We opened the stream early to do full coverage of Apple's iPad event. Sure, you already know everything there is to know about the iPad. But just think of the fun you can have reliving this glorious event with us! (sarcmark)
Unfortunately for iPhone owners, it appears that features included in the new Apple iPad OS won't be compatible with Apple's phone.
According to Engadget, Apple's updated human interface guidelines describe new User Interface(UI) elements, split view and popovers as "iPad-only" features. Though this shouldn't come as a surprise since those UI elements were built for larger displays, it may mean that developers are going to have a tough time making some apps work on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
Even more interesting is the fact that the new SDK shows support for … Read more
For many people, it's a safe bet that the iPad will not replace or preclude the purchase of a Netbook. A quick look at the specifications and it's pretty obvious why.
As this tweet succinctly put it: "What has no webcam, no multitasking, no HDMI port, and (possibly) no Flash, and costs $500? Hint: Not a netbook." This tweet, of course, is referring to the Apple iPad. And, by the way, you can eliminate the parenthetical; the iPad definitely does not support Adobe Flash video. (Also see this post at Gizmodo.)
But specifications aside, here's … Read more
The Apple iPad is a bit of a misfit. Like an iPod Touch with a glandular problem, a complicated pricing scheme, and a name that will fuel weeks of late-night comedy monologues, the iPad has a rough road ahead of it.
More importantly, I'm a fan of disruptive technology--and for all the snickering, jaded, eye-rolling comments the iPad will get, it is going to change the way we think about mobile technology beyond the smartphone.
I'll get on my editorial jag in a minute, but first, let's spell out the specs. The iPad measures 7.47 inches wide by 9.56 inches tall by 0.5 inch thick, and weighs 1.5 pounds. Held in your hands, the dimensions and heft have a natural, magazine-like feel.
The screen is a glass-covered, oleophobic, LED-backlit, 9.7-inch capacitive touch screen that uses IPS (in-plane switching) technology for above-average viewing angles. Maximum screen resolution is 1,024x768 pixels. Video output is available using a dock adapter, but HDMI is not supported, and output resolution is constrained to 480p. Below the screen is a home button that looks and behaves exactly like the button found on the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Matte aluminum wraps around the backs and sides of the iPad, tapering a bit around the edges. If you've ever held one of the latest unibody MacBooks, you know exactly the kind of feel and finish of the iPad's aluminum. Unlike the polished chrome of the iPod or glossy plastic of the iPhone, the back of the iPad seems less likely to show fingerprints and wear. Like any Apple product, though, expect to see a boatload of cases and screen protectors for the iPad by the time it launches in April.
The buttons, switches, and ports around the edges of the iPad will be familiar to any iPhone owner. A 30-pin dock connector sits on the bottom, along with a small integrated speaker; a volume rocker button and mute switch sit on the right side, and a screen lock, a headphone jack, and a pinhole microphone sit up top.
Under the hood you're looking at a 1GHz A4 processor of Apple's own making, along with 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1, and a compass. Battery life is rated at 10 hours, and three storage capacities are available, including 16GB ($499), 32GB ($599), and 64GB ($699). A line of iPads with 3G wireless data support (microSIM) are due out in May with the same capacity range, only it will cost $130 extra for each respective model (i.e., $629, $729, and $829). If you go the 3G route, you'll also need to pay for an additional data plan (currently provided by AT&T with no contract), setting you back $14.99 a month for 250MB of data, or $29 for "unlimited" usage. As data plans go, those prices are very reasonable, but they are tied to the device and can't be shared with your phone or other Internet-capable devices.
Features Man, oh man--where to start? First off, let's be clear that the iPad is running a version of the iPhone OS (version 3.2 on the model I handled), and not a version of Apple's full-blown Mac OS. Aside from a few new features (such as iBooks) and a handful of interface tweaks to take advantage of the larger screen, the iPad operates very much like a scaled-up version of the iPod Touch.
Apps that have been around since the iPhone's beginning, such as e-mail, photos, notes, an iPod, calendar, contacts, maps, YouTube, and the Safari Web browser, are all installed on the iPad. Each of these apps, however, has undergone a makeover for the iPad's larger screen size. For instance, apps such as contacts and calendar now offer a split-pane view, allowing more content to spill out onto the screen. The iPod app now looks and behaves like a pared-down version of iTunes, complete with multiple library views, and the capability to create both standard and Genius playlists.
The most impressive app makeover by far, though, is Apple's photo app.… Read more
The comparison between the Amazon Kindle and the Apple iPad are inevitable, especially with Apple announcing its new iBooks store. We've speculated on their differences and if one is really better than the other (let us know what you think), but here's a simple feature-by-feature comparison chart just to make things easier.Amazon Kindle Apple iPad Display E-ink display. Kindle is 6 inches diagonally; Kindle DX is 9.7 inches diagonally. Not a touch screen. 9.7-inch LED (IPS) backlit display. Supports multitouch. Hardware Kindle is 10.2 ounces, Kindle DX is 18.9 ounces. Both are 0.… Read more
One of the key features of the new Apple iPad is the introduction of Apple's new iBooks application, which promises to be both an e-book reader and a storefront for digital books. This obviously leads to a comparison between the iPad and that other famous e-book reader, the Amazon Kindle. But it seems to me that the only real advantage the iPad might have over the Kindle is that it's in color, which doesn't make much of a difference with simple black-and-white text.
But what about books that depend on color, art, and illustration? Indeed, what about … Read more
In case you missed it, Apple on Wednesday unveiled the long-rumored and even longer-awaited iPad, a tablet computer in the same family as the iPod Touch and iPhone. Some of my friends and colleagues are excited about the device. Indeed, it features a fairly amazing design, has a 10-hour battery life, and already has 140,000 apps in the iTunes App Store that run on it. And the inclusion of Amazon's book store is a coup.
But it's not at all what it could have been.
It's not that it isn't cool--it is, technically. But I was underwhelmed. And it's not because of the rampant rumors flying around the Internet in the last few weeks but rather because there are some simple things I had hoped--and a couple I had assumed--would be featured that aren't. Here are just five of them.
The aspect ratio isn't wide screen When the iPhone was introduced, Steven Jobs specifically said it was a "wide-screen iPod." People had been clamoring for one for a while, so Apple delivered it as an iPhone component. Sure, it wasn't the actual 16:9 many wanted, but it was better than the standard definition 4:3 that the current crop of iPods was sporting.
And the latest versions of the Nano are also wide screen. Apple TV supports 16:9 natively, so why is the iPad--with 1,024x768 pixel resolution--stuck in the world of 4:3? Apple says it plays back HD video, which technically it does, but with down-converting. HD video at 720p, which is what the iPad supports, is 720x1,280. With a maximum width of 1024 pixels, the iPad really plays back true 720p--which uses 16:9, anything else isn't truly "720p"--video at 576x1,024. That's not much better than 480p.
There are LCD screens out there in the same relative size range as the iPad that are true HD-proportioned. Why didn't Apple use one of these?
Video output is supported but only at 480p I could have forgiven the limited screen size if the device offered true HD output. It doesn't. Again, why not? The new proprietary Apple processor seems powerful enough to power 720p video, yet it's restricted.
It may be to keep from cannibalizing sales of the Apple TV, a device that Apple is somehow still supporting and one that truly does output crystal-clear 720p video.… Read more
Now that the dawn of the iPad is upon us, the inevitable comparisons between Apple's wundertablet and the Kindle--and what it all means for Amazon--have begun in earnest.
For example, in its write-up of the iPad launch, The New York Times said that Apple's new deals with five major publishers basically amounted to a declaration of war. "The announcement puts Apple on a collision course with Amazon," the Times said. And Steve Jobs, while praising Amazon for pioneering the e-book category, told the world that, "we are going to stand on their shoulders and go a little bit farther."
That may very well be true, especially when it comes to stuff like comic books, graphic novels, textbooks, and interactive children's stories, but the war we're looking at isn't the war we're used to seeing in the consumer electronics world, where one piece of gear simply is superior, sexier--and better-priced--than another.
From the get-go, as soon as rumors surfaced about an Apple tablet, many a tech pundit made his or her readers aware that such a device would make for a very strong e-reader. After all, since the iPhone and iPod Touch are already good e-readers, it was pretty easy to assume that an Apple tablet would be that much better because it had a larger screen. And no doubt it will be.… Read more
Steve Jobs said, in introducing the iPad, that it fits in the market between smartphones and computers. It does more than a phone, less than a full computer, at a cost in between those products. This an interesting and difficult sales prospect, since few people in this economy are looking for yet another class of computing product to spend money on, especially one in the too-big-to-pocket and too-small-to-do-work-on category. Putting economics aside, the iPad is certainly attractive. Bring the real world back into the picture, and the iPad looks like an indulgence--a luxury product for geeks and Apple fanboys.
This … Read more
Apple's iPad was probably the most talked about unannounced devices in the technology space over the past year, but did it live up to all of the rumors and speculation? At least a couple industry analysts who spoke with CNET after the event in San Francisco think so.
"Apple threw it down today," said Michael Gartenberg, vice president of strategy and analysis at market research firm Interpret. "They (Apple) came and did what they needed to do."
Van Baker, research vice president at technology research firm Gartner, agreed. "It's a home run. You … Read more