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What Is the iPad?

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When Steve Jobs announced the iPad in January 2010, the initial reaction was rather mixed. After the initial excitement died down, critics pointed out that this “new” device was hardly more than a giant iPod Touch. Sure, the screen was bigger, and the apps looked better, but other than that, what could such a device offer to consumers? Tech pundits didn’t know if they were coming or going with their opinions of this thing.

It turns out, they should have had some faith.

Perhaps the biggest draw to the iPad was the tablet form itself. iPads don’t have physical keyboards, and most applications don’t even require a pen-like stylus to function. All you do is use your fingers to enter text and manipulate objects onscreen. With such a simple interface, and because the device itself is much lighter than laptops, notebooks, and even those itty-bitty, ultra-light netbooks, it is a large-screen device that is much more portable for users of all types.

Besides being large enough to read comfortably and watch the occasional movie, the screen is also a multitouch interface, which can be a unique experience for many electronic device users. In the past, touchscreens on PDAs, smartphones, or even the occasional kiosk were primarily single-touch interfaces, meaning that one and only one touch at a time was registered by the application running on the screen.

Beginning with the iPhone, and continuing with the iPad and iPad 2, there is multitouch, which enables users to touch and manipulate objects on the screen with more than one finger (or device) at a time. This interface enables users to shrink objects by “pinching” them or expand objects by fanning out their fingers. Or they can type capital letters onscreen by virtually “holding down” the Shift key on the keyboard on the screen.

But it’s not just the hardware. Applications are the biggest key to the iPad family’s success, if only by sheer numbers alone. Thousands of applications are available in the Apple App Store, free or otherwise, with a high percentage of them reviewed by other users. This social review system lets you find out quickly what’s really going to work, and what may not. More than that, the stunning variety of apps available makes the iPad highly suitable for any number of uses.

Especially apps for your child.

Source of Information : Cengage-iPad for Kids Using the iPad to Play and Learn 2011

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