Let's cut to the chase. The iPad 2 was just announced and here's the scoop:
1) Two cameras. A front facing camera was overdue, but two brings the iPad 2 up to par with the iPhone 4 and latest iPod touch. I can't wait for FaceTime chats with the big screen!
2) A 2X faster A5 dual core CPU with 9X graphics performance! There's a gyroscope, too.
3) Thinner and lighter, at 1.3 pounds instead of 1.5 pounds for the original iPad. At 8.8mm, not only is the iPad 2 thinner than the 13.4mm original iPad, but it's thinner than the original iPhone 4, which is 9.3mm!
4) A white model will be available on Day 1, which is a nice surprise. March 11th in the U.S. and March 25th in 26 more countries.
There were rumors that Steve Jobs might appear at the press conference, but no one expected him to host. Yet there he was, leading the show just as he's always done — and introducing the iPad 2. It's twice as fast, with a dual core processor. And graphics-intensive applications are up to 9 times faster. As expected, it has front- and rear-facing cameras. It's one-third thinner (even thinner than the iPhone 4), is two-tenths of a pound lighter. It now has a built-in gyroscope. The price structure is the same as before, starting at $499. And, surprise, it's available in white as well as black.
One of the things I like to use my devices for is music and movies. I don’t usually watch movies unless I’m traveling, but I do listen to music more frequently. I prefer to use my Bluetooth headset when I am walking or doing yard work. I do occasionally use wired headset in these circumstances, but most of the time use the wired sets when I am stationary.
I tried the ZAGGaquabuds while I was on vacation, mostly in the airport and on the plane.
I was planning on passing this game by, because I’m not a fan of first / third person shooters. With the way everyone was raving about it, however, I figured I wouldn’t be much of a reviewer if I didn’t check it out. Turns out it was a wise decision on my part. I’m still not planning on jumping up and down for joy the next time a big FPS gets released, but this particular outing has been well worth my while. Much like Half Life for the PC, Dead Space proves that an interesting story can turn an FPS into much more than a “run and blast” experience. The horror element of the whole thing doesn’t hurt, either.
This is to announce that Infinite Dreams has slashed app prices to 99 cents (for 1 day only) in celebration of the eminent launch of Can Knockdown 2 tomorrow (Mar 1, 2011). I haven't completed a full review, but the game is well-done. Read on for the full list of ID games on sale and my mini-review below. CK2 provides an array of target types (some moving, some not). You knock them down with the appropriate finger swipe, which requires accurate direction and amplitude...
Innovative music apps are starting to appear on a fairly regular basis for the iPad, and for good reasons. Apple has had a long standing relationship with musicians, harkening back to the days of MIDI on the Apple IIe and original Macintosh computers. As the interface has changed over the years, so too have the means of interacting with musical data.
If you are looking for a secure, very easy to configure and use, remote desktop app (and I am happy to report it works well with Linux), check out TeamViewer. If you don't mind the app reminding you to upgrade it--and the lack of a few features--it is completely free. You can grab everything you need here (DLs available for Mac, PC, and Linux), and the app store link above. The config for Ubuntu geeks is pretty simple (download the debian package, run the desktop app, and perform similar actions on iPhone to connect).
I went to Florida for a week so I am catching up on things. Here are some misc thoughts from my trip and email catch-up.
My iOS Gear I took was fairly light. I brought my iPad as well as the GNS GPS receiver I just reviewed. I used my dedicated TomTom car unit but brought the GNS as backup. TomTom stayed in the rental car pretty much the whole time. (I did not want to leave the iPad in the car.)
I debated on bringing a keyboard with me for the iPad. I ended up not and I did not regret it at once. I used the iPad heavily at the airport and on the plane. During the week, I was busy enjoying the various amusement parks in Orlando and trying to get a sun tan. I would have used it more during the week when I was at the place we stayed but there was no internet service.
Last Year I reviewed the RedEye Mini from Thinkflood. There was also a manufacturing recall of the unit shortly after that as well but I never heard any updates directly since. I am assuming they got everything all straightened out as they have released an updated app for it.
One of my fav games, Tilt To Live has recently added a cool new game feature that let's you and a friend team up to wreak havoc on the dots. More press details follow (or just click on the embedded video)... "iPhone’s Tilt to Live, an accelerometer-based shooter enjoyed by over half a million users, came down with a serious case of the cooperatives yesterday evening. Players can now enjoy a 2-player version of our Viva la Turret gametype with a nearby friend, via wi-fi or Bluetooth.
What's bigger than an iPhone, smaller than a MacBook, and the most anticipated Apple product since the original iPhone? On January 27, at a special invitation only event at the San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Steve Jobs announced Apple's new "magical, revolutionary product" -- the iPad. Meant to fill the gap between the laptop and phone, Jobs said it was "way better" than either. Let's take a look at it.
Thin, lightweight, and powerful
The iPad shares many hardware features with the iPhone, including an accelerometer, an orientation sensor to switch from portrait to landscape mode, solid-state memory, and the same 30-pin doc connector. Connectivity is also virtually the same, with wireless 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 EDR included on all models.
iPad runs iPhone apps!
The iPad will run a version of iPhone OS, and the new device can run virtually any app developed for the iPhone or iPod touch. Aps developed for the iPhone can run on the iPad in native resolution but is large enough to touch type on.
The larger screen not only makes familiar iPhone apps like Calendar, Mail, and Safari look stunning, it also provides screen real estate for more complex elements in the UI. For example, Calendar display a split-sreen view that describes the day's appointments on the left and shows you a color map of used time slots on the right. The split-screen view in Contacts displays you contacts list on the left and the full information for the contact you've selected on the right.
An ebook reader and more
Although not build into the iPad, Apple will offer a free app called iBooks, which will allow you to download and read books from it's new virtual bookstore. The new iBooks store will be accessed from and as easy to use as iTunes.
The ultimate media device?
The iPad is not the world's first tablet PC or the first eBook reader. Toshiba, Lenovo, Acer, and others sell Windows-based tablets, and Amazon has had considerable success with it's Kindle. But Apple thinks the iPad will reinvent the category by offering a vastly superior multi-touch interface an easy access to a wide-variety of apps and media via iTunes. Aple hopes to make the iPad the ultimate media device by leveraging it's existing assets which include over 100 million paying iTunes customers, established relationships with music and video content providers, and over 100,000 iPhone OS app developers.