"A couple of weeks after its launch, Apple has released the first television commercial for the iPad 2, entitled "We Believe." It's hard to see just why Apple needs to advertise on TV, with the iPad 2 already sold out around the globe, but it goes without saying that it's a classic Apple advert that makes the iPad 2 look truly magical."
Another job well done by Apple, but when it comes to their ads, do you expect anything less?
If I were working in the console gaming group at Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo, I'd look at this video and break out into a cold sweat - or I'd start thinking hard about the ways that the mobile devices my company makes could be leveraged in the same way. Microsoft in particular has been hearing for years that Windows Mobile phones could be great secondary gaming devices, but they never managed to do anything with them until Windows Phone 7 - and now we're seeing the first steps toward leveraging the two devices into something interesting.
One things for sure: the graphics chip on the iPad 2 is capable of some powerful stuff!
"The launch of the iPad 2 is under 26 hours away, the queues are already starting to form and now the UK's mobile operators are starting to release their prices and tariffs, helping to subsidize the cost of the latest and great Apple tablet."
If you are planning on attempting to buy an iPad 2 in the UK, you may want to give this a quick read so you are prepared. A thorough list of the numerous places you can go to pick up your iPad 2, all the heavy lifting has been done for you so all you have to do is read one article. Or take your chances...
"Apple has just announced iPad 2 UK pricing for launch on Friday at 5pm, and to our surprise it's actually lower than the original iPad's launch price of £429 for the base model."
With the savings, like the article says, you can pick up a Smart Cover for only a few pounds more if you are in the UK. The Wi-Fi only 16GB iPad 2 with tax will cost £399, while the 32GB and 64GB models will set you back £479 and £559 respectively. If you add 3G to any of them, you have to tack on an additional £100.
"Given how difficult it is to get an iPad 2 in America right now, you didn't have to be a die-hard cynic to think that Apple was going to have to repeat 2010′s one month international delay in launching the iPad internationally."
I guess they must have confidence they have enough in the channels to satisfy the demand, as well as supply all those of use waiting for our iPad 2 in the US, since Apple is planning to launch the iPad 2 in 25 countries this Friday. Apple also announced in April the iPad 2 will be available in additional countries to include Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore.
"Back before the iPad 2 was released to consumers Robert Scoble recorded a CinchCast message that said no one should buy a 3G iPad because you can just use the WiFi hotspot capability on your smartphone."
And he wasn't the only one to preach the advantages of WiFi over 3G and why no one really needed the 3G. But there are advantages as this story points out, namely convenience. Much easier to just turn on the 3G instead of the tethering on your iPhone. That isn't the only advantage of course, and if you are a frequent traveler it may make a lot of sense to have 3G so you don't run down the battery on your iPhone. I am going back and forth on this issue and I think, mainly due to convenience, I am going to go with the 3G version. Which version did you go with or are you going to go with, and is 3G capability a necessity for you?
"SoundMan Car Audio's done it again, and this time on day one -- they've stuffed an iPad 2 into the dashboard of an unsuspecting vehicle, in this case a 2010 Ford F-150 pickup."
Looks like a pretty clean install to me, and it actually seems logical if you don't already have navigation in your car. Your iPad 2 (or original iPad for that matter) can double as your entertainment/navigation center. Not sure I'd want to spend all that dough on the install though.
"Want to grab an iPad 2 but didn't manage to get one over the weekend? Word on the street has it that Apple will be opening its Retail Stores one hour early on Tuesday to sell people a new shipment of iPad 2s."
This is obviously a rumor, and while we don't normally report on rumors, I think its a good idea to at least have a heads up on this since history has shown they do open early for this type of thing. Of course the only way to know is by showing up early and seeing if you can get in, unless you are able to get some kind hearted Apple employee to divulge this over the phone today. Stranger things have happened yes?
"Remember when logicboards were one of the biggest components of a computer? Not any more."
It seems it's almost obligatory that whenever Apple releases a product, iFixIt releases photos of the product in various stages of teardown. I do find it interesting how they can pack so much stuff into such a tiny form factor though, quality engineering! You can see the entire set of photos at the iFixIt site.
"Earlier this morning we published our first impressions on Apple's iPad 2, including analysis on camera quality and a dive into the architecture behind Apple's A5 SoC."
What they found was that the iPad 2 was indeed 50% faster than the A4 chip in the original iPad, but they also wanted to test the claim regarding GPU. Is the iPad 2 really 9x faster than the original? This is a pretty thorough investigation of the claim, and an interesting read. I won't spoil the surprise.
"The crowds aren't as big as at some prior events - including the launch of the original iPad itself - but folks are lining up to be the first to get an iPad 2 at launch events across the country. Earlier today we posted pics tweeted from Apple's PopUp Apple Store in Austin, TX, and now we have several photos from the Flat Iron Crossing Apple Store in Broomfield, CO, and the Apple Store in Carlsbad, CA."
I wouldn't mind waiting in line here, it looks like an oasis! At SXSW they also needed barricades at the temporary store Apple set up for the festival, and there were also reports of long lines in various other locations but it appears the lines moved along fairly smoothly. For some though, being in line was worth the cost of a nice 3G iPad 2 as this fellow paid $900.00 USD for the right to be first in line in Manhattan. That's dumb. One thing is certain though, if you didn't wait in line you will have to wait two or three weeks to get your iPad 2 delivered according to Apple, so perhaps waiting in line this time was the way to go eh?
"With the iPad 2 launch just days away, it's a good time to consider which iPad model you want to buy. If, like me, you plan on upgrading yearly and taking advantage of the iPad's excellent resale value, it's crucial to be aware of what models are popular, and you should also consider your usage habits in order to decide between 3G or Wi-Fi only connectivity."
Several considerations involved, such as just how much memory am I going to need, will I need Wi-Fi only or the combo unit and of course now there is the color decision just to make it more complicated. And on top of that, if you have an iPad are you going to keep it or trade it in? A recent poll has information that says 32% of current iPad owners are going to keep their iPad if they buy an iPad 2. I can tell you that I am also in that camp, especially since I plan on using the original version as a TV set top box of sorts with Hulu+ and other apps to send the signal to my TV with the new HDMI adapter that Apple is going to start selling. I've also narrowed my choices down to the black one, with 32 GB of memory. The only thing I'm waffling on is Wi-Fi only or the added 3G version. How about you, what are you going to do when the iPad 2 becomes available?
"We all know that the iPad 2's rear camera will capture 720p HD video and 3.1 stereo sound, but what does this actually translate to in real life?"
Here's an example of what can be expected from the iPad 2's video recording. This YouTube example is 360p and filmed under pretty harsh conditions, so actual videos and sound should be better. And, with iMovie onboard, the ability to edit and manipulate the videos seems pretty impressive. I do wonder how this (larger) form factor will work for comfortably capturing videos, compared to, for example, an iPhone or a Flip Video camera.
"The iPad 2 hits U.S. stores on Friday March 11, 2011. On Friday March 11, 2011, Apple's iPad 2 will become available for purchase online and in retail stores. Early trade-in activity surrounding the original iPad suggests that that the iPad 2 will be in high demand."
And if that prediction holds true, you might need to explore all of your options before you decide just how you are going to get that popular device in your hot little hands. Great primer with a lot of info so worth the read if you are planning on buying an iPad 2.
"The iPad 2 is off to a great start. It hasn't even shipped yet and it's getting rave reviews - applauded as "phenomenal" and clearly outpacing the competition. Yours truly just declared the iPad 2 a "winner.""
Interesting perspective offering some guesses as to why Apple didn't add more features to the iPad 2. The main reason? Price. The competition is scrambling to see how (and if) they can match Apple on tablet price. This is a unique position for Apple, as their competitors have historically been seen as less-expensive, almost across the entire product line. Since Apple seems to be treating this competition as a marathon rather than a quick 100 meter dash, it'll be interesting to see how the other vendors react. Real competition is making -all- the vendors raise their game - to everyone's benefit.
"Many iPad 3G owners may want to transfer their current data plan to the new iPad 2. You could simply wait until the end of the month to cancel your current plan (unless you want to keep your unlimited data plan). Or, you could get everything transferred over on day one."
Here are the steps to do it direct from AT&T:
Find your original iPad’s cellular data number and IMEI number. These can be found in the settings app. Simply go to “General” then “About.” Here you will find both numbers. Your IMEI number is what AT&T uses to identify your SIM card.
Let AT&T know you would like to transfer your data plan from your original iPad to your new iPad.
AT&T will ask for the iPad 2’s IMEI number and will transfer your plan over to your new iPad.
You would think you could just take out the sim card and put it in the new iPad, but according to AT&T this isn't the right way to do it and might cause you some difficulties.
"Apple is offering a $100/£100 refund to those of you who bought a first-generation iPad, within the last 2 weeks.When the iPad 2 was revealed, we saw a $100/£100 reduction on the first-gen iPad, which is still available to buy in the Apple Online Store."
So if you were one of those not paying attention to the news and didn't realize an iPad 2 was going to be announced, and went ahead and bought an original iPad after February 16th then you get 100 bucks, or pounds if you are in the UK.
"AT&T is offering tablet owners two new postpaid billing options. With a $25 for 2GB plan, customers can get a month free for a limited time. AT&T is now offering tablet owners the option of a post-paid billing plan. Like the prepaid plan, it doesn't require a long-term contract and is added on to a customer's existing monthly statement."
Now you can go with a prepaid or a postpaid option, but the twist is in how its charged. If you go with the prepaid option ($14.99 USD for 250MB a month or $25.00 USD for 2GB), you pay in advance via credit card. If you go with the postpaid option, it is charged to your AT&T bill, including the overages. And there is where there is another twist. If you go over on the prepaid option, you pay either $14.99 USD for another 250MB or they charge you $25.00 USD for another 2GB. If it's on the postpaid option though, you get charged the same $14.99 USD for the 250MB option but if you go over on the $25.00 plan, you are only charged $10.00 USD per GB. No contract terms on either plan, but for convenience it appears to me that the postpaid version is a better deal.
"Apple announced the second generation iPad on Wednesday, March 2, but it won't be available until Friday, March 11. Like most everything Apple sells, you can order online or pick one up at your local Apple Store, but with this launch you might need to do a little extra planning ahead of time."
There won't be any pre-orders it appears, so if you want one on launch day, you will have to wait in line either at an Apple Store or at one of the other retailers, such as Best Buy or Wal-Mart. If you can wait a day or two, you will get free shipping from Apple. You can get more info at a page Apple set up just for iPad 2 purchasers. Oh, and on launch day you won't be able to purchase until 5:00 pm.
"Just like the iPhone 4, the iPad 2 is more than half battery. It is interesting that these incredibly small devices are almost completely battery by size and weight."
It's no wonder then that they are able to get 10 hours of usage and a month of standby time out of this device. Amazing to me they still pack in all the other features yet get it 1/3 thinner than the original.