• A Few Things To Consider Before Buying an iPad 2

    Now i've had a week or so to play with the iPad 2, i thought i'd follow up on my initial impressions post, before you all go out and join a queue this Friday.

    Hope For The Best, Plan for The Worst

    Before you plan to line up on Friday remember that Apple have not confirmed they'll have enough stock for the international ship date. I hope they do, and as we get closer to the 25th without any official announcement, i think they might, but anything can happen. So don't expect the iPad 2 to be released this Friday, and aim to be pleasantly surprised. But if they do sell iPads this Friday, be prepared to wait. Whatever stock they have won't be enough for the demand.

    The Device.

    I love the new look and feel of the iPad as much today as i did after unwrapping. It really just feels so light and thin. As a bonus, I'm no longer scared of dropping the thing on my head while reading in bed.

    The white model is suprisngly pretty in real life to. I never liked the look of the white iPhones, there was something about the white background and black screen edges that made it look unfinished, but the white iPad gorgeous. I still bought black, mainly for a nice border for watching videos, but considering i mainly read on the iPad, perhaps white would've been a better choice. The White iPad looks so much better than black with those sexy smart covers too. Yep, i realise i'm talking about a $600+ computer, but these things count.

    So consider white. If the Austin store was anything to go buy, most people will buy black anyway, so you'll have a better chance of picking up a white iPad if you're at the end of the line.

    3G or Wifi

    I've read a lot of US reviewers say the Personal Hotspot feature of 4.3 makes the Wifi iPad the smarter choice, and a lot of Australians repeat the sentiment, but honestly I'm not too sure. Even with the strict Wifi on Demand features of the 4.3 Personal Hotspot, you're still going to burn through your iPhones battery pretty quickly. If you can make it through a day on your iPhone charge at the moment - or can keep the iPhone on a charger on your desk all day, then you should be fine with the Wifi only model. Or if you only ever use the iPad in wifi areas, then of course you'll be fine. But if you plan on using the iPad tethered, you may find that $130 you saved on the 3G model will end up going on a Mophie battery for your iPhone.

    Remember, those US reviewers are all impressed by how well 4.3 is in swithcing off the Personal Hotspot when needed, but it the USA you can't walk five metres without joining a free Wifi network at a Starbucks. An Autralian iPad's mileage will vary. I lasted 3 months with the Original wifi only iPad (and MyWi for iPhone) before selling it and getting a 3G.

    The Cameras.

    Honestly havent used them beyond Photobooth, and the front camera seemed ok for that. I guess that camera sucks, but I'll probably never know. I did see many people holding up iPads to film concerts and comedy shows and panels this week at SxSW. Seeing someone do that looks even stupider than it sounds. Please don't do that.

    Software and performance

    Nothing really jumps out at you with the performance increases, its more the little things you do with the iPad every day are far more responsive. Switching apps is noticably faster, as is boring stuff like drilling down menus in the settings app. Sexy, no?

    Infinity Blade, Real Racing HD and Photobooth all show off the possibilities of the new iPad nicely, but really, there's only one app you need.

    For five bucks, Garageband its truly remarkable. Even if you never use it seriously - and with no way to import audio into the app, you can't really use it seriously just yet- it is still an amazing app. Download it immediately. I've had more fun playing with Garageband than I've had with any of the games like Infinity Blade or Real Racing 2 HD.

    It will blow you mind. I can't wait to see what my 1 year old niece makes of it.

    So yeah, they're just some random thoughts on the iPad two, written mainly to procrastinate as i try to get my head around this SxSW post. If you have any specific questions, please leave them in the comments or hassle me on the twitters.

    Love from Texas,

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