Despite ongoing reports that Android tablets have toppled the iPad in market share, the vast majority of tablet buyers this holiday season are planning to buy an iPad. The new study by Changewave has 72% of people wanting an iPad, with the remainder of the top 5 choices going to the Samsung Galaxy (9%), Google Nexus (9%), Microsoft Surface (8%) and Amazon Kindle Fire (5%). It is interesting to note that the first tablet to really give the iPad competition, Amazon's Kindle Fire, is now being beat out by Microsoft's Surface on wishlists.
What is more interesting about the survey is the comparison to results from an August study. In August, only 55% of the people queried said they wanted an Apple iPad. The release of the iPad Air and the iPad Mini 2 seems to have changed a lot of minds -- and a lot of holiday wishlists.
So which iPad do people want? The iPad Air. 55% of the people questioned were planning to buy the flagship tablet, while 16% were going for the iPad Mini 2. Also, more people are interested in the iPad 2 than the original iPad Mini, which might be an issue of education. The iPad Mini has the same processor and screen resolution, better connectivity, better cameras and a cheaper price than the iPad 2. And at the same price as the iPad 2, the new iPad Mini blows it away in every category.
Apple is celebrating the holidays by having a 12 day giveaway from December 26th to January 6th. Previously known as the 12 Days of Christmas, the "12 Days of Gifts" campaign will give away a song, app, book or movie each day. The giveaway is only available in certain countries, with the United States being included this year after being shut out of all the free goodies last year.
You can download the 12 Days of Gifts app from the App Store to get notifications of the free digital content during the holidays.
Speaking of the holidays, a batch of new iPad users will hit after the holidays, which means you can play some fun pranks on your friends. Check out these iPad pranks to get some ideas.
The purchase of purchase of 3D motion technology company PrimeSense brings new rumors circulating around the idea of an Apple-branded television, a device that has been in the rumor mill long enough to earn the 'vaporware' title. PrimeSense was the company behind the XBOX 360's Kinect, which tracks bodies in real time using a camera, and it would certainly make sense to add that technology to any smart television trying to take us to the next level.
But what makes us think Apple is the company capable of pulling it off?
Everyone from Samsung to Sony to Google to Nintendo has played around with the idea of a smart television or a smart companion device. Microsoft's XBOX ONE combines the gaming console with smart television services, even combining HDMI passthrough with an IR blaster and a menu overlay to completely replace your cable set top box. None of them have been altogether popular, with Google ready to shut down (or, at a minimum, rebrand) Google TV.
And while we like to think of Apple as a company that has secret sauce allowing them to completely innovate any product, we need only look so far as Apple TV to see that they aren't perfect. Apple TV is a great accessory for the iPad and a good companion device for anyone heavily invested in Apple's ecosystem, but Roku offers a device that is cheaper, more functional and as easy to use as Apple TV.
Apple TV's remote is one of the worst I've ever used, with a design that makes me think of a home run hitter that swung for the fence and completely whiffed. It's too small. Yes, sometimes being too small is bad, especially for a device that tries to hide between couch cushions. It doesn't feel good in the hand. The buttons are clunky, to say the least. And while there is an alternative on the App Store, the Remote app is much too sensitive to provide a good user experience.
I still recommend Apple TV for anyone well-invested in the iOS ecosystem. If you have a ton of music and movies on iTunes, subscribe to iTunes Match, have an iPhone in your pocket and frequently hang out on the couch with your iPad, Apple TV is a no brainer. But if you aren't currently enrolled in the cult of Apple, there is no reason to purchase it.
And that's a problem Apple will need to solve if they expect to be successful with a smart TV. It's one thing to shell out $99 for a companion device. It's quite another to pay north of $1,000 for a smarter television.
Not long ago, Bill Gates showed his ignorance to what is really going on in the world of computing when he mentioned how iPad users are really missing their keyboard. Of course, being out of touch seems to be a Microsoft specialty. The entire ad strategy of going after the iPad shows they don't even know who their competition is these days.
And what made Bill Gates' statement so hilarious was the wide variety of keyboard solutions available for the iPad, including using the same USB keyboard you use for your desktop PC. (If you still have one of those old-fashioned things.)
The trick is using Apple's Camera Connection Adapter, which was designed to let you download pictures from your camera to your iPad, but in reality, it lets you do a lot of really cool stuff like hooking in that wired keyboard or even hooking up a MIDI controller.
Fisher-Price probably didn't expect the intense backlash their new Apptivity Seat for Newborns and Toddlers would receive on Amazon. The strap-in seat resembles many similar newborn seats designed both to keep the baby safe and entertained with dangling toys to touch and play, but Fisher-Price's newborn seat has one notable difference that -- if you believe many of the user reviews -- turns it into the source of all evil on the planet. It has a place for an iPad.
The arm that extends over the seat has a sturdy case that -- like the other Apptivity cases -- protects the iPad from dirty fingers, spills and drool. And when an iPad isn't in the case, a mirror reflects the baby's image. The arm can also be repositioned away from the baby for more face time.
The backlash on Amazon has been furious, and in some instances, simply incorrect. Many of the reviewers point out that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) "recommends NO SCREEN TIME for babies under 2" (as one reviewer put it). Other reviewers state that the Apptivity seat can be harmful to the child's development, while a few write about how babies and toddlers should be getting activity and not strapped into a seat.
The AAP actually recommends that screen time should be "limited" not eliminated completely. The call to eliminate screen time completely was the recommendation given 14 years ago, with the most recent loosening that recommendation. There is no evidence that 'screen time' is at all harmful to development, however, it is not beneficial either. In fact, staring at a TV screen is the equivalent of staring at a ceiling, which is why the AAP recommends such activity be limited. It is much better for the newborn or toddler to be interacting with the world.
The flood of bad reviews appear to be more of an emotional reaction than a logical one. While the Apptivity seat Read More...
Having arrived on the App Store just days after the 50th anniversary special, perhaps Doctor Who: Legacy wishes it could hop in the TARDIS and jump back in time to coordinate the release with the unveiling of John Hurt as the forgotten doctor. Or, perhaps, it wishes it could jump back even further and do a little bit better job of the writing in the game, which is tedious at times.
After the Sontarans perfect time travel, they launch an attack across the Doctor's time stream, forcing him to round up the best of his companions to counter the attack. Doctor Who: Legacy is a gem-matching game with role-playing elements. You control the Doctor and various companions, unlocking and leveling up additional Doctors and companions as you go.
As games go, it is pretty simple, with perhaps too much luck in the place of strategy. The tutorial is too long, most of which spent explaining how to use a menu system that would have otherwise been hidden to most people. Perhaps a better way to handle it would have been to just have a button labeled "menu" for people to tap and cut the tutorial in half. No doubt a treat for Doctor Who fans, the best part of the game might be the music by Murray Gold. You can download Doctor Who:Legacy from the App Store for free.
The iPhone 5S allows users to sign in to the device with a fingerprint. Will we soon be signing in to our devices with a wave?
The rumors of Apple buying PrimeSense, the company behind the motion-sensing technology in the Xbox 360's Kinect, have been confirmed by a spokeswoman for PrimeSense.
The $350 million acquisition will give Apple technology that will allow devices to recognize objects and track movement, including gestures. The Kinect device in the XBOX 360 wakes up with a wave of the hand, and while there is some delay between movement and detection, PrimeSense has had three years since the Kinect's debut to improve the latency in the technology.
While I have a fondness in my heart for the World of Greyhawk, which was the first campaign world designed for Dungeons and Dragons, there is little doubt that the Forgotten Realms are the most popular campaign world for the game. And in the Forgotten Realms, three cities stand above the rest: Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter, and Waterdeep.
In Waterdeep, the city is run by a secret council of conniving Lords, each trying to gain more power over the city as a whole. In Lords of Waterdeep, you are cast as one of those lords, utilizing your agents around the city to embark on quests, purchase buildings and conspire in acts of sabotage against your enemies. Based on the Wizards of the Coast board game of the same name, Lords of Waterdeep was released today on the App Store.
Fans of the board game won't be disappointed, and if you are new to the game, a strong tutorial will get you up and running in no time. You can download the game from the app store for $6.99.
The first "official" iOS game controllers are just around the corner.
One of the neat additions to iOS 7 was official support for third-party game controllers. This delivers a common set of code that allows companies to create official controllers and developers to put them to use. Until now, the few game controllers were proprietary and worked with only a small subset of games, but the "MFI" (Made For iOS) controllers should help open up the flood gates.
Yesterday, Moga announced their Ace Power controller, which provides an console-like controller that splits apart, allowing you to put your iPhone or iPod Touch in between the two sections. This is a little different design than Moga's Android controllers, which have an arm that holds the device above the controller. The Ace Power controller also provides an an external battery, so you can play longer.
Today, Logitech announced their own game controller, the PowerShell, which is also designed to fit the iPhone snugly in the middle. Logitech's vision is like a modern console's controller without the thumb sticks, so it is a bit more limited than Moga's controller.
Sounds cool, but we have to remember it will take some time for controller support to standardize. The few games out there that support the MFi controllers still have some kinks to work out, which is to be expected considering they were coded without any actual controllers to test that code.
Both controllers cost $99, so they aren't exactly cheap. And unfortunately, both of these offerings leave the iPad out of the loop. It'll be nice to see a controller come out that doesn't snap around the iPhone, acting more like a traditional game controller. This type of controller could also skip the external battery pack and cut the cost down.
There's always an Apple rumor going around. Or two. Or about a hundred. But this rumor is quite interesting: Calcalist, an Israeli website, is reporting that Apple has bought PrimeSense, the company behind the technology powering the Xbox 360's Kinect sensor. PrimeSense has denied the $345 million acquisition, but if true, this could lead to an interesting addition to the gesture interface currently employed by the iPhone and iPad. Not to mention what it might mean for the much-rumored almost-vaporware iTV.
Microsoft's Kinect uses a camera to detect movement and translates this into a body map, which allows it to mirror in data what the body is doing in real time. This means if you wave your hand at it, the Kinect not only sees it, but understands it. Microsoft has taken this to the next level with the Xbox One, using an high-definition sensor to process motion in even greater detail.
How Apple might use the technology -- if this rumor turns out to be true -- remains to be seen, but it could create both a unique way to control current devices and an interesting way to control any future products Apple releases in the future.
Interesting enough, Microsoft is taking aim at smart TV technology with the Xbox One, billing it as both a high end gaming console and an entertainment device. Much of this is due to the Xbox One's ability to use the Kinect's microphones to pick up voice commands and the Xbox One's IR blaster to control other entertainment devices, such as your cable box.