Apple Announces iPad2

Apple unveiled its second-gen iPad in San Francisco today, amid a flurry of software apps that make it such a transformative device.

Apple’s new iPad2 is 33% thinner, weighs 1.3 lbs vrs 1.5 lbs, has front and rear cameras, a new A5 processor, said to be much faster for graphics, provides output up to 1080p with HDMI output and comes in white and black. It retains the $499 price. It will be available March 11th in the United States.

Live coverage from Engadget, Gizmodo, C/Net, PC World and Mac World.

The iPad2 (tech specs) features more powerful hardware, showcased by the A5 processor, similar to Samsung’s Exynos ARM A9 Dual-core. It enables dual cameras, faster games, and more powerful apps.

Apps were the big story for iPad2; Photo Booth (still photo software), FaceTime (video chat), iMovie for iPad (a video editor), and GarageBand for iPad (music composition software) will all be available on March 11th:

  • FaceTime (built-in). Video chat between two iPads, between an iPad and an iPhone, or between an iPad and a Mac.
  • Photobooth (built-in) takes snapshots and applies effects – from funny to artsy to really bizarre.
  • iMovie for iPad ($4.99) edits the HD video you shoot on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. It uses a Ken Burns-style panning effect that uses face detection to keep faces in the frame. Provides soundtracks, sound effects, and direct audio recording. Direct sharing with YouTube, Facebook, etc., and a few new transitions.
  • GarageBand for iPad ($4.99). Play a collection of musical instruments designed for Multi-Touch that sound and play just like their real counterparts. Arrange and mix your songs anywhere inspiration strikes using a powerful eight-track recording studio that can handle any combination of audio recordings, Touch Instruments, and loops.
  • iBooks (free). With a tap, it flips around to reveal the iBookstore, where you’ll find over 150,000 books and counting — many of them free.
  • Keynote ($9.99). It’s the most powerful presentation app ever designed for a mobile device, using the same approach from iWork, completely reworked for iPad and Multi-Touch.
  • Pages ($9.99). Using just your fingers, you’re a writer one minute and a designer the next. Create newsletters, reports, brochures, and flyers.

In addition, Apple released iOS 4.3, which also enables an iPhone 4 to be a personal hotspot.

“So iPad 2 — amazing product. Faster, lighter, thinner. Cameras and gyro. iOS 4.3 and FaceTime. iMovie and GarageBand. 3G on AT&T and Verizon. Same battery life. Same prices. Black and white. Smart Covers.”

Engadget created this tablet comparison chart (above). Here are the iPad2 specs.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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