Today Apple announced the iPad 2, the next evolution in the market leading tablet. Today’s announcement is just one more step in the direction Apple is taking the entire computing industry. For Apple, the iPad is the future of computing and you can see it across the products they have introduced in the last several months.

iPad 2

Let’s take a look at how Apple’s products are converging on the iPad vision:

The Magic Trackpad – With the introduction of the Magic Trackpad, Apple brought gestures to desktop users. They now have a large surface to perform multi-touch gestures like scroll, pinch and zoom.

Magic Trackpad

Mac App Store – Given the runaway success of the App Store for iPhone and iPad, it’s not much of a surprise that Apple decided to take this same model to the Mac. The impact of the Mac App Store is just beginning to be felt, but it makes purchasing software for your computer incredibly easy. It’s also driving down prices and increasing opportunities for small developers to make a lot of cash.

Mac App Store

Mac OSX Lion – Apple proudly proclaims that their next version of  OSX will be taking many cues from iPad. Gestures, App Store, Launchpad, Mail and full-screen apps all follow iPad’s lead.

Mac OSX Lion Launchpad

Industrial Design – Take a look at the images below. Notice any similarities? The new iPad takes basically the same form as the lid of a MacBook pro. It’s almost as if they simply removed the lid on a MBP and added a touch screen (…almost).

Top view of MacBook Pro

Bottom view of iPad 2

A lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in and they’re looking at this as the next PC. Hardware and software are done by different companies and they’re talking about speeds just as they would with PCs. Every bone in our body says this is not the right approach – Jobs

There’s no question that Steve Jobs and Apple view the iPad and its progeny as the next era of computing or “the post-PC era” as Jobs puts it. It’s impressive to see their entire product line migrating toward this idea.