me.
The Intel processor it uses is not as performant as the processor that comes in the $329 iPad. The battery life is worse than that of an iPad (https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/surface-go-battery-life)
I don’t even want to imagine the sluggishness of the GPU in the Go.
The iPad has been getting 10 hour+ battery life since 2010.
The trackpad is the showstopper for an iPad for many, but you can use any third party BT keyboard.
$4xx - iPad Mini 7.9
$5xx - iPad Air 10.5
Is it just me, or is the small cheap one to give to the kids, or keep around as the 'spare iPad', missing from the lineup? Even if it was just 20 or 30 bucks less than the current iPad 9.7 ?
I do use a phone that costs $300 unlocked and is 95% as useful an iPhone.
It might be that people have the attention awareness on/off, use the phones in very different conditions, etc.
Is Apple returning to reality?
I’ve also gotten used to saying “Hey Siri, my weather” as I pick up my phone then looking at my screen to unlock.
“open New York Times”
“open Wall Street Journal”
Done! Siri was ready with Hacker News as a suggestion.
I noticed on another device, even without a shortcut, I can say “open the website Hacker News”