Apple announced a new product today: the iPad. Essentially a large iPod Touch, the iPad is capable of running iPhone apps at a higher resolution. You can use it to purchase and use music, videos and books. It comes in a WiFi and a WiFi+3G version and will be available at the end of March for prices starting at $499.
Hi this is Gary. Today, apple finally announced their tablet. It’s called the iPad. Let’s take a look. So what is the iPad? Well it’s like an iPod touch but with a very large screen, a fast processor and some interesting options. The device measures 9 1/2 inches tall by 7 1/2 inches wide and is only ½ an inch thick. It has a multi task screen. It has a dock connector just like the iTouch and the iPhone. So what can you do with it? Well, you can listen to music, watch a video, surf the web, check your email and you can use any app that exists in the app store for the iPhone or iPod touch and in addition to that you can also purchase and read books on it. It has an eBook reader called iBooks on it and an iBooks store to go alongside iTunes and the apple store where you can purchase books but it also uses a standard ePub format for books so it will be interesting to see if we can get other books from other sources other than apple. So hardware wise it features a brand new processor and it’s processor is made by apple. I’m sure apple cut the production cost quite a bit by making their own processor instead of having to buy them from Intel. It’s called an apple a4 processor. Now also inside you get from 16 to 64 gigabytes of memory. It comes with wifi. Complete 802. 11 N standard. It also has Bluetooth, in addition there’s an accelerometer and a compass as well.
So battery life, the iPad goes a 10 hour battery life. Now according to a jobs presentation this would last even if you’re watching a video. It said you could watch a video on a 10 hour plane flight . So there’s been some interesting accessories announced for it. One is a dock with a full size keyboard. There’s also going to be a dock connector that accepts a SD card so you can load pictures from your camera directly into your pod and also one that goes into USB so you can hook your camera up into the iPod. It also looks like according the text books that there would be video cable. To the opposite standard video or VGA so you can make presentations from the iPad. Now this gets better and useful if you’re using one of the iWork applications that you can get for the iPad. For 10 bucks each, you can get pages, numbers and keynotes and you can create documents as well as view them. There some other inputs and outputs as well as speaker built into it.
There’s going to be a headphone jack. There’s going to be a built in mike. No word yet as to whether the headphone jack supports the microphone just like the iPhone’s headphone jack does and in addition to that there’s going to be a SIM card slot for the 3g models only. The buttons are the same as on the iPhone. There’s a top button for on off and sleep and mute. Switch and a volume up and down. There’s also a big home button at the bottom of the screen now the iPad is going to come in two main flavors. One is going to be wifi only. The other is going to be wifi plus 3g. This means that you could use data plans from wireless carriers. Now Apple announced a special plan available from AT&T. A $15 plan available for a limited data every month and an unlimited plan, available at $30 this is a much cheaper plan available than the ones other services offer. In addition though, it’s an unlocked device so if you have a gsm 3g card that you can use with it assuming that the carrier lets you, you can use any carrier you want. So about the plan for AT&T, apparently it’s prepaid. You can purchase it right on the iPad. So you don’t have to have an ongoing monthly plan. It seems like you’d be able to buy it month to month if you want.
Okay so pricing. The cheapest version of the iPad is going to be $499 in the States. Now, that’s a 16 GB version of the iPad without the 3g chips. There’s also a 32 GB and a 64gb at $599 and $699 each. Now if you want the 3g chip you have to pay exactly a $139 over each of these prices.
So when is it available? Well, Steve says its going to be out in 60 days. That means, the end of March. Now the 3g version are going to be delayed another month so the end of April for those. So what doesn’t the iPad do? One notable feature is that there is no camera either front or back. Another thing is this it is not mac. This is definitely and iPod touch like device. You can’t just install regular software. You have to buy from the iStore. Another thing is you don’t have the GPS in it unless you have the 3g chip on the more expensive models. I think the most interesting feature of the iPad is that it can use any iPhone app. Apparently, It can do this in 2 different modes. One its puts in the centre of the screen at the regular resolution another is the pixel doubles every pixel in there to basically enlarge it on the screen. A third mode kind basically too is built for being on the iPad. It can display apps in full resolution. Now a lot of app that are using 3g model s an vectors the graphics should be able to scale up quite quickly, and a lot of developers should even have their apps out and ready for the iPad by the time it launches at the end of March. And by the way, if you’d already purchase a whole bunch of app for your iPad and touch. All you have to do is plug it in the mac. Sync it with iTunes and you can move all those apps to your iPad without having to pay for them again. So that summarizes today’s news. When the iPad is out. I’ll have reviews and tutorials and in addition any news now and then I’d be sure to post things to twitter and to Facebook. Tune next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost.com.