Apple chief executive Steve Jobs on Wednesday unveilled a new version of the iPad, which is thinner and lighter than the original version released last year and features cameras for photography, movie-making or video chat.
Jobs also introduced iOS 4.3, the latest version of the company's mobile
operating system. New features in iOS 4.3 include faster Safari mobile
Sharing; enhancements to AirPlay; the choice of using the iPad side switch
to either lock the screen rotation or mute the audio; and the Personal
Hotspot feature for sharing an iPhone 4 cellular data connection over
The iPad 2 features a new design that is 33 percent thinner and up to 15
percent lighter than the original iPad, while maintaining the same
9.7-inch LED-backlit LCD screen. iPad 2 features Apple?s new dual-core A5
processor and now includes two cameras, a front-facing VGA camera for
FaceTime and Photo Booth, and a rear-facing camera that captures 720p HD
video, bringing the FaceTime feature to iPad users for the first time.
iPad 2 promises to deliver up to 10 hours of battery life and it will be
available in black or white models that run on AT&T's and Verizon's 3G
networks. The device also introduces the iPad 2 Smart Cover in a range of
polyurethane ($39 ) and leather colors ($69). The Smart Cover
automatically wakes iPad 2 when it?s opened and puts it to sleep when it?s
closed, and has a soft microfiber lining to help keep the screen clean.
"With more than 15 million iPads sold, iPad has defined an entirely new
category of mobile devices," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "While others
have been scrambling to copy the first generation iPad, we're launching
iPad 2, which moves the bar far ahead of the competition and will likely
cause them to go back to the drawing boards yet again."
With the new front and rear cameras, iPad 2 users can now make FaceTime
calls to iPhone 4, iPod touch and Mac users so they can see family and
friends anywhere there is Wi-Fi. Photo Booth lets you apply fun visual
effects, including eight photo special effects like Squeeze, Twirl and
Kaleidoscope, to photos captured by either camera.
iPad 2 comes with iOS 4.3 mobile operating system, with new features
including faster Safari mobile browsing performance; iTunes Home Sharing;
enhancements to AirPlay; the choice to use the iPad side switch to either
lock the screen rotation or mute audio; and Personal Hotspot to share an
iPhone 4 cellular data connection over Wi-Fi. Additional iPad 2 features
include a built-in gyro for gaming; HSUPA support for enhanced 3G upload
speeds on iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G on AT&T, and HDMI Video Mirroring that lets
users mirror their iPad screen on an HDTV using an optional adaptor.
Here are the nasic features of the new iOS 4.3 mobile operating system:
built into WebKit, the technology at the heart of Safari, and more than
New iTunes Home Sharing allows iOS 4.3 users to play music, movies and TV
shows on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch from their iTunes library on a Mac
or PC over a local Wi-Fi network. With Home Sharing on your iPad, iPhone
or iPod touch you've got your entire iTunes library in your hands wherever
you are in your home.
iOS 4.3 includes enhancements to AirPlay, the wireless technology that
allows users to stream music, photos and video to Apple TV. With iOS 4.3
you can stream additional content including video from third party apps
and web sites, videos from the Photos app and previews from the iTunes app
to your TV. AirPlay also allows you to bring photos to life on the TV
screen by using one of the new slideshow transitions, or shoot a video on
your iPad 2, iPhone or iPod touch and stream it directly from the Photos
app to Apple TV.
The new Personal Hotspot feature in iOS 4.3 lets you bring Wi-Fi with you
anywhere you go, by allowing you to share an iPhone 4 cellular data
connection with up to five devices in a combination of up to three Wi-Fi,
three Bluetooth and one USB device. Joining a Personal Hotspot is easy and
once the feature is enabled a status bar displays how many devices are
currently connected. Every connection is password protected and when not
in use Personal Hotspot turns itself off to save battery life.
iOS 4.3 will be available to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users as a free
software update on Friday, March 11. iOS 4.3 is compatible with iPad, iPad
2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (GSM model), plus third and fourth generation iPod
Apple also introduced two new apps: iMovie and GarageBand for iPad, both
available on the App Store for $4.99 each. With iMovie, iPad 2 users can
shoot and edit videos right on their iPad and post their movies to
YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and their MobileMe gallery; watch them on their
iPod, iPhone or iPad; as well as view them on their HDTV using AirPlay and
Apple TV. GarageBand turns your iPad into a collection of touch
instruments and 8-track recording studio, allowing you to perform with
onscreen keyboards, guitars, drums and basses using multi-touch
gestures - even if you don't play a musical instrument.
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available on March 11 for a suggested retail
price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699
(US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a
suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the
32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G compatible
with the Verizon network will be available in the US only for a suggested
retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model
and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 will be sold in the US through
the Apple Store (www.apple.com), Apple?s retail stores and select Apple
Authorized Resellers. iMovie and GarageBand for iPad apps will be
available on March 11 for $4.99 each from the App Store on iPad or
iPad 2 will be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland,
Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand,
Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK on March
25; and in many more countries around the world in the coming months.