Higher Logic notes on screwing with tech…

30May/100

new ipad case and new apps yay

Hey boys and girls...

Here are some of my new apps...

First things first I jabroke my iPad :) finally some multitasking goodness. I also got the new apple rubber case. It's not bad, in certain situations it makes the iPad easier to hold. The flap up the back which props up the iPad is very helpful... $50 in my opinion is a tad dear.

Here are the fresh meat:

Penultimate - its a doodle/note taking app, good for drawing diagrams then emailing them as PDFs. I tried writing words on it with my fingers... Fingers just doesn't slide across the page smoothly. Maybe a pen device would fix the issue.

eBay - this is the us eBay app which Australia still haven't had access to, it's pretty flash. Definitely a step up from from the iPhone vesion.

Backgrounder - a free jail broken app. This one is a must, gives the ipad OS some much needed multitasking capabilities. Sure the new IOS will have some limited multitasking but:
1) it's not here yet :)
2) it's limited in it's scope, not all apps will be allowed to permanently run in the background... Stupid Apple.
3) backgrounder is quite elegant, no fancy UI, no screwing around, just what the name said.
It's not all beer and skittles however... Lots of my apps crash under backgrounder like IM+

Goodreader - finally a good app to store all my entire library of PDFs. It's even got a great file management system. It's a shame the iTunes file management system isn't more open... Further more it's a shame the ipad's OS isn't more open even in the area of file management. I hear iBooks will have PDF support, I hope it comes with some file management features... I already have too many books in iBooks and it's quite unwieldy.

VLC remote - just a little gadget to remotely control playback of vlc on your desktop.

Reeder - the best rss reader used to date. Google reader, beautiful interface and cheap. The holy trinity of rss readers :)

Instapaper - used in conjunction with Reeder to ear mark long articles to read later beautiful as there is no ads hurrah!

Things - my to-do app syncs with Mac and iPhone... Wished it had cloud syncing.

1password - I'm extremely disappointed with this app. I was hoping it would have the same level of integration as it does on the Mac. Instead of being able to pull up details inside safari 1password is standalone you can only take advantage of saved details inside the app... Completely mucks up my workflow :( The default keychain inside safari can remember some passwords for you but it's a incomplete solution, it only remembers forms and fails on things like http basic auth :(

Not happy with Tweetdeck it's still got no Facebook integration, I want tweetie for iPad.

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11May/100

Breaking in the iPad (part 2)

iPad apps!

After all without the apps this thing would just be a useless hunk of Tonka Tough Steel (TTS).

So here is just a quick run through of my iPad apps so far: what's worked, what hasn't and what's downright annoying.

Firstly I'm on a mission! A mission to replace all my iphone apps with iPad equivalents. Sure the iphone apps still work but somehow using it just feels dirty and wrong. It might have something to do with the lack of space utilisation when It runs. The iPad's screen is gorgeous, and the resolution is decent (1024 x 768) so when you go to start up an old iPhone app it just sits there with massive black borders around it. It's a little frustrating to use everything is just so small…

To address the previous problem Apple has put in a "2x" zoom function. This does helps with the claustrophobic feel. What it makes up for however gets taken away with the visual pixilation and jaggies. (see below) another problem is sometimes the landscape view doesn't register with the iPhone apps. When you combine tall this with having to still use the old iPhone keyboard there is enough motivation to upgrade everything.

Let the great app hunt begin!

Some developers offer a seamless migration path for iPhone users by combining iPhone and iPad versions. Other developers have choose to separate their products e.g one version for iPhone one version for iPad. I'm not sure why they would do this besides separating the products for revenue purposes later on. All I know is that it makes my iTunes library a bit more messy in the meantime.

  • Books, Books, Where are my books? - No iBooks! I can't put any books until the Australian iPad launch, May 28th, I got a whole bunch of books just sitting around just waiting to be uploaded.
  • No default weather? - That was a strange one, installed "weather bug" instead. (free)
  • IMDB just came in as a combined app, both iPad and iPhone versions rolled into one :) (free)
  • Instant Messaging - my beloved Meebo is still stuck in the iPhone version nooooo! I had to pony up some cash for IM+ ($12.99)
  • Dictionary.com has a nicely packaged dictionary and thesaurus optimised for the iPad. It's not a combined app like IMDB though. (free)
  • Tweetdeck's is back as a separate app but this time sans the Facebook integration. Developers promise facebook in the next version. (free)
  • Wikipedia didn't have an iPad version so I went with "Wikipanion". (free)
  • RSS reader - I use NetNewsWire on both my iPhone and desktop. When it comes to the iPad however I went with an alternative NewsRack. There was nothing in the NetNewsWire application which warranted the high price tag ($12.99) in my opinion. I just wanted something which looks decent and integrated with Google Reader. ($5.99)
  • I use an app called "Quota" on the iPhone to check my usage status like Internet, mobile, frequent flyers status... Quota hit me up for $3.99 as a separate app. The developers there were quite evil, the iPhone version would actually would stop working on the iPad effectively forcing an upgrade... I doubt this was a technical issue because all my other iPhone apps ran fine... ($3.99)
  • No default stocks app this time so I went with Bloomberg. (free)
  • For all the sysadmins out there iSSH got upgraded with an iPad version, best of all it's combined so it's a free upgrade. (free)

Here are some apps I still haven't found a decent solution for...

  • Facebook
  • TV Guide
  • Banking
  • eBay

Now that I covered my existing iPhone apps, the next set of apps offer functionality which were either non-existent on the iPhone or I would never use on the iPhone due to it's physical dimensions and other limits.

  • WordPress - for typing up this blog. (free)
  • Soundhound - for some music streaming goodness. It also detect music even if u hum it. (free)
  • A bunch of news apps like AP, BBC, New York Times I suspect I'll get sick of these and go back to RSS. (free)
  • Marvel - wanted to see what comics looked like on the iPad, it's not bad but I would pay for more comics. (free)
  • Geometry Wars - this was a bit steep but I'm a fan of the XBOX version ($14.99)

Now for some more random rants >:)

The pinch and zoom on the iPad is much better than the iPhone.
They did a great job making 1024x768 a lot more usable than a 1024x768 netbook.
The apps friggin crash around the the clock. Right as I'm typing up this post I can cause a crash by just trying to upload a picture :(

Enjoy

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10May/102

Breaking in the iPad (part 1)

Good evening all,

I'm typing up my first post on the iPad w00t!!! After 3 weeks of what seems like eternal waiting it's finally here. Overall pretty pleased with it... Solid piece of kit from Apple as per usual. I think I will just randomly address issues in this post, some personal some I've heard.

Issue 1: the iPad is too heavy... A German friend of mine is vocal about this one :)

In an absolute sense its not too heavy. Solid chunk of metal like this can probably only be as light as the ipad. After all they are cramming a lot of stuff in here. For me it's all got to do with how you are carrying it. I've tried a few ways so far with little success:

1) The waiter serving a dish style.
2) The cramming it in between my crotch, while slouching on the sofa style... Aka Steve jobs.
3) In bed holding it upright against my legs.

The problem with 1) is too much neck and shoulder pain. The problem with 2) is it's hard to find that perfect nesting place in your legs which won't result in dropping it. I don't intend on dropping this for at least 3 month. (My usual apple drop period) so far 3) is working the best but it puts more strain on my wrists than I like. There is a real ergonomics issue here. I didn't think it was possible...

Update: after one day's use... Yes it is too heavy :)

Issue 2: the iPad is fast!!!

I've heard this from a lot of people also my German friend...

I think the iPad is reasonably specced this time round. Everything pretty much reacts as per normal, did have a couple of slow downs when launching apps. Overall I think this limit will be severely tested come multiple-tasking of poorly written apps and the new firmware... In my view people just got used to the underpowered iPhones.

Any-who I need to get some sleep still haven't done my taxes... :( part two tomorrow iPad apps.

   
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