Apple Unveils iPad

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, a tablet-style computer that resembles the iPhone, but with a larger screen and other features for work and play.

“It’s so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smart phone,” Jobs said. I would love to get one of these.

I had heard speculation that this would be available at Verizon but it was announced that AT&T will offer an unlimited data plan for $30 a month, and will not require the usual longer-term service contract, he added.

Jobs demonstrated how the iPad is used for surfing the Web with Apple’s Safari browser. He typed an e-mail using an on-screen keyboard and flipped through photo albums by flicking his finger across the screen, using gestures common to the iPhone.

The iPad also has a custom version of iWorks, productivity software that includes applications for documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

As part of today’s announcement, Apple came out with an online bookstore called the iBookstore, along with Penguin, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Hachette as partners. It will compete head-on with the Amazon Kindle device and bookstore. The Kindle lacks the color screen and rich-media capabilities of the iPad and its mobile operating system.

The iPad will also run all iPhone apps, and Apple is making a software development kit for the new device available to developers this week.

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