The third generation iPad is officially here, and fans all over the world braved the early morning today to wait in line and get their hands on the new tablet.

Line lengths varies around the world. More than 400 shoppers waited outside an Apple store in China, while more than 200 would-be owners stood in line outside an Apple store in Boston. Still others claimed to only have waited just 10 minutes, or not at all, for the clock to strike 8 am local time and the doors to open.

Even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak waited in line to grab the new iPad. He didn’t have to, of course — the company habitually offers him any new device he wants. But as he explained to What’s Trending, he’s fond of the “real-world” experience that comes with owning a new device.

“More than anything else, it’s just sort of like it’s become a ritual, almost. Because I’ve done it so many times, I’m doing it again…I’d rather be in there and be genuine like the real people,” he said.

Clearly, both sleep and money were sacrificed in droves. But here’s the question: Is the third-generation iPad really worth the lines and the buzz?

Mashable‘s Christina Warren joined the crowds to survey the HD tablet herself. A “drool-worthy” display and an amazingly fast 4G LTE network are just some of the first impressions she noted for the new device.

The iPad’s sharp camera was another prominent feature. Comparing it side-by-side with the iPad 2, its superiority was undeniable.

So, what do you think of the new iPad? Was it worth the wait and the hype? Let us know in the comments.


BONUS: The View From the iPad Line [PICS]


The View From the iPad Line




Mashable reader Rafael Savino shows off the view from 2nd in line in Houston.

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The 75-Page iBook

 




 

Atlantic Records has taken an uncommon approach to using Apple’s iBooks Author — touted as a creation platform that will “reinvent the textbook” — by building an interactive ebook for rock band Shinedown‘s next album.

The 75-page ebook comes out March 27 to coincide with the Amaryllis album release and visually tells the story of the band’s new songs, creative process and cover art.

Photo courtesy of Atlantic Records

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Atlantic Records has taken an uncommon approach to using Apple’s iBooks Author — touted as a creation platform that will “reinvent the textbook” — by building an interactive ebook for the band Shinedown‘s next album.

The 75-page iPad ebook will be available March 27, coinciding with the Amaryllis album release. The ebook visually tells the story of the multi-platinum rock band’s new songs, creative process and cover art.

Frontman Brent Smith says the ebook, titled “FOR YOUR SAKE: Inside the Making of Shinedown’s Amaryllis,” revives the complete album experience, which changed when CD booklets and liner notes became less prevalent.

“With so many people getting their music digitally these days, they don’t always get to enjoy the full experience that you get by exploring physical CDs or vinyl albums,” Smith told Mashable. “I remember picking up Soundgarden’s Superunknown. For me, it’s a perfect example of an album that does an amazing job at connecting the artwork and packaging to the actual music.”

“No other major recording artist has done this yet, no other artist has told the story of an album like this before.”

The ebook is broken down into four parts and features never-before-seen photos presented in interactive galleries, as well as videos featuring detailed commentary from Smith.

Users also can discover the meaning of the lyrics through audio and visuals, and play with the album artwork designed by Atlantic Records creative director David Harrigan.

Atlantic Records roped in rock journalist Jonah Bayer to interview band members and pen the stories found in parts one and two of the ebook. Graphic artist Edith Levin designed each page.

“No other major recording artist has done this yet; no other artist has told the story of an album like this before,” says Mike Mignano, director of digital product development at Atlantic Records.

Mignano, who gave Mashable a hands-on demo of the ebook (see video below), says tools such as iBooks Author have allowed the label to create products in a way that wasn’t possible until recently. He adds that the label is also focused on experimenting with new products, such as apps and casual games, to give music fans experiences that don’t already exist in other mediums.

The Shinedown ebook will cost $5.99 and be sold on iBooks 2.


A Demo of Shinedown’s iBook



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The New iPad Details Hit Apple.com

 




 

The new 9.7-inch iPad has 2048 x 1536-pixel retina display, 5-megapixel camera (with the same optics sensor from the iPhone 4S) and 1080p video recording. It is available March 16 in black and white, powered by A5X chip (with quad-core graphics) and supports 4G LTE networks. It’s 9.4 millimeters thick and 1.4 pounds.

Wi-Fi only iPads cost $499 for 16 GB, $599 32 GB and $699 for 64 GB, while 4G versions cost $629 for 16 GB, $729 32 GB and $829 for 64 GB. Pre-orders start today, and the devices will be in stores March 16 in these 10 countries: U.S., UK, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

Credit: Apple.com

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Apple announced a new 4G LTE iPad featuring a 9.7-inch retina display Wednesday, following months of speculation about the company’s next big launch.

Its name? The new iPad.

The company made the reveal on stage at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, home to Apple’s previous two iPad launches.

The new iPad — which starts at $499 — has retina display, a 5-megapixel camera (with the same optics sensor from the iPhone 4S) and 1080p video recording.

“[It has] text sharper than a newspaper. Photos will look incredible. Fonts look amazing,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s SVP of worldwide marketing, during the event. “[It has] the best mobile display that has ever shipped.”

The new iPad will hit stores Friday, March 16, in the U.S., as well as in Japan, the UK, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. It will be available in both black and white.

Weighing in at 1.4 lbs and 9.4mm thick, the LTE device will work with AT&T and Verizon in the U.S., and Bell, Telus and Rogers in Canada. It will have 10 hours of battery life and 9 hours on 4G.

 

Photos on the New iPad

Images show up sharp and clear on the iPad’s new Retina Display.

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Pre-orders start today. Wi-Fi only iPads will cost $499 for 16 GB, $599 for 32 GB and $699 for 64 GB.

SEE ALSO: Live From the Apple iPad Event [LIVE BLOG]
4G models will cost $629 for 16 GB, $729 for 32 GB and $829 for 64 GB.

The iPad 2 will now cost $399 for Wi-Fi and $529 for Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities.

The iPad will also feature retina display with 2048 x 1536 pixels and 264 pixels in each inch. It will have a whopping 1 million more pixels than HDTV.

The new device will also boast 44% greater saturation and A5x quad-core graphics.


Camera


The tablet also comes with significant camera upgrades. An upgraded iSight camera has 5-megapixel resolution with backside illumination. In addition, the camera includes a 5-element lens and a hybrid IR filter. It also includes autofocus and white balance and an edge-to-edge, auto-focus lock. In essence, Apple has taken the optics of the iPhone 4S and put them in the iPad, albeit at a slightly lower megapixel rating.

The camera records video in 1080p, up from 720p on the iPad 2. It includes built in video stabilization, which as iPhone 4S users know, works surprisingly well.

Apple sent press invitations last week for today’s event, teasing “We have something you really have to see. And touch.” Although some believed the “see” alluded to a new retina display for the next-generation iPad others said it could be a reference to two product announcements — and that’s exactly what happened.

Apple also announced a new Apple TV, which features a streamlined interface and supports 1080p video. Movies and TV shows from iTunes are now available in 1080p.

Software updates are also available for iMovie, GarageBand and iWork — starting today. It also released a stunning new iPhoto for iPad app ($4.99) that will allow users to manage and edit pictures.

What do you think of the news? Is it what you were expecting? Let us know in the comments.

 

Apple iPad Event

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More Coverage of Apple’s New iPad


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A Chinese company likes the iPhone so much that they named a stove after the Apple brand.

This is the latest of many Chinese companies to sell fake Apple products, but perhaps the first documented pseudo-Apple home appliance. Apparently, the company sold portable gas stoves engraved with the Apple logo and “iphone” brand name. The misuse of Apple’s brand was discovered only after the single burner stoves were deemed unsafe and seized by Chinese police in Wuhan, according to the Chinese tech website M.I.C. Gadget.

Police found 681 stoves sporting Apple’s logo and brand in two warehouses. The stoves had the half eaten apple graphic and “iphone” printed in white on a green background just below the burner. Also, the fake Apple stove was labeled an “Apple China Limited.”

Several Chinese companies have been known for illegally using Apple’s brand names to profit. In 2011, 25 fake Chinese Apple stores — that looked nearly identical to real Apple stores — were shutdown. An American living in China discovered the stores and blogged about visiting a couple of them.

This year, Shenzhen Proview Technology company in China claimed ownership of the name “iPad” and ordered the removal of Apple iPads from Northern China stores. Apple could face a $38 million fine in China for using the name “iPad.”

Watch the video above to see what the stove looks like. If Apple were to start making home appliances, would you buy them? What features would you want the stove to have? Sound off in the comments below.

Thumbnail photo courtesy of M.I.C. Gadget.

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1. Helvetica vs. Arial

Can you tell the difference between Helvetica and Arial? This game puts you to the test.

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We have a treat for font fans with itchy thumbs in this super selection of five fabulous iPhone games that share a typographical theme.

Can you easily identify typefaces? Can you tell Helvetica and Arial apart? Can you spot the serif in a sea of characters? These games will test you on these skills — and more. Best of all, the apps we’re highlighting are all tried, tested and free, so you can give them a go without spending a single cent.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Accessories for Typography Nuts [PICS]
Take a look through the gallery for our selections. Shout out in the comments below with any other typographical games you enjoy on your iPhone.

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iPhone 5 Concept by Ciccarese Design

 




 

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The iPhone 5 might not be arriving any time soon, but that hasn’t stopped artists and design firms from creating their own mock-ups.

After analyzing the various iPhone 5 rumors, Italian designer Federico Ciccarese came up with these gorgeous renders.

Ciccarese’s vision of the iPhone 5 predicts a slightly curved back. The body of the phone, in fact, looks similar to Apple’s Magic Mouse. The display is flat and “retina” in nature and the phone tapers off at the top and bottom.

The headphone jack has moved to the side to accommodate the new design and the back looks to be blasted aluminum, similar to what is used on the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and iMac.

This isn’t the first time Ciccarese has mocked up his own version of future Apple products. In addition to previously trying to design the fifth-generation iPhone (what would become the iPhone 4S), Ciccarese has also taken on concepts such as the iScreen, his vision of the rumored integrated television from Apple.

We love the way the mockup details the glowing Apple on the back of the phone. It’s the sort of design touch that we think Jony Ive and company could even appreciate.

What do you think of these mockups? What would you like to see in the iPhone 5? Let us know.

Graphics and concept courtesy Federico Ciccarese/CiccareseDesign

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Your favorite mobile apps should soon be making it a lot more clear when they intend to use your data.

The Attorney General of California, Kamala D. Harris, announced Wednesday a deal with Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Research in Motion; the companies agreed to strengthen privacy protection for users that download third-party apps to smartphones and tablet devices.

In the deal, the companies said they would require app developers to clearly spell out what data their apps can access and what the app or company does with that data. The deal also makes app store custodians such as Apple and Google, who run the App Store and Android Market, set up a way for users to report apps that don’t provide a clear-cut explanation of their privacy policies.

According to a statement from Attorney General Harris’ office, if an app developer doesn’t meet these new privacy-policy requirements, they could be charged with a crime under California law.

“California has a unique commitment to protecting the privacy of our residents,” said Harris. “Our constitution directly guarantees a right to privacy, and we will defend it.”

Android users are well aware that developers on the platform are required to ask them for permission before accessing their personal data, but they’re not told how or why their data is being accessed. Apple also doesn’t allow any software on its App Store that takes personal information without asking, but developers haven’t been transparent on that platform, either.

In fact, Harris’ office says, only five percent of all mobile apps offer a privacy policy. And developers across both platforms have come under fire recently for coding software that transmits users’ personal data unbeknownst to them.

That controversy managed to pique the interest of some members of Congress, who sent a letter of inquiry to Apple.

Should lawmakers intervene when the creators of popular platforms like Android and iOS may not be doing enough to protect the privacy of their users? Sound off in the comments below.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, TommL

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1. First Frost by Meredith Winn

A first frost is crisply captured in New England with an iPhone 3GS and processed with Camera+ and Instagram.

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Changes in the weather make for great photo opportunities. With the recent snowfall, we thought it would be a good time to see what kind of ice-cool snaps iPhone photographers have been capturing.

From the first frost through to adventures in sledding via some beautiful nature scenes, our selection captures many aspects of wintery weather.

SEE ALSO: iPhotography Calendar: 12 Months Captured in 12 Stunning Snapshots

Wrap up warm and take a look through our gallery of snowy scenes. Link us in the comments to any great wintery shots you’ve captured on your cameraphone.

Thumbnail image courtesy of John de Guzmán

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1. GifBoom




The free app we’re using is “GifBoom: Animated GIF Camera” from TapMojo.

It is available for both the iPhone and Android phones.

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Did you know you can whip up tasty animated GIFs on your iPhone or Android handset, in seconds, free? We’ve found a superb app that will help you animate photographs and GIF-icize video.

Whether you want to join in with a popular meme, give a social avatar a bit of motion enhancement or just create something that will make your friends laugh, we have a super-simple way to do it.

SEE ALSO: 10 Hilarious Animated GIFs that Took the Web by Storm

Take a look through the gallery for our easy-peasy walkthrough. Just remember to use your newly-found, GIF-making superpowers wisely!

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Hey, at least it’s not a garment factory. The head of the nonprofit Fair Labor Association — which Apple hired to do audits of the company’s factories in China — said the tech factories are better than garment and other manufacturing facilities in the area.

President of the FLA Auret van Heerden said he was impressed by the conditions at Foxconn after several visits, Reuters reported.

Audits of the eight factories Apple uses in China began on Monday starting with Foxconn Technology Group. Apple expedited the FLA’s audit after mounting criticism of working conditions at its factories. The results of the audit will be made public in March on the FLA’s website.

Foxconn is the most notorious of these factories for past explosions, worker suicides and strenuous hours of repetitive work. Apple made its list of suppliers public Jan. 13, but the company’s effort to be transparent didn’t quell the public’s dissatisfaction of alleged hazardous and inhumane working conditions in China.

The FLA will hold each factory to “140 specific compliance benchmarks” listed in its Code of Conduct. This document outlines rules against discrimination and age verification requirements.

Apple and other tech companies such as Sony and Dell utilize factories that hire low-paid workers. The workers are reported to have monotonous working conditions, but those conditions are supposedly better than available work in the rest of the country. The suicide rates at the Foxconn factory are less than average in China. Some have even gone so far as to say working at Foxconn can prevent suicide because the rate is much less than the national average.

There’s a lot of evidence to show that working conditions at Foxconn could stand to be improved. However, when it comes to overseas factory labor, there are gray areas.

Although factory labor conditions could be improved, the work results in relatively good wages, food and housing — a much better alternative to other types of work in underdeveloped regions of China. Young workers go to cities such as Shenzhen and Chengdu — two sites where Foxconn factories are located — looking for better opportunities, which these factories can provide.

Some people have wondered why the blame for poor factory conditions is resting on Appleextremely wealthy. Couldn’t a company that generated a record $46.3 billion in the first quarter of 2012 afford to make overseas conditions more liveable for workers?

The FLA was created under the Clinton Administration after Nike faced accusations of unfair and inhumane labor practices. Companies have no obligation to join FLA. In fact, Apple was the first tech company to do so. Apple likely wants to remain in the public’s good graces , so it may prove to be a wise decision to allow an audit by an unbiased organization to ensure its factories are humane.

Mashable sent an email to Apple for comment, but has yet to receive a response.

If the factories are found to be in violation of the FLA’s rules, what action do you think Apple should take to fix the problem? Are you pleased that Apple requested this audit from the FLA? Tell us in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, veni

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