Apple's iPad 2 event didn't disappoint. While there were no real surprises for people following the iPad 2 rumor mill, iPad 2 looks like a great upgrade over the original iPad. It is thinner, lighter, and faster than the original iPad. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that it was available in just 9 days after the announcement. But, "available" is another story.
Thinner - 33% thinner. The iPad has gone from 13.4 mm to just 8.8 mm. The iPad 2 is now even skinnier than the iPhone 4 which is 9.3 mm thick.
Lighter - Up to 15% lighter claims Apple. This should come as a relief to those who felt the original iPad was too heavy.
Faster - The iPad 2 is getting a new dual core processor dubbed the A5. Apple says the new processor is twice as fast as the old one, and claims the graphics performance is 9 times faster.
Cameras - The new iPad comes into line with the rest of the iOS family by getting front- and rear-facing cameras. The front camera is a VGA camera that can be used for FaceTime chats with other iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Mac users. The rear camera can shoot 720p HD video.
iOS 4.3 - The new iPad will come with the newest version of Apple's mobile operating system iOS 4.3. This update enables better performance while using the Safari Internet browser, iTunes home sharing, Airplay improvements, and you can now turn the iPad mute switch back into the rotation lock if you so wish.
Other stuff - The iPad 2 also gets a gyroscope and will now be available in black or white. Apple demonstrated new apps for iMovie and GarageBand for iPad. Both apps looked very impressive and both are available now. Finally, Apple announced new ‚ "smart covers" for the iPad which act as a screen protector/case. The new cover is very interesting in that it attaches to the iPad with magnets. It really shows that it was designed alongside the iPad 2, and works like a charm,
While the iPad was available for order (delivery started in 3 to 5 days, but is now at 3 to 5 weeks), it was also available at Best Buy, Walmart, and Target. I went to all the stores in Jefferson CIty and found that in total, there were only about 30 iPads in Jeff CIty for sale, and they all sold immediately.
Our next meeting will be held on April 5, 2011, at 7:00 pm in our regular meeting room at Lewis and Clark Middle School in Jefferson City. Join us that evening to learn about Chatting with Video. Part of the presentations will also cover Apple's new Macintosh Apps Store and, of course, the iPad 2.
While we all hope the bulk of winter is over, I will once again give a reminder: if the Jefferson City Public Schools are closed on our meeting day due to inclement weather, we will not hold the appleJAC meeting that night.
Have a great month and join us for the presentation on Chatting with Video at the April meeting.