Tag Archives: iPad 2

App Review: CloudOn for iPad

CloudOn App IconWhat’s the first thing people ask you as soon as they purchase their iPad – Can I run Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint on it? And for a while, there have been solutions (apps) that you could purchase that would help, but didn’t offer complete functionality like the desktop applications did. And even if you ended up with Docs-To-Go or similar, you still ended up having to pay for anything that would be useful.

That is until Cloud On released their app, available through the App Store for FREE, you’re able to open, create and modify Microsoft Office documents with ease (well, at least the main 3 – Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Not only is it free, but it also gives you full application functionality, same as it would on a desktop. I’ve been using it at work for the past few weeks and can honestly say that I’m in love. I can work while moving around, update my spreadsheets and create word docs without having to be at my desk. Great tool to managing workflow, but even if it’s not for business, it’s a great feeling to be completely mobile even in your own home!

CloudOn for iPad Screen Capture

I should warn you that it does have it’s shortfalls. First off you’ll need to create (or login to) a dropbox account. Not a huge deal, since drop box is also free from the App Store. And once you’re got that setup, you configure it with Cloud On and you’re set. The next shortfall is that Cloud On will only work with an internet connection. So if you’re not in wi-fi or out of rang of 3G connectivity, you can’t access your documents. The application is useless actually without internet access. And then there’s the issue of trying to quickly scroll through your document, there’s about a 2 second app delay (blurry) as the app refreshes and displays the content accurately. Not major to me, but if you have no patience, it may not be the best solution.

At a price of FREE, it’s a no-brainer for me. I got the app asap and haven’t looked back since. and use it everyday. I’m not even sure how the app manages to stay free since there’s no in app ads that come up or anything. Once you get it setup and going, you’ll enjoy the unlimited access to a complete list of commands from drop down menus (same as their desktop versions) while working on office documents. It’s worth every penny 😉

My rating: 5/5

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iPad 2 vs. The New iPad: What’s New?

iPad 2 and The New IPad Side by Side

So a little under a month now since the release of The New iPad and I get asked a few of the same questions, “Should I buy the iPad 2 for $399?” and “Is it worth getting rid of my iPad 2 to get the new iPad?” – So to answer those very two questions, I’ve summarized the main features that stand out when it comes to shopping for a new iPad.

Outside.
The iPad 2 and new iPad have the same outer design with slight modifications that wouldn’t be noticeable unless you compared them side by side. The New iPad is 0.03 inches thicker than the iPad 2 and 0.11 lbs. heavier. So any case/holder that you had for your aging iPad 2 won’t fit The New iPad. Sorry.

New iPad Retina DisplayDisplay.
Apple’s main landing page has the headline: “RESOLUTIONARY”, and that it is. The physical size of the screen hasn’t changed (Still 9.7″ since the iPad 1) but there are many more pixels in that same area. 3.1 million pixels in the 2048 x 1536 resolution Retina Display on the new iPad is pretty sweet. The higher resolution makes it look as if you are holding an HDTV in your hand; pictures look incredibly crisp, video even crisper, and text is much sharper – If clarity is a major factor, this is for you.

iPad 2 vs. New iPad Screen Comparison

Inside.
The new iPad’s A5x processor with quad-core graphics is faster the previous iPad’s A5 processor. The new processor helps make beautiful graphics possible. When I compared a game like Infinity Blade on the new iPad and the iPad 2, the difference was clear (and sharper). The game on the new iPad was more vivid and more responsive, actually felt more like a video game console as opposed to a tablet.

Things like web browsing, checking e-mail, reading books and standard apps performed at the same speed they did on the iPad 2. No noticeable improvement there.

New iPad Dictation IconDictation.
Introduced exclusively for the new iPad you can now speak your notes in to the new iPad’s mic and it will translate your speech into text entering directly into a new note, email, iMessage. Originally rumoured to be Siri on the new iPad – it’s not. Great concept and idea, but nothing something I’d personally find THAT useful. I’m sure there’s lots of people out there that were just waiting for this feature. Who knows, we may see Siri in a future generation iPad, but not this time around.

iSight IconCamera.
The new iPad comes equipped with an iSight 5.0 megapixel camera. Let’s face it, the iPad 2’s camera wasn’t that great, often taking grainy and blurry pictures. Not as great as the iPhone 4s’s 8 megapixel monster, it does take noticeably better pictures.
Ask yourself – how often will you be using your tablet to snap pictures?

LTE 4G.
The new iPad is equipped with LTE (4G) wireless cellular network capability. Which means that if your mobile carrier offers LTE, it will perform faster than older technology 3G. This ‘upgrade’ will be most noticeable for someone that’s constantly on the go and not often connected to a wifi network.

Below is a side-by-side chart with the numbers so you can have an table of the differences.
iPad 2 vs. New iPad Comparison

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The iPad Turns 2

The iPad turns 2 today. Officially released to the public on April 2, 2010 in retail and online stores, it came under heavy fire by many critics at the time. Everyone had an opinion about Apple’s latest tablet and ideas that it was setup for failure.

Steve Jobs Annonces iPad

Originally unveiled in January 2010 by Steve Jobs – he claimed “It’s so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smartphone.” – And he was right.

Forward 2 years later and it’s success continues to grow, year over year. Apple has sold 55.28 million iPads since launching. (Up until December 31, 2011). Estimation and speculation suggests that Apple would sell another 48 million iPads in 2012 alone.

The biggest quarter yet for iPads was Q4 2011, with the company selling 15.43 million units. That’s a 111 percent increase from the same quarter a year ago. To put that in perspective, Apple sold 32 million iPads during all of its fiscal 2011.

Instead of cooling off, all signs point to the iPad gaining more popularity. With last month’s release of the New iPad, Apple reports sales of 3 million units sold in the first weekend (the highest number sold on a launch weekend for any of the previous generations)

While the official 2nd birthday of the iPad was January 27 (Since it was unveiled), today is the second anniversary since its availability to the public. Happy anniversary iPad!

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iPad 3 May Be a “Mini”

iPad 3 Mock Up Mini
Further to yesterday’s entry about why I don’t believe we can expect an iPad 3 just yet, hatches a new rumour that Apple plans to compete with the Amazon’s recent 7-inch tablet success and release an iPad “mini”. Not officially named that, but I’d be more comfortable saying that THIS could be the iPad 3 everyone is expecting on March 7. 1/3 smaller than the original 10-inch screen from the iPad 1 and 2. This would be a compact and comfortable child-freindly version.

And since they can’t sit around and wait for Kindle to gobble up that market entirely, they could speed up the release for later this year. (Q3 would be my guess) Which means this could be available to the public in the fall.

But why?
The top answer would be price. Rumoured to be in the $249-299 price range added to the recent success of the Kindle Fire means that a smaller sized tablet market exists. Then there’s a parent that wants to buy an iPad-like tablet for a child to throw around, possibly damage, that would consider a cheaper solution than a current $900 iPad.

That said, the idea of a smaller iPad is confusing to me, especially since Steve Jobs dissed the idea. But times change. Amazon has shown that a 7-inch tablet can strike a chord with consumers. Additionally, the 7.85-inch iPad can be expected to have the same 1,024×768 resolution of the iPad 2, meaning that no changes need to be made to apps to accommodate the smaller screen. Hmm, it’s like it’s already existed all along. Now it can be official.

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No iPad 3 for March 7

iPad HD Mock Up

As rumours surrounding the release of an “iPad 3” spiral out of control, I’m going to hint at the fact that all signs point to an iPad 2S or iPad HD instead of the latter. I mean, after all the changes that are being talked about seem more like ‘refreshers’ than they do ‘revamps’. Let’s review.

New features are rumoured to include a higher-resolution screen, larger megapixel camera(s), dual processors, longer-lasting battery, etc. That’s all great for what’s inside, but nothing yet mentioned, if anything, about the physical state. So far, all things are pointing to the device staying cosmetically the same on the outside. it won’t be thinner or light, or have any new physical properties – thus leads me to believe that this refresh will be dubbed iPad 2S or iPad 2 HD or some other variant.

If history is correct, release of an iPad 3 needs to have a substantial redesign and this (rumoured) version does not. Think about the iPhone 4S release this past October which was rumoured as the “iPhone 5” right up until the release date, and then everyone was shocked to learn it wasn’t the 5 yet, but rather a revised 4.

So to recap. (If) there are substantial cosmetic changes to the physical size of the newly-unveiled iPad … you can expect an iPad 3. If the changes are all internal, brace yourselves for an iPad 2 (something).

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Black (Mac) Friday Deals

Apple Nov 25 Deal Banner

According to 9to5 Mac, the deals that Apple has in store for this Fridays, Black Friday Sale, have been leaked. (Kind of)

No one wants to take the blame in case they revealed deals aren’t true, so let’s get ready to fire up the rumour mill. Nothing has been confirmed of denied by Apple yet, so this is what’s in store in terms of “deals” from Apple.

Apple (may be) cutting the price of its MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac lines by $101. In addition, the company apparently will be cutting the price of the iPod Touch by $21 to $41, depending on the model customers choose. The iPod Nano would get an $11 price cut and the iPad 2 will be $41 to $61 less that day.

In addition to those things you can also expect discounts on accessories such as iPad wall mounts, mobile headsets, iPad smart covers, Bowers & Wilkins and other wireless speakers, Apple Wireless Solutions, and digital hard drives. One notable item that hasn’t been mentioned is the iPhone. If history is any indication of what’s to come, then you can thinking back to 2009’s Black Friday sale which offered the same $101 off their MacBook Pro and $31 off the iPod Touch.

But is this enough of an incentive to get anyone to not buy a PC and instead buy a Mac? – Not likely. I firmly believe that Apple hold their price fairly steady because they can. This day of ‘deals’ really is a strategic move, in my opinion, that says something is better than nothing at all. And the sales on a single day won’t impact the overall yearly sales Apple has posted the last few quarters – steadily increasing.

If you do get to an Apple store or order online, let us know what you bought by sharing on our Facebook page.

Happy Shopping

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Thunderbolt: The Port to End All Ports

Thunderbolt Icon LogoWhen Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro line of notebook computers, they introduced a new I/O port called “Thunderbolt” in combination with the new devices, based on Intel’s Light Peak specification. It makes a lot of sense, since Apple worked with Intel in developing Light Peak. But why do devices need this port, and what might Apple have planned for it in the future?

Let’s look a little into Light Peak, how it works and what it can do. Light Peak is an optical cable interface designed by Intel with a bandwidth of 10 Gbps currently, with the potential to ultimately scale to rates of over 100 Gbps over the course of its life. The main benefit of Light Peak is that it provides enough bandwidth to both replace data connectors such as SCSI, USB, SATA and FireWire, while at the same time handling the duties of higher performance ports like eSATA and DisplayPort (or Mini DisplayPort, in the case of Apple computers).

Put simply, Light Peak is designed to cover all the bases. In theory, that means it could allow Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Pros to connect to an Apple Cinema Display, for instance, with just one cable, providing both A/V and multiple data stream connections between the two devices simultaneously. It’s the ultimate single-cord solution.

Getting people to use new port standards isn’t easy, however. USB is firmly entrenched, and even its successor, USB 3.0, hasn’t made much headway yet. But I think Apple has very ambitious long-term plans for Thunderbolt, because in theory at least, the Light Peak-based standard could eliminate the need for port differentiation altogether. Since Light Peak’s capacity ceiling is still a long way off, and because of its versatility, it’s the perfect way for Apple to begin the gradual transition to an utterly wireless future, since in theory, it should be able to satisfy even power user demands for years to come.

Imagine a future where every port running down the side of your MacBook is the same, and all of your devices can connect to any one of them in order to perform their intended function, including data drives, external displays and even your power adapter. It seems utopian, but Light Peak offers the potential to make that future a reality, and with Apple’s ever-growing market share (and influence), it’s in a better position than ever to help usher that future in.

Apple could throw even more weight behind Light Peak or Thunderbolt adoption by using its considerable leverage as a mobile device maker. Rumors suggest it may already be doing just that, if it’s indeed building a Thunderbolt port into a future iPad. The iPad has an entire cottage industry dedicated specifically to making peripherals for just one device, so it wouldn’t be terribly hard to get some of them onboard with creating Thunderbolt-capable accessories. And if said accessories are cross-compatible between iOS (iPhone, too, down the road?) and OS X devices, it shouldn’t take long before we see a healthy cross-section of peripheral manufacturers adopting the standard.

A video demonstrating transfer speed of Thunderbolt ports:

In the bigger picture, with advances in NFC and other wireless communication standards like Wi-Fi Direct, hardware ports and connections are slowly becoming less and less important. Eventually, if technological development continues at its current pace, we may do away with them altogether. But before that happens, I think we could see Apple make a serious move toward a hardware I/O standard that allow it to further simplify its minimalist design principles. After all, this is the company that once famously said of the iPad, “you already know how to use it.” Why not embrace a port that works the same way?

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Hands-On With iMessage

iMessage IconiMessage, coming this fall as part of the iOS 5 updates, is all the rage and many specialists are claiming that this could ultimately be the dagger that finally kills SMS – I don’t agree. While iMessage is a great concept that is similar in many ways to Blackberry’s Messenger service, you’ll notice that it’s integrated in the SMS application of your iDevice’s operating system.

That means, that for the most part, you’ll active the iMessage option in SMS settings on your phone, and when composing a new message to a contact in your phone book, it will automatically recognize if the person you’re sending to has iMessage turned on and can receive messages that way. It’s similar to the way FaceTime has to be enabled in order to receive video calls from another iPhone/iPad or MacBook.

With iMessage, you’re not using your carrier’s traditional SMS signal to send texts, it uses data. So iMessages can be sent through Wi-Fi and your 3G service, not incurring ‘text/SMS’ message fees from your carrier (if you’re on a pay-per-use plan).

In addition, you’ll be able to send pictures, videos, contacts and your location through iMessage, without picking us an additional MMS charge. Similarity to the way BBM works, you’ll be able to see when your contact reads the text message, and when they’re typing. It was also appear in the notifications centre on the lock screen, when your phone is in sleep mode.

Redmond Pie has managed to upload a hands-on video of iMessage in action on an iOS 5 beta.

iMessage will only be compatible with iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The iPhone will register your iMessage with your cell phone number, while you iPod and iPad will register your iMessenger with an email address.

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iPad 2 On Course to Outsell Original

iPad 2 Stand

The iPad 2 is on pace to outsell and (already) out-demand the original iPad. On Apple’s website, iPad 2’s estimated shipping time has recently been downgraded to 2-3 weeks. Despite that news though, DigiTimes is reporting that Apple’s suppliers have reported shipped between 2.4 and 2.6 million iPad 2 tablets, and virtually every outlet that gets stock sells out almost as quickly as they arrive.

If that’s true, shipments of the iPad 2 are significantly outpacing the original iPad with further guesstimations that over 4 million additional units are expected to be shipped each month between April and June this year. If you’re doing the math, that’s over 12 million units for the second quarter of this year!

The iPad 2 has seen tremendous demand in the U.S. and globally, having sold out in nearly every retail location that made the tablet available. Lines continue to form as new inventory arrives at retail locations abroad, and strong sales have kept stock low at U.S. retailers as well. Shipping estimates for online orders placed on Apple’s website improved to 2-3 weeks last month but that is where they have remained ever since, suggesting supply still hasn’t caught up with demand. Apple’s iPad 2 launched on March 11th in the U.S., and we said in our review that it pushed Apple’s already huge lead in the tablet space even further.

When the iPad 2 was unveiled back on March 2nd and the only ‘new’ features were dualing cameras and slightly quicker processor, I recall all the Apple-haters chiming in about how silly it was to release a second generation of the SAME tablet. “It would never do well” and “Won’t sell”. All along I’ve thought that the upgrades, though minor, would be enough to make the iPad 2 a success. I’m happy to see that so far – I was right.

What should/could Apple have done to better maximize this launch? (BTW, I’m on the waiting list for mine – sigh)

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Smart Cover Hack for iPad 1

If you’re a diehard Apple fan like I am, you’ve already heard about the iPad 2 that was released March 11th, in the US, and releasing this Friday, in Canada. And I’m sure you’ve also heard about Apple’s Smart Cover specifically designed for the iPad 2. If you saw that cover and wondered if it wold be possible to rig it up to work with the original iPad, then great news for you! It can.

Some clever people at The Russians Used a Pencil have managed to ‘hack’ the original iPad to work with the Smart Cover, which was solely intended for use with iPad 2.

While the cover looks flush placed on the iPad, when it’s removed, the magnets are clearly exposed. The sleep/wake feature of the smart cover also isn’t compatible with the iPad 1… Uh oh. I’m such a picky person when it comes to styling, I want my device to still look sleek while remaining fully functional – so much that I would likely skip on this mod for my iPad and just wait until I bought the second generation before even considering a smart cover.

This is what the placed magnets would look like on the side of your iPad 1. (And the main reason I wouldn’t even consider the hack) – But this blog is about giving my followers tips, so if you’re going to try this mod … take pictures and let me know how you like it.

iPad 1 Smart Cover Magnets

Besides, I’m not even completely convinced that I like the smart cover that much anyway. It is a great concept, but it doesn’t cover the back of my iDevice. I can’t have the back exposed like that. When I pick up my iPad 2 (Hopefully, this weekend) I’ll look into a case that fully protects my investment.

Here’s a quick video of the hack in action.

Oh yeah, I guess I should mention that I’m planning to be one of the thousand or so people waiting in line this Friday for the release of the iPad 2 in Canada. Can’t wait!

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