The iPad™ is an innovative device from Apple®, Inc. This much anticipated laptop meets the needs of users who desire an eBook reader as well as a mini-computer. A multi-touch screen, flexible orientation, and a variety of applications make the device unlike any other.
The 9.7 in (24.64 cm) screen has 1024-by-768 pixel resolution, with 132 pixels per inch (ppi). The resulting graphics appear clear and sharp. The surface has a fingerprint-resistant coating, which is a useful feature for a touchscreen device. The unit contains an accelerometer, used in many applications, or apps, to sense the orientation and motion of the device to facilitate gameplay or app features.
Built-in speakers and a microphone are installed for use with various apps. The 3.5 mm headphone jack is available for private listening, however, the iPad™ does not come with earbuds or headphones. A USB power adaptor and dock connector are included for data transfer and charging purposes.
Capacities of 16 gigabytes (GB), 32 GB, and 64 GB are available, with WiFi or WiFi plus 3G, or third generation wireless network. WiFi requires a wireless Internet connection. The WiFi plus 3G handles higher data transfer speeds typically used in applications to stream video or surf the web. This requires the purchase of an additional data plan.
The iPad™ comes equipped with several applications that iPhone® and iPod touch® users may find familiar. These include iTunes®, Maps, Notes, Calendar, Contacts, Photos, Videos, and Mail, which are all standard on the device. Safari is the web browser, and tapping the iPod icon accesses the music library. New to the iPad™, among other features, are the Spotlight Search function, used to search for specific content housed on the device, and Accessibility which offers a screen reader that is able to playback closed-captioned content.
Apps designed for work are available, but are not included on the device. The iWork® apps include Keynote, a presentation app; Pages, a document creation app with advanced layout tools; and Numbers, a spreadsheet app for making tables, charts, and more — which is compatible with Excel®. Each application is available for a fee from the iTunes® App Store.
The iBooks app is free to download for reading digital content. Books are available from the iBookstore for download to the iPad™. Book covers are displayed on a virtual bookshelf, and may be accessed by a single tap on the screen. Several periodicals are offering iPad™-compatible versions as well.
Apps for the iPhone® are compatible with the iPad™. New apps, specifically designed for the new device, make use of its specific features and capabilities. The software development kit (SDK) is available on the Apple® website, and includes guides and samples for those wishing to develop apps.