Apple's iOS 6.0 update marked the end of the line for the original iPad. The iPad that started it all wasn't compatible with the newest iPad operating system.
Of course, Apple didn't just arbitrarily draw the line at the first generation and sadly wave goodbye, the original iPad had only 256 MB of Random Access Memory (RAM) available for applications, with the iPad 2 doubling this to 512 MB and the iPad 3 increasing it to a full 1 GB. Moving on from the original meant giving apps more elbow room, which ultimately, leads to better apps.
The iPad 2 owes part of its longevity to Apple's decision to continue manufacturing the device even after its successor, the third-generation iPad, was released. A marked down iPad 2 became the entry-level iPad until the iPad Mini arrived on the scene.
But even the Mini helped the iPad 2. While some features like the back-facing iSight camera and the ability to connect with 4G networks are shared with the iPad 3 and iPad 4, the iPad Mini is powered by the same processor as the iPad 2 and has the same 512 MB of RAM. It even has the same 1024 x 768 display resolution. When you add all of this together, it means applications run as good and look as good on the iPad 2 as they do on the iPad Mini.
Or, put another way, if developers want to support Apple's popular 7.9-inch iPad, the apps they develop will run perfectly fine on an iPad 2 as well.
And while iOS 6's lack of support spelled the end to the original iPad, iOS 7 is supported on the iPad 2, though certain features like AirDrop and panoramic photos do require a newer iPad.
For iPad 2 owners, this means they can breathe a sigh of relief. The iPad 2 should stay quite compatible with most apps and operating system updates for at least a year, if not two.
Image © Apple, Inc.
Apple unveiled iTunes Radio to the world at their annual Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) on Monday, The new music streaming service certainly has a striking resemblance to other streaming music services out there like Pandora and Spotify, and Apple has their work cut out for them if they are to take a bite out of the competition's lead.
One neat aspect of iTunes Radio is that the ad-free version will be included with iTunes Match. This makes Apple's cloud-based music service even more attractive, and is good news for those who already subscribe to the service.
But will it end up being better than Pandora, Spotify and the others? We'll have to wait until iOS 7 makes an official appearance later this year. Until then, which music streaming service will you be using?
Yesterday was a big day for gamers. Microsoft unveiled a host of games for their Xbox ONE system earlier in the day, and Sony took the stage last night to do the same with the Playstation 4. Hidden between these two announcements was a sneak peek at what Apple has planned for gaming on the iPad and iPhone.
Apple packed a lot into the event yesterday, with an unveiling of the new Mac OS and new hardware sharing the stage with the iOS 7 unveiling. Running low on time, they gave an overview of the major features and a peak at what else was changing in the new operating system. And sharp eyes may have noted "MFi game controllers" on the screen with all the other changes coming to iOS.
"MFi" stands for Made For iOS, which is basically Apple's stamp of approval for accessories designed to work with the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. So what's the big deal with MFi game controllers? After all, there are already several game controllers made for iOS.
The big deal here is that game controller support is being written into the operating system. This means instead of getting a proprietary game controller that only works with a few specific games, we'll start to see universal game controllers. And not only will this make it easier to build controllers for iOS, it will make it much easier for developers to write in support for them.
"The biggest change to iOS since the introduction of iPhone." --Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Inc.
As expected, Apple unveiled iOS 7.0 at their annual Worldwide Developer's Conference. In addition to the iOS announcement, Apple showed off the newest Mac OS, OS X Mavericks, and announced a new MacBook Air and a new Mac Pro.
While many of the fundamentals may be similar, the look and feel of iOS 7.0 is completely different. The default apps have been updated, losing the 'natural' touches like the yellow notepad and the shelves in iBooks. The new interface is flatter, simpler and puts a premium on optimizing the available screen space, with translucent menus adding the appearance of depth. The operating system also features new gestures, including the ability to detect when the device is being held and the ability to detect a swipe coming from the edge of the screen, a new gesture that is used in many of the default apps to return to the previous page.
The big feature items include folders that support multiple pages, a new-and-improved control center, improved "intelligent" multitasking, wireless file sharing via AirDrop and the ability to automatically update apps. The version 7.0 update will also debut iTunes Radio, the new music streaming service being offered by Apple.
Is an iPad 5 on the horizon? Gumdrop cases thinks so, and rather than just spout their opinion, they are putting their money (or, more accurately, their cases) where their mouth is by advertising an iPad 5 case due to be released on Monday. Crazy? Perhaps, but Tim Hickman, the CEO of Gumdrop Cases, has been right 4 out of 5 times when predicting a new Apple product.
Will his batting average go up or down?
There's plenty to doubt about this guess. After all, there is a reason why Apple doesn't usually announce new iPads or iPhones at their developer's conference. Generally, it is a time to introduce their newest version of iOS, letting the world get a peek at the new features in store. The reason this usually comes months ahead of a hardware release is to allow developers to both code for the new update to the platform, so apps will be taking advantages of those new features at release, and (essentially) beta test the new platform.
But the guess does have a couple of things going for it. First, the iPad 4 release was mainly an upgrade to the processing power with few real features added to the iPad 3. Other than that jump in speed, the full-sized iPad has remained roughly the same for over a year now. Second, Apple may want to put a little time between the full-sized iPad's release and the next iPad Mini. Releasing both products at the same time maximizes the amount of sales the iPad Mini will cannibalize from its bigger brother. Releasing the bigger and more expensive version first would decrease the impact of the iPad Mini.
Will we see a new iPad next week?
Probably not. Any key new hardware features added to the iPad (such as near-field communication) -- would need an update to the operating system to take full advantage of them. After all, what good is having near-field communications if you don't have a digital wallet app?
I wouldn't be completely surprised at a reveal. But if Apple is going to release the iPad sooner than expected, I think an August release date makes more sense. It gives developers time with the new operating system and sets Apple up to have a rapid fire of product reveals, first iPad, then iPhone, then iPad Mini. (And hopefully something cool like an iWatch or an Apple HDTV along the way.)
It's no secret that EA Games has been working on an iPad/iPhone version of one of the (if not "the") greatest RPGs in history. Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar attempts to "faithfully" reproduce the original, though the game will drop the turn-based controls of the original in favor of a more action-rpg style.
But is EA up to the task?
After all, EA won the Worst Company in America award two years in a row. They've been known for releasing buggy products into the wild without a thought for fixing the game, and even with popular games like Read More...
Did you love The Room? Want to get that feeling of accomplishment at having solved a super-hard puzzle back again? Here are three games that embody both tough puzzles and beautiful atmosphere that will have anyone who loved The Room quickly getting that old feeling back again.
realMyst. We might as well start with the free-roaming version of the godfather of all great puzzle games. The realMyst sequel to the best selling game of the 90's was a re-imagining of the original that put you into the 2D world, allowing you to explore it in all of its glory. If you loved The Room and never played Myst, this one is a must.
Machinarium. It's puzzle-adventure meets Wall-E. This fun game has you playing the role of a robot that can squish his body together and stretch out, allowing you to solve unique puzzles. Known for its high level of difficulty, this one isn't for those who want to run through the puzzles and breakneck speeds.
The Silent Age. Unassuming Joe the Plumber is about to go on the adventure of his lifetime.. or perhaps two lifetimes. This time-traveling adventure game has you moving back and forth between 1972 and a 2012 where mankind has become extinct. A nice twist on the puzzle adventure game, this one really nails the 'present day' of 1972.Suggested Reading:
The Best Puzzle Adventure Games for the iPad
iPad Quick Start Guide
Answered: Why Doesn't My iPad Keyboard Click?
Dots has been around for a while on the iPhone, but with a recent update, the addicting connect-the-dots game got an iPad makeover. The new update not only gives the game a bit more elbow room on the iPad, it also introduces a multiplayer mode that utilizes pass-and-play but evens things out by giving both players the same arrangement of dots.
The gameplay in Dots is simple to learn. Simply connect matching dots together by swiping your finger. The connected dots disappear and are replaced by a falling row of new dots. The challenge comes in the timer, which is always ticking, forcing you into faster decisions.
You can download Dots from the App Store.
Apple is due to announce the latest version of iOS at their annual Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC), which is only a couple of weeks away. And while we won't see an announcement on a new iPad or iPhone -- those will likely happen in September and/or October -- we should see plenty of changes coming to the platform.
One thing we do know is that it will look very different. After Scott Forstall, the guy in charge of iOS, was fired, Jony Ive took over. Ive has a different, flatter approach to interfaces, so we might have seen the last of the 3D look and feel on the iPad and iPhone.
Here are a few other things I hope get changed:
1. Support for Multiple Users
The iPad has rapidly become a great family device, and yet it is designed to be used by a single person. Adding support for multiple users, which could load unique profiles for each person in the household -- including child-friendly features when the younger members of the family use the device -- would go a long way towards improving the shared iPad experience. How Multiple User Support Could Help Save iPad Parents From High iTunes Bills
2. Widgets / Live Tiles
Part of Apple's philosophy is to keep things simple and easy-to-use. But the problem with sticking to that philosophy is that you become in danger of being left behind. While widgets and/or live tiles might not be for everyone, they could really jazz up what is becoming a rather stale experience. The lock screen could be a great place to start, allowing features like Facebook Home to make a rather bland experience come alive.
3. Flickr Integration
Apple has already taken the first steps towards integrating the social experience by intertwining Twitter and Facebook with iOS. Next up: Flickr. This move would make sense both in providing a great photo-sharing service that goes beyond Photo Stream by not requiring the iOS ecosystem, and it could also be used to save precious storage space on the actual device by utilizing Flickr to store the photos.
4. iCloud Expansion and/or Dropbox Integration
One big roadblock to the iPad completely replacing the PC is Read More...
Want to throw the movie you're watching on your iPad to your HDTV and continue browsing for more movies on your iPad? Vigour is working on technology to do just that. The Netherlands-based company is working on a way to swipe between devices, allowing you to interact between devices across various platforms. This means you could start watching a movie on your Android smartphone, throw it to your iPad, switch to your Mac and finally end up on your big screen HDTV.
Having recently raised around $650,000 in startup money, Vigour released a demo of this technology that allows you to seamlessly throw a ball from the screen of one device to another. You can check it out at http://dev.vigour.io/puck/. Simply log into the same room with two different devices and you can start flicking the ball from screen to screen.
The newest trend in smartphones and tablets is to build more interaction with our other devices. Microsoft released SmartGlass for smartphone and tablets last year. SmartGlass allows you to control your Xbox 360 with your tablet, and in some instances, go beyond the screen by getting additional information on your tablet while you watch a movie or play a game. And Smartglass will grow with the upcoming Xbox ONE, which sounds like it will do such a good job of controlling our TV that we may forget all about the much-rumored Apple television set.