Ap­ple ups the piz­zazz

Ipad has new fea­tures and a price cut, writes Jen­nifer Dud­ley-ni­chol­son

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

AF­TER cre­at­ing the tablet mar­ket in 2010, Ap­ple will seek to lock down its lead­ing po­si­tion with a third edi­tion of the pop­u­lar tablet this week.

The com­pany, which has sold more than 55 mil­lion ipads to date, will launch the new tablet in Aus­tralian stores on Fri­day, with new fea­tures and a lower price.

While ex­perts have la­belled the up­grades in­cre­men­tal and the com­pany faces stronger com­pe­ti­tion than ever, con­sumers will have the final say, start­ing in Australia.

Be­low is a break­down of the new ipad’s ma­jor up­grades, as un­veiled in San Fran­cisco last week. and Op­tus will use the 1800MHZ fre­quency, not sup­ported by this ipad; a dis­tinc­tion that Tel­syte re­search di­rec­tor Foad Fadaghi says could con­fuse some Aus­tralian users.

‘‘ They should have had it cer­ti­fied on the Tel­stra net­work and had it ready to go at launch,’’ Fadaghi says.

But the tablet will be com­pat­i­ble with dual-car­rier HSPA net­works in Australia, and could the­o­ret­i­cally de­liver down­load speeds up to 42 megabits a sec­ond, though real-world speeds are likely to be slower. De­spite early ru­mours, Ap­ple did not add a quad-core com­puter pro­ces­sor to its lat­est tablet, as in some of its ri­vals.

In­stead, the com­pany opted for a quad-core graph­ics pro­cess­ing unit on its A5X chip.

Ex­perts fore­cast­ing a smaller ver­sion were also proven wrong and this ipad ac­tu­ally added a lit­tle weight and bulk (49g and 0.61mm). While Ap­ple main­tained ipad 2 pric­ing for the new model in the US, Australia won a dis­count due to the strong dol­lar.

It will be of­fered in Australia for $40 (wi-fi) or $50 (4G) less than the pre­vi­ous model.

The 16GB ipad 2 will re­main on sale and will re­ceive a $150 price cut to $429; a sav­ing Fadaghi says will make com­pet­ing with Ap­ple’s tablets in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult for its ri­vals. Jen­nifer Dud­ley-ni­chol­son trav­elled to San Fran­cisco as a guest of Ap­ple New soft­ware comes with the new ipad, as Ap­ple has added fea­tures to its ilife apps and cre­ated an ex­tra in iphoto. Garageband, imovie and iphoto apps will be avail­able for new and cur­rent ipads run­ning IOS 5.1, as well as some other gad­gets. iphoto, App Store, $5.49 Ap­ple’s best-known imag­ing soft­ware makes its app de­but in this ti­tle that of­fers easy ways to group, edit, show and share your pic­tures. The app is di­vided into four menus: Al­bums, Pho­tos, Events and Jour­nals. Al­bums can in­clude photo gal­leries im­ported from a com­puter, as well as your Cam­era Roll and Photo Stream, while Pho­tos shows your most re­cent snaps first. Though the app is avail­able on both the ipad and iphone, the larger screen makes it eas­ier to use. imovie, App Store, $5.49 Like its big Mac rel­a­tive, the imovie app now lets you cre­ate au­then­ti­clook­ing fea­ture film trail­ers us­ing your own videos, and adds an easy-to-use sto­ry­board menu sys­tem. Users can choose from nine trailer themes such as fairy­tale, nar­ra­tive, retro and ro­mance to add their own clips to match­ing theme mu­sic, graph­ics and sound ef­fects. The sto­ry­board shows what shots are needed to make the trailer look its best (eg. group shots, close-ups) and these can be filmed within the app to stick close to the script. Only ipad 2 and iphone 4/4S users can ac­cess the new trailer fea­ture. Garageband, App Store, $5.49 Ap­ple’s mu­sic-mak­ing soft­ware lets oth­ers join the vir­tual band in the lat­est up­date. A new fea­ture called Jam Ses­sion lets up to four vir­tual in­stru­ment strum­mers com­bine their tal­ents to record a song, with each track be­ing up­loaded to and recorded on the band lead­ers ipad, ipod or iphone. The re­sults can now be stored in Ap­ple’s icloud. Jam Ses­sion is only avail­able on the iphone 4/4S, ipads and fourth gen­er­a­tion ipod Touch.

JEN­NIFER DUD­LEY-NI­CHOL­SON

Progress: Ap­ple boss Tim Cook un­veils the new ipad, to launch in Australia on Fri­day.

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