NextPage 1.3.7 : The iPad 3 Maneuver

If you’ve been a user of NextPage on iPad 2 or the original iPad and have upgraded to “the New iPad”, you may have noticed a lag when turning pages. On the surface, this makes no sense, as one would think spiffy new hardware would perform at least as well, if not better than the old. That is not the case here, faithful NextPage user. If you’re anxious just to get your previous level of page-turning performance back, pull out your iPad and upgrade to NextPage 1.3.7, which became available today. If you’d like the gory details of what’s been going on, please keep reading. I’ve written in detail about it over here, but to summarize:

The new iPad, or iPad 3, features Apple’s Retina display which boasts twice the resolution of previous iPads. It accomplishes that by using 4 times as many pixels as the previous models. At first glance, one would think this is a Very Good Thing.

However, while Apple did upgrade the graphics processor (GPU) to handle the increased resolution, the new iPad’s main CPU remained basically the same as last year’s iPad 2. As it turns out, this lack of additional horsepower to go along with the higher resolution display makes quite a difference to apps like NextPage, Instapaper, and a slew of others.

Apps like NextPage require heavy CPU (not GPU) power to render scanned PDF files quickly. With the new iPad, this means calculating images that have 4 times as many pixels as before, but without any additional processing power to do so! In NextPage, this shows up as sluggish page-turning performance.

Fortunately, with version 1.3.7, NextPage’s performance is as good as, if not better than it was on iPad 2. Besides changing the way in which pages are rendered, additional tuning of NextPage’s caching engine was also possible because of the additional memory available on the new iPad (1GB vs 512MB on iPad 2).

The “next iPad”, or “iPad 2013″, or whatever it will be called will no doubt have a better CPU story to tell, and we won’t have this dilemma again. In the meantime, NextPage performance should be back to normal for you on iPad 3, and, you now have some insight as to why some of your other apps may be performing poorly on your new iPad.

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