iPad Air First Impressions

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I didn’t get the iPad Air but I did get to see one and use one today at my local Apple store and got some impressions for it. I also was able to snap a few pictures of the iPad and it does look nice. Here are my thoughts.

Design:

I like the design that is taken from the iPad mini. It is essentially a bigger version of it. The design with thinner bezels is a good one especially because the screen will tell when you are holding it so it won’t mistake it with a touch for say a button.

Screen:

All I can say here is that the screen is remarkable just like the other iPads with retina displays.

Weight:

The weight surprised me especially after having an iPad 3 that is heavy for a tablet. The iPad Air does take after it’s name. I cannot even tell the difference of weight from the iPad Mini and the new iPad Air and that’s something remarkable and I think that is a reason alone for a lot of users to upgrade from their current generation.

Performance:

Sense I used the floor model I have limited things I can do. However opening apps, viewing 3D buildings, and running games all ran smoothly. A lot better on the iPad 3 I have been using but that was indeed a bad choice with processor. The A7 displays amazing power in the device and will be enough to handle almost anything you throw at it.

Bottom Line:

The iPad Air seems to be a very good option if you are looking for a large screen tablet with an all day battery life. In terms of portability and weight this iPad is the best out of all generations. The weight alone is enough of a reason to upgrade because it will allow you to take it more places and make you want to use it more and more. The power is great enough for anything you want to do on the iPad. The thinness of the device is staggering and the display is absolutely incredible. The iPad is pricy starting at $500 for 16gb on wifi but if you are looking for an amazing tablet that you can bring anywhere loaded with apps this is your device.

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WWDC 2013 Rumor Roundup

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WWDC 2013 is happening in a little less than 3 days so it is time to take all the information learned about what Apple could release and put it into one giant post. Let’s get started

iOS 7

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This is what most people are the most excited about it would seem I can tell you for a fact it is what I am most excited about. Last year Scott Forstall was pushed out of Apple by Tim Cook making Jony Ive in charge of iOS and that makes me very excited for a few reasons.

Flat Design

There is no real doubt of iOS getting a real change in design now after Tim Cook pretty much confirmed this at D11. Ive is expected to kill the “skeumorphic” or real world textures in the new iOS. For example if you were to go into the calendar it looks like an actual calendar. Ive is expected to get rid of this sort of design and actually I don’t know how I feel about it. It doesn’t really bother me but I want to see some changes and it will be interesting. Recently snapchat went “flat”.

It is told that iOS will be more of a gray and white texture with different colored navigation bars such as an app being white but with say blue or red buttons and navigation bars.

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Image by Dirk Jan Haarsma on Dribbble

Hopefully weather will see an update to the new sort of design by Ive to be a more animated concept sort of like the weather channel app but in an Ive Apple sort of way. The image above shows a great example of what we could see.

Image Credit: 9TO5Mac
Image Credit: 9TO5Mac

Notification center could have much improvement and Apple knows it. There could be more information showed there. The Image above made by 9to5mac shows what could happen with more information such as news to be in a sort of widget. Hopefully if this does happen Apple will let 3rd party apps have the ability to take advantage of notification widgets.

Social

There have been news around saying iOS 7 may include the ability to quickly upload photos to Flickr and videos to Vimeo. This would sort of be like how you share with Facebook/Twitter for photos and Youtube with videos you take.

Apple may also include Airdrop between iOS devices and Mac devices in this update. This function would allow you to quickly share information to other iOS devices and Mac’s. What specifically would be allowed to be transferred could include photos, documents, contact information, and more. However there were rumors of this being tested in iOS 6 being pulled right before launch.

Maps

Maps for me is fine. It gets me from point A to point B very well to be honest but that is not the case for other users and it needs to be changed. Hopefully Apple has something up their sleeves for more 3D cities and better navigation data.

Siri

Siri again works well for me but I wish it could do more. It needs to have offline mode for some simple tasks such as opening an app and calling say a contact but even more important than that it needs developer support. I want to be able to tell it to play a pandora station or something. Needs to happen and I think Apple will bring it to us with iOS 7.

Multitasking

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Everyone I have talked to has agreed the multitasking needs to be changed. It seems to be plain and boring compared to the multitasking of other OS’s including Android. While Apple may not do this a card style multitasking system may be introduced with the next version of iOS.

OS X 10.9

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WWDC isn’t just going to be the hub of iOS, OS X 10.9 is going to be released at the keynote as well which yesterday Sea Lion for a name has been popping around due to the sort of wavy banner you see above.

Interface

While iOS 7 is supposed to get rid of the skeumorphic design 10.9 is rumored to keep the design keeping the calendar leathery. Eventually we will see the Mac remove these items and designs but for now it seems we are going to have to deal with them

Power

There has been word that 10.9 will add more features for power users such as myself while keeping the operating system relatively simple for those who want the OS to be as simple and user friendly as can be. An example of this would be tabbed browsing instead of multiwindow.

Full screen mode is supposed to have better support when connected to an external display. As it currently stands if you are on your Mac using a display for a secondary display and not mirroring and enter a fullscreen app you will have the basic Linen texture doing absolutely nothing for you. Apple knows of this problem and is going to let you do something with the secondary display in fullscreen mode.

Back To The Mac

The main point Steve Jobs made when introducing Lion was that Apple was taking what they had learned from iOS and what people loved and brought it to the Mac. Apple did this with more features in Mountain Lion and it seems they are going to be doing the same thing with 10.9.

Apple may bring the App Switcher in the current iOS or if they are making a newer one for iOS then the newer one and bringing it to the Mac. This would benefit users who are accustomed to iOS and would allow better power and battery management running multiple apps.

Siri is also expected to make it’s way onto the Mac to help you with the same things it does with iOS hopefully with developer support.

Hardware

As for hardware I wouldn’t expect any iOS devices to make an appearance with updated hardware at WWDC. However there may be some new Macbooks that come into light at the conference.

MacBook Air

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9to5mac has pricing information that appears to point to new MacBook Airs to come to light next week. The additions seem to be duel microphones and faster processors. The update would also include faster 802.11 AC networking. A retina display seems unlikely but with the addition of Intel’s new faster and battery efficient Haswell chipsets it could happen but at WWDC may be unlikely.

MacBook Pro

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There is little talk of the MacBook Pro retina or not being updated at WWDC but it is very possible that the 13inch Retina MacBook Pro could be updated with faster networking with a thinner design.

iRadio

Saved this for last because I am not really to sure about this one. Today it was told iRadio is a go as all major record labels had agreed with Apple’s terms for the service but if Apple decides to announce it at WWDC is a very valid question because they don’t have to they can wait for the launch of new iPod’s and iTunes later this year.

The service is expected to be a sort of Pandora style experience streaming what a user has previously listened to. Also the songs would be based of interest of the user and the service could pull user data from songs purchased through iTunes or on devices running iTunes in general.

Pricing would be free but there would be ads with the service and of course a paid version for all ads free.

Coverage:

I will be covering as much as I can through my twitter (@matthewjagiela) and I will have my twitter feed on the top right of the site the day of the keynote. It is yet to be known if Apple will allow users to stream it live. The Keynote is supposed to be 2 hours long with the Betas to released to developers after the Developer portal is back up.

Read More: What I Want To See in iOS 7 (iPhone) (iPad).

Lets Talk iOS 7 (iPad)

NewI talked about some things I wanted to see with iOS 7 in the iPhone and now I am going to do the same thing with the iPad. So lets get started.

Multitasking

For multitasking I want it pretty much the same as what I said with the iPhone. Live tiles with toggles. If you want a more I’m depth look then read it in the iPhone post.

Screens

Now remember this is from a software standpoint so this is not about retina or anything like that. You can find that in let’s talk about the next iPad mini. What I am talking about is 2 different apps side by side. The iPad is supposed to be a post PC device and in many ways it is but there needs to be away for two apps to run side by side at once. Maybe not in this update but someday it has to happen for the iPad to fully beat the PC.

Missing apps

Before we get to the iPad on this one let us take a trip to 2007 with the release of the iPod Touch. The iPod left out some of the most basic apps including email and then later on got them in a software update for $10. Even though the iPad comes with standard apps there are a few missing such as a calculator and weather. Before iOS 6 the iPad didn’t even have a native clock app and instead of just installing a clock they should have brought the missing weather, stocks, calculator, and clocks app into one sort of app or section. Something like dashboard for the mac where you can have different clocks and alarms but also a calculator, stocks, and weather all in the same screen. It makes sense!

Facetime

Now Facetime is going to be a little weird due to the fact that it goes both on the Mac, iPad, and past and current iPhone’s and iPod Touch’s. Now With the iPad there needs to be the ability to be able to talk to more than one person at a time using the giant screen. Even with the iPhone 5’s added screen size there is a way to have more than just one person chatting with you at a time. The iPad could easily fit 3 and the iPhone 5 could fit 2 people. It would work s being able to tell what device you are on then having a “+” near the end call. If both you and the person currently on call are using iPad’s or Macs you can add up to 2 more people and if one person is using an iPhone 5 you can have one extra person. If one person is on an iPhone 4/s then you can’t add someone so the call will still look fine for them.

Screen Sharing

I don’t know about anyone but one of the best things about Messages for Mac and Skype is that you can share your screen with someone so you can tell them how to do something they don’t understand. Something small but I think that would be great especially for people like myself who need to help a lot of people with their iOS problems.

Homescreen

One of the things that has annoyed me ever sense the iPad was introduced was that the home screen is exactly the same as the iPhone. Don’t even deny that it is. Without a few of the default apps the home screen is exactly the same and it is annoying me because there is so much extra space you can put. The iPad has great battery life so yes I am going to say it – GIVE IT WIDGETS. The screen is big enough for them and the battery is good enough to handle them. Just give some functionality to the space and the home screen. I have faith in you Ive don’t disappoint.

Summary

Most things I want for the iPad are also in the iPhone version of this same post. So if you want to check it out: Let’s Talk iOS 7 (iPhone). I have hopes for iOS 7. I think it’s going to be great for something new.

AT&T loosens up, allows FaceTime on LTE For most

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AT&T is famous for annoying their customers with iPhones. At the launch of iOS 6 AT&T made it so only members with a shared data plan would be able to use FaceTime off 4G. It seems AT&T has learned that was a reason many people were leaving their network for Verizon and will make it so anyone without an unlimited data plan can use FaceTime over cellular.

Of course it says LTE device meaning iPad 3,4 and iPhone 5 customers exclusively with the upcoming LTE iPad mini as well. It says LTE models but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will not run off of AT&T 4G hspa+ networks as LTE doesn’t cover very many places. This will be available in the next 8 to 10

This means users with an LTE enabled device running on AT&T will be able to FaceTime on cellular data as long as you don’t have an unlimited data plan.

iPad Mini Review

The iPad Mini is here and yes like other launches in the past I got mine the first day so I could bring you a speedy review of the new tablet Apple has to offer and answer the question: Is this iPad Mini really worthy of carrying the iPad tittle and what are the good’s and bad’s of this new device. Let’s get started

Design

The first thing I want to start with is the design. This is now a smaller iPad, if anything it is a bigger iPod Touch. The design is the exact same without the color options really. Same form factor as the new iPod Touch just without the colored aluminum on the back. It is the same slate or silver you find on the new iPhone 5 with the mirror sort of bezel around the screen. The home button is smaller than the iPhone 5 which is surprising and has sort of the same solid feel the iPhone 5 has where you don’t have to worry about it breaking after using it so many times. There is on the bottom for the first time stereo speakers next to the brand new lightning connector that made its debut with the iPhone 5. There is 2 volume up and down buttons where it’s big brother has sort of the unified rocker and of course the mute/rotation slider. On the back a 5 megapixel camera and the front has a facetime HD camera. All of this delivered in a device as thing as a pencil. Let me tell you it feels good in the hand(s). A lot better than the iPad 2/3/4 that could cut into your hands with the teardrop design.

Screen

The screen is honestly the only real problem I have with this device. After being spoiled with the retina display in the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 the screen is a disappointment, however it is not as bad as everyone is making it to be. The only thing is yes text does look terrible. However if you are playing a game or even using it for a couple of minutes your eyes will adjust and it will be fine. The colors are bright and so is the screen. There is no way they could have put a retina display in something this small and thin. Maybe next year they will have the technology for it.

Software

The software for the mini the user can tell is pretty basic iOS 6. You got the now famous maps app that you may hate or love and some other goodies. Now the things the user doesn’t notice is what gives Apple the advantage. Apple makes their hardware and software so they can make the software perfect for the hardware. For example the mini has incredibly small bezels compared to the iPad. The thing is however you can still rest your thumbs on each side of the device fully touching the screen and the software can tell you are just resting so the software doesn’t freak out. It’s something you won’t notice but would be annoyed with if it wasn’t there. Of course you also have siri and that is either a hit or miss with you. I also like that they made the iPad Mini run iPad Apps and iPhone apps. However be warned the iPhone apps will look TERRIBLE on the mini.

Speed

The iPad Mini runs the A5 processor found in the iPad 2, iPhone 4s, and iPod Touch 5. Even though the processor is a few years old apps launch fast and the operating system can keep up with lots you have to throw at it. How it stands in a few years will be anyones guess but for now the mini handles apps and data very fast with wifi speeds at 43mb/s. LTE models will be available soon for all of you who need to use your mini without wifi… Or you could do what I do and tether your iPhone to the mini, your call.

Big Brother

So which one should you go for the iPad 4 or Mini? Well the answer is a lot more complicated than you might think. If you already have an iPad with retina display I would say stay away. If you are looking to upgrade the iPad 4 with the new A6x and retina display may be the way to go. It runs everything a lot faster and has an amazing retina display. However it is big. If you need something portable and light you should go with the Mini. The screen isn’t that bad and it does run thing very fast. It would make a great iPad for most. It all depends if you want small and portable or big and powerful.

Summary

The iPad Mini is great. The worst thing about it really is the screen which really isn’t that bad. The price makes it a little less compelling to people who are looking only at price however in terms of usability you will want a mini over the competition. You can use both iPhone and iPad apps on the mini which make it better than android tablets which have mostly blown up phone apps not optimized for the display like iPad apps for the mini. The form factor is great and the software is great as well. The mini is very fast and is portable as well. The design is great and it feels remarkable to use. In some ways it is better than the big iPad 4. It all depends what you are looking for big and powerful or small and portable.

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iPad Mini First Impressions

The iPad mini is officially here into the world of the consumers and I want to share my first impressions. A later review will be coming soon I just need a little more time testing the device. Expect it at the end of this weekend.

Screen

Compared to the retina displays I will be completely honest this is a disappointment. I was hoping I wouldn’t notice it and when I am playing games I don’t. It’s text that is the main issue here. The text looks fuzzy but it is better than the iPad and iPad 2 but it doesn’t beat out the iPad 3 at all. The iPhone’s have better displays it feels but thats okay because this is a first generation, images look okay, if you use it long enough you’ll start to not even notice or really care. The screen displays colors very nice and it makes up a little for the lack of retina.

Size

I will do a complete review of this later but I do like the size and that’s all that needs to be said right now.

Speed

I have been spoiled by the iPhone and iPad 3rd generation so the iPad Mini seems a little sluggish but it isn’t really. For an A5 it works very fast. The network is fast for an A5 getting around 32 mb/s which is more than enough.

So that’s all I am going to cover. I cannot cover battery times yet because I am trying to drain it for the first charge to get 100% to almost 0 usage times. I will cover more about the screen,speed, iOS, and day to day usage later this weekend. For all of you who got one or are holding up for the LTE model I think you are going to enjoy it if you can get over being a little spoiled with the display.