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Steve Jobs onstage

Steve Jobs had been rumored to be making an appearance following the launch of the iPad 2, but he surprised everyone when he walked onstage Wednesday in San Francisco to handle the presentation himself as usual.

Jobs got a brief but heartfelt standing ovation from the crowd inside the Novellus Theater. Jobs said he is so passionate about the iPad 2 that he just had to be there.

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iPod, iPhone, iPad

Jobs discussed Apple's history of successful devices, with the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, and the iPad in 2010, but proclaimed 2011 to be "The year of the iPad."

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A view of iMovie on the iPad 2

A view of the iPad 2 displaying iMovie. Jobs says the combo of the new tablet and the filmmaking software enables people to produce a movie from start to finish.

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Steve Jobs

Jobs says Random House is bringing 17,000 books to the iBooks store this morning. That makes 2,500 publishers distributing through the iBooks store, Jobs says.

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New iPad: 30 percent thinner

The new iPad 2 is 8.8mm thick, thinner than even the iPhone 4, which is 9.3mm thick.

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Jobs proclaims 2011 the year of the iPad

Jobs proclaimed 2011 the year of the iPad, showing off some of the impressive stats the iPad racked up in 2010, including more than 15 million units sold.

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With the new A4 chip

With the new, dual-core A4 chip, the iPad 2 will be up to two times faster than its predecessor.

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White and black

Like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, white iPhones have been seen in the wild, but rarely.

The iPad 2, however, will debut in both black and white.

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iPad on Verizon and AT&T

The iPad 2 will be available on both the Verizon and AT&T networks.

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Same battery life

With the significantly thinner size of the iPad 2 compared with the original, Steve Jobs said that some might wonder what's been sacrificed. It wasn't the battery, Jobs said. The iPad 2 has the same 10 hour battery life as the original.

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HMDI out

The iPad 2 has a mirrored HDMI out, which many people have been waiting for, allowing for big screen viewing of photos and videos.

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The magnetic Smart Cover

Steve Jobs onstage Wednesday in San Francisco, unveiling the iPad 2, along with additional accessories such as the magnetic Smart Cover, seen here.

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Smart Cover

The new Smart Cover has magnets that grasp the iPad 2 and auto align themselves, as well as a function that allows the cover to wake the device on opening, and put it to sleep on closing.

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Steve Jobs on a brief hiatus from his medical leave

Steve Jobs took a brief hiatus from his medical leave to debut the iPad 2 in San Francisco on Wednesday.

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Smart Cover in colors

The new Smart Cover accessory comes in many colors.

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SVP of iOS Software Scott Forstall

Scott Forstall, senior VP of iOS Software, comes onstage to talk about iOS 4.3. He says Safari performance is greatly improved with the nitro JavaScript engine, running JavaScript twice as fast as before.

Other iOS 4.3 improvements include iTunes home sharing, which allows you to see other iTunes libraries from your PC or Mac on your iOS device.

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Close up of the iPad 2 camera

Close up of the iPad 2's front-facing camera.

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PhotoBooth

Along with the iPad 2's front-facing camera comes the popular PhotoBooth app, including all the fun effects.

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Forstall plays with PhotoBooth

Scott Forstall plays with PhotoBooth, distorting his face with a swirl effect that can be dragged to different center points on the screen.

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FaceTime

Forstall says the iPad 2 is a perfect video chatting device and that interacting with the front-facing camera is a great FaceTime experience.

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New iMovie

Along with PhotoBooth, Jobs debuts a new iMovie app for the iPad 2, which includes a new video editor as well as multitrack audio and HD video sharing.

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HD video sharing

HD video can be shared instantly to sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo as well as CNN's citizen news site CNN iReport.

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New GarageBand app for iPad

The new GarageBand app for the iPad lets even those who aren't musically inclined produce great sounding music, Jobs says.

The eight-track recording capability on the iPad 2 is more than the four tracks the Beatles had at their disposal while creating "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," says Jobs, a longtime fan of the lads from Liverpool.

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Xander Soren

Xander Soren, Apple's director of music marketing, demos the new GarageBand app for the iPad 2.

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Music on the iPad 2

SmartGuitar gives users the ability to play great sounding music with little or no musical training. The strings can be strummed, plucked and even mutted while laying the other hand across the strings.

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A view of the multitrack audio editing on GarageBand for the iPad 2

A view of the multitrack audio editing on GarageBand for the iPad 2. "Anyone can make music now, on something that's this thick and weighs 1.3 pounds. It's unbelievable," Jobs says. "This is no toy. This is something you can use for real work."

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Jobs recapping the iPad 2's stats

Recapping the iPad 2's impressive statistics, Jobs says, "We think 2011 is going to be the year of iPad 2."

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Steve Jobs waves

Steve Jobs waves goodbye to the audience at the Novellus Theater in San Francisco following his presentation of the new iPad 2.

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Jobs hugs friends in the audience

Following the presentation, Jobs visited with friends and colleagues in the audience. Scott Forstall looks on.

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Jobs visits with friends and colleagues

Jobs visits with friends and colleagues following his keynote speech Wednesday in San Francisco where he unveiled Apple's newest tablet, the iPad 2.

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iPad 2

Jobs surprised many by taking a brief hiatus from his medical leave of absence to debut the iPad 2.

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