Apple Tablet Event Live Blog: The iPad is Here, Starts at $499

DSC_0060 Thanks to the chatty-cathys at McGraw Hill, it’s a safe bet that Apple will be announcing its new tablet along with details about the new iPhone OS during the company’s press event in San Francisco today. But critical details remain locked away. What’s the tablet’s screen size? What services will it offer? Will it come with a 3G connection? How are we meant to use it? What do we even call the thing? Join us at the Yuerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco as we live-blog this much-anticipated event. The funs starts at 10 AM Pacific time. 10:00 Steve Jobs is on stage. Huge applause. Going to . Two weeks ago company sold 250 millionth iPod. Apple had over 50 million visitors to its stores last quarter. App Store now has more than 140,000 applications. With over 15.6 billion in revenue company is now over a 50 billion dollar company. 10:05 Apple is a mobile device company. Larger than Sony’s and Samsung’s mobile devices business. It’s even bigger than Nokia’s business. Apple is number one mobile devices company. 10:08 If there is going to be a category between notebooks and smart phones it has do certain things better. Including Web browsing, email, photos, video, music, games and eBooks. Problem is that netbooks aren’t good at anything. They’re just cheap devices. (ouch). DSC_0051 10:12 Introducing the iPad. The device looks like an oversized iPod touch. Optimized for a laid back experience. Steve Jobs demoing Web browsing. It’s a very smooth experience and you see whole stories without having to zoom in on Doesn’t look like there’s any Flash support but we’ll see. The idea is to put the whole Web in the palm of your hand. And the device has a zippy built-in accelerometer. 10:17: Onto e-mail. You can see your inbox on the left hand side and full messages in the right hand pane. Pretty slick approach. Supports PDFs. Like an iPod touch, you can easily bring up photos but the device does a better job neatly organizing albums, and it has cool animations. You can scrub through albums with just a flick of your finger. Places support is also integrated, so you look at photos you took based on location just by tapping on a pushpin on a map. 10:23: Steve Jobs also showing off integrated iTunes, which uses a similar approach to e-mail app. You can see your playlists on left hand side. Maps application supports Street View. YouTube videos look smooth at full screen on the device. Movies, TV shows, and videos. Showing off Star Trek playing back (iTunes download) where you can easily skip to any chapter when playing back (just like a DVD). DSC_006110:28: Device has 9.7 inch display. 1.5 pounds and just 0.5 inches thin. Powered by 1 GHz Apple A4 chip, and between 16 GB, 32GB or 64 GB of Flash storage. Promises up to 10 hours of battery life. Over a month of standby life. DSC_006210:32: Scott Forstall on stage. iPad has the ability to double the pixel count on existing apps so it fills up the whole screen. Can automatically scale apps up. Showing ESPN snowboarding game and you can get full screen playback with touch of a button. Awesome feature. All the existing apps should work on the iPad, but developers can use other tools to take full advantage of large touchscreen display. 10:38: Gameloft showing off new first-person shooter, Nova, which takes advantage of larger display in some cool ways. You can unlock doors with a three finger gesture, as well as target multiple enemies at once by drawing an around them. You can also see a mini map and stretch that view to see where you are. 10:41: Martin Nisenholtz from The New York Times on stage to create a new app for the iPad. You can easily flip through sections, and the experience looks and feels like the newspaper. You can tap to change number of columns, resize type, and page through slideshows. If there’s embedded video you play it right within the app. 10:43: Brushes is an iPhone painting app that’s coming to the iPad. Steve Sprang showing off what he’s been able to accomplish in a couple weeks. The app uses different size brushes and includes an incredible amount of control.
10:47: EA games says building games for iPad is like holding an HDTV up to your face. Need for Speed looks gorgeous, and extrea screen real estate allowed them to add views (in car, mirror), and a shifter. Performance is really important for EA. Absolutely no lag in the demo. This device put the PSP and Nintendo DS to shame–or at least it could. 10:52: MLB app lets you watch live games and track them with real-time stats. You can look at player cards, for example, and its overlaid right on top of the action. DSC_007310:54: Apple introducing iBook app and book store with iTunes. Includes major publishers like Simon & Schuster. The iBook store gives you quick access to the The New York Times bestsellers list. The book downloads right onto your virtual bookshelf, with full color covers. To read books you just tap on them. Flipping forward and backward is very fast (sorry eInk). You can even pause mid flip if you want to show off. You can change font size and font itself. Jobs says company is very excited about text books, too. DSC_007410:58: iWork available on iPad with entirely new user interface, proving that this device is not just for entertainment. Completely new version of Keynote for creating presentations with your fingers. New version of Numbers and Pages. Keynote presents you with a slide library. Creating a new one takes just tap of a button, and there are several templates available. Slide navigator is on left hand side. Can create tables and charts/graphs. You can move a bunch of slides at once using touch. Includes advanced animations. DSC_007711:05: Onto Pages. Can create documents, easily scroll through text. Includes touch keyboard you can use it landscape or portrait mode. Features automatic text wrapping around a graphic. And the text shifts automatically as you move around the image with your finger. Pretty slick. Numbers lets you create reports and do things with touch like manipulate pie charts and move chunks of the pie off to the left, for example. All of the iWork apps will be $9.99 each. 11:12: The iPad syncs everything over USB via iTunes, including all media and apps. Evey model will have Wi-Fi but some will have 3G. Up to 250 MG of data per month for $14.99. Jobs says most people will get buy on that but I doubt it. Unlimited plan, though is just $29.99. AT&T providing the data plan (some hisses from the audience). There’s no contract, so you can cancel at any time. We’re assuming unlimited means 5GB. All of the models will be unlocked and use new GSM micro SIMs. DSC_008411:16: Jobs summing up the benefits, including Web, email, photos, music, and video. Most important, runs nearly all of the apps in the App Store and new generation of apps. New iBooks app and iBook store lets you carry thousands of books around. iWork suite of apps for productivity, though I’m not sold on the touch keyboard yet. 11:17: How about pricing? iPad pricing starts at just $499. 32GB goes for $599, and $699 for 64GB. iPad will be available in 60 days. Another 30 days beyond that for 3G models. 11:20: Accessories will include a dock. Will also come with a keyboard (thank God). Third accessory is a nice case and doubles as a stand for typing and watching movies. Now showing a promo video. Device looks really gorgeous with aluminum back, but we can’t wait to type on it to see how it holds up. 11:30: Jobs reiterating that this device has what it takes to have success in market between Macs and iPhone. Playing up iTunes Store, App Store, and iBook store. 125 million accounts already up and running for one-click shopping. Says we are ready for the iPad (think he means Apple and us). Jobs says iPad is most advanced technology in magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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Submit Comments

  1. Frank Wu Says:

    Thank you for liveblogging – can’t get video here! More pictures please.

  2. Bobby Fisher Says:

    So when they say 10 hours of Battery life in reality its probably more like 7. None of there products get the battery life they claim.

  3. Ellie Light Says:

    any dimension pictures? Is is possible to see it in his hand?

  4. PittPitt Says:

    I can’t help but feel somewhat disappointed. I know that asking for OSX may be a little too much, but I was hoping to see at least some multitasking, flash support, more storage and video conferencing — things that most netbooks can do already.

  5. Ali Demange Says:

    If you use the google app you can’t save the images, you have to search for pictures on safari to save them.

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