Apple is doing it again.
Today they announced the release of the iPad – said to be better than the iPhone or a netbook for browsing the web. The familiar apps used with the iPhone will be used with this device.
It will be the same size as the Amazon Kindle, 1.5 pounds with a 9.7 inch display. The expected battery life is 10 hours – it can stay on standby for up to a month – and it will come with the usual networking hookups, such as WiFi and Bluetooth. Of course, interactivity is done via touch screen. Typing is done via an on-screen QWERTY keyboard – something I’m personally not huge on, but from what I have seen that’s one very minor flaw. Personal opinion, anyway.
For the artist, the iPad is a digital easel. At the launch, the Paint program named “Brushes” looked as if it were real painting without the mess, especially on the hi-res screen.
A representative from gaming company Gamesoft unveiled their first-person shooter specifically for the touch interface called “Nova.” It is yet to be fully developed, but still looks interesting to me, as motions are done with the touch of a finger – much like the Nintendo DS.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said at the revealing of the device that it will be great for browsing the web, and all of the apps will be redesigned to fit the larger screen. According to Gdgt Live and ReadWriteWeb, the screen is very crisp and able to handle high-resolution games. EA has teamed up with Apple to develop games for the iPad, so far showing “Need For Speed” and an MLB baseball game.
Storage wise – the iPad can hold 16 to 64 GB of internal memory. Its processor will be the 1 GHz Apple A4 chip, which is custom made by Apple.
Another highlight is the ability to use Google’s StreetView with their map application.
As far as books go, Jobs has recently announced a partnership with five different publishing companies, including Penguin Books, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster. Jobs acknowledged Amazon being the pioneer of the ebook, and Apple will stand on their shoulders for their “iBook” app.
Data plans have been announced as well – 250 MB of data for $14.99 a month, and $29.99 a month for unlimited data. Of course, AT&T is the exclusive carrier – free usage of AT&T hotspots is included as well. No contracts, your data plan is prepaid.
Now – the big one. Pricing. The 16, 32 and 64 GB WiFi models will be $499, $599 and $699, respectively. If you want WiFi plus 3G coverage, the prices go up to $629, $729 and $829, respectively.
The WiFi units ship in 60 days, while the 3G units ship in 90 days.
There is also a docking station that attaches a slim QWERTY keyboard.
Basically, the iPad is a larger, more powerful iPhone. It will have iTunes, of course, with the ability to show album art.
And now he’s touting how many people go to the Apple Store and how many apps have been downloaded.
Of course, Jobs bragged about Apple being the largest mobile device company – and he’ll have much more room to brag with the release of this particular device.