Apple announced the iPad 2 today with a faster processor, thinner design and two video cameras. On shelves on March 11, there will also be a new version of iOS that day and major new apps for the iPad 2: Photo Booth, FaceTime, iMovie and GarageBand.
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now.
Today Apple announced the brand new iPad 2. Let me run down the details for you. So inside the new iPad we’ve got the faster processor. The A5 promises twice the processing speed and nine times the graphics speed. Also, we’ve got gyroscopes inside, this will not only give us the movement of the iPad like excelloramators do, but also its orientation. So a lot use, and creative apps, and games.
On the outside, the new iPad is new designed one third thinner than the original and also slightly lighter. They’ll also come available in two case colors, black and white.
So perhaps the biggest, obvious change to iPad is the inclusion of two cameras. These look like the same two cameras that are available on the iPod Touch. There’s a 720P HD camera that’s coming out the rear of the iPad and facing the front is a standard VGA camera. You’ll be able to stream video using either one of these with the new facetime app and also record video using the new photobooth app.
Both the three versions of the iPad, one that’s wifi only, another that’s wifi plus, AT&T’s 3G network, and one that is wifi plus verizon’s 3G network. So in addition to those three models of course there’s different memory models, from 16 gigs to 64 gigs and the black and white cases. So a lot of different versions for us to choose from.
Now, Apple’s changed the way the cases work on the new iPad. There’s actually magnets in the cases of the iPad and they correspond to the magnets on this new case, its actually just a cover, from Apple that fits on it. You can see it here, it kinda rolls up and becomes a stand, should be kinda interesting. There’s going to be different colors and also a leather version of this case, so I’m sure third party cases will also try to emulate this and use the magnets built into the iPad.
Another major new accessory is going to be this HDMI-out connector. Now, the original iPad had a VJ-out adapter and I’m sure that will still work, but this HDMI-out promises something the original iPad doesn’t have, which is full-screen mirroring. According to what I’ve read and what was announced today, you should be able to see exactly what’s on your iPad screen on the screen of something hooked up to it via HDMI.
Now, with the release of the iPad 2 is going to come the release of IOS 4.3, so a lot of these features are both for the iPad 2, the original iPad, and also the iPhone 4. We’re going to get new features like faster safari, also the iTunes homesharing should work a little bit better, allowing you to actually stream music from your iTunes collection on your mac or PC onto your iPad. So you don’t actually have to have the music on your iPad to stream it.
Airplay is going to be greatly expanded. For instance it looks like you’ll be able to play a video that’s embedded in a webpage over airplay. So it’s not just going to work with a select few video and audio apps, it should work pretty much everywhere that video and audio is available. We’ll have to see the details when the iPad comes out.
A tiny little feature, but a big deal for most is going to be the ability to change with a switch on the side of your iPad does. Originally it was an orientation lock switch, then it got changed to a mute switch. Well, now you’ll be able to set a preference and use it for either one.
Apple also talked about two big new apps coming out for the iPad, the first is iMovie. We already have that for the iPhone 4. This iPad 2 version should see a lot of new features and better yet its the same app, so looks like upgrading the app now if you have it now for the iPhone 4 will get you a new version for your iPhone 4 and allow you to use it on the iPad 2 as well.
The second big app is Garage Band for iPad. So this looks really cool, looks like it goes way beyond the actual garage band for Mac, by allowing you to play all these different instruments using the touch-screen, and it also includes a lot of the basic editing stuff that’s available on the Mac version of Garage Band. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one!
With so many different models its hard to pin down an actual price on the iPad, it depends on which one you want. But the base, wi-fi only model’s going to sell for $499 for the 16 gig version. And all of the different models are going to be available next Friday, March 11th.
It was also great to see Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who has taken a step back from day to day operations at the company make the announcements today. Hope you enjoy the overview of the iPad 2. ‘Till next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.