Retiring my iPad 2

Well, this will be the last post tapped out my trusty iPad 2, with a new Retina iPad mini (Space Gray, 32 GB WiFi model) currently in transit. Although there has been a delay in my order, according to the shipment tracker, the much anticipated item has made its way from Shenzhen in China on Saturday (the day the order was placed) to Sydney, today, Wednesday 19 November. Surely it’s not such a stretch to think it might find its way to Brisbane in the next 24 hours.

In retrospect, this iPad 2 has served me well over the past 18 months, purchased after a rather disjointed initiation into the world of tablet computing through an Acer Android model I owned for approximately 6 months. Though it was some time ago now, I remember firing up my iPad for the first time and almost immediately noticing a more cohesive user experience, along with a seemingly endless supply of apps to choose from. Obviously things have changed on both counts since then, with the Android ecosystem having significantly improved, and the iOS App Store now actually having an endless supply of apps (well almost).

A lot has evolved with my workflows and information consumption over this time, with the iPad at the core of those changes. Probably the most significant was commencing this blog some seven months ago, in which every post is written on my iPad either in Byword or more recently Editorial, as iOS automation becomes more and more embedded in my writing workflow (more on my most used iOS writing apps coming soon). Prior to this, a key aspect of beginning this blog was learning to write in Markdown (achieved on this very iPad through an excellent iBook by David Sparks and Eddie Smith) , with the knowledge that much of my writing would be done on the iPad, and needing a time efficient way to write web content when not at my desktop.

These ‘creation’ workflows, along with my ‘consumption’ of information through RSS, Twitter, books, magazines and other multimedia, see the iPad at the centre of a good part of my non (day job) work time. I am expecting a smooth transition to the mini and am looking forward to the extra portability, improved performance, and of course the fabulous Retina display.

This iPad 2 has been an ever reliable companion, serving me well through a couple of major iOS software updates, always maintaining a level of performance commensurate with its fantastic design. I’m sure there are quite a few more years left in it for another user, however with fond memories, it is time for me to bid farewell to this old friend.

Was that a knock at the door?

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Apple soft launches Retina iPad mini

Photo 26-10-2013 7 01 24 pm

So It seems later in November doesn’t mean late in November after all.

A certain amount of online interest was generated late yesterday afternoon when the Apple Online Store went offline, returning a short time later featuring the iPad mini with Retina display, shipping in 1–3 business days (16 or 32GB Wi-Fi models; remaining variations in 5–10 business days).

I have previously written about my intentions to upgrade to the Retina model from my current iPad 2, as it will better suit my mobile commuting and needs. The only concern is actually obtaining one, as all indications point to a very limited release due to constraints in the supply chain.

Obviously there are no surprises (apart from the release timing) in relation to the device itself, with the specifications announced last month when Apple launched the mini and its larger sibling, the iPad Air. All of the goodness is now common for both devices, including the A7 chip, M7 co-processor and 64 bit architecture. The mini now catching up to the larger version in both internal hardware and 2048×1536 Retina screen.

As yet there is no word on availability with retail partners, and my Twitter updates seem to suggest varying availability in Apple Stores country to country. I guess time will tell, however I will be visiting a couple of retail outlets today out of interest. In any event, it appears those who have deferred the iPad Air vs iPad mini with retina display purchasing decision now have to make a call (with the exception of those lucky souls who will end up with both).

The iPad mini with retina display is available for order through the the Apple Online Store now, starting at $479 AUD (16GB Space Grey or White Wi-Fi models).