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It got mocked for its name, and for the "magical and revolutionary" marketing machine behind it. Critics called it "just a big iPod touch" and wondered what it might be good for. Customers, meanwhile... well, after a year of the original iPad and just three weeks of the iPad 2, the gadget that defined the tablet market of the 21st century shows no signs of slowing down.

Apple's history of flat computing concepts goes back decades, but it wasn't until the mid-2000s that the rumor grind really began to churn in earnest. Remember those patents about multitouch screen controls? Yes, that's early 2006, and it almost looks like the guy's got a Smart Cover on his tablet. Ah, the memories.

After the run-up to the January 2010 announcement and April launch, the iPad took on the world. Today, in honor of iPad Year One, you can take on your fellow TUAW readers at our first worldwide meetup! Come to your local 2pm meetup for some iPad multiplayer gaming, meet your fellow readers (and maybe a TUAW staffer or two), and an all-around good time. We'll be doing some live streaming and even maybe a bit of swag. Hope to see you there!


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