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1/27/2010
05:37 PM
Fritz Nelson
Fritz Nelson
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Live Blog From Apple's iPad Launch

Being one of the lucky few to have scored a press pass into Apple's highly secretive launch event today, I will be live blogging the announcement with text and photos as it happens. So, starting at around 11:30 AM ET, be sure to refresh this blog entry (and refresh often) as I frantically attempt to bring you all there is to know about Apple's tablet (or whatever it is) in real time.

Being one of the lucky few to have scored a press pass into Apple's highly secretive launch event today, I will be live blogging the announcement with text and photos as it happens. So, starting at around 11:30 AM ET, be sure to refresh this blog entry (and refresh often) as I frantically attempt to bring you all there is to know about Apple's tablet (or whatever it is) in real time.

11:30AM EST I've been in line since 8 AM PT here at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, standing in an unusually rainless day, waiting for one of the most talked-about, leaked-about product launches in modern technology history.

People in Line
(click image for larger view)
People In Line
On Apple's earnings call, Apple COO Tim Cook kept telling inquiring analysts "We don't want to spoil the surprise." So I wait for surprises, half cynically thinking they've already all been written, half hoping for something grand and bold; not that what we've heard isn't that, but just grander and bolder.

So much foreplay.

11:40 AM EST Still a half hour before they let us in and the crowd here has thickened considerably. Satellite trucks are everywhere, cops and Apple minions ushering everyone away from the street. And lots of talk about Jason Calcanis' leaks last night on Twitter, some incredulous, some believe he's making it all up. Big TV cameras. Big still cameras. iphones snapping away. Tablet tease.

Dell Releases Teaser Photos Of Adamo XPS
(click image for larger view)
Crowds Thicken

11:52 AM EST Just ran into Om Malik in the media line. We were talking about what market this device will serve. Apple devotee? Consumer/entertainment? Education? I still maintain this can be a great all-in-one executive tool, especially if it has video ichat and a useful input mechanism. They are now starting to let us into the building.

12:05 PM EST They've merely moved us into a holding area with "danish" cuisine and coffee. Some media veterans are informing the younger ones exactly how this event is going to go.

12:15 PM EST Ok, this waiting is getting old. Foreplay done. Time to...Enter.

 

Equipped

(click image for larger view)
Equipped
 

12:17 PM EST One of the main new pieces of information Jason Calcanis revealed (if he was telling the truth) is a solar pad for recharging the battery. This is being talked about amongst the crowd here. Most believe that to be preposterous. Also that it will have 2 cameras. Some aren't sure it will have ANY, but I would be surprised at that.

 

Om Malik

Om Malik
 

12:37 PM EST Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg from Wall Street Journal, Steve Levy from Wired. The whole gang is here! Let us in so we can hog the wifi.

 

Waiting At The Door

Waiting At The Door
 

12:52 PM EST Finally sitting down. It is an auditorium. Beautiful. Lots of colors and Apple art work. They are playing Mr. Tambourine Man, by Bob Dylan.

 

Apple Art Everywhere

Apple Art Everywhere
 

12:54 PM EST There is one lonely chair up on stage on one side of the stage.

 

Lonley Chair

Lonley Chair
 

1:02 PM EST Standing ovation for Steve Jobs

1:03 PM EST A truly magical product today. but first a few updates. 250 million ipods sold.

 

Jobs, On Stage

Jobs, On Stage
 

1:04 PM ESTRetail stores: 50 million people have visited the stores.

1:06 PM EST 3 billionth app downloaded from the app store.

1:07 PM EST By revenue, the largest mobile device business in the world (Apple)

1:08 PM EST Talking about 1991, first apple laptop. 2007 apple reinvented the phone. Then came the iPhone 3GS "greatest phone in the world" Jobs said.

1:09 PM EST Everyone uses a laptop and/or a iphone...is there room for a 3rd device in the middle?

 

Jobs pokes fun at the press about the Apple Tablet.

Jobs pokes fun at the press about the announcement.
 

1:10 PM EST Must browse, email, photo, video, music games, ebooks. Some people have thought it was a Netbook. The problem is that Netbooks aren't better at anything. Slow, PC Software. Bad images. Just cheap laptops.

1:11 PM EST We think we've got something better: The ipad.

 

The Tablet Looking At A Web Page

The iPad
 

1:13 PM EST Thin. Can change the background screen, make it anything you want. What it does is extraordinary. You can browse the web. Best browsing experience you've ever had.

1:15 PM EST You can turn it around anyway you want. Great for e-mail. Yeah yeah. Great. Web. Mail. A keyboard that is almost life sized. Great photos. Slide shows built in.

1:16 PM EST Build in calendar. Google maps. Enjoy your music collection. iTunes store built right into the iPad.

Movies, tv shows, iTunes university -- all there. YouTube and in Hi Def.

 

Jobs With iPad in Hand

Jobs With iPad in Hand
 

1:18 PM EST now he will demo it

so much more intimate that a laptop and more capable than a phone.

He's doing a demo of it, scrolling around a web page on the NY TImes.

 

The Tablet Looking At A Web Page

The Tablet Looking At A Web Page
 

Now onto Time Magazine web site.

This is really mostly what you can do on the iPhone (or any smart phone), just a nicer bigger experience.

National Geographic now. Showing some of the imagery.

Web browsing. So 2005.

Now he'll demonstrate email.

Again, a much better viewing experience. He still hasn't talked about the screen size, resolution, touch features, size/weight of the device.

Looks like 10 inches from where I'm sitting.

1:20 PM EST In e-mail with the bigger screen real estate, you can do more than you can on an iPhone. Great photo viewing interface. Little scroll bar of images you can whip through very fast.

1:21 PM EST And you can link to a map so you can see photos that you took in a particular place.

 

Photo Interface

Photo Interface
 

Built in slide shows.

Put your music to the slide shows. Nice -- very easy to just select a song and attach it to the slide show.

1:22 PM EST The ease of doing this is what's interesting here, but not entirely unexpected. Now onto music. Built-in iPod. (BTW, I'm not seeing a camera.)

1:23 PM EST iTunes store now. He says it's "built right in" but I'm not really sure what that means. Why wouldn't it be?

Calendar. Of course, easy to see an entire month's view. Bigger device, bigger view. We get it.

Contacts. Yes.

Now onto the Maps app.

 

Steve Jobs Using the iPad

Steve Jobs Using the iPad
 

Tap the corner of the page. Pinch it to zoom in. Here, he shows Eiffel Tower.

1:26 PM EST Showing us our current location.

The virtual keyboard looks huge & simple. Still not saying whether there's a change in how the keyboard feels.

Video...showing YouTube.

He Keeps saying "it just all works." Why wouldn't it?

1:27 PM EST Showing a Star Trek movie now. You can scrub through not just to chapters but to a point in the movie you want to watch.

1:27 PM EST Awesome movie, he says, of 'Up.' Chuckle.

 

Showing Up (movie) in high quality.

Showing "Up" (movie) in high quality.
 

1:29 PM EST And that ends his little overview.

1/2 half inch thin.

Thinner and lighter than any netbook, he says.

9.7 inch IPS display.

IPS tech gives you great angle view.

Full capacitive multi touch.

1:30 PM EST Precise and responsive, he says.

Powered by own custom silicon.

A4 chip 1 ghz

Memory & graphics controller in the same chip

1:32 PM EST 16 - 64 GB flash storage.

802.11n and bluetooth 2.1, accelerometer & compass, all ipod accessories will work, battery life: 10 hours, big applause.

1:33 PM EST he said he watched video from SF to tokyo on one charge.

one month of standby life.

environmentally: arsenic free mercury free pvc free and highly recyclable.

3rd party apps: Forstall takes the stage.. Jobs gone.

 

App Sr vp scott forstall

App Sr VP Scott Forstall
 

can now pixel double and run apps full screen.

1:34 PM EST he's going to show how

he says about facebook "it just works" -- is that the new apple mantra?

You can scale the app up to full screen.

1:35 PM EST now onto a game -- look at graphics.

games snocross is the game. from espn.

showing in small mode in video. full motion. very nice.

i guess he'll pull it up to bigger in a moment.

right now it's unmodified. right off app store.

now he takes it full screen.

1:36 PM EST And more applause. Unmodified.

Thinking 'ipad" name makes sense. close to "ipod."

1:37 PM EST rewrote all of its own apps to take advantage of the ipad, we expect developers will want to do the same thing, enhanced SDK released today available at Apple.com. Includes an ipod simulator

1:38 PM EST We will highlight and feature all apps built for the ipad.

1:39 PM EST So they are going to give a huge initial incentive for early development.

2 weeks ago, invited developers to give a sneak peak.

Now we're going to see some of these apps.

First, Gameloft: one of largest iphone/touch game developers. 55 million downloads of their games.

Mark Kicky of Gameloft

1:40 PM EST ability to drag firepower onto the screen.

You can stretch mini map across the screen, make it as big as you want.

You can interact with the game in ways you couldn't before.

He's showing new features of the game.

I'm not a big gamer, but it seems like you can do a lot with the multi touch capability.

1:42 PM EST Now NY Times. Now he's bringing out Martin Nisenholtz

Big windup here. Get to it, "Join the best of print w/ the best of digital."

1:44 PM EST Quick flip to sections, save articles to my reading list, tap to change # of columns, slide shows

Now to the sports section, latest coverage. Video, of course

They are saying it's much more like the typical newspaper reading experience, Get updates even when you turn the app off.

Applause.

1:45 PM EST It seems like a very nice browsing experience of a newspaper. Still i think just that it's bigger will be better.

Brushes come out...an iPhone painting app

Now bringing out Steve Sprang, who runs Brushes.

1:46 PM EST Paintings using your fingertips.

Jorge Colombo has used this for New Yorker covers, he said.

I didn't know that.

As you edit a painting, it enlarges.

1:47 PM EST you can access your controls without obscuring your art work.

Very nice little UI for getting to your tools as an overlay on the painting.

you can zoom in 32x by pinching image.

Editing seems very simple, and there's an undo feature if you mess up.

1:48 PM EST there's a replay button so you can see all of your actions animated.

Travis Boatman from Electronic Arts up next.

1:50 PM EST Looked more at performance of the device, Need for Speed game.

 

3D Car Game From EA

3D Car Game From EA
 

3D image of cars. Use the accelerometer to steer.

Add a shifter which you use to change gears with your finger.

 

Need For Speed on iPad

Need For Speed on iPad
 

You can tap on the mirror to see what's behind you.

1:51 PM EST Showing off the graphics processing.

MLB.COM up next. Official web site of baseball

1:52 PM EST MLB has streamed over 60m videos through application in app store

MLB's chad evans: wanted to make the app bigger.

Live game experience. Scoreboard up top that you can scroll through. You can see the trajectory of every pitch thrown.

Tap a player, get their baseball card.

(the trajectory is viewable as a graphic).

Game controls so you can follow the box score. You can scroll through the lineup. Fox should use this interface on TV.

1:53 PM EST Now he's showing a game, in video. You can add things onto the screen, like scoreboard, stats, etc.

Very cool way to watch a game.

Gives the user the control over the game and how it looks to them.

I see Jobs on the side of the stage. Maybe he's coming back out in a minute.

Reemphasizing that all existing apps run, while we wait for the new ones.

1:54 PM EST Jobs back out. These developers only had 2 or 2-1/2 weeks.

Ebook!!

We will stand on their shoulders and go further.

Has a bookshelf. looks like a real book shelf -- book covers.

1:55 PM EST iBook Store.

1:56 PM EST Fully integrated with ibooks app.

download/purchase right on ipad

Penguin, simon & schuster, hachette book brough macmillan and harper collins. Now.

and open it up for others this afternoon.

Now he's going to demo it

 

iBook Shelf

iBook Shelf
 

1:57 PM EST the shelf turns around like a hidden passageway.

tap on the book, get more detail, read books, then buy it.

book then appears on your bookshelf

You just tap on the book to read it

Flip page by tapping on the right.

black and white, but photos can be color -- depends on the author.

you can change the font size. or font itself.

1:58 PM EST Very nice Apple-ish experience. Not hard to do probably, but inventive thinking about how to present it.

Also excited about text books.

2:00 PM EST iWork.

 

Jobs, teeing up iWork

Jobs, teeing up iWork
 

Asked to have them create a version of it for iPad. Wondered whether the iPad could power them. And could we come up with an entirely new UI for it.

Phil Schiller, SVP Product Marketing will come up and talk about iWork.

I'm not quite done with "iPlay" though.

2:01 PM EST Presentations created simply with your fingers.

Word processing (Pages) and spreadsheets (Numbers). Now a demo.

OK, I guess we have to work now.

First, Keynote. The slide tool.

Real quick access to templates. At a touch.

2:02 PM EST Slide navigator done by using your finger. Tap a slide to select it. Just like you'd expect.

2:04 PM EST You can make charts, tables, text -- everything you can do in any presentation SW.

 

Keynote, part of iWork. it's presentation software.

Keynote, part of iWork. it's presentation software.
 

Move slides around using multitouch.

Nice little multi tap so you can create a bundle of slides that you can move around all at once.

2:05 PM EST Drag and drop photos on a slide, and resize the photos on the slide. You can match the sizes just by tapping on the photos. Very nifty.

You can do a mask as well, just with touch.

Keynote can also do animations -- like builds.

2:06 PM EST Automatic animation transitions. Very nice. But kind of what I'd expect. I don't mean to downplay how hard it must have been to build this. The key is, this is very useful for business purposes, so I'm very glad this is on there.

2:08 PM EST Pages. You can do automatic text wrap around a graphic. And as you move the graphic, the text rewraps in real time.

Very cool feature.

2:09 PM EST You can link to tables and charts in the Numbers spreadsheet app.

Tap the columns and move them within the table, and a linked chart gets updated in real time.

You can easily add data by tapping the table, tap to add a row, double tap a column and a data entry keyboard (it's a numeric one, but you can also have a time & date version). Formulas and functions (250 built in).

2:11 PM EST iWork really can make this a business tool, but I don't know much about iWork and how compatible it is with existing data. like excel, ppt, word.

2:13 PM EST $9.99 for each of these applications.

You can project from your iPad. That's actually nice.

Jobs back on stage.

a few other things.

iTunes

USB sync to your mac -- you sync everything. just like any ipod or iphone.

OK, yeah. No surprise there.

2:14 PM EST Wireless: has WiFi and 3G.

$60 per month for most data plans with laptops. 2 plans for iPad. 250MB of data per month (he says that's a fair bit). $14.99

2:15 PM EST ipad wireless: does 3G and WiFi. 3G plans: 250MB of data per month...$14.99.

Wow. I think I'll take that one!

Deal with AT&T.

You coulda heard a pin drop.

The prices I just quoted are AT&T.

PLUS free AT&T wifi hotspots.

2:16 PM EST Activated right on the iPad.

No contract.

You can cancel at anytime. Wow.

2:17 PM EST They really raked AT&T over the coals on this one.

Sometimes I guess there's a good side to having a partner that doesn't do so well. That's called leverage.

What about international.

2:18 PM EST working on this. june july timeframe we hope to have them in place.

all ipad 3g models are unlocked. (chuckles)

use new GSM micro SiMS.

So it's likely they'll just work (again with that)

lots of applause.

so AT&T? that's it.

2:19 PM EST feels like he's wrapping up.

is there ONE MORE THING?

Going back through web, email, photo, music, video. Yes, yes. You said all that.

re ibooks, he didn't say how big the library is TODAY, I don't think.

what's the cost?

what's the cost?

those are his words.

2:20 PM EST so obviously it's less than that.

Price is $499...draws huge applause.

2:21 PM EST OK, now THAT is doable. THat's less than a Nokia N900.

For 16GB base model.

64GB is $699

32 GB is $599.

2:22 PM EST 3G models extra $130 more.

So, doing the math...

$629 729, 829.

(So, um, yeah, almost $1000)

So 64G, WiFi + 3G at $829.

2:23 PM EST So now when will it ship

Shipping in 60 days worldwide of WiFi models.

another 30 days for 3G models.

Need approval from carriers.

2:24 PM EST Accessories.

A dock. Selling that as a great picture frame while it charges. Uh, OK.

Oh, a keyboard dock.

Nice.

How much?

Case. turns into a stand.

2:25 PM EST Going to show us a video now.

This is now just a testimonial. Jony Ive, the senior design guy.

Cool to see this guy talking about it. Just to know who he is.

The iPad casing looks like any macbook pro.

2:30 PM EST Ooops...I just got smacked for taking flash pictures

Apple person just told me 'no more flash photos'

I don't know if there will be One More Thing at this point.

2:32 PM EST Jobs back up.

iTunes store, app store and iBookstore. Apple has 125 million accounts with credit cards already.

Over 12 billion products downloaded so far, In other words, we can scale. We are ready.

2:33 PM EST This is Our most advanced technology

Now he's talking about the intersection of technology and liberal arts.

2:34 PM EST Want them to be advanced and intuitive, but also be fun to use. And fit the users. Users don't go to them, they come to users.

Hands on area next store.

We get to go touch & feel.

2:35 PM EST That is it.

Amen to the iPad.

2:36 PM EST My Final thoughts:

Well orchestrated. The iBookStore was a surprise, as was the pricing. Another surprise was no mention of anyone besides AT&T. No Verizon as had been rumored. 10 hours of battery life, also quite nice. And the ability to automatically scale apps two 2x their size without modification.

They have taken things to a new level.

But without a camera, it seems a little crippled to me as an iPhone (or any smartphone) replacement.

Which I think is something of the aim here.

2:37 PM EST Now I am going to go see if I can get some up close images of the product. This has been a ton of fun, and now there'll be a couple of months of waiting, although we will, as always, try to get an early preview device to test and tell you what we think. Thank you for joining me on this journey today.

 

Jobs With iPad in Hand

What Could Be Next?
 

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