Apple let gadget-hungry fans pre-order the iPad this morning, but it also gave some more details regarding the device’s connectivity options and content.
As Steve Jobs said when he introduced the device in January, iPad users can sign up for no-contract 3G data with AT&T. You can sign up for the $29.99 version for unlimited (probably no more than 5 GB AT&T says “unlimited” will mean unlimited) data a month, or the $15 package for 250 MB a month. A cool thing is you won’t have to call AT&T because you can just hop to the Settings and sign up directly from the device. You’ll be able to monitor your data usage if you don’t sign up for the unlimited version and you’ll be sent alerts when you’re at 20%, 10% and zero of your data allotment. These alerts will give you options to purchase more data.
“So if you have a business trip or vacation approaching, just sign up for the month you’ll be traveling and cancel when you get back,” Apple said on its website. “You don’t need to visit a store to get 3G services. You can sign up, check your data usage, manage your account, or cancel your service — all from your iPad.”
I’ll give Apple and AT&T credit for developing a sensible way to purchase data on the iPad and I’m very happy there’s no long-term contract. I am very peeved that the iPad uses the micro-SIM format to block you from using the mobile data you’re already paying AT&T for, but that’s another issue. Apple also gave a few more details about the iBooks application, which apparently won’t be preloaded. Once you download it from the App Store, you’ll be able to sync books with iTunes, have the device read certain books aloud and you’ll be able to look up any word in the built-in dictionary or on Wikipedia. Check out the video below that premiered at the Oscars and let us know if you’re planning to grab one of these.