Tag Archives: ipad

Stop the Facebook Chain Message Madness!

If you’re on Facebook, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Recently, we’ve seen more than our fair share of chain messages making their way around, but not in our Inbox. These lovely little pieces of garbage are being sported right in the status boxes of thousands of profiles! One message claimed that if you re-posted it as your status, Facebook would donate a dollar to the Haiti relief efforts. Yet another was supposedly only for women. They were supposed to post their color of certain undergarments in their status pane, leaving the men to guess what it referred to.

It was only a matter of time, I suppose, before things like this made their way onto social media platforms. We’ve already had to deal with “legitimate” spam, of course. Now, we have to try not to tear out our hair every time we see yet another of these over-forwarded messages on Facebook and even Twitter. I promise you… Facebook isn’t donating a dollar for every person that posts that particular message. And, of course, you aren’t going to see some random woman’s bra or panties if you post the color of them in your status!

Just think about what you’re doing before you blindly click on or forward a link? And if you need links to click on, try these – posted by our community today. Keep up the great work, everyone!

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Are Apple's iPad Shortcomings Real or Perceived?

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I’m not an Apple apologist, honestly. I don’t like everything they’ve created, I swear. I don’t own iEverything (no Apple TV, no iPod, no MacBook Air, etc.). However, in light of the flurry of initial iPad complaints, I just had to counterbalance perceived shortcomings with a modicum of reason.

EMPHASIS: Perceived shortcomings, not actual shortcomings. The damn thing hasn’t even shipped yet!

If you fell victim to the hype surrounding the iPad, you deserve to be disappointed. Don’t hold Apple accountable for it not living up to some truly insane expectations.

Mind you, I find the lack of a camera a glaring omission from the first generation iPad. The aspect ratio (4:3) and stunted video output (not even 720p) are also shockers. We might find these limitations addressed in future hardware revisions, iHope.

  1. Still no support for Flash. Adobe needs to get on their shit, yo. It’s not Apple’s fault that Flash is one of the worst-written, unstable, unoptimized pieces of software on the planet. Blame Adobe, not Apple. The #1 reason to use either Safari on Snow Leopard or Google Chrome on either Windows or OS X is to sandbox that POS Flash plugin. If HTML 5 takes off, say good-bye to Flash and its proprietary madness that we’ve been made to deal with. No support for Flash is an absolute blessing, folks.
  2. No USB Ports. I’ve read that this was a “must.” A “must” for what, I ask? A laptop, sure. The iPad isn’t a notebook computer. It’s like complaining that the iPad doesn’t have a CD tray.
  3. Apple is still using AT&T for 3G. So, don’t buy the 3G service? Even in a pinch, you could get it for a month and drop it the next – with NO CONTRACT, I’m not sure what else there is to complain about?
  4. It’s an oversized iPod Touch. This argument has some degree of merit, but here’s what the iPod Touch doesn’t have: a fast processor (by today’s standards), wireless 802.11 N, an LED screen that supports IPS, support for an external keyboard, customizable SpringBoard background, allegedly-longer battery life, and… of course, a screen that’s much more accomodating for sharing and viewing content.
  5. $499 is too much to spend on it. Really? I dare you to find another touch-controlled device that’s EQUALLY powered and just as usable today. Compare the starter-level iPad to Amazon’s Kindle DX (which is currently selling for $425); it makes the iPad look like a bargain. If you put it in the eBook Reader category – ALONE – it’s a clear leader.
  6. It’s not a Tablet PC. Duh. Do I really need to explain why this isn’t a valid complaint? Jesus Diaz did a great job explaining this on Gizmodo last week.
  7. Still no multitasking. Here’s a suggestion: focus on the task at hand instead of juggling? More to the point, research is now suggesting that multitasking actually slows us down! I’m not going to hold a device responsible for what neuroscientists say is a shortcoming in human wiring – and neither should you. Pay attention to that which needs it – and nothing more. There are certainly cases for needing more than one app open at a time, but not at the peril of a good (single) app experience. Knowwhatimean?
  8. Still no background apps. I do believe the workflow of app switching could be better, but in my experience, background apps zap power – and one of the biggest issues with mobile devices today is battery life. I’m more concerned about my “percentage left” than I am knowing I can’t have a Web page and email message open simultaneously. Moreover, I’ve used devices that support background apps… and… I really don’t miss ’em all that much.
  9. There’s too much bezel. That’s what I thought, too – at first. Then I thought: “What if I touch something I didn’t want to touch, when I was just trying to hold on to the gosh darn thing?” Point also addressed by the must-read John Gruber.
  10. “iPad” is a stupid name. Yeah, I’m still cringing over their choice – but in all my 36 years on Earth, I’ve never avoided a product due to its name. Its color and design, yes – but its name? Who cares what it’s called if it works? And that’s still the question which remains: will the iPad WORK? I can make fun of a million names, too.

For as much as you might not want one, the iPhone OS experience is the most usable mobile (and touch) platform out there today; I’ve yet to experience anything like it. I got my Mom an engraved iPod for her birthday last year, and she’s been eyeing the Kindle. I told her to wait – and I’m glad I did. It may not be the end-all, be-all gadget for geeks, but for people like my Mom? More than adequate.

The iPad is an all-encompassing content consumption device that belongs more in the traditional “media reader” camp than it does the traditional “tablet computer” camp. When you place it in that category, the reasons Apple made its decisions with the iPad become largely clear. Would you mock an eBook reader that didn’t have a camera?! I’d hope not. And what about admonishing a digital photo frame that didn’t run Flash apps? Not likely. The iPad might compare to an Archos 5 Internet Tablet, but even that isn’t a very fair comparison.

Seems to me that most initial iPad complaints are largely due to the problems WE are having in classifying this device in our existing taxonomy of gadgetry. From Wikipedia on perception:

The processes of perception routinely alter what humans see. When people view something with a preconceived concept about it, they tend to take those concepts and see them whether or not they are there. This problem stems from the fact that humans are unable to understand new information, without the inherent bias of their previous knowledge. A person’s knowledge creates his or her reality as much as the truth, because the human mind can only contemplate that to which it has been exposed. When objects are viewed without understanding, the mind will try to reach for something that it already recognizes, in order to process what it is viewing. That which most closely relates to the unfamiliar from our past experiences, makes up what we see when we look at things that we don’t comprehend.

Food for thought.

Oh, and I’m also looking to get a new PC (with Windows 7) at some point in the near future – so stick THAT in your fanboy-pipe and smoke it. 😉 That, and if you have any recommendations, I’m all ears – but not because I’m looking to replace something in my life, but augment it.

Why Do You Want an iPad?

Everywhere you look today, the Internet is abuzz with news of the iPad. I’ve been attempting to do some work for hours now, yet I keep being interrupted by well-meaning people who all are demanding to know if I’m going to get one for myself or not. Yes – I am! Kat, however, is not. She adamantly states she doesn’t want one, and is tired of hearing about them already. I say she isn’t American, but that’s an argument for another day.

The funny thing is that several people in our chat room are “dying” to have an iPad for their very own. When someone asks them “Well, WHY do you want it so much?”, many of them don’t even have an answer to that. Another example… Kat’s sister told her earlier that she “has to have” an iPad. When Kat asked her why, the answer was a simple “it’s new, it’s hot and it looks great!”. Her sister didn’t even know what things are included (and what is NOT included) on the device. She just knew she “had” to have one.

This happens every time an anticipated device is released. Everyone has to have one. Remember the lines for the iPhone? What I don’t understand is why so many people claim to need a device, simply because it is new. Is it really that necessary to have what everyone else has? Doesn’t it matter whether or not a particular gadget will serve your needs properly? Have we truly lost sight of what is important when it comes to buying electronics and computer equipment?

What have you read today that is NOT related to the iPad? There have actually been a lot of things posted in our community, dealing with all sorts of subjects that aren’t even remotely related to Apple or their announcement. Hopefully you’ve taken the time to check some of it out!

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Apple iPad Finally Makes Its Debut!

The long-anticipated “tablet” from Apple is now official! I’ve held off on making assumptions and guesses prior to the official announcement today. There was just TOO MUCH HYPE already on the Web – much of it laughable. I had my own ideas, of course, as to what the iPad would include, and I’m happy to say I wasn’t too far off! This slick, gorgeous little device is sure to make a lot of people very, VERY happy. However, there are some drawbacks that I see, as well.

The device has a 9.7 inch display, weighs only 1.5 pounds, and is only half-inch thick! It’s powered by a new chip, a 1GHz A4 (Apple’s very own). You can get one with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB worth of space. It supports Wi-Fi, has an accelerometer, and has a built-in speaker and microphone. The screen is a full multi-touch (capacitive) screen. Battery life is purported to be a whopping 10 hours. In addition to Wi-Fi, it will have a 3G option from AT&T.

Therein lies the first gripe. AT&T? Seriously, Apple? AT&T has had enough problems handling 3G with just the iPhone and iPod Touch. Why do we have to be forced to use them for 3G service yet again? I can guarantee you that a whole lot of people are going to be very unhappy about that part. Heck, I’m already reading things from some people, claiming they won’t even bother with the iPad, simply due to this. A vocal minority, I’d assume.

Another huge gripe is the fact that the iPad does not come with an SD card slot, nor a USB port. However, you can of course purchase a separate adapter for SD media reading (their Camera Connection Kit). People want, need, and EXPECT their portable devices these days to have those two very basic features out-of-the-box. They don’t want to have to shell out even more money for adapters to make things happen.

The biggest omission is… a camera. Why they didn’t put one on the iPad is a little beyond me. Price and service are what largely separate the iPhone from the iPod Touch – but this is nowhere near a notebook replacement without a camera. A Kindle replacement, yes – an iPhone replacement, no. It’s an iPhone with a bigger screen.

On the upside, the price tag is far better than many expected it would be. The WiFi-only version, with 16GB of memory, will cost $499. The 32GB version will be $599, 64GB will be $699, and with 3G from AT&T, it will cost up-to $829. The good news on the 3G front is that you won’t need a contract. You’ll sign up for a monthly plan (cancel anytime). You can choose a measly 250 MB of data transfer for $15.00, or an unlimited plan for $29.99. That pricing – on both fronts – is a whole lot better than what I had figured it would be.

Another great piece of news is that nearly all of the existing iPhone apps will work on the iPad immediately. Apple also released a brand-new SDK today, so that devs can get busy creating new apps specifically for the iPad. The beautiful thing is that from now on, new apps that are created will work on either the iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad! I can just imagine the developers in our community salivating over this fact (already pounding away at their keyboards to come up with the next hot application)!

The iPad also comes with a new app called iBooks as well as an iBooks Store! Apple partnered with five publishers to make books available for sale through the iBooks store. The iBooks support the ePub format, and allows readers to casually flip through pictures, video, and other inline graphics.

I admit it – I will be getting an iPad. It’s one thing to read about it and watch all of the coverage. It will be another thing entirely to actually get my hands on one, and test it myself. I’ll reserve final judgment on the product until that time.

What are your thoughts so far on Apple’s newest gadget? Get it or skip it?