Archive for category iPad

Introducing…. iPad 2!

Okay, so at this point it’s old news (only a week old, but still), but the iPad 2 is due in stores tomorrow, 11 March. 
My (personal) spin… thanks, but I’ll catch the next one. 
I really like the new design (especially the immediate curve off the face, thinning the profile), and the new cover design seems much more  practical.  Combine the cover with the “sensor”  magnets (triggering automatic wake/sleep modes), and it definitely triggers my “oh, shiny” senses, and if I didn’t already have the first generation one, I would really be out looking for one with this release.
But I do have a first generation, and unless my wife absolutely demands her own I can’t really see getting the new model just because a few items have changed.  Yes, the double processor will be great for performance, but for what we use the device for there’s never been a significant delay in functionality (periodic App hang-ups or bugs aside).  The fact that the memory options are still the same (16, 32 and 64 GB) also contributes to the “meh” factor for now.
I am, however, looking forward to the OS update and a few of the other apps that are supposed to be coming out.  I’m interested to see if the Garageband port works with 1st Generation – and how well.  The iPhoto and iMovie ports, while also likely to be good pieces, are Apps that beg for the cameras that have been added to the 2nd Generation and could be rather quirky items to try and use on the camera-less  1st model.
So… I’m excited about the updates, but not enough to run out and pick one up.

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E = …?

Since I have officially finished reading my first ebook, I have added a designation to my “Currently Reading”… Yeap… intuitive you probably already guessed it… an “E”, well “(E)” to be specific. I’ve read a couple of short stories, or pieces of magazines, but finally snuck in a book so I could finish something for a class.

And the jury is still mixed. Sort of.

I’m reading on an iPad (cross platform: I’ve got both Nook & Kindle apps loaded, as well as iBooks), and the experiences have generally been positive… much better than my attempts to run the Nook app on a Droid 2 (synching issues). Really, the only issue I’ve had to grumble about is the lack of cross-platform availability for some titles I’m interested in. Examples: Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series – there are a couple of titles not available for the Nook, but are available through Kindle. Neil Peart’s books that are available electronically on Kindle, aren’t anywhere else.

I like the appearance and functionality of iBooks, but Nook’s got so many more titles and options available, and in theory has cross platform support (has worked between an iPad & iPod Touch… not so much with the Droid app, and some issues with the PC client). And Nook’s easier to add titles to (over 3000 – yes, that’s thousand – samples so far). Kindle hassn’t impressed me, other than as an alternate venue to find titles – like Peart’s books, or Cherie Priest’s Clementine.

Yes, I said samples a moment ago. Many of them are books that I already own copies of and am just using as place markers for the “library” (Grafton, Gaiman, some Stross and Doctorow, among others). Many of them are back-cannon collections for writer’s I like, have an interest in reading (the rest of Stross, Doctorow, Scalzi, King). Many of them, though, fall into the “oooh, shiny” category, which is where I think Nook has the market advantage. I like to wander the shelves and look at books. I’m weird that way, always have been, but with the marvel of cell phone cameras, I can now take a picture of a book that looks interesting, look it up online, *click* a sample is added to the library for me to check out later. Much better for the discouragement of random impulse buying with triple digit receipts (I mentioned here before where two trips to B&N in a week netted me about 20 books, just because I was bored and wandered the shelves).

I guess the real reason I say the jury is still sort of out stems from moments like that… I still have a boatload of books – physical paper, bound, printed things – on my shelves begging to be read, many of which are more likely out of print, or haven’t been transitioned over to ebooks yet (inherited collections). Which means not a frequent digesting of ebooks… yet. Once I finish this Master’s Degree thing, I may have some increased opportunities to play with.

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My thoughts on Flash…

Steve Jobs made hit thoughts clear, here, about the debate over Flash support. It’s something that there has been a lot of mud thrown around over, along the the lines of “They should…” and “Why not…?” That I have felt moved to examine my own position.

Personally: it’s up to the user. I don’t really mind the absence of Flash for any of my regular sites.

First, let me say this: I did recently acquire said hot new device, but I didn’t get it to replace (exactly) my primary computer. I got it to supplement it, or to be able to perform basic business and a little bit of fun stuff if I am away from home. I got it because I believe it’s easier to carry an iPad around, instead of hauling a laptop, then having to find a power outlet when the battery starts running low (which can be fun during a layover in a busy airport).

95% of what I do with my computer is typing and a little bit of surfing (mostly to the same set of sites… author’s blogs, Wikipedia, and various items for personal business [email, banking, etc.]). the other 5% is iTunes and other media management (burning discs, playlists, adjusting ipod content, etc.) If I’m out and about, I don’t really need to have a DVD burner with me, since odds are I’m not going to have blank DVDs to burn to. (I might, but that’s if I’m explicitly planning on doing something with the drive. When traveling, that’s not too often.)

Which takes me back to Flash. The one place that the lack of Flash would be a regular issue for me is on Facebook. I do play a few games, and they are designed using Flash. I can live without playing the Facebook games (I have noticed sufficient lag/resource issues on a full computer, so I can buy the battery drain point that Jobs presents)… and odds are there will be a real computer around if I do feel the need to check on the games.

We did experience an issue last night, checking out some sites in preparation for a trip to Denver, where there were Flash pieces involved. It was a small irritation, but the Flash pieces were supplemental: side-thoughts and links to photos/videos that we were looking into. We were still able to get the pertinent information for events & locations.

So in all, I’m not that upset over the lack of Flash. For my uses and primary needs, I can get by without it. And once I get a case for it, I’m goingto make sure it gets some mileage.

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The Next Gadget…

As I may have mentioned before, I am a Mac convert.

But I am not a complete rabid fanboy… just because they put a new device out does not mean I’m going to camp out the day it first hits the market to pick up something new and shiny. I didn’t get a “real” iPod until 2007, and that was only after getting an iPod shuffle in late 2006. I didn’t get an iPod touch until the new models hit last year, and the 32Gb model dropped from high-end to mid-range. But I may reconsider part of that strategy with the iPad. [A brief aside… I mentioned this on Facebook and had a couple of people commented about the poor planning/naming of the product. I have to agree, concept naming scheme aside, it does sound like there was a lack of a woman’s opinion on the naming of the device… but I digress.]

There are still some technical issues that have me concerned (specifically, the “Camera Connection Kit”: if I dump a memory card’s worth of pictures onto the device on the fly, how easy is it to transfer them back to the computer once I return home? The same can be asked of attachments/documents… unless I port over to something like OpenOffice or Google docs for the duration of a trip.), and both an iPad case and some kind of dock (I’m leaning towards the Keyboard dock, instead of the plain dock with a possible wireless keyboard) would be required purchases as well.

I can definitely see making the trip to a local Apple store once the device offically hits market availability, if for no other reason than getting the above issues addressed. But I’m torn between getting it when it comes out, and waiting for storage capacity levels to change. I can see advantages both ways, and I still have a couple of months to be swayed… we shall see…

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