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FAQ: What you need to know now about the 'new iPad'

Gregg Keizer | March 9, 2012
Now that Apple has unveiled the new iPad and is touting what's changed, like the screen, and what hasn't, like the prices, you've got questions. We've got the answers.

Last year, Apple rolled out the iPad 2 only in the U.S., and waited 14 days before adding 26 other countries. Even then, it wasn't until the middle of 2011's third July-September quarter that Apple's inventory matched demand.

What's with "the new iPad" as Apple's name for the thing? We don't know. But it struck us, and most others, as odd.

Analyst Gottheil, however, saw some logic to the departure of a numbering system, or the alternative, which would have been to label it something like "iPad HD," one of the several names trotted out by speculators before Wednesday.

Apple doesn't number or name its Mac lines, Gottheil pointed out -- it's the "MacBook Air," not the "MacBook Air 2012" -- nor does it assign names to its iPod Touch family, simply describing them with an "X-generation" label only when necessary, as when it lists support for specific apps or versions of iOS.

Apple's doing the same with the iPad, foregoing yearly names in favor of a single brand, said Gottheil.

It's possible Apple will follow suit with the next iPhone , calling it simply "the new iPhone," not the, say, "iPhone 5."

I'm happy with the iPad I have.... Isn't there anything for me? iOS 5.1, which was released yesterday, is an upgrade available to owners of the original iPad and the iPad 2. Along with a slew of security patches, iOS 5.1 also fixes some other bugs -- Apple called out one related to battery life -- and features improvements to the Camera app, better face detection while shooting pictures and more.

For the full list of changes, check out this page on Apple's support site.

Also yesterday, Apple launched the $4.99 iPhoto app , which runs on the iPad 2.

Last question: When's the NEXT iPad going to be ready? You people, you're incorrigible.


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