If you tried visiting the Apple Store online this morning, you were probably prompted with the same notice as the one below, which lasted a good portion of the a.m. What could Apple have been doing to shut down their online store for so long?
Well, all of those iPad rumors floating around the web the last couple weeks were true, and Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the newly designed iPad 2 today in San Fransisco. What's so special about this new iPad?
It doesn't cost any more dough. It has a front and rear facing camera. There's the added three-axis gyroscope seen in previous iPhone and iPod touch models. It's thinner, lighter and more elegant. Has a new 1-GHz A5 dual-core processor. And will be shipping out with the new iOS 4.3 software update.
But with all that aside, the coolest new thing about the iPad 2 isn't a built-in feature, but rather an additional accessory—the iPad Smart Cover, which are available in 10 different colors, in either polyurethane ($39 each) or leather ($69 each). The way it magnetically snaps in place and its foldability are the neatest things I've seen in a while from Apple (as far as accessories go). Just watch the video to see for yourself!
Jony Ive, Senior Vice President of Design, gave some insight about the new Smart Cover design:
"While the back of the product is made of durable aluminum, we wanted to figure out a way to protect the display without compromising the iPad size and weight. So, rather than developing a separate case, we created a cover at the same time that we were actually designing the iPad. The two are made to work together. It attached magnetically, aligns perfectly and it's just as easy to remove. When the iPad detects you've opened the cover, it immediately wakes from sleep, and when you close the cover it puts it back to sleep. You can also fold the cover to create a stand for typing or watching a video. And the microfiber internal lining is even designed to help keep the display clean."
I can't wait to see some future DIY designs from iPad 2 owners. There's sure to be some who think they have a better cover or stand idea for those magnetic-friendly edges. Or maybe some will just stick to the bottle, book and box method.
To get your hands on the newest iPad cover (and iPad 2), just visit the online store or nearest Apple location on March 11th. If you want to see the rest of the new features (I'm fine with just the cover) before deciding, check out the full video tour below.