Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad today. Positioned between a smartphone and a laptop, the tablet does many of the same things as the iPhone, but on a bigger, more easily viewed screen. Demonstrating the iPad at an event in San Francisco, Jobs showed how it could be used for e-mail and Web browsing, viewing photos, managing calendars and contacts, listening to music, and viewing video.
We're not the only ones who've been following the rumors; Apple's been enjoying them, too.
Apple says that, today, we all use smartphones and laptops. But there's room for a third category of devices in the middle.
What fits in the middle? Apple's iPad, of course.
Hey, look, Steve Jobs just happens to have an iPad on hand.
The iPad is a half inch thin, and weighs just 1.5 pounds
The iPad is a slate that looks like a larger iPhone. It features a home button, an aluminum bezel like a MacBook, and a glass screen. You can personalize your home screen however you want.
The iPad will deliver 10 hours of battery life, Apple said, earning applause from the crowd. You could, for example, take it on a flight from San Francisco to Tokyo and watch video the whole way on one charge, Apple said. In addition, the iPad will offer over a month of standby battery life.
Like the iPhone and iPod Touch, Apple's iPad will come with access to the App Store. Apple says the iPad will run almost 140,000 apps right out of the box.
If you already have apps for your iPhone or iPod Touch, you can sync them to your iPad using your computer. You can run any of those apps on your iPad in their original size, or you can expand them to fill the screen.
MLB.com's Chad Evans showed off the MLB app for the iPad. He said they didn't just want to make their app biger, they wanted to create whole new experience. The MLB app for the iPad integrates live video of major league baseball games with data. You can, for example, navigate through the league scoreboard while watching the action. Or tap on a player to flip open his baseball card.
The iPad's e-mail client can handle attachments, and sports an interface that looks similar to the iPhone's Mail client.
The iPad features a 1-GHz Apple A4 chip, and 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of flash solid state storage.
The iPad's Calendar lets you choose your preferred viewing format: weeks, days, or months. The interface is similar to that of iCal.
The iPad handles music much like an iPod or an iPhone. Its interface is similar to the album view that you'd see when using iTunes on a Mac.
The iPad features a 30-pin connector, a built-in speaker and microphone, an accelerometer, and a compass. It supports 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, and 3G wireless networks.
Apple's iWork productivity apps, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, have been redesigned for use on the iPad. You can use the applications to create word processing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.
The iPad features a 9.7-inch high-definition (1024 by 768) screen so you can watch HD movies and TV shows, as well as podcasts and music videos. Apple says you can switch between wide-screen and full-screen viewing by tapping on the screen.
The iPad features a new Photos app that displays photos in an album as though they were in a stach. You can tap or pinch to open the stack, and the whole album opens up. You can flip through photos, zoom in or out, and watch slideshows.
The iPad runs Apple's Safari browser and, just like the iPhone, features a multi-touch screen. That means you can pinch and spread the screen to zoom in and out on Web pages. The iPad's browser also displays all of your open Web pages in a thumbnail view, so you can easily switch between them.
The iPad lets you view your mail in landscape or portrait mode. In landscape, e-mail is shown in a split-screen view so you can see the messages in your inbox, and the message you have open. If you rotate the iPad, the message will rotate automatically and fill the screen. You get an on-screen keyboard for composing messages.
Apple says game developers can easily modify their titles for the iPad's 9.7-inch screen.
While introducing the iPad, Steve Jobs also showed off iBooks, Apple's new e-book management app. iBooks is a free app, available from the App Store, that lets you purchase e-books from Apple's partners, which include Penguin, Harper-Collins, and Simon & Schuster. Once you purchase an e-book, it will be displayed on your bookshelf. From there, you tap it to read it.
The iPad will be available with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of memory. You can add 3G connectivity to each of them.
At 9.56 inches tall, 7.47 inches wide and a half-inch thick, the iPad weighs 1.5 lbs. (for the Wi-Fi model) to 1.6 lbs. (for the Wi-Fi + 3G model).
Available bells and whistles include a keyboard dock, USB power adapter, case, camera connection kit, and dock.
The LED-backlit glossy Multi-Touch display provides 1,024-by-768 pixel resolution at 132 ppi (pixels per inch). Buttons include the on/off (sleep/wake), mute, volume up/down and all-important home button.
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