The iPad 2 and the original iPad, taken together, are the biggest thing to
hit computing in years. Drawing on the best of Apple’s iPhone and iPod
touch products, and Apple’s Macintosh personal computers, while introducing
a whole new way of seeing and interacting with information, the
two new devices have grabbed the imagination of the world.
The iPad 2 has taken the excitement about the original iPad to the next
level. The iPad 2 is similar enough that the new iPad 2 and the original
iPad are still one product line; they run the same operating software—
which is also the same software as the latest iPhone and iPod Touch—and
nearly all the same apps. Almost everything that you can do with an iPad 2,
you can do with an iPad. The main exceptions, specific to the iPad 2, are
taking photos, videoconferencing with FaceTime, and using games and a
few other apps that take advantage of the iPad 2’s three-axis gyroscope.
Using an iPad 2 is even more fun and satisfying than using the original
iPad, thanks to a better overall design that is thinner, lighter, and easier to
handle, as well as the new front-facing camera, rear-facing camera, and
One leading tech columnist said that the appeal of the original iPad is
more emotional than rational—and that the thinner, lighter, faster iPad 2
transforms the original experience into something even more compelling.
In this book, I’ll mainly refer to the iPad 2, but almost everything I say
applies to both types of iPad. Where there’s a difference in the original
iPad, I note it. If you have the original iPad, you can still use this book.
(The original is thicker, heavier, and has no cameras, nor FaceTime; nearly
everything else is the same.) Or, you can refer to the previous edition of
this book, Sams Teach Yourself iPad in 10 Minutes.
Getting the most out of the iPad 2 requires an active imagination, curiosity,
and a willingness to try new things. That’s because the iPad 2 is physically
fixed—you can’t add memory or other hardware to the insides—but also
easily customizable by your choice of which apps to buy (where needed),
download, and run out of more than 350,000 apps that are available.
(About 65,000 apps are iPad-specific.)