Light was shined on the darkness surrounding iPad 2 this week, with Apple formally launching the new device on March 2, shipping nine days later on the 11th of the month. In addition to a new, thinner and lighter design, engineers have packed in two cameras (720p HD for the back), a CPU upgrade in the form of an all-new A5 dual core processor and a gyroscope as found as in the iPhone 4. All the while, battery life and price remain the same as in the previous generation. Interestingly, and to the disappointment of many, the screen is the same 1024x768, 132ppi 9.7" model found in iPad 1 - no match for the iPhone 4, which packs in 326ppi all within its 3.5" display.
On the software front, iOS 4.3 will be available to download on March 11 also, featuring two new applications built for a selection of iOS devices: Facetime and Photobooth. These two applications, already available for Mac, will come pre-installed with iOS 4.3, meaning there's no downloading necessary. with regards to iMovie for iPhone, Apple are upgrading the application to a universal build - meaning iPhone 3GS/4 owners will be able to reap the benefits of the on-the-go movie creator on their iPad. Garageband is coming to iPad also, sporting the same $4.99 price tag as iMovie.
This week, 148Apps awarded the Editor's Choice badge to Guitar World Lick of the Day, created by Agile Partners, for its consistent re-use / replay value, as well as a beautiful user interface. "This app is pure guitar gold," writes Jason Fanguy. "Regardless of your playing-level, Guitar World Lick of the Day evens your playing field, providing access to quality tools and resources that would normally cost hundreds of dollars, at a minimum, in instructor fees." The application itself is free to download, with a number of different in-app purchases to choose from, ranging from 11 months of licks ($4.99) to 33 months of licks ($12.99). As the name suggests, a new lick is available to download each and every day.
In other news, two weeks ago Carter Dotson commented on physical gaming solutions for the iPad. This week, Carter took one of the solutions - namely JOYSTICK-IT - for a test drive. "Games with fixed firing joysticks work wonderfully with the JOYSTICK-IT. Games like Gun Bros., Etolis Arena, and Infinity Field feel remarkably natural with the the joystick, and you will notice an accuracy improvement while playing the game" he writes, but goes on to warn: "There’s just too many ifs, ands, and buts to properly recommend the JOYSTICK-IT, because of its design limiting the number of games it works with."
Favorite 4 takes a turn to productivity this week, with Chris Hall focusing on four note taking applications. Simplenote, Evernote, NotePad Pro and PhatPad all made the list this week, each with different strengths and syncing options. And on a final note, Episode 74 of The Portable Podcast is now available to download, with guests Defek Laufman from Halfbot and the developers of Haypi Kingdom.
That's all for this week - and remember, 148Apps has specially built feeds to bring you all of the latest news, top applications and price drops right to your RSS feed, Twitter and Facebook accounts. So really, why go elsewhere?