My bet: Reading will really take off on the new retina-display iPad

March 14, 2012|Gus G. Sentementes

What does Apple's latest iPad mean for users?

For me, the answer is simple: potentially far less eye strain. The first two iPads had a nice display, but the third generation really packs in extra pixels and is expected to be a whole new experience. Four times more pixels than the iPad 2, according to Apple.

I did a lot on my first and second iPads (which I sold in order to upgrade), from gaming to writing to web browsing. But I didn't spend a lot of time doing focused reading on it. I think I maybe read one or two Kindle and iBooks on the devices. A big reason was that it just wasn't the most comfortable on my eyes.

But the retina display on the latest iPad could radically change that experience.

For me, there is precedent. I had the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS and I stared into those phones constantly every day. My eyes regularly ached.

But with the iPhone 4, guess what? No eye pain. I spend a lot more time reading on my iPhone now. And it doesn't hurt.

This is one of those subtle improvements in a device that some may play down, but I think user comfort is a huge, huge deal. If you have a (subconsciously) pleasant reading experience on a mobile device, you're bound to spend more money to have a similar future experience.

[Ryan Block, of Gdgt, wrote a nice post about the significance of Apple's new iPad touch screen.]

I expect ebooks on Kindle and Apple's iBooks platform to shoot up over the next year. I wouldn't be surprised if soaring ebook sales on the iPad becomes a nice bullet point in Apple's next presentation about the iPad in the future.

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