Apple's Amazing Keynote - Revenge of the iPad!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Well, Apple did it, they actually lived up to the hype yet again. Steve Jobs coming out on stage and doing the presentation was a brilliant touch. No matter what you think of Jobs or Apple, good for him. As for the iPad 2, well, Apple didn't merely iterate slightly, they did actually make a true "2", no now all those silly rumors of an iPad 3 coming out in the fall can be put to rest. 1.3 pounds, THINNER than my iPhone 4, new A5 processor, improved graphics, dual cameras, available in black and white, AT&T and Verizon from day one, 10 hour battery life, $499 starting price (maxes out at $829 for 64GB with WiFi/3G), HDMI mirrored output up to 1080p, smart covers, etc. I think my hemming and hawing over what tablet to get was for naught as the decision has been made rather handily for me. Apple is just too far ahead of the competition at this point. Maybe that will change within a few years, but right now, all things considered, the iPad 2 is the only logical choice in tablets. It hits the US on March 11 and rolls out to 26 more countries on March 25. So, what do you guys think? Are you sold or do you think there will be better options in 2011?

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Matt Barton
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I have a sneaking suspicion

I have a sneaking suspicion that this iPhone is going to make a believer out of me. I just hope I don't become one of those freaks who never blinks and hangs out at Apple stores trying to sell you their stuff.

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Nous
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Light and Dark, Dark and Light
Matt Barton wrote:

I have a sneaking suspicion that this iPhone is going to make a believer out of me. I just hope I don't become one of those freaks who never blinks and hangs out at Apple stores trying to sell you their stuff.

Now you know what the fuss is all about Matt ... you've seen the light! :-p

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Matt Barton
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I agree, Clok. Apple just

I agree, Clok. Apple just seems to lead the pack right now, and the rest are doing the old me-too routines, trying to emphasize technical features that nobody but a few geeks care about. To really compete with Apple, a company would have to not just be better from an engineering and design perspective, but equal or surpass them in marketing. Can you imagine how hard it would be to beat Apple on that? You'd really need a genius at the helm doing legendary kind of work.

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Bill Loguidice
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It's beating a dead horse, I

It's beating a dead horse, I know, but if you look at the Apple commercials - particularly for the iPhone and iPad - they always show the devices doing clever things paired with some type of funky, catchy music. That is simple, but terribly effective in stark contrast to competitor commercials, which are either too high concept (the Xoom 1984 send-up commercial), don't show what the thing can actually do, or any other number of other things to not make the ads - and especially the devices - stand out. It's clear from Apple's success that you need to reach "regular" people with your message if you want breakout success. Sure, by most measures of success, the Xoom's sales are impressive at 100,000, but measured against the iPad 2 - which has sold millions in less time - not so much. Naturally there are many other factors involved and it doesn't mean Apple will always have this type of success and Android-based tablets won't get their acts together, but right now the advertising divide is incredibly blatant.

Also, as someone who is presently using an iPhone 4, Atrix 4G and BlackBerry Bold, I can tell you that Apple's "kindergarten interface" as some have called it, is a strength, not a weakness. While some may lot like Apple's ecosystem restrictions and prefer the freedom that something like Android offers through the "joys" of rooting, for the average person it's more a plus for the Apple side. Certainly Android is a hacker's delight, but how many people really want that?

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Bill Loguidice
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So I'm logged in now with my

So I'm logged in now with my iPad. I can sort of touch type on it in landscape mode which is nice. I'm actually struggling a bit with the smart cover. It will also take me quite a bit of time to weed all the iPhone-centric apps. In any case, so far it seems pretty darn cool. Given my time constraints I don't expect to have it fully optimized and all of the iPad-specific apps on I want until next week. in any case I have enough configured and set up now where it's at least usable.

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Bill Loguidice
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I must say, I've been

I must say, I've been enjoying my iPad 2 a great deal. It's definitely more than just an oversized iPod. Thus far, I've found reading to be quite pleasant, everything from eBooks to full color PDFs. The games are extremely impressive, and the productivity apps work well and are fascinating, especially things like Garageband. As is usual for iOS-based products, this thing just flat out works, is easy to use, and fun. No fuss, no muss. Definitely a worthwhile purchase for me. Christina is chomping at the bit waiting for hers to come...

For all those who hate on tablets and want to push the idea that a netbook or notebook is "better" (whatever that means), I have to disagree. Until you really use a good tablet, you don't know what you're missing out on. The instant on/off (including of the applications) and excellent battery life are not to be underestimated...

By the way, I'm also enjoying an app I bought called "Air Display" (works on the iPhone too) where you use your iPad as a wireless second monitor. I've been entertaining the idea of getting a small secondary display for some time, now I don't have to.

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Matt Barton
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I'm not surprised at your

I'm not surprised at your reaction, Bill. The instant on/off alone would make it valuable (my tablet PC takes a good 3 minutes to boot up, and then there's the endless updates).

I simply can't afford one (not even close), and it's getting very frustrating.

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Bill Loguidice
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Apps
Matt Barton wrote:

I'm not surprised at your reaction, Bill. The instant on/off alone would make it valuable (my tablet PC takes a good 3 minutes to boot up, and then there's the endless updates).

I simply can't afford one (not even close), and it's getting very frustrating.

Well, there's always the possibility of selling off some of the older equipment I suppose, particularly if you can supplant it with equipment through your institution for regular use. Even a few hundred dollars would go a long way towards a wi-fi iPad 2, assuming you had a genuine use for one. Like I said, in my case, other than my iPhone 4, I really didn't have a carry-with-me-everywhere computing device. Since I have access to all the computers I need at home and work, I just needed something to bridge the gap when I was not in those locations and it was impractical to carry around my gaming laptop (which, let's face it, is most of the time--I didn't buy it for portability).

In any case, my big concern was typing on the thing, and between having Apple's tiny bluetooth keyboard (http://www.apple.com/keyboard/) and finding myself able to touch type on the screen when in landscape mode, my fears were allayed.

I *am* a bit of a snob when it comes to apps, though. I REFUSE to run iPhone apps on my iPad (even though they run fine) because I don't like running them in a tiny window or at 2X size using the built-in expand feature. Luckily, between the iPhone apps I already had that were native to the iPad as well (meaning fully optimized) and the stuff that I really wanted that wasn't free, I only had to spend another $40 or so in apps. What sucks is that I'd need to spend another $30 for Slingbox when I want to run that on the iPad, but I'll worry about that when I actually have a need. Sucks, but again, you compare that to what you'd have to buy on the PC side and it's a veritable steal in comparison to regular computers or videogame stuff, and it will also work on Christina's iPad (and future iPads). And, of course, the options in apps are unmatched. There's not one thing I thought of that there wasn't some type of app for, and usually free. It's such a pleasure being on such a well supported platform. That's the main reason why I didn't give the Xoom a second glance. The Android market obviously has a long way to go in that regard, and this is particularly true given my aforementioned disdain (which I didn't even consider) for apps that are designed for phone screens, not tablets.

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Bill Loguidice
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Not that this is terribly

Not that this is terribly fascinating, but I thought I'd share screenshots of my four home screens. I make extensive use of folders on my iPhone, but I find it unnecessary on the iPad because there are far fewer apps on there and also much more screen real estate. As always, click through to embiggen (a perfectly cromulent word).

My first home screen, which is mostly the default software:
IMG_0001

My second home screen, which is mostly other apps:
IMG_0005

My third home screen, which is all the reading stuff :
IMG_0006

My final home screen, the games:
IMG_0007

Again, the consistent theme is that this is ONLY stuff that is optimized for the iPad. No phone stuff on here. I have a phone for that.

The only other app I'm not sure about (besides adding the aforementioned Slingbox) is a word processor, which I'm not sure I need at present. If I do though, it will be Doc 2 HD instead of the iWork one because of its integration with things like Dropbox.

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Chris Kennedy
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iPad updates

I am enjoying my iPad a lot. I get home and pretty much tote it everywhere. The battery life is incredible. I highly recommend one of these things.

The "already on," the decently sized screen and the ease of use (iOS) is win-win-win for me.

Complaints - I have the typical screen problems described during the launch of the device: A light spillage emanating from one side of the screen while the screen is dark and a semi-stuck pixel (brighter than the rest) on one part of the display. I will probably setup an appt at the genius bar and take it in. I have been waiting for supply/demand to reach a better ratio.

I leave various e-mail accounts open in the browser, leave some sports pages open (standings), leave a link to the BIOS page for a new computer I just built, leave other pages open to message forums, and of course leave one open to Armchair. I can launch the web browser and instantly get the latest version of these pages without clicking refresh or accessing a bookmark.

I could go on and on...I highly recommend it. It has pretty much replaced my netbook with the exception of if I want to do a lot of typing (beyond several paragraphs on the iPad tends to get a bit tedious.

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