If the iPad weren’t in a strong enough position to hold off the competition prior to Apple’s announcement today, it is now. With faster processing, cameras, a further untouchable aesthetic, and a hugely more vibrant software environment than any comparable platform (Flash or no Flash), the iPad 2 has made sure anyone trying to get in on the tablet game is more than a year behind. Meanwhile, Apple is undoubtedly forging ahead on iPad 3.
While most of the changes were expected, if not modest, it’s a very solid update to an already runaway success. I seem to share the sentiment of many in the tech community that it’s not a necessary upgrade for many current iPad owners, myself included. But it certainly does sweeten the deal for those who were on the fence.
Oddly the most magical thing they presented today was the optional cover. It’s something that shows up in Apple products from time to time, a feat of apparent genius that Jony Ive calls a “well considered solution.” And somehow, magnets are often involved. In a solution similar to the MagSafe connector and the latch-less MacBook latch, they’ve overcome the bulk and clumsiness of iPad cases with one fell-swoop. If Apple’s demonstration video isn’t enough, hands on reports suggest it is all it’s cracked up to be.
Unless your iPad is your principle computing device, upgrading to an iPad 2 is likely unnecessary, but if you have been considering picking up a tablet this is a great time to take the plunge.