“The new iPad”

At this point, I assume that most people have heard all about the new iPad. Nevertheless, here’s a quick rundown of what Apple announced in Wednesday’s keynote (in chronological order):

  • Apple is making money hand over fist. No surprise there – the finances are always the first item in an Apple keynote.
  • Copenhagen now has the world’s largest Apple Store. It’s a beauty.
  • iTunes in the cloud now works with movies, at full 1080p resolution. Perfect for…
  • The new Apple TV. Not an actual TV like so many slavering rumor fanatics have been hoping for, but a sensible little box that looks exactly like the old one. My guess is there’s an A5 chip inside to cope with the 1080p, and it comes with a suspiciously app-centric new interface. The hobby might getting some attention at last.
  • Apple sold more iPads in Q4 2011 than anyone else sold PCs. More iPads than HP’s entire computing line. Or Lenovo. Or Dell. Pretty impressive numbers, especially since the iPad is only two years old.
  • The new iPad (we’re done with numbered models, just like the iPod, MacBook, or Apple TV) is obviously the main attraction. Retina Display with 2048 x 1536 pixels (over a million more than an HD TV). 4G LTE on Verizon or AT&T. Better rear camera. A5X chip, with a quad-core GPU. Voice dictation, but not full Siri capability. Same 10 hour battery life, though the case had to get a few millimeters thicker to accommodate a 40% bigger battery.
  • New software from various developers, including Namco, Epic, and Autodesk.
  • New software from Apple. Updates to iWork, GarageBand, and iMovie.
  • iPhoto for iOS released as a universal app for iPhone or iPad. I’ve been playing with it for a few days, and I can safely say this is the most powerful software I’ve ever seen on a tablet or phone. It’s much better than iPhoto on the Mac. With this, the iPad moves even closer to being the only computer you’ll ever need.

The iPad further cements its dominance in the tablet market, but Apple has its sights set on the broader computer market. Honestly, there isn’t much more the iPad needs to become a viable computer for just about everyone. It already does email, calendars, surfing, documents, spreadsheets, music, movies, photos, and games as good as, or better than, a traditional PC. It doesn’t have the fastest processor on the planet, but it does have the software, and that’s key. I don’t know when I’ll finally end up getting one, but it’s become impossible to ignore.

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