Yesterday Apple finally announced the iPad 2. It’s not a revolution by any means, far from it in fact. Yet close examination proves it’s still way ahead of the tablet competition.
If you haven’t read our first impressions of the iPad 2 yet, I suggest you do so now or watch our first look video below.
In any case I can summarise Apple’s latest tablet like this: it’s thinner, faster, lighter, and has cameras. It’s hardly an inspiring mix when it’s written like that, but the iPad 2 is far more than the sum of its parts.
65,000 apps and counting
The iPad 2’s most obvious strength is Apple’s App Store, which Steve Jobs triumphantly announced now has more than 65,000 iPad specific apps. Compare that, he said, to the 100 or so applications currently available on Android tablets.
That latter figure will doubtless grow like it has for Android smartphones, but the power of the App Store cannot be denied. Apple has now paid out over $2 billion in sales to App Store developers – an impressive feat by any estimation, though Apple didn’t divulge its cut.
With over 10 million iPads already in circulation, app developers are unlikely to roam far from Apple’s closely controlled walled garden. The App Store will only get better.
Mac apps move onto iPad
It helps that Apple keeps releasing impressive new apps, too. Announced yesterday were iMovie and GarageBand – iPad versions of its Mac applications.
iMovie in particular shows Apple’s software design prowess. It’s hard to believe that such a well-featured video editor could exist on a tablet, but exist it does.
Angus Farquhar was so impressed with iMovie that he’s already scheming to get an iPad 2 for video production. Good luck with that, Angus.
Attention to detail counts
Above all else, Apple’s attention to detail still shines through. The new design of the iPad 2 is impressively sleek and portable, thinner even than an iPhone 4. When people pick it up for the first time, they are going to be impressed.
And because Apple has an ever-increasing number of retail stores, people can go and try the iPad 2 for themselves. Jobs was effusive about the importance of its stores in the iPad’s success – the combination is bound to strike rich again with the iPad 2. But are you convinced by its apparent virtues?