Friday, October 24, 2014

iPad Air 2

So the new iPad is available in stores. I noticed it today and ran over to pick one up. The Apple Store was a little less busy than usual and there was no crazy long line, it was nice. I picked up an iPad and found it really nice and an employee asked if I had any questions. I said "Yes, can I have one". They had stuff in stock that was easy. I replaced my 64GB iPad 2 with another maxed out iPad; 128GB with cellular using Apple's new SIM card. I'm sure 64GB would have been fine, but I was trying to future-proof a little. I also could have done with a wifi only model, but I have used the cellular connection on occasion and while I could tether to my iPhone, I like that the iPad can use another network if Verizon isn't giving good reception. Also, you only get real GPS if you get the cellular model.

I ran into one issue buying it, my credit card was denied. First time that ever happened. I called the customer service number on the back and got to fraud detection. Apparently there was no other reason to suspect fraud other than I was buying an iPad, at an Apple Store I've regularly bought stuff at with that card. The Apple clerk told me it's pretty common happening 2-3 times a day. I finally got to a person and everything was cleared.

I got it home and backed up my iPad 2 and then plugged in the new iPad and did a restore. Oddly not everything came over. I got the right number of home pages and some folders but only a couple of apps. I called AppleCare and why the guy was walking through some simple stuff, I plugged in the new iPad again and it started another sync and it started copying all the other apps over. I told him it was working and he didn't have to wait for it finish and hung up. Though after an hour it was only about halfway done and stopped. I started another sync and that one finally worked, recopying over what was done and finishing with everything else.

So how is it? Great. It's smaller than my iPad 2 and feels a lot easier to hold. It's also a lot zippier. It's very responsive, like the iPad 2 was when I first got it. Because my iTunes backup was encrypted (there's a checkbox in the iTunes Summary page for the iPad to do this) and because I've been using iCloud Keychain all my passwords came over too, so all my apps just work. The new retina screen is nice. I can't say I can discern that's it's much better than the iPad 2, but everything does seem sharper. Comics look noticeably better on it. Handoff works and I suspect I'll use that a fair amount with the iMac. I've setup TouchID and I think I'll get used to that very quickly. I haven't used it much yet, but I'm looking forward to having Siri on my iPad, I've tried to use it a few times since getting it on an iPhone. Now I'll want it on my iMac, but I suspect Hey Siri will make up for it.

Two small issues so far. First it was nice that I got the rest of iWork included with the iPad (I had only bought Numbers). But while a version was on it, and update was in the App Store and it took 3 or 4 attempts to actually get them installed. I guess they were busy today. Also, while apps came over fine (eventually), any web apps that had home page icons were there, but their icon was a blank. A couple of times visiting the page was enough to fill in the icon, and a couple of times I had to reinstall the home page shortcut.

So hopefully, I'm done with Apple upgrades for at least a little bit.

1 comment:

The Dad said...

Love Touch ID. It works incredibly well on my iPhone5. And, given my company requires a "long" password on the phone, it's a life saver. My coworker has an iPhone 5 pre-touchID, and he hates having to enter that password all the time.

I'm using "Hey Siri" more and more, mostly in the car. The other day I had to pick up Thing#1 on the way home from work. The phone was plugged into the cig lighter and playing music through the Aux port. I said, "Hey Siri, tell Natalie I'm on my way". It heard that over the music that was playing, and immediately sent her a text message as requested. I did that again when I got to the place to pick her up, and again to say, "Hey Siri, tell my wife I picked up Natalie". In between, I said "Hey Siri, launch the NPR One app (my new favorite app), which also worked very well.

Unfortunately certain things require the TouchID passcode to launch, but touching your finger to the phone while driving is much easier and safer than typing anything.

One a side note, that NPR One app is awesome, especially this week since they are in pledge drive season. Start the app and it does the hourly news report, than just plays story after story from All Things Considered, Morning edition, and other shows, including once in a while grabbing stories from other shows and from the archive. You can "like" stuff as well, which appears to refine your feed a la Pandora. The best part is being able to skip aa boring story.

One feature it started presenting to me is interaction with the microphone. The other day it said something like "we've got a whole collection of stories about empowered women...say 'Play now' if you want to hear them". That works well, but I've found that it sort of conflicts with the passive listening aspect of radio. Often when it says, "say play now" I will suddenly thing, "wait, what does it want to play???" because I just didn't process it in my brain quickly enough.