“Warp speed please Mr. Sulu!”
Please excuse the geeky Star Trek reference, but it seems the rumor mill for the upcoming iPad 3 has reached blinding speeds. All eyes are on Cupertino as we approach the possible March/April launch of the computer megalith Apple’s (AAPL) latest version of its game changing tablet device.
Since the day after the release of the acclaimed iPad 2 in March 2011, everybody and their mother has posted speculation on what the iPad 3 will launch with. There have been talks of 3D screens, thinner forms, double the on board storage, voice recognition, etc.
While some Apple enthusiasts have hit pretty close to the mark in the past, what can we really expect in this new social driven, media sharing year to come?
Let’s look at some of the most talked about features.
With iPad releasing on April 3, 2010 and iPad 2 on March 11, 2011, it’s a pretty safe bet that we can see the newest iPad somewhere in between that same time frame. I have heard predictions of a February 24th (the late Steve Jobs’ birthday) release, but I’ll leave that for you to decide. Although that would be very dramatic, and we know how Apple loves the creative dramatics, it doesn’t seem likely. I could possibly see a small conference at the California headquarters announcing a release date and discussing the new features, but I don’t see one in our hands on that date.
We knew it was inevitable that the iPad 2 would have a camera. What we didn’t know was if the tablet would mirror the iPhone 4 in photo taking quality. The iPad 2′s camera was to most, a little disappointing. With the iPhone 4 weighing in carrying a 5 Mp (2592 x 1944 pixels) rear facing camera and LED flash, the iPad 2′s 0.7 Mp (960 x 720 pixels) camera and no flash was left cowering in the corner chanting “I coulda been somebody”.
The burning question is will Apple integrate the camera set that is in the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S? My best guess is they will use the iPhone 4 specs. This includes the front facing HD camera for FaceTime which may get slight upgrades. Apple has traditionally kept the tablet one step behind the iPhone in regards to its camera capabilities. This comes with good reason. The average consumer doesn’t pull a tablet out of their pocket to take a quick photo.
Is Bigger Better?
One of the most important things to a mobile developer is screen real estate. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had a chance to play with Amazon’s new Kindle Fire which boasts a 7 in. display and it was quite nice. However, while poking around the display, I had trouble clicking small links on some web pages without zooming in. On my iPad (in which I’m using to write this article) there was no problem clicking any of the links I had trouble with on the Fire.
Photo viewing is nice on both. When it comes to gaming I prefer them on the iPad’s larger 9.7 in. display. Let’s not forget the interview with Steve Jobs attempting to obliterate the idea of a 7 in. tablet ever succeeding in the consumer space.
If you ask me we will see a 9.7 in. display on the iPad 3 as well. But hey, let’s get crazy. Why not? We could see a March released 9.7 in. iPad 3 and an October released 7 in. iPad 3S. What? That’s right. You read it here first!
It seems that every iPad doubles its on board storage. Does this mean that we will have models starting at 32 gig and topping out at 128 gig? It’s very likely that the iPad 3 will have these storage numbers; especially with the growing size of photo and video files. A top-of-line iPad could give us a potential 228 gig of storage. That would be 128 gig on board and for $100 per year another 100 gig of cloud storage.
The engine in the iPad 2 was a 1 GHz dual core A5 chip that boasted up to 4x processing power and up to 9x the graphics power over its predecessor A4 chip. Much speculation points to an A6 chip that could be quad core, which would even quadruple the previous numbers. With Samsung said to be making this A6 processor we know it will be of great quality and speeds.
Battery life on the iPad hasn’t been much scrutinized. It’s the handsets that are taking a hit. We can expect pretty much the same 10-12 hours and one month of standby that we’ve grown accustomed to.
Through The Looking Glass
Retina display on the iPad is on everybody’s mind. If you own an iPhone 4/4S and an iPad you can clearly see the difference in screen resolution. Retina display has been argued that the pixel density that the human eye can decipher is 326 ppi. The iPad 2 has currently 132 ppi – vast distance between the two.
I think it would be quite difficult for Apple to match that ppi and still keep its current price point. Also, with Kindle Fire coming in at $199, Apple must stay competitive. So, we will see an improvement in screen resolution but not 326 ppi, too expensive.
Talk To Me
Siri is definitely a great addition to the iPhone 4S and you can bet it will be on iPad 3 and most likely the next generation iPod Touch. I personally can’t wait for the personal assistant on my iPad.
The time is getting closer and everybody wants to know what we can expect to see from CEO Tim Cook when it comes to Steve Jobs’ favorite innovation. Will Apple stay the current course that was charted by the genius co-founder? Or will a new direction building off a monstrously successful platform be plotted? We’ll all have to just wait and see I guess. All I can tell you for sure is… I’m getting one!
Did you want in on iOS 5′s hidden panorama feature, but weren’t down with the whole jailbreak shindig? You’re in luck, because RedmondPie found a roundabout solution. All interested parties need is an iTunes backup, a little elbow grease and a program called iBackupBot. That last item will allow you to bust open your device backup, where you’ll find a preference file that needs an “EnableFirebreak” value changed from “false” to “true.” Once that’s done, a quick restore is all that stands between you and some epic panoramic vistas, bro. A full step-by-step guide awaits you at the source, just triple check that backup’s recent before you obliterate and restore, okay?
iOS 5′s panorama enabled with backup hackery, jailbreak not required originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 09 Nov 2011 22:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Where tablets are concerned, it’s all about the display, the primary part of the technology we interact with. The new kids on the block are Amazon’s Kindle Fire and its direct competitor, the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet, which feature smaller seven-inch screens at a more wallet-friendly price. But are they a match for Apple’s market leading iPad 2?
That’s what Dr. Raymond M. Soneira at DisplayMate Technologies Corporation wanted to find out for his latest IPS Tablet Display Technology Shoot-Out, dropping the inexpensive Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet into a cage match with the iPad 2 to see which display comes out on top.
Surprisingly, the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet landed in first place, with Dr. Soneira rating it highest in both lab measurements as well as viewing tests. While he touts the iPad 2 as having a “great display,” the reality is that the tablet is “starting to show its age” as newer, cheaper and smaller displays begin to swoop in and outperform the market leader — a gap that’s sure to narrow within months as Apple introduces the iPad 3.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire came in dead last for what DisplayMate calls “serious flaws” with a very high screen reflectance — despite Amazon’s insistence that the device features an “anti-reflective screen.” Dr. Soneira also called out the Kindle Fire for a major flaw in the Gallery photo viewer which washes out images, while noting that such issues will likely be addressed in a promised software update coming soon.
DisplayMate cautions that there is “no absolute winner” with this latest Display Shoot-Out, with all three tablets exhibiting flaws in many categories. Dr. Soneira also blames manufacturers rushing to meet the holiday season as part of the problem, with both the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet shipping before Thanksgiving, then allowing Amazon and Barnes & Noble time to provide “patches, tweaks and enhancements later.”
While it may be too late to use DisplayMate’s latest shoot-out as a buying guide for this holiday season, the full report is a worthwhile read for anyone in the market for a tablet, especially Dr. Soneira’s companion piece on the Next Generation of Tablet Displays which may provide a few hints as to what we’ll see next year.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
The panoramic camera mode isn’t the only thing to be unearthed from within iOS 5. A familiar-looking predictive typing option has been unlocked by iOS tinkerer, Sonny Dickson, who tweeted several shots of the new keyboard in action. Like the rough-around-the-edges panorama mode, jail-breaking isn’t necessary, requiring only the iBackupBot program to tweak your configuration settings. Tick yes to Library/Preferences/com.apple.keyboard.plist, and you’re away. We’d advise speed-typing obsessives to back up their devices to iTunes first, naturally.
Auto-suggestion keyboard found hiding inside iOS 5 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 10 Nov 2011 07:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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According to a report from Kotaku, humans are not the only ones fascinated with the iPad. Scott Engel, the iPad Enrichment Coordinator at the Milwaukee County Zoo, leads a program that gives orangutans some weekly screen time with the iPad.
Apparently, the red apes love them.
“It was amazing to see how they welcomed this strange device into their area,” Engel said. “We’ll show the orangutans videos of themselves, videos of wild orangutans, and other animals that reside at the zoo. In fact, I think orangutan MJ has a crush on David Attenborough.”
At first, the orangutans were showed the device through the glass where visitors usually stand; Engel would turn on the iPad 2′s camera so the device could be used as a kind of mirror. Once the orangutans were used to the iPad, keepers introduced the device in an area where the orangutans could touch the screen through a cage door.
“One of the biggest hurdles we face is that an orangutan can snap an iPad like you or I could rip cardboard,” said Richard Zimmerman, executive director of Orangutan Outreach, who is a big fan of the program and hopes to extend it to zoos around the country. “Orangutans are very tactile and their natural curiosity is perfect for a device like an iPad,” he said.
Because orangutans are so intelligent, they also get bored easily, and enrichment programs like this are extremely important. Zimmerman believes that “the touchscreen ‘games’ will be really good for them” and that “orangutans love painting with their fingers as well as brushes, and they seem to take quickly to using their fingers to paint on the touchscreen.”
As for the two charter member of the program in Milwaukee, they already have their favorite apps. Apparently, they enjoy finger-painting with DrawFree, watching television shows, and even playing games iFishPond and Flick Kick Football. Also, the interactive book The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore is a big hit.
For more images of orangutans and iPads, check out Kotaku.
(Image courtesy of Scott Engel)
Adrian covers daily news and the weekly “Law & Apple” column for MacLife.com. You can follow him on Twitter, if you want to.
John Carmack and his studio, id Software, have achieved some of the most stunning advances in the history of video games in the past 20 years, and they’re generally regarded as graphics geniuses. So when they talked about the graphical capabilities of tablets in an interview over at Tom’s Hardware, our interest was piqued.
Carmack estimates that the iPad 2 is as powerful as the modern home video game consoles the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are false, and that the tablet is actually “about half” as powerful. He noted that the reason most iPad games don’t look nearly as good as console games has more to do with the length of time it takes to polish a game, saying that the current iOS marketplace wont sustain a game that spends millions of dollars on polish.
“There’s been incorrect hyperbole about the power of these devices, where people are saying that they have console-level performance,” said Carmack. “The iPad 2 has about half the performance power, and that’s a ballpark estimate.”
“But that does mean that mobile devices coming out, certainly next year, will be flat out more powerful,” he continued, “and they’ll probably be powerful enough where you don’t even need the hyper-optimizing, that you could do a fairly easy port-over of your technology and assets. The biggest issue is going to be total distribution and storage space.”
Comments like these coming from the mouth of someone like John Carmack should be extremely exciting for iOS gamers. It’s a wild and wonderful future indeed to imagine current console games being ported directly to the iPad 3/4 within the next couple years. Let’s just hope Apple starts shipping iPads with 10 terabyte hard drives.
There is little doubt that China is the next location for explosive growth for Apple, where in recent months fake stores have popped up on the radar to take advantage of the company’s popularity there. Soon, mainland China will enjoy a 3G-equipped iPad 2 like the rest of us, as well as a retail store opening in neighboring Hong Kong.
MacRumors has collected a pair of Apple stories out of the far East, both of which are good news for Chinese fans of everyone’s favorite Cupertino-based company. First up is a Wall Street Journal story revealing that Apple has finally received certification to sell the iPad 2 with 3G after successfully launching the Wi-Fi only model there.
“According to China’s Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center, a device by Apple with third-generation high-speed wireless data capabilities was issued the network access license needed for the company to begin official sales in China,” the report claims. “The device, listed under model number ‘A1396,’ is compatible with the 3G standard WCDMA, and would work with the cellular network operated by Apple’s local iPhone partner, China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd.”
As noted by MacRumors, model number A1396 is the same one used for the 3G-equipped iPad 2 here in the United States.
Meanwhile, Apple is scheduled to open the company’s first retail store in Hong Kong on September 24 according to Engadget China, which will be located in the International Finance Center’s IFC Mall. A photo of the banner was submitted by a MacRumors reader, seen above.
Apple is rapidly expanding their presence in China, which newly appointed CEO Tim Cook has described as “a substantial opportunity for Apple and we’re just scratching the surface.” As of July, the company had racked up revenue six times that of the previous year, and that number is likely to continue to rise.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of MacRumors)
Need your iPad to pull a little more weight? Get a case that helps accommodate. I just made a rhyme! Seriously, that wasn’t planned.
This week, I took a look at iPad cases that tack on that one additional function you really need from your trusty tablet device. Read on for my review of the Handstand iPad holder, Belkin’s Bluetooth Keyboard Folio, the ZooGue iPad Binder frame, and iHome’s iPad folio with built-in speakers.
Also, enjoy my chipped gray nail polish.
Recent benchmarks of five smartphone models and two tablets reveal some interesting stats — while the current iPhone 4 ranks at the bottom when compared to newer Android handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S 2, Apple’s iPad 2 is the clear winner when it comes to mobile devices.
AnandTech recently ran benchmark tests on the new Samsung Galaxy S 2 smartphone as a followup to their review of the handset, which as you can see from the chart below, easily flies past competing devices with the same OS and even Apple’s media darling, the iPhone 4. But as fast as Samsung’s latest handset is, the chart also reveals that smartphones (and even that company’s latest tablet) have a long way to go in catching up with the raw speed of an iPad 2.
“Samsung implemented a 4-core version of the Mali-400 in the 4210 and its resulting performance is staggering as you can see above,” the report notes. “Although it’s still not as fast as the PowerVR SGX 543MP2 found in the iPad 2, it’s anywhere from 1.7 – 4x faster than anything that’s shipping in a smartphone today.”
Indeed, the iPhone 4’s A4 processor scored a mere 11.2 on the benchmark tests, coming in dead last against a variety of recent Android handsets including the Nexus S, LG Optimus 3D and Samsung Infuse 4G. While that situation is likely to be soon remedied with the arrival of an iPhone 5 this fall, Cupertino has a commanding lead with the iPad 2 that no other tablet or smartphone will likely approach for some time.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of AnandTech)
We take an almost unbiased look at why every iPad competitor is a complete joke.
How often have you seen someone using an iPad competitor? If your experience is anything like ours, probably not very often. That’s because a non-iPad tablet is something of a unicorn in the wild, except it’s far less magical. We decided to take a look at what went wrong for these iPad challengers and determine whether they have a shot in the future.
The Motorola Xoom wasn’t merely playing catch-up—it was supposed to be better than the iPad.
When the Xoom broke onto the scene, Motorola elected to position it as the hardcore alternative to the iPad. It had all the makings of a serious competitor, too: a controversial Super Bowl commercial, 4G capability, MicroSD, and, of course, Flash. There was only one problem—when it launched, it didn’t support Flash or MicroSD, and as of press time, there’s still no ability to upgrade to 4G. Those hardcore early adopters will have been left waiting for over six months. And did we mention the 3G version retailed for $800?
But how’d it sell? In its first three months, Motorola moved 440,000 Xoom units. Certainly not a number to scoff at — unless, of course, you’re comparing it to Apple’s 9.3 million iPad shipments during the same quarter.
The BlackBerry PlayBook proved specs aren’t everything.
The BlackBerry PlayBook was unique in that it didn’t attempt to be a carbon copy of the iPad. In fact, it’s one of the only major tablets on the market with a substantially smaller form factor that still managed to pack some awesome specs. It launched with 16-64GB of flash memory and 1GB of RAM. Unfortunately, it was plagued with a huge problem — incomplete software. In what can only be described as a huge disappointment, the PlayBook launched without native email or a calendar. As of mid-September, RIM still had yet to update the system software. Surprisingly, the PlayBook has actually sold fairly well. First-day sales were approximately 50,000, and first-quarter results came in at about 500,000 total. But can it keep up the momentum? All signs point toward “no” — RIM revised its second-quarter results from a predicted 1 million to 800,000.
A carbon copy of an outdated iPad is hardly the revolutionary product some were hoping for.
The TouchPad was perhaps the most dead-on-arrival “competition” the iPad ever had. Fans everywhere lauded the first webOS-equipped tablet, but the hardware was so weak that, by the time the TouchPad launched on July 1, it was already completely outdated. It was squashed by disappointed critics (no front-facing camera, similar dimensions and specs as the iPad 1) and sold embarrassingly few units. Eventually, HP saw the error in its ways and overcorrected in colossal fashion. It cut the entire division (along with a few others), and began a fire sale of $99 TouchPads. But hey, at least people wanted them then…
The Kindle Fire, announced on September 28th could be the tablet iPad-holdouts have been waiting for. It’s cheap — both in function and price, but it’s not made to contend with the iPad as a high-end device — and that might just be why it will. For $200, the pricetag is sure to lure in Mr. & Mrs. Dontknowtech. Whether or not it has any staying power, cracks when you breath on it, or emits flames every quarter hour is yet to be seen. But we like what we see, and competition is a good thing, even if the Fire isn’t set to burn through Apple’s marketshare.
The iPad 2 is more than the front runner in the tablet industry — it’s really the only worthwhile tablet.
We all know the story of the iPad 2. Apple once again proved that there’s no “i” in “tablet” but there is in “win.” The thinner, lighter iPad came packing an Apple A5 processor and the cameras we all hoped for. Unfortunately, those cameras were also part of the iPad 2’s greatest flaw—they were the same quality as the iPod touch’s, making them ultimately useless for anything besides FaceTime. In the end, no amount of criticism or competitors could stop Apple’s second-gen tablet from selling like hotcakes. Online buyers in 26 countries had a wait time of three to four weeks to get their hands on the best tablet on the market.
British expats and international fans of BBC television alike can now stream some Gavin & Stacey to their televisions (past season 1 anyway, which is on Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video), as long as they’re properly equipped. The global iPlayer app for iPad has been updated with AirPlay streaming (those in the UK however, have no such luck so far) so once users update to iOS 5 and buy an Apple TV box, they’re in business. Of course, this would all be much simpler if iPlayer were just available on the Apple TV itself (without XBMC or other hacks), but no one asked us, did they?
BBC’s global iPlayer app adds AirPlay streaming, should just be on Apple TV originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 22 Oct 2011 02:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Just imagine it handheld-sized.
Citigroup’s research department is whispering hearsay that Amazon’s got its own ideas for a smartphone next year. The “KindlePhone,” as it’s referred to in the article from All Things D, is allegedly slated for launch in late 2012. It’s a fantastic idea for technophiles who have already adopted the Kindle Fire and are eager to step further into the Amazon ecosystem. And it’s an amazing opportunity for Amazon to beat Apple at its own game.
Amazon’s ecosystem is one that’s as powerful than Apple’s. Dare I say, it could be even more so if Amazon were to officially team up with Google and give them a key to the ecosystem, in exchange for Google’s web app enterprise. The trick is that you’re already a part of it as long as you’ve used Amazon to purchase something in the past. It greatly changed its game when it officially entered the Kindle Fire into the ring.
Amazon’s tablet definitely had its appeal before it officially hit the market and arrived on people’s doorsteps. And while some reviews may look unfavorably upon the technological shortcomings of the device it’s still a game changer in many ways. It’s an Android tablet that locks you into an ecosystem you’ve long been a part of and have already been spending your money with, anyway. It’s an accessible, affordable, interactive alternative to simply perusing through the site through a browser window. And now you can give Amazon even more cash by signing up for a Prime account, which subsequently gets you speedy shipping on the hoards of products you purchase from the site and access to thousands of online videos. Oh, and let’s not forget one of iTunes’ biggest competitors: the Amazon music store and cloud storage. Amazon’s even got its own Android market place with daily free sponsored apps. Wait, what is Apple again?
So while iTunes is still getting its bearings on playing nice with all platforms — Apple has taken the most important step by ditching MobileMe for iCloud, which works with PCs — Amazon could really be planning the most powerful offense of all by entering the smartphone market. At least one thing’s for sure: 2012 is going to be a hell of a year for smartphones.
DirecTV debuted its iPad app in February with an impressive suite of remote control and content browsing options, but one of the few missing features was the ability to watch TV on it, which has now been added. Like similar apps from Cablevision and Time Warner Cable, v1.3.1 adds the ability to watch 38 channels live on the tablet, provided you’re connected to the same home network as your DirecTV Plus HD DVR. That home restriction, plus being limited to only live TV streams and not DVRed programming separates it from Sling’s apps, but at least it’s still a free add-on. If you want to watch recorded shows or take them on the go you’ll still need the Nomad box for that. Check below for a link to one of DBSTalk’s usual thorough walkthrough PDFs breaking down the new features, a few screengrabs sent in by a reader, and the complete channel list after the break.
[Thanks, Will & Jon]
Continue reading DirecTV’s iPad app updated with live TV streaming, as long as you stay at home
DirecTV’s iPad app updated with live TV streaming, as long as you stay at home originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Oct 2011 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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