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Apple's Steve Jobs graces Time magazine cover for iPad launch

The latest issue of Time magazine features an interview with Steve Jobs by British actor Stephen Fry, in which the Apple co-founder discusses the iPad, his career and his life.

In an hourlong talk with Jobs, Fry said the CEO showed "unaffected and engaging" pleasure in showing off a Winnie the Pooh iBook that will be bundled with every iPad. The comedian noted that Jobs did the interview in his trademark black turtleneck sweater and Levi's blue jeans, and at one point leaned back and propped his feet up on a table.

"I think the experience of using an iPad is going to be profound for many people," Jobs reportedly said. "I really do. Genuinely profound."

Fry asked Jobs if he believes the iPad is the high point of his career, and if the CEO intends to go out on top, given his recent health issues. In January 2009, Jobs took a leave of absence from Apple due to health-related issues, leaving Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook at the helm. Jobs eventually returned to work in June after receiving a liver transplant.

"I don't think of my life as a career," Jobs told Fry. "I do stuff. I respond to stuff. That's not a career — it's a life!"

In addition to Jobs, Fry also spoke with Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of industrial design; Phil Schilller, senior VP of worldwide product marketing; and Eddy Cue, VP of Internet services. Schiller said while many have criticized the iPad as being "just a big iPhone," he actually views that comment as a compliment.

"Luckily, millions of people have those, so there is an instant ease and familiarity when they first encounter the iPad," he said. "As for everything else, it's not about the features — it's about the experience. You just have to try it to see what I mean."

Fry also asked Ive about features missing from the iPad, such as a forward-facing camera for video conferencing.

"In many ways, it's the things that are not there that we are most proud of," Ive said in the latest issue of Time. "For us, it is all about refining and refining until it seems like there's nothing between the user and the content they are interacting with."

Also in the April 12 issue, author Lev Grossman offers a history of the tablet computer, and how it influenced Apple's iPad.

"Nobody — not even Jobs, by his own admission — is sure what consumers will use the iPad for, but I'm guessing it will be the first true home computer," Grossman wrote. "Conventional PCs live in studies; laptops make brief, furtive forays into the living room.

"The iPad will become the first whole-house computer, shared among an entire family, passed from hand to hand, roaming freely from living room to kitchen to bedroom to — look, it's going to happen — bathroom, at ease everywhere, tethered to nothing. It's not a revolution, but it's a real change, the kind of change you notice."

In addition to appearing on the cover of the magazine a number of times, Jobs was named a finalist for Time's Person of the Year last December. Making the top seven, Jobs was credit for turning Apple into a groundbreaking leader in the technology business.

In addition to covering Apple and iPad news, Time also has big plans for the device set to launch on Saturday. The company has planned a digital version of its weekly magazine for tablet computers such as the iPad.

This week it was also revealed that Time has partnered with Brightcove to allow HTML5 video to replace Adobe Flash content. Because the iPad does not support Flash, publications such as Time and The New York Times have embraced HTML5 so that iPad owners will be able to view video content.