Apple Tablet Week: The Event Liveblog

Hands-on, and Questions.

Screen resolution is 1024×768 at 132 dpi.

Reading books on it: text sure isn’t as crisp as a Kindle. But it’s illuminated and anti-aliased so on the whole, the lower resolution is in many ways more readable than e-ink.

Feels very light in the hand. I’m not as worried about Arm Fatigue as I was.

This thing is FAST. I stretch-zoom a webpage and it keeps up with me now matter how fast I zoom and scroll. When you turn a page in iBook, it’s not “an animation of a page turning”…you are TURNING a freaking PAGE.

iBook will let you read free previews in some fashion. But nobody could give ne specifics. Read a special preview, online only? Download the first couple of chapters to the device, like Kindle?

Keyboard easel accessory is $69. It doesn’t fold for travel. Has special iPad buttons to go Home, etc.

Keyboard can keep up with my 100 WPM easy.

Virtual keyboard is more “tappable” thN “typeable.” you can easily type with all fingers, but you need to be slightly more deliberate than normal.

Same mechanical buttons on the iPad itself as on the iPhone.

Hold the lid of a small MacBook and you’ll get the general effect.

Steve is on the demo floor, being interviewed by Mossberg. I am trying to get a photo without compromising my “Steve doesn’t know my name” status.

OS and UI experience: it IS an iPhone. The OS will probably have to be renamed. Every time the UI confused me, it was because I expected it to work unlike an iPhone in some way.

Some of my early impressions, while the video plays

My firdt chance to breathe since the shows started. Very underwhelnmed by the lack of unexpected fresh new I. But then again, maybe a reinvention of the touch UI would have been gauche. This appears to be a statement that “We developed the iPhone to be a great touch OS that could scale to anything.”

So its all one universe. Yu learned to use the iPhone…goog so you now know how to use an iPad. You shop at the iTunes Store? Good, thats how you buy things for the iPad.

“We were right all along,” I think is their dstatement swith the iPad.

Pricing is KILLER. This thing will moip the floor with just about anything. Its so easy to talk yourself into spending anoter $100 to get an iPad inhstead of a netbooki or even $240 more for this instead of an ebook reader.

And the “pay as you go” is another key to this thing’s success’ I think Apple has worked hard to erase obstacles to purchasing this.


A nice little easel.

A dock easel…WITH A KEYBOARD?! Okay, Im an iudiot. I was certain that it wouldnt have any sort of keyboard option.

Also a little leather book cover.

Inspirational little video with Mr. Ive.

AKA “OK, journalists, we’ll let you rest your fingers for a little while.” Thank you, Apple,. yes I need a rest.

Connectivity and Pricing

Very neat: caqn create onscreen forms (like a clipboard) for data entry.

Each app will be $9.99. Compatible with iWork on Mac. Can connect to projectors. Purchase on the App Store.

Steve is back.

Syncs to your mac or PC via iTunes, like an iPhone, via USB. Syncs all data.

Data is synced back to your desktop.

Can have it with or without data plan.

Two plans: 250 megs a month for $14.99. UNlimited plan is $29.99 a month.

VERY good pricing.

Says its a breakthrough pan with AT&T which includes hotspot access.

NO CONTRACT. Pay as you go. Pay and activate right on your iPad.

THIS IS INCREDIBLE. Okay, that solves so many of Apples problems.

Breakthrough deals in US, hope to have international deals by June.

All iPad 3G models are unlocked. Uses new GSM Micro cards.

(I might be imagining things, but I think there are people in front row seeded to start applause. I sense a little bit of fatigue among the prtess.)


When we set out to develop the iPad, we had ambutious tech goals and UI goals…but also a very aggressive price goal: we want to put this in the hands of lots of people. Just as we could jmeet or esxceed other goals…

IU am thrilled to announce that the orice starts at $499.

WHOOOO! Cheers and gebnuine applause.

$699 for 64 gigs, base orice is 16 also 32 valk.

3G adds $129 to the porice of each.

Yes, fuck you, Crunchoad.

Wuill ship WiFi models in 60 days.

Will probably ship 3G models in 90 days.



Steve says that he gave team the task to see what they could do with iWork on the tablet a year ago. Habnds iut off to Schiller.

Keynote. New version of Pages. New version of Numbers. All of them look like documents, very sinple UI


Runs in landscape mode.

Uses multitouch gestures. How to drag multiple slides?> Tap first one to pick it up, then tap others to Pick Them Up so to speak. Uses multiutuoch very well.

Very tactile, obviously. You grab all of your art, and other content.

Much of this is modal…you go into Animation Mode to define how an item will animate or transition. (Tap the Done button when youre done, to return to the main part of the app)

Tap the Play button to presentl.

ASLso includes the Magic Move feature of desktop Keynote. Looks very very pretty, overall. Slick and smooth animation and transitions.


Uses the sajme gallery motif you see ebverywhere else…like the way you scroll through open webpages in iPhone safari.

Turn horizontal for a fullsize keyboard.

New Page nbavigator tool. Taqp and scroll, manifying glass will show you a preview of the page yu
re scrooling through.==

Demos autowrap around an image. Drag the giraffe and it just keeps dynhaicaly reflowing all of the text around it.


Most impressive. You see folder tabs across the top.

This could be the first Fun spreadsheet app. Its all tactile.

Brings up a custom soft keyboard for each task (numbers, dates, formulas)

Steve comes back to show off books!

You can watch live game videok, as with other app. But this makes me excited about TV on this device…MLB has done a great job with Enhanced Presentation, embroidering video with more stats and content.

Apple comes out to remind us that it also runs all iPhone apps as is.

Steve sounhds a little raspy,.

Apple has done a great job of pioneering dysfunctionality wuith the Kindle or thats what I thought he said.

Shows off a new app called iBooks.

New iBooki Store. Looks like it has the same parity with music and apps.

Five huge publishers aqre already on boardf and it goes live today!

(Okay, I was wrong. I thought Apple would be content to have multiple bookstore apps)

Library flips around like a bookcase in a murder mansion to reveal hidden passage to the store. Looks like a WAY richer experience than Kindle Store. Book downloads directly to the device.

UI is like aq book. Tap anywhere on left or rtight tur pages, or flip graphically.

UI controls fade away when youre reading. Caqn avbe any kinds of photos.

Yay, it uses the epub format.

What kind of DRM, I wonder?

More app demos, starting with EA

EA came onsite, he says. Need For Speed demo looks GREAT. You steer by steerng this steering wheel sized item.

Tap the rearview mirror to look behind you.

Performance looks awesome.

Reminds me that we still dont know what the resoloution of this screen is. How many pixels in each dimension? But this racing game looks fantastic.

Last up is I love their app for the iPhone.

Live Game gameday dispolay is fantastic. Tap anything for details, tap players to gflip out their baseball card. Bideo highlights play while the game is playting live behind the video.

Developers! Dvelopers! Developers!

We gave some developers this SDK just TWO WEEKS ago to see what they could come up with.

Gameloft first up. Has added new controls and hestures…iPad game has thumbpaqds on either side of the screen. Also integrating controls that use twisting and turning the pad.

Killing enemies by dragging a selection rectangle hardly seems sporting, does it?

(game is Nova)

Next up: New York Times.

Martin Nisenholtz gives demo, aided by two people.

Looks a little like Tim Gunn’s brother, which I mean as a compliment.

Finite snapshot of time, superi0or reading experience.

Flip through sections, tap into sections, bruing down a menu to have a list of menus. Can tap to select articles to sunc to your iPhone.

Reading experience looks great…resize things with a pinch, open slideshows.

I dont know if theyve really licked this yet. It looks like theyve just regformatted their articvles for multiple columns to fit the orientation of the screen.

But certainbly not a simple Make It Into ASn Ebook approach. Looks very browsable and discoverable, as a newspaper should be. You know, where you just leaf through pages and encuonter articles.


Popular iPhone app, by a one person shop done by Steve Sprang.

Slide through a pretty ghallery. Your paintings can be edited…tap to edit. Layers and brushes. Store your favorite brushes in a waterciolorlike palatte.

Oh, kinow maqny artists who will go NUTS for this.

Can zoom in for finer control. All done via fingers.

Can record the process and play it back. Says its a true portable paint studio.

Very neat demo.

Next: electronic arts. Steady on, pull up your astronaut diapers, this could be great.


Awesome: runs all iPhone apps. Either in a small TV like window, or tap a 2x button and itll d0ouble the size. And the resolution, I wonder?

Runs these games and things without any modigfication. On the bigscreen here it looks great in fullscreen. Smooth, highly detailed.

Hey, he also has that great Piano Pro qapp


If the developer spends time modifying it, though…?

Says We modei9fied all of our existing iPhone apps to look great on tyhe iPad. To that end, theyve modded the iPhone SDK and are releasing it TODAY.


9.7 inch ips display

1.5 pounds, .5 inches thick–

1 ghz Apple A4 processor

16-64 gigs of storage

WiFi 802.11n BT2.1 + efdr

30pin connectore, speaker, microphone.

Battery – 10 hours of battery.

Month of stabndby time.


How do they solve onewindow UI? By populating dropdown menus as if theyre windows, almost (dropdown list of ihnbox messages, or can open it as a pane in the message w9indow.

Looks like a very unclottered interface.

Onscreen keyboard. He
s typing at what appears to be less than blazing speed but fast enough. It autocorrects like an iPhone.


(Everything works in portrait or landscape, incidentally)

FLick through photos. Looks like a lightable sort of interface. With albums and stcks.

If your photos are on Mac, itll recognize faces and everything. Locations?

Mostly flicks thro0ugh ijmages.

Yes, places. Big map with phots pinned to it.

Once again we see that tapping a buttobn in the “menubar” drops down a little media-rich window full of content UI.


Builtin iPod. Looks like iTunes.

BIG album qart is possible. Lots of us are going to have to upgrade our imagery! Mine are all 320p

iTunes Store

Looks hgreat…much better than the desktop edition. I hope this is what well see when we can do this via qany web browser. Very touchable.


Drag your finger over dates to look at content.

Contacts. Looks like an address book.


Page curl in cornerk, peel it up to switch views. Looks to be Google Maps (Bing usuqally waterjarks its content)

Works like the iPhone app. Doesnt lok like theyve added much. Aplause for google street view (which oes look good).


YouTube. “Wet And Woofy” is the name of the video hs selects. Its in hi def. I bet some google searches will turn up smutty videos with that name. If not right now, then definitely tonight. :)

Very uncluttered. I might even call it TOO uncluttered, almost stark. Video player also looks exactly like the iPhone video player.

It’s looking as if “A big iPod Touch” is looking like its distressingly spot on as a description.


Unblock scrteen like an iPhone.

Demos NYT website. Tqaps for stories. Very pretty screen. Lots of nice scrolling.

Aha: missing pplugin slug for flash content, I think.

Menu titles are little icons; tap to drop down the menu.

TIME website.

Fandango website.

Looks exactly like Safari, with aqdaptati0ons for touch (maqke big targets for touch).

National geographic.

Steve appears to be just ignoring the audience and enjoying browing the web with the iPad. Lots of silence and tappinh.

Looiks very, very fast.

iPad is shown off

SO much typing…sounds like qa house being consumed by termites in here.

We see an onscreen keybvoard 9in qa screenshot of the mil app.

Calendar looks pretty. All of these apps tke full advantage of the screen.

The Engaqdget shot of the mqap app was spot on.

iTunes looks like desktop itunes.

m a little disappointed; this does look like a big iPhone, UI and everything.

“Awesome to watch TV and movies on.”

Now he shows the demo.

The Main Event!

Steve starts with a tease. Apple inbvented the laptop, he says, at least in the form we know it.

Then Apple reinvented the phone.

We all use laptops and smartphones now. The question: Is there room fort a third category of device in the middle?

Device must be far better at key things. Like:



Enjoying and sharing phots
Watching videos

Must be better at these sorts of tasks than a laptop of smartphone.

Netbook? No, thy arebnt better at anyth9ing (laughter applause). Smaller and slower, poorer displays; theyre just cheap laptops.

We thu

Yes, its calloed the iPad.

Looks a lot like a big iphone with a macstyle dock.

And we’re off!

Steve takes stage without intro. Embarrassing when press and analysts iissue a standing ovation. I think it’s just the front section of Special Guests.

Kicks off. He has something special to show, but first, some updates: sold a stupid number of ipods.

3 billionth app doqanloaded. Gee, theyre not telling us what it was. A little embarrassing? :)

15.6 billion dollqrs in q1 revenue this year. An army of gold robots to execute the unwilling can only be a year off.

Most Macs sold are MacBooks.
By revenue, Apple is the largest mobile tech company in the world.


Settled into my seat. The room is about the size of a medium movie theater. I’ve chosen a seat on the aisle about halfway up, selecting a good view of the stage. Sharing a row with the Macworld folks, Gruber, and Jaqui of Ars.

It’s a sea of screens. Everybody is liveblogging or taking notes. It’s almost as if we’re watching a live livestream or something.

I am struggling not to hum a quiet Dylan impression as “Like A Rolling Stone” pumps through speakers.

Lights are dimming slightly.

Second post!

Wait, I’ve just figured out who we’re going to blame for all this: people in the room playing Warcraft on the cell network and killing all of the bandwidth.

Good. Picking a scapegoat is the most important part of event preparation, you know.

First Post! Awzorrr!


Okay. So here’s how I hope this is going to work: I’ll have my MiFi, my Hackintosh, and my Nikon pocket camera with an EyeFi card in its SD slot. In a perfect world, this would mean that instead of flooding Twitter with an endless series of observations, thoughts, and bitchy comments, I can do a real liveblog — complete with photos as-we-go — just like I’m some sort of modern tech journalist or something.

Keep refreshing this page for updates. And if it doesn’t work…


No, we mustn’t think that way. It will work. It will work.

(Shut up!!!!)

59 thoughts on “Apple Tablet Week: The Event Liveblog

  1. Guy "CouchGuy" McLimore

    Up Way Too Early deciding what Apple liveblogs are going to grace my 2 big screens today. This is an easy choice. Andy, you can have a wibdow on my desktop any time you care to fill it. Looking forward to your take on the day’s events.

  2. blackfrog

    Andy – I can’t think of a more beloved tech journalist to follow during the keynote.

    I overcame the refresh problem with a simple AppleScript. Good luck – hope this works!


  3. Ricochet

    Andy – glad you are there, can’t think of anyone whose eyes and ears I’d rather follow this through…

  4. Will

    If we’re all watching this, who’s going to watch the Larry Ellison webcast on his purchase of Sun (and a new trimaran, and that mansion in Newport, RI, and….)?

  5. fairuse

    Ok now what – 11:35 EST [08:35 PST, 16:35 Z]. Yawn, I will close my eyes for a minute so they are ready to read screen again. “Wait that is called a CatNap shouldn’t you do a quick applescript to refresh the screen before sleeping. And that chair has no arms (or seatbelt) recall the last time you meet the floor face first. “, my lizard brain warned. I will take laptop to sofa table and place it within arm reach and stretch out on sofa. Note 1: sorry folks for the peek at my damaged brain. Note 2: disclaimer; I am not a writer, don’t know what writing is and probably, at this time, cannot be taught how to write. Boar-dem is waiting for PST to catchup with EST, relatively speaking of course.


  6. fairuse

    Pardon the 2nd but maybe useful comment:

    Mr. Ihnatko said, “Keep refreshing this page for updates. And if it doesn’t work…”
    Thank You, I am using it now — Canyon R (says:) “I’m using ReloadEvery for Firefox.”

    Would someone like to suggest a refresh time to use so the server is cut some sack. (Hello, Ihnatko’s clone monitoring server?)

  7. Scott

    “Would someone like to suggest a refresh time…”
    I’m using every 5 mins because I’m at work, but every 30s should be reasonable.
    And thanks Canyon R for pointing out this addon!

  8. Greg Walrath

    I notice the bit is gone about which trunk Calacanis is in. :) I don’t think he’s in nearly as much trouble as the chairman of McGraw-Hill.

    As for the Gin – Hendrick’s, all the way.

  9. Josh

    Cheers to Andy for doing this, double-cheers to Andy’s hardware for not buckling. I’m reading this instead of Macworld whose stupid applet thingy isn’t even working.

  10. fernando

    Just a big iPod Touch sounds like a big disappointment. I was hoping for a full on MacBook replacement, not an oversized, controlled app garden! Was this product rushed out to meet the expectations of a tablet device?

  11. Jeff Self


    If you get a chance, find out if there is a way to import photos from a camera onto this. I want to get one for my wife for her birthday, but if she can’t directly connect her camera to this to import photos, I can’t replace her aging laptop.

  12. Debby

    This thing was definitely named by a man. iPad? Seriously? I’m assuming no one pointed out to Steve that it sounds more like a feminine hygiene device than a wonder of modern technology.

  13. Debby

    Oh, and thank you for the liveblogging, Andy. You kept this little worker bee very happy this morning.

  14. Joe Hass

    One of the most underwhelming products I’ve ever seen from this company. Just disappointing on every level. This (very sadly) may be the day that Apple jumped the shark.

    AI: “Its so easy to talk yourself into spending another $100 to get an iPad instead of a netbook”

    Three reasons: No camera. No support for external devices. No apps other than through Apple. At our office, we had two people who said they wanted one. As soon as my coworker noted these three things, they stopped dead in their tracks. Have absolutely no interest anymore.

  15. Peter T

    Any hint of the ability to print? Wifi? Bluetooth? Fanboy that I am I am ready to buy 2 right NOW. My wife sez “I need to print, you know.” Oh yeah, I forgot about that…

  16. Mindo

    Kindle text is antialiased, at least the 16-gray-level Kindle 2. This is the source of the “More contrast!” complaints about the smaller sized font, where the antialiasting meets in the middle of the strokes and there is no black anywhere.

  17. Chris V

    Awesome and thanks…I will follow you live next time…you add a richness to your writing that is definitely lacking from other tech sites.

  18. Tonyt

    I work in a UK retailer mostly selling Pc’s and Mac’s. So I get to ask a lot of people what they do with their kit. I always get the same answer. Facebook. Email, online games and downloading films and music. Perfect for the Ipad except they are usualy Flash games and they have no intention of using the Itunes store or paying for content. Which is why nearly every PC I see with a software problem has Limewire Bittorrent etc on. ( they call me the “re-install Windows Guy” after my advice to people like this. Every time I liten to The Tech Guy I find Leo eventualy reaching the same point.
    The Ipad will appeal to those who want the Internet but don’t want a computer, at least not one that needs TLC. It is a bit like modern cars you used to have to know how to gap points , plugs and generaly be happy undress the hood. Modern cars are not like that. The Ipad is the first modern PC.
    Lots of comment about the Ipad should have been 16/9 this would have compromised other functions when most films are 20/9 anyway.

  19. Ihnatko Post author

    Ach…yes, that’s me in The Economist. And USA Today…and that paper in Norway…and…etc. Suffice to say that I’m glad that I wore my Respectable Geek Costume to the event instead of, say, coming in unwashed hair and my EAT THE RICH tee shirt. Photos of me with the iPad have been turning up more or less everywhere.

  20. Ihnatko Post author

    @Mindo — It’s antialiased, yes, but not nearly as well. I do think that on balance the text on the iPad is just as good as what you’d see on the Kindle, despite the lower DPI.

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