The Apple iPad is a 'tablet' style computer that runs a completely different operating system than the traditional Apple desktop/laptops do. This new operating system is called "iOS". This "iOS" operating system is used exclusively by all Apple 'mobile' style hardware devices such as (iPads, iPhones, iPods, and the many variations of these - i.e. iPad Air, iPad mini). 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 Internet functions such as web-browsing and emailing. Other functions—games, reference, GPS navigation, social networking, etc.—can be enabled by downloading and installing applications ('apps') from the Apple "iTunes" store. There have been five versions of the iPad. The first generation established design precedents, such as the 9.7-inch 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 a quad-core graphics processor, a 5-megapixel camera, HD 1080p video recording, voice dictation, and 4G (LTE). The fourth generation added the Apple A6X processor and replaces the 30-pin connector with an all-digital Lightning connector. The iPad Air added the Apple A7 processor and reduced the form factor for the first time since the iPad 2. iOS 6 added Siri to the third and fourth generations and the iPad Mini.
There have been two versions of the iPad Mini. The first generation features a reduced screen size of 7.9 inches and features similar internal specifications as the iPad 2. It also uses the Lightning connector. The second generation features the Retina Display and the Apple A7 processor, matching the internals specifications of the iPad Air.
The iPod model line has also evolved from the original music player to the current iPod Touch models which are almost identical to the iPhone without the cellular/phone ability.
Below we are providing some further information on these devices with a focus on the 'iPads' for now.