The biggest change in our lives so far with the arrival of our iPad 2 is now that we have three of them, no one is without an ipad 24/7. You wouldn't think this would be a big deal but it is. It has eliminated all discord here plus the place is quiet as a tomb most of the time as each person is curled up with his own ipad. We are a husband and wife in our 60s plus my husband's mother who is 100 years old. She is curled up with the iPad almost all day long as her ability to do anything active has all but vanished. She goes easily from reading a Danielle Steele ebook to watching a Prince William and Kate lifetime movie.
The above is both versions of the iPad's biggest virtue: ANYONE OF ANY AGE CAN USE IT. Both my husband and I are techie types so we are quite expert on computers. Friends in our age range usually are not. My advice to every one of them is "buy an ipad." It puts those with low tech abilities on an even playing field because they do everything with their fingers and visually. It is the supreme compliment to say about either iPad, "any idiot can use it."
Right now you can't buy an iPad 1. We were going to buy a third one of those on sale but they sold out so fast that we had to get the iPad 2 as our third one. My husband is the one who appreciates subtle refinements in electronics. He has been in seventh heaven since it arrived. Truthfully, my mother in law and I, as long as we can get on it and read our books, watch our movies, assemble recipes in our app cookbook, and so forth and so on, are happy as can be and both iPad versions do that extremely well. My husband is the one who waxes rhapsodically over lighter weight, better LED screen, improved battery life, and so forth. Like most reviewers of iPad 2 he concludes that it is a beautiful evolution but not a revolution from the first iPad.
For those of you with extended families elsewhere, there are other new features which could be huge features for you. The ability now to visit with family members by video with your ipad 2 are completely built in. It has two way cameras. I would like to talk our other family members in California into getting one for the benefit of my mother-in-law, who could have excellent "visits" by iPad with all of them.
Also if you want to stream what is on your ipad directly to your HDTV and projectors, that too is now built in. We don't have such a tv because we like watching directly on the iPad itself with earphones.
There is also the ability to not only take your own videos but to edit them online. Plus the ability to locate your ipad if it is lost and to wipe its contents remotely.
These above new features are opening up a lot of possibilities for educators as well. Apple maintains an entire subsection on its website to helping educators use the new features to iPad 2 to best advantage. Essentially, it wants to enable them to use the iPad 2 to put its content onto a screen immediately in front of their students with the teacher controlling the whole thing with his or her fingers. Go over to Apple to check this all out as it is incredible.
I absolutely love the camera on the iPad 2. There was no camera on the iPad 1. Much as I have always loved my iPhone's camera, and much as I complained about who would want to use a camera the size of the iPad 2, I admit I underestimated it. It is just a fabulous camera and with just pointing and shooting you take pictures that look as if a professional had taken them.
I also researched this cover that apple was pushing real hard. It looks great but i discovered the users were not happy with it. Turns out they have to clean their screens every time they use it because it leaves three big marks on the glass every time. They also said it was unstable as a stand and one guy smashed his ipad on the floor as a result, shattering it. Apple is not very good at these accessory devices. So we ordered the zoogue ipad 2 case and are very happy with it. We have zoogues on our other two ipads as well and are totally happy with them. Just put the word zoogue into search engines to find it.