It’s no secret that Apple changed the landscape of personal computing when they released the original iPad in April 2010. One year later, the iPad 2 was released and once again, it’s expected to have a major impact on overall tablet sales. If you don’t own an iPad, you may wonder what all of the excitement is about, but just like the iPhone changed the smart phone industry, the iPad is changing the way we think about the future of computing – especially mobile computing.
The iPad 2 is nearly identical to the original iPad when it comes to the software and its capabilities. However, because it contains a much faster processor, dual cameras, and more memory, it is going to enable developers to add functionality to existing apps and create opportunities for new types of apps that will make the device even more useful. In addition, the new, thinner and lighter form factor makes the iPad 2 a more realistic device for anyone, in nearly every industry.
The iPad’s impact on academia is widely documented. Cottage industries have sprung up which are focused on developing tools and apps that will ultimately impact how curriculum is delivered, along with how faculty and students consume information in the class. There are some graduate level programs that are planning to provide their students with iPads with all of the course material copied to it – the cost delta to printing the course material is negligible.
There are hundreds of tablets on the market or on their way – this is good for everyone. The competition will drive innovation, which will yield to greater usefulness. The iPad has gained a lot of attention because it was “first to market” and is a game changer. For those that do not yet own a tablet, you may want to investigate the iPad 2. Because of market share, 3rd party support is abundant. You’ll find many useful ways to get the most out of the device – both personally and professionally.
For the owners of the original iPad, should you upgrade? It depends; the original iPad is still a useful device. However, if you find that you need the cameras, or the size and weight are important factors, by all means upgrade.
Lastly, don’t be surprised to see an iPad 3 in less than a year.
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