Complementing Aluminum: Apple iPad's Magnetism and Glass

by Nate Burgos on March 23, 2011

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When Steve Jobs took center stage to announce the second generation of the iPad, two other characters shared the spotlight, along with the recyclable aluminum body: the Smart Cover and Glass.

iPad 2’s Smart Cover. Source: giftsorgadgets4u, Flickr

During Jobs’ keynote presentation, a video revealed how the Smart Cover works. No dialog, only sounds of the accessory folding, snapping and covering in place over the iPad. Apple’s Co-Founder said that the video reminded him of a “Pixar short. The Smart Cover was designed in parallel to that of the iPad. Magnetism makes the two connect, seamlessly. Writer John Gruber described Smart Covers this way:

“You don’t really have to try to line it up when attaching it. Just get the hinge vaguely in the vicinity of the left edge of the iPad and it acts like a robot that knows how to (and wants to) connect itself. It jumps into place, and the near-perfection of its automatic alignment is uncanny.

Gruber also described the experience of holding an iPad 2 as “holding a touchscreen itself. In addition to its high-resolution, the crisp display is also quite tough, reportedly constructed of Gorilla Glass, made by Corning Incorporated. It’s “an environmentally friendly alkali-aluminosilicate thin-sheet glass with the added attribute of being “highly damage-resistant.

A model flexes a piece of Corning’s Gorilla Glass. Source: Corning, Inc./AP

The Smart Cover is known for its magnetism. Gorilla Glass is known for its durability. These materials integrate with the iPad’s aluminum body like a well-coordinated trio of Pixar characters.

Nate Burgos

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