The iPad Will Change the PC Landscape

February 8, 2010 2 comments

Remember 2001, when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPod?  At the time, there was a mixed response, just as there has been with the iPad. Check out the negative (and some juvenile) comments you’ll find in this forum from the day the iPod came out in October 2001:

“iPoop… iCry. I was so hoping for something more.”

“Great just what the world needs, another freaking MP3 player. Go Steve! Where’s the Newton?!”

“Hey – heres an idea Apple – rather than enter the world of gimmicks and toys, why dont you spend a little more time sorting out your pathetically expensive and crap server line up?  or are you really aiming to become a glorified consumer gimmicks firm?”

And my personal favorite:
“I’d call it the Cube 2.0 as it wont sell, and be killed off in a short time…and it’s not really functional.”

As we know now, the iPod was launching more than just an MP3 player. Along with iTunes, the iPod was the beginning of an evolution in the way we listen to, purchase and manage our music.

I believe that we are going to look back at the launch of the iPad and say the same thing.

The iPad’s e-reader capabilities will take the Kindle concept to a whole new level. Instead of pressing a hard-wired plastic button on the device to turn a page, we will reach with our finger and “flip” to the next page, as if we were flipping the paper pages of a book.

Portable gaming is about to look a lot bigger and more interactive. Anyone notice the racing game in the iPad promotional video? Doing that on an iPhone is novel, but add another six diagonal inches to the screen and it becomes intersting and fun.

And what about Web content? As the iPad and other tablet computers grow in popularity, web designers will begin creating content that takes advantage of the multi-touch capabilities. Swiping, pinching, and other finger gestures may be the standard way we surf the web and interact with the sites we visit in the near future.

Still not convinced that the iPad is a technology revolution coming of age? There are already reports of companies scrambling to come up with something similar. In the tech industry, if you are being copied, then you are the one in the lead.

Apple is taking that lead, and the others may as well follow (or get the hell out of the way).

Apple Announces iPad as ‘Latest Creation’

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Apple announced the iPad tablet device on Wednesday at a special event in San Francisco. The tablet is an effort to fill the gap between the iPhone and iPod Touch and the MacBook.  At first impression, it appears to fill that void nicely.

The Specs

The iPad is a half-inch thick, weighs 1.5 pounds, and  looks like an large iPhone, including the signature home button.  The aluminum bezel and glass screen look like they are straight from the MacBook line. The screen is a 9.7-inch LCD (with 1024 by 768 resolution). It has a 1GHz CPU (called the Apple A4), which is a direct result of Apple’s purchase of PA Semi in 2008. The hard drive is flash based and comes in 16GB,32GB, or 64GB sizes., and, Jobs claimed, will get up to 10 straight hours of battery life or a month of life on standby.

All models have 802.11n Wi-Fi, with 3G connectivity as an option.  Bluetooth 2.1 has been included, which allows users to connect Bluetooth keyboards. A seperate Mac or PC computer with iTunes is required, so using the iPad as your only computer is not an option. It syncs using USB with the included cable.

No contract is required for the 3G connections, but AT&T has two new cellular data plans available for the iPad: $14.99 a month for 250MB of data and $29.99 a month for unlimited data. However, the iPad ships “unlocked”, so users could probably use it with the T-Mobile network if they have a SIM card from T-Mobile. We are likely to hear about those possibilities once the iPad is released and users begin testing that theory.

Apps

The user interface appears to be a hybrid of Snow Leopard and the iPhone OS, though it looks more like the iPhone than anything. The home screen has the very iPhone-looking app icons and the included applications are similar.  Here’s what’s included out of the box:

  • Safari
  • Mail
  • Photos
  • Video
  • YouTube
  • iPod
  • iTunes
  • App Store
  • iBooks
  • Maps
  • Notes
  • Calendar
  • Contacts

Each of these apps have been designed specifically for the iPad.  The iWork suite (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) is also available as a $30 download, with each app available separately for $10 each.

Multi-Touch and On-Screen Keyboard

Users will interact with the iPad using touch-screen controls and an on-screen keyboard. In Jobs’ presentation, the interface was very responsive to the multi-touch gestures that iPhone and iPod Touch users have become familiar with.  However, the OS includes panes, floating windows, and tabs, thanks to its larger screen space.  Most of the apps appear to have the ability to display in both landscape mode and be switched between widescreen or fullscreen aspect ratios.

Buyers can get their hands on one at the end of March. The iPad will start at $499 for a Wi-Fi-equipped 16GB model.

For $130 more, you’ll be able to add 3G connectivity to each of them, and these 3G models will arrive 30 days after the Wi-Fi only versions.

Live Updates From Today’s Apple Announcement

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Thinking of coming to 98PoundGeekling.com for live updates from Apple’s big announcement today? Bad call.

I’ll be over at Gizmodo following the announcement there. The event starts at 10:00 a.m. Pacific., 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

Head over to Gizmodo for live updates. Then come back here for some post coverage tomorrow!

Is The End Near for Apple’s Exclusive Contract with AT&T?

January 26, 2010 2 comments

The first question during the Q&A of Apple’s Conference Call on Monday went straight to the question of whether or not AT&T would remain an exclusive carrier for service on the iPhone. It’s an important question, since Apple is bound by contract to miss a huge portion of the market, thanks to their firm handshake with AT&T.

Tim Cook, Apple’s COO, had an indirect answer to Munster’s question about staying with a single phone service carrier. When Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray asked Cook to “remind us what the benefits and the virtues of sticking with a single carrier in the US are,” Tim hem-hawed around with his answer. If you read carefully, you’ll see that his answer below was, “There are none.”

First of all, AT&T is a great partner. We have been working with them since well before we announced the first iPhone to get it out. I think it is important to remember that they have more mobile broadband usage than any other carrier in the world. In the vast majority of locations, we think that iPhone customers are having a great experience from the research that we have done.

Let’s rephrase the conversation. Munster asks, “You must have good reasons for only using one carrier for iPhone service. What are some of those reasons?”

“AT&T is neato.” Tim replies.

He might as well have come out and said it directly: AT&T’s days of being the iPhone’s sole provider are coming to an end.

Did anyone else hear the sound of a blackberry being squashed?

New Apple Tablet Dancing With Verizon?

January 21, 2010 1 comment

When a web site gets an exclusive on a rumor, it’s almost comical.  “We are the only ones bringing you this report that may or may not be true.  So stay tuned… it gets better!”

TheStreet.com is reporting on an alleged partnership between Apple and Verizon for a device that allegedly has phone capability and is allegedly being announced by Apple next week.  I love rumors as much as the next technology junkie, but remember that these are still classified as rumors.

The main part of what TheStreet.com is reporting reveals that Verizon might be a new partner for Apple because Qualcomm has been confirmed as one of the tablet’s chip manufacturers. For those hoping that the iPhone would soon be opened up to other providers (who isn’t), it is certainly a good sign. Whether or not it means a Verizon deal has been sealed is anyone’s guess.  Hopefully it means that Apple will be doing business with both AT&T and Verizon from this point forward.

What it would mean for Apple and Verizon if they teamed up on a tablet device?

If the tablet has a mass appeal, an input method that is accessible to the average Joe, and the Apple sex appeal, then Verizon and Apple will win big, even if the device takes a little time to catch on.  As it stands, their phone market is obviously limited, but I talk to people all the time who say they would love an iPhone if Verizon or T-Mobile was an option. There is a lot of low-hanging fruit out there for Apple if they can open things up.

iPhone OS 4.0 Wish List

January 20, 2010 Leave a comment

BoyGenius is reporting that they have “some exclusive iPhone OS 4.0 details” from one of their trusted inside sources. Sounds like it will be a significant upgrade which may give a fresh feel to 3G and 3GS iPhones.

If I could ask Apple for only one thing, I would vote for an improved navigation method for getting to the many apps on my phone. Some users like myself have nearly 100 apps on our phone, and getting to page 7 just takes too darn long.

“Why the crap do you have almost 100 apps?” you may ask. God knows I’ll never be able to use most of these on a regular basis, but for the intermediate geeks out there, it’s nice to mess around with a variety of different apps, if only to see what the iPhone is capable of.

So the first item on my iPhone 4.0 OS Wish List is a new way to navigate the iPhone. Here a few other things I’m hoping for:

  • Wireless syncing over Wi-Fi with iTunes.
  • Improved formatting for emails when sending to Windows Outlook users. (“Geez man, what’s with the Times New Roman font on your iPhone?”)
  • This is a small request, but an ongoing annoyance… please allow us the option to tap anywhere on the screen to take a picture with the Camera app!

Will Apple get into the iPhone OS details on January 27? Seems like they have a lot to cover, even if the rumor mills are half-right!

Apple Sets Date to Announce “Latest Creation”

January 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Thanks pcworld.com for the image

According to MacWorld, Apple sent media members invitations for an event to announce their “latest creation,” as the invitation called it.  The event will be at 10 a.m. PT on January 27 in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco.

The most surprising thing about this event would be if they did NOT announce a tablet computer of some kind. However, the specifications are still up for grabs among those of us who enjoy speculating about such things. I’ll post my best guess this week so that when it is announced, you’ll know if I’m a genius or not.

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