Battery life is indeed something of an issue. I can no longer just juice it for an hour or two a day, like with my iPad 2 – instead, it really needs all night to charge. And the battery life is at best the same as the iPad 2. So it doesn’t feel as untethered as previous iPads. It might be a little unpleasant when I next go away for a weekend and don’t have the chance to charge it regularly. :S
But on the other hand, despite others’ talk of wifi issues, I’ve seen major improvements in wifi behaviour. Previously when I walked between buildings at work, my iPad 2 (and iPhones) would try to cling stubbornly to the dodgy wifi signals. They’d be completely unable to do anything, but they’d keep trying and trying for the full five minute walk.
The new iPad, on the other hand, just switches to LTE and you can’t even distinguish the two. In fact for the first few days of this I didn’t even notice it was working! Even once I realised, I’ve been unable to actually catch it switching over – it’s quick and painless and there’s no disruption to existing connections. Pretty damn sweet.
So I wonder if the heuristic for when it should give up on wifi has been adjusted – perhaps it’s now more confident about falling back to LTE. Perhaps then that’s what people are seeing when they believe it’s having “issues” staying connected to wifi. I can certainly say that it has no range issues on good wifi networks – I can still pick up my home network (5GHz Airport Extreme) from inside my car some thirty or more metres away, outside line of sight and through at least one wall, just fine. That’s with the base station on half strength, to boot.
And lastly, the most marked improvement of all (well, aside from the screen, arguably) is the additional RAM. I’m yet to see a single web page refresh due to a memory shortage (or app crash, for that matter, though I’ve rarely had trouble with that anyway). And I’ve been deliberately opening the maximum number of tabs in Safari, including ones with HD videos in them and more. Previously I’d limit it to four, maybe five, and even then it’d more often than not fall over.
I was very hopeful that the doubling of RAM would make a substantial difference, but even that optimism fell short of reality. On this basis alone it’s worth the upgrade.
Another downside, though, is that it’s piqued my interest in typography, to the extent that I now have about forty fonts shortlisted for use here, for my blog, and am having a devil of a time narrowing it down to just one. I’ve not paid this much attention to fonts since.. well… pretty much as long as I can remember. I’ve not had to for so long; the last time I printed anything that wasn’t a pre-made form on a crappy laser-printer or inkjet was so long ago. But now with the iPad 3′s screen the subtle differences between like fonts are really visible.
Most disturbing of all is that Helvetica actually looks good. I’ve never liked Helvetica. Has the whole world gone topsy-turvy?!?