Apple have released another two adverts promoting the iPad and iPad mini. Both the adverts focus on a series of words which describe the iPad brand, like ‘bright’, ‘together’, ‘loud’, and ‘deep’. Oddly enough, ‘expensive’ doesn’t show up.
The world and media go crazy every time Apple releases a new product, however this latest release is reported to only have one difference, a larger storage capacity.
Temple Run is back and crazier than ever, but will it catch on like it did last time?
In the past week, Star Wars has became one of the most frequent discussions on the internet. The first reason for this is that Disney have recently bought LucasFilm and announced plans for Star Wars VII, and today’s launch of Angry Birds Star Wars has further increased talk about the franchise.
Apple’s products are always very well made in design quality, however lack in some of the actual design features. The speaker on the iPad is an example of something that, although they made very pretty, is terrible compared to the rest of the tablet’s quality.
The Retina display on the new iPad is, for many photography enthusiasts, the final word in serious image editing. True to the App Store’s entrepreneurial style, a host of apps have jumped up to claim the title of ‘best image editor’. But how does all this actually compare in print? Is the Retina display truly faithful to colour? And if so, what variations are there between different editors?
For the budding artist, there is no shortage of apps and tools for use on tablets. But the problem lies with their quality and functionality. It is often the case that art apps are limited in what they can do and they sometimes lack the accuracy any serious artist would want to see. However, several apps and tools are surprisingly good, and in some cases, are very impressive. We’ll discuss one innovative app and one useful tool in this article.
Paper is a fantastic app developed by a team who were once tied to Microsoft and its development of a dual-screen digital notebook. The idea is to be able to create virtually anything you would be able to do on a real piece of paper.
Once the app is opened, you are presented with a display of your previously saved work. Opening a new ‘paper’ brings up a series of options at the bottom of the screen, offering a range of colours and five main drawing tools: a fountain pen, pencil, ballpoint, marker, and watercolour paintbrush.
The great thing here is that you can purchase additional tools to work alongside each drawing tool for $1.99 each. Each tool behaves differently to the next, so that the user has a more realistic experience.
Another great feature becomes apparent when you make a mistake. Unlike other apps, in which you have an eraser to correct a fault, the ‘rewind’ function (activated by placing two fingers on the screen and twisting anti clockwise) removes the most recent stroke made. This can be repeated for the last 20 strokes. If only that could be done with mistakes in real life!
And of course the app wouldn’t be complete without the ability to share your final masterpiece via Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter, which can all be done relatively easily. Unfortunately, this app is only available on iPad, which is a shame for the growing number of people who use Android tablets. However, there are other high-quality apps that are Android-compatible, thankfully.
The Sensu Brush tackles digital art from a different angle and is aimed at those who are more serious about their painting. The Sensu Brush does not work with a single app like other designs, but can work with a variety of different apps. This stylus looks like a real paintbrush, and connects with the tablet’s screen to give the feeling of real life painting.
When you’re on the move and when you might not want to paint, the other end of the paintbrush is a rubber tipped digital stylus, which can be used for sketching, writing or simply as a tablet navigation tool. Due to its simple design it works with a number of devices including the iPhone, iPad,a variety of Android tablets, and even the Kindle Fire.
To say that these tools and apps will eventually replace real life painting is perhaps going a step too far. But what they do offer is a very realistic virtual option, which can be done anywhere, quickly shared with friends and family and without the usual mess.
Since getting my iPad back in November, Safari has been my number one browser. I’m usually one to change the default applications on my phones, for example I used Opera on my Nokia n95. However there never seemed anything wrong with safari, it does everything pretty well while sporting the Apple design which made me opt for the iPad in the first place.
In the last year or so, there have been many browser additions to the App Store. Some good, some bad and some are blatant copies of already released applications. But which are the best iPad browsers?
Best iPad Browsers: Chrome
Chrome is one of the biggest names in handheld web surfing right now. The beta version was released for Android at the start of this year and it was released on iPhone and iPad last month. The thing that makes Google Chrome so appealing is that you are using a piece of software which is also available on PC. It syncs perfectly well with previously visited sites, bookmarks etc, and you can even open the page you were just visiting on your tablet, mobile or PC.
Chrome is the most used browser on desktop right now, which means anybody with a mobile or tablet has or will try out the mobile version as it means that they can tie all of their web surfing information together. However, Google Chrome for iPad doesn’t really offer much that Safari doesn’t already. It has an incognito mode bud Safari has this feature in the settings menu. In fact one of the only improvements is that it looks like Chrome, which personally I’m not fussed about. Safari doesn’t look bad at all.
Best iPad Browsers: Dolphin
Dolphin Browser has been around for quite a long time. It’s been a favourite of mine on Android since getting my Xperia Arc in April 2011. Since then, it’s had a UI change and has added a lot of new features, it has also been released on iOS.
Dolphin has a design similar to Google Chrome, complete with an omnibar and an easy to use tabbed interface, however Dolphin prides itself on unique features. My favourite feature of Dolphin is the ability to go to a website or issue a command by drawing a gesture. For example, I have it set so that when I draw a ‘G’, I get directed to Geeks Have Landed. Installed by default are command gestures, such as drawing a back arrow to go back to a previous page. When I installed it, I never thought I would use the gestures as it seemed like a bit of a gimmick, but it works well which makes it a pleasure to use.
Pages load fast, the interface is recognisable to use and it has features which make it unique, but the one thing that keeps me from using Dolphin on iPad is the green colour scheme. I’m not sure who was in charge of design when creating the application, but the bright green browser looks tacky compared to it’s competitors.
Best iPad Browsers: Kikin
I was recently drawn to Kikin following it’s promotion on RedmondPie, and have been using it for the past few days. Kikin is yet another iPad browser which features a UI almost identical to Chrome. It has an omnibox and a tabbed bar across the top, both of which are features were made recognisable by Google. But Kikin isn’t a complete copy, as it has features which make it unique.
The main feature of Kikin is that it can take a word from any web page and give you relevant information based around that word. For example, if you were to hold down on a word in an article that you didn’t understand, it would come up with web pages similar to that word and also give you a definition. If you hold down the name of a film, it will come up with reviews of that title. These are just some of the ways that you can use the feature.
Kikin also has some extra little features which make it a true competitor on the App Store, for example the ability to go to full screen mode, a feature which isn’t available on Chrome.
The Winner: Safari
Safari was a browser I was originally going to leave out of this little competition when I decided to begin writing it last week. But the more and more I tested out different browsers from around the web, the more I got frustrated that each of them missed a feature that only Safari had…opening links from other sources. Of course, this is Apple’s fault. They have made it so that you have to open links in emails and applications in Safari. By being so demanding they have given Safari the edge over each of their competitors, no matter how well the others work.
However, if you are desperate to try out something other than Safari, I would recommend trying each of the above out. Chrome is good if you use it elsewhere, Kikin is really useful for learning things as you browse, and Dolphin works really well provided you can put up with the green design.
Best iPad Browsers: Dual Browser
I managed to snap Dual Browser up when it was still free, and have found quite a lot of use for it in the last few weeks. Dual browser isn’t really an application you would use for all your web browsing, because you don’t need to look at more than one website at a time unless you are working or comparing something. But it advertises itself and a browser and in it’s own league it’s a very good one. It just shouldn’t replace any others.
Rumour has it that Apple are planning on launching a smaller and cheaper version of the iPad, to compete with the increasingly more aggressive competition posed by Android, notably the Nexus 7.
The new Apple tablet will measure 7-8inches diagonally, but won’t feature the high quality retina display that the new iPad (3) received at launch back in March.
By launching a smaller iPad, Apple increase their chances of continuing their domination of the tablet market. Questions have been asked recently over Apple’s place in the tablet market, as the iPad is one of the most expensive on the market. Last week at I/O 2012, Google and ASUS teamed up to announce the Nexus 7, a 7inch tablet which packs a punch for an amazingly low price tag.
The new iPad is thought the be launched in October this year. Personally, I’m glad that tablets are finally starting to become cheaper than laptops.
Google Chrome is the world’s most popular desktop web browser. It recently launched on Android tablets and phones leading iOS owners to ask the question, ‘what about us?’.
Well, Google Chrome will launch on iOS today as announced at Google I/O today. The new browser will look and work the same as the Android counterpart, including incognito mode.
Finally, I can include my iPad in the web browsing sync I have going between my phone and laptop.
Update: I type this update from Chrome on iPad, available in iTunes with a quick search for ‘chrome’. Just as expected, it’s brilliant.