February 23, 2010

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 80, Issue 10

Apple releases the iPad: Is it the next big thing?

Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple, holding the new iPad

Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple, holding the new iPad

Being only a decade into the 21st century, we have gone through so many technological changes that have improved how we mobilize ourselves as well as the way we live. From the cell phone becoming more intricate for multiple forms of communication to having music, videos and the Web all right in your pocket, the ideas to keep a person constantly mobile have been rolling out with the passing of time. Only within the past few years, print information has made it onto computer screens. With the increasing popularity of the Kindle and the Sony Reader, people can now read different books through one piece of technology. Just recently, Apple released a new form of technology, the iPad.

The iPad has taken everything, except your phone, and put it into a 1.5-pound tablet form. The iPad has the capability to run 140,000 different applications.

Dan Chesebro, an NU senior states, "I can see the good in it. It is like the iPod and that they are trying to make apps for it."

The iPad can be viewed either in landscape or in portrait. It can reach the Internet using Safari and views different pages in color. The user can use the touch screen feature to either enlarge the screen or to make it smaller, and can scroll through the different pages using the grid feature that shows the pages in thumbnail pictures.

The iPad can also reach e-mail, allowing the user to compose messages and send them right from the device. It handles pictures, as well. Pictures are displayed in albums and are only a touch away. The iPad can also access videos either from the Web or uploaded from your computer. When viewing YouTube videos in landscape, the video will automatically play in full screen. Either way, the iPad is in HD.

The iPad has an iPod application that allows the user to view and play music at the tap of a finger. It displays the album artwork while playing, and one can listen through the built-in speakers, wired headphones and Bluetooth wireless headphones. It also allows the user to browse and download from iTunes wirelessly or upload an iTunes library from a PC or Mac.

A user can buy thousands of different applications when going to the App Store. One of the free applications is iBook. This particular application can view and download books.

The iPad can take notes using a full keyboard displayed on the screen. When in the landscape mode, the user can see where they are in the collection of notes, along with the notes they just took. The app circles the current note in red for the user to keep track of where they are. In addition, the iPad can pull up maps using Google services.

There are a few things that current users have a problem with when it comes to the iPad. The fact that it runs on the same type of operating system as the iPod Touch means that the user cannot multitask.
Many consumers are worried that the iPad will basically just be a huge iPod Touch.

"When I heard about the iPad and what it could do, I thought that it sounded pretty cool, but it worries me that it can't multitask. I don't see the point of having a larger piece of technology that cannot do more than one thing at a time," says NU sophomore Josh Miller.

There is a built-in battery in the iPad and people who bought other Apple products with built-in batteries were not happy with it. Even though the battery actually holds a month of standby power and 10 hours of video watching power, once the battery is permanently dead, that's it.

For the multitude of things the iPad does, it has no still cameras or video cameras on it and it cannot support Skype.

Currently there is a waiting list for the iPad. For more information, visit Apple.com. Prices start at $499 and up.

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