Apple iPad 4 The New Full-Size ‘Starter iPad’


Apple today announced that it was replacing the iPad 2 with the iPad 4 as the full-size ‘starter iPad’.

The move is significant for electronic musicians using iOS, because the fourth generation iPad offers substantial improvements over its predecessor:

  • 9.7-inch Retina display offers double the screen resolution
  • A6X chip about 3X faster
  • Higher resolution cameras – 5MP iSight camera that can capture 1080p HD video & a FaceTime HD camera
  • Lightning port vs 30-pin connector
  • Faster WiFi networking
  • Double the RAM

The iPad 2 was getting long in the tooth and was easily taxed by the demands of current mobile music apps. With the update, Apple’s full-size ‘starter iPad’ is now much more ‘future proof’ for electronic musicians than the device it replaces.

The iPad with Retina display models in black or white are available for US $399 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $529 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

37 thoughts on “Apple iPad 4 The New Full-Size ‘Starter iPad’

  1. I sold my iPad 1st gen about a year ago, looks like I might have to be getting one of these new ones. This is awesome.

  2. I am hoping Apple will up their game even further. Over the past week I have sold both my Apple computers and parted with my iPhone earlier last year. Memory being the issue with both the phone and iPads. They need to add a lot more hardware in the future for me to go back (or a memory slot, dugh). As you know CD quality sound files for example are 100mb or better a piece. 64gb is not enough. Yes they have a 128mb versions but you have to take out a second mortgage to buy one. Although I have enjoyed the OS I haven’t enjoyed Apple milking their products for every penny. Sorry Apple, my freshly built liquid cooled computer will out perform all but maybe your the new Pro and it cost much less. My Samsung Note 8 has a memory card slot which adds versatility. Bye for now.

    1. I respect your opinion, I just think most people on this site buy ipads more so for the app store (and the massive selection of music making apps) than for the ability to listen to music on them. That being said, 16gb isn’t an issue for me as I only put a few CD’s on it at a time and swap them out frequently. The galaxy notes’ always intrigued me, but more so for the pressure sensitive pen. Great for someone that likes to make digital art. It’s kind of baffling to me why everyone matches them against each other as they both do different things and attack different types of the market.

      1. Caustic, SPC, Loopstack, Heat, RD4, ADJ, amongst others…

        There’s no arguing that IOS is better for music apps, but there’s no reason to completely dismiss Android because there are also really great apps.

        “Isnt memory card making devices slower?”

        Absolutely not, why would they?

      1. Well in all fairness the Ipad Air 128gb costs almost twice the price of the Ipad Air 16gb.

        In comparison you can buy a 128gb usb drive for 100$, so why does the 128gb Ipad costs so much?

        1. You want to know why an iPad costs more than a $100 USB drive, but first, let me give you a stick of gum and teach you how to chew it.

          1. Seeing how you absolutely did not understood what I was talking about, be careful with that stick of gum because it looks like you probably could seriously hurt yourself with it.

            Seriously I just can’t understand how you thought I was comparing the price of an ipad with one of a usb drive, I was just talking about storage here.

            I will make this simpler and clearer for you : the Ipad Air costs $520 for the 16GB and $820 for the 128GB (with taxes in Canada it almost amounts to the double price).

            So in essence, it costs $300 to get the same amount of storage on the ipad that you can get for $100 or less if you buy usb drives or memory cards. And you are not allowed to use any of them on the ipad.

    2. Totally agree with you about internal storage, $100 for 16GB is ridiculous and apple certainly has the market cornered on overcharging for ‘upgraded’ versions of their products. The OS and music apps are great but the storage situation is beyond abysmal

  3. in my opinion, the iPad is about the only thing left from apple that i would own (and only due to audio apps). it is the one redeeming thing that apple has made to keep some of the audio community. the build of the new mac pro vs the cost is a joke with a bad punch line. the fact that they have cut down on the amount of usb port on the new macbook pro with the fact that ram modules are soldered directly to the logic board (making it impossible to repair or modify) no longer make mac a viable piece of hardware to the educated power user.
    what is the point of buying a mac pro for $3000+ when you can build a vanilla kernal hackintosh for half the price? a mac book pro doesn’t look very appealing when you can buy an acer with an i7, 12Gb of ram and dual hard drives of $1500. the only thing that mac has going for it is the fact that it is based off a bsd unix kernal. i just ask myself, how long till they screw that up too?
    i’m sad to see jobs go, his attention to hardware detail and his rewriting of the bsd kernal for osx when he came back were a game changer. it’s just too bad that people haven’t realized that apple will never be what it once was.

    1. Is the hackintosh really a viable route?
      Even if you develop for iOS there are no big problems?
      At some point I would like to build myself a “power tower” and I like the fact mac os is a unix system so going the windows way would be a bit boring for me, + no developing of iOS app.
      But money is always a problem for me at the moment and I see how my 2 years old macbook is really slow for the money I spent on it.
      Any good website to start from???

      1. I love my hackintosh and i will never buy a mac pro cause it’s just not necessary. Nor will I ever use windows again – i hated it after the first day on osx. So yes it’s a viable route. You just have to make sure you get osx-compatible parts for your tower but there are lots of guides out there. just search for osx86 or hackintosh or simply go here:

        it can take some time and research till everything works but once it does there’s no difference between a real mac and your ultra affordable hackintosh 🙂

      2. Yes, its totally viable. Read up on a system and go build it. Some builds may have issues (no sleep mode for example), so you have to decide for yourself whether you can live with it. It’s more a time issue than anything else due to the amount of research involved, and it makes upgrading the OS very much non-trivial. But then again, OS upgrades are usually on the non-trivial side for audio systems anyway.

        My dual L5520 8-core has been running strong since 2010 (and I could always pick up a couple compatible 6-cores for a few hundred if i so choose…) and will run any firewire audio interface without any more hassle than a regular mac. It is as stable as any off the shelf mac pro that I’ve worked with (and that’s quite a few) at half the price.
        Be a good place to start.

      3. @adam, Oddie O’Phyle, Brendan Clarke
        Cheers!!! It’s a great news for me, it’s not for now yet, but still I’ll start looking around.
        It’s going to be helpfull, thanks!

    2. Maybe I’m not a “powah-usah” but my Mac Mini has served me well. One point against hackintoshes is Apple Care. Another is convenience – not many want to go searching around to piece together something like that. Last time I checked (maybe 4 years ago) it wasn’t what I would call a simple process to ID and source compatible parts that met by needs and budget for a hack’. Sure Apple will never be what it was. That doesn’t mean it can’t be better in the future.

      1. i learned computers and went to school for Net. Eng. when i decided to get away from turntables and grooveboxes just over a decade ago. a friend showed me live4 and i was hooked into the digital age. i figured at that point i should intimately know my new instrument. i personally don’t buy computers anymore, i buy parts. at that point it’s fairly easy to find the right build, OSX compatible parts are all listed in the forums. it just takes a bit of time… $$$ offset by time. depends on which you have more of, besides there is a certain satisfaction to building and maintaining your own hardware 😉 before this it was resoldering audio outs on drum machines and synths, ground leads in tech12’s and replacing faders in mixers.

    3. OS X is factored into the cost if the hardware. Sure if you steal it the computer will be cheaper. I love that apple has pretty lax copy protection schemes, that’s something I don’t mind paying for. 🙂

      It’s really not an argument against apple though is it? It’s like not paying taxes and still using the roads.

      I don’t care if people build hackintoshes and I’m not saying it’s wrong, but I hope if you like it you support the software someday, so that it continues to improve.

      Personally, I think when you look at what osx and logic have built in it actually comes out to be roughly equal in cost to a windows machine if you bought all that software 3rd party. I guess it depends on if you need that functionality. Like CoreMIDI and inter app routing is personally worth a lot to me. It’s easy to get Xcode up and running. It might not be the best, but IMO it’s the easiest. (Does Microsoft offer anything free?) OS updates are free. Preview is better than the horror of Acrobat. TextEdit is full featured enough to write comfortably, etc. And logic and MainStage might not be to everyone’s taste, but what you get for the money is incredible.

      1. who said anything about “stealing”? i pay for software that i enjoy, in turn supporting it’s programmers for the work involved. i bought a retail disc of osx and modified the resulting iso with a vanilla kernal as i felt iATKOS was a “dirty” install.

        1. You must still be on Snow Leopard then, ‘eh? Seeing Apple never sold a ‘retail disc’ version of Lion or Mountain Lion or Mavericks.

          1. yep, but updating the OS wasn’t that hard. i have a friend or two at the local Mac reseller, they supply me with an OS if i need.

              1. honestly, we can both argue the technicalities. roughly 60% of osx is based off the BSD unix kernal. as of 1995 the original kernal supplied to berkley state university by unix system labs (AT&T) had been written out in order to create BSD free, so no royalties are owed to AT&T there. the kernal really hasn’t been modified that much, save the GUI. you may want to have a good read about modifications to BSD and releasing it back to the community. part of my education was the history of operating systems and different licenses.

  4. “Double the RAM”…
    How much does the ipad4 have?
    My ipad2 has ~1Gig

    > Cem – I think Air vs 4:
    Air has ‘A7’ CPU
    ipad 4 has ‘A6’ CPU.

    1. The ipad4 has …… also 1g of ram.

      Even the ipad Air has only 1g of ram.

      Why are they saying “Double the RAM” in their sales pitch?

  5. Ah, THIS stuff again! I’ve had coffee, look out. I get the feeling that a lot of people mislead themselves by conflating specs with musical usability. If you are such a power user that you’re sweating over every possible detail, you’re doing yourself a disservice. If you are an active professional, then I offer due respect for what that entails. Its no small thing in the clench, especially under deadline. That said, the rest of us don’t face such issues. I have a rather underpowered rig, actually, so I occasionally have to freeze tracks a bit, but more often, I DON’T. I tend to run 20+ tracks to have room for all of the segments I write and with only Logic running, it rarely chokes. IMO, its partly due to using Logic’s synths the most, with Alchemy and a couple of MOTU things in line. The level of *integration* is very high, so there is a sliding algorithm for what works, based on what you’re really doing. I cannot hear at 96 KHz and I’m not mixing a soundtrack for Lionsgate, so my mileage does indeed vary. That’s why I view these arguments with amusement, because one size never fits all and even a little of this gear can be huge.

    As to Apple’s various corporate annoyances, sure, I get riled at times, because people chomp at the bit for NEW so hard, they’re inevitable in the rush. That granted, I bought the first iMac and to my great surprise, it was a hideous lemon. I wisely bought the extended warranty, so Apple sent repair techs to my house TWICE. After the second, my contact said “If anything else goes wrong, call me and we’ll talk replacement.” Long-short, the speakers were dead and they sent me the next model up, with some pro-rated warranty time on top. Its been a rock ever since, as were my previous 2 Macs. I’m not an “Apple man” out of arrogance. Its based on the performance and longevity, which are biggies no matter what you use.

    Its mostly GUYS who are into all of this (and two savvy women I met whose skills really impressed), so having ground through fussy earlier tech to get to Here, my advice is to stop swinging yer dick about it. Wasted effort. Even a modest computer is a big thing if you configure it properly. I almost feel *high* when comparing what I have now with the mad crap I used to face. You pros and semi-pros who maybe do things like industrial video work should come a step closer to Earth and you newbies/hobbyists shouldn’t pine away for mega-gear. The reality of ENJOYING music is like a parametric EQ: you get to set the proper range. I have fookin’ pipe organs & the like in a box on a table and they work, so when you lot start emitting smoke, I can’t help but grin at it. We’re about 1.4 eras away from “Star Trek.” I’m ready for a solar panel that charges my graphene batteries readily and seeing the new battleground be for quality substrate material for our 3-D makers, how about you? It’ll happen even sooner if we can keep the damned lawyers out of it! 😀

    1. honestly, the term power user refers to someone who has learned enough about their hardware that they can optimize their settings to reduce latency and do modifications and upgrades. how is it a disservice for a musician to know their instrument? how useful is a drummer if they can’t re-skin a drum or a guitarist that can’t re-string and tune?

  6. Fungo makes a good point you can make music on anything if you are creative so quit lusting after gear and make some damn music.

  7. Ok guys, a little help. iPad 4 vs Air 2 (A6 vs A7 cpu). Is the extra horsepower in the Air worth shelling out more money for in order to be that much more ‘future proof’? Or should I save the $100 and get the iPad 4?

    Its just for music apps, really. I don’t care if the 4 is fatter than the Air. Don’t care if the Air plays games better. Just the music apps.

    1. @newmiracle: not sure what you mean with iPad Air 2. Do you mean the next iPad that’ll probably will be released in autumn/winter? Or the current Air?

      I use a 4th gen iPad mostly for making sound and it’s great for musical purposes. Of couse it depends on how many apps/ app plug-in’s you want to run simultanously and wether you want to play gigs with a hole lot of apps open at the same time.I don’t have the Aur but I guess that the $100 for the Air are worth it. If I was in your position, I’d probably get the Air. I will wait for the next one hoping that the RAM will be increased.

      Here you can find a discussion “iPad 4 or Air?”. I hope it’ll help you!

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