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Review: Microsoft Office for iPad

Microsoft Office for the iPad

After years of speculation, Microsoft Office finally arrived on the iPad.  But was it worth the wait?  We look at Word, Excel and PowerPoint to see whether or not Microsoft Office made the transition to touch-enabled productivity.

More iPad Info:
iPad Spotlight10

Is the iPad Doomed?

Tuesday April 22, 2014

With rumors that sales have stagnated, there's a lot of doom and gloom surrounding the iPad in the media these days. USA Today thinks the iPad is in "big trouble," while the Mac Observer notes how the iPad missed out on increased sales. And many analysts believe iPad sales for the quarter could drop year-over-year.

So is this the beginning of the end for the iPad, or is this just a bump in the road?

I can't help but think about Android. Gartner puts the sales of Android tablets in 2013 at 62% compared to iPad's 36%. But when I think about Android, I don't think about marketshare. I think about how I never see Android tablets. I see iPads all the time. If I stop to get a coffee, I often see someone on their iPad. If I go to a restaurant, it's not uncommon to see a kid playing on an iPad.

It's the same thing my editor said to me about a year ago, and the same thing ZDNet wrote about a few weeks ago. If Android tablets are so popular these days, where the heck are they?

Among the most popular Android tablets are Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Note, ASUS's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire series of tablets. According to Gartner, 36% of tablets sold in 2013 were iPads. Samsung's market share was 19.1%, ASUS had 5.6% and Amazon had 4.8%. The most popular Android tablets had 29.5% of the market share compared to the iPad's 36%.

So what about the remaining 35%? Windows-based tablets account for 2%, but what about Read More...

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Now Available for iPad

Wednesday April 16, 2014

After a partial release in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, Heartstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now available worldwide on the iPad. Hearthstone leverages Blizzard's most popular intellectual property to take a giant step in the ever popular arena of collectible card games. The iPad version comes a month after the release of Hearthstone for the PC and Mac.

A fully-featured version of the game, Blizzard is giving away a bonus pack of cards to those who download the iPad version. A player's cards are synced across the PC and mobile versions of the game, so you can play on your desktop at home and on your iPad while on the go. Later this year, Blizzard is releasing a single-player adventure mode called Curse of Naxxramas.

You can download Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft on the App Store

Also check out the top collectible card games on the iPad.

Used vs Refurbished iPad

Monday April 14, 2014

The two most common ways to save money when buying an iPad is to go with a used iPad bought through a popular site like eBay or Craigslist or going with a refurbished iPad. So what's the difference and which route should you take? The answer to that relies mainly on how much you are looking to save and how much risk you are willing to take on with your new iPad.

A refurbished iPad differs from a used iPad in that it has been repaired and tested to make sure it works. If bought through Apple's online store -- and I highly recommend going through Apple when buying refurbished -- you will get a 1-year warranty with your refurbished tablet. You may not save as much as with a used iPad, but you get the safety net of the warranty and can get a decent discount off the price. And even better, you can go with an older model of iPad to get even more savings. You can shop for refurbished iPads on Apple's website.

You'll likely get the best deal on a used iPad, but this comes with greater risk. Buying on eBay is a relatively safe process -- eBay protects buyers if your tablet arrives in a condition other than described on the website -- but there is no guarantee that you'll find any problems right out of the box. For example, you may not know that the headphone jack is broken until you actually test the headphone jack. The same exists for buying on Craigslist or going other routes to find a used iPad. It is very important to check out the iPad as much as possible before buying it, which includes listening to it on headphones, checking the speakers, making sure the volume buttons work, plugging it in to make sure it charges correctly, and anything else you can think of to help check out the device.

How to Buy an iPad

Also, it is important to reset the iPad to factory default if it didn't come that way. Resetting to factory default can actually solve some issues, so if the iPad is acting peculiar, resetting it could straighten it up.

My Recommendation: Go with a refurbished unit. You really aren't going to save too much more going used, and the extra peace of mind is worth it. Tech savvy folks with a lot of experience with the iPad may feel comfortable going used, but if you have doubts, go refurbished.

More About the iPad:
How to Save Space on Your iPad
How to Expand the Storage on Your iPad
The Best External Hard Drives for the iPad

Will the iPad Air 2 Be Faster Than a Macbook Air?

Thursday April 10, 2014

Amid suggestions from analysts that Apple should develop a hybrid device capable of running both iOS and Mac OS, effectively making it both an iPad and a Macbook, JP Morgan speculates the next iPad may exceed a Macbook Air in terms of raw processing power. According to JP Morgan, the expected A8 chip that will power the next generation of iPads and iPhones will be more powerful than Intel's i5 chipset, the processor of choice for most entry-level and mid-range laptops.

This educated guess may not be far from the truth. While the iPad 3 ran virtually the same processor as the iPad 2, with enhanced graphics added to the A5X to help power the Retina Display, Apple tripled the iPad's performance with the introduction of the iPad 4. And while many in the media dismissed the addition of a 64-bit architecture to the iPad Air, the change helped the iPad Air to effectively double the processing power as the iPad 4. If Apple can double the processing power with the iPad Air 2, benchmarks would put it around the same range as the MacBook Air, which uses Intel's i5 chipset.

Microsoft Office for iPad Tips and Tricks

And Apple has an easy way to hit that target: a quad-core processor. The iPad Air currently runs on a 1.4 Ghz Dual-Core processor as part of the A7 system-on-a-chip. A jump to a quad-core processor could help the next iPad exceed the MacBook Air in multi-core benchmarks.

But while the iPad may be within reach of the Macbook Air in terms of processing power, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Apple to create a hybrid product. Not only has CEO Tim Cook already dismissed the suggestion of a hybrid iPad-Macbook, it doesn't make much strategic sense in the long run. The smarter plan is to continue beefing up iOS. The iPad's processor may be catching up with laptops, but the operating system is still lagging behind. Given an iOS that can compete on a level playing field with Mac OS and Windows, the iPad really could start chomping up the laptop marketplace.

Microsoft Office vs iWork

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