Wednesday, March 2, 2011

All eyes on Apple... the iPad 2 [u]

Here we go, just ten minutes before the iPad 2 announcement and whatever else might be in store for us tech-hungry savages.

My predictions, if I must guess, will be a revamped, slightly redesigned iPad with a thinner body and at least a front facing camera for FaceTime. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that there won't be a back camera—for reasons I'm not quite sure of. I only suggest that because it seems odd to hold up a large tablet device to take pictures with. And I'm not sure Apple thinks that would be so user-friendly.

For the internals, I'm guess a faster processor, updated graphics performance—what chip they'll use for graphics is beyond my ability to even guess—but I'm sure we'll see something like the "A5" somewhere in the presentation. And there will most definitely be more RAM—512MB at least.

As for the display, I doubt a retina display will be any part of the new iPad. That's just way too many pixels for such tiny hardware and battery to be able to support well—at least for the time being.

My next guess is that it will surely be sporting some new version of iOS, though I doubt iOS 5 will be ready just yet. If so they do show iOS 5, it will be a preview of the OS and only available on new iPads once they're release a month or so from now, which leads me to my next prediction:

The updated iPad won't be immediately available for purchase, rather that Apple will allow pre-orders starting today on their website for shipment later this month or sometime in April.

And lastly, I doubt Apple will rename the iPad as "iPad 2." Instead, they'll opt for "the new iPad" to label their tablet product.

We'll see how all this turns out in just a few minutes...


Well, it looks like I was right on a few things and wrong on a few things...

The iPad 2 is redesigned with a thinner body, it does have a FaceTime camera, the A5 chip with faster graphics and CPU performance, no retina display, no iOS 5, and it won't ship immediately.

However, I was wrong, first and foremost, on the name. It is called "iPad 2," and not "the new iPad." Although it's worth noting only the word "iPad" is etched into the back of the iPad 2, much like how the word "iPhone" has remained the only label on the back of each iPhone iteration. And though I had not thought about it, there will also be a white version available for launch along with the black version.

Next, there is a camera on the front as well as the back unlike I had predicted. And apparently the back camera is capable of HD video of 720p.

Some of the biggest improvements to the iPad that nobody had been aware of was the addition of iMovie and Garageband for iPad. Both multimedia software suites are incredibly advanced—and not just for a small tablet device. Both new Apple-developed apps rival high-dollar desktop apps in capability and diversity of available effects and software instruments. I'm extremely excited to try them out, being a musician and occasional film editor. To top it all off, each of these apps are to be available with the release of iPad 2, both for an incredible price of $4.99 each.

With software advances like these, Motorola and Android tablet competitors have to be shaking in their cubicles.

Other things of note are the PhotoBooth software, the new case/cover design, the HDMI output (which is freaking awesome), more AirPlay support in other video apps, HomeSharing of iTunes material over WiFi for iPad, and 17K new book titles available on the iBookStore thanks to a deal with Random House Publishing, Inc.

Looks like they're not allowing pre-orders yet. All the fun begins all at once next Friday, March 11. Sales of the iPad start at 5 p.m.

Any let downs?

I personally don't like the look of the device from the back. That also might be a reason they didn't quite reveal the back too often during the presentation. There seem too many switches and holes scattering the super-flat, bland looking back. The fact that it's thinner is kinda lost on me. Seems like just getting the thinnest it can possibly be doesn't make much sense when that new available space could be used for a bigger battery for an ungodly amount of battery life.

And I think that will do it. You'll see me in line this go-around at an Atlanta Apple store.

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