March 7, 2012

Apple's New iPad: What it means to nursing education

Apple has announced the third generation iPad which offers some implications for nurse educators. This blog has addressed the advantages and possibilities of the iPad before but there is one new feature that changes its utility in education: Resolution. The new iPad has a resolution near that of the iPhone 4/4S called a Retina Display. What this means is that the iPad now has a readability much closer to the sharpness of the Amazon Kindle and other e-readers but with the versatility of a PC. Despite speculation that this generation would be called iPad HD it is simply called iPad. Confusingly, the old iPad is still iPad 2.

For educators this level of resolution brings the day that paper nursing textbooks can be replaced with electronic versions. The monochrome Kindle-type reader cannot be seriously considered as textbook replacements due to their lack of color, video, and audio capability. The new iPad will allow books to appear as clear as paper but with the portability of an e-reader and the versatility of a laptop computer. I look forward to seeing how nursing textbooks will look on this screen. The other step will be to incorporate high resolution video into texts.

Other cool features of the new iPad are new 4G-LTE support for high speed data connections when out of Wi-Fi, a processor that runs 4X faster than the original iPad, voice dictation whenever the keyboard is displayed, and an improved camera, all at the old price for an iPad 2 starting a $499 (up to $829 for a 64GB 4G-LTE version). The iPad 2 will still be available but is now $100 cheaper.

I will be ordering one as soon as the Apple Store goes back on line. I will report on it soon after it arrives. Rumors are that it should be delivered around March 16th.

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