Apple iPad live blog (Wednesday, March 7)

At a San Francisco event this morning, Apple unveils its new iPad, powered by an A5X chip and offering a higher-resolution Retina Display similar to that of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Plus: 4G LTE on the iPad and new Apple TV.

Apple Senior Vice President Philip Schiller says the new iPad will start at $499. Donald Bell/CNET

Editor's note: This live blog has concluded, but you can read an edited transcript below or click here to replay the event with all the color commentary. To recap, Apple announced a new 1080p Apple TV box , followed by a new iPad with 4G, a faster A5X chip, and a higher-resolution Retina Display similar to that of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Here's CNET's first take on the new iPad and a roundup of all iPad news.

An edited transcription of the live blog starts here:

9:44 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Hey everyone, we just got all set up here.

9:44-9:46 a.m. PT: John Falcone: As a reminder, we're expecting a new iPad with a high-res "Retina" screen, possibly 4G wireless, a faster CPU, and maybe Siri as well. Rumor is that the body of the iPad 3 will be similar enough to the iPad 2 to use existing cases. We'll know for sure in an hour or so!

9:47 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Wow, this place just got spooky quiet. Just a lull between songs though. Some giggles about that. Spotted in the front: Scott Forstall, Apple's SVP of iOS software. There's probably a reason he's here...

9:48-9:49 a.m. PT: John Falcone: We're also expecting a new Apple TV box. (not the rumored Apple HDTV, but just an upgrade of the existing Apple TV $99 box) Rumors for the new Apple TV box include: faster processor, 1080p video support, maybe additional apps (channels), and Siri support--but all of that is completely speculative.

9:48 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Noteworthy: there's no chair as with previous years. That's a bit odd.

9:51 a.m. PT: Rich Brown: We were talking about how Siri would work on an Apple TV earlier. Katzmaier thought, and I agree, that there's much less room for error in the living room than with a smart phone.

9:51-9:54 a.m. PT: John Falcone: The Apple Store is down, which basically confirms that new products are coming. Latest rumors were that the new iPad would be available the Friday after next: March 16. Again, unconfirmed.

Inside the event, we've got Josh Lowensohn, Donald Bell, and Jason Parker.

9:57 a.m. PT: Jason Parker: Hello everyone! Waiting for the show to begin!

9:56-9:57 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Got some pics coming up folks, the Internet connectivity here has been...interesting. The company showed off Infinity Blade 2 at the iPhone 4S event in October. Word on the street is that Epic Games Vice President Mark Rein is here. A good sign we'll see some gaming demo here.

9:58-10 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Here we go. CEO Tim Cook on stage. Big smile, and applause to go with it. First up. "The post-PC revolution." It's happening all around us and at an amazing pace," he says. That's the place where the PC is no longer at the center of that world, he explains.

"In many ways the iPad is reinventing portable computing, and it's outstripping the wildest of predictions," Cook says.

10:01-10:02 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Cook says any company would be happy to have just one, but at Apple they have all three. Last year the company sold 172 million "post-PC" devices. That was 76 percent of the company's revenues. "This is incredible," Cook says. Things need to be more portable, and personal than any PC has been. Cook says the company already has three of those: the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad.

"It plays to our strengths, it's what we love to do," Cook says. First example of that we're getting is retail stores.

10:04-10:05 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Cook's thanking everyone for coming. "We have a great morning planned," Cook says. Cook shows off the Grand Central store in NY. Apple made a video to show off the opening of the store. Lots of happy people chatting, playing with gadgets. And that video's over. Applause for that.

10:06-10:08 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Cook now moving onto iOS, the OS that runs the iPhone, iPod and iPad. Cook says 315 million devices through last year, and 62 million of those were from just last quarter. Cook going over Siri now. "Siri running on the iPhone for us, Siri is your best friend, your intelligent personal assistant who gets things done just by asking. It's a whole new way to interface with your phone."

Cook pointing out how most people know what Siri sounds like on the U.S. versus other countries. First up Australia and France. Today: Siri coming to Japan. Going to Japan "in the next few weeks." iOS 5.1 rolling out today. Going out to users in Japan in the coming weeks.

10:11 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: New Apple TV: It runs 1080p, Cook says.

10:11 a.m. PT: Jason Parker: Will the 1080p Apple TV be the one that makes more people jump on board to buy another piece of hardware?

10:12-10:14 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Eddy Cue, Apple SVP up on stage now, giving us a demo of the new hardware. Very app-style looking experience. Instead of the side to side style UI, it's now a big bunch of app-style icons.

Cue now showing off the UI for looking at movies. It's a bit like Cover Flow on iOS. Cue going over the new iCloud feature of re-watching any movie or TV show you've already purchased. Movie started up after about 10 seconds or so.

Cue showing off the Photostream feature from iCloud. Fullscreen 1080p photos on your TV--up from 720p previously.

10:15 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: So 1080p seems to be the only new feature there besides the new UI. Same $99 price tag Cook says. Coming next week, and you can pre-order it today. Now onto iPad, Cook says.

10:16-10:17 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: "We think that iPad is the poster child of the post-PC world. The momentum behind iPad has been incredible, and it surprised virtually everyone," Cook says. Cook pointing out that Apple sold more iPads in Q4 last year than any PC manufacturer sold of their PC lines worldwide. "When we set out to create the iPad, we set out to create not just a new product, but a new category, and we said that in order to do that, the iPad had to be the best device for doing the kinds of things you do the most often, things like browsing the Web or checking e-mail," Cook says.

10:18 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Cook says customers with Macs, iPads and iPhones told them the iPad was the favorite for e-mail, Web browsing, and reading books. The same goes for gaming, Cook says--even for people who had a console at home. Cook says a big part of that are the built in apps, and 200,000 plus apps on the App Store (not noted: about 140,000 of those are iPad specific).

10:20 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Cook pointing to some of the exclusivity with the iPad, specifically apps that you can only find on the iPad.

10:25 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Apparently the resolution on the new iPad (which has not yet been given a name), is too big for the projector. 2048x1536 pixels. That's more than 3.1 million pixels.

10:28-10:29 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Schiller makes the case that it's still technically a Retina Display because you're holding it about 15 inches away from your face. 264 pixels per inch, Schiller says. That's enough to call it a Retina Display. Schiller says that still works. With the iPhone, it was about 10" away from your face. With the iPad, normal distance is 15". The next iPad has an "A5X" chip. The X is for "quad-core graphics."

10:29 a.m. PT: Jason Parker: That quad core processor is going to take iPad gaming to the next level. How soon until Infinity Blade 3?

10:29-10:30 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: It's been designed specifically for the quad-core display, Schiller explains. Schiller puts it up next to the Nvidia Tegra 3, and Apple A5 chip. Feature number 2: New camera. 5-megapixel sensor, using some of the same tech that's in the iPhone 4S camera. Schiller throws up a bunch of photos taken on it, and they look pretty good. Includes face detection too. Feature number 3: HD video recording, lets you record in 1080p, just like on the iPhone 4S.

10:33 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Schiller going over how much better LTE is than 3G. And up in the corner is an "AT&T LTE" logo.

10:35-10:36 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Now we've got a demo of a video coming from Vimeo on a 3G vs 4G LTE iPad. The 4G one is loading the video faster than you can watch it. Finally 4G LTE on the iPad. Think it will be a feature of the iPhone 5? Me too. Carriers: Verizon, AT&T, Rogers, Bell, and Telus. Other high speed networks around the world, Schiller says.

10:37-10:38 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: All of them have 3G though, Schiller says. The iPad can also now function as a personal hotspot (requires carrier support). Up to five devices. "This new iPad has the most wireless bands of any device that has ever shipped," Schiller says. And that's a rundown of all the features. I'm assuming there's one more thing though.

10:38 a.m. PT: Jason Parker: How's the battery, then?

10:38-10:40 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: How's the battery life? New iPad gets same 10-hour battery life as the old model, Schiller says. 9 hours of battery life when on 4G. 9.4mm and 1.4 pounds. Comes in black and white. New iPad costs the same. $499, $599, and $599.

10:44-10:45 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Shelton says great games are all about immersion. The extra graphics performance let the company pump up the detail. That was James Schelton, Game Design Director for Namco who gave us a demo of their new Sky Gamblers game, which is launching later this month.

10:44-10:46 a.m. PT: Fast rollout for this version of the iPad...can Apple pull it off? Each of the presenters is careful to point out that the best viewing experience is not on the giant screen we see here, but on the new iPad.

10:47-10:49 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Cheung says Autodesk was a breakout app for the iPad, and since then they've got 15 products on the app store that have picked up some 20 million downloads. We're getting a demo of SketchBook Ink, a new drawing app for line art--a standalone app compared to SketchBook Pro. You can zoom in and out and it's resolution independent, Cheung says. That means you can work on, and export art that's 100 megapixels in size. That app is available in April, exclusively for iOS, Cheung says.

10:49-10:50 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Schiller back up now. Third and lest demo is Epic Games. Up to show us something is president Mike Capps. We're getting a "new chapter" in the Infinity Blade series, called Dungeons. Very pretty looking demo, but a bit jittery.

10:51-10:53 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Pretty unbelievable looking game though. You can zoom in as they just did, and the detail of everything nearby shows up. Capps going over some of the technology they're using to make the games look better, including depth of field post-processing, which in English means that background and foreground elements look all blurry and pretty. Capps says it has more memory and processing than an Xbox 360. "These guys are redefining gaming again," Capps says. Sit's up for that. Capps says Dungeons is "coming soon."

10:53 a.m. PT: Jason Parker: They couldn't have picked a better demo than Infinity Blade Dungeons--looks beautiful.

10:54-10:55 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Schiller talking about how the company launched iWork with the iPad. These apps are geting updated with new 3D charts and animations, builds and transitions. Also all work with the new Retina Display. Apps will stay $9.99 per app, and are being updated today. As for Garageband and iMovie, those are getting updates too. Garageband is getting "smart strings," a note editor, iCloud integration and sharing. It's also got a new feature called Jam Session. Up to 4 iOS devices running Garageband can play together over bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

10:56-10:57 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: And now we're getting a demo of how that works in video form. Schiller jokes that the guitar player should have smashed their instrument. Garageband update is free, and available today. Now onto iMovie.

10:58 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Now you can create movie trailers on iMovie for iPad. This is the feature Apple added to its last version of the Mac OS X iMovie application. Works much the same way with a visual storyboard to tell you what clips you need to throw in. Schiller says the big deal is that you can now shoot 1080p video right on the device, then plug it into the app. We're getting a demo of how these things look.

11-11:01 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Music you get in the app was recorded especially for Apple, Schiller says. That update is also free, and coming today. Today: iPhoto for iPad. "It is amazing," Schiller says. Schiller says iPhoto lets you do more than the built-in editing tools. You get "Smart Browsing," Multi-Touch editing, new effects and brushes. Schiller says iPhoto lets you do more than the built-in editing tools. You get "Smart Browsing," Multi-Touch editing, new effects and brushes. Can "beam" photos between iOS devices with a new feature called Photo Beaming. There's also a new feature called Photo Journals that lets you share groups of photos with people. A bunch of twentysomethings sitting around their living room table jamming out.

11:02 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Up to walk us through it is Randy Ubillos, Chief Architect, photo and video applications. He was here for new app demos last year.

11:02 a.m. PT: Jason Parker: Cheung just said, "Retina Display is luscious." I need to see this thing NOW.

11:03-11:04 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: New iPhoto has a very bouncy, different fel from its OS X counterpart. We're geting a view of the interface , which Ubillos shows can be moved around with your finger to set the way you want it. 44 percent greater color saturation too, Schiller says. Neat feature: The app can find similar photos for you when you double tap on something. Useful for getting through big libraries. Works with up to 19 megapixel photos. Read: not a handful of pro cameras.

11:05 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Has usual iPhoto-like features, like flagging and sharing. Can send shots to Twitter and Facebook. New iPhoto has a very bouncy, different fel from its OS X counterpart. We're getting a view of the interface , which Ubillos shows can be moved around with your finger to set the way you want it.

11:06-11:07 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: There's an auto-enhance feature. It also has a built-in horizon fixing tool when you're cropping something. In the demo that's a shot of the ocean. The software actually scanned to find the ocean and fixed it. Pretty neat. You can also touch the photo to darken or lighten things. There are a bunch of third-party apps that do this.

11:09-11:10 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Ubillos giving us a demo of the built-in exposure tool. We're seeing it fix a photo that's underexposed. Those tools are multitouch, letting you tweak exposure and saturation with your finger. Also: a white balance tool that will fix your shots based on wherever you press on the screen. There's a neat loupe to go with that where you can zero in on the group of pixels you want. Now getting a demo fo the dodge and burn brushes. Ubillos just lightened up a skier's face, which was totally underexposed in an otherwise well-lit shot. The brushes kind of pop out (like in Donald's photo below), it's a neat effect. As for the actual filters, those come in a fan that pops up. You can slide your finger over the effects to see it in real time. Each of those has its own little effect you can mix and match. Ubillos going over sharing now, specifically the new Journal feature. It puts photos on pages, and throws them together in a layout.

11:11-11:12 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Basically a one click "make it look good" option. You can also tweak the layout with your fingers. Looks very similar to the "flow" view at something like 500px.com. Also, weather widgets. This is kind of neat, it will figure out what the weather was like based on the metadata from your photos (time and location). You can publish these to iCloud, and other people can see it with the link (this basically replaces MobileMe's galleries).

11:13-11:14 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: App will cost $4.99 and is available today. "Don't let anyone tell you that you can't create on an iPad," Schiller says. And now we're getting a video about the app, presumably to run on TV at some point. Sorry, this is for the new iPad. Besides photos you can throw in text, calendars, maps.

11:15-11:16 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Video going over the features once again, new camera, new chip, 4G LTE and new apps. Nobody's called it the iPad 3, or iPad HD, or anything else yet. It's simply been referred to as the "new iPad" and "third-generation iPad."

11:16-11:19 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Video going over how the pixels were elevated to keep signals from getting crossed. And we're onto the iPhoto segment of the promotional video. And the video's over. Schiller back up now.

11:19-11:20 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Along with the new iPad, we're going to keep the iPad 2 in the line, Schiller says. Today, iPad 2 will start at $399. That's the 16GB, Wi-Fi only model. "So many more people can afford to get into this groundbreaking technology," Schiller says. Now we've got the pricing matrix up. It's literally called "The new iPad." Cook back up.

11:21-11:22 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Cook wrapping up, "We have redefined once again the category Apple created just two years ago with the original iPad." And now we're getting another ad about it. A very short ad, at that. Cook back once again. "I hope you can see why we think the new iPad has enormous potential and why it's the ultimate poster-child of the post-PC world."

11:23 a.m. PT: Josh Lowensohn: Cook says: "Only Apple could deliver this kind of innovation in such a beautiful, integrated, and easy to use way. It's what we love to do. It's what we stand for. And across the year, you're going to see a lot more of this kind of innovation. We are just getting started." And that's it. Cook walks off stage. We're going to head on over to get our mitts on this thing. Thanks for tuning in.

11:25-11:40 a.m. PT: John Falcone: OK, so let's recap: We got a new 1080p Apple TV box. The new iPad, with 4G and a Retina screen, is official. CNET's first take is here; more info coming in the next minutes and hours, as we go, hands-on. More iPad 3 news. New iWork apps. And a new iPhoto for iPad. Apple again emphasized that the company is dominating the post-PC space with iPads and iPhones. Despite adding 4G, the new iPad is said to maintain the battery life of the previous model (10 hours, 9 w/ 4G active). Some of those stories may look abbreviated now, but they'll be updated throughout the day. You'll see all the latest news here. Thanks again for joining us.

(Original story starts here)
Apple is holding its iPad-themed event on Wednesday, and you can get your full dose of the news right here.

The event takes place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco and kicks off at 10 a.m. Pacific. CNET's Donald Bell, Jason Parker, and I will be bringing you the news live, and we'll have live commentary from the Buzz Out Loud crew.

Tune in to the live blog here:

March 7 : Apple Event Live Blog

The big expectation, of course, is that Wednesday will bring the next iPad, possibly dubbed the iPad HD . Right around this time last year the company unveiled the iPad 2 , which was thinner, lighter, and speedier than the first-generation model, and added two built-in cameras.

Among the features expected in the next model is a brand-new screen that doubles the resolution in each direction while keeping the panel the same size. Apple is also rumored to be adding 4G LTE networking and a speedier processor, as well as improvements to the built-in cameras to make use of all those extra pixels on the screen.

One other product expected to get a makeover is Apple's set-top box for televisions, the Apple TV. The product has been in scarce supply for the past few weeks and went with nary a mention at Apple's last big product release for the iPhone 4S, though it's been talked up considerably by Apple CEO Tim Cook in recent chats with investors.

Rumors have pointed to the Apple TV getting an HD upgrade of its own , bumping up to 1080p output, from the 720p the product ships with. That's a reasonable expectation given that Apple's upcoming OS X Mountain Lion update for Mac adds AirPlay mirroring, letting Mac users beam their screens to their TVs through the box. An update in quality will make a big difference to people who intend to use it to stream content to TVs, be it media or presentations.

CNET will use ScribbleLive to bring you live text and photos, blow by blow. We'll start the live blog about a half-hour before Apple officially kicks off its event. One change from previous live blogs, if you've followed ours before, is that rather than embed the ScribbleLive module here as in the past, we've set up a new page that we hope will give you an even better experience. As noted above, here's the link -- leave it up in your browser, or bookmark it and come back:

Tune in here: March 7 : Apple Event Live Blog

The initial version of this story was posted March 6 at 8:07 a.m. PT.

 

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