Apple's new iPads - preview

But do you really care about the Pro version?

1I covered the very first Apple event in 2010 when Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, and have been writing previews and reports for each new event since.

So I see no reason to stop now. Even though, let’s face it, the introduction of a new iPad pales in comparison to the main event in September, when Apple unveils the new iPhone.

Still, it’s Apple, and people have fascination with what new products get revealed by the secretive company, the one with the strongest consumer tech retail presence (The Apple Store.)

Twice a year, usually, Apple introduces new products, at the big launch in September and in the spring. Tuesday, Apple is doing it again, at 10 a.m. PT, with a livestream that will be available for all to see.

The skinny: a new iPad Pro, highlighted by a swanky Mini LED screen, per the Verge. Translation: more pixels, brighter image, big wow factor from the tech press. Most of you won’t care, as the price tag will be way too steep. Mini-LEDs are used on high end TVs from LG, Samsung and others.

Apple skipped the spring event last year, due to COVID, but in years past showed off the TV+ streaming service and Apple credit card and talked about using iPads for education.

Beyond the new iPad Pro Tuesday, Apple is also expected to show off AirTags, Apple’s clone of the popular Tile bluetooth tracker. The twist: AirTags will work with Apple’s popular “Find My” app, which uses a tone to help you find lost devices. Just last week, Apple began updating “Find My” to work with third-party products, including Belkin and VanMoof.

Additionally, Apple could throw in some surprises, like an update to the AirPods or the Apple TV streaming device, which is woefully over-priced at $179, compared to $25-$50 for most Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, which work just as well.

But back to the new iPad for a moment.

It’s hard to get really excited about a new Pro model. As a unit for entertainment, dragging to school for reading, creating art and various ways to replace a cash register for business, the iPad is fine. But the Pro editions are insanely expensive. They start at $799, and a fully loaded model can set you back over $2,000.)

So even if this new model has the snazzier screen, for someone like me, this is still a real stretch.

The basic model costs $329 with a 10.2 inch screen and is really all most people need. What are you missing? The larger unit, brighter screen, lower resolution, slower processing chip and an inferior camera that can’t shoot video in 4K.

Again, nothing the average viewer couldn’t live without.

I’ve heard Apple talk about using the iPad as a computer replacement for years, but sorry, I’m not in that camp. I still need my Mac to edit photos and videos, and manage my collection of media. (I’m not alone in this assessment.) CNET agrees with me too.

But like most Apple fanboys and girls, I can’t wait to hear what Apple has up its sleeve on Tuesday, and I sure hope there are some surprises.

In other tech news:

Amazon generates $24 billion a year from Prime memberships. Wow. That’s as much as Netflix reaped for just its subscription service in 2020. And it’s just a sliver of the E-tailer’s over $300 billion in yearly revenues. Amazon announced this week that there were 200 million subscribers to the Prime offerings of faster delivery, entertainment and free photo storage, up from the previous figure of 150M. In other words, the rich get richer while Main Street continues to suffer. Outgoing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos dropped this stat in his latest shareholder letter, which was mostly full of vows of being a better employer to the factory workers, while also saying they are treated just fine now. He didn’t mention that Amazon recently admitted that drivers have pee bottles in their vehicles, to keep them on schedule and refrain from rest stops.

DJI updated its Mavic Air 2 drone (just released a year ago) with a higher resolution image chip and a steeper price tag. The Air2S sells for $999, up from $799.

Spotify’s “CarThing,” is a new device to help drivers navigate their Spotify music in the vehicle. It’s free, for now, for premium subscribers, who can sign up here: https://carthing.spotify.com/

Leaving Las Vegas

My pal Peter Spirer and I spent a very packed two days in Glitter Gulch this week gathering material for an upcoming Vegas Photowalk episode. And we had the pleasure of joining up with local photographer Homer Liwag, who serves as the co-director for David Copperfield’s shows. We explored downtown, and capped the day at one of Homer’s favorite, hidden desert spots.

I also posed for some amazing shots on a deserted desert road on the way home. Leaving Las Vegas. Get it?

Look for the Vegas episode on Tubi, along with 5 other new ones, coming soon. And if you haven’t caught them yet, Catalina, Morro Bay, Big Island Hawaii, Portugal, Oregon Coast and Los Angeles are awaiting you. Why not binge them this weekend!

What’s Tubi? A refresher.

Photowalks news

I’ll be leading a free, live Photowalk on the island of Catalina the week of 5/10. (Stay tuned for exact time and location.) I can tell you this much: we’ll be starting at the historic Atwater Hotel and ending at my favorite lunch spot on the island, the Descanso Beach Club. Hope you’ll join me!

Closer to home, we’re doing a live, free, evening Manhattan Beach Photowalk on May 6. We’ll start at 7 p.m. and catch the sunset. Please sign up on Eventbrite:

That’s a wrap for today’s newsletter. Thanks for reading, watching and listening! If you enjoyed it, please let me know with a HEART or reply.

Jeff