It’s March 2nd and any Apple fan will tell you that today the iPad2 will be announced. What they can’t tell you is what the latest gadget from the Apple development team will include. There have been rumours of what the second generation iPad will bring to the now over-crowded tablet computer Market since the first iPad was released last year, but until today nobody outside of the apple offices have known for sure.

While many Apple fan-boys will say Apple is cutting edge – leading the way in technology, it’s unlikely this next-gen iPad will bring any major surprises. 3D? No way, front and back interface… Doubt it. But what is for certain is whatever apple announce today, they will tell us it is revolutionary!

I’m writing this blog as the event happens. It’s now 18:20 in the uk and the first big surprise is that steve jobs, after all his health problems, is giving the presentation. It’s good to see. No apple presentation is the same without “The Jobs” at the helm!

 

There is no denying the iPad has been a massive success and Apple are hammering this message home. This “post-PC” device has caught the imagination of both consumer and business around the world and they are taking advantage of it.

So, here we go with the new features…

Dual core CPU – A new A5 chip. No surprise here. The iPad would have been left behind if it hadn’t included a dual core processor. With multitasking incorporated in iOS 4.2 the iPad began to lag. A much needed feature.

Video cameras – front and rear cameras. Again no surprise. With the development of FaceTime it was inevitable these would be included.

Gyroscope – As it’s included in the iPhone 4 it was expected in the iPad. Some new apps may take advantage of it in a tablet, but as yet nothing has rocked the world in the smaller devices for us to be able to say this will happen anytime soon.

The design – Thinner (8.8mm) and lighter (1.3 pounds) Aesthetically not that different though – apart from the cameras there are no great design differences. Obviously being thinner does make it look slightly more attractive, it’s now thinner than an iphone 4! and the iPad 2 is going to be available in White… From day one! Also Apple have pulled off a master stroke to keep the battery life to 10hours with these new changes.

The main new feature here though, is with the new case (smart covers) which uses magnets to hook onto the iPad. Pretty clever. This covers the iPad and even wakes it up when opened. It also has a micro-fibre cloth on the inside to clean the screen.

So – here’s two issues with the original iPad Apple have addressed. The weight. For reading books the first iPad was just too heavy. The smudges from greasy fingers! Not totally solved, but the new case may help.

Mirrored video output – this is a peripheral, but through a new cable we can now mirror the output onto a tv using a hdmi connection. At the moment I’m guessing this will only be activated in certain apps, like keynote (presentation software) or when playing videos or photo slideshows. I doubt this will mirror all activity on the iPad… Which would have been great!

IOS 4.3 – due march 11th, improvements have been made to safari and airplay in the new iOS. I’ve got an apple tv and do find airplay a tad clunky at the moment, which is unusual for apple, so this will be interesting. Also airplay only works on a few websites when browsing in safari so hopefully this has been addressed.

IMovie – a movie app for the iPad. With the integration of the cameras this made sense. It will allow you to simply put together and edit movies on the iPad. Again, with the introduction of the A5 dual core processor, this should run like a dream.

GarageBand – A music composing app that also includes instrument simulators such as guitar and keyboard. This will integrate with iMovie really well I should imagine.
The app looks really good and is available for just £4.99 the same as iMovie.
With how the iPad has been adopted by the music industry, especially with some fantastic dj apps, it’s a clever move by apple to make their own.

looks like that’s it unless they have something else clever at the end of the presentation.

The iPad 2 will hit the uk shelves on March 25th and it looks like it will be priced the same as the original.

I would say overall, as I guessed, there was no major surprises. Unfortunately the roomer-mill, ever since the first iPad, has been in overdrive and has probably increased peoples expectations. That said, it would have been good if apple had a few surprises up their sleeve. The biggest one tonight has been Steve Jobs delivering the presentation rather than the iPad 2 including something revolutionary.

No doubt we will therefore have to wait a couple of years for the 3D iPad. Maybe that will be the iPad 4. But rest assured when apple do announce it, they will make out they have invented 3D!

One thing Apple do emphasise at the end of their presentation is that this is a Post-PC device. They reinforce the fact that it is both the hardware and software that make the experience. Some will say this is a bit of a cop-out and it’s because there are no giant leaps forward with the iPad 2 in terms of technology. I would say there wasn’t any giant leaps forward in terms if technology with the first iPad, but it’s still one of the best devices I have ever used in terms of the experience when browsing online or utilising one of the thousands of apps. I would also say with the fact that Apple owns over 90% of this market (tablet) they know what they’re talking about.