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Apple iPad: Operating system and apps shown off at launch

Steve Jobs has taken to the stage to unveil the user interface experiencee on the fabled tablet: it's the iPad!

Apple's tablet is finally here, and it's called the iPad. Steve Jobs wasted no time at the hotly anticipated Apple event by announcing the incredibly thin tablet PC, showing off the slick user interface of the new operating system.

First impression is that it looks exactly like a large iPhone, complete with a whopping great bezel. It features the familiar Google Maps, iTunes Store, calendar and photos all built in. Like the iPhone, there's no Flash support: in a most un-Apple-like slip, the presentation showed an error message on the screen.

In landscape orientation, email gets a two-pane view, with a list on the left and preview of each mail on the right. There's a giant on-screen keyboard, which Jobs typed on with both hands and the tablet in his lap.

Jobs sells the tablet by stating, "Everyone uses a laptop and/or a smart phone. The question has arisen lately: is there room for a third category device in the middle?" Whether it really is "so much more intimate than a laptop, and it's so much more capable than a smart phone" remains to be seen. Keep it Crave as we find out more about specs.

Here's a video of Jobs introducing the iPad from our colleagues at CNET.com:

Photo credit: James Martin, CNET News