The iPad 2, Everything You Need to Know

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Screen shot 2011-03-02 at 1.07.40 PM

Did you guys hear that the iPad 2 was announced today? Steve Jobs, in living legended status, even did the unveiling. Here’s everything that you need to know about what went down today at the Apple Keynote.

True to the rumors, Apple found quite a bit of things to update and tweak on the iPad:

They boosted up the processor considerably, switching from a 1GHz A4 processor to a 1GHz dual-core A5 processor. Along with the faster processor, Apple claims they’ve cranked up the graphics and are pumping out 9x the graphics performance, although there was no specification given on what they did to improve on the PowerVR SGX 535 graphics processor of the first unit.

The iPad lost some weight and is also 33% thinner. The new iPad 2 is only 8.8mm thick in comparison to the 13.44mm of it’s predecessor. It’s also slightly lighter than the last unit as well.

Multiple colors are now available for the iPad. It seemed like an odd rumor at the time, but those white iPad bezels actually proved to be the real deal and you can purchase your iPad in black or white.

Cool new accessories were also on display today. The iPad 2 now has the ability to put out 1080p video thanks to the new dock connector accessory. Apple also had a new cover that they showed off. The cover attaches to the iPad via magnets and acts a screen protector when not being used, but can also fold into a stand. The iPad is designed to sleep and wake up based on the positioning of the cover, which is a pretty simple but nice trick.

iOS 4.3 will be available on March 11th for free. The software update will be bringing a host of new features with it. Scott Forstall said that they’re increasing Safari performance, adding iTunes Home Sharing, making improvements to AirPlay, and adding a preference for the iPad switch.

Predictably, the iPad also got a front and rear camera. The rear camera can record HD video in 720p as well as take stills in 5x digital zoom. Along with the cameras, Apple is bringing Photobooth and FaceTime to the iPad. They’re also putting in the same 3-axis gyro that is used in the iPhone 4.

Along with everything else, Apple demo’d iMovie and Garageband that have been specifically designed for the iPad. Both apps look pretty groundbreaking but feature the sort of simplicity users have come to expect from Apple.