A Few Thoughts on the New iPads and iMacs

Apple’s been busy the last few days with announcements for new iPads and new iMacs. I’ve got a few thoughts:

The New iPads

  • I’m pleased to see the iPad mini returning with updated hardware. Pencil support on the iPad mini makes so much sense to me. I would have been disappointed if they hadn’t included pencil support.

  • A 10.5 inch, lower cost iPad Air makes a lot of sense. I’ve given my old 10.5 inch iPad Pro to my daughter, and she’s been using that, along with my old iMac, to get through college. She reports she’s not alone in that. The small bump from 9.7 to 10.5 inches makes a significant difference, particularly if you want to attach the Smart Keyboard.

  • Overall, I feel like Apple now has something of quality at every reasonable price point for anyone that wants an iPad. In that regard, the whole iPad line seems better positioned than the MacBooks.

  • While I get that an Apple Pencil 2 needs a flat surface to attach and charge, I sure wish they found a way to use the new pencil with these new iPads. Having used both old and new Apple Pencils, there is no question in my mind that Apple Pencil 2 is superior in every way.

The New iMacs

  • There is nothing particularly innovative with the new iMacs. They are, in large part, speed bumps, but they are nice speed bumps. The iMac definitely got better today.

  • I’m still confused about inflection point between high-end iMac and low-end iMac Pro.

  • Jason Snell did an excellent interview with Apple’s iMac Product manager about the new devices. In it Jason asked the question most on my mind, why are they still shipping with spinning disks in 2019? The answer wasn’t clear, but it seems they want to hit a price point and that’s just the way it is. I’m trying to decide if that is a cop out or I’m just an entitled nerd that thinks nobody should have to deal with spinning drives at this point. The jury is still out.

  • Part of the reason for my thoughts on SSD is that, in my heart, Iā€™d hoped the next generation iMac would be designed, thermally, like the iMac Pro. I believe it to be a superior design, even with the lower speed iMac hardware. Maybe next time.

  • No T2 processor in the new iMac. Now the Mac mini has one and the (non-pro) iMac does not.

  • There are also some options tweaks to the iMac Pro.

Next Week’s Apple Event

  • The fact that they are dropping all these hardware announcements this week makes me believe next week’s big event is going to be all about Apple’s new streaming service. The service is the worst kept secret at Apple in recent memory, and I expect it will be an Apple event unlike anything you’ve ever seen before with a lot more talk of movie stars than terabytes. I’ve written before about the challenges I think Apple faces on this. I’m eager to see what their plan is.

  • Given the above point, I would not be surprised to see updated AirPods announced in the next few days.