Posts Tagged

opinion

There are no two ways about it, the music industry has struggled to cope with the digital revolution. Record labels are still trying to come to terms with lacking CD sales and are only just coming to terms with technological progressions that have changed the way the world views and consumes music forever. However, there are some artists who have managed to overcome the rest of the industries inept attempts to keep up with the world around them. Welcome to centre stage, Björk.

Regardless of whether you like the music she produces, there’s no denying that Björk is one of the most innovative musicians of her generation. Previous projects have included creating albums based entirely on vocal material and collaborations with some of the worlds greatest songwriters and electronic producers, so it didn’t come as too much of a surprise when she announced that her latest offering, Biophilia, was to be created primarily using iPad apps.

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Tomorrow is a massive day for the iPhone! Whether critics like to see it like that doesn’t really matter, Apple has taken over one million pre-orders for the iPhone 4S – it’s already a success. Tomorrow is also a great day for iPad owners, whether they’re taking the plunge with the new iPhone or not, as it sees the general release of iOS 5.

iOS 5 is touted as being a huge step forward in the development of iOS, and should add whole new layers of functionality to the iPad in particular. Hardware-wise we’ve got the release of the iPad 3 to look forward to in the next year (I’m playing it safe), but let’s take a look at what exciting developments tomorrow holds for us…

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Amazon has finally announced their long-awaited entry into the tablet market. Rumors have been circling for months now, including a well-documented look into the device that MG Siegler got when he actually held the then-unannounced device.

The device is called the Kindle Fire, and it’s going to enter the market with a bang. How does it stack up to the iPad, though? Let’s discuss.

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In theory, Genius should be a great way to find new apps that you’ll like with very little effort on your own part. By looking at the apps you already own, and combining this information with the ratings and categories in the App Store, Genius should be able to come up with suggestions that are spot-on.

The great shame is that this doesn’t seem to be the case, at least to my mind. In reality Genius often offers suggestions that are pointless; I rarely find myself downloading an app that has been recommended to me in this way.

Could, and should, Genius be better? What improvements would make all the difference?

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Last month we ran an intriguing poll that simply asked what type of iPad case you used, and the results got me thinking. The success of the iPad has allowed an almost laughably vast industry to grow up simply providing cases and covers of all shapes and sizes, covering every possible need while allowing you to spend up to $4,900 (for an iPad case made from the finest alligator skin) in the process.

No other item I can think of has caused such a strong bout of case-fever. Even the Nokia 3310 only had one actual type of case, albeit in an almost unwaveringly disgusting smorgasbord of colours and designs. The clearest thing that was highlighted by the poll is the surprisingly even spread of cases people owned and used, there seemed to be no clear consensus on the ‘best’ way to protect, carry, and augment the iPad.

I decided to give it some thought…

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There has already been considerable debate over the value of embracing emerging technology in education, particularly the use of iPads in schools, but is this debate simply over method or is there something more drastic taking place?

If the use of iPads can significantly improve the engagement of students, and increase their ability to explore subjects and develop in their learning, then are we doing them a disservice by being slow on the uptake?

Is the iPad a frivolous toy that would be misused and a drain on limited school budgets, or is it a bridge between the classroom and the world? One school in Northern Ireland has began a brave move to put an iPad into the hands of every student, is this the start of something…

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The computer is, according to the traditional mindset, largely a proxy device. There is little to no direct input from the user; every action is interpreted through either the keyboard, mouse, or trackpad. Because of these proxy input methods, we’ve developed a sort of digital mindset; we think of a file as something to be clicked on, we interpret each click of the mouse as being our real, natural input.

What, then, happens when a device comes along without a physical keyboard or mouse? This question has become more pronounced throughout the introduction of the iPhone, iPod Touch, and (more recently) the iPad.

Much of Apple’s marketing around the iPad has been that ‘it just works’ or that being able to touch the application, or the application’s interface, is ‘magical’. I’m inclined to agree; the iPad is changing, and will continue to change, the way that we think about computers and how we interact with them. Through one simple, basic concept; touch.

The entire computing world has been flipped on its head and forced to answer some hard questions.

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When the iPad launched, I openly mocked it as a large iPod touch and touted that Apple has gone creatively bankrupt. Strong words, but based on what I saw with the iPad 1, I stood by my declaration for about a year. Then the iPad 2 launched. It was a move in the right direction, but still didn’t look mind blowing.

Then I read about the Motorola Xoom and how awful the tablet is when compared to the iPad. Reviews like those highlighted the strengths of the iPad, but that didn’t convince me to buy one, until the launch of iPad.AppStorm. Interested in knowing how I became a believer? Do read on.

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One thing is certain; It’s difficult to predict the future, even more so in the sphere of technology and gaming.

It’s fascinating to think that in my lifetime hand-held gaming has gone from slotting two dimensional blocks on a small monochrome screen, to fully rendered three dimensional racing games in gloriously bright colour. Great traditions are sinking into the abyss, we’re well past the days of blowing dust from frozen cartridges and swapping over our AAs for ten minutes more juice. Rubbing the battery of an iPad is more likely to get you sectioned than on to the next level of Angry Birds.

A recent interview with Phil Harrison, a former Sony boss, has piqued my interest in the stumbling blocks created by iOS for the console gaming giants. I’m going to look at the greatest threats the iPad can levy, and whether a changing of the tide is for the better.

This is no time for complacency, just ask the music industry.

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There were a vertiable Smörgåsbord of announcements from the WWDC keynote that will effect the iPad, but today I’d like to think about the impact that iMessage will have on the future development of the iPad and the outside perception of the iPad.

What is iMessage, and will it change the way we use our iPads? Will we eventually see calling on the iPad?

Will it be useful?

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