Federico Viticci on Why the iPad Became His Main Computer

 

iPad Air 2 Review: Why the iPad Became My Main Computer – MacStories

I’m lucky enough to be able to use my iPad as my main computer on a daily basis. For the past three months, I’ve only been using my Mac to record podcasts on Skype twice a week, download torrents, and follow an Apple live earnings call. I’ve gradually removed many reasons why I needed a Mac and I’m now enjoying better results on a computer that has a high-res display, weighs less than a pound, and is constantly connected to the Internet over 4G with a battery that lasts 10 hours.
The iPad Air 2 has allowed me to eschew the physical constraints of a computer that isn’t as portable as I’d need it to be. My type of work allows me to do most of my computing on an iPad, and, while I realize that it’s not for everyone, the iPad is the computer for me, and I expect the apps and workflows that are still Mac-only to fade over time and transform into new iOS experiences, just as they’ve done over the last three years. The software innovation that is taking place on iOS and the App Store is unparalleled, and I have personally witnessed how iOS has evolved and changed my work routine since 2012.

As Myke Hurley said in this week’s episode of ‘Connected’, Federico Viticci by writing this piece has convinced me more than what Apple has been doing lately on the long term practical uses for the iPad. Fantastic piece.

iPad initial complaints seem ridiculous 5 years on

 

iPad haters’ initial complaints seem ridiculous 5 years on | Cult of Mac

Some great reminders on how judgement was made too early;

iPad is for consuming, not producing

“Let’s face it: The iPad is basically a mobile device front-end for the iTunes Store,” wrote snippy Redditor thewriteguy soon after the iPad was announced. “And the consumer (I wouldn’t call them a ‘user’) is charged $500 for the privilege of shopping iTunes with it.”

He’s right about one thing: The iPad is a fantastic device for consuming media. It’s great for surfing the Web, watching YouTube videos, reading ebooks and anything else that your phone is too small for and your notebook’s not immediately convenient for. At its most basic, the iPad is a screen you carry around with you, and more than a century of cinema has taught us that screens are great for passive consumption.

But the idea that the iPad is not a productivity device in its own right is ludicrous. Apple has always targeted the creative end of the market first and foremost — and the iPad has excelled in that arena. When Bentley set out to shoot a new ad last year, the iPad’s iMovie app allowed them to carry out the majority of editing work from the back seat of their car, adding a whole new level of immediacy. Meanwhile, apps like itSeez3D allow people to transform their tablets into 3-D scanners, giving them a tool that previously wasn’t within the grasp of the average user.

The iPad is increasingly used for more traditional business work as well. Microsoft Office 365 was a huge hit, both commercially and critically, when it arrived on iOS last year. Apple’s 2014 deal with IBM (which we called the biggest tech news of last year) also brought a slew of new enterprise productivity apps to Apple’s tablet, offering tools to people working in everything from banking to telecommunications.

I had many a discussion initially with people regarding Flash and it’s mobile demise and so was proved;

The lack of Flash on the iPad is one of those time-capsule complaints that, like teenage problems, felt oh-so-important at the time but now gets shrugged off with a “why did we ever care about that?” nonchalance.
Here in 2015, not even Android supports Flash anymore — and it hasn’t done so for a few years. Flash is dying out, and it’s a rare occasion when you visit a website on an iPad that can’t be viewed properly because of the tablet’s lack of Flash support.

Review: iKettle – The World’s First Wifi Kettle!

 

Yesterday I took delivery of the iKettle – a new type of kettle that unlike 99% of the other kettles on the market, is advertised as a wifi-enabled device that can be controllable by your iPhone or Android device, made by a company called Smarter Apps.

Design kettle side

Upon removing the iKettle from the packaging, it comes in 2 pieces. You have the base which has the coil for the kettle to sit on and connect to which houses the power cord and the buttons to control the device manually. The second piece is the actual kettle itself, made from stainless steel which has a nice finish and for which you can also buy different coloured ’skins’ so that you can customise the look to suit your tastes. On top of the device is a hinged plastic lid which opens easily with the touch of a button, enabling you hold the kettle and open the lid with one hand whilst you use your spare hand to manage the tap. It’s a small but important detail that too many other kettles fall down at due to removable lids. The iKettle holds a maximum of 1.8 litres which upon examination with my existing kettle, proved to be able to store more water and therefore less re-fills! The indicator to show you how much water it can hold, is on the inside but is easily viewable when filling the iKettle with water and is not obscured which again is another positive over most kettles.

Design kettle top png

Upon connecting the base unit to the power socket and switching it on, there is a standby button on the base which pulses a red light to indicate that it is in standby mode. After filling with water, I easily connected the iKettle to it’s base and pressed the standby button. At this point, you could hear it starting to boil the water and on the base there are several buttons alluding to different temperatures that you can choose to boil the water at – I left it on the default 100c. Whilst inspecting the buttons, I also noticed a keep warm button which states in the manual that after boiling the water, it will aim to keep the temperature of the water the same for 20 minutes which works by re-boiling the water (only for a few seconds) so you don’t have to completely re-boil the kettle if you were not ready to pour when it initially finishes it’s boiling cycle which is another positive.

I wouldn’t say that iKettle was any faster or slower than any average kettle for the time it took to actually boil the water, in fact I am sure there are kettles on the market which can boil water quicker than the iKettle but the whole point of this kettle is the convenience and the fact that you can remotely activate the iKettle to start boiling when you are somewhere else in your home or office!

Nexus 22

Which leads me onto the accompanying iPhone app. Once you have downloaded the free app from the App store, upon first use of the app you are guided via on-screen instructions on how to connect the iKettle to your existing wifi network. Upon successful connection, you get a nice user interface with touch screen buttons to be able to turn on and off the iKettle, keep warm, change temperature settings etc. If you access the menu within the app, you will discover more settings where you can have the app automatically prompt you at set times of the day to whether you would like the app to tell the iKettle to start boiling the kettle. It also has another feature where you can set your home location between certain times of the day and your phone will recognise when you have arrived home and will prompt you with a ‘Welcome home, shall I pop the kettle on?” message where you can then tap yes to start the iKettle boiling remotely. You can customise the app so that it can give you notifications on when to refill the iKettle and when it has boiled, when it’s not attached to the base etc.

Upon using the product for the last 24 hours, I have noticed that it would be nice for the iKettle to automatically turn on at certain times of the day rather than at the moment where it just prompts you to turn on at certain times of the day – you still have to tap yes in the app but upon speaking with their customer support today, they did confirm that feature is being worked on for the next release of the app which will be a free software update via the App Store.

 

Product Features:

  • Control your iKettle via your mobile device
  • Easy one-touch set up
  • Wake up and Welcome home mode/Timer
  • Choose from four temperature settings
  • Keep warm feature keeps the iKettle at your desired temperature for up to 30 minutes
  • Super easy to clean – removable filter and no internal element
  • Auto shut off with boil-dry protection
  • Stainless steel design with soft-touch handle
  • LED backlit control panel
  • iKettle skins:
    • Available in Blue, Green, Pink, Taupe & Yellow
    • Match your kettle to your kitchen
    • Reduces the risk of accidental burns
    • Insulates, keeping your water warmer for longer
    • Lovely soft-touch feel silicone
    • Simple to fix and remove
  • Connectivity:
    • Wireless 802.11b/gx
    • WPA/WPA2
    • Works on Android 4+ and Apple iOS7+
    • Requires a 2.4Ghz router
  • Power:
    • Has a standard 3-pin UK plug
    • Voltage 220-240V
    • For use outside of the UK, the iKettle will require a transformer to bring the voltage to 220-240V (not included)
    • Frequency 50/60Hz
    • Power input 1850-2200X
  • Box Contents:
    • iKettle
    • WiFi Base Unit

Dimensions:

  • Kettle Capacity is approximately 1.8 Litres
  • Box Measures approximately 21cm(W) x 24cm(H) x 20.5cm(D)
  • Weighs approximately 1.6kg


 
Pros:

  • Fantastic Remote Control
  • Boil Dry protection with prompt to refill with water
  • Quality, polished feel to the design
  • Simple, effective reliable accompanying app to control
  • Better than average water capacity
  • One handed re-fill operation capability
  • Choice of different colour skins to customise to your own taste
Cons:

  • Needs automatic scheduling to turn on rather than prompting (being worked on)
  • 4-5 minutes boil time from cold
  • Standby light constantly pulses when not in use

Summary

Overall, I am very impressed with the world’s first wifi kettle and it has lived up to my hopes and expectations since pre-ordering the product earlier this year. The potential for 3rd party developer integration with existing home automation products like SmartThings and Wemo etc., all point to an exciting future and this is another device and appliance than can be controlled within ‘The Internet of Things’. It is a niche product, there is no denying that but as I said, integrating this type of device with existing automation technology and to see how developers can further the experience, points to an exciting future – as long as they stop for tea breaks.

Apple plans to Introduce split-screen iPad multitasking in iOS 8

 

Mark Gurman:

The ability to use multiple applications simultaneously on a tablet’s display takes a page out of Microsoft’s playbook. Microsoft’s Surface line of tablets has a popular “snap” multitasking feature that allows customers to snap multiple apps onto the screen for simultaneous usage. The feature is popular in the enterprise and in environments where users need to handle multiple tasks at the same time.

Microsoft has even released an ad comparing multitasking features for the Surface and iPad:

The feature has opened up the door for the Surface to be a true laptop replacement, and will further herald the iPad as Apple’s vision of the future for mobile computing.

In addition to allowing for two iPad apps to be used at the same time, the feature is designed to allow for apps to more easily interact, according to the sources. For example, a user may be able to drag content, such as text, video, or images, from one app to another.

A sure sign of Apple evolving the iPad and iOS is when they embrace ideas that competitors already have, but ideas that Apple have stayed away from to make sure they get it right. I have always preferred the focused-one app at a time scenario but even if Apple just made the feature an option in settings, it still further makes the iPad and iOS in particular more powerful still.

Apple’s iPad is still the most beloved tablet

 

Ben Zigterman:

Despite an onslaught of competititon, Apple’s iPad received the highest marks on the latest J.D. Power tablet satisfaction survey. According to the survey of over 2,500 tablet users, the iPad ranked first in every category except price and its overall satisfaction score of 830 out of 1,000 beat Samsung at 822, Asus at 820, Amazon at 817, and Acer at 769.

The survey mesaured satisfaction across five differrent categories with some categories receiving more weight than others. They include performance (28%), ease of operation (22%), features (22%), styling and design (17%), and cost (11%).

Samsung performed well in the features, styling and design, and cost categories.

Apple has traditionally performed well in J.D. Power surveys. The iPhone has received it’s highest ranking for the past few years, and in 2012 and 2013, the iPad was the top tablet, although in a survey from the second-half of 2013, Samsung briefly took the lead. Overall, Samsung’s tablets have improved their satisfaction ratings over the past couple years, while Amazon’s Kindle Fire’s ratings have declined.

There’s iPad – then there is everything else.

What’s a ‘carrier update’ for iPhone or iPad and why do we get them?

What’s a ‘carrier update’ for iPhone or iPad and why do we get them?

Allyson Kazmucha:

Carrier updates are used to help your iPhone and iPad communicate with the carrier network. These files typically contain information concerning voice networks, cellular data, voicemail settings, personal hotspot, and any other service your carrier provides. For example, with the recent AT&T visual voicemail issues on iOS 7, the only way for it to be fixed is through a carrier update, since it’s part that makes iOS and your chosen network play nicely together.

This is why people that frequently switch between carriers by swapping SIM cards may receive carrier updates more often than people who keep their SIM card in just one iPhone. For example, if you travel and your iPhone 5s is unlocked, you can simply replace your AT&T SIM with a 3 UK SIM or any other international sim card you’d like. More often than not, the international carrier will push an update to your iPhone so it talks to the network better.

When prompted to install a carrier update, It’s never really explained what the update is going to do and you only really see it when you are upgrading your phone or replacing your handset but feel free to install it anytime you are prompted to do so.