The Apple iPad 2 sure sounds like a promising device. But if you already own the one-year-old original, do you really need to upgrade?
Its list of features is quite impressive, if not a little predictable: two cameras, a faster processor, and a thinner/lighter design . The screen resolution appears to be the same, as is the battery life at 10 hours.
Thus far, Apple has only teased the world with the power of the new dual-core processor. iMovie, a new app designed for the iPad 2, will allow users to film and edit videos on-the-fly. Video can be recorded at 720p and watched on any Apple device (iPad, iPhone or iPod). Recorded video can also be streamed to your HDTV using AirPlay and Apple TV, or uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo.
If video isn’t your thing, Apple is also developing an iPad 2 version of GarageBand. This version will turn your iPad into an eight-track recording studio that allows you to perform music with on-screen drums, guitars, basses and keyboards.
Both the iMovie and GarageBand apps will be available on March 11, coinciding with the iPad 2’s release date.
In the area of clever, never-saw-it-coming developments, Apple also unveiled the Smart Cover – a slim, polyurethane or leather case that will grip the iPad 2 using magnets. When covered, the iPad 2 will automatically go into sleep mode; when uncovered, it will automatically awaken.
These are all nice upgrades, especially for the iPad-craving consumer who decided to skip the original. But unless Apple is planning on releasing a whole collection of innovative apps (iMovie and GarageBand might be great but they are not enough), there isn’t a lot here that screams, “Upgrade!”
Of course, we won’t know for sure until the device is released. Stay tuned to Benzinga for our full hands-on impressions of the iPad 2 in the coming weeks.
— Louis Bedigian