The iPad was announced on January 27, 2010 at a special Apple event in San Francisco. The iPad is a portable multimedia created by Apple. The iPad is more powerful than a netbook. The iPad is a tablet computer (tablet Mac). The iPad device is located between the iPhone and the MacBook. Apple developed the iPad for specific tasks such as e-mail, photos, video, music, games and eBooks. Apple markets the iPad as The best way to experience the web, email, photos, and video. The tablet device has a 9.7-inch LED-backlit Multi-Touch in-plane switching color display running with XGA resolution, developed by Innolux, subsidiary of Foxconn.
The iPad has standard applications for personal information management including address book and calendar, but also embedded Safari, Google Maps, e-mail and Notes. Since the iPad is an intermediate device between the iPhone and the MacBook, Apple embedded a special version of iTunes to provide an optimized browsing experience. The announcement of the iPad came as a double meaning to Apple, since Apple announced that the iPad is equipped with Apple’s custom-designed 1 GHz Apple A4 processor, which features high performances and low-power system-on-a-chip.
Apple developed the iPad with an improved functionality than an iPhone/iPod touch. The iPad includes applications such as Safari, Mail, Photos, Video, YouTube, iPod, iTunes, App Store, iBooks, Maps, Notes, Calendar, Contacts, and Spotlight Search, borrowed from iPhone’s third generation OS, but improved for the iPad. However, the iPad doesn’t run the iPhone’s 3.1.2 OS and neither the Mac OS X, but an improved version of the third generation iPhone OS, iPhone OS v3.2. Moreover, the iPad will receive the latest iPhone OS, iPhone OS 4 within the fall of 2010. The Safari application enables web surfing in both landscape mode and portrait mode.
The navigation using Safari was improved form the one used by the iPhone. The usual commands were kept, such as scrolling through a page by flicking a finger up or down on the screen, or pinch to zoom in or out on a photo. The Mail application was also improved, providing a substantially improved user experience. The Mail application works with Yahoo!, Gmail, AOL, MobileMe, and Hotmail. The Photos application includes new features, allowing the user to use the iPad as a digital photo frame, and importing pictures not only from a computer, but also directly from a digital camera. The iPod application was rebuild, providing an iTunes user experience.
The App Store includes up to 140,000 applications available to run on iPad. The iBooks application is new, developed for the iPad and provides a new way to read and buy books. The iBooks application has its own store, called the iBookstore, including content from Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Penguin, Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins. iBooks application uses the open ePub standard which enables tables of contents and intuitive page navigation on the iPad. The iBook works in both portrait mode and landscape mode.
Apple included in the iPad a 9.7-inch LED backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology. The display is sufficient for web browsing, viewing photos, and depending on the movie, watching movies. The iPad’s display has a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, with 132 pixels per inch. However, there are several other features provided by the iPad’s display, including fingerprint resistant oleo phobic coating and support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously. Although the Multi-Touch screen embedded on the iPad is based on the iPhone, the technology was reengineered, improving the precision.
The connectivity standard splits the iPad into two categories, iPad Wi-Fi model and iPad Wi-Fi + 3G model. The first model of iPad has built-in 208.11n, automatically locating Wi-Fi networks, and Bluetooth version 2.1 + Enhanced Data Rate technology.
The Bluetooth is responsible for wireless connections with several devices, including the Apple Wireless Keyboard and wireless headphones. The 3G model includes the above features but also includes UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz) and GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz).
The iPad is equipped with a custom-designed 1 GHz Apple A4 processor. Because of the low consumption processor, the built-in 25 W battery (rechargeable lithium-polymer) offers up to 10 hours of Wi-Fi productivity, or up to 30 days of stand-by. In terms of storage, the iPad is offered in three capacities, 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB flash drive. The iPad also includes the accelerometer sensor and the ambient light sensor embedded within the iPhone and iPod touch.
The iPad features a 30-pin dock connector, built-in speakers, microphone, SIM card tray for the Wi-Fi + 3G model, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack. It also features the On/Off (or Sleep/Wake) button, Mute control, Volume up/down, and the Home button. The iPad can be synched via iTunes 9.0 with a Mac computer running at least Mac OS X v10.5.8, or a PC running at least Windows XP SP3.
The iPad support any videos in H.264 format up to 720p, 30 frames per second. The audio can only reach 160 KB per second, stereo audio in .mp4, .m4v, and .mov file formats. Also supported are the MPEG-4 videos, with a maximum resolution of 640 x 480 pixels (30 frames per seond), with AAC-LC audio up to 160 KB per seconf, stereo audio in .mp4, .mov, and .m4v file formats.
The iPad is shipped with a standard package including dock connector to USB cable, 10 W Power Adapter, and documentation. However, Apple released several accessories specially developed for the iPad including:
- iPad Keyboard Dock, 30-pin connector dock for charging the iPad integrated with a full-size keyboard;
- iPad Case;
- iPad Camera Connection Kit, allows the import of photos and videos via the digital camera’s USB cable or the SD Card Reader;
- iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter for external monitor or projector.
The iPad will ship in the United States at the end of March (only the Wi-Fi model) and at the end of April (the Wi-Fi + 3G model) 2010. The international availability of the iPad will be announced in the summer of 2010. The 3G will be provided in the United States by AT&T, and will be available with two prepaid contract free data plan options, up to 250 MB for $14.99 per month, or unlimited for $29.99.
|Wi-Fi + 3G||$629||$729||$829|
Apple has redesigned the iWork productivity applications for the iPad hardware and software specifications. Pages, Keynotes and Numbers are available within the iPad’s iWork. All three applications were redesigned, and improved including several new elements. Therefore, iPad’s iWork allows the imports of iWork’09 and Microsoft Office documents and the export of documents in iWork’09 and PDF formats.11