The iPad 2 is the second generation of the iPad which was unveiled by Steve Jobs on March 2, 2011 despite the fact he was on medical leave from Apple at the time. It was available for sale on March 11 in the US and on March 26 in 25 other countries, including Canada. Two different versions are available, a WiFi only version available in 16, 32 and 64 GB models and the other is a WiFi + 3G version available in the same memory configurations. Both versions are available in black or white.
The main features that distinguish the iPad 2 from the original model are: a new A5 processor, which Apple claims doubles the processing speed and increases the graphics processing speed by 9; the inclusion of a rear and a front facing camera that allows video calls to be made with Apple’s FaceTime application; and it is 15% lighter and 33% thinner.
One of the more interesting capabilities of the new iPad, which was introduced with iOS 5 is Airplay. This allows the user to stream photographs, audio and video from any Airplay enabled app to any monitor connected to your Apple TV wirelessly. Even those apps that don’t support Airplay can be displayed on your television using screen mirroring, another new feature of the updated operating system. These features transform your iPad 2 into a multimedia center and gaming device. No longer do people have to huddle around your iPad to view You Tube videos or watch you play the latest version of Angry Birds; as long as you have an Apple TV everything you see on the iPad can be seen on your big screen television.
In keeping with Apple’s one year upgrade cycle a new version, the iPad 3, is expected to be released sometime in March 2012. Rumours have been flying around pretty fast and furious lately as the release date nears. Some of the more widely reported rumours include: a high definition (2048 x 1536) display; a Quad core A6 processor; a 4G LTE supported radio; and upgraded cameras, the front facing camera would support HD resolution video with the rear facing camera likely to match the specifications of the iPhone 4S.
Information on options for data plans for the iPad can be found here.
More information about the iPad 2 can be found at Apple’s website.