Thursday, March 15, 2012

OPINION: Apple has duped us

By Alex Domine, A&E Columnist

If you take a trip down to the Apple Store March 16 to pick up the third-generation iPad, you will be disappointed.

An ad on Apple.com’s homepage calls the new arrival “revolutionary,” highlighting its primary new feature: a high-definition retina display.

Apple uses “retina display” to describe the resolution clarity of the new product’s display. The new iPad’s resolution is so high pixels are invisible to the naked eye. An impressive technology for sure.

Perhaps the most intriguing thing about the new retina display is that it is attracting a younger market for gaming purposes, which is unsettling news for traditional game manufacturers such as Nintendo and Sony.

In addition to the retina display, the new iPad comes with the obvious upgrades, including a better camera, a longer battery life, a better processor and the option of 4G technology.

However, considering all the anticipation that has stemmed from teaser emails and underground speculation, Apple has duped us.

The main disappointment with the new iPad is the absence of Siri, the voice recognition software released with the iPhone 4S.

Siri is a female voice responsive to normal conversation.

Siri is capable of understanding complete spoken sentences, questions and commands. Adding Siri to the new iPad seemed like a no-brainer.

Instead, the iPad has a disheartening, lazy voice dictation feature for word processing. I guess Siri wasn’t ready for a new home.

Furthermore, I would have liked to see the home button eliminated, the single physical button on the front end of the touchscreen. Touchscreen technology is advancing so rapidly that the need for a physical button is nearly extinguished.

Apple has spoiled us with its sleek product design and simplistic class so much that the small home button seems like a zit on a porcelain doll.

The idea of an exclusively touchscreen device is seductive.

Imagine your hands barely gracing the surface of the glass display, bewitching the graphics to make colors, vibrations and sounds bend to your whim.

Now crush that fantasy.

The new iPad is great, but it wasn’t worth the teasers and certainly not worth the $729 before tax and shipping for the 32GB model with 4G.

A tablet is definitely in my future, but not March 16.