of Frank McPherson
iMore points out the irony that the new iPad Air is actually heavier than the new iPad Pro, thanks to the OLED screen of the Pro. I guess the idea that a model with the name "Air" in it should be the lightest one available is lost on Apple. Perhaps Apple re-brand the Air, Pro, and the current Pro, Max, then they would have iPads from Mini to Max.#
  • Seemingly to steel some thunder from Apple, today Google made the Pixel 8A available for pre-order and it ships next week. Normally Google waits for their annual developer conference to announce and ship the A-series phone, so the timing is curious. The Pixel 8a costs $499 and Google provides $200 on trade-in of the Pixel 7a that I bought last year. At the moment I have no plans to replace the 7a thought I bought last year, even though the 8a has the Tensor G3 chip.#
  • Google also announced that they are now selling the Pixel Tablet without the charging speaker dock for $399, which is $100 less with the dock included. Previously Google did not sell the tablet without the dock. #
  • Today Apple announced new models of the iPad Air and iPad Pro with associated new Magic Keyboards and a third generation Apple Pencil. Over the years my tablet usage has transitioned between Android, starting with the Nexus 7, and the original iPad, and recently back to Android with the Boox Note Air 3C. I bought the first iPad Pro that I ultimately replaced with the fourth generation iPad Air in 2020. I also have the iPad Mini 6 that I bought in 2022. #
  • The main use case of the iPad Air has been for work, particularly writing notes in OneNote. The secondary use case for my iPad Air is watching video. Earlier this year I bought the Boox Note Air 3C that is a much better writing experience than the iPad + Apple Pencil so today I pretty much only use the Air for watching video. One other intermittent use case is for reading sheet music when I am asked to play at church, but that may only happen a couple times per year. Right now it is hard to find a reason to replace my current iPad Air with another "large" iPad model. #
  • The iPad Mini is the most used of my personal computing devices. Prior to buying the Note Air 3C I did all reading on the iPad Mini, but even now I still occasionally read on it, and of course, if I needed to, I could write on it with the Apple Pencil. The Mini is good enough for video but it is not best suited for reading sheet music due to the small screen. #
  • Apple did not announce a new iPad Mini, obviously they feel that given it is only two years old there is not a real need to upgrade the Mini. Frankly, I think Mini is the most intriguing of Apple's products in terms of what it will do in the future. Today the Mini and the current iPad use the A-series chips like the iPhone, in fact the current 10-th gen iPad uses the exact same A14 Bionic chip that is in my iPad Air. Does Apple want to continue with two chip series or consolidate to one? #
  • Beyond spec upgrades like display types and processors, what else can Apple do to the iPad Mini? Perhaps make it thinner, but that too seems incremental. What seems most likely is a future Apple foldable that is about the same size as the Mini when folded, but I wonder whether the folding screen technology is good enough and affordable enough for that size of a screen? #
  • Two constraints of the existing iPad Mini 6, the operating system and storage, would force me to replace my current Mini with a new model. My current Mini has 256 GB of storage of which I am only using 88 GB, so that is not close to being an issue. At some point Apple will stop supporting the Mini 6 in the latest version of iPadOS, but that isn't likely to happen for 3 to 5 years from now. #
  • The Boox Note Air 3C has confirmed that my primary tablet use case is reading and writing, for which eInk displays are much better suited than the iPad. I could read sheet music on the Note Air 3C, I just haven't needed to try given I have the iPad Air. If I buy another IPad, it is more likely going to be whatever replaces the iPad Mini 6 or perhaps the current generation of the regular iPad. #

© 2024 Frank McPherson

Last update: Tuesday May 7, 2024; 4:43 PM EDT.