Apple Posts iPad Guided Tours


Apple’s marketing push for the iPad is going into full swing now that the launch date of the device is only days away. There’s the TV ad, for instance, but what caught my attention today was the series of “Guided Tour” videos Apple posted on its website yesterday.

Each video features a narrator telling you about the iPad’s various feature, while an anonymous pair of hand (and crossed legs to support the device, which seems to be the only way to hold it comfortably) demonstrates exactly how to use the feature being described, including how various gesture controls work within that app.

Needless to say, the narrator is quite enthusiastic about how easy, simple, and innovative everything is, though I suppose if they were strictly relaying information this would be a third-party walkthrough, not an Apple marketing tool. In most cases, iPhone owners will already be familiar with many of the gesture controls and interface elements, but the iPad does have quite a few unique features owing to its greater screen size.

Not all of the claims made in the videos are completely defensible. Saying that a keyboard that’s “nearly the same size” as a standard one makes for “effortless typing,” for instance, doesn’t really convince me, especially when the guy doing the demo is hunt-and-peck typing fairly slowly while you’re saying it.

Seeing all the features detailed and laid out in this way definitely does make me want an iPad even more than I did before, though. A lot of the elements seem, upon reflection, to fill gaps present on the iPhone’s OS. Meaning that things I wish I could do on my iPhone, but can’t for lack of space or other reasons, are implemented on the iPad.

My favorite elements are the iPhoto integration in the Photos application, which should help make iPhoto much more interesting, the iPad camera connection kit, which finally means I can shelve my 30GB iPod Video with its camera connector on trips, and the much-improved YouTube app, since using the iPhone version is one of my favorite time-killers.

If you’re still not sure what all the fuss is about, or if you’re just getting anxious waiting for the delivery guy to show up at your door Saturday morning and want the next best thing to a hands-on experience, check out Apple’s Guided Tour series of videos. There’s 11 in total, covering topics from Safari to the iWork suite, and they’re much more rewarding than either the iPad announcement event or the iPad video that features Apple execs waxing poetic about how awesome the thing is sitting in front of a white background.

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