Kaneland Krier: Apple introduces breakthrough ‘must-have’ technology : the iPad

By on April 8, 2010

by Jessica Corbett
Kaneland Krier Editor
Kaneland News Bureau

Kaneland—Much like the iPhone craze of 2007, the unveiling of Apple’s newest “must-have”—the iPad—has created a frenzy in the world of technology. From its place in Yahoo’s Top 10 Trends to the sudden surplus of iPad-related tweets on Twitter, this ultramodern, multi-touch screen computer has taken the Internet by storm.

“The iPhone pretty much controls the technology market because it’s simple and it just works,” web administrator Nathan Johnston said.

Johnston said he foresees the same popularity for the iPad.

“The iPhone created its own economy,” he said. “The iPad is just going to jack that up more.”

Johnston said he believes there will be educational and medical uses for the iPad, much like the iPhone, which is used in the medical field to store large amounts of patient information.

However, the iPad has yet to win over some Kaneland students.

“It’s cool, but I have better things to spend my money on,” senior J.T. Webb said.

Webb said his 12-year-old brother wants an iPad.

Senior Meghan Britz said she does not plan to purchase the iPad.

“Obviously, it’s going to be popular, but the laptop is fine. We just become lazier and lazier with new technology,” she said.

Johnston said the iPad would be a good choice for those who are new to computers or seeking simplicity.

“There’s no computer stuff,” he said. “You use your finger and point to what you want, and then it happens.”

According to a January press release by Apple, there are 12 new applications designed specifically for the iPad.
The device can also run almost all of the 140,000 apps available through Apple’s App store.

One new “multi-touch” app is iBooks and the iBookstore, which allows users to read and purchase books directly on the device. The user is able to virtually turn the pages, and the iBooks are stored on what appears to be a virtual bookshelf, Johnston said.

For users in school or business, Johnston said that a renovated version of iWork, Apple’s office tool, has been designed specifically for the iPad.

According to the press release, the three programs offered by iWork—Numbers, Keynote and Pages—will all be available through Apple’s app store for $9.99 each.

With all the buzz about the iPad, some wonder what it can’t do.

“People are complaining a lot about compatibility,” Johnston said. “The computer on your desk was a machine designed for universal purposes. This was a machine designed to go to Facebook.”

Johnston explained that most computers are capable of much more than what they are typically used for, whereas the iPad is capable of the tasks an average person uses on a daily basis.

Also, the iPad does not have Adobe Flash, due to conflicts between Adobe and Apple, Johnston said. Adobe Flash is most commonly used to add animation, audio or video to web pages.

“You can’t play Flash games on the iPad, but it plays YouTube videos,” he said.

As for the physical features, the iPad has the appearance of a super-sized iPhone, Johnston said. He compared the iPad to breaking his Macbook in half and using only the screen, as the iPad has a touch-screen keypad built into it.

“It’s just like a giant iPhone, but it doesn’t make calls—theoretically,” Johnston said. “We don’t know because it’s not out yet.”

Johnston said there is also speculation as to whether or not the iPad has a camera.

It boasts a 178-degree viewing angle, and measures a half-inch thick and 9.7 inches diagonally.

For those interested in learning more about the iPad, Apple CEO Steve Jobs hosted an hour and a half-long instructional keynote on how the iPad works. The keynote is available through the Apple website.

Apple has also created pages on its website detailing the iPad’s features, design applications, technical specifications and pricing, and a photo gallery, complete with a 3D model.

“iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price,” Jobs said in the January press release. “iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.”

Johnston said the iPad is unique because it is the first Apple device to be powered by an Apple chip, so “the processor is made by Apple.”

“The new A4 chip provides exceptional processor and graphics performance, along with long battery life up to four hours,” the press release said.

Two models of the device will soon become available: the Wi-Fi model and the Wi-Fi plus 3G model. Each model has three options for memory: the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.

Prices for the Wi-Fi begin at $499 and increase to $599 and $699 respectively. The Wi-Fi plus 3G model starts at $629 and increases to $728 and $829. The 3G data plans will be sold separately, and Apple has collaborated with AT&T to create “breakthrough 3G prepaid data plans for iPad with easy, on-device activation and management,” the press release said.

The press release also stated that the iPad is scheduled for shipment in the coming months, but dates will vary depending on the desired models. The Wi-Fi model is set to ship in late March, and the Wi-Fi plus 3G model in April.

Photo: Courtesy Apple.com