Apple has just made the final version of iOS 4.3 available to anyone with a developer account. You can grab the downloads for build 8F190 for iPhone 4 and 3GS, iPad, and iPod touch 3rd and 4th generation now. The iOS 4.3 SDK is also at GM status with build 10M2518, and you can grab that as well. All the rest of you, expect iOS 4.3 to launch alongside iPad 2 on March 11.
No, the Apple iPad 2 is not a game changer. Instead it simply, firmly establishes Apple once again as the front-runner in the tablet wars. Apple and chief executive Steve Jobs (who made an appearance and received a standing ovation) focused on all the right areas to ensure that the Apple iPad will remain the tablet you have to rule out before you buy any others.
As I predicted, Apple added not one, but two cameras. This makes perfect sense, though I was not particularly happy to hear an Apple exec say on stage that the iPad is perfectly suited for these cameras and FaceTime. Why couldn't the first-generation iPad, which I own, also have been considered perfect for at least one camera? Apple didn't say anything about the resolution on the cameras, though we know the rear one can capture 720P, more or less - the Apple definition for "High Definition." Please, no one tell Steve Jobs that someone on the iPad team sneaked by an accessory that outputs full 1080p from the device (more on that later).
At today's Apple event, where the world was first introduced to the iPad 2, one thing stood out to me above everything else. Many of the new features and specs had been leaked, or correctly guessed, months ago, but no one knew that Apple would pour its innovative energies into a case for the new device. But they did, and the new Smart Cover might be the best case I've ever seen for a mobile device.
The Smart Cover is a single sheet, made of either polyurethane or leather and either pink, orange, green, blue, several shades of gray, black, cream or red. It snaps magnetically onto the side of the iPad, and closes over top of the screen. It protects the parts of the iPad that need protecting—the screen—and leaves the parts that don't—the rugged, aluminum back and sides—to the elements. It makes the case thin, the iPad lighter, and best of all makes the case and iPad extremely easy to separate. The magnetic system should work like the MagSafe adapters on Mac computers, which are a popular feature.
In the lead-up to the iPad 2 announcement, many were predicting that Apple would give the tablet's 9.7-inch screen a bump in resolution. But when Steve Jobs revealed the second-generation iPad to the world, it had the same pixel count as the first one: 1,024x768, even though the display was revamped to be considerably thinner. Why no extra pixels?
Looking at the history of the display on the iPhone offers some clues. Apple kept the display of the iPhone at the same 480x320-pixel resolution for the first three versions of the phone, and when it finally upgraded the display for the iPhone 4, the bump was huge, doubling the display resolution to 960x640 pixels. The upgrade also introduced the term "retina display," a piece of marketing jargon that Apple doesn't quantify, but generally means a display that is better than the limits of human vision.
Of course, bargain is a relative term when you're dealing with Apple. The original iPads are now $100 cheaper than they were at launch, meaning the most affordable tablet starts at $399. But with iPad competitors like the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab running about $600, spending $399 for tablet that started it all isn't too bad of a deal.
At this point, the Wi-Fi version of the iPad is available for $399 for the 16GB, $499 for the 32GB, and $599 for 64GB. For Wi-Fi + 3G, the 16GB is now $529, the 32GB is $629, and the 64GB is $729.
Those interested in a first-gen iPad, however, might want to hurry. Apple is reportedly slowing down production of the original tablet to make room for the iPad 2, which debuts on March 11.
Read More | iPad clearance
Hot on the heels of the iPad 2 announcement, Gazelle has announced limited-time prices at which you can trade in your original iPad for cash. Why would you wanna do that? Well, with the iPad 2 set to be released in nine days, the easiest way to upgrade is to sell your current device to get cash to put down towards the new one. In fact, depending on the condition of your current model, you could even walk away with enough money to cover the cost of a new iPad 2, and have some left over to put in the bank (or to buy a Smart Case or something.) If you want to take a look at what you could get for trading in your current iPad, here’s the list:
- 64GB iPad Wi-Fi + 3G: $595
- 32GB iPad Wi-Fi + 3G: $552
- 16GB iPad Wi-Fi + 3G: $446
- 64GB iPad Wi-Fi: $463
- 32GB iPad Wi-Fi: $437
- 16GB iPad Wi-Fi: $375
Just choose your iPad model above, and answer the questions they ask about the condition of your device, and you’ll see the amount that you will be paid for it. If you are cool with it, accept the offer, and ship your iPad--they email you a postage-paid label, and will even mail you a box if you don't have one. Couldn’t get any easier.
Read More | Gazelle
At this mornings iPad 2 event, Apple showed the video above for the first time. It's about six minutes long, and gives a peek into everything you should expect from the new iPad, as well as some details about what's going on under the hood, and a look at the new iMovie and Garageband iPad apps.
Apple just announced the iPad 2 at their March 2 event, and it's pretty much what many of us expected - thinner, lighter, faster, with dual FaceTime cameras and much faster dual-core A5 chip. The A5 is twice as fast as the A4 chip, and graphics performance is up to nine times faster than the original iPad, which is, you know, insane. Despite all that new speed, battery life is the same, and the iPad will run for 10 hours straight, with 30 days standby time. Also unchanged is the price, as the iPad will start at $499 and will be available in the same configurations as the previous model - this time though, you can choose between Verizon and AT&T for the 3G model. Screen resolution remains the same at 1024 x 768, which is fine for now. The iPad 2 is 33% thinner than the original, and as you can see in the image above, will ship in both black and white colors.
Apple is also finally (finally!) releasing an HDMI adapter, which will mirror the iPad 2 on an external display at 1080p resolution. This'll run you $39, but we're sure that there are many out there that'll snap that accessory up quickly. The rear camera will be capable of recording 720p video at 30fps, while the front camera will do VGA resolution, also at 30fps.
Apple has redesigned the cover for the iPad 2, and they're calling the new accessory a "Smart Cover." It's a magnetic cover that sticks tot he display, and automatically wakes the iPad 2 when removed. It folds up and turns into a little stand for both viewing and typing mode. They'll cost $39 for the polyurethane, and $69 for the leather version.
The iPad 2 goes on sale on March 11 at 5:00 pm at Apple Stores. If you were thinking of ordering online instead to get it ahead of time, think again--Apple isn't going to be taking orders for the device until launch day. Hey, they've gotta make sure there are lines at stores, because those look good on the news, y'know?
Read More | iPad 2
Apple's March 2 event is all but guaranteed to bring us the iPad 2, most likely with dual cameras and a revamped OS. It arrives two months after CES 2011, to a landscape littered with tablets from scores of manufacturers, most of them with one thing in common: they are running Google's Android OS. But only a handful of them run Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), the first Android tablet OS. Can tablets like the Motorola Xoom—the first Honeycomb device—take on the iPad?
If the past is any indicator, it doesn't look good. This has less to do with quality of product, however, and more to do with the manner in which the product is brought to the public.
The clear advantage Apple has over just about every competitor—except perhaps for RIM—is that it relies on no external manufacturers for its products. To clarify: of course Apple needs to farm out production of the components that make up its devices to OEMs, but when you see a new iPad, it is from Apple, running an Apple OS, for sale at the Apple store. The closest Apple comes to working with other companies is its partnerships with Verizon and AT&T for the iPhone and iPad. For the most part, however, Apple is its own, self-controlling entity. With no company—other than the carriers and OEMs— with which to coordinate, Apple can create a realistic product release timeline and stick to it.
It's been a year since Apple took the wraps off its first tablet. In those past 12 months, the iPad hasn't had too much serious competition, and has easily dominated the tablet market. But with the recent introduction of Google's tablet-specific Honeycomb Android OS on devices like the Motorola Xoom, the tablet space is finally starting to get interesting.
And while other companies like HP, Motorola, and RIM are releasing first-generation tablets, Apple is set to unveil its second-gen iPad tomorrow. The invites have been sent, and the blogosphere is bursting with all sorts of ideas about what the 'iPad 2' might look like. But as anyone who follows Apple knows, nothing is certain until it's unveiled on stage in San Francisco. Here are 11 ways Apple could knock it out of the park with its next iPad:
Add a Verizon 3G iPad
The fact that Verizon started selling the Wi-Fi-Only iPad with a Mi-Fi bundle back in October, and since the iPhone 4 landed at Verizon last month, we can't see a reason why the next iPad wouldn't be available on both AT&T and Verizon. There could be an existing exclusivity agreement where AT&T would get the iPad 2 first, and then Verizon would follow sometime later, but my fingers are crossed that this won't happen.
Even Better, Make it a 4G Verizon iPad
Verizon's 4G network has been up and running since December, and the first LTE phones are expected any day now. Also, if you buy a Motorola Xoom, it comes with the promise of a free future 4G upgrade. Why not the iPad 2? Hopefully, the accompanying data plan wouldn't be prohibitively expensive.