Apple just made Xoom's road to success a lot harder, by announcing the iPad 2. Apple's big product announcement event today has garnered a ton of press, and rightly so. You'll never guess what they announced... A new iPad! Called the iPad 2! And guess what?! It has cameras!! It only took a year, but Apple has finally put out a tablet device that video creators and marketers can get behind, though some of the original device's shortcomings still exist for content creators.

What's New With The iPad 2

Cameras: The biggest reason I ripped the original iPad a year ago was the lack of a camera. At the time, I thought they were smoking something. And maybe they were, because the very next iteration of the device has not one, but two cameras.

Apple Announces The iPad They Should Have Released A Year Ago ipad2c 300x241 I still have no idea why the original iPad was camera-free. Heck, pretty much every cell phone you could buy, even 7 or 8 years ago, had a camera on board as a standard feature. Why Apple thought it would be unnecessary is beyond me.

I guess that's water under the bridge. They certainly didn't have any trouble selling the device, even with its limitations--selling over 14 million in 2010. But the stampede of video's dominance can't be ignored forever.

The iPad 2 has two cameras, a front-facing camera and a standard rear camera. While no specific megapixel information has been released, the rear camera "will be good for 720p video capture". The front camera will be "VGA-quality" for video chat with programs like Facetime.

Speed: There's a dual-core A5 processor, which should double the computing power and provide nine times the graphics performance, according to Steve Jobs' presentation. That should be good news for those of us that watch a lot of video

Smaller Size: The iPad 2 is slimmer, slightly shorter, and more narrow. It's also lighter.

Color Choice: Apple says a white version of the iPad 2 will be available on the first day the device ships--which is March 11, 2011. Of course, they said similar things about a white iPhone, and that thing has gone the way of Sasquatch.

Apple Announces The iPad They Should Have Released A Year Ago ipad2 300x221 "Smart" Cover: There will apparently be a super-fancy magnetic cover that tells the tablet to turn on or shut down, depending on whether you're putting it on or taking it off. Which sounds kind of cool, actually.

HDMI Out: There's a new accessory for HDMI video-out that is capable of 108p video mirroring. This add-on also doubles as a charger if you plug it into an outlet while it's attached to your device. Sweet.

Video Editor: Jobs announced a new version of iMovie will be available in the app store on launch day--which is surely a reaction to Google's big announcement of Movie Studio--the Honeycomb video editor.

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What's the Same?

Apple Announces The iPad They Should Have Released A Year Ago ipad2b 300x168 Cost: It's $499 for the 16GB version, $599 for 32GB, and $699 for the 64GB model. 3G versions will cost a bit more, just like the first iPad.

Vendors: You can get the 3G versions through either AT&T or Verizon--same as the current iPad.

Screen Size: It's a 9.7-inch display, just like the original iPad, with a 1024 x 768 resolution.

What's Missing?

Flash Support: Duh. Did you think Apple's war with Flash was over? It's not. Don't think any iPad will ever come with Flash support built in.

SD Slot: No SD slot for memory cards--the one big rumor everyone got wrong--and that's kind of a bummer.


Jobs touted the number of apps available for the iPad 2 (over 65,000) versus their latest competitor, the Motorola Xoom, which only has 100 or so apps. Of course, the Xoom is brand new. And it's probably worth reminding Jobs that the Xoom is launching with cameras and a video editor, something his device didn't have until its second generation. But I digress.

Is the iPad 2 a great device for video fans and creators? Yeah, it probably is. It's certainly better than the first iPad. But to be honest, I'm just not sure any tablet is a great main device for people who create video. There's still a lot of text-based tasks associated with video--writing a script, keywords and tags, captions, sitemaps, etc.--and I just don't think we've crossed the gap between physical keyboards and touch-screen keyboards just yet. I don't really want to do any writing on a tablet--iPad or otherwise.

And I'm still a little baffled at how serious video watchers are supposed to hold the device. It's made to be small enough to hold, but then I have to set it on a stand if I want to watch a movie, which makes it a lot more like a laptop, no? Definitely don't want to hold it out with my arms outstretched for long periods of time, or crane my neck to look at it as it lies flat on my lap.

But the cameras alone should put the device on your radar, if only because it signals that Apple is realizing how integral video is to the future of the web. The video editor is almost as welcome a piece of news as the cameras are. That means you can shoot and edit video on this device--and probably upload it to the web as well with any of a variety of apps.

This is the device we should have gotten last year, and Apple is probably lucky that no competitors swooped in with a comparable camera-equipped device anytime in the last 12 months.

  • Ronnie Bincer

    David, Mark, Jeremy... play nice now.

  • Grant Crowell

    Can it sync with both a bluetooth trackpad as well as a keyboard?

    • Mark Robertson

      It can..

  • liiamatkins

    'There’s still a lot of text-based tasks associated with video–writing a script, keywords and tags, captions, sitemaps, etc'
    thats why apple have a app store, im sure they'll have something heck go check yourself you probally got itunes installed.

    • JeremyScott

      How is an app going to replace a touchscreen keyboard with a physical one?

  • David Schaefer

    And we should have jet cars... Maybe transporters too?! What a bad article.

    • Mark Robertson

      Really? You dont think it should have come out with a camera the first time around given that they had cameras even within the smallest ipod available? Come on. What a bad comment.

      • JeremyScott

        Yeah, comparing a digital camera to futuristic sci-fi technology is a little bit of a stretch, man. I wasn't asking for the moon... just a freakin' camera.

        • David Schaefer

          At least I don't think you're ugly... :) And from the way Mark defends you, I imagine he doesn't either.

      • David Schaefer

        Why not just bash the XOOM now for not having what it will have a year from now? LOL So sad...

        • Mark Robertson

          Are we really Bashing it or just saying that in terms of a device for video creators, the original one had much to desire? I thought the latter. If the XOOM is missing something for video, I suppose we could mention (not sure if it or this is bashing) but I cant find much wrong with it from that standpoint alone, which is the one we're taking since our site is focused more on video.... I suppose we could bash the Xoom for having no Flash (I mean a light) and not coming with a 3D camera or not having an attached tripod but.... I will say I think the XOOM is far overpriced but....

        • JeremyScott

          When the original iPad came out, cameras were not pipe dreams... they were commonplace.

      • David Schaefer

        I hope you don't think Steve Jobs took the camera out just to annoy you personally...

        • Mark Robertson

          He totally did :-) Honestly - I dont think that they "took it out" I think that they just thought this would be a much less useful device than it turned out to be. And it could have been something with cost, supply, and or manufacturing.

          I talked to Steve just after the launch of the first one and he said, and I pretendingly (I know, not a real word) quote,

          "Mark, first off - I love you and Jeremy and will defend you whenever I can, unless it's through commenting on your articles. Second, Im soo sorry about the lack of camera in the iPad - I totally didnt even think about it. It will come out with the next one. Third - tell Jeremy that no matter what anyone says, I think he is gorgeous."


        • Mark Robertson

          BTW - Im certain my responses dont indicate this but I REALLY do appreciate your thoughts and comments David. Thanks for taking the time :)

  • Guest

    Jeremy Scott

    You are probably the most uninformed and probably ugliest (next to Joe Wilcox from betanews) wanna-be journalist desparate to become a real player in the world.

    You should probably write about celebrities... thats where scandals gain more traction.

    • Mark Robertson

      I suppose, given your latest comment about Jeremy, that I should add to my XOOM (you're so wrong it's not funny reply):

      You are by far the most uninformed reader on earth and thank God you are too afraid to include your thumbnail.

      At least Jeremy can spell desperate correctly.

      • JeremyScott

        I can take the criticism if it's warranted. But he doesn't point out any specifics about how uninformed I am. Not to mention I am pretty sure all the specs and details I mentioned in the article are correct. So... what did I miss?

        I am ugly, though. I'll give him that.

  • sillyAppleFlashFTW

    Motorola Xoom owns the iPad2. Who wants to drop a large chunk of cash on a tablet that can only browse like 60% of the internet? Apple and their war with Adobe is redic. Get with the times and put Flash on your devices plzkthx.

    • Guest

      You do realize the xoom does not support flash right?

      and im not sure which internet your reffering to, but the WWW is NOT dominated with 60% Flash content. Its more like less than 1%!

      • Mark Robertson

        Right from the Motorola's Product Description Page

        "Supports Adobe Flash Player for optimal browsing"

      • Mark Robertson

        Right from the Motorola's Product Description

        "Supports Adobe Flash Player for optimal browsing"

        • JeremyScott

          I believe it launched without Flash support (the Xoom) but will have it within days or weeks.

        • Mark Robertson

          It supports it now

        • JeremyScott


    • David Schaefer

      And have half the battery life, no thanks. You can keep Flash for yourself. There's a reason Adobe has taken all this long to release any Flash for a mobile device...

      • Mark Robertson

        why is it then that ONLY Apple has that problem? Android doesnt. There is
        more to the story than compatibility, resource issues, etc...

        • David Schaefer

          because Android does have the problem, you're just in denial.

        • Mark Robertson

          I may be misinformed, but not in denial. I own ever other Apple device that they make. What is the problem that Android has with flash? You might want to read something updated on it -

          Im certainly open to learning what it is that you know and I dont.

        • David Schaefer

          Which Android phone are you referring too that had full Flash loaded? And if you surf sites with flash ads on that device with Flash on, and then on an iPhone (no flash) the difference in battery life is shocking. We tested these in house for a web promotion.

        • Mark Robertson

          I didnt know we were discussing phones but it's all in here -


        • David Schaefer

          Thanks so much for the info, and I do appreciate it.... However it seems to prove my point. Certainly you're not trying to tell me all Flash video is H.264 encoded on web sites? The test we did in house was for a page with 4 client submitted flash ads... we lost nearly 50% battery life.

        • Mark Robertson

          True True. Though the vast majority these days is. >> 67% Plus. Though - to your point, this may be different with non-video related flash