So here's the situation. Apple's iPad is a pretty big deal, no matter what ill feelings the anti-Apple crowd might be harboring. Regardless of the iPad's shortcomings, Apple has officially kicked off the tablet craze predicted to run rampant through the rest of the year, and beyond.
For those of you who don't give a rat's behind about Apple's "magical" tablet or what effect the iPad will have on the ebook market, netbooks, laptops, and world peace, this post is just for you.
If you've ever seen a Blendtec video before, then you know what's about to happen, and you probably couldn't be more excited. And if this is your first time, sit back and enjoy watching as Tom Dickinson thrashes a brand new iPad in the baddest blender around.
No matter where you stand on the whole iPad debate (awesome device or overpriced tablet-wannabe), the launch was nothing short of successful. According to Apple, the company sold over 300,000 iPads in the US as of midnight Saturday, April 3.
"It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world -- it's going to be a game changer," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "iPad users, on average, downloaded more than three apps and close to one book within hours of unpacking their new iPad."
Apple's sales numbers include pre-orders, deliveries to channel partners, and sales at Apple Retail Stores. Apple also said that the iPad contributed to over one million downloaded apps and over 250,000 ebooks from its iBookstore during its first day.
Try playing hide-and-seek against Netflix and you'll lose every time. There's just no hiding from Netflix and its streaming service, which is available on all three major game consoles, television sets, standalone players, Blu-ray players, and just about everywhere else.
Netflix's aggressive streaming strategy paid off big for early adopters of Apple's iPad bemoaning the lack the Flash support. Available on the same day the iPad launched, the free app gives Netflix subscribers access to the streaming service's online catalog of movies and TV shows, while also giving iPhone and iPod owners a touch of envy, though not for long.
"Terrific response to our news today about Netflix on the iPad," Steve Swasey, VP of Corporate Communications, wrote in a blog post. "For those of you asking whether Netflix will be on the iPhone and iPod touch: We wouldn't invite you to dinner without planning to serve dessert. In other words, we're working on it so stay tuned."'
When you're finished viewing Netflix movies and reading Marvel comics on your iPad, you can get some work done by downloading Cisco's WebEx Meeting Center app. WebEx is a free business application that allows users to put their heads together online and collaborate with a series of finger taps.
"This latest innovation continues to showcase Cisco's ongoing commitment to bringing the value of collaboration to users on their device of choice," said Debra Chrapaty, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Collaboration Software Group. "When a powerful collaboration solution like Cisco WebEx Meeting Center for the iPad is combined with an intuitive and WiFi enabled user experience, businesses and users both win."
The WebEx app gives iPad users access to the all the features available in the collaboration product, including the ability to view shared presentations, participate in meetings, see who's talking, converse privately, and more. VoIP communication through WebEx is also included.
Okay, i'm doing my best not to write about the iPad too much this weekend, but believe me its not easy. First impressions, app lists, and talk of accessories seems to have completely dominated the news cycle, but one article I stumbled upon seems to stand out from the rest. The iPad is a good looking piece of hardware, I won't deny it that, but what would it take to kill one? Well according to the guys over at PCWorld not much.
Turns out spilling coffee on the screen and even a few soft bounces on carpet are more than enough to cause serious hardware failure. I'm sure most of us expect a bit more durability out of our mobile gadgets, but hey they said it was magical not droppable right? Either way its a good reminder for new iPad owners that it is probably worth it to pony up for a protective case as one of those two scenarios are bound to happen eventually.
The spilled coffee and dropping on carpet pretty much cover off the normal use case accidents, but if you want to check out the iPad getting submerged, dropped on concrete, and even hit with a baseball you should probably check out the rest of the video for yourself after the jump.
Even die-hard PC fans might have a hard time continuing to hate on Apple's iPad. Netflix is on board, which is pretty awesome in and of itself, and with Marvel having now launched an app for the iPad, you may never have to order pay-per-view from a hotel bedside ever again.
"The iPad is the first device that offers us a chance to present digital comics that are even close to replicating the experience of a print comic," said Marvel CEO Dan Buckley.
According to Buckley, the app will feature an "incredibly" high resolution, along with a user-friendly search engine and some unique viewing options that take advantage of the iPad's touchscreen and finger-swiping.
"Fans will be granted unrivaled access to Marvel's rich library of comics, with launch titles ranging from the first appearances of characters such as Spider-Man and the X-Men to modern classics like the debut of Red Hulk, Jonathan Hickman's acclaimed Fantastic Four run, Joss Whedon & John Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men and lots more."
We're still a day away from the much anticipated launch of Apple's iPad, but already the tablet from Cupertino has managed to make its presence known. According to an AFP report, Amazon has agreed to let two more major publishers raise the prices of electronic books for Kindle readers in deals similar to those Apple struck for its iPad.
The deals with Simon & Schuster and Harper-Collins allows for ebook prices to be set at $12.99 or $14.99 rather than the $9.99 price point Amazon has tried to maintain.
This marks a major win for publishers, who previous to the iPad had little leverage in negotiating deals with Amazon. Amazon might have been on borrowed time anyway with the deluge of ebook readers expected to flood the market this year, and perhaps no one is happier right now than Rupert Murdoch, chairman and managing director of News Corp., the parent company of Harper-Collins.
"Without content, the ever larger and flatter screens, the tablets, the e-readers and the increasingly sophisticated mobile phones would be lifeless," Murdoch stated earlier this year. "Without content these ingenious and wonderful devices would be unloved and unsold."
Are you prepared to pay up to $15 for an ebook, or is the publishing industry shooting themselves in the foot?
The sites include the likes of the New York Times, Vimeo, CNN, and The White House. Confusingly, the Apple page does not link to the sites; it just shows a header for each. Apple has a description of how each site has implemented design changes for the iPad. Some sites like Reuters are listed as having HTML5 video for “most” content, while Virgin America is “almost entirely standards based”.
Apple also has a link at the bottom of the page asking, “Is your site taking advantage of the latest web standards?” Website admins are encouraged to submit their site for consideration as “iPad ready”. Hopefully this will be more informal than the App Store approval process.
Hype is high for Apple's iPad, which will be delivered to homes and on Apple store shelves starting this Saturday, but if Asus is worried, they're putting on a good poker face. So why does Asus appear unfazed?
Probably because Asus is prepping "at least two" tablet PCs of its own, company chairman Jonney Shih revealed to Forbes in an interview. Both models, and maybe more, will see the light of day in the coming months
Maybe Apple is the one who should be nervous. Asus is the same company that played a large role in pushing the netbook frenzy that swept the globe, and as successful as they've been, Asus is now looking at the tablet market.
"Netbooks are the best combination of personal computing and cloud computing," Shih said. "But between netbooks and smartphones and e-readers, we think there will be a space for something like a tablet or slate PC."
Details are obviously sparse on what exactly Asus has planned, but Shih did say they would likely turn to Google's Chrome or Android OS for one, and Microsoft's Windows platform for another.
"There will be an Apple camp [in tablets], but Asus always tries to address the open camps of Google and Microsoft," Shih explained.
Apple has remained mum on how many people have preordered an iPad, but apparently the number is high enough to warrant a slight delay. Those who locked in a preorder by March 27 will still receive theirs on April 3 (where Saturday delivery is available) as promised, while everyone else will have to wait until April 12., Apple said.
Steve Jobs and Co. didn't give a reason for the delay, but did say that customers can still pre-order the iPad for in-store pickup on April 3. You'll also be able to purchase one in stores on that same day, though if Apple is having trouble filling preorders on time, we can't imagine whatever stock is left in-store will sit unpurchased for very long.
There has been no change to the availability of the 3G-enabled iPads, which are still listed as shipping in "late April."