Thursday, March 3, 2011

iPad 2. Here.

As planned for March 2, Apple unveiled the iPad 2. Yes, it is called that, no different. And it is completely different from the previous version.

Steve Jobs surprised everyone by coming to the event. An introductory video was shown (embedded below). Here is a brief overview of what this beautiful thing has to offer:
  • A5 processor: This new custom processor is twice as fast compared to the previous generation and its graphics are "9X faster".
  • Slimmer: This iPad is 33% thinner than the previous model. It's even thinner than the iPhone 4.
  • Cameras: Of course, probably envied by the other tablet manufacturers, those Apple guys added two cameras to the iPad 2. It has FaceTime, and shoots video in 720p HD too. Photo Booth is included too.
  • Colors: The iPad 2 comes in black and white. Still no white iPhone, sorry.
  • Battery: The battery life is still 10 hours. No change.
  • Cases: Apple has also designed a couple of cases for the iPad 2. These won't work with the first iPad, though. They attach to the screen using magnets inside the device so that it protects the screen without compromising size and weight. Plus, the iPad detects the cover and goes to sleep automatically. It can be used as a stand. More is shown in the video below. It is available in several colors, and you have the option for plastic or leather.
  • HDMI: Though there is no HDMI port, you can get a $39 converter (you know, it's Apple) to connect to an HDTV with an HDMI cable. It works in "any orientation" and any app.
  • AirPlay: Of course, there is AirPlay included, so you can print wirelessly and even stream stuff wirelessly to the Apple TV.
  • Price: The second iPad also starts at $499. There's no drop. 
The iPad 2 will be releasing in the US Wi-Fi and 3G (AT&T and Verizon) on March 11, while it is coming out internationally from March 25.
    Here's the iPad 2 video.


     And here's the features page from the Apple website.

    Most first look reviews that I saw were pretty positive, and knowing what the first iPad did, everybody is expecting a huge competition to and from other mainstream tablets, including the Motorola Xoom.

    Also, another major piece of related news is the upcoming release of the software update iOS 4.3 for all Apple mobile devices. It has better performance, option to set the hardware button on the iPad to screen lock or mute, iTunes Home Sharing and some other stuff. iTunes 10.2 is available, with support for iOS 4.3.