The iPad is a line of tablet computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc., which runs on Apple’s iOS operating system. The first iPad was released on April 3, 2010; the most recent iPad models, the fourth-generation iPad and iPad Mini, were released on November 2, 2012. The user interface is built around the device’s multi-touch screen, including a virtual keyboard. The iPad has built-in Wi-Fi and, on some models, cellular connectivity.
An iPad can shoot video, take photos, play music, and perform online functions such as web-browsing and emailing. Other functions—games, reference, GPS navigation, social networking, etc.—can be enabled by downloading and installing apps; as of 2012, the App Store offered more than 700,000 apps by Apple and third parties.
There are five generations of the iPad. The first generation established design precedents, such as screen size and button placement, that have persisted through all models. The iPad 2 added a dual core Apple A5 processor and VGA front-facing and 720p rear-facing cameras designed for FaceTime video calling.
The third generation added a Retina display, the new Apple A5X processor with aquad-core graphics processor, a 5 megapixel camera, HD 1080p video recording, voice dictation, and 4G (LTE). The fourth generation adds the Apple A6X processor and replaces the 30-pin connector with an all-digital Lightning connector.
The iPad Mini features a reduced screen size of 7.9 inches, in contrast to the standard 9.7 inches, and features similar internal specifications as the iPad 2. iOS 6 adds Sirito the third and fourth generations and the iPad Mini.