iPad Hybrid – iTunes U Images Suggest Child Size Device

iBook - iPad Hybrid

A question I see asked over and over again is how can every family afford a $600 iPad for each child? The unanimous answer is that they can’t, but maybe they won’t have to. This is why.


Like I’m sure everyone with an iPad did after downloading iTunes U, I also began looking through the app’s files on my iPad. Everything seemed in order, however something stood out to me. There were (3) three sets of the dark wood bookshelf images, and all of the images contained iPad in their filename. There was also one seperate image with the filename Shelf-iPad-Hybrid.png.

(files in folder device/Apps/iTunes U/Library/Caches/Snapshots)

So why do three sets matter?

In your typical iPad app there are only two versions of any background image, one sized for portrait orientation and one sized for landscape orientation. In this case, all three of the sets were different sizes. Here are the sizes for the top shelf image from each of the sets.

  • Image-1
    • orientation:    iPad portrait
    • filename:        topShelf-v0-ipad.png
    • pixel size:       768 x 824 — Normal Size
  • Image-2
    • orientation:    iPad landscape
    • filename:        topShelf-v0-ipad-landscape.png
    • pixel size:       1024 x 824 — Normal Size
  • Image-3
    • orientation:    iPad Hybrid
    • filename:        topShelf-v0-ipad-landscape-alt.png
    • pixel size:       704 x 824 — Unknown Size

What makes this thing even stranger is the odd number of orientation images. The first two images make sense for use with the current iPad & iPad 2 devices; however, the third image wouldn’t fit any of the devices we currently know about.

Putting it together.

Every device has two images so it doesn’t make sense to only have one… so we must have both images. From the filenames it’s clear that our unknown sized image-3 is meant for landscape on this hybrid device, so that means we need to use the portrait image-1 as the second image for the hybrid device. With both images, the hybrid device would have a point size of: 768 x 704 and an overall size of 7.31” W x 6.50” H; that’s right, the device is wider than it is tall.

Quick mockup.

Current iPad size: 9.50″ x 7.31″

Hybrid iPad size: 6.50″ x 7.31″


In January, Apple announced iBooks Author and a revolutionary new way of using and learning with textbooks. Immediately, people began to create interactive books and started spreading the hype.

Introducing an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, current, engrossing, and truly interactive. A textbook created by publishers using a new authoring tool from Apple. A textbook brought to life by iPad.

via Apple – Education – iBooks Textbooks for iPad.

The first move from Apple was providing the software to the public for free. The next move, once everyone has accepted the new future of books, is launching this new “child size” hybrid device. A new version of the ‘iPad’ designed specifically for education and learning. A device built for reading that is wider than it is tall, and most importantly something every family can afford.

By doing it this way, Apple provides everyone with a reason to use, need, and buy the iPad Hybrid because it’s purpose is different than a normal iPad, and nothing is more important that your child’s education.

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About C.Roff

Creating Professional Apps for iOS.

2 responses to “iPad Hybrid – iTunes U Images Suggest Child Size Device”

  1. Creativity Different (@CDifferent) says :

    Just stumbled upon this article, great analysis. I’ll continue to follow your site.

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