Apple Event: Live Thoughts

If all the rumors are accurate, today’s the day that Steve Jobs is descending from the mountain with a tablet in hand. Today we’re experiementing a bit with a tool called CoverItLive, which will allow our bloggers to share specs, opinion and more in real time. It will also allow you share ideas. You can see a summary of it below, or visit this link to get in on the action.

UPDATE:  To our readers, sorry folks. Due to some technical issues with CoveritLive, we are unable to bring you this event as originally planned.  However, please stay tuned to our coverage.  We will have news, editorials, photos, etc all throughout the day about todays event.  Thank you.

And now, here is what is going on at the Apple Event:

Steve Jobs took the stage and talking about how Apple is a mobile company.  Its where their main revenues (laptop, iPod, app store) have been coming from.

And then he talked about Apples’s history of new devices…building up to the announcement we were all waiting for….

The new device has been named, and it is iPad.

iPad is the in between device between an iPod/iPhone and a laptop.  It is for browsing the web, doing email, photo sharing, video watching, playing games, and reading ebooks.

Steve is walking the audience through a demonstration of the iPad.  Its a thin device that you can change backgrounds.   To open, it slide scrolls like an iPhone/iPod. Icons are like the iPhone with Mac OS X dock. Turning capabilities of the device for web browsing like iPhone/iPod touch.  There is an on screen keyboard- very large one.  The music player is a hybrid of iTunes and what is on the iPhone.  It can look through photos, emails and calendar events like the iPhone, with a sync to the desktop calendar.  You can watch videos in Hi-Definition.  FYI, the video of choice seems to be Star Trek.

During the demo, Steve tried to to go a story on the NY Times site and was denied due to a flash plugin error in Safari.  Interesting.

Also during the demo, Steve has said that the device can cross platform sync photos- either from Mac or Windows…including Mac’s own iPhoto.

Steve is showing Places– meaning that Google Maps is up and running perfectly

The demo is now going on with iTunes.  Its is alot like using iTunes on the desktop.  You can use the new Album Cover view to bring up similar songs.  You can play songs right from iTunes.  Its just like the desktop.  Yipee for those who dont want a high learning curve.

Steve is loading up his current location.  We arent sure if this means there is GPS or location sensing tech in the iPad.  But, there is a WiFi connection being used.

Steve is watching movies now, Star Trek, in widescreen landscape more.  The movie is only taking up half of the screen real estate because its widescreen.  More interesting..

And now, the specifications:

.5 inches thin, 1.5 lbs, 9.7 inc IPS display

Full capacative multi touch

1Ghz Apple A4 chip

16GB to 64 GB of flash storage

802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 30 pin connector, speaker, microphone

Accelerometer and compass

10 hour battery life

All iPhone applications

Same “green” technology that they already use in their notebook line

There is a lot of discussion on the new applications available for the device.  It can use all the iPhone applications. The App Store is loaded on the iPad for consumers.  The SDK is available for download from Apple today.  Some of the developers are coming on stage to demo their new applications.

Games seem to work very well, especially if they use OpenGLS. First person shooters and other games move well and adapt to the iPad. Gameloft with their Nova FPS goes live when the iPad launches.

Social networking sites like Facebook look nice and work well.

The New York Times is making a specific iPad application, just like they did for the iPhone. Nice to know that the “real media” is putting in their two cents on this. You can jump around, look at pictures, and play video from the application.  Its an interactive news paper.

(Note: In case you were curious, yes the Apple Store is still up and online.  We’ll have more details on what this means later.)

Application called Brushes will be available when iPad launches.

EA is showing their gaming gusto with Need for Speed, a fully touch enabled game for the iPad.

For all the sports nuts, is showing off their new application for the iPad.  Its a baseball fans dream. You can watch every detail, get every statistic, watch games in a corner of the screen, view baseball cards, show pitch trajectories, and..well, you name it..the works.

And now Steve drops the bomb, a new applicaton called iBooks, an e-reader application for the iPad. There is a iBook Book store where you can buy books for the iPad.  It looks like it has the support of a lot of the major publication houses out there.  Those talks that happened this week between Apple and them now make sense.  It works like the Kindle application just with better touch capability and tap support.  It uses the ePub format for the e-books.  Nice to see that.

Their iWork office suite now has a version specifically for the new iPad. They reworked the user interface to make it happen. iWork uses landscape mode for viewing, entering data, etc.  They are demoing all the applications, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, Sheets, etc.  It will be $9.99 per application.

The device syncs over USB like an iPhone.

And now the infamous Steve Jobs line– “One more thing…”

The device does have WiFi, but models will have 3g.  The pricing?  One plan is 250MG of data per month for $14.99.  $29.99 for unlimited data.  This is all with AT&T.  You will also be able to use AT&T WiFi hotspots for free.  There is NO contract.  The iPad is unlocked and uses microSIM cards, and will be available internationally by June.

The price of an iPad with WiFi starts at $499 for the 16GB model.  $599 for the 32GB  and $699 for the 64GB models. For the 3G models, add $130 to the price tag.  The device ships in 60 days, with 90 days for the 3G models.  (Note: This is why the Apple Store didnt black out like it usually does when new stuff comes out.)

There are accessories too.  There is a standard dock.  And then, there is a keyboard dock! There is also a case for the iPad.

You will be able to sync applications you already bought for your iPod/iPhone onto the iPad and not have to pay twice.

(Note: nothing on importing existing ebooks, multitasking, camera or notifications.)

They already have a base of iPad users, since 75 million people already use an iPhone/iPod touch.

“Our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.”

Time for the press to get a hands-on with the iPad.

And that is a wrap from the iPad event.  Thanks for tuning into for today’s coverage.  Be sure to check back with us for more news, analysis, opinions and other items about the iPad.

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