I don’t think I’m alone in saying that Facebook’s announcement yesterday at their headquarters in Menlo Park, California, didn’t get me stoked up one bit. I didn’t even realise it had started until I checked my Twitter during a break from revision in my university’s library and discovered that the event had temporarily hijacked my feed. So, to procrastinate a bit, I started watching the live feed and reading a bit more about it on various technology blogs. The results, unfortunately, didn’t impress.
Smaller is always better, correct? Smaller is more portable, easier to hold, and is more likely to be used in most situations, correct? That’s typically correct, especially in the technology world.
But that isn’t taking into account the loss of potential productivity, or the advantages of the larger size. At some point, a smaller size begins to impact the capabilities of the device, even if the two devices run identical software. While the iPad mini really is an excellent device that is designed to please most users, there is at least one group of users that likely will not find the iPad mini’s smaller form factor an improvement over the more traditional, 9.7″ iPad.
That segment of users are the true iPad power users, the people who consistently use the iPad not just to consume, but also to create.
Reports of kids racking up huge bills through in-app purchases (IAP) is certainly en vogue in the mainstream media at the moment. The tech media, too. When the story ingredients include young children, the (on occasion) largest company on the planet and mammoth credit card bills for normal, hardworking parents then you’re guaranteed eyes on the page. The conclusion being that Apple is, after all, evil.
Last week, Jonathan made a very compelling argument as to why we would need an external keyboard on the iPad. Now while I concede that on some occasions this would be a boon — typing on the mini for instance — I have to disagree that an external keyboard is needed. Let me share a few of my thoughts on why I feel that it could even be a hindrance and maybe sway you to agree with me.
From the very beginning, the iPad was meant to represent a limited device. While Apple continuously pushes it as the harbinger of the next generation of computing, there is no denying the fact that it simply isn’t good at certain tasks. Some of those tasks are trivial: file management, multitasking, and various other small issues annoy those who try to get actual work done on the device. Thankfully, applications are released daily that help to alleviate many of these pain points, and limitation often helps breed creativity.
The largest issue, however, isn’t one that developers can fix: data entry on the iPad is abysmal for any task that involves typing more than 500 characters.
Freemium apps have become something of a boom recently. Some of the most popular games on the App Store go by this model, whereby the actual app is “free” but to progress through the game, you’ll need to spend some real cash to actually get anywhere. Hannah Richards wrote an excellent piece arguing why freemium apps are great but now it’s time for me to vent my anger at them and why I won’t be downloading any in the future.
Before I start my rant, let me say that I was a fan of freemium games. I used to play quite regularly on The Sims: Freeplay, The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Pocket Planes (all of which received highly favourable reviews on this site) and I enjoyed it until I realised that I was actually wasting my life, money and, indirectly, my university degree trying to make my Sims to fall in love and get married or get my Bearclaw-P to Stockholm to deliver a valuable batch of screws.
I have reviewed a number of freemium apps during my time here at iPad.AppStorm, and have come to notice that this particular revenue model tends to polarize opinion, with people either strongly for or strongly against it. I fall into the former camp, and firmly believe that the freemium model is a worthwhile addition to the App Store. Want to know why? Hit the jump to find out!
Sony’s revealing of the PlayStation 4 left more questions than answers. For starters, what’s the launch date? How much does it cost? And what does it actually look like? Almost every single facet of Sony’s presentation was positively Lost-ian, answering questions with more mysteries and dropping clues which seemed to go absolutely nowhere. I wonder if they’re simply out to beat Microsoft to the punch by announcing an unfinished product to the masses just so they can say they were first.
One area that Sony does seem sold on is making sure that the PS4 is cloud-based and mobile. Their branding is a little confusing, but I know they really want me to buy a PS Vita with my PS4 so I can play games on the go. I also know that they’ll eventually be supporting the iPad, but they haven’t exactly clarified how yet. And in what seems like typical Sony launching fanfare, they haven’t shown off the interface either — they only teased it. What we’re left with are important questions: What will the iPad do when we pair it with a PS4? And most importantly, will it work?
Is this a good idea? Let’s find out.
A little less than a year ago, I wrote an article about how the iPad could become that college student’s perfect machine. A little less than a year ago is a very long time for a product’s development life-cycle when it comes to Apple products. Even nowadays, I am constantly asked on campus by my colleges the same question, “Should I get an iPad or a laptop?” Luckily, Apple has made the answer to this question a little less black and white with the introduction of the iPad mini.
Has the last year made it easier for students to supplement their long-lived tradition of buying a laptop for an iPad? Is the iPad mini a better choice now that the power of Apple’s second generation iPad has been packed into a miniaturized form factor? Let’s find out. (more…)
It’s 2013 and, if tradition reveals itself for another year, we can expect to hear some details of iOS 7 over the next few months. There’s a bunch of new stuff we’d love to see in the next generation of iOS alongside a number of improvements to what there already is.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at few of the areas we’d like Apple to take a look at with iOS 7, both to improve the current experience and better compete with the ever-growing rival options from Microsoft, Google and others. (more…)