The iPad: I Take It Back It’s Actually Pretty Cool

I’ve been a stark opponent of the iPad, I think as part of my Android advocacy I was blinded to this device and tarred it with the same brush I tar the iPhone. Initially I think the heinous price was my main issue; although I still think that the device is ridiculously expensive. I’ve still got some issues with missing features, notably the lack of an SD card slot.

However I’ve had a chance to play with Avarinne’s new iPad and I have to say I’m impressed, it’s not an oversized iPhone/iPod Touch, it’s a netbook without a physical keyboard running a sleek UI. The device its self is wonderfully thin, the screen is bright and crisp, and the battery lasts for ages.

Apps wise I have to admit that the apps available for the iPad knock the pants off anything that’s available in the Android market, not for functionality but for sheer polish. Many, note: not all, Android apps look like someone cobbled them together with gaffa tape in an evening from code they found on a tutorial online, while the fact that anyone can release an app to the Android market is a good thing it does mean that a lot of dross gets through, people even post their hello world applications to the market, sometimes opting to charge for them…

As much as I disagree with Apple’s review process, it does separate the wheat from the chaff, and I think because of this the wheat is overall of better quality. Also the fact that the iOS has Apple’s backing means that there are an awful lot of “Official” versions of games available, like Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne and Scrabble. All of these should be on the Android market none of them are.

I don’t know why they aren’t I think Android has the hacker community hooked, but it’s yet to convince big business that it’s a viable platform. Maybe they don’t want to take the risk of developing for a platform where people are used to getting everything for free? Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a lot easier to pirate Android software because you can install software that hasn’t come from the market? Maybe it’s the fact that despite the fact that Android is supposedly gaining market share over the iPhone, people who buy iPhones buy them because of the apps and people who buy Android phones buy then because they are what the guy in the shop recommends they get as the latest whizbang gizmo, so they don’t even bother to explore the apps.

It’s not like Android users don’t download good software when it is released, when Angry Birds was released for Android, so many people downloaded it that it brought down the servers of GetJar. With any luck that will prove to people that Android users are willing to download software. The problem is that they were all free downloads, Angry Birds on Android is add supported, so no one bought it.

I think that’s one of the major issues, Android users have a sense of entitlement to free software, if they can’t get it for free they don’t bother, or they pirate it. I’ve only bought one game on my phone, Avarinne has bought 2 and a live wallpaper. Contrast this with the fact that within minutes of getting her iPad Avarinne had bought several apps and was merrily playing about with them?

Are apps easier to find on the iPad? Are they better? Are they easier to buy? I don’t know. But do know that I am impressed with the iPad. I wouldn’t pay £600 odd pounds to get one outright because I never have that kind of money lying about, but I would consider paying £199 and then a monthly subscription for data to cover the cost, it just so happens that both Three and Orange have just announced that exact deal. £25/a month for 15 Gig internet on Three and £27-£25/month on Orange (Depending on whether you have an existing Orange contract) for just 1 Gig. Both at however 24 month contracts and you end up paying £200 more than you would have for the iPad had you bought in in store, that £200 is £40 less than you would have paid for £10/month contract for data though so it is a case of swings and roundabouts.

One of the things that stopping me from going for it now (Aside from the fact that I’m broke) is that I keep hearing rumours of an iPad 2 coming out possibly as soon as February, no doubt it will be more expensive and will have a slew of features that the current one doesn’t, I’m banking on:

  1. An SD Slot, possibly also a USB.
  2. A front facing camera for FaceTime
  3. A slightly better screen, I’d love it to be a PixelQi but thats doubtful
  4. A Faster (Dual Core?) processor.
  5. Slightly better battery life (I’d reckon 12-14 rather than current 10)
  6. HDMI mini out, or mini display port (Apple like Display Port)
  7. Better Support for mobile networks in the US which no one outside of America cares about.

Lets see if I’m right…

If this had come out 2-3 years ago I’d have an iPhone.

Seriously the only issue I had with the iPhone at launch was a lack of a physical keyboard, and while I’ve learned to cope in the interim I would still prefer the option of having one on my HTC Desire. It’s not just an issue of tactile feedback, it’s a screen real-estate issue, the on-screen keyboard takes up space on the screen obscuring what I am typing, which is especially noticeable when I’m writing lengthy blog posts and emails.

Via Engadget.

I was a mac user

I saw this T-Shirt on a tweet by Last Year’s Girl and though she admitted that it was not the case for her, I can (happily?) state that it is true for me. Tempted to get this T-Shirt as I was a Mac user from 1984 (we had a Mac 128k) through to about 1998. Technically later as I still used Macs on and off doing DTP stuff at my student union until about 2005. Actually the statement isn’t completely true I wasn’t a Mac user I was a Mac Zealot…

My progression as a Mac user went from the Mac 128k:

To a Mac Plus with a whopping 20 Mb external hard drive:

To the second of Apple’s “Pizza Box” budget Macs the LC II:

My divergence from the Mac Cause began when we bought a Mac Clone a Power Tower 200:

Then I went to Uni and bought a PC because it meant I could do my course work on a computer I could afford. I’ve not really looked back since, I’ve dabbled with Linux, but despite all my complaints with Windows I’ve now (for better of for worse) become a windows user. It’s funny how as late as 1998 I would religiously defend Macs they were just better. Now I’ve come to the opinion that all computers are just crap in different ways. All that changes is  what the computer is rubbish at and what it is slightly less rubbish at.

Although to be honest so long as a computer has a browser these days I can get 99% of what I want to do done on it…

Via dieselsweeties.com

How Different Smart Phone Users Perceive Each Other

I’d say that most of those are fairly accurate except I know quite a few people who are a lot less businessey who also use Blackberries.

Also how smartphone users see 2G Phone users:

Via C-Section Comics.

How Apple came up with the design for the new iPod Nano and Shuffle

I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before. Apple have refreshed their line of cheap iPod, by gimping the Nano and adding a touch screen, and making the shuffle tiny and reverting back to their it’s old design (Why they didn’t call it the shuffle classic I don’t know). The above image shows an artist’s impression of the design process behind the new iPods.

Personally I’m a little disappointed that they haven’t released a new iteration of the classic, as someone on twitter said to me I think apple don’t know what to do with the classic.

The Classic’s form factor is almost perfect for what it does, there is no point in increasing the hard disk size; as although it can play video there is little point in doing so on such a tiny screen, and believe me I’ve tried watching TV shows on it while at the gym it’s was not a pleasant experience. Upgrading the hard drive to flash would mean decreasing the capacity or make buying one require a mortgage, both of which are not really viable.

The reason I got a classic when I did was because I have over 80 gig of music on my iPod, I don’t want to have to sift though that to make play lists for a smaller iPod and I’m not going to pay £329 for what is essentially a downgrade in size.

Sure the iPod touch has a touch screen and apps and a camera, but I carry around a phone that does that too. I’m not going to use my phone as an MP3 player either because the battery on modern smart-phones lasts at most a day when you only use it as a phone, using it as an MP3 player too would mean that I’d pretty much have to charge it three times a day.

So I stick with my classic with no upgrade path in sight and you know what I’m happy with that, I’m on my third iPod in the Classic series, I got a 4th gen iPod which died a horrible death,  a 5th gen one which I left on a plane, and my current “Classic” which does everything I want it to. The hard disk is just right, the battery life is just right and the size of the device is just right. I feel like Goldilocks in iPod-land. You can have your Papa bear iPod Touch, or your Mama bear iPod nano my Classic is just right for me.

On a side note, if you really want to rile up an Apple store employee you should call the “iPod Touch” the iTouch, they hate it when you do that.

Via  The Jason Calacanis Weblog.

Mac Classic iPad Stand

This is possibly the only way I could justify buying an iPad. Hirac a Japanese modder has  converted an old Mac Classic into an iPad stand, it looks amazing.

The older Macs will always hold a special place in my heart, I’m a reformed member of the cult of Jobs, from way back before it was hip to own an Apple computer.

It looks perfect, almost as if it was made for it.

Via  hirac.