India is in for a surprise. On January 28, Apple is going to launch the iPad here at prices that will make you smile. Most of you have been waiting for it while some have already bought it from the grey market for hefty sums.
The multi-touch device that has redefined how you interact with a computer is going to completely spoil you, so much so that you may soon find yourself doing all your work on the iPad instead of the computer. I came to know of the launch date and the approximate prices from a bug in Apples cloud, MobileMe. It populated my address book with contacts of several Apple employees from across the world.
The front of the iPad is made of glass with a thin aluminium strip framing the edge. The iPads touchscreen is 9.7 inches measured diagonally, with a resolution of 1024-by-768 pixels. Thats the traditional 4:3 aspect ratio found on older television sets, compared to the 16:9 ratio favoured by modern HDTVs. The screen resolution is 132 pixels per inch, less than the 163 pixels per inch found on the iPhone. The iPads glass front continues past the screen, creating a border three-quarters of an inch wide all the way around. The border is a good place to put your thumbs when you are holding the iPad, so you can keep a solid grip without interfering or smudging the touchscreen.
The high-resolution, 9.7-inch LED-backlit display on the iPad is remarkably crisp and vivid. This makes it perfect for web browsing, watching videos and viewing photos. With the iPad, there is no up or down. It is designed to show off your content in portrait or landscape orientation with every turn. And because it uses a display technology called IPS (in-plane switching), it has a wide, 178-degree viewing angle. So you can hold it almost any way you want and still get a brilliant picture, with excellent colour and contrast.
For those who are familiar with the iPhone, the iPad is about the size of six iPhones put together. No, you cannot make phone calls with your iPad but like the iPod touch it splits your media between two applications: iPod for music, videos and podcasts, while the rest is for the applications, now popularly known as Apps.
The iPad comes in two versions. One operates solely through WiFi. The other with a Sim card with data connectivity and also with WiFi. My experience with a Vodafone Sim card has been exceptionally good even though it was on EDGE. I had to deftly cut the Sim card so that it fitted into the slot. The iPad uses a smaller 3G Sim card, which was not available when I bought mine.
The WiFi version of the iPad will be sold in three versions: 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. The price will vary from Rs 26,000 to Rs 37,000. The WiFi that will come with a 3G Sim card will cost between Rs 33,000 and Rs 44,000, depending on the storage capacity of 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB. The iPad will be sold only by Apples Premium Retailers. There are two in Calcutta, both called Imagine, at Salt Lake City Centre and Rajarhat City Centre.
It is the Apps that will get the best out of your iPad whether it is for productivity, creativity, entertainment or just fun and information. Here are some pointers to some essential iPad Apps.
The iPad comes with iBook, an app from where you can buy or download some books for free. The iPad is extremely thin and light and the typography is so clear that it is a pleasure to read books on it whether you are sitting or lying down. However, I would recommend the Kindle app because you can buy a wide range of books that are available at Amazon.
Every iPad owner will need a file viewer to open documents that can come in any format. GoodReader can display PDFs, text files, Office and iWorks docs; it can even display photos and playback audio and video files. Pages for the iPad is a powerful word processing tool. You should buy it along with Keynote and Numbers, which do the job for Powerpoint and Excel.
For us in India, NDTV HD and CNBC are a must along with CNN International. You can watch streaming TV and keep up to date with the news. Movie buffs will love IMDb Movies and TV.
Although Indian Train Status is an iPhone and iPod app, it works fine on the iPad. This app has been updated to give you the exact position of a train you are tracking along with your ticket status once you feed in your PNR number.
For more essential iPad Apps, go to www.telegraphindia.com/knowhow/bitsnbytes/appcorner.
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