Tech bloggers can relax those fingers and recover from endurance live-blogging: The iPad 2 has been revealed by the turtlenecked wonder himself, Steve Jobs. Now that the world has had a look at the next-gen tablet, do its improvements satisfy the wants of the computing masses?
No surprise, the specs are impressive. Apple’s iPad 2 is one-third skinnier and 0.2 pounds lighter than its predecessor. It boasts cameras on both the front and the back, and a video camera which can sync up with iPhones for video chat. It has a 1GHz dual core processor but maintains the 10-hour battery life of the original. The base price is the same, $499, and it goes on sale in the U.S. on March 11. And yes, the rumors are true: It’s coming out in white as well as black.
The toys aren’t bad, either. The new version of iPad’s operating system includes Photo Booth, the standby application for taking gratuitous photos of yourself and mutilating them in new and interesting ways. The app iMovie—which has long been on Apple laptops—is on iPad now, too, allowing users edit film on the tablet. And Jobs gleefully spent much of the presentation fiddling with the iPad version of Apple’s music creation program, Garage Band.
You can play a piano on the iPad, as well as a whole mess of other instruments. There’s a button for a sustain pedal, and the virtual keys are touch sensitive. Play a key softly, the sound is soft. Play it hard, and the sound changes. The iPad uses its accelerometer to measure the force with which the keys are struck. [The New York Times live blog]
Rupert Murdoch—head of NewsCorp, the owner of Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post—has just launched The Daily, his “iPad newspaper” built from the ground up. So will people soon be reading original newspaper content on Apple’s slick tablet, and will they being paying for it?
Murdoch and his cohorts stressed that The Daily is, first and foremost, a newspaper. Most content will be released in a single update in the morning, but breaking news will be added throughout the day and could include, for instance, a live feed from Twitter to deliver updates, executive editor Jesse Angelo said. There are two problems with this strategy: one, that most iPad owners don’t use their iPads to access breaking news, and that The Daily, in its current iteration, isn’t really a newspaper; it’s a magazine. [Mashable]
The Daily—available by subscription for a buck a week or $40 for a year—boasts an opinion page, horoscopes, gossip items, and other telltale signs of Murdoch’s love of the old-school newspaper. But, some reviewers note, its carousel layout—similar to iTunes—makes The Daily feel like several disconnected sections rather than a unified whole.
Open the app and you’re presented with a carousel navigation much like “cover flow” in iTunes. I’d imagine the designers felt that was the simplest way to give a good overview of all the content, and subconsciously remind the user that this is an iTunes-style paid content environment – though you can’t burn your existing digital publications and view them through the Daily. [The Guardian]
I know the holidays are over and the long, dark winter months—which bring little to look forward to besides furry meteorologists and the pressure-packed atrociousness of Valentine’s Day—lie ahead. But take heart, America: Shiny new toys are coming. January means it’s time for the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which begins Thursday in Las Vegas. And gadget lust is already at peak volume, with product prognosticators predicting what will be unveiled in 2011.
Tablets. We mean it this time.
2010, certainly, was the year of the iPad—Apple has sold millions of the sleek devices since their April launch. 2011, gadget pros are predicting, will be the year everybody tries to catch up to Apple and the tablet computer market explodes.
While [Apple] is poised to introduce a new model in just a few weeks (barring some manufacturing hiccup), the likes of Microsoft, Blackberry’s RIM, Hewlett-Packard, and Google are gunning for them. A raft of consumer electronics companies, ranging from HDTV leader Vizio to Japanese heavyweight Toshiba to Palm OS owner HP, will introduce their own tablets. These will be in a variety of sizes and price ranges, in the hopes that the right balance will be struck to unseat Apple in the tablet space. [FoxNews.com]
The hack that stole the email addresses of iPad users wasn’t even a hack in the truest sense, security experts are saying today. The Goatse Security team that pulled off the feat simply overpowered bad software.
The story broke yesterday that a leak in AT&T’s security had given away the email addresses of more than 100,000 people, including some of the famous and influential who were first to adopt the tablet—Diane Sawyer, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and even White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
The specific information exposed in the breach included subscribers’ email addresses, coupled with an associated ID used to authenticate the subscriber on AT&T’s network, known as the ICC-ID. ICC-ID stands for integrated circuit card identifier and is used to identify the SIM cards that associate a mobile device with a particular subscriber [Gawker].
Something was different in the DISCOVER office this morning. A strange feeling (other than the unseasonable early April heat) hung in the air. When we found the box that showed up over the weekend, everything was illuminated: our iPad had arrived.
Now that we’ve crossed the threshold of the magical Apple product opening ceremony, we could give you a rundown of its neat little tricks. But as Apple sold 300,000 iPad on the first day, the Web has become super-saturated with iPad reviews since the first ones came out this weekend. The New York Times‘ is one of the best, reviewing the product first for tech nerds and then for everyone else.
When the iPad is upright, typing on the on-screen keyboard is a horrible experience; when the iPad is turned 90 degrees, the keyboard is just barely usable (because it’s bigger).
The iPad can’t play Flash video. Apple has this thing against Flash, the Web’s most popular video format; says it’s buggy, it’s not secure and depletes the battery. Well, fine, but meanwhile, thousands of Web sites show up with empty white squares on the iPad — places where videos or animations are supposed to play.
But for everyone else:
The simple act of making the multitouch screen bigger changes the whole experience. Maps become real maps, like the paper ones. Scrabble shows the whole board, without your having to zoom in and out. You see your e-mail inbox and the open message simultaneously.
It has been one of the world’s worst kept secrets, but that hasn’t make the waiting any easier. Now, after years of whispers, rumors, speculation, and leaks, people can finally gawk at Apple’s latest offering–a new device the company refers to as the iPad. The thin and elegant tablet device was officially unveiled today by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in San Fransisco. The iPad “is so much more intimate than a laptop, and it’s so much more capable than a smartphone with its gorgeous screen,” Mr. Jobs crowed. “It’s phenomenal to hold the Internet in your hands” [The New York Times].
So what exactly is this tablet? The iPad, it seems, looks and acts a lot like a giant iPhone or iPod Touch. You can get your apps, play your games, store your pictures, watch your videos, and browse the Internet–but on a bigger screen and in higher definition. One addition to the tablet is that now you can read books online with Apple’s new iBooks.
At the launch, Jobs described the iPad as featuring a 9.7-inch, full capacitive multi-touch IPS display that weighs 1.5 pounds and measures just half an inch. “Thinner and lighter than any netbook,” according to Jobs [PCMag]. There’s also an on-screen keyboard for you to jab at. The tablet’s starting price is $499 for a 16 gigabyte device and goes up to $699 for the 64 GB version. If you throw in an extra $130, you’ll get 3G capability. Apple linked up with AT&T for its two 3G data plans: You can choose between paying $14.99 a month for 250 megabytes (which you could burn through pretty quickly by downloading multimedia) or $29.99 for unlimited data. In both cases, you don’t need a contract. All models feature built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, an accelerometer, speaker, and microphone. It is expected to start shipping in March.