iPad 2: Good solid update, but where's the wireless sync?
Most commentators, even those in the financial markets, seem impressed by the iPad 2. I believe the average buyer will see the big three improvements--faster processor, twin cameras, shrunken dimensions and weight--as reason enough to go on buying the iPad in preference to the many unproven competitors that will attack the market in 2011.
Of course, I've read a number of negative comments from tech writers, mainly concerning the absence of an improvement in display resolution and the continued lack of an SD card slot or USB port. But having talked over the months with a large number of average buyers and would-be buyers, I generally find that none of them mention this sort of thing. They are focused entirely on what the iPad can do for them. One good friend bought an iPad solely for painting, having seen that David Hockney favoured the new medium. Others do little more than handle emails and web browsing. All, though, are very happy with the device and soon find more new things to do. Buyers like this will take to the new model for the benefits it will bring and I doubt that any of them will be fretting over display resolution, the absence of Gorilla glass or the lack of a USB port.
It's the tech guys who are fretting; and of course it's their job to fret. They need to be pushing Apple beyond the expectations of the average consumer. It would be nice to have even more in the iPad 2, particularly an expansion port, but we can wait. One thing on which I do agree with commentators, though, is Apple's continued reliance on iTunes syncing. Some form of wireless sync is now well overdue.
I have a constant battle with family and friends who always forget to sync their iPhones or iPads. Whenever they have a problem I ask them when they last synced and most cannot remember. For them, it seems, plugging in the device to the computer every evening is more than they can manage and they actually get quite testy when pushed. I've set most of them up with MobileMe and they never question why their calendars and address books are always up to date. This automation needs to be extended to the rest of the iOS synchronisation process.