All About iPad

Game Changer?

With sales off to a great start, the Apple iPad has already exceeded some naysayers expectations. While no device is perfect we think the iPad is going to appeal to a broad range of users and industries, including the educational and medical markets. With style, power and finesse, the iPad has enetered the marketplace...and here's why it's going to work.

Looks Matter!
The display framed with black aluminum and glass is 9.7 inches, LED backlit, IPS and Multi-touch. While we're betting you all know what LED and Multi-Touch are, IPS has generally been reserved for extraordinarily pricey monitors for graphic artists. In-plane Switching is the full name, and it gives you wide viewing angles and great color reproduction (which will come in handy with Brushes) by making the crystal molecules move parallel to the plane of the screen instead of perpendicular. So basically, the good looking screen makes the stuff on the screen more good looking.

Aside from its outer appeal, the iPad keeps things light. It weighs in at one and a half pounds and measures only half an inch your portable workstation remains just that. We've carried around books heavier than that on a regular basis, and knowing what is packed into the light as a feather iPad is taking literal weight off of our shoulders. Easy on the eyes literally as well as figuratively, the iPad also features a screen lock to keep the accelerometer from flipping between landscape and portrait mode to keep reading simple.

What's Inside
The two wireless options (Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi plus AT&T 3G), a brand spanking new Apple A4 chip, a battery that'll last you ten hours per charge and three levels of flash storage are enough to make your head spin...and that's before we've even gotten into applications.

Internet connectivity has spurred questions since Apple's "revolutionary" deal with AT&T was announced and the recent iPad 3G Support page has answered a few of them. Data pricing changed since the launch with 250MB of data going for $14.99 and 2GB for $25.00, but details have been clarified; for example,the option to add more data is available.

Other interior features include the standard Apple 30-pin connector, built-in speaker and microphone as well as a headphone jack for private listening. Accessories to us are sometimes like fancy icing when all you want is cake, but Apple's incredibly designed Keyboard Dock means you can type for hours without wearing yourself out on the soft keyboard on the device itself, and iPad's case not only folds around the screen to protect it but folds up into a viewing stand.

What About My Apps?
You can run almost every app from the App Store straight out of the box in one of two ways: in a pretty little iPhone frame at their original size and resolution, or put them in full screen mode, doubling the pixels. There's an accelerometer built in, of course, so all your shooters and drivers will still work like a charm, and when you're done playing you can open up iWork and get down to business.

Keynote, Pages and Numbers have all been specifically retooled for iPad, and at $9.99 each they're a great investment in your productivity. As in, if you see them on the home screen, maybe you'll stop fooling around with iPad long enough to use them.

Other than iWork, you've got the new iBookstore for e-book reading, and fresh details here have positioned the iPad as a true competitor in the e-reader world. The iBookstore will not ship on the device, but will be available as a free download on iTunes. The best new information though is free ePub books can be synced via iTunes and read on the iPad. As long as you love your books and want to catch up on the classics, this addition means you could go years without spending a dime on an e-book. Also included is iTunes for music, a camera connector kit available to sync photos to iPad and an HD screen to view it all on. Not only that, but the new Software Developers Kit (SDK) is available already so we can all set our sights on a get rich quick application for this "magical and revolutionary device."

Questions and Concerns
We have to say that, while completely taken with the beauty and intuitive function of this device, we're a little surprised about two things: the lack of a video camera and lack of Flash support. Apple's escalating feud with Adobe seems counterproductive and may deprive the average iPad user of a full online experience.

Ultimate machine indeed. We're all a-flutter about the release over here, and with the iPad Battery Replacement program announcement can see ourselves happily surfing away for years to come. This is a great in-between device for any consumer, but if you haven't made the switch to a MacBook or iPhone yet and are thinking it's about time, the iPad may be the perfect "third device" for your first foray into the world of Apple.

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All images courtesy of Apple

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Hardware Related
We're not going to say "duh" but one thing Apple fans aren't is dim. And when we were told to adjust our grip on a handset to avoid a specific location and were then told it was a "software" issue we had to wonder if we were being taken for a ride. Passing on less-than-awesome news about Apple doesn't make us happy, you understand, but now that the problem has been acknowledged maybe we can all start to move on!

Apple has confirmed the iPhone 4's issues with reception are indeed intrinsic to the handset's hardware and that the iOS software update will not fix anything, just give an accurate representation of how bad the reception is. However bad this news is, the fact that the official response is still "don't hold the phone like that" is worse: considering that Apple itself is manufacturing a case for this phone as we're sure it doesn't cost them anywhere near $30 to produce, why isn't the company just acquiescing and doing a Bumper mass mailing? That, friends, is the outcome we're hoping for.

Time for Fun!
The Onion, everyone's favorite fake news source, has struck again with a video so bad it's good. The "Friend Bar" is the answer for you if your loved ones are starting to turn a deaf ear to your daily Apple fixation--if you can't talk to them head to an Apple Store and check this out! After hours call support with international Friend Bar employees ensures you're never on your own, and so much more is in the works...enjoy this video and pass it on. It gave us a laugh for sure!
Best. Case. Ever.
In case you'd like to bling out your iPhone, solve your reception issues and make fun of AND pay homage to Steve Jobs in one fell swoop there's the Crystal Icing iPhone case: sparkling, shiny crystals in image of Steve and an old-school Apple logo? This gets us right where retro and tacky meet (it's a dangerous, vast place here). Ironic, subversive, hilarious...this case is all those things. But at $299 it might be a little too expensive for a lark! Any crafty MacTribers out there who can fashion one for less??
Seriously. Make us one. If you can, tell us on Twitter!

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