Remember the blow-up about the home button?
I’ve already spent more time on this than I should have. Go read the comment section of any of the sites that showed the announcement image, and you’ll see speculation on top of speculation that there would be no home button on the next iPad.
It was an understandable mistake. The picture was taken in a way that should have shown a home button, and yet, the home button was missing from the invite.
The idea is that a home-button-less iPad is a step further in the simplification of the hardware. Apple always removes things they don’t need faster than most manufacturers are willing. Why not the home button?
I’ve spent some significant time with the Kindle Fire. I am sure that Apple engineers spent some time with the Kindle Fire. I’m not sure that Kindle Fire engineers spent some time with the Kindle Fire. Having no home button is bad news. I am so glad the new iPad has a home button.
If you see a hardware manufacturer besides Amazon remove the home button, it will be a simple attempt to push technology at the cost of user experience.
I don’t think the camera matters, but Apple’s is good enough.
There is a tipping point with any technology. Remember when we were younger and it happened with audio? Records, to tapes, to CDs, and then it was good enough. MP3 audio or even 256kbps AAC is certainly shy of the best audio quality possible.
There comes a point, however, when the average consumer can’t tell a difference. 1080p video, and Retina display are probably that point for video. There are cameras that make the iPad’s camera look like a toy. (Of course the iPad’s size makes the iPad’s camera look like a toy, but let’s not go there today.)
The camera shoots 1080p, and the pictures look good on a retina display? If you’re a tablet manufacturer, you’re not going to convince the average consumer that any camera hardware in your tablet is better.
In the end hardware is about compromises. Don’t let any company tell you they aren’t making compromises. Apple has indeed made some tradeoffs with the home button and camera. But likely for the better, not for the worse.