Apple iPad entered the market of tablets. Will it survive?
Besides writing about potential technologies for upcoming tablets and e-readers, we knew Apple was planning to reveal their most rumored gadget in past few months. iPad is a tablet from Apple which can be used for browsing the web (more or less), reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more. However it didn’t fulfill the expectations it aroused, so it managed to turn-off some of the Apple fans who claimed they’ll get one as soon as it’s available.
Its dimensions are 24.3 x 19 x 1.3cm (9.56 x 7.47 x 0.5 inches) and it weighs less than 0.7kg (1.5 pounds). iPad’s responsive high-resolution Multi-Touch display lets users physically interact with applications and content, in a similar manner you could see in their previous gadgets. Its LED-backlit display has a diagonal of 9.7 inches is capable of 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi), and features IPS technology to deliver crisp, clear images and consistent color with 178 degrees of viewing angle.
Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating was applied to the display in order to make it readable without the need to clean its surface every time you want to use it. Regarding the materials, Apple tried to be greener by using the arsenic-free display glass, mercury-free LCD display, and by making it BFR- and PVC-free too. The rest of the casing is made of recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure.
Regarding the memory, iPad comes in 16, 32 and 64 GB of flash memory. It has an ambient light sensor and an accelerometer which helps finding the right content orientation or interaction in games. iPad has a virtual touchscreen keyboard and the ability to attach to an external physical keyboard (Keyboard Dock). The usage of external keyboard will prove much useful since the usage of almost full sized touchsreen keyboard seems a bit unnatural, since Apple introduced a new version of iWork for iPad. By using Pages, Keynote and Numbers you can create beautifully formatted documents, stunning presentations with animations and transitions, and spreadsheets with charts, functions and formulas. The three apps will be available separately through the App Store.
It has a 30-pin connector on the bottom of it which allows you to dock and charge it. It also lets you connect to iPad accessories like the Camera Connection Kit and the Keyboard Dock. The built-in speaker produces full sound (20 Hz to 20 KHz) perfect for watching a movie or listening to music. Since it has only one speaker, you reckon the ability of the device playback. iPad also comes with a built-in microphone and a headphone jack which brings back the sound stereo experience. Besides the mentioned purposes, the speaker is there to help since the device has a VoiceOver screen reader. It also has the full-screen zoom magnification and the white on black display mode in order to help the people with weak or damaged sight.
It is powered by A4, Apple’s next-generation system-on-a-chip. Designed by Apple, the new A4 chip provides exceptional processor and graphics performance along with long battery life of up to 10 hours of continuous usage. Apple claims that their advanced chemistry and Adaptive Charging technology can deliver up to 1,000 charge cycles without a significant decrease in battery capacity over a typical five year lifespan. Unfortunately, although it’s able to perform faster on a larger display, one of the most missed capabilities of iPad is multitasking.
So, despite the fact it is able to use almost all of over 140,000 apps in the App Store and 12 new apps designed especially for iPad, it isn’t able to multitask those. Sure it saves battery life and resources but some of their previously released competition is able to do this. However, you will be able to fully enjoy YouTube, all in HD (up to 720p) or flip through pages of an e-book you downloaded from Apple’s new iBookstore while listening to your music collection (from your own stash or the iTunes, naturally).
Due to disagreement between Apple and Adobe (or desire of Apple to control the availability of the content), the iPad also isn’t able to run flash for now. Although Apple would lose a part of their sales for videos and apps, with the integration of flash they would attract a lot more people to buy the iPad.
Regarding its connection, iPad comes in two versions – one with Wi-Fi and the other with both Wi-Fi and 3G (which has an additional slot for the SIM card tray). iPad includes the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi, and the 3G versions support speeds up to 7.2 Mbps on HSDPA networks. Apple and AT&T announced their 3G pre-paid data plans for iPad with easy, on-device activation and management. Depending on the model you get, you receive different features. The Wi-FI model has the ability to provide a digital compass, while the model with additional 3G has the ability to provide assisted GPS and cellular services.
Apple also released a new Software Development Kit (SDK) for iPad, in order to encourage developers to create new applications designed to take advantage of iPad’s capabilities. The SDK includes a simulator that lets developers test and debug their iPad apps on a Mac, and also lets developers create Universal Applications that run on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
We support their attempt to be greener by recycling and selecting materials, the fact that similar devices reduce paper consumption, as well as the SDK they released in order to make the platform more useable. On the other hand, the device itself isn’t quite as groundbreaking as most of us expected and its price is not competitive to other tablets (and it goes up with larger memory or 3G feature). Unless they make it more affordable (or implement better features and software in its new iterations) the iPad simply won’t be able to compete with its opponents.