IPADS Magazine

Thursday July 9th 2020

Exclusive IPAD articles, live ipad tablet news covering the Apple iPad tablets well as competing tablet computers from RIM, Sony, HP, Motorola, Samsung, and more.


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Tablet Portability Confers Benefits

ipad is my TV now

Using an ipad like a TV.

Tablets are becoming more important to consumers even if they have laptops or desktops at home too. When you’re on the road, a tablet takes less space and weighs less than any laptop you could carry. Tuck it into your handbag, briefcase, or backpack and your shoulders will thank you for deciding to carry your iPad or your Surface or your Playbook or Xoom instead of the 10-lb. laptop.

And don’t forget that summer’s here, which means thunderstorms — and power outages. And we hate losing connection. The internet is our eyes on the world. Some of us will have to head out to Starbucks to use their wi-fi, which means you’d better have a portable computer: a laptop or tablet. Some others of us will just whip out our iPhones and turn on the mobile hotspot utility. But you often can’t connect a big desktop computer to the internet with a mobile hotspot. Hotspot devices — whether it’s your smartphone, or a purchased one from a phone provider like VerizonWireless or Sprint — are really meant to work with smaller, portable computers and tablets.

Pad computing is becoming a necessary part of internet use, and in fact any work you do on computer. Pad computers keep us from being disconnected.

The fact that the computer now serves the functions of TV, your daily newspaper, bookstore and movie theatre and has endangered those industries makes the easily-carried pad computer far more valuable. It’s worth remembering that:

Since 2008 city newspapers have been closing down by the hundreds because so many people read their news online. Cable providers are finding serious competition with internet TV offerings whether free on a website or a pay service like Netflix or iTunes; and book sales and publishing are reshaping themselves efficiently in the ebook market, bypassing the brick-and-mortar stores; and while physical theaters will always sell tickets, viewers love to own and watch movies again and again. (One answer to that difficulty is to carry a bunch of DVDs along with a laptop that has an optical drive; but how much more convenient, to use services that will call up a library of movies and shows.)

And the tablet in your hand helps answer the costs of all the above.

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Tablets Make Sense For Different Groups Of Users

amazon kindle ebook reader

Tablet and pad computing is moving in new directions according to what people find that they need — and want. It seems that what the public decides is what may guide new gadget creation.

There are different events driving changes. Here’s a significant one: New writers are showing their belief in eBook reader tablets such as Kindle and Nook — along with all the most popular tablets (iPad, Windows Surface, and so on) — because self-publishing in electronic book format is one of the fastest ways to get your work out to the public and sold. Barnes & Noble even offers a do-it-yourself section called Pub-It where a writer may publish his novel and sell it on the B&N site in eBook form, Barnes and Noble providing most of the tools.

Although electronic book publishing has slipped recently, it remains an excellent option writers will not overlook even when they also publish a print book. Why? One of the many reasons is that ebook tablet readers are a growing favorite of older customers — who happen to be the target audience of many novelists.

Internet tablets, and tablet e-readers are growing smaller, lighter, thinner. The iPad itself lost 50 grams when the 2nd version came out, or a little over a tenth of a pound, but to me the difference in weight between the original iPad and iPad2 seemed much more. After developing arthritis the change meant a lot, it was quite welcome. The iPad Mini is only half the weight of its big brother, at .68 lbs. I think I’m going to go ahead and get one.

All these smaller tablets and eBook readers including iPad Mini and Blackberry Playbook are good choices for anyone who likes to grab the tablet and go places. These users tend to forget to carry a stand for them, so the lighter it is, the better. Kindles and Nooks are extremely lightweight too and have been since the beginning.

A friend of mine in Florida carries her Kindle on the go. She’s in her early 80s and likes to carry books when she rides her bike so the Kindle is a compact solution. Yes, I said her bike. She’s also a daily internet user and ardent blogger, one of a growing circle of older people who stay in touch with friends by going online. You can come up with some interesting theories about how technology can extend your life by engaging you with life, if you want. There’s probably plenty of evidence.

One of the wisest things Microsoft did was connect a keyboard to its Surface tablet. This accessory is very lightweight and as we all know from the TV commercials, when you attach the keyboard, the accompanying clicking sound is satisfying enough to start you dancing. The iPad left its keyboard dock behind when it upgraded the OS — requiring owners to re-purchase a wireless keyboard if they don’t care for typing on a touchscreen — so the Surface keyboard provides arguably the best typing solution available for tablet users.

There is a tension between the convenience of smaller pad computers and the visibility of a bigger screen, easily seen when you consider that smartphones are now getting bigger to provide a bigger screen surface for the customer. Pad computing remains aimed at providing a nice selection of choices for buyers.

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Apple iPad 2 Released

Apple unveiled iPad 2 in a huge event Wednesday, March 2, 2011 in San Francisco. CEO Steve Jobs, whose presence was uncertain due to his poor health, arrived to lead the presentation of this second iteration of Apple’s latest “post-PC” technology.

Standing ovation central. Steve Jobs entered the room in his ever-present black turtleneck and jeans, thinner but still a brand unto himself. We don’t expect, ever, to see him wearing something else at one of these events. And who would want him to? His familiar ensemble makes us happy, just as the quality of Apple products does. Judging by the sound greeting his arrival, the audience felt even more than the usual goodwill towards him today — a man who came back from medical leave (again) in order to bring us more remarkable Apple technology.

The iPad 2, in White. (Image courtesy of Apple)

A lot of the most-predicted features came to pass:

— Thinner and lighter. Now just over a third of an inch thick — 8.8mm to be exact (not even as thick as the iPhone 4), iPad 2 also weighs 0.2 lbs. less than the original, at 1.33 lbs. (1.34-1.35 lbs. for 3G model. Verizon’s version is just a tiny bit heavier.)

— Two cameras, one center front and one back-facing. Allows for videoconferencing, which is a touted feature with the FaceTime application. Both cameras are capable of HD video recording at 30 frames/second. Back camera has 5X digital zoom.

— Faster processor. Now it’s got a dual-core A5 chip (Apple’s own chip) making the CPU up to 2 times faster and the graphics about 9 times faster. (Remember that about the 9-times-faster-graphics, for later.) But it still is a low power consumer, as before. Anyway: faster, smoother multitasking, and surfing & video at 2X the speed.

— No Flash.

— It will be available from both AT&T and Verizon.

The iPad 2's Smartcover. ( Image courtesy of Apple)

New apps were expected, and delivered: PhotoBooth, FaceTime and iMovie for iPad, due to the new cameras. And GarageBand, which seemed a favorite of both Jobs and presenter Xander Soren. This is an app enabling you to play music on an instrument you have, or don’t have; Smart Instruments means you can play keyboard, guitar or drums without owning them.

All the new apps are made possible by the new operating system — iOS 4.3. This OS will be available as a free download on March 11. It’s for iPhone 4, all iPads, and the iPod Touch 3rd and 4th generation. Although the new OS can’t put cameras into the original iPad, it does speed up Safari for all iPads, and enables iTunes library play to all your other Apple devices (both music and video). It also adds the Lock Switch change, so you can adjust in Preferences if you’d like to use the side Lock Switch to lock the orientation of the display, or use it as a volume mute button. And lastly, iOS 4.3 turns the iPhone 4 into a personal Hotspot, which can supply internet connection for up to 5 devices whenever you’re in 3G territory. 3 of those 5 devices may be WiFi.

We’re looking forward to that download.

Colors of the iPad 2. (Image provided by Apple)

***iPad 2 Orders begin March 11.***

Pricing has remained exactly the same. (But the original iPad dropped by $100.)

There’s a FindMyiPad ability. All location-finding features such as the directional Compass must be permitted first by the owner, as a privacy protector. The gyroscope adjusts your screen for all turns and twists.
Comes in both black and white, from the start.
New cover for the device: called SmartCovers, it is a fold-back front cover that stays in place with magnets built into the iPad. Can serve as a stand. It provides easy access to ports.

Speaking of ports, there’s still no USB port.
And the battery life is about the same, at 10 hours, or a month on standby.

Here are my favorite things about the new iPad + iOS 4.3:

Great Feature==> You can now stream your music and video library wirelessly to an HDTV via Apple TV, with your WiFi network. This is called AirPlay.
Great Feature==> You can also print from the iPad wirelessly without downloading drivers. This feature is called AirPrint.
Great Feature==> With iOS 4.3, iPhone 4 can now become a personal Hotspot for up to 5 devices. The iPad (as well as the iPod Touch) just got a little more mobile.
Great Feature==> Video editing capability on iMovie. Apple continues to make it unnecessary to buy all those programs we used to have to shell out for separately.


Our Review of the Release —-

This particular Apple event brought both more — and less — than we expected to be unveiled. The “more” included an updated operating system, increased speed, new software, and a thinner, lighter size.

The less? Well, that part is Apple’s fault for being as good as they are. Their MacBook Pro laptop had just been updated and made incredibly fast with new quad-core processors and the new Thunderbolt technology. So when we hear the iPad 2 is sped up by 2X, we’re left wanting a little more, like, for instance for our iPads to have that Thunderbolt and Lightfoot connectivity/transfer speed as well.

Less impressive, too, was the length of time Jobs and Soren devoted to touting GarageBand. Most of us make pretty serious use of our computing devices, in addition to entertainment use. GarageBand began to seem like an electronic babysitter for teenagers. Yes, it’s amazing. But not everyone is set on making music.

Also, the resolution of the iPad 2 is exactly the same as the original iPad. Nothing’s changed there. And yet, Apple gave its iPhone 4 a display with a resolution equal to the human eye. And it was actually mentioned, during the presentation of the video editing capability of iMovie, that these videos they were making “would look great on the iPhone 4’s Retina Display.” So they’re acknowledging that the visual experience of the iPad is somewhat lacking…

Leaving us waiting for the sound of the other shoe dropping. That’s why we feel sure there will be another release soon. How soon is a good question; Jobs more than once called 2011 “the Year of the iPad 2.” So this may indicate that iPad 3 will not be out until 2012. That seems a little far away.

Where’s our Retina Display, iPad owners whine. To them we say: Patience, Grasshopper. Can you not read the signs? No? Then let’s talk a little about tweetle beetles — I mean, about resolution… and pixels.

Consider the iPhone 4. An incredibly high-resolution little screen, at 960 X 640, at 326 pixels per inch (ppi). The numbers are approximately at the level at which the human eye cannot detect pixellation from 12″ away, if one has normal 20/20 vision.

It’s extremely difficult to create such a high-resolution display … and the larger the screen you’re attempting to do it on, the difficulty goes up by a few orders of magnitude. It is far easier to do on a tiny screen. They succeeded on the 3.5″ iPhone. To do it on a screen as large as the iPad — a 9.7″ diagonal — is not expected so soon.

What if it were smaller? Say, 5 or 6 inches? That might be doable. Why wasn’t a small Apple iPad introduced on Wednesday? That’s what we at ipads.com expected.

There are signs right now, though, that even the full-sized current version is moving rapidly toward a retinal level display. In fact it appears they hoped to create it with this model but it just didn’t happen…

Anyway, let’s see. Retina Display on the iPhone is 326 ppi; The iPad’s display is 132 ppi. If you want to triple the ppi, you must triple both the horizontal number of pixels and the vertical number.

To test that, let’s triple both those numbers, and calculate the PPI by first figuring the diagonal resolution, using the formula provided by wikipedia.org:


First, triple each axis’ number of pixels:
horizonal pixels — 1024(3) = 3072
vertical pixels — 768(3) = 2304

To get the diagonal resolution: Square each of those products, add them, then take the square root:
3072(3072) = 9,437,184
2304(2304) = 5,308,416

9,437,184 + 5,308,416 = 14,745,600

And √14,745,600 = 3840. That’s the Diagonal Resolution.

To get the PPI, divide the Diagonal Resolution by the diagonal measurement of the screen in inches:

3840 ÷ 9.7 = ~ 396.

So, that’s roughly correct — we actually end up with a higher ppi than we needed, since the Retina Display resolution is only about 2.5 times greater than the iPad’s, not 3 times as we used. No, I’m not going to do it again with 2.5. That’s still a lot of pixels they have to add.

And in order to display all those extra pixels in a timely manner, you need to speed up the graphics almost 9 times. Which, coincidentally, this version of the IPad has just done.

Clearly, Apple is going there soon — the Retina Display for iPad.

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IPADS.com prediction for the Apple iPad 2

Today, Steve Jobs from Apple will introduce the Apple iPad 2, and possibly additional products. Our predictions are as follows:

Apple iPad 2 Specs

1. Half retina Display at 162ppi
2. Thunderbolt and / or mini Hdmi connectivity
3. 1.2-1.5Ghz Dual Core CPU
4. Single 3mp camera, front facing
5. 1.25 lbs (versus the iPad @ 1.5)
6. 4G availability Summer 2011

The price of the Apple iPad 2 WiFi only model would be reduced to $399-$449, which will allow for an expanded market. Availability: one week.

And one more thing.

An “Apple iPad 3″ 7” iPad selling for $299 optimized for ebook reading with:

Apple iPad 3 Specs

1. Full Retina display
2. 14 oz weight
3. 10 hrs battery life
4. Front facing 2mp camera for FaceTime and Skype videoconferencing.

This would be a strong move against RIM as well.

We also expect an announcement of a free Cloud based backup/data sharing service which will allow for iTunes media to stream directly to iOS devices.

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Apple iPhone 4 Features + Apple iPad update

Steve Jobs invoked the Apple iPad, then unveiled the Apple iPhone 4 to the audience at WWDC  (World Wide Developers’ Conference) held in San Francisco on Monday, June 7th, as most of the Mac world anticipated. After opening his address by discussing a few nice updates to Apple’s new iPad, he introduced Apple’s latest generation of its smartphone, and as its image appeared on the immense screen, Jobs said, “I don’t know if  you’ve ever seen this…”

And that familiar shape, from the pages of Gizmodo, was there on the big screen above him.

There’s a rumor that Apple’s made an ad that jokes about the prototype loss, starring John Hodgeman of  the original “I’m a PC” fame. It supposedly takes place in a bar, where a young nerd is drinking too much… I definitely hope this is more than rumor and we get to see it. And for the favorable publicity, I hope Apple relents and makes peace with Gizmodo. They were not invited to this conference.

This unveiling comes quickly after the party the world gave for the Apple iPad, and the utter success of that launch allowed Jobs to be very brief on improvements of the iPad. This conference was really all about the iPhone.

Still, a couple of welcome items about the Apple iPad:

1) They’re adding PDF document viewing.

2) Apps such as the iBooks are improved; for instance you’ll be able to take notes in your iBooks. The bigger thing, though, is that iBooks will be available to the iPod Touch (2nd gen. or later) and iPhone too.

3) Certain other things, like the eBay app and the Netflix app which livestreams movies to iPad, will be available on iPhone 4 also, this summer.

The progress of apps development, and the success of the participating developers was lauded, and Marc Pincus, the owner of Farmville, one of the most popular games in the Apple App Store, spoke. An endearing quote from him: “I’m most excited about how good tractoring just got.”  Farmville for iPhone? Now available.

Jobs then said a few nice things about HTML 5 ( look at these amazing demos: http://www​.apple.com​/html5/ ), which we all know he loves while he does NOT love Adobe Flash for its battery hungry ways, supposedly …. and then gave all his attention to the new phone in town.

He announced a new operating system, called iOS 4. This is what iPhone 4 will be using.

A summary of the information given in his talk —

1. IPHONE 4 INTRODUCED. Jobs called it “the biggest leap since the original iPhone” and raved about its design. “Glass on the front and back, and steel around the sides.” The glass is a special kind developed by Apple, 30 times harder than plastic. Jobs compared it to a “beautiful old Leica camera.”

Cost: $199 for 16 GB, $299 for 32 GB.

On sale June 24th. Pre-orders start June 15th.

2. Some iPhone 4 Specs:

*New OS for iPhone announced: iOS 4.

*Thin, it is just 9.3 mm thick.

*Has two cameras, one front-facing for Video Calls and one on the back. These went from 3 megapixel to 5 and increased photon capture to aid in low-light photography. 5X digital zoom. LED flash/video light. Tap to focus picture. HD (720p) video recording too. You can record, edit, and email video right on the phone.

* 2 Microphones, noise suppression for clearer sound and reduced background noise.

* iMovie for iPhone is $4.95 in the App Store.

* iBooks for iPhone 4 will be available and will look like it does currently on Apple’s iPad.

* iBookstore right on the phone. (This will also be available on the iPod Touch.)

* Integrated antennas

* Retina Display offers Increased pixel density: 326/inch, better than the human eye. Has four times what the old iPhone had, or nearly 2/3 of the pixels the iPad has. Results in dramatically sharpened images and fonts. Increase was from 163×163 pixels/inch to 326×326 pixels/inch. No longer can you see the individual pixels / dots. Backlighting is LED.

* 3.5 inch, 960×640 screen resolution, a huge increase from 320×480.

– Old resolution: 153,600 pixels (320×480)  New: 614,400 (960×480). 4x. This is a huge difference for viewing videos, movies, and photos.

* Almost unscratchable/unbreakable screen and rear panel, 20-30x stronger than plastic, made out of a glass so tough it is used in helicopter windshields.

* New CPU – the same fast, power efficient A4 processor used in the Apple iPad.

* Smart Multitasking – applications can not drain the battery at will

* Bing Search added as an option to Google Search

* Increased battery life due to the battery being 40% larger.

Battery life, according to usage:

3G talk — 7hrs

Browsing, 3G — 6 hrs

Browsing, WiFi — 10 hrs

Video — 10 hrs

Music — 40 hrs

Standby — 300 hrs

*3-Axis Gyroscope, for precision sensing of motion and tilt – allowing remarkable gaming ability. This is the first phone in the world with this feature.

*Videocalls enabled for WIFi only, iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 only. This capability is called FaceTime. It can switch from the front camera to the back camera to show people what you are seeing. This feature offers an alternative to SkypeMobile, and a smack to VerizonWireless, I guess, if it goes beyond the U.S. as I expect it to.

*Accessories: Dock, called aBumper”. $29

3. Things Not Mentioned

What Jobs did not discuss was 4G connectivity, an advanced broadband network, that would be (not) be provided by carrier AT&T, or some other. And that’s rather vital:  4th generation refers to both the phone itself and the technology to improve the speed and integrity of data signals. He made some fleeting mention of carriers, but didn’t explain anything at all.

Also — Do they plan to unlock it in a reasonable period of time? Sprint in the U.S. is ready with 4G, but is any other broadband company? The international launch in France, Germany, UK,  and Japan will also be June 24th, with 22 more nations in July to receive the iPhone 4, and it’s likely they’re more prepared than we are here.

4. A Few More Good Things

Jobs announced that a free upgrade would be offered by AT&T to current  iPhone customers if your contract expires this year. This means you can get the new iOS 4 on your iPhone 3GS, 3G, and iPod Touch, too, except for the 1st generation. There are some limitations to the iOS 4 features you can utilize for some of these devices, as you might expect.

— Nearly all of the new info and features look pretty great. The increased capability of the cameras is a good thing, since many digital cameras of the smaller sort are not getting that much better, especially in low light. Apple rightly is addressing this problem.

— And Videocalls (without a clunky iSight camera hookup)? Wonderful.  Plus NetFlix Movies streaming right to the phone.

— The book Winnie the Pooh, given out free in the iBookstore, is now more famous than ever.  We expect the Heffalump to be on Dancing With The Stars any time now.

In conclusion, Apple has a home run here.  This is a break through smart phone offering a stunning new display, longer battery life, tougher screen and case, less bulk, better sound, ground breaking video conferencing utilizing dual cameras, HD Videos at a smooth 30 frames/sec, a low noise 5 megapixel camera, and position sensors that will allow game and application programmers to build knockout applications.    This is remarkable engineering, indeed.

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WWDC 2010 Predictions – Apple iPad TV, iTouches

Just minutes from now Steve Jobs will take the stage in San Francisco, iPAd and iPhone in hand most likely, and we will see more of the magic Apple Computer has been developing.  Accordingly, we have a few predictions.

Take these with a grain of salt, please.

First off, we expect to see a greater convergence of media, gaming and computer to be demonstrated.

Apple is reinventing itself as a huge media distributor – Movies, Television, Books, Magazines, Concerts, University Courses.
Both the iPhone and Apple iPad are being updated to offer full media streaming from the internet and your Apple laptop through iTunes & Apple TV.
Let’s cover the iPhone briefly, we expect it to be faster, with a higher resolution screen, OLED most likely, better sensors, and video cameras, and will possibly be in a new form factor. More voice control is a possibility.

Everyone has gone crazy anticipating multitasking, but what about battery life? Apple and Jobs will be packing in the most advanced battery technology and most efficient processing/os integration in order to offer up the longest talk and run times of any latest generation smart phone.
Will it have mini HDMI, or will the dock have HDMI capability?
– We expect wireless transfer of Photos and Movies to the iPad to be demonstrated.

Apple TV – We expect the apple TV to be more integreated with the ipad, possibly with the new generation Apple TV run directly by the Apple iPad and/or iTouch.  We predict the iTouch and Apple iPad to be used as a control and interface device with greater frequency in apps.

Will there be a $99 Apple TV device presented today? We are split on that.

A iTouch refresh should offer a video camera and improved tilt and acceleration sensors for gaming.

Will there be a MAcBook Air update?  We hope so, because the 2GB non upgradable memory is a severely limiting factor.  A refresh should include 4gb and 256GB SSD Drives.
We would like to see a 2nd USB port, or a wireless USB port.  We don’t expect USB 3.0, but it would be good news.

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Apple iPad or iSlate or or Steve’s Tablet, What will Apple Call its Media Tablet?

(editors note: The Apple iPad Tablet was announced on 1-27-10)
It’s an Apple iPad — no, it’s an iTablet — no, it’s an iSlate. Whatever Apple calls it, here it comes. Tablet computers and tablet computing, which has been revving up in the last few years, is about to get its figurehead. Apple is projected to unveil their new technology Jan. 27th. Steve Jobs may, however, simply step up to announce the new item and show it to the world; it may not be available for sale yet. Even so, once the Apple iSlate/iPad is available you can predict that stores will be emptied of it within days, as happened with the 3G iPhone.
Smartpeople® have been combing through Apple’s considerable stack of patent applications to see if they can anticipate which ideas will be utilized and made real on the new slate or tablet computer, since naturally all the patents must be already filed and safe before they put the product in front of public eyes. Not being one of the Smartpeople®, I have made my own predictions, below.

To help determine which ideas Apple will be using, you might think about what they want to achieve and make the iSlate do. The features they choose to include will be in the context of what devices you likely already have, whether you’re a devoted Apple user or one of the general public. Apple isn’t going to simply make a bigger iPhone, for instance. And they aren’t going to replicate the Tablet PC.

Writing Pad and Stylus

A “tablet” used to be a flat thing — of paper, unless you were Moses — that you wrote on with a pen. Apple’s word, “slate,” is also retro, suggesting a 19th-century student writing with chalk on a black slate. Both of these old items, the tablet and the slate, served us well through the ages. Suppose you took one and made it magic? To carry a slate that contains a computer is a pleasing thought that would make me feel like a sorcerer’s apprentice. Especially if it’s light enough to grab with one hand, tuck under your arm, and go. It’s rumored that Apple has registered the name “Magic Slate.” Excellent, if I may quote Mr. Burns.
For awhile now, computer companies have been trying to make that magic slate/tablet. Microsoft’s Tablet PC has a screen you use a touch-sensitive pen on, which seems cool until you think about how short a lifetime a heavily used screen like that is going to offer, getting scraped on all the time. The Tablet PC carries an adjusted version of their OS — XP Tablet — for the device. You can even load voice dictation software on it; and I’d like to make a note of that feature; that is nice. MacSpeech Dictate, anyone?

Yes, Virginia, There Will Be a iPad Involved

The thing about the iPad/iSlate that I can’t see clearly is how they’ll handle writing and drawing. A slate is meant to be used as such, but the toll that takes on a nice screen — this is difficult to surmount. If you’re sitting with your tablet computer taking a few notes, note-taking might be accomplished by writing on a small area of the screen, preserving the rest, but if you’re writing quite a bit of text you need a lot of room. And drawing certainly needs the entire screen area. Since I believe the Apple tablet will offer the ability to write and draw with a stylus, I’m going to assume they’ve come up with a really, really good screen. And I’ll also assume the writing features will have several alternatives. You may want, for instance, to handwrite notes and then save them. Your longhand notes, taken in a hurry at a work meeting or in a class, are likely to be in cursive and will not conform to a specific alphabet the device recognizes. So you should be able to save the notes simply as a series of images. (Which you could email immediately, etc.) If you happen to write shorthand, then you definitely must save your work as an image.
**Update: Since Wired.com has thoughtfully provided a look at the invitation Apple sent out for the Jan. 27 event, I am now confident their tablet will focus on drawing, writing, and… painting. This invitation is as colorful as ClarisWorks was on the original iMacs.

The Cuneiform Option

If you want to write and have the computer interpret it as text, then you’re asking for a second option. That should of course be included, but I don’t plan to use it much. I write messily and it is the only way I can write longhand. If we have to relearn an alphabet that the software can recognize in order to write on this slate, like we did years ago for the Palm, I’d just as soon have a clay tablet and write cuneiform.

But of course some people (youngsters) would like to have a secret script to use on this, just as they like to use numbers in their words instead of letters, and stuff like that.

Touchme-Feelme Screen

Like the iPhone, excellent touchscreen technology on the islate will be key. It eliminates the need for a mouse, stylus or keyboard. It’s cool. But it’s a delicate technology. Our ipods had to have special screen covers and we have to use sense when carrying them around. And many of us would far rather type, which is not easily done on a flat picture on glass of a keyboard. I need the keys. This is a given, that the slate will have a USB port for keyboard and even mouse.

Of Mice and Men

People should never assume the mouse is dying and about to disappear. To let it disappear would be going backward, not forward! The mouse, after all, is our Homer Simpson remote control: I know people who lie down, their arms at their sides, and holding the mouse in their hand, comfortably and lazily surf the internet, by moving the mouse around on the floor (if that’s what the person is lying on). They lift their eyes a mere few inches to gaze at their big screen display, which is placed perhaps on the nearby coffeetable. Or you can sit in your heated massage chair and run the mouse on the chair arm to surf, the screen upright on the table before you. You don’t have to reach your poor, tired arm out to touch the screen! (There will, of course, be a kickstand or dock to hold the iSlate up.) Let us be comfy, for heaven’s sake, and keep our mouses.

Apple is certain to give us some really neat shortcuts and new things, touch-wise. Drawing small circles or shapes to execute a function, for instance. Drawing your finger diagonally to do something else. They could be geared to make sense for specific applications. And some of the aforementioned Smartpeople® have said that Apple is instituting neat things like a wave of the hand to navigate. You don’t even have to touch the touchscreen. The inbuilt camera will facilitate this, they say.

Speaking of the camera, which is virtually certain to be included, I wish it could be on both the front and back, moveable; not just the back like Microsoft’s PC Tablet has. If not, then I’d like the camera on the front.

Other things we may want to do on the islate/ipad/imedia tablet:
1. download and read ebooks
2. surf internet
3. play movies, TV shows, other media
4. make calls
5. instant message/text
6. take still photos or video
7. edit photo & video
8. carry it around without plugging it in for a full day
9. connect it to a TV and play media
10. sync its media with a computer

Look at #6 in my list. I’m rather interested in that one. One of the uses of the tablet/slate computer has always been that it’s great to carry into a class or meeting and do stuff. Imagine creating a video presentation on your iPad/iSlate — propping it up o your work table, sitting down in front of it and recording an introduction, then taking your slate down to another location, filming (sorry, using the retro word) another bit of it, then going home and finishing it with a series of moving charts, graphs, and so on. Imagine taking your slate to the business conference room and playing it, perhaps hooking it up to a TV for a bigger screen for a group. Selfmade media has been one of the best things the computer industry has given us.

But if you like Kindle types of devices best, you may value most the ability to read books, or record text and notes as you write them, in a very, very portable device still big enough not to give you eyestrain, light enough to hold and tilt like a book. The Kindle’s popularity has surged, of late. Any voracious reader would be grateful for a similar non-glaring, paperlike screen.

Internet Service Providers

One of the biggest iPad/iSlate issues may be the internet connectibility and the question of monthly contracts to an ISP. If you already have an iPhone (or, for that matter, a Blackberry or other phone with broadband) are you very eager to sign up for another expensive carrier contract? Probably not. I look for Apple to have about 3 different connectivity options for the iPad/iSlate.

The first would be the iPhone type monthly contract, made more affordable because Apple grants one carrier all the business. This would be sensible for people intending to use it a great deal.

The second would be an option to plug in a 3G/4G broadband card which may come from any of several carriers, the same 3G broadband card you may have in your laptop.

Third, an option to have no internet contract at all, but Wi-Fi is built in and you can go online if you go somewhere providing connectivity. If you choose you can always go sign up for a contract.

Apple — The Infinite Loop of Quality

This is why we’re all queuing up to buy their stuff, yes? We expect that this will have a great look and feel, have excellent software and OS, long battery life. This device will outstrip the tablet PCs, some of which did very well on a PC format. Panasonic ToughBook had a good battery and great security features, as well as a camera. Pencept had good writing pad aspects. And then Dell, Gateway, and multiple other computer manufacturers came across with tablet computers which usually ran XP Tablet as their operating system but often disappointed, some looking simply like laptops that broke at the hinge. These had only middling popularity, but the fever for tablet computing had risen fast. The Kindle, then, made us crazy for tablets, since it was a unique answer to the same question, and our big brother, Apple, hadn’t even spoken his piece yet… and we were left waiting.

The Microsoft Courier is the one Apple will be pressed to beat. It is like an electronic journal plus web browsing. Very good for business meetings, or for solo work, in or out of the office. It has page/image capture, as well as text copy and save. You can share files with other Courier users by using the command “publish.” (This fileshare feature Apple users already have if they subscribe to a .Me account. And there are a host of other ways they can fileshare for free.) The Courier uses capacitive touchscreens, but you can use a stylus too. And there’s a camera on back. The whole thing is very student and/or workplace oriented. You can really get things done. It’s unusual, too, because it folds like a book and uses 2 screens, and you can drag things from one to the other. You can lift an image from a webpage on the right screen, “paperclip” it in the middle, while you bring up the journal page on the left where you want to file the paperclipped item. Then move it over.

The thing is, Microsoft seems to want to build its image as a dull work drone company. Dull but focused on the job; gets the work done! But to rely on this image is a big mistake when your rival has made such an effective spoof on it. John Hodgman and Justin Long are surely waiting to step out on our (Apple)TVs and have their little discussions on whether they are Macs or PCs all over again.

Apple can beat Microsoft easily if it makes its media work efficiently on the iPad/Slate. The iSight camera of the MacBook, the music and video player on the iPod, are already wonderful. We do have to get our work done but those things made it so much more enjoyable. We even made it part of our work. So just include those in the iSlate, please; hand me a stylus, and give me that thing. Sometime this century, Steve.

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Apple Event 9/09/09: Apple iPad Computer Launch?

Today, 9/09/09, Apple Computer launched the Apple iPad Computer, or at least it did in a number of predictions floating around the internet.   Rumor has it that on 9/9/09 at 1:00pm EST (10:00am PST) Apple will unveil the much anticipated Apple iPad at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.   That being said, we couldn’t resist offering our own dissemination on the Apple iPad specs.
1. Steve Jobs 2.0   Steve is BACK, new and improved!!!   After a liver transplant and beating back cancer, Jobs will take the stage looking fit and healthy, and introduce new products as well with a 3D holographic of The Beatles playing “Yellow Submarine” in the background.   The new iPlayer will not only offer 3-D projection, but will also be compatible with the new Apple line as 3-D virtual reality sunglasses.   In addition, he will show off a few well thought out dance moves thought up while in recovery.   Apple’s stock price will rise 5.5% as a result in trading between 3 and 5 pm.

2. The Apple iPad will be unveiled.   Instead of introducing a 10″ model as most everyone has predicted thus far, Apple will surprise everyone with a mini tablet model with a 6.5″ widescreen capable of outputting 3-D movies.   Live streaming movies are a definite possibility with the addition of HD output and 3.5 G GSM radios.   Other innovations will include gaming capabilities and optional Bluetooth game controllers.   In addition, the Apple iPad will come standard with a still and video camera with user friendly software used to upload video to popular services.   Going another step further, Apple will offer iMedia, an extension of iTunes, which will be comparable to YouTube.   The 10″ iPad will be introduced in March 2010, and will be nicknamed the Maxi.
3. The Full Beatles Catalog will be available, and to kick off the celebrations, Yoko Ono Lennon and son Sean as well as Paul McCartney will broadcast a mini concert live to the Apple fans! Steve Jobs will once again amaze the Apple stockholders with his dance moves and ability to lip-synch.
4. 3D Movies. Steve Jobs leapfrogs the competition by offering 3D Movies, as well as a 3D display mode.
5. The New iTouch will offer a 2x zoom 3 Megapixel camera with face detection, a non-contact power system, and the dock as well as the new iTouch models will be upgraded to USB 3.0.   The iTouch will come with stereo microphones, and Jobs will demonstrate both the new stereo bluetooth headset, as well as the Bluetooth stereo and surround sound speakers and enhanced dock with HDMI output.
6. HD 720p becomes the standard.   The iTunes store will drop standard definition video content and replace it with HD 720p video and movies with 5.1 Dolby surround sound.   New movies and TV shows will be upgraded due to the fact that the sales of the HD 720p shows at $2.99 were extremely weak in comparison to the $1.99 SD version but download costs were the samel, within about two cents.   Expect premium video resolution to become the iPad standard as each generation of iTunes has seen the quality and resolution of video content almost double.   Do not look for Apple to introduce full HD 1920p just yet as the download times would be extremely slow for most surfers.
7. Apple TV 3.0 is introduced.   In addition to being bigger, stronger and faster Apple TV is now a gaming console.   It will wow the masses with USB 3.0, external hard drive support and easy to use DVR function supported by the included tuner.   CPU speed will double, Bluetooth game pads will be included along with an assortment of demos and one full gamel.   The icing on the cake is the fact that with an external look alike multimedia and amplifier module, it will play Blue-Ray, DVD’s and CD’s.   Simply add external speakers and a screen and you have your home theatre system.
8. The Micro Air MacBook will be introduced.   Rumor in our back room has it that instead of producing a Apple iTablet or iPad, the mythical 10″ LCD screens are actually destined for a Micro Air Laptop.   It will be as if Steve Jobs simply took the 3.0 Lb 13.3″ Screen MacBook Air, and put it in the dryer to shrink it down to a 10″ display screen and weight of 1.5 lbs. Oh, and added wireless USB.   Smaller, Smaller… that’s it.
9. Apple Gaming Division is announced.   To help kick off the celebration, Apple announces that a special Beatles Edition of Rock Band will be made available for both the iTouch, iPad, and Apple TV 3.0 immediately.   In addition to a free copy of the Beatles Rock Band edition, the first 100,000 customers get free wireless Bluetooth game controllers and free Bluetooth stereo headsets.   Steve really is a huge music fan, and this is his master coup.
10. Will the Apple iPad Computer Tablet launch today?   We think not.   Rather we predict the 10″ Micro Air and the 6″ Maxi Ipad / iTouch Max.   But if it does launch today, the Apple iPad Computer will be a breakthrough multimedia device, combining the best of the Apple TV, the iTouch, and a Netbook.   It would look like a Max sized iTouch, or a shrunken down MacBook Air.   Specs will include stereo Bluetooth, Gaming, Remote Control of iTunes and Media.   It may be nicknamed the Media Slate, and will come with software to match.   The real reason why the true iPad will not be announced is that both ATT and Verizon have told Jobs that their networks can not yet handle the volume of traffic expected from the media Pad he has developed, which will have either a 3.5G or 4G radio inside.   Jobs is ready to push technology to the next level but has to wait for everyone else to catch up so that live streaming HD video will play directly through the cell companies’ networks.
11. iTunes Store offers iMedia and iTunes Virtual Community.   Having seen album sales slide quarter after quarter, Steve Jobs and music industry bosses have formulated a plan to bring back the album.   A new format will be introduced that emulates and improves upon a vinyl album, including 3d album liner, lyrics, photo gallery, audio notes, and more.   iTunes Virtual?   Expect hyper links galore at minimum and even possibly a Wikipedia/Myspace social networking mashup.   Apple wants to make iTunes a community and social destination where you can discuss your favorite music, movies, concerts and tv shows.   We think that only Apple can pull this off by building a easy to navigate yet full featured interactive music community.   Will it be virtual? Will it be 3-D?   At this point, only Apple knows the answers to all we speculate…
We will all know the truth only after the curtain rises, and the magic show is over, until next time, that it. Hopefully, Steve will not do “The Robot” dance as planned. Now, did we mention the Apple Robot being introduced? Hmmm.   Either way, today will leave us with new products to use and analyze, and we will have a greater understanding of what the future holds for Apple and it’s rapidly expanding Media empire.

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2009 – Year of the Tablet and iPad Computer

What is an iPad Computer?

An iPad computer, or iPad tablet computer, with the “i” meaning “INTERNET”, is a touch sensitive computer designed for surfing the net, media play and portability, made by Sony, HP, Apple (pending), Nokia, Dell, and more.
* The iPad Computer should cost somewhere between $400 and $1,000.
What makes the iPad different from the first generation tablet computers?   In addition to size and weight, companies like Apple and Sony are introducing advanced communication features such as webcams, bluetooth and 802.11 N WiFi.   the new ipadHowever, this is only projected information as Apple has not yet announced the release of an iPad or tablet type computer.
The size and weight of present and projected iPads range anywhere from 5×7, 12 ounces to 8.5×11 and two pounds.   Possible advanced features of the iPad could include a Bluetooth keyboard that “docks,” a stereo Bluetooth headset optimized for audio, voice recognition and 3G/4G capability.
For those of us trying to envision what the iPad may look like when it is unveiled, the possibilities are endless.   Imagine the MacBook Air minus the keyboard and the addition of a touch sensitive screen.

MacBook Air

MacBook Air

Decreasing the MacBook screen from the current 13 inches to 10 inches would perhaps make it a 1.5 Ib super iPad. Going one step further and equipping the iPad with USB 3.0 and a high resolution camera with face tracking, would put a power touch on the system.
Conversely, Apple may simply take the phenomenally popular iTouch and put it on steroids, thereby increasing the screen size from 3.5 inches to six inches.  


  This would allow sufficient resolution for both e-book legibility and downloadable and on demand high-definition movies.   Industry rumblings also suggest that Apple may turn the iPad into an iGame machine by adding a higher speed graphic coprocessor.
This would be Apple’s first move into the gaming arena and would be significant if the iPad came equipped with Bluetooth wireless controllers, wireless media server and iCamera – preferably one with 3-D capability.   The icing on the cake would be to pair the iPad with the Apple TV, as an ultra remote, drawing table and content controller.
Other issues surrounding the iPad include those about operating systems and battery life.   Of great importance is the fact that Apple had previously shrunk the OS X for the iTouch, therefore they would have an insignificant amount of re-writing to do in order to ready an OS for a larger, faster iPad.   Apple has already addressed the battery life issue by installing non-removable batteries, with a promised life of between five to seven years, in the Air portable and new generation 13, 15 and even 17 inch MacBooks.   These non-removable, ultra capacity, long life batteries are exactly what is needed to not cripple processor speeds, while at the same time still pleasing the “must watch a three hour movie” crowd.
It is widely expected that Apple will make a move into both the textbook and book publishing market in order to counter
Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle

[/caption] Amazon’s Kindle, now in its second generation, and Sony’s e-book readers, two of which were just announced with mention of a third model coming.   Sony has teamed up with industry heavyweight Google to offer more than one million e-books at launch.
Sony eReader

Sony eReader

Sony has been in the position to release a tablet for years, as the PSP has always had the processing power and the graphics capability necessary.   Imagine the Sony PSP, now in its 2.5 generation, upgraded with a touch sensitive screen.   Many people who have attempted to watch movies or surf the Web on the PSP have been hoping for a larger version for years.   It is now or never.   If Sony does not make a move soon it will miss the opportunity of a lifetime.
Nokia 770-2

Nokia 770-2

  Speculation has arisen that cell phone giant Nokia would make a move into the iPad/iTablet arena as well.   For several years, Nokia has been incrementally improving its Wifi internet browsing mini tablet.   I bet you never heard of it, but I had one three years ago.   By the way, the Nokia has been running at 800×480 resolution for years.
And what if Apple joins with Garmin and installs the Garmin GPS Map software and a GPS chip on all systems?   Instant car karma.
If you wanted to get fancier, you could have two iPads side by side, and drag content from one to the other.   (Take THAT, Microsoft!)
We predict that between Fall 2009 and Spring 2010, the battle will be on, and it will be the year of the iPad tablet Computer.

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Apple Is Hard At Work, At Something

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday on how Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, has shifted his focus into high gear towards the internet tablet that Apple is rumored to be releasing sometime in the near future.

The article mentioned Mr. Jobs has been on top of his personnel and combing over every detail, much like he reportedly did right before the iPhone’s release in ’07.  It’s interesting that Apple and their representatives refuse to discuss any projects in the works, but clearly something is brewing.  Being hush about any future projects is standard procedure for them.  However, that hasn’t prevented the tech industry from being chatty about the likelihood of Apple releasing a multi media internet tablet.

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- Summary

Since I believe the Apple tablet will offer the ability to write and draw with a stylus, I'm going to assume they've come up with a really, really good screen.
Original Article has 2203 words.