Apple Announces iPad
Apple has again decided that it doesn’t have enough money and released a new iPad. You may be asking, what’s the name of this shiny new device. It’s called the new iPad. Yes, it’s just the iPad. We will delve into all of the goodies with the new device along with the other items that Apple has released.
As expected Apple has unveiled its new iPad. The rumors were mostly accurate regarding this release. The new iPad includes a Retina Display, a slightly thicker case, an option for 4G LTE, and an A5X chip. What the rumors indicated but could not pin down was the new 5 MegaPixel camera that uses the same technology as the iPhone 4S but is a different camera. Let us get into each of the new items.
Apple has added a retina display to the iPad. It now supports a resolution of 2048 x 1536. This is double the previous resolution of 1024 x 768. The new pixel density of 264 pixels per inch will give the text and graphics with the applications that you use an even better look and feel to them. The pictures below will show just how much better the text will look on the Retina Display. If you were one who had both the iPhone 3Gs and then the iPhone 4 you know exactly how much difference it makes.
A Slightly Thicker Case
The iPad is slightly thicker than the iPad 2. The new Model is 9.4mm while the iPad 2 was 8.8mm. I know this will make a slight difference for people who have cases that cover the back of the iPad. For those who do use only a Smart Cover it should have no affect. The increase of thickness is due to the bigger battery needed to support not only the Retina Display, but also additional features of the A5X chip. The iPad is also a bit heavier, going from 1.33 pounds to 1.44 pounds. I have not yet held one in my had, but those who have say that you can feel the difference, but it is very minimal.
The new iPad also has an option to get 4G LTE. Both AT&T and Verizon in the U.S. have been hinting that the next iOS devices will support 4G LTE. Verizon came right out and stated that they will not support any new devices that do not have 4G built-in. The iPad Supports HSPA+ for up to 72Mbps. I don’t think that many, if any, users will actually see speeds that high, but the iPad is capable of handling that speed. This will make it much faster for some who only have DSL connections. This could be a real alternative, if the carriers didn’t limit download speeds.
A new feature that is available with the iPad is the ability to have the device run as a wireless hotspot. This is only available if your carrier allows it. I don’t think AT&T and Verizon will allow this, but you never know. This feature has been available in the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S but this is the first time that it is available for an iPad.
We heard rumors of the A5X chip, but no specifics were given. Apple has announced that the A5X is still the same dual-core CPU that the A5 is, but it includes Quad-Core graphics. The 4x in graphics is needed to support the increased pixel count in the Retina Display and will provide you the ability to fling those Angry Birds around space with even more clarity. The increase in graphics performance will also allow app developers to take advantage of a the faster graphics to bring an even better experience to your applications. Some were surprised to see that the chip was still only a dual-core model. Obviously Apple must have tried different models of chips and decided that this was the best fit.
Apple has included an upgraded camera with the iPad. The front-facing camera is still the same Facetime camera that was in the iPad 2 and is in the iPhone 4/4S line. The rear-facing camera is a 5 Megapixel iSight Camera. The camera is also capable of recording in 1080p, a significant increase from 720p capability with the iPad 2. This camera upgrade will make applications like iMovie so much better to work with.
Along with hardware Apple also introduced upgraded Applications. iWork, Numbers, Keynote have all been upgraded to support the new iPad including Retina Graphics. Apple also introduced iPhoto for both the iPhone and iPad. It costs $4.99 and allows you to make all sorts of edits to your photos right on your iPad. All without having to transfer them to your computer first. iPhoto costs $4.99 from the App Store.
As has become typical of iOS devices, Apple did not kill off their old version of the iPad entirely. It now has a newly reduced price of $399. It is only available in storage one size, 16GB. You do get your selection of whether or not you want Black or White. If you are so inclined you can also get the iPad 2 Wifi + 3G model for $529. AT&T and Verizon are still both options.
Apple has also introduced a new warranty option for your iPad, AppleCare+. Exactly like the iPhone 4S, you must purchase your AppleCare+ at the same time as, or within 30 days, of purchasing your iPad or iPad 2. If you opt to purchase the AppleCare+ after the initial purchase of your iPad you will need to bring it to an Apple Store so the Geniuses can look and make sure that there is no pre-existing issue with your iPad. If you do go this route, you will be eligible for two accidental damage claims, with a deductible of $49 each, during your two year warranty period. You can purchase your copy of AppleCare+ for iPad for $99.
Apple also released another new piece of hardware today. The new Apple TV is capable of outputting content to 1080p. The new Apple TV is the exact same size as the Apple TV 2nd Generation but does include a single-core A5 chip for better performance and is used to output content to 1080p. If you do not have a 1080p TV, do not despair, it will down sample to 720p resolutions as well.
The new Apple TV also includes support for iTunes Match so you can listen to all of your music on your TV. iPhoto Stream is also now included with the Apple TV so you can view all of your Photo Stream photos. The last tweak on the Apple TV is that iTunes Genius has been updated to include Movies and TV Shows.
There is one last feature of the new Apple TV, the ability to sign up for, and pay for Netflix with your iTunes account. This reduces the need to give another service your credit card. Along with this integration the Apple TV also allows for streaming of 1080p content with Dolby 5.1 digital audio. If you do not have an 3rd Generation Apple TV you also still get the integrated sign-up and pay mechanism on your 2nd Generation Apple TV.
You may be wondering when will all of these new toys be available. All of them are available for pre-order now with, as of this writing, delivery on March 16th. If you do not feel like pre-ordering you can visit an Apple store on March 16th and try and get an AppleTV and/or iPad.
Apple is making the iPad available to pre-order in the following countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. These countries will have the iPad available on March 16th. This is the biggest launch for the iPad.
iOS 5.1 and iTunes 10.6
All of these new updates come with iOS 5.1. Which is available for download now. iOS 5.1 is needed for the update to the iOS Applications as well as running iPhoto. iTunes 10.6 is required for the new iPad. You best bet is to update all of your software now so you are ready for the new items when they arrive or when you pick them up.
Overall these are some solid upgrades and updates. If you’re in the market for a new iPad or a new Apple TV now is the time to buy.