Evidence continues to mount that early adopters are going to get a bit screwed with the Apple iPad, which has yet to even be officially released for public consumption. As my colleague Liam points out, that shouldn’t really be less than anyone expects, but a new job posting must twist the knife even still for those planning to pick up Apple’s (s aapl) first iteration of the device.
The new listing has Apple looking for “Performance QA Engineers” for the iPad Media department, and judging by the description, the job focuses almost exclusively on video and image capture and playback. It’s not unexpected, since presumably Apple has considered the possibility of putting a camera in the iPad at some point in the future, even if it doesn’t 100 percent intend to do so already, but it still stings.
The job description accompanying the call leaves little room for error about the nature of the position:
The Media Systems team is looking for a software quality engineer with a strong technical background to test still, video and audio capture and playback frameworks. Build on your QA experience and knowledge of digital camera technology (still and video) to develop and maintain testing frameworks for both capture and playback pipelines.
And then later in the description of the ideal candidate for the position, things are again made fairly evident:
Familiarity with and interest in photography, video as well as media file formats is highly desirable. Experience with tuning of and image pipeline, including, but not limited to AWB, Color Correction, AutoExposure, FrameRate adjustments is a plus.
Now I’d say job descriptions rank well above patent applications in terms of predicting what’s coming next from Apple, but that doesn’t mean everything the company advertises for is automatically included in a future iteration of its products. Add the advertisement to what we already know about space supposedly existing in the iPad’s guts for a camera module, photographic evidence taken from the iPad’s unveiling, and good old common sense about how Apple operates, and it’s becoming pretty hard to deny that iPad 2G will sport still/video capabilities.
If I didn’t have a vested professional interest in getting my hands on an iPad as soon as is humanly possible, I would not be buying one this time around. It’s not an experience that I need or miss in terms of my current gadget usage, between my iPhone and my Macs. If part of my job didn’t directly involve Apple hardware, I’d have a heck of a time justifying the investment to myself, and I honestly don’t think I would use it after the novelty wore off. The consumer in me would wait until it gets more features, and maybe gets cheaper, but the professional in me is glad I don’t have to exercise that degree of patience.
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