Apple unveils iPad tablet computer | iLounge News


Apple unveils iPad tablet computer

Apple today unveiled its new iPad, an iPhone OS-based slate tablet computer capable of running “almost all” of the apps available in the App Store, as well as new apps tailored specifically for the device. The iPad physically resembles an oversized iPod touch, with a 9.7-inch, 1024-by-768-pixel screen dominating the front and a black bezel surrounding it. The back is made from a solid piece of aluminum, with a 30-pin dock connector and speaker on the bottom, and volume, sleep/wake, and headphone ports around the other sides.

“iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.”

Photos of the new iPad tablet computer can be found in our Flickr photostream. Also available is a standard 10-minute Apple iPad interface walkthrough video on YouTube, or watch a higher-resolution, 12-minute version of the video on Vimeo. We’ve posted a third version of the video in 720p HD on Vimeo!

The device runs an advanced version of iPhone OS that allows it to run most of the apps currently available on the App Store, as well as modified apps that take advantage of the higher-resolution screen. Non-optimized iPhone applications can be run as coded in a small box in the middle of the screen, or can be run in “2X” mode, with the iPad scaling their resolution up to match the larger screen. The slide to unlock screen remains largely unchanged, while the main home screen has been enhanced to offer user-selectable backgrounds and an OS X-like reflective dock for the bottom row of applications. In on-screen demos, apps have pop-up menus, resembling those on the iPhone, but enclosed in their own hovering boxes as to not obstruct the rest of the screen. The iPad also employs an on-screen QWERTY keyboard that is described as “almost life-sized,” and, as with the iPhone and iPod touch, most specialized applications work in both vertical and horizontal orientation.

The iPad will offer enhanced versions of apps controlling its music, photo, video, and mail features, with the music app now resembling iTunes more than ever, complete with a selection of playlists and Library selections off to one side and differing views in the main column. Similar upgrades to the photo, video—which now includes both standard- and hi-definition YouTube—and mail applications were also shown. Apple also announced iPad-specific versions of its iWork applications, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, which are discussed more in-depth in a separate article. Also unique to the iPad is the new iBookstore, which offers a number of titles, both consumer and educational, all presented full-screen with page-turning animations and selectable font and size.

The iPad’s hardware includes the 9.7-inch IPS LED-backlit LCD display, an internal battery good for up to 10 hours of battery life, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 EDR wireless networking, a speaker, microphone, compass, accelerometer, and a custom 1GHz Apple A4 processor, which helps boost the battery life. Apple will be offering 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions of the iPad, both with and without microGSM 3G networking, for $499, $599, and $699, respectively, for the non-3G versions, and $629, $729, and $829, respectively, for 3G-enabled models. The 3G versions will support speeds up to 7.2 Mbps on HSDPA networks, and will also offer assisted GPS location capabilities. In addition, the company has worked out a deal with AT&T to offer no-contract 3G wireless data at the price of $15/month for up to 250MB of data, and unlimited data for $30 per month, either of which can be activated directly from the device. Wi-Fi-only models of the iPad will be available in 60 days, or at the end of March, while 3G-equipped models will be available in 90 days, or near the end of April.

« Apple announces iBookstore for iPad

WSJ: Apple seeking $10-$15 e-book pricing »

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Someone opined that the iPad was solving a problem that didn’t exist or was better addressed by other devices. I disagree. Don’t underestimate the combination of screen size, touch and gesture user interface, portability and simplicity that make it uniquely suited to address a number of opportunities (the flip side of problems)

First, the still-huge body of people who are not comfortable with computers but who still want to be able to do neat and useful things like web surfing and email. They see others doing fun and useful activities like these but the complexities of Windows 7 or even the Mac OS are barriers to entry for them - as well as how to interact with computers. Those of us who have used computers for a long time take the mouse-driven/keyboard based interface as natural, but it’s a poor substitute in many applications for direct touch and gesture, as well as potentially causing repetitive motion injury. I could see several members of my family who only use computers at work or when forced to, who would take to this kind of device. A huge target audience.

Second, people with vision or dexterity limitations. The iPhone/Touch iPod, as well as mice and keyboards, may be more difficult to use for them than a larger touch-tablet type device.

Third, readers. Reading books on such a small screen (like the iPhone) even for me isn’t the best. And navigating magazine and newspapers and web sites even with the touch interface is time consuming. A larger screen with its more regular size display of such media, and combining touch interaction with them, makes reading more natural. The Kindle, while superior for straight text, doesn’t ahve the embedded video and color capabilities.

Fourth, media. Old time newspapers and magazines are dying. Having a device where they can deliver rich multimedia content with which people can interact via touch is a huge opportunity for their businesses. See how many news apps have been downloaded to iPhones, and the iPad’s larger screen makes it a much more ideal device. The number of people who read newspapers and magazines on regular computers is relatively small as compared to the total population who would read them on a friendlier device. Expect to see great innovation here.

So I think there are huge opportunities and audiences for the iPad or similar type devices. Although it’s clearly a version 1.0 device, I hope it is successful enough to spur Apple and others to continue to innovate these types of devices.

Posted by wh on January 28, 2010 at 3:42 PM (CST)


I think it’s beautiful. And it’s the future way to go.  We need to find new ways to have newspapers and books without cutting trees.  And computers are getting smaller.  Who knows, 15 yrs from now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the trend in computers will be iPad.  There are always stepping stones. 

I love my iPod, but I’d love to have more room to see various screens at once.  When I was in grad school, browsing through 4 books/journals at once was heavy work.. literally.

Posted by barrie on January 28, 2010 at 3:56 PM (CST)


@wh: You are ignoring the simple reality of the device - like an iPod or an iPhone, it is NOT a stand alone device. It’s a partner to a larger iTunes library hosted on a standard computer. If you aren’t able to handle general computing, you’re not going to be able to handle the iPad.

Never mind that I categorically reject this assumption that full scale touch and gesture based computing is somehow more intuitive and less prone to repetitive stress injuries than the standard mouse and keyboard. I can do everything on my 21” widescreen monitor by never moving my hand more than a couple of inches. If my mother, a woman who found an iPod, even after I set up everything to the point that all she had to do was use it and plug it into her computer every few days, too complicated to the point she just gave it back to me, can handle a mouse and keyboard, I simply don’t believe the premise. My mom is all but technologically retarded, let alone illiterate, the notion that reducing the interface to something my 2 y.o. “intuitively” grasps is going to open up a world for people who can’t handle a KB & mouse interface after 30 years of ubiquity is pie in the sky thinking.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on January 28, 2010 at 4:12 PM (CST)


CM, from the “Ergonomenon” article “Why the Mouse Causes RSI”

“For several reasons, the mouse is the worst offender when it comes to computing injury. Repetitive Strain Injury occurs as a result of the cummulative effect of seemingly small actions carried out over a long period of time, eventually leading to unbearable strain on the muscles.

Many people develop RSI in their mouse hand. The mouse causes the extensors to tighten in order to hold the fingers slightly above the mouse buttons. The slight but constant tension causes a cummulative injury effect. The constant movement back and forth from the mouse to the keyboard can also lead to severe elbow pain. The position of dorsiflexion (holding the mouse with your wrist bent upwards) is another cause of RSI.”

The situation described is NOT experienced in touch screen interaction.

Here’s an excerpt from Articlesbase “Ergonomic Mouse, Trackpad or Touch Screen? Today’s Computer Mouse Concerns”

There Are So Many Other Reasons Touch Technology Is Booming and The Computer Mouse Days are Numbered:

Touchscreens and Trackpads:

Eliminate the computer mouse, which removes a lot of chronic injuries

Efficient and fast

Eliminate more cords and makes traveling with a computer easier

The speed, efficiency and excitement of touch technology has got people talking. Could the end of the famous computer mouse be near? If it is true, not many of us will be too sad about it.

If you notice at a lot of retail stores (just noticed this at the cafeteria and McDonalds) touch pads are ubiquitous at the check out counter, not mice and keyboards.

Posted by wh on January 28, 2010 at 4:42 PM (CST)


Oh my, now we’re grasping. Touch screens are ubiquitous because food gets in keyboards and they’re easier to redo customized keypads layouts for a given store’s tasks, full stop. And a trackpad is better than touch screen any day for general computing. Spin all you want, Steve has given us something nobody was asking for.

Will it work, probably, will it work well, maybe, is it an actual *improvement*? Almost certainly not.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on January 28, 2010 at 5:21 PM (CST)


It’s a beautiful piece of art. Not new, but still great looking. I am the first one to try anything new and or improved. But I have also learned like all apple products, never buy the 1st gen. I did not buy an iphone until ATT started carrying it. By that time, Apple already had it down pat. Patience is the key here since Apple will get it right and then we will all have one just like we all have an ipod and an iphone.

Posted by Bzybl on January 28, 2010 at 6:02 PM (CST)


Well, I see you ignored the ergonomics information that contradicted your beliefs. Also, this type of device was never meant to be a “general computing” device so that comment seems irrelevant.

I still contend is that this type of computer - doesn’t have to be the iPad, I hope there are better ones coming including iPad 2.0 and 3.0 - but something that has the general characteristcs of:

- Size and quality of display
- Performance
- Touch Interface
- Simplicity
- Applications and content availability

will meet the needs of a large audience that aren’t being served as well in existing technology. And there have been lots of technologies that people didn’t ask for but which have been very successful and transformative.

I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree until history has its say. Until then, adios and best wishes.

Posted by wh on January 28, 2010 at 6:08 PM (CST)


It’s clear that many of the posts on here are plants.

Posted by Dick Bacon on January 28, 2010 at 6:43 PM (CST)


I’m not going to hate on the iPad. I actually think it’s an interesting concept. For example, say you’re a professional who just bought one of those crazy 27” iMacs with the i7. I - er, they won’t want to have to use another computer or iPhone or DVD to present work when they travel. The iPad is also great as a casual device if you have the kind of budget to afford it. Apple may be wrong in some areas, but they are right in that it accomplishes things like reading the news and drawing much better than a computer or an iPhone does. I like the idea of iPad as a collaborative device too: think of people sitting around a table looking at a picture, drawing collectively on a whiteboard, or bringing in a guest speaker through Skype (with a camera?).

Also, for all those App Store complaints, please remember that there are at least 4 other options. They’re called Cydia, Installer, Icy, and Rock. You can bet that the dev team will soon be jailbreaking this thing.

I’m sold on this thing - or at least I would be if it wasn’t missing two deal-breaking features: a camera of some kind (preferably front-facing) and satisfactory video out. I’m a student, but I do some freelance video editing and design. I can see the iPad as being a great companion to my Mac and iPhone.

I’m waiting till November or so, when you can bet that there will be a second-generation iPad with 16GB starting at $399.

Let me put it this way - it’s basically half a MacBook right now. In capability and in specs. It’s also the price of half a MacBook.

Posted by J Roth on January 28, 2010 at 6:57 PM (CST)


Bottom line, Folks:

Despite what Apple would have us believe, it’s been done before and it’s being done now by others. And the others are doing it better.

Look around for tablet options available right now. I’m sure you’ll be surprised.

As I read somewhere else… “iDud”.

Posted by ShaneR on January 28, 2010 at 9:01 PM (CST)


What they need to do is to combine the iBookstore with iTunes and call it something new, such “iMedia” (but keep it free). The iBookstore needs to be available like iTunes software is for Windows PC and Mac OS X, because if you buy a book or add one (somehow) that you already have in the ePub format, how do you back it up? You have a right to back up whatever software you buy. In the case of iTunes, it was music, TV shows, and movies you could back it up. It is a bit ridiculous that Apple did not seem to have enough foresight at this juncture to mention that software to access it would be also available on Windows PC and Mac OS X. I hate that it only seems to be available as software and as an APP on the iPad. That is simply ridiculous and shortsighted for a company that is supposed to see the big picture.

Posted by John Stockman on January 29, 2010 at 1:31 AM (CST)


Though I’ve not read all entries in this comment section, but the common opinion seems to be, that the iPad is a waste of time, since it’s nothing more then an oversized and overpriced iPod touch.

I tend to disagree. While from a first glance, it may seem just like a oversized iPod, it will allow for far more sophistacted applications, simply due to real estate of the iPad.

I agree, that the iPad as it was presented, reminds me a bit of the iPhone, when it was first shown. It still has rough edges, it misses some nice to have features.

But the lack of phantasy that many of the posters show, surprises me. What makes the iPad attractive is certainly not the hardware alone, it’s the software that is not yet developed. There will be loads of useful applications in the future, which will make the iPad a very viable notebook alternative. Though, I agree, it will never replace a notebook fully, but it has the potential to become a lot more then it is at the moment, even without changing the hardware.

As multitasking goes, my prediction is, that Apple released 3.2 a bit in a hurry, as they elevated the 3.1 iPhone firmware with the features of the iPad. In June / July, Apple will release OS 4.0, which will be again run on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. And I believe, many features will be available on both platforms, e.g. custom background on the iPhone and, very likely, tasks running in the background in some form. Also, my guess is, that the UI will be refined and iTunes will sooner or later also support the iBook shop.

As I said, I agree, everything seems again a bit rushed to publish the product, but the matter of fact is, without the device in our hands, it cannot evolve.

Regards, Marco…

Posted by Marco Heine on January 29, 2010 at 3:48 AM (CST)


@#108 - Are you in the U.S.? If so, AT&T had the iPhone from day one. So you did not wait for AT&T to carry the iPhone before buying one. That was the only option ever available (outside of jailbreaking).

Posted by Mitch on January 29, 2010 at 8:28 AM (CST)


I just cant wait theIPAD
1 very cheap
2 great graphics
3 light
4 great screen (my first LCD for my old pc cost me £350 and was rubbish)
5 Cheap apps, and lots of them.
6 looks cool
7 good build quality
8 very natural to use, with your hands.
I could go on, but just to say, since I moved over to apple mac, my life on a computer is lot more relaxed , no virus software slowing it down, no flags popping up, no defrag, quick start ups, no crashes, quiet, looks great in the living room, great software on the apple. and I now spend less, because I don’t have to keep buying new hardware to keep up with the operating system. You can keep Microsoft windows, hopefully will never use in again.

Can’t wait for the Ipad. this time next year everybody will want one, bet you see news reporters using them soon on TV, and schools getting them. what a dream to do my tax accounts using my fingers in front of the TV. Computing will never be the same again, this is for everyone to use. and at £400.
don’t forget the sinclare QL was £400 over 20 years ago, and that was total rubbish to use.

Posted by paul briggs on January 29, 2010 at 2:26 PM (CST)


Good day,
I’m in love with my Nexus One - superphone ( just updated yesterday -OTA- its so much better now about the 3G signal & more faster charging time ) - we still have the 2g iphone & 3gs but were using it as MP3 player in our cars - 09 RIDGELINE & 09 PILOT -
I called my friend who’s working on HTC in Houston - (he’s senior engineer-the best guy to ask about software & phones) ( USA-HTC repair center is in Houston,Texas ) he divulge something to me.
We moved for good from California - he worked with APPLE before & myself with Honda R&D and now we are in Texas ( hes in Houston, I’m in the best city in the USA - AUSTIN,TEXAS).
Here’s the big scoop guys, GOOGLE wants some share on HTC board & they will invest in the company for more products to be made by HTC for them, like the ultra advance tablet & more advance phones that is way better than the so called old technology ipad & iphone, who are just good in aesthetic appearance with APPLE logo on it ( i’ll bet all my money that whatever piece of crap they will make, people will buy it because of the name APPLE ) BUT if it is EMACHINES that even can do anything & will make your life easy and happy, still people will not buy it because its EMACHINE, people did you get it??? wake up!!!
Thats all for now…
Take care buddies & gurlies…
God bless y’all

Posted by Gabriel on January 29, 2010 at 2:45 PM (CST)


This is why you unlock or jailbreak your device to use it to its’ full capacity. Apple has to put some restrictions on there to protect her interests. Cannot understand why folk don’t get that. Until we get one of these babies in our hand, it’s still all conjecture. The potential for this device is infinite. The 3rd party developer environs will make this thing go a long way. When I saw this pad, I saw into the future. Like using this as your remote to control your home based electronics, starting your car, turn lights on and off in your house, pivot cameras for panning so you can see throughout the house while at work. Manipulating a Rovio w/ camera and speaker attached to keep an eye out for intruders in your home while away. Even the ability to see your kids @ the local daycare.  Since you have 3G you’re good to go. Think positive. This is only the beginning and Apple is just a spark. We the people are the ones to build upon this digital architecture.

Posted by Tesla on January 30, 2010 at 3:52 AM (CST)


I for one, plan on picking one up. It will replace my busted laptop for “lounging” duty. I have migrated back to desktops for real work.

I really don’t understand all the complaining about it not being revolutionary. I really don’t know what Apple could have done. Hologram projector? Mind control?

Posted by Greg Bell on January 30, 2010 at 11:08 AM (CST)


OMG what is so horrible about the tablet that everyone has to bash it. YOU GUYS EXPECT IT TO DO EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN! That’s what a laptop is for. This is suppose to primarily compete with the likes of the kindle, the nook and other ebook readers, and it sure surpasses them. It’s asthetically pleasing, filled with fun applications the go above and beyond what the kindle and others have. Give it a rest! If you want to do a freaking video confrence, watch hulu and things like that, do it on a laptop if you want to text, do it on the iphone. I think this will be a great product. Everyone is sooooo critical, it’s like if something succeeds at selling well you guys automatically have to bash it. Who cares if you don’t like Apple, or their products? Who cares if there are a lot iPad topics on this site? I myself was dell user, then when I bought my iphone I got hooked on the ease and fun of the OS/UI, and I fell in love and looked into a macbook pro. Purchased one and hate working on my PC at work, hate all you want but Apple makes great products, and guess what? if you don’t like it then you don’t have to buy one!!!!!!!!! just don’t bash it

Posted by marilicious0118 on January 30, 2010 at 2:08 PM (CST)


After all of the articles and blogposts I’ve realized what the mixed feelings are about. It was the demo, the presentation that was underwhelming. Is the product any good? We won’t know until we start playing with it. I personally have a couple of conditions that need to be met before I buy a 1.0 or 2.0 version of the iPad, which is the same way I looked at the iPhone.

That said, I went to lunch on Friday with the rest of my 12-person office, a small software R&D group in Silicon Valley (we don’t make any Mac or iPhone OS apps). We spent 15 minutes talking about the iPad and its impact. The consensus was that it’s a major evolutionary step, and at least 2 people (not including myself) will buy 1.0. There’s the natural gadgethead curiosity, but there’s also the love of simplicity and good design. That will do nothing but grow in the next 60-90 days and beyond.

Posted by marinelayer on January 30, 2010 at 3:31 PM (CST)


This is an awesome piece of technology for what it is. If you want a laptop buy a laptop. This is good for reading, email an the occasional app. It will be so much better for reading newspapers and magazines than anything available on the market now. I am looking forward to it.

Posted by Ken on January 30, 2010 at 3:36 PM (CST)

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