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Apple iSlate liveblog

3.06: So far, so feverish. Snaps have already surfaced courtesy of the good coves at Engadget. By all accounts, what we're looking at is a prototype rather than finished article. But even so, the hi-res mapping facility looks uncommonly lovely, no?

engadget islate

6.04: And we're off. Quoth Jobs: "Everybody uses a laptop and/or a smartphone. And the question has arisen, lately, is there room for a device in the middle? We've questioned this for years ourselves, but the bar is pretty high." Too high? We'll see.

Revelation no 1: It's not called the iSlate after all. It's the iPad. Snappier, I suppose and a little bit cuter...

6.10: Here it is nestling neatly in our man Jobs's hands. It's hard to gauge dimensions, but it seems more mini than we'd been led to expect. Those of you who dubbed it a jumbo iPhone might just be right.

6.20: It's show and tell video time. Not much to be gleaned here. Nice music, mind.

6.30: And here's the beef. Specs are:

Smaller screen than anticipated at 9.7 inches. Not by much, though.

Full capacitive multitouch UI present and correct, as is an accelerometer & digital compass and there's also a 1GHz Apple A4 chip.

Dimensions are a perky half an inch thick. Weight is a svelte 1.5 pounds. There's also Bluetooth 2.1 and between 16GB and 64GB of storage.

Battery life? An impressive 10 hours. No mention of the optional physical keyboard yet...

6.35: Exit stage, Steve Jobs. It's App Store head honcho Scott Forstall's turn to take the mic. But natch we've got some promotional puff about three billion downloads from said store to get through first.

6.40: iPhone apps can be synced on the iPad. "So all of the iPhone apps will run on this. In fact when you buy it, download all the apps you have right onto the iPad. Now if the developer spends some time modifying their app, they can take full advantage of this display," Forstall reveals. Handy.

6.42: The New York Times' Martin Nisenholtz takes his cue to explain his plans for the iPad. After months of uncertainty and precious few concrete details, it's ironic that he start with a question addressed to the audience. Albeit a rhetorical one.

"So Steve showed you the Times website, it's beautiful. Why did we come out here to develop a new app for the iPad? Our iPhone app has been downloaded 3m times. We wanted to create something special for the iPad."

So they've gone and done something wholly new for the platform. And credit where it's due, the NYT app does indeed look pretty slick. Extra points awarded by the Russian judges at Top 10 for the option to watch videos embedded in articles.

6.50: Games follow, including Need For Speed. Running on the full screen, it looks the business. Then with the smell of burning rubber still in our nostrils, it's on to books - one of the apparent raisons d'etre of the device.

Not surprisingly, given that this is Apple, the third-party support facet of things is on lockdown. Not least because we've got a new iBook shop to look forward to and a virtual shelf to peruse while choosing what we fancy reading. Time to burn your Kindle? Deffo. Time to burn your books? Don't be silly. That really would be the end of civilisation.

7.03: Practical apps get their moment in the sun now in the form of an iPad tailored edition of iWork. Obviously it does all the stuff you expect: presentations, docs and spreadsheets and it supports Pages, Numbers and Keynote, too. All three of which will sell for a wallet-friendly $9.99.

7.15: Price points make and break tech revolutions. And so do networks. Apple aren't taking any chances with the latter. All iPad 3G models are sold unlocked and sans contracts. You activate yours direct from the phone.

Data plans next and they actually look like a bit of steal. $14.99 gets you a pre-pay monthly usage limit of 250Mb. Or you can choose unlimited usage with AT&T for $29.99.

7.21: No one goes to a premiere without accessorising cleverly. The iSlate's add-ons include the fabled keyboard, a dock attachment for the same and a typically minimal case.

7.30: Things are wrapping up. Time then for talk of how folk's familiarity with the iPhone and the App Store means they're effectively already au fait with how to use the iPad. It's hard to argue with that. But it's perhaps telling that the talk of cosy familiarity doesn't sit well with the talk of tech revolutions beforehand.

7.40: And it's goodbye from Steve Jobs. And it's goodbye from us. Let us know what you think of the iPad in the comments section below.

Category: News
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