iPad 2 : an Apple 2011 Retrospective

Chris Burns - Jan 2, 2012, 1:50pm CST
iPad 2 : an Apple 2011 Retrospective

The past 365 days have been, without a doubt, the Year of the iPad 2, and as you’re about to see, this includes more than just great sales and undeniable attention from both consumers and developers the same. It all started in March as the Apple iPad 2 went on sale. Of course we pre-struck with an early What should I get guide and a few reviews of the device itself by our head writers. We had rather interesting (and telling) results in a poll from March asking if people would be buying an iPad 2, and an article also all the way back in March foretold much on how it’s so hard to compete with the iPad. Then the new year brought fourth an event of giant proportions. Behold the 2011 year in the most omnipotent tablet on the market.

We had two gigantic reviews of the iPad 2. The first and primary of the two was the iPad 2 Review, done by Vincent Nguyen, the other was by Chris Davies saw things from a different perspective: iPad 2: The Skeptic’s Review. We also had a rather simple world-record-holding unboxing by yours truly of the white 16GB Wi-fi version as well. Have a peek at some very early benchmarks, browser benchmarks, and an iPad vs iPad 2 battle for the bloodlust in you.

Sales exploded on the iPad 2 immediately after its announcement inspiring such strange occurrences as homeless standing in line, selling their spot for cash for food.

Early in the year we ran with our SlashGear 101 series with an article on Jailbreaking, this a hacking process becoming more and more common on iOS products throughout the 2011 months, including on the iPad 2, of course. Another article spoke on the power of the iPad 2 in devaluing everything. The war between Samsung and Apple started in force back in April with Apple suing Samsung over the Galaxy line of devices – we saw this continue throughout 2011, many of the cases still open today. The iPad 2 itself was opened up as well with an iPad 2 Wifi + 3G teardown as well as an iPad 2 Wi-fi only for all your innards curiosity – they blended the iPad 2 as well. The Smart Cover was torn down as well.

We saw a few cases here and there worth taking a look at, including but not limited to the Logitach fold-up keyboard, the lovely Verbatim bluetooth mobile keyboard, we got a bit pumped up about the iFrogz iPad 2 Summit Case, and the HandStand 2 was and still remains to this day the only one to attach the iPad 2 to our hand for fly-swatting. We reviewed the wonderfully giant iXtreamer with internal harddrive, and Macworld 2011 missed the whole party as it occurred back in January. Of course the iPad 2 didn’t completely dominate the year, with January showing off cases for the iPad like the lovely tyPad.

We got a look at some fabulous Stealtharmor protective skins, both orange and tungsten – plus we had a St. Patrick’s Day Green Skin giveaway as well. There was also a lovely Wrapsol giveaway for their cool iPad 2 screen protectors. We got our hands on the Griffin DJ Cable and djay app for the iPad 2, we got a close look at KORG’s iELECTRIBE Gorillaz app, and the party doesn’t stop there.

Late in June the iTunes App Store reached 100,000 iPad apps after long last, and even earlier than that, in April, Apple’s Q2 earnings showed the iPad to be selling massively already – this showing what’d be common for earnings reports throughout the rest of the year. Back in January there’d only been 60,000 apps for iPad, if you’d like to know. We got the opportunity to check out the Samsung Windows 8 tablet as it sat as a developer device back in September, it providing one of the most unexpected contending packages for the iPad 2 of the year. The iPhone 4S was revealed, and the iPad 2 finally had a partner running the same dual-core A5 chip it’d been running for months.

As Don Reisinger if he thinks the world would be the same without the iPad, or Apple for that matter. Tablets in the Android and other software arenas started to reach below the iPad with sub-$500 tablets, but it just did not seem to matter. Chris Davies wrote up a column which included the iPad 2 entitled So You Want A Tablet? and the world said “no, I want and iPad.” On that note: Target changed their setup in October to allow some tablets to be closer to the mobile section than the iPad – from what we’ve heard, it hasn’t smashed sales one bit.

As Steve Jobs passed, everyone on earth, it seemed was saying goodbye to him in their own way. Steven Colbert, for example, sent him a posthumous email with the iPad he had given him months earlier.

Jetstar airlines decided to bring the iPad aboard flights for customers, this deal made clear by their gaming release here at the tail-end of the year. On that note, Apple opened up monthly subscriptions for iPad game publishers. iTunes Match was launched to allow iPad users to access their entire until-then stuck-on-cd music collection through the cloud. Similarly, there was finally, after long last, a release of Facebook for iPad, and there was much rejoicing. For those of you looking to run essentially any application on your iPad, we saw a wonderful bit of magic in Parallels Desktop 7. The video chat giant known as Skype came to iPad (eventually) and we reviewed the app shown in the original iPad 2 announcement to show off its awesomeness: Infinity Blade. And between you and me: the greatest game for iPad or iPad 2 is still Slayer Pinball.

The powerful iOS 5 and subsequent iOS 5.0.1 update downloads brought with them a handful of new functions for the tablet including battery life upgrades and multi-tasking features, not to mention iCloud. Straight from Google came their new Google Currents for iPad app which brought fourth a simple interface for all the greatest blog reading your eyes could handle — check out SlashGear in the tech section! Once Tim Cook took the reigns at Apple, he turned the heat down so to speak, the iPad rolling hard right through this transition era, sales and use blasting.

The mighty Lemur multitouch music controller was brought to the iPad, as was GarageBand from Apple, and music was happy. Then there was Motorola, whom believe it or not, won an injunction against the iPad and the iPhone in Germany – imagine that! Meanwhile a USA judge found Samsung infringing on the iPad, though that didn’t lead to anything more than a slap on the wrist when it came down to it thus far. Also in the realm of near-impossibility is this: the iPad snowboard – strange!

There was a rather interesting comparison done near the end of the year here when the ASUS Transformer Prime was released, it sparring up against the iPad 2 in a gaming battle. Chris Davies suggested the iPad two as 2011’s holiday must have while we had our very own ten apps for your new iPad 2 for the holidays. The year was topped off by Apple’s iTunes Rewind 2011 with iPad apps knocking a the door of 2012. As a bonus, not one but TWO new iPads have been tipped for early 2012 – could this be the year of the 7-inch iPad? We’ll see!

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