The new phase of the iPad

Well, there was a keynote of Apple again today with some serious product introduction. In case your read this some months later and already forgot about it; the new iPad was introduced. Mainly. Just like the last couple of keynotes the specs where predicted in advance and in the fight for the best news the expectations where set higher than was met. On first sight. This keynote has as most of the Apple events relevance for the development of the brand. In short some thoughts.

First of all on the evolution of the iPad. The upgrade seems to be a good one. The new iPad is definitely desirable and has some serious improvement in the experience of the device. With a stunning screen and quicker processor. And better cameras (less important). The most important shift in the device angle is the name. Everyone expected a succeeding number like iPad 3, or iPad HD for the new screen. It became just iPad. GigaOM did a good analysis that I highly agree on: this is the way to express the iPad to be grown up into a category product. Just like the iMac is for the desktop and the MacBook for the laptop. From now on we will see incremental upgrades on this setup. That is also the reason the design of the outside is almost the same. That makes it possible to keep the iPad 2 as a cheaper version. This trick was already tested with the iPhone introduction and it works. In this sense they becoming a solution for an even bigger audience.

Next up will probably a smaller screen to diversify the range somewhat more. It is as Tim Cook told us, the best proof of the new post PC area we have entered. The introduction of iOS5 last year was key, with the over the air updates. The iPad will be the primary and maybe even only ‘traditional’ computing device. It will be interesting to see if the iPhone will change radically on the outside later this year, or will be a internal based upgrade (like NFC chips).

The software changes are also more and more important again. iPhoto makes the iPad a default device for photo editing. And the same goes for iMovie and even iWork, that becomes sufficient for home use. You can expect that we will see more accessories for using that kind of programs (like keyboards). Also the use of more than one iPad together which is possible with the new Garageband is an interesting development to watch. One aspect is that we will have more and more personal iPads (not family based) and the connection of all the family devices and temporary guest devices to a local subset of iCloud to a HomeCloud will a logical step. Something where the BergCloud is also a nice example.

Here it is interesting to make the step to the AppleTV that was also introduced with an upgrade. Some find the upgrade disappointing, but I think that it is just an incremental upgrade to the fit the HomeCloud standard, and we can expect some true upgrades with the iTV empowered with an Appstore in the summer. At that moment the HomeCloud will be injected in all our devices and maximize the share of life. As Tim Cook ended his talk; this is just the beginning of a defining year for Apple. With the next iPhone becoming our identity provider and wallet I think they will dominate a complete the post PC era.

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I am a design director at Structural. I curate and organize ThingsCon Netherlands and I am chairman of the Cities of Things Foundation. Before I was innovation and strategy director at tech and innovation agency INFO, visiting researcher and lab director at the Delft University of Technology coordinating Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.

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