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Although the late Steve Jobs is no longer with us physically, his influence and imagination continued to guide Apple as it unveiled what it’s calling the new iPad (not iPad 3 or iPad HD as many speculated), in San Francisco today.
The new iPad, which is set to ship March 16, sees the Apple tablet getting a significant tech spec overhaul. It will be the first Apple device to offer 4G LTE mobile broadband access, available to users on both the AT&T and Verizon cellular networks. During the new iPad announcement, Apple representatives revealed that a 4G wireless connection would allow the device to get up to a maximum 74 Mbps download speed. If 4G isn’t offered in your area yet, however, the device is also 3G-equipped.
On the display front, Apple has done its best to dazzle. The new iPad boasts a retina display, which means it has a unparalleled 2048x1536-pixel resolution. That’s four times the pixels that were available in the previous iPad, the iPad 2. Photos and videos will now appear sharper and in higher definition than ever before.
Additionally, the high-resolution display will allow iPad users to record in 1080p HD video. For video conferencing purposes, however, users will still have to make do with the lower quality front-facing VGA camera.
All of those pixels of course require more power, so Apple has built the A5X processor. This processor is such an advancement that it’s capable of handling the sort of complex gaming found on video game consoles.
Epic Games President Mike Capps, whose company produced Infinity Blade: Dungeons, for the new iPad, said at the event that “[the iPad] has more memory and higher screen resolution than an Xbox 360 or PS3.”
Along with the new hardware updates, Apple also announced new versions of iWork and iLife, including an iOS version of iPhoto which allows for some serious photo editing on the iPad. With sophisticated apps like these, Apple is clearly moving its mobile devices more toward being independent, stand-alone computers that are just as capable of content production as their notebook and desktop counterparts.
And if you’re worried that with the new processor and 4G antenna that battery life will suffer, have no fear. The company claims that the new iPad will have10-hour battery life. Which is plenty of time to get more than a little work done in an 8-hour workday.
One key feature missing from the new iPad announcement was Siri, the beloved virtual assistant that Apple released in conjunction with the iPhone 4S late last year. The company announced at the conference that Siri would be coming to Japan, and they showed off voice dictation for the new iPad, but no Siri. Perhaps this means that Apple intends to keep Siri as an iPhone-exclusive feature?
In closing, Apple CEO Tim Cook promised more great things from the company in the coming year.
“Only Apple could deliver this kind of innovation in such a beautiful, integrated way. It's what we love to do. It's what we stand for,” Cook said.