Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category

The iPad is so easy to use,a cat can play with it. So can a dog! But what about a centenarian? Virginia of Oregon bought her first computer—an iPad—and is already an “old hand”!

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Couldn’t resist popping into the iStore yesterday and playing with one of their new demo iPads. My verdict? Don’t believe the hype: the iPad is WAY better in the flesh, so to speak.

Admittedly I only spent about 10-15 minutes playing with it but that’s easily enough to show off its many attributes which themselves only hint at its potential. So, first impressions? It feels heavier than I thought – not overly so compared to the weighty books on my bedside table but the 1.5 pounds feels a lot more substantial than a Kindle, for example. The most impressive feature right off the bat is the responsiveness. You’re already used to something like this from your iPod Touch or iPhone but this is so lightning fast and scrolling and flicking pages and so on is just a joy. The iBooks app knocks spots off the Kindle – you can see how books will come alive with the rich colours that the iPad screen offers.

I spent a bit of time exploring the New York Times app – something of a Times Lite called “Editor’s Choice” as their Kindle deal prevents them offering the full Times on the iPad yet – and it’s is very well done. It so easy and intuitive to touch on stories, pictures and video. Stories fill a whole screen making them as readable as a real paper – if this is how newspapers are going to look then I may never buy newsprint again. The BBC and NPR apps were equally impressive. Also, they were easy to read flat down like a real book or paper.

It already looks a mature and stable platform for games and video – again, so easy to launch and view, I can see this fitting in so easily at home (can I keep the kids off it – doubtful!) and it will be a great travel companion. The only real issue I’m going to have with the iPad is choice – there’s so much you can and want to do on it.

I spent some time typing on the on-screen keyboard and had no problem at all – in fact, if you;ve mastered the iPhone/Touch keyboard, this is a breeze.

I know there’s a lot of talk about lack of a camera, multi-tasking and so on. Some of that will be dealt with in the new iPhone 4.0 OS release later this year and future versions. The continued failure to support Flash is irritating and the lack of a camera is perhaps more puzzling than it is on the Touch as the iPad would clearly make a great video conferencing tool.

But right now, if digital media and the iTunes Eco-system is a big part of your life, I can’t think of a good reason why you wouldn’t want to buy this right now unless you absolutely have to wait for 3G. No it doesn’t do a lot of things a laptop does but this is not a laptop – it’s a whole new niche and its portability and ease of use, for me, make it more compelling and usable than a laptop.

Prices in Bermuda will start around $800 for the 16GB version.

If we’re not all swooning enough over the iPad, today’s details of what’s coming in iPhone OS 4.0 (which the iPad will run too). I haven’t time to digest everything Steve Jobs revealed today but according to Macworld:

The ability to run multiple apps, folders for organizing your mobile applications, and Mail improvements lead the major changes coming in the next version of the iPhone operating system.

It continued:

iPhone 4.0 boasts more than 100 new user features, such as playlist creation, 5x digital zoom in the camera app, tap-to-focus for video, auto photo-geotagging, the addition of Places functionality, the ability to change the Home screen wallpaper, improved spell-checking, and support for Bluetooth keyboards. Many of the features added are already available on the iPad, which currently runs iPhone OS 3.2.

The OS update, which is available as a developer build now for app makers, will arrive in consumers’ hands in the summer. Not all devices will be able to reap all the benefits of iPhone 4.0. Owners of the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch should be able to run all the features, but iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod touch owners will only support some of the features—for instance, those devices will not be able to use the multitasking features that highlight the update.

There’s a full rundown of all the features at Apple.com. You can replay Jobs’ keynote here.