March 14th 2010
By Mike Flaminio
Apple has posted a lot of information about the iPad. Much of it was covered in the introduction, but Apple has filled in some blanks.
Poring over Apple's iPad information reveals some new details about the product. One hardware feature includes a screen lock for rotation. The iPhone and iPod Touch automatically flips based on its accelerometer sensor. The iPad does this also, but it will include a manual lock. The lock is actually the same as the silent switch on the iPhone/iPod Touch. This should be handy for those reading, and even more so being a manual toggle that's easily accessible.
We've also learned that Apple will have a battery replacement program for the iPad. For $99-plus shipping, Apple will service a malfunctioning battery, although the service actually involves issuing a new iPad. Apparently affected customers, once granted a repair, will get a replacement iPad in about a week. The old iPad will presumably be refurbished for resale or service replacements. (Via Engadget)
Even though you'll have to wait few weeks longer, users looking at a 3G model can check out their service options. As reported from the introduction, for U.S. customers AT&T will provide month-to-month 3G service with no contracts. Customers can signup directly on their iPad for a month of service using one of two data plans. A $14.99 250 MB or $29.99 unlimited plan. Users will be able to cancel service and change between plans right on the iPad. Pretty slick.
We also learned a few things about iBooks, the electronic book store that will launch with the iPad. The iBooks app will in fact support the open ePub format. This means users will be able to import their own electronic library of books, provided it uses ePub. Not only does this include many free titles available for download, but will support custom publications, like company employee manuals and such. This is all for titles not for sale on Apple's iTunes iBook store, which we assume will have some kind of DRM, but nothing is really known about that yet.
The iBooks site notes readers can change between portrait and landscape viewing. Users can also change text size, font, and by touching a word readers can do dictionary or Wikipedia lookups. iBooks also supports VoiceOver, so the iPad can read text.
Some other tidbits that may be new or we just don't recall... Apple says all of the iPad's built-in apps have been redesigned for the iPad. A couple highlights that look cool... The new YouTube app run in portrait or landscape modes and highlight HD content. Apple also has more info on the iWork apps. We learned a little about various templates and some more details. Basically Keynote, Pages, and Numbers will be $10 each starting April 3rd.