Tuesday, October 21, 2014

iPad Air 2 good, iPad mini 3 pathetic

Late last year, I chose a Google Nexus 7, the 2013, revised version.  Why?  The iPad mini didn't really meet my needs.  It was too wide to be held in one of my hands, and it wasn't very powerful, but it was really expensive.  Now that the newer (second generation+) version is out, last year's model has been dropped by US$100, and it's still not a bargain for what is there.  However, the newer version isn't worth an extra US$100.  People are better off buying last year's model for less.

Why does it seem that Apple are trying to push the iPad Air 2, even more than they were trying to push the iPad Air?  That's my only explanation for the relative crapiness of the iPad mini.  It makes the current iPad Air look a relative bargain.  I'm even considering an iPad Air 2 for me.  I would consider a refurbished iPad Air, if I could get it in a 64 GB configuration at a substantial discount; however, the anti-reflective surface of the newer model would be useful.

Another problem for the iPad mini is the iPhone 6 Plus.  It is big enough, and its resolution is brilliant for the size.  It also has strong processing power.  Except for the size, it seems a great choice.  I was interested in the LG G2 and Nexus 5 last year about this time but they were so large that I thought twice about them, despite the power.

I'm sure Apple will do well enough, especially with the iPad Air 2 but who will buy the newest iPad mini?

Update 2014.11.04: There is a rumor that the iPad mini may go away, making way for the huge 12.9 inch iPad.  Someone mentioned that Apple gives poor upgrades to products that aren't selling.  Isn't that the correct strategy for a product you're hoping will lose?

I would think that an aggressive company would drop the price and improve the performance, not try to give a product one new feature and polish it a bit more.  The U.S. automotive industry was hit hard because they didn't help themselves, choosing style over functionality.

Update 2015.02.13: I've been waiting for the Apple announcement.  It should be soon, and we should expect the watch, the big iPad with a keyboard/cover, and likely a revised Apple TV box.  While Apple continues to make headway with content, until they start to resell networks or the networks' content, there will not be TV with a display.

Update 2015.04.07: Apple seem to be taking it easy, playing it safe, and any other relaxed idioms that apply.

The new 12 inch MacBook looks interesting, even though it's not very powerful.  The latest rumor on the yet-to-be-announced Apple TV replacement is that it won't feed 4K media to the TV, even though the chipset is capable.

Update 2015.11.19: They fixed the problem by making the iPad mini 4 with the same processor as the iPhone 6.  It's much more powerful having an A8 instead of an A5.  The display is apparently very good, and for color accuracy, apparently better than the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Pro.  That seems odd considering that the iPad Pro should be used by artists.

I guess the rumor about the Apple TV replacement was true--no 4K.

OS X Mavericks now, Yosemite later

I've had OS X Mavericks for a week or so.  Since Mac OS X, I've taken it a bit more slowly with my updates, upgrades.

When I went from 10.2.x to 10.3.0, things went awry.  It took until 10.3.4 until most everything worked again.  It seemed with every release, it took until 10.x.4 until it was stable enough for all that I did, so I waited, even though I had used the beta test versions for testing and programming purposes.

When Avie Tevanian left Apple, Mac OS X seemed to become even more sloppy.  I still have a PowerBook G4 on 10.5.8 and it really could have used some bug fixes.  Thankfully, they produced a number of security updates since then, and some of those helped stability.

Since 10.6.8, Apple provided (Mac) OS X on less and less media until it was only available for installation over a network connection.  When I got my mid-2012 MacBook Pro, it got 10.8.0, which required updates while connected to the internet.

So, I bought a new version of Phase One's Capture One version 8.  The only problem was that the software didn't work on 10.8.x and I didn't see anything about the system requirements ahead of the purchase, which seemed odd for them.  Obviously, I wanted the new version of the raw development software so much that I was not thinking as well as I should have.

Having spent the money, I needed the update to OS X 10.9.x.  The nearest Apple Store was okay with installing the update for me.  If there was physical media, I would have installed it myself.  Actually, I was expecting to occupy a corner of the Genius Bar with their internal network connected to my computer and I would install the update myself.  They had a local installation image of the update and they used that.

They managed to e-mail me when they finished the update, but they didn't use the phone number they confirmed three times.  Since they had my computer and I expected a phone call, I didn't check my e-mail.  I returned to the store about 45 minutes before the store would close, just hoping that they had finished.

Long story, long, I've updated and my computer is still working.  Mavericks is slightly better than Mountain Lion, so I feel okay about the changes.  I'm not finding any interesting or odd behavior.  I'm glad I did the update when I did, so that I wasn't forced to Yosemite.  The only Yosemite I want close right now is the national park.

Update 2014.10.30: Some Yosemite users are reporting WiFi connectivity problems.  That's a surprise!  (Did your sarcasm detector max out there?)  Every new release of Mac OS X in recent memory has had WiFi connectivity problems, and many iOS releases have also.  Do you wonder why I wait to update?