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:
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 touch.
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 www.itunes.com/appstore.
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.