Apple's early release of the Apple ipad 4 may have been as much about timing as it was adding
key features to the newest Apple ipad. Just even months after the Apple ipad 3 was released, the
early November debut of the Apple ipad 4 alongside the Apple ipad Mini puts Apple on schedule to
announce its entire product lineup in the Fall. Apple already announced the newest
iPhone, and a lineup of Macs was announced alongside the Apple ipad 4 and Apple ipad Mini.
Apple ipad 4 Features and Details
Apple ipad 3 vs Apple ipad 4: What's New?
The Apple ipad 4 represents the first Apple ipad that doesn't have a big new feature added to the
tablet. The Apple ipad 2 debuted dual-facing cameras, which not only allowed the Apple ipad to
serve as a camera, but also opened the door to videoconferencing via FaceTime. And the
Apple ipad 3 brought the Retina Display to the Apple ipad. The Apple ipad 4 is more of an incremental
upgrade over its predecessor.
If Apple still used the numbering system with the Apple ipad, the newest version would
probably be named Apple ipad 3S. And the S would be for speed. The biggest difference between
the Apple ipad 3 and Apple ipad 4 is a processor that produces twice the speed both with graphics
and pure processing power.
Why the delay? Many thought the A6X might make its debut with the Apple ipad 3, but Apple did
not want to sacrifice any battery power in an Apple ipad that already needed as much as
possible to deliver the Retina Display. The A6X was delayed to make sure it was ready
for mass consumption, including being energy efficient.
The back-facing camera is still a 5 MP iSight that has basic features like face
detection, backside illumination, five-elements lens and hybrid IR filter. But the
front-facing camera has been upgraded to provide 720p HD video and the ability to take
1.2 MP photos. And a key detail in the upgrade comes with the A6X processor, which has
improved signal processing to help photos look sharper and take advantage of the Retina
Better Wi-Fi, Wider 4G LTE
The new Wi-Fi technology built into the Apple ipad 4 can also provide a significant speed
increase. The dual-band capability, which accepts 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz 802.11n signals,
allows for "theoretical" download speeds up to 150 Mbps.
What's that mean? The vast majority of us aren't going to hit anywhere near 150 Mbps,
but for those with a dual-band router, this is very good news. The Apple ipad taking full
advantage of dual-band technology means a faster, more responsive Apple ipad when downloading
information from the web. The faster processor is great, but most of the time, mobile
devices are limited by their weakest link. No matter how fast the Apple ipad can process
information, it has to get that information first, and getting it faster can make a big
The extended 4G LTE will allow more customers outside of the U.S. to connect to 4G
networks. Apple took some flack for marketing the Apple ipad as a 4G device in regions where
it couldn't connect to 4G networks, and with this addition, Apple is correcting that
The Apple ipad 4 also moves the Apple ipad from the old 30-pin connector to the Lightning
connector. And while this has been billed as much as a negative as a positive by a
media that insists this will produce the need for all new accessories, it was certainly
expected. The Lightning connector provides most of its advantage to smaller devices
like the iPhone and iPod lineup, but in order to move to the new connector, Apple
needed to move every device to it.
The new Apple ipad will work fine with most cases designed for the Apple ipad 3. The only
exceptions would be any case that actually plugs into the 30-pin connector. The Apple ipad 4
will also be perfectly compatible with any BlueTooth accessories, so the idea that the
upgrade means everyone must upgrade all of their accessories is a misconception.
But if you do have accessories that must plug into the Apple ipad, the change means you will
either need to buy a new Apple ipad 4-compatible accessory or the new 30-pin to Lightning
Adapter, which is $29 at the Apple Store and will make your older accessories
compatible with the Apple ipad 4.
And the winner is...
The Apple ipad 4 is clearly a better tablet, with a faster processor, upgraded Wi-Fi and a
better front-facing camera. It's also a good upgrade option for original Apple ipad owners or
Apple ipad 2 owners. But for Apple ipad 3 owners, it's far from a must-have upgrade. It simply
doesn't add enough to the experience to upgrade after only a few months.
On the other hand, the Apple ipad 3 makes a great choice for those who want an Apple ipad but can't
afford the price tag. Apple is still selling the Apple ipad 2 as a cheaper alternative, but
while supplies last, the Apple ipad 3 at a discounted price will be a very good deal.