It's not officially the "iPad 3," and it doesn't boast a tactile feature that some pundits predicted, but Apple's "New" iPad announced March 7th debuts several new improvements that businesses can leverage immediately. Here's a look at the innovations sure to make the new tablet popular among business users.
Possibly the most welcome upgrade is the new iPad's "Retina display," which increases resolution for the new tablet to 2048 x 1536 pixels from 1024 x 768 pixels for 44 percent greater clarity and saturation. The display technology is so named because the eye cannot "discern those individual pixels," according to Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller, who presided over the new iteration's introduction.
New versions of updated productivity apps, including Apple's iWork suite consisting of Pages, Numbers and Keynote, take advantage of the increased resolution. Whenever the new iPad is used to review mock-ups, power presentations, and showcase marketing materials, among other tasks, business users will find the improved resolution razor sharp and capable of supporting the most professional of marketing, sales, and communications pitches.
4G LTE cellular data service
The new iPad is the first of Apple's tablets to support faster 4G data service on cellular networks deployed by AT&T and Verizon. Mobile employees, business users who travel, and field staff will find the faster data transmission beneficial whenever downloading media, accessing corporate networks remotely, and even updating large mailboxes and forwarding attachments.
Verizon has deployed 4G networks in 196 markets. AT&T, meanwhile, has 4G working in 28. The 4G service is available on Wi-FI + 4G iPad 16GB models for $629, with 32GB versions running $729 and 64GB models costing $829. Regular Wi-Fi-only models cost $499 for the 16GB iteration and $599 for the 32GB model.
Apple's new iPad is powered by a much faster processor than its predecessors. The new model possesses a dual-core A5X CPU, designed by Apple, with a quad-core graphics processor engine. What's that mean for business users? Fast, smooth performance even with the increased burden of having to power some four times the number of pixels. And due to Apple's architecture, business users can still expect to receive 10 hours of battery life when working from the road.
iPad as a hotspot
While Apple devices have never (legally) leant themselves to cellular "tethering," or sharing their Internet connection with other devices, that changes with the new iPad. Apple announced that the new device, if the cellular carrier supports the feature, can share its cellular data signal with up to five devices. That means business users on the road can use their cellular data service-equipped iPad to connect colleagues or even another iPad or MacBook Air to the cellular data service using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or a USB connection.
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.