New iPad 3G still weak & iOS 6 gripe

The New iPad has been out for over three months now and I dare say everybody is over it now. The blogstorms about yellowed displays and heat have died away and everybody seems pretty calm.

Here at GHQ we use an original and a new iPad every day. I definitely prefer the new iPad but I this is mainly because of the crisper display. I have heard a number of pundits saying how slow and awful the original iPad is now, and how using it is a form of torture (a particularly affluent first world form of torture obviously). I haven't notice any speed issues with the original iPad, but that may be a reflection of the types of apps that I use (ie I am not into graphic intensive games).

There was one concern that I noted in my first look post that I still think is an issue. The 3G reception on the new iPad is not as good as on the original. By this I mean that there are circumstances where the original iPad will be able to make a usable 3G connection but the new iPad will not. This is only noticeable where 3G coverage is weak, once you have reasonable 3G signal both models work fine.

This was a problem when we first got the new iPad because the 3G signal was borderline at GHQ. For the first couple of weeks of having the new iPad the 3G connection was flakey (a technical term) and bordering on unusable. In an amazing stoke of luck however, our local telco did some work on the nearest cell tower a couple of months ago which improved our signal from borderline to OK.

So the new iPad's 3G weakness was not an issue at GHQ anymore. But the weakness is still there and I was reminded of it recently when we spent a couple of weeks in Victoria in an area of marginal 3G coverage. For the entire period the new iPad was unusable and the orignal was fine. It was a stark difference.

For most people this will not be an issue, but if you are considering getting a 3G capable iPad and expect to use it in an area of weak signal it is something to be aware of.

On a vaguely related topic for users of the original iPad, be aware that iOS 6, the upcoming version of the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch operating system is not going to run on the original iPad. This is pretty sad for a very capable device that (in my case) is only 18 months old. The annoying/perplexing thing is that iOS 6 will run on the iPhone 3GS, a much older and less capable device. This makes the lack of support for the original iPad look like a high handed unilateral decision from Apple, rather than a technical issue. If so it is disappointing.