Archive for the ‘apple ipad tablet’ tag

Extended Battery Pack/Stand for iPad   no comments

Posted at 10:53 am in Apple iPad,Random

Kensington has announced a somewhat different accessory for the iPad.  The PowerBack slips over the back of the iPad and integrates a supplemental battery pack with a stand.  The batteryKensington-PowerBack-iPad-Extended-Battery-Stand will provide up to five extra hours of power and comes with an LED battery gauge.  The stand adjusts to three different positions; landscape mode, portrait mode and a lower angle typing mode.  There is also a built-in USB port, so you can sync and charge.

The MSRP for the PowerBack is $129.99.  The PowerBack is not available just yet, though Amazon already has a page up for it.

The main drawback seems to me to be that this will add considerable bulk and some weight (12 ounces) to the iPad, but if you need the extended battery life . . .


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Written by Richard on September 14th, 2010

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iPad Heads to China   no comments

Posted at 8:18 am in Apple iPad,Random

Apple announced today that it will begin selling the Wi-Fi versions of the iPad in China this coming Friday, September 17.  The iPad will be offered to Chinese customers via Apple Retail Stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers. 

Customers who purchase their new iPads at an Apple Store will be offered a free Personal Setup service to help them customize their new tablet, load their favorite apps from the App Store and more.  Apple Stores will also be hosting iPad workshops to help users learn to get the most from their iPads.

In China the iPad Wi-Fi  will sell for CNY3988 ($590) for 16GB, CNY4788 ($708) for 32GB and CNY5588 ($826) for the 64GB model.


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Written by Richard on September 13th, 2010

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New iClass Action   no comments

Posted at 8:36 am in Apple iPad,Random

There they go again – another class action has been filed against Apple.  This time against the iPad for allegedly overheating when used under normal operating conditions.

“The iPad was touted as a revolutionary invention — a product that Apple claimed could be used inside or outside and for purposes such as playing games and reading e-books,” claim the attorneys at Scott Cole & Associates, the law firm that filed the action. “Books and board games don’t close up after a few minutes of use and require you to stick them in a refrigerator to cool off.”

While the lawsuit alleges technical problems with the iPad, the focus of the action is on Apple’s advertising of the product. “Had the company told consumers about this issue, at least they could make informed decisions whether to buy it. That’s the crux of the case,” explains Scott Cole. The lawsuit seeks damages, including punitive damages, and restitution for the alleged false advertising scheme.

I’ve seen reports of the iPad shutting down due to overheating, but I’ve not had it happen with mine as of yet.  And I live in the desert.  I’ve also skinned the back panel of my iPad, which might have a small negative impact on the aluminum panel’s heat dissipation characteristics, but in spite of that and even when using the device in 100+ degree weather I have had no problems.  Most of the reports I remember seeing mentioned that the iPad shut down while being used in the sun – I normally don’t use mine outdoors in direct sunlight because the screen is too difficult to see in those conditions.


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Written by Richard on July 29th, 2010

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The Pillars of the Earth – Multimedia Book   no comments

Posted at 10:18 pm in Apple iPad,Multimedia eBooks

Penguin Group (USA) and Starz, LLC have launched whatThe-Pillars-of-the-Earth-Amplified-Edition-iPad-Book-App they are calling the Amplified Edition of Ken Follett’s bestselling novel The Pillars of the Earth.  This iPad app is a tie-in to the Starz Originals 8-hour mini series based on the book.

The Amplified Edition has a number of multimedia and other added features:

  • An interactive Character Tree, housed in a virtual stained glass window, grows as characters are introduced in the book, allowing the reader to learn more about the selected characters and their corresponding relationships. As the story progresses, the stained glass window becomes more intricate and reveals more and more about the characters.
  • Contextual video footage and still images are carefully blended into the eBook from the corresponding section of the Starz series, so readers can choose to watch beautiful clips of cathedrals, horses and men in shining armor while inside the eBook. Or if they prefer, they can watch clips as well as longer scenes in another section of the Amplified Edition.
  • Ken Follett’s Multimedia Diary, which is the author’s on-set impressions of the process of bringing "The Pillars of the Earth" from page to screen.
  • Behind-the-scenes insights into the making of the event series, looking at how the filmmakers captured Follett’s vision and created the medieval world of "The Pillars of the Earth," including interviews with the actors, director and producers.  
  • A Listening Lounge features music – including hymns, soundtrack themes, and battlefield scene scores – from the Starz Originals series.
  • A sneak preview of Ken Follett’s next book coming this fall.

Updates to the book app will, “occur repeatedly while the TV series airs so that consumers who purchase the Amplified Edition will have a dynamic user experience that complements the story and the viewing experience of the 8-part series.”

The Pillars of the Earth is a great book; it remains to be seen if it will be helped by the addition of multimedia.  Nonfiction, how-to and children’s books are examples of material that can benefit from multimedia.  Adding multimedia to a fictional work requires a lot of finesse or it starts looking tacked on and forced and becomes a distraction.

Available now at iTunes.

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iPad News – 7/9/2010   no comments

Posted at 9:06 pm in Apple iPad,Random

Lots of stuff for the iPad today.  A new case from Otterbox, a new stand, reading app news and more.  I’ll start with the case and stand.

Otterbox Ipad Cases

Otterbox is known for their rugged device cases.  There are now two models for the iPad.

The Otterbox Ipad Defender Series Casewas Otterbox-iPad-Defender-Case-with-Stand announced by Otterbox today and should be available to purchase in the very near future.  The Defender has three layers of protection that will drop-proof and dust-proof your iPad while still allowing access to the Ipad’s functions.  The Defender will also accommodate the iPad dock and there is a built-in stand as well.

The Otterbox Ipad Commuter Series Caseis a slightly lighter duty case that comes with a protective film for the iPad’s screen.  Snap-off access for the iPad dock and a stand are included with this case as well. 

The  Commuter Case can be had now for $65, and the Defender Case will be $90.  Please note that these cases do not protect against water.  At the moment the only waterproof cases for the iPad seem to be the TrendyDigital WaterGuardcases or the similarly designed WaterWear for iPad case available from Japan.  There is also the M-Edge Nylon Leisure Jacketwhich is water resistant, but not water proof – probably fine for poolside, but definitely not fine for in the pool or bath.

KB Covers iPad Stand

KB Covers makes a lot of keyboard covers for KB-Stand-for-iPad Apple computers, and today the company announced a new stand which looks a little different than other stands and might better fit certain types of decor.   The legs of this stand are extendable and it comes with a carrying bag.  Available in white or black.

At the moment this stand is only available from the manufacturer and is priced at $29.95.  Through September 30, 2010 you can use the discount code KBSTAND10 at checkout for a 10 percent discount.

Squad QReader App

Russian company Squad has released a new reading app dubbed QReader.  Some of the features:

  • Supported formats: txt, fb2 and htmlQReader-iPad-App
  • Text search
  • Changeable font, font size and page orientation
  • Speed reading trainer
  • Ability to download ebooks with FTP
  • Night mode

The QReader is available for $4.99 at the iTunes store. icon My take: why pay $5 for a reading app when there are great free alternatives with better format support and on which you can also read DRM’ed titles.  But maybe this fits your needs.

Microsoft Page-Turning Patent

TechCrunch is reporting that Microsoft applied for a patent last year for a page-turning animation that replicates the curling of the page when you turn the pages of a paper book.  The patent has not beenPatent-Troll approved yet, but if it is it could mean trouble for reading apps that include this effect.  As far as I am concerned,  this is the one standout feature of the iBooks app.

An abstract from the patent application:

One or more pages are displayed on a touch display. A page-turning gesture directed to a displayed page is recognized. Responsive to such recognition, a virtual page turn is displayed on the touch display. The virtual page turn actively follows the page-turning gesture. The virtual page turn curls a lifted portion of the page to progressively reveal a back side of the page while progressively revealing a front side of a subsequent page. A lifted portion of the page is given an increased transparency that allows the back side of the page to be viewed through the front side of the page. A page-flipping gesture quickly flips two or more pages.

Barnes & Noble Updates eReading App

Barnes & Noble has updated their reading app.  In addition to some minor bug fixes the update includes the following:

  • In-app brightness control
  • Option to permanently delete samples from within the app
  • Two-page view
  • Speed improvements when synchronizing your purchases,  bookmarks, highlights and notes
  • Improved periodical support

New Study on iPad Usage

Mashable covers a new study about how people use their iPads and the effects of the “magical” device on ereaders and other gadgets.  Some of the interesting findings:

  • 49 percent of respondents said they would not buy a dedicated ereader after purchasing their iPad.  38 percent would not buy a portable gaming device.
  • 37 percent of those who planned to buy or already had purchased an iPad said that it was their first Apple device.

eBay Selling and eBay for iPad Apps Available Internationally

eBay announced today that its eBay Selling and eBay for iPad apps are now available internationally.  The Selling app is available in Germany and the UK, while the eBay for iPad app has been translated into French, Italian, German and Spanish for international users.  From the press release:

For the first time, sellers in Germany and the United Kingdom will be able to leverage eBay’s Selling iPhone application to sell items on their local eBay marketplaces. The latest version of the eBay Selling application is the first of eBay’s suite of mobile applications to integrate the accurate RedLaser barcode-scanning technology. eBay sellers in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States will now be able to quickly create listings by simply scanning an item’s barcode to access pricing trends, product details and list items from eBay’s catalog for sale.

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iPad – Pressure Sensitive Drawing   no comments

Posted at 9:05 pm in Apple iPad

Ten One Design is known for their styliwhich work well on iDevices when you need something more precise than a finger for your drawing and other tasks.  The company has recently uploaded a video to YouTube demonstrating  new software that adds pressure sensitivity.

Ten One Design says that they plan on releasing the pressure sensitizing capability as part of a free software library in order that it can be included in any application.  Unfortunately the software uses a private function call to access information which is frowned upon by Apple, so it is unknown whether this will ever make it into the app store.

As you can see in the video, the pressure applied with the stylus determines the line thickness.   The software also filters out finger and hand presses, meaning that you can rest your palm on the iPad while drawing – cool!  The case shown in the video is the Ten One Design Particle Casefor the iPad, which has a clip on the edge for the stylus.

(via Electricpig)

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Written by Richard on July 5th, 2010

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Class Action Against Apple and AT&T   no comments

Posted at 8:21 am in Apple iPad,Random

At least one class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple and AT&T alleging that the companies fraudulently marketed the 3G iPad.  I was kind of expecting this when AT&T announced the end of the unlimited 3G data plan on June 7.  From the press release:

 Michael W. Sobol of the national plaintiffs’ law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, announced that three consumers yesterday filed an amended complaint in a nationwide class action lawsuit against Apple and AT&T for fraud in connection with the sale and marketing of the iPad and associated data plans.

The complaint charges that Apple and AT&T misrepresented that consumers purchasing an iPad with 3G capability, which cost $130 more than an iPad without 3G capability, could choose an unlimited data plan for a fixed monthly rate and could switch in and out of the unlimited plan on a monthly basis as they wished. Less than six weeks after its introduction to the U.S. market, AT&T and Apple have discontinued their unlimited data plan for any iPad 3G customers not currently enrolled and prohibited current unlimited data plan customers from switching back and forth from a less expensive, limited data plan or no data plan to the unlimited plan.

"The availability of an unlimited data plan was a key reason why consumers paid the extra $130 charge to access the 3-G network, and their ability to switch in and out of the unlimited data plan was also an important consideration in the decision to purchase an iPad," stated Lieff Cabraser attorney Michael W. Sobol. "The complaint alleges that Apple and AT&T should have known at the time they were promoting the availability of unlimited data plans, they were not going to keep that promise."

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Written by Richard on June 25th, 2010

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Apple Reconsiders, Allows Original Joyce Seen Content   1 comment

Posted at 1:34 pm in Apple iPad,Random

Last week the developers of a comic version of the James Joyce classic Ulysses titled Ulysses Seen were forced by Apple to remove a scene with nudity before the app was approved as an iPad application.  The image in question was a single panel of the comic which depicted a woman with exposed breasts. 

After some bemused press reports (see the NYT article) of the incident Apple has reconsidered.  CBR (via twitter) reports that Apple has contacted the creators of the comic app, Rob Berry and Josh Levitas, and informed them that they would be able to put Ulysses Seen iconon the iPad in its original form.

Rob Berry is quoted at CBR:

I think that part bothers me most of all. Apple has not made a statement regarding new guidelines but has contacted previously submitted comics that may’ve been restricted and invited  them to re-submit. They’ve not been clear about policy and haven’t made any official comments that I’m aware, but we can all see the broken glass on the floor as their ceiling for mature content has shattered.

This makes me wonder how Apple’s policies are going to play out internationally.  For example, by all accounts the iPad is very big in Japan.  If you have seen many manga then you will realize that a lot of these are going to have problems getting past Apple’s censors and onto the iPad.  If something is considered acceptable in another culture should Apple be banning it on the iPad in that country based on what it deems acceptable in its vision of American culture?

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Written by Richard on June 15th, 2010

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IBM Brings Lotus Notes to iPad   no comments

Posted at 8:34 am in Apple iPad,Random

From the press release:

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an expansion of IBM Lotus messagingIBM-Logo and collaboration software with the delivery of secure enterprise mail for the Apple iPad. The news was announced at both the Deutsche Notes User Group in Berlin and the Apple Developers Conference in San Francisco. 

IBM Lotus Notes Traveler is no charge software that can be downloaded by Lotus Notes customers providing two-way, over-the-air synchronization of enterprise e-mail, calendar and contact between Lotus Domino servers and mobile devices, including the iPad.  This means that Lotus Notes based information will automatically synchronize and be up to date on the device.  Lotus Notes Traveler also allows iPad users to enjoy the security of per message mail encryption.

Lotus Notes Traveler Companion is a free app and is available in the iTunes App Store. icon

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Written by Richard on June 8th, 2010

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Steve Jobs at the World Wide Developers Conference   no comments

Posted at 11:49 am in Apple iPad,Random

Steve Jobs has been speaking at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference 2010 in San Francisco.  Some items of interest re this blog:

  • 5 million ebooks downloaded on the iPad so far
  • A new version of iBooks should be out this month and will include note taking, one click bookmarking, and PDF compatibility
  • iBooks coming to the iPhone 4

Most of the rest of the presentation is about the new iPhone 4.

(via Yahoo News)

Update:  5 million ebooks downloaded works out to 2 1/2 ebooks per iPad.  This number is not broken down so we don’t know how many of these downloads are free books.  I imagine one of the first things many new iPad owners do is grab a few ebooks whether or not they intend to use the iPad heavily for reading.  It will be interesting to see if these numbers will maintain over a long period.

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Written by Richard on June 7th, 2010

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