Tag Archives: ipad

iPad Vs. Books

This is a guest post written by Adrian P..

Ive been using the iPad for five months now, and I find it to be a very useful device. The video, apps, music, and the browser make it a worthwhile purchase. Its really nice to have the Internet at your fingertips without having to boot up your machine every time that you want to check out something on the net.

I have found that while many websites/blogs have reviewed the features mentioned above, I haven’t found a lot of salient information regarding the iPad and how it compares to paper books. Sure, everybody knows that you can download and read eBooks on the iPad, but its other features tend to eclipse the ebook experience. If, however, the ebook feature on the iPad is reviewed, its almost always compared and contrasted with Amazons Kindle. I have not seen anybody review the iPads efficacy as a reading device vis-a-vis actual paper books. Being an avid reader of paper books and now having had experienced reading on the iPad for five months, I think that its time I did a review of how the two compare.

Before I begin I think it would only be fair to say that I am a big fan of standard paper books. With that being said, I hope that I can separate my love of books in order to give a fair assessment of the iPad reading experience.

The iPad has some great features:

  • The ability to look up words using the iPads built in dictionary.
  • The orientation can be changed (landscape or portrait).
  • The animated graphic for each page turn mimics page turning in a standard paper book.
  • The paper color can be changed to a yellowish to mimic discolored paper.
  • The typeface can be changed and the font size can be increased or deceased.

The ability to instantly look up unfamiliar words is truly a handy feature. When reading books I normally keep my iPod touch close by to look up words using a dictionary, or I will simply look it up in a book dictionary. This can become irritating as it distracts you away from the subject matter of the book that you are reading. The iPad definitely scores a big win with the built in dictionary.

The orientation and page turning animation graphic are nice touches, but ultimately this makes no difference to me. I find that this is something that is more a novelty that you would show your friends in order to impress them and say: Hey look how my iPad can mimic paper books the future is now! Blah blah blah. The ability to change the color of the pages to yellow from the bright white is an essential feature. When I first started reading on the iPad I used the white colored pages (the default setting), but I found that this really strained my eyes after a long reading session (even with the screen brightness turned down really low). With the screen brightness turned really low and the paper color turned yellow, this can definitely mitigate eye strain, but it isn’t a panacea.

Another feature that effectively mitigates eye strain is the ability to change the font sizes and typeface. This makes reading on the iPad superior to books. It is superior because the only way to enlarge text when reading a paper book is to move the book closer to your face or wear reading glasses.

So far it seems that I would prefer reading on the iPad to books, but this is not the case. I’m not sure if its because the culture of paper books is so firmly entrenched in my psyche, but books just seem to be a more natural method for reading. As you turn the pages you get a feeling for the texture of the paper that the iPad cant even dream of being able to recreate. Another issue that adds to the books experience is that each paper book has a smell that adds to the reading experience. I cant take credit for this observation. I saw an interview with poet/writer Nikki Giovanni on This is America with Dennis Wholey where Wholey asks her opinion on technology/ebooks/ebook readers. She responds by saying that The ebook wont work until they can find a way; well we already know how to turn the page now[sic], but were going to have to find a way to bring the smell of paper and ink. This was something that I hadn’t thought about until I heard Giovanni make this statement, but now I do notice the smell of books. I think unconsciously I was noticing the smell of books all along. However, after reading on the iPad where no smell is emitted, you do start to miss the smell of paper and ink as Giovanni claims. I suppose smell is one of the most under-appreciated senses always being relegated to a subordinate position to sight and hearing. Giovanni’s explanation is far more robust than this; Ill embed the video of the interview at the end of this article.

One thing that can get irritating on the iPad is that after the 9 hour battery dies you have to plug in the device for recharging. This can be irritating because it interrupts the flow of reading during a long session. I know that this seems like an insignificant point. Im sure many would argue that after 9 hours of reading having to plug the iPad in is not a big issue. However, this can be more irritating than it sounds. Suppose you were reading in a comfortable position on your couch and there is no power outlet near you. You would have to get up from that position and find a spot near an outlet where you can plug in the iPad and continue reading. Now if you cant achieve the same level of comfort in that new spot, you will most likely just stop reading and move on to doing something else. Your reading session has been interrupted. Books don’t suffer from this deficiency. So long as you have a working light you can keep reading for as long as you want.

So which method of reading is superior? This is a very difficult question to answer. I will say that the iPad definitely has clear advantages (all of which have been mentioned above). I don’t think that the iPads advantages necessarily eclipse the advantages of books. Books are low-tech, but they are still effective at disseminating knowledge. I think the reason for ebook popularity is really more of a consequence of novelty rather than efficacy. When we look at both methods objectively the main purpose is to disseminate and read information no matter how high-tech or low-tech the medium is. Both the iPad and paper books serve the purpose of making knowledge accessible, but is one a better method than the other? Really, I don’t think it makes a difference. While it is true that you can buy an ebook and have it downloaded to your device instantly, I don’t think that this necessarily makes the ebook experience more advantageous. Have we really become that impatient as a society that we cant wait a day or two for a paper book to arrive in the mail? Personally, I can wait for the paper version to show up, but that’s just me. The final verdict: I will say that the iPad and ebooks are here to stay, but they will never fully replace paper books. In terms of which method is better really depends on which method is more suitable for the individual.

I will personally be using both the iPad and paper books for reading.

Let me know what you think in the comments section.

Monopoly for the iPad Released By EA Games

The big iPad screen is perfect for playing Monopoly. EA has had great success with versions of the game for the iPhone and iPod touch, so it only makes sense to bring it to the iPad, as well. The Monopoly HD game allows iPad users to connect wirelessly to other iPad game players via a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection. Another cool thing is that iPad users can play locally against people running the Monopoly HD on their iPhone or iPod devices, and not just the iPad.

The game mimics the real thing beautifully on the iPad — thanks to iPad’s awesome display. Shake your device to “roll” the 3D dice. Tap the screen to manage your properties. Building a house on Baltic Avenue, taking a “Chance,” or opening the “Community Chest” are easy with intelligent design and intuitive controls. Play through three levels of difficulty and save games in progress. Also customize the number of players, the “house rules,” and even the game environment.

What’s your favorite iPad game, and why?

iPad Accessories from Cyber Acoustics

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I love this iPad case so much that I’m going to give it to one of you. It’s the one I’ve been using on my iPad. I happen to have a replacement for it from the folks at Cyber Acoustics. They were blown away with the traffic you guys gave them, so they sent me a red one to replace this black one.

This leather case is not for everyone, I know. Many of you would prefer that it not be leather. That being said, this is a very, very good iPad cases. I use a LOT of different iPad cases, but this is simply the best one that I’ve tried.

It serves as a low angled prop for great comfort in typing mode, or as an upright stand to sit back and watch movies and video clips. There is felt on this inside. There are bands that hold it in place. It’s shock absorbent – seriously. I’ve dropped the iPad a couple of times and I have no troubles.

I love the way this sleek little case looks. It’s sleek and gorgeous. I enjoy being able to hold it in a couple of different ways, and stand it up in a few ways. It doesn’t look cheap – or feel cheap. It doesn’t matter that this was sent to me as a review unit… I mean what I say.

THIS is the case that Apple should have made.

If you want my Cyber Acoustics iPad case, leave a response in the comments thread. You can also tweet the URL for this video, or leave a comment on Facebook. As long as you leave a note somewhere about this video, you’ll be eligible to win this case.

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iPads and Androids Can Get Along

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Connecting an Android device (by way of hot spot) to an iPad is an excellent solution if you don’t want to use the built-in 3G connection. One caller to the live stream recently asked if I felt it would be faster to stop using his Android device, and simply connect to the Internet using the 3G provided on the iPad. There’s honestly no cut-and-dried answer to this.

Either solution will work, of course, and both will depend on how strong of a connection/signal you can find. When my Dad was deciding whether to get his new iPhone, he was also considering an Android device. He wasn’t sure what type of connection would be the best.

As long as you’re already paying for the service on the Android device, why not stick with that? When what you have is working, there’s nothing to fix or change. I think it’s an excellent option to have a mobile device that can be used as a hot spot.

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Will the New iPad Have a Camera and Retina Display?

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During live calls recently, one person asked if I felt he should buy an iPad now, or wait for a new version to come out. I think he should wait. I feel that Apple will include several of the things on the next iPad that we all wish it had now.

I do feel there will be another new one at the beginning of the year, likely in February or March. It’s not likely we’ll see a different form factor. There’s nothing wrong with the iPad as it is built now. The mold doesn’t need to change.

There has been talk in some of the patent blogs that the doc connector will be on the bottom and one of the sides in the next version. Also, they claim that there WILL be a camera. I believe this. The big push is FaceTime. Most likely we will see a new version of iChat, as well, when the new iPad hits shelves.

What are your thoughts? What would you like to see included on the new iPad?

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How to be Productive With the iPad

Whiteboard HD makes it simple for you to SEE your ideas by giving you the best environment to write notes, sketch charts and record your brainstorming sessions. Draw freeform with the drag of your finger and add pre-made shapes and lines by pinching or tapping. Choose between grid and lined backgrounds or import any image or diagram from your photo library. Heck, you can even add labels and text boxes anywhere!

The app makers have included several very cool features in order to help make this THE collaboration tool of choice. Use it for preliminary sketches, group brainstorming and student projects. Share your ideas through external monitors or projectors in many different aspect ratios when using the iPad VGA adapter. It’s pretty simple to save and bookmark your notes, images and diagrams when you are finished – right within the app’s project manager.

Some key features include:

  • Full DropBox support
  • Add images as objects on the board
  • Laser-pointer mode for external displays.
  • Export boards choosing white or transparent background

If you have a project to work through by yourself – OR with others – the Whiteboard HD app may be exactly the app you’re looking for.

Line Art Drawing App for iPhone and iPad

Line Art has thousands upon thousands of little particles which respond to your touch. As they move around, they leave behind colorful lines. Over time, they change color as well as how they react to your touch. This keeps things interesting, and allows you to create an unlimited number of designs.

When you leave the app alone, the particles begin to move all by themselves… just as if they were alive! The app features VGA out support, is universal (working on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad), has ten different interaction modes and boasts stunning and smooth graphics.

How many millions of ways can you come up with to create works of art on your Apple device?

Bring Netflix to Your Apple Device

If you’re already a Netflix member, you know how great it is to be able to watch the shows and movies YOU want to see anytime you want to see them. Now you can get that same service on your Apple mobile devices, as well. The Netflix App allows you to instantly stream the programs to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

The app itself won’t cost you anything. Use it in conjunction with your current Netflix subscription. If you aren’t a member just yet, you can check out a free trial. Watch your favorites as often as you want, and even resume where you left off when having to get up from the television or computer. Browse movies and manage your instant queue right from your device.

This could come in very handy. Let’s say you’re watching a movie that has you completely sucked in. You’re comfy on the couch when suddenly your power goes out! Psh – no big deal. Bring Netflix up on your iPad or phone and continue. Maybe you have to head out and ride in a cab… a train… you get the picture. Watch your content any time from any place you choose.