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Apple Special Event Roundup: iPad 2, iOS 4.3, But No MobileMe Refresh

Apple Special Event Roundup: iPad 2, iOS 4.3, But No MobileMe Refresh

March 2, 2011
Apple's special event in San Francisco has just concluded, and Steve Jobs - who was on stage, despite his ill health - announced a variety of new products. After reporting on each aspect of the event as it happened, we've now compiled this "roundup" post, which essentially tells you everything that happened in the last couple of hours.

Steve was on stage

Arguably, the biggest surprise today was the presence of Steve Jobs on stage. It was great to see the Apple CEO - who is reportedly battling cancer once again - talk with passion about the company's upcoming products. Hopefully, Steve will be back at the company full time very soon.

E-books and numbers

Steve Jobs began by announcing that Random House - one of the largest publishers of printed books - has made their titles available in the iBookstore. This is great news for Apple and its customers - Random House will reportedly bring 17,000 e-books to the iBookstore. Following this announcement, Steve went through some numbers - explaining that 200 million people now use the iBooks service, which now has 2500 publishers. Since its debut in 2010, 100 million e-books have been downloaded from Apple's iBookstore. This is very impressive. Jobs also noted that the App Store has paid out a total of $2 billion to iOS developers, and that there are currently 100 million iPhone 4 handsets in the hands of users. For more information, check out Bryan's article: "Jobs Announces New Numbers."

iPad 2

After taking us through the figures, Steve Jobs announced the big news, and started talking about the second generation iPad. The upcoming device is officially called the "iPad 2." It will be available to purchase in the U.S. on March 11, and in 26 more countries come March 26. Furthermore, the second generation iPad will cost the same as the first generation iPad did, back when it launched last year - it will start at $499.00. The iPad 2 comes with two cameras, an HDMI out, a complete redesign, and a relocated speaker. It's thinner than the original iPad - and  thinner than the iPhone 4, too. Furthermore, the iPad 2 weights 1.3 ounces, as opposed to 1.5 ounces, which the original iPad weighs. Additionally, the iPad 2 will come with both FaceTime and Photo Booth apps preloaded (as part of iOS 4.3), which is great. Personally, I think the iPad 2 looks amazing. For more information, check out my article: "Apple Announces The Second Generation iPad."

Smart Covers

After initially announcing the iPad 2, Steve went on to talk about new covers Apple has developed specifically for the second generation device. They're called "Smart Covers," and they protect your iPad without hiding its "beautiful design." The covers come in a variety of different colors, and made of two different materials - poly ($39), and leather ($69). When protected by the cover, your iPad will automatically go to sleep. When you move the cover away from the iPad 2's screen, the tablet will wake up. If you want to find out more about this new kind of iPad cover, check out Bryan's article: "Apple Releasing Line Of iPad 2 Smart Covers." Alternatively, check out our exclusive hands on video below of an iPad 2 equipped with a Smart Cover.

iOS 4.3

Steve Jobs also announced iOS 4.3 at the special event, stating that it will launch March 11. The software update will come preloaded on second generation iPads. Once iOS 4.3 becomes available, iDevice owners will be able to take advantage of the Personal Hotspot feature, which allows you to use your iPhone or iPad 3G to create a wireless network. A variety of other features, including support for in app subscriptions, will also come with iOS 4.3. For more information, check out my post: "Apple To Release iOS 4.3 March 11."

iMovie and GarageBand for iPad

Besides FaceTime and Photo Booth, two applications from the Mac's iLife suite, iMovie and Garageband, are also set to come to the iPad 2. You will be able to download them for $4.99 each on March 11. We've got two posts on the release of iMovie and GarageBand for iPad: "Apple Releases iMovie For iPad," and "GarageBand For iPad Coming March 11."

Apple's website shows off the iPad 2

Moments after Steve Jobs announced the iPad 2 on stage, Apple's website underwent a transformation. Now, Apple fans can find out everything they need to know about the second generation iPad - including images and videos - over at

No MobileMe refresh, no "one more thing"

Unfortunately, the MobileMe refresh many of us were expecting was not announced. For a while now, we were hoping Apple was going to alter its MobileMe service, expanding functionality and making the service free to use. Even in the last moments of the event, I was expecting Steve to pause and announce the MobileMe refresh as his iconic "one more thing." However, neither happened - MobileMe remains the same, and Steve didn't present his audience with "one more thing" today. Bryan is particularly upset about this. Read more about this "MobileFail" in his article: "Letdown: No MobileMe Refresh, And It’s Still $99."

That's all folks

And, there you have it - everything that happened in Apple's special event, broken down into handy, bite sized chunks of information. If you want to find out more, be sure to click one of the many  links above, and read more on each aspect of Apple's special event. Alternatively, you can drool over the iPad 2 at And, if you have an opinion on today's event, feel free to post it in the comments.

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