Robot 6

Apple unveils its much-anticipated iPad media slate [Updated]

A paint app on the Apple iPad (image from Gizmodo)

A paint app on the Apple iPad (image from Gizmodo)

After months of speculation, Apple CEO Steve Jobs this morning unveiled the iPad, a gesture-based media slate for e-books, Web browsing, video playback, applications and more. Pricing begins at $499.

At a press conference, going on now in San Francisco, Jobs described the device as “way better than a laptop, way better than a phone.”

The iPad is a thin, large-screen tablet based on the iPod Touch, and appears to function like an iPhone, allowing users to simply tap the screen to access functions, or move images with a swipe of a finger.

The iPad is a half-inch-thick, weighs just 1-1/2 pounds and boasts a 9.7-inch IPS (in-plane switching) display screen. It will be available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.

The basic 14GB version will retail for $499, much lower than many predicted. On the upper end of the scale, the 64GB iPad with WiFi and 3G will sell for $829.

In a fast-paced presentation, Jobs demonstrated the device’s use as a Web browser and movie screen, accessed iTunes, used calendar and maps applications, created email, and flipped through photo slideshows.

Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iPhone software, gave an overview of the iPad’s gaming potential before moving on to a customized app developed by The New York Times.

Programmer Steve Sprang briefly demonstrated the Brushes app, which allows users to paint on screen with brushes, swatches, eyedroppers and other tools. It will be available at launch. (Engadget describes Brushes as “very slick — probably the most impressive demo yet. A very sophisticated use of the screen real estate.”) As a commenter below points out, Brushes is the iPhone app artist Jorge Colombo used last year to paint covers for The New Yorker.

Moving on to Apple’s e-book app — called iBooks, naturally — Jobs acknowledged Amazon’s pioneering efforts. “We’re going to stand on their shoulders for this,” he said.

For its iBooks store, Apple is partnering (at least initially) with five major publishers: HarperCollins, Hatchette Book Group, MacMillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster. The reader allows users to skip directly to chapters from a book’s table of contents, change fonts, view images and control the speed of animated page turns.

Apple will begin shipping iPads in the next 60 days; it’ll be an additional 30 days for the 3G models.

The conference/presentation has ended. We’ll be sure to post updates if more details emerge.

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Comments

32 Comments

I’ll wait for a price tag before I get too excited.

After seeing iBooks, I doubt that this is going to get as big as people think. Basically this thing is a big iPhone, and without solving the glare issues, I doubt it will catch on as an reader.

No price announced yet, but rumors have it at $700-1000. I personally won’t be getting one for a long time but the idea of it and what it can do is very exctiting.

Meh, just another overpriced hunk of junk that offers nothing special or unique.

It’ll be just like every other Apple i-product rediculiously over priced for what it does.

starting at $499! I might consider buying one!

SmartestManAlive

January 27, 2010 at 11:33 am

This is going to be a device that really changes the comic industry no doubt. Subsriptions and TPB’s straight from Itunes is a big deal and not too far off now.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35085524/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/

The prices are actually not what I expected, I was expecting greater than $1000. Per MSNBC:

“The iPad will cost $499 for a 16-gigabyte model, $599 for a 32 GB version and $699 for a 64-gigabyte model. It will cost an additional $130 for units that can use 3G.”

Just let me be the first one to say it:

“Apple is already planning the first upgrade to the iPad, to be known as the Max iPad.”

Hyuk hyuk.

SmartestManAlive

January 27, 2010 at 11:40 am

I know most people are doubting the impact of the device. But these “e-readers” are becoming a big deal (Apple or otherwise):

“”Last year, about 3 million e-readers were sold. Estimates are another 6 million will be sold in 2010 according to the Yankee Group. The Kindle, which has a 6-inch screen and sells for $259, has the bulk of the e-reader sales.

“There are about 6 million people who are gearing up this year to buy an e-reader. And they’re going to spend between $250 and $700 on it,” said James McQuivey, Forrester Research principal analyst. “They are already people who care about media, and who are willing to spend money on media.”””

I’m an apple devotee and I would still rather use a kindle as an e-reader, no glare, and you can even read it on a plane.

Just a clarification: Steve Sprang is not a worker for Apple, he’s an independent programmer. And his Brushes App has been out for the iPhone for over a year (and at least three covers of the New Yorker were painted with it).

Well the entertainment, reading and web-surfing features will certainly be impressive. I was hoping that Apple would integrate netbook features into this product. In other words… when I can use it for word-processing and working on spreadsheets, THEN I’ll be excited. $499 for 16 GB? That is obscene … we’re talking ~$830 to make this functional. And THEN you have to lock yourself into a monthly data plan… can you surf at free wireless hotspots without an account? Doubt it…

Thanks, Santiago. I’ve made corrections.

Listen up, guys.
I’m sure the display on this is great,
but as I type this from my Ipod touch
I’m reminded of one thing.

It’s size.
I can do all of these things on something that
already fits in my jacket pocket.

And comics, panel by panel, look great on it!

Listen up, guys.
I’m sure the display on this is great,
but as I type this from my Ipod touch
I’m reminded of one thing.

It’s size.
I can do all of these things on something that
already fits in my jacket pocket.

And comics, panel by panel, look great on it!

This gadget will SAVE the magazine, newspaper and comic book industries. And don’t worry about the price point. Remember the price for iphones when they first came out? Now you can buy one from $199 ($99 for the older models!).

THANK YOU STEVE JOBS!

Christopher, read up before you complain.

1. It does have word processing, spreadsheet and presentation functionality. Iworks is available for it at very cheap prices ($10 each.)
2. You’re not locked into any data plan. You can activate or cancel a subscription at any time.
3. AT&T wifi is free (not sure if the data plan is necessary yet) but I’m in Ireland anyway, so irrelevant to me.

Jason: Who wants to read comics panel by panel? I HATE the comics that have been converted to be read on my iPhone. The options for full screen reading (comics, magazines, newspapers, books, etc) is the one thing that has me interested most in this.

Still don’t think I’ll be buying one though. I’ll be waiting to see what the third party developers do with it first. A great piece of hardware is just a big paperweight if it doesn’t have great content to deliver.

Anticipating an announcement from the big two … please?

Meh.

Overpriced. Make it 35% cheaper and we can talk. Doesn’t do anything SOOOO revolutionary that I HAVE to have it. Just a very expensive toy.

Reading comics one panel at a time sucks out loud, and is a raping of the artform.

I remember when the I-phone first came out it was plagued by shitty battery life. You can bet that Amazon will do third gen kendle and do it better and cheaper than the I-pad.

No complaints. I think this is a great opportunity for digital comics. I look forward to seeing how the formats and features shake out.

As a person who stands at Jobs’ “cross-roads of Technology and Liberal Arts” (I have both degrees in Art and Computer Science), I have to say that this is the game-changer. This is a device that you will be able to read full-page, double spread, full-color books on.

This is what we’ve been waiting for in the comics industry. More importantly, this is the first device that does exactly what we want it to do. This and the further devices in this vein, will be what allows the big publishers to bring their prices down. This will be a viable outlet for small publishers, even self-publishers, to stand on the same ground as the giants.

That said, it is a first generation product and their will be flaws that can be built on.

To the comment about not being able to read on planes. The book reader was a huge item for them. It has, at minimum, a 16GB hard drive. You will be able to download the books on to the device, I promise.

Battery life is supposedly 10 hours. We’ll see about that. I would guess somewhere more in the 6-7 range actually.

Wi-fi use is free, 3G is extra but looks pretty affordable ($30 a month for unlimited with AT&T). But, as many tech pundits have stated, get a MiFi tacked onto your existing phone plan and you won’t have to worry about the data plan

Basically, guys, hold out for 60 days until you can hold it in your hands and then pass judgment. I think you’ll be surprised.

I’m intrigued, but mainly because it will up the ante and probably push a color Kindle to market quicker than it might have. I’m not completely sold on e-readers, but color is a must before I’ll even consider one. I’ll never give up physical books altogether, but there are lots of publications (magazines, reference books, most comics,) that I would just as soon have on a color e-reader. It would certainly free up a lot of shelf space. But I do want something that has a magazine size screen and just a little heft to it. I’ll be watching to see what Amazon does in response to this.

I’m with the crowd that says “one panel at a time sucks” unless you happen to be reading single panel gag comics. For which, the iPhone is fine. Heck, even something like SIN TITULO works okay on the iPhone. I’d love for regular comics to be ported instantly to that user base, but it’s not a good match.

And judging by the haters and the ‘meh’ers, this will make some pretty big waves.

Now that I’ve seen more information on it, I’m totally down with this. I’ll just be waiting a year for when the price drops a hundred bucks or so and most of the kinks are worked out on it.

I’m really excited to see the iPad come out. As Jason mentioned I can read comics on a smaller mobile device, but I want something that’s easier to carry and has a bigger screen.

I also can’t wait to see how things will look on the HP Slate.

Cute. But I like paper. So count me out until that day when I have no choice.

It looks cool on television, but I want tot see what it weighs in my hands. How will it feel to an individual with arthritis? Battery life will probably be around four hours, let’s be real…

Four hundred dollars is a lot of money for a toy. Sure, they’ll be those who can’t live without it because it’s new, but at that price it will be quite awhile before it takes over the print industry. And just because the technology is available doesn’t mean anyone has figured out how to make enough money from it to pay for an industry to develop.

We’re still years away from the tri-corder technology all of us Star Trek geeks are drooling for.

It looks like they rushed it to the market to me, and when it hits the stores the biggest complaints will be battery life. 10 hrs sounds a little generous when you consider every thing it can do. Actual battery life will probably be between 4 to 6hrs maybe less.

While you guys are all contemplating how your comics will look on this thing, I was more interested in the creative capabilities of it.
As an Artist, I was hoping it would be like the WACOM W12X qhich is a tablet you draw directly on. Now the Brushes program is pretty cool, but the machine will not run Photoshop from what I gather and that limits creative function right there
No Flash capability = fail.
Overall, until I actually get to mess around with one, I am not very impressed.

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