Viewing entries tagged
IPad

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iPad Stylus Advice -- Surprising IT Pick

From Ellis Hamburger at The Verge:

"If you're purchasing a stylus so you can write notes on your iPad, you're going to be disappointed. None of the styli I tested had narrow enough tips to provide the agility to scrawl anything but quick notes, doodles, and scribbles. But, if you're interested in drawing with apps like Paper, you can't go wrong with a few of these options. The Wacom Bamboo Stylus, with its combination of sleek looks, small tip, and great responsiveness is our winner for everyday use. If you're serious about writing on your iPad, the Adonit Jot Pro is the clear choice, while you'll have to be pretty careful with it. If you break the plastic disc on your Adonit, you'll have to wait for a replacement. The Kuel H10 is a fantastic and tiny won't-mind-if-you-lose-it stylus, while the Cosmonaut is unbeatable for diagramming or writing flash cards."

I've tried several of the ones tested.  Of those, the Bamboo works best.  However, one "boutique" brand (yes, I just said "boutique") that wasn't tested that I'm a huge fan of is iFaraday.  I started using their "Basic" model over a year ago, and just recently picked up the Rx II.  While these don't have the weighty feel that that Bamboo does, the writing tip itself is much better.  Very smooth.  Very clean.  (Here's a review of the "Basic" model.)

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What Average User Cares About the New iPad Specs?

From John Gruber at Daring Fireball:

"What is changed — and what is unchanged — in this newest iteration of the iPad reveals Apple’s priorities. Most important: how things look on screen, how they feel, how smoothly they animate. Not important: a faster CPU. Important: faster graphics processing. (Those last two priorities emphasize the hole that Intel has dug itself. Their expertise — CPUs — is no longer the most important processing bottleneck for personal computing. Graphics are.)"

I'm a tech-geek at heart, but Mr. Gruber is exactly right.  Most non-tech people could care less about the  CPU speed of their tablet, phone, or PC.  However, they do care about the overall experience.  How does it look?  How does it feel?  Does it do what I want it to do, and do it well?

Perhaps a great example of this is the iPhone/iPad approach to screen resolution.  In the world of laptops/desktops (Macs included), higher resolution usually equates to more stuff (though smaller) on your screen.  On the iPhone/iPad, higher resolutions equates to better looking stuff (same size) on your screen.  Which is more important to you?

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A Sneak Peak Into the Next Version of Microsoft Office

From Tom Warren at The Verge:

"Overall there's clearly a number of improvements and new features in Office 15, and Microsoft is only at the beginning of testing some of these externally. Microsoft isn't discussing any of its planned features for Office 15 just yet, but the features we have detailed today are part of its key testing phase for the initial Technical Preview. We expect to see some more improvements in the Touch Mode interface for Office 15 and perhaps some additional features in each client application once a public beta is made available this summer."

This looks like the natural evolution of Microsoft's Ribbon interface that will be touch-optimized.  (Perhaps their iPad version, which hasn't been announced/released, will show some of the same functionality!)  Microsoft moved to the Ribbon interface with Office 2007.  However, Outlook wasn't really updated until 2010.  Given this early preview, it looks like all Office applications will benefit from the enhancements this time.

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The Difference Between 2nd & 3rd Place - It's the Apps!

From Nilay Patel at The Verge

"And while Windows 8 has a long way to go before it can challenge the iPad, it feels almost inevitable that Microsoft will quickly succeed where Android tablets have thus far failed — especially because Microsoft is aggressively courting developers to write apps for its new Metro interface.

Perhaps more importantly, Google doesn't seem to feel any pressure to increase the quality or quantity of Android tablet apps, which have lagged far behind their iPad counterparts. Rubin told reporters this week that he "can't force someone to write a tablet app," but that he's hopeful developers "put in the muscle" to make their Android phone apps work better on larger screens. Until Google articulates a clear strategy to make Android relevant on tablets, that doesn't seem likely to happen."

It is hard to believe that Google isn't being more determined in recruiting quality developers.  Surely they recognize that much of the success of the iPhone, iPad, not to mention Windows, can be carried on the back of quality apps.  Of course, if your entire financial model is based on driving ad revenue, they just may not see the value.

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Will Windows 8 "Win" You Over?

From Tim Stevens at Engadget

"Disjointed is the key word that comes to mind after you spend some time with Windows 8. As a tablet OS, if you can keep in Metro land, things feel good. Very good. The gestures are a bit more complex and less intuitive than we've seen on other tablet operating systems, but more savvy users will appreciate that. That said, Windows is still primarily a desktop operating system, and once you get to that level the cracks in the foundation start to show."

Windows 8 is clearly a very big undertaking by Microsoft.  Not only do they want to show a fresh and innovative followup to the highly successful Windows 7, but they also want (and need) an answer to the iPad.  Can they really pull off a "one solution to rule them all"?  Early reviews suggest it will be an uphill battle.  (Mr. Miyagi's "Walk on the Road" parable comes to mind, relative to Microsoft attempting to serve two masters: Metro-Style Apps AND old-school Desktop Apps.)  It's also hard not to think about Microsoft's track record with "every-other-OS-release" (skip them).  Still, you have to believe there is a solid case to be made for a single OS strategy.

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