Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Multimedia Heaven Found on iPad

For most of the things we have heard about the iPad, its most popular feature is its tablet design. It sounds aesthetically centered, but beauty is just a secondary consideration when purchasing a gadget. The main purpose for acquiring a gadget is to take advantage of its ability to make the user's life better, whether in business or leisure.

To the average consumer, features make or break the purchasing deal; besides, even if the buyer is not technologically inclined, he will find a way to get to know his newest object of gadgetry affection.

Internet on the iPad is handled by Safari; recently, they have approved the Opera Mini app. Safari is the fastest Web browser in the world, according to Apple engineers. No doubt about the source definitely, because Apple created Safari. Now, for some reason, they have allowed Opera Mini to be included in the App Store; however, even the app does not support Flash. To those who aspire to continue harvesting their FarmVille crops on the iPad: better luck next time.

The iPad boasts a crisp and advanced split screen-style email application. When the device is placed on a landscape orientation, it displays both the opened message and the list of emails on the inbox with a two-liner preview. Attachments and images are displayed by default alongside the text in the message. For some reason, the split-screen inbox reminds me of Outlook; I don't know, I could be confused.

Graphics are highly appreciated with iPad's vivid color display. It utilises IPS or in-plane switching that allows for an extremely wide angle so you can look at your pictures from various points and still get a good view. Same goes for viewing maps on the iPad; its spacious screen and interactive display will allow the user to manipulate and zoom the map for better resolution.

For persons who enjoy viewing and collecting photos, there are several ways to store pictures in the iPad. You can import photos from your digital camera or SD card using the iPad Camera Connection Kit, an accessory that is sold separately. You can also synchronize the iPad to your computer using iTunes and voila! you have successfully incorporated photos into your iPad.

Videos and movies are great to watch on the iPad for its wide screen effect and crisp display. The battery can run for ten hours so you can watch movies to your heart's delight without having to deal with a blinking power indicator. YouTube has created an app specially designed for Apple computers to make up for the absence of Flash in the device.

Naturally, the iPad like all other Apple computers power its entertainment and file sharing features through iTunes. This application will enable the user to share, download, and purchase media content such as music, videos, and photos.

Of course, the mother of all Apple apps is the App Store, where the user can purchase applications and content to be stored in the iPad. About 150,000 applications have been created and the numbers keep on growing as the iPad begins to respond to consumer demands.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Is Web-Browsing With iPad An Issue?

To quote Steve Jobs, iPad is "the best browsing experience you've ever had". A bold claim, definitely. But coming from a guy who knows his business well, his claim should be taken at face value. Or shouldn't.

Let's go over it again, iPad offers to beat everyone's 'best' browsing experience. Best, as in the bestest best experience with web browsing. Well, anyone has had a bad day with web browsing. Sometimes, even the most powerful devices in the market can't do as well as expected. So will this sleek, .5 inch thick iPod-Touch-on-steroids device give you the best one you will ever have?

Apparently, it can.

Web browsing experience with iPad is incomparable with other devices out there. It is simply incredible. (Dare we say 'amazing'?).

Yes, it definitely is amazing. Loading websites is fluid, smooth, and fast. With a display screen that offers out of this world touch response, there are so many things you can do. Pinch sections of websites to zoom, scroll down to go to the bottom of the site, display the website in landscape or portrait display think of anything you want to do with the website and you can do it with an iPad. All using just your fingers. It is like discovering web browsing for the first time.

To top these off, you also have the usual perks you get from surfing the web with other personal computing devices like bookmarks bar, tab grid, and toolbar drop downs all with marked, even spectacular improvement. But do all these give you "the best browsing experience you've ever had"? Well, not exactly.

The main drawback with browsing the internet with iPad in fact, one of the main things people gripe about iPad in general is that it does not support Flash, a web standard. Nearly all websites in the world use Flash to seamlessly insert rich media into the webpage. Rich media covers anything and everything from audio and video files, to online games. Entire websites are even made using Flash. Nearly all websites use it. Where there are video files or audio files in the website, there is Flash being used in there somewhere. And since iPad does not support Flash, and may not even consider using Flash, ever, this creates a huge dent in the web browsing experience that can be had with iPad. And while Apple has been quite successful in trying to replace Flash with its own HTML5, the websites that support this tool are probably fewer than 1% of all websites on the web.

So you see, there's a huge problem. Even when Apple has taken web browsing to a newer level and even when Apple ensured that the device has nearly everything that is needed to enhance the experience of browsing the web, end users may still get a generally bumpy experience when surfing online. For an end user like you, you may never expect a perfect visit to many many websites. Certain elements of many websites may not work. And even if they do, they may not work well. If you love visiting websites that are fully supported with Flash, like HBO, for example, you may find that the website will not work on the iPad.

Quite frankly, this love-hate relationship with Flash is a major blow in the browsing experience offered by iPad. Even when surfing with Safari is weirdly brilliant, not being able to load some of websites' contents may prove to be a very frustrating experience.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Updated Video!

Just posted the zagg iPad Screen Protector video onto youtube again as the first one was playing up.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Who Needs Flash On The iPad When There's HTML5?

Since the iPad's introduction to the public in January 2010, it has suffered unwieldy criticism from Apple antagonists. These groups of Apple non-enthusiasts have called the iPad a regretful piece of appliance at the least.

However, from the point of view of neutral commentators, there emerged a set of logic to explain the seemingly exclusive structure of the iPad.

The most popular perceived deficiency of the iPad in terms of software is its lack of Flash support. Flash is used in most websites; it is supported by all major Web browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera) except for the mobile version of Safari. YouTube is one of the most popular websites that utilise Flash for its videos.

Apple makes up for the lack of Flash support by creating and designing apps that are specific to the iPad. For instance, YouTube has a Flash-free app, using H.264, that will run smoothly on the iPad. Safari supports HMTL5, which can display embedded videos more efficiently than Flash-supported websites.

It has been noted several times that multitasking is impossible on the iPad because the user has to close one app before moving onto the other. Critics have panned this issue by taking into consideration the target market for this device.

As an "appliance" for the media consumer, the iPad is meant to play a single program at a time, most likely a video or a movie. It seems plausible since this device is marketed as an instrument to experience richer media; thus, multitasking is not expected.

The same goes with its lack of wired connections, particularly USB and FireWire ports. iPad has a "locked-down" nature that seemed to offend non-Mac users because of its almost elitist appeal. Critics have also answered this concern and their opinion made great sense.

The iPad is designed by Apple so it's only natural for the manufacturer to prefer full control over the software content of the product. It does not matter if the ownership has been transferred to the buyer. The point is that Apple prefers to protect their creation by ensuring that software entered into the device is properly filtered. Besides, they probably have more iPad apps to introduce and it would be unfortunate for them if a different software company would create a brand new application for the iPad before they even thought of it.

Its lack of commonly used hardware features can be easily resolved by purchasing separate accessories, such as the wireless keyboard dock, camera connection, Bluetooth headphones, composite and component AV cables, power adapter and dock connector to VGA adapter. Clearly, these deficiencies have already been considered by Apple engineers before criticism even materialised.

It is not obvious but there seems to be a continuous struggle of the Apple marketing division to insist that the iPad is in fact a media consumption appliance. It should be differentiated from a full desktop or laptop computer and an iPhone and simply be appreciated as a go-between of the two.

Its lack of full phone and computer features establishes that Apple has created a class of its own and might possibly be a successful forerunner in the field of tablet computers.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

iPad's Roles is Not A Computer Replacement Just Yet

What baffles many is that iPad has no specific role to fit in, except maybe to fulfil the desire to look and feel cool. It seems to perform well at many of its functions, even threatening to beat the competition out of their own markets. But not good enough, many suggest.

It's a good e-reader.
Depending on who you ask, the reading experience with iPad is either as good as, is better than, or is nowhere near comparable with other eBook reading devices. To many who have not read with Kindle DX before, reading on an iPad is an experience that can soon replace reading of actual books. With some thoughtfulness thrown in to the design and mode of reading on iPad, it is definitely an e-book reader killer. However, for those who have already read with a Kindle, comparisons can be made that may understate iPad a bit.

But then again, iPad offers great features that other superb e-reading devices doesn't. Fast refresh, for one. Whereas Kindle DX offers the most convenient and perhaps the best reading experience with its slow refresh function ñ that is a slow way of navigating from one page of an eBook to another, page after page ñ iPad offers the fast refresh which can let readers jump from one section of the book to another. When reading fiction books, this isn't much of a big deal. For those people doing their research work on iPad, this is as close as you will get to reading an actual reference book.

It's a good comic book reader.
For better or for worse, iPad stands alone in allowing readers to read digital comic books without a problem. Most electronic reading devices, although performing well with nearly all files, don't fare well with digital comic books. This is probably among the few places where iPad's superb multitouch screen performs very well, without the need to compare it to other devices in the market because quite frankly, there is no point of comparison.

It plays video very well.
What is that glossy, multitouch screen for if not for displaying video files? From the very beginning, Apple has already made it very clear that iPad is geared to providing a medium for consuming all types of media files. Many believe though that the device is made for displaying videos. True, it is not big enough to compare with your gigantic plasma TV and even notebooks and laptops can do as well as iPad on displaying livestream TV, but it is portable enough to be carried around. And that's exactly what you need when you're just lying around, not wanting to be tied on a TV.

It's a decent web-surfing device.
Decent-enough, that's the operative term. iPad is a hybrid, it is a cross between a toy, a laptop, and everything else in between. While web-surfing is not its real forte, although Steve Jobs claimed that it has the capacity to give you "the best browsing experience you've ever had", it can live up to Apple's CEO's claim. Except for the absence of Flash, it offers superb web-surfing experience over all.

Other than these, iPad is also a really good gaming platform. E-mailing is a different, nice experience. And you can actually do real work with it. And many more.

Apparently, iPad can do as many things as you can expect an Apple's product will do while at the same time setting the standards higher for other developers to follow. Because iPad seems to be good at everything, let's just say that it is a jack-of-all-trades device. At least for now.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

iPad A Kindle Onslaught, For Real?

The pioneer in e-reading industry seems to have been beaten by a consolidated device that also delivers superb e-reading experience. But is the game over already between Amazon's kindle and Apple's iPad?

When Steve jobs presented the much-anticipated tablet PC, the iPad, during the formal launching of the product, he gave the nod to Amazon for pioneering and revolutionising the electronic books industry. It was only a matter of time until he took an ominous tone that seemed to threaten to burn Kindle, for good. In Steve Jobs' words, "We're going to stand on their shoulders and go a little further." And they have taken e-reading further.

iPad is not exactly an e-reader. It is a hybrid that hovers between a smartphone, a laptop, and in some incredible respects, an e-reading device. What it does exactly, no one can quite pin down. It houses a powerful software that can do anything from playing high definition videos to providing a superb gaming console and, well, everything else in between. E-reading capabilities included. At first glance, iPad seems to run away as a winner in many things. But when pitted against Amazon's Kindle, does it even stand a chance?

The heck it does. Take Steve Jobs' word for it. iPad is a device that can take technologies to much greater heights.

Retailing at $499 per piece, iPad does something more than a $249 Kindle can. It plays all sorts of media very well, it manages Instant Messaging platforms superbly, it allows seamless surfing of the web with the updated and better performing Safari, and has other capabilities that are apparently beyond the reach of Amazon's Kindle.

Now the obvious question, will consumers prefer a multi-functioning device that seems to have consolidated everything from smartphone capabilities to plasma TV capabilities yes ipad enthusiasts go so far as comparing the glossy multitouch screen of iPad to a plasma TV - to a device that only does one thing to serve as a platform for ebooks? More importantly, when Kindle's price go up, will consumers still buy it? Apparently, there are some Kindle die-hard fans out there who appreciate everything Kindle.

Kindle is Amazon's blockbuster for a good reason. It is quite simply the best e-reading device out there. It does what no other e-reading device out there does it takes e-reading experience to a realistic yet more convenient level. It is a no brainer that kindle is not as sophisticated as iPad and that exactly is the selling point for the device. It does house any entertainment applications so users can focus on what they are doing, that is to finish the books they are reading from cover to cover. It also has the slow refresh function which makes it hard for readers to jump from one page to another, making it virtually impossible to skip from one chapter of the book to the next.

Kindle is also much less heavier than iPad. It weighs no more than 1.2 pounds, which is pure convenience for long readers. Compared to iPad which comes at 1.5 pounds, Kindle does not pose any discomfort identical with users who have tried reading with iPad.

So it's a standoff! Apple's iPad has functions that Kindle doesn't even pretend to have but Amazon offers a specialised device that delivers on its promise. In the end, users will still have to decide. Do they need a toy that allows e-reading or an e-reader that does its work very well?

Follow this link to buy a Screen Protector for Your iPad.

Friday, May 21, 2010

iPad, Why Ordinary People Love It

iPad is perhaps not only the most hyped device in recent history, but is also a device that has caused great polarization among users. People can only either love it or hate it. What is so remarkable with this love-hate relationship with Apple's 'magical' and 'revolutionary' tablet PC is that you can tell who love and who hate iPad.

On one side, the techies hate it. They hate the fact that it can't multitask, that it does not have Flash, and that it's just a gigantic version of the iPod Touch. They can tell you everything that is so undesirable with iPad from its glossy screen that shows all the gross signs of fingerprints when turned off and the aluminium back that won't make you feel comfortable when you place it on your lap early in the morning. They would even go so far as rant about the black bezel that is too wide to be attractive. There is absolutely nothing that iPad does that other devices doesn't already do better. And to top all these off, iPad is nothing more than a product of systematic publicity.

While the techies complain about iPad, the online congregation of Apple product enthusiasts continue to clamour for the success that Apple has achieved through the tablet PC that promises to permanently change the way personal computing will roll in the future.

Multitouch screen... This is surely among the top reasons why non-techie users of iPad love to have it around. Although iPod Touch can be used with nothing but bare thumbs, iPad takes multitouch screens to a level no other product has reached before.

You can still play your favorite game applications, but this time, the experience is enhanced. Instead of constantly zooming in and out of the board when you're playing scrabble, you already have the entire board glaring back at you. If you are driving on simulators, your screen resembles a car windshield more than it does with iPod Touch. If you love reading eBooks on your IPod Touch, you will find that the iBooks e-reader application of its much younger cousin offers you an experience almost similar with reading an actual book. Turn a page and you'll find how much thought was thrown in to create an e-reader app that will give an almost the same feel as with reading a book. With a few modifications, of course. A single tap on an unfamiliar word can give you a dictionary definition online, for one.

How The iPad Keeps You Connected, Wherever You Are

Thanks to the major marketing boost that the iPad received from parent company Apple, we now have the impression that it is the best device to experience the Web, watch online streaming video, and connect with friends via social networking services.

The opinion is backed with good reason and real results because the iPad is filled to the brim with Internet-savvy features and services. Despite the initial skepticism expressed by most industry pundits when the computing device was unveiled at a press conference in San Francisco, positive reviews by tech experts who had the privilege of testing the first few commercially available iPads from Walt Mossberg to the guys at Engadget had to admit that, indeed, Steve Jobs has unleashed a worthy competitor to netbooks.

It is equipped with built-in, high-speed 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, which makes downloading files and streaming videos fast and easy. You can forget about buffering, which takes up so much time that it lengthens a four-minute video into eight minutes of waiting. Although some connections may tend to slow down particularly when there is heavy gateway traffic or when too many subscribers are using the network it is not going to affect your iPad browsing experience, thanks to its combination of a beefed-up Safari app (which is Apple's answer to Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer), and the latest Wi-Fi standard.

Browsing most of the online content that you'll be accessing on an iPad is mainly handled by a specially designed mobile version of Apple's proprietary web browser called Safari, an app that, according to Apple engineers, is the fastest browser among its league. Considering its reputation as the fastest app to render mobile webpages and the degree of advanced Wi-Fi technologies that are built into the iPad, it can be predicted that browsing the Web for information on the device will take your breath away at lightning speed.

These days, Wi-Fi hotspots are easy to come by; one does not need to remain in highly metropolitan areas to stay online because even rural towns and suburban communities have Internet access. However, that is not to say that we are entirely wirelessly connected. Some Internet connections can be accessed through 3G technology. Fortunately, the iPad does not only operate on Wi-Fi but on 3G as well. That means you are not solely tied up to Wi-Fi and feel completely powerless when a hotspot is not available because 3G, via your mobile telecommunications provider, will keep you connected.

Depending on your location, most major network providers have 3G service contracted by Apple. For instance, AT&T has monthly Internet plans that allow you to swiftly switch from a Wi-Fi network to a 3G connection seamlessly. All the processes can be completed online on your very own iPad, so there is absolutely no need to go to an AT&T store or contact their customer support to purchase the plan.

When you have used up all your surfing minutes, an interactive push notification will pop up to tell you about your impending state and will provide you with two options: switch to the latest Wi-Fi standard with a frequency emanating within your vicinity or upgrade to the next data plan. Data usage and plan information can be monitored and managed on the iPad itself because that, too, has its own app.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

iPad The Quest for a Perfect Device

Now that the excitement towards Apple's iPad has now calmed down, people can think more clearly about the device that has received more hype than all other new devices in recent history combined. Naturally, there are some disappointed techies and ordinary end users out there who rant about anything from the lack of built-in camera to the fact that the device heats up in direct sunlight. And of course, there are always those who are eager to say everything that is good about Apple's newest creation. So what really is the score with this 'magical' and 'revolutionary' device? Here's our take.

iPad's Shortcomings
It does not multitask. Well, this isn't entirely true. iPad can multitask when its running its own applications. Multitasking stops when you begin running third-party applications such as IM apps.

For the most part, this is bearable. Not many users complain about the fact that they can't update their tweets on Twitter, while commenting on a post thread in a forum or Facebook and at the same time watching live TV and writing emails. This doesn't seem to bother the majority of users. But if you are a techie, this is a huge disappointment. $499 doesn't justify the device at all. Na ah.

It doesn't support Flash. Apple has some issues with Flash. It's unstable, vulnerable to bugs among other things. So the company is not supporting it, and will probably not, ever. Not that the company does not offer an alternative. It does. It is, in fact, pushing its own HTML5, which is recently making waves online. But with less than one percent of all websites have converted to HTML5. This poses some major risks of not being able to surf the web without a glitch. Well, not supporting Flash is definitely a bummer.

It doesn't support a built-in camera. Prior to iPad's launching, rumors have spread that it comes with a camera. Well it doesn't. At least not yet. And that definitely has caused uproar among disconcerted enthusiasts of anything that bears Apple's logo.

It doesn't allow users to do real work with it. Well, it does, only to a certain degree. Apple seems to have a penchant for eliminating documents and files within its power so it's apps, apps and apps all the way. But it does offer Keynote, Numbers and Pages, which by the way are superb tools you can work with. And the list goes on.

iPad's Offers
From an ordinary user's point of view, there is nothing that you can't love about iPad. We won't enumerate all the things that make iPad a very beautiful, all-around device here. There's just so many, you may fall in love with it and want to marry it.

But maybe, just maybe, iPad's detractors are looking for a perfect device that can do everything everyone could ever wish for. Or perhaps, they are looking at the device the wrong way. Many are taking the wrong approach to the device, comparing it with netbooks and laptops and other devices in between. Apple is perhaps trying to create a new device that is a hybrid yet performs at par or better than existing devices.

But for all its worth, iPad is definitely ushering in a possible future for personal computing technology and user interface.

The iPad at a Glance (overview)

Design-wise, there really isnít much to comment on iPad. There's just the 9.7 inch, 1024 x 768 multi-touch LED backlit display that takes much of the bulk of the iPad's surface. But quite frankly, that is what most people love about Apple's products. Minimalist, sleek, yet very functional. But we'll go to that later. Let's first take a look at the iPad, from its exterior.

Unboxing the iPad
It is a beauty to behold, undoubtedly. Although un-boxing the device is the least marvelous thing about the beast, few people can say that much thought was not given to how the device is packaged. Since it's an Apple product, you can't doubt the fact that countless hours were spent over how the device would look when packed. And people are not disappointed for Apple's thoughtfulness.

The packaging is superb. It matches the general appeal of the device. For starters, the box of the iPad has a touch of MacBook Air in it. If you loved MacBook Air or other MacBook products, you will surely fall for the box of the iPad. It's so nice, you can hang it on a frame and display it in your living room.

Moving on, inside the box is the iPad itself, a thin information packet, which you would probably not use at all because even 2-year-old kids can understand the simplicity of the device, a wall power charger, and the famous USB 30-pin dock connector. If you have opened any Apple devices before, you are at home with these things.

How iPad's Size and Weight Measure Up
The closest comparison you can get is Amazon's Kindle DX. Not identical, but nearly there. iPad measures 9.56 inches in height, 7.47 inches in width and .05 inch in thickness. It weighs 1.5 pounds for the WiFi model, 1.6 for the WiFi plus 3G model. In comparison, Kindle DX stands at 10.4 inches, is 7.2 inches wide, .38 inch thick, and weighs at 1.2 pounds.

For a device that does more than the Kindle DX does ñ if it alone is the point of comparison, the thickness of the iPad is forgivable, acceptable in fact. If the size and function of the iPad were to be used as parameters for judging whether or not iPad is better than Kindle DX, it is not a stretch to say that it is a killer. With its thoughtful eBook reading applications and the diverse selection of eBooks available for use with iPad, many say Kindle will soon be replaced with iPad.

Despite its revolutionary thickness, many people still seem to complain about the .5 inch thickness of iPad. Sure, it may feel awkward and may prove more difficult to handle in one hand for a few hours than Kindle DX, but considering how and what the device does, this is nothing more than nitpicking.

The Verdict
Well, it's obvious. There is no other device in the market that has what iPad has. That does what iPad does. The glossy glass face alone is a winner. And we haven't even talked about the functions and great ipad accessories.