The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

Archive for the 'iOS' Category

Ipad 2 – Easy Replacement

Posted by Deliverator on 4th June 2011

I’ve had a couple hardware problems with my Ipad 2 (which I purchased on the first day of availability). The first was that the battery life was never as good as my Ipad 1. With my Ipad 1, I could go almost a week without charging, so long as I was only using it for ebooks and light web browsing. With my Ipad 2, I found myself putting it on the charger every couple days. The other issue I had was my Ipad 2 had a leaky back-light. When reading ebooks on a black background, this was really apparent and annoying. When used for anything else, pretty much unnoticeable. However, I read a lot of books. Still, not quite enough of an issue for me to get up and do something about it.

Last week however, the battery situation worsened considerably. While reading a book (with no apps backgrounded), my Ipad 2 went from 80 someodd percent to 10% warning level in like and hour and a half. I put it on the charger and went to bed. In the morning, I found my Ipad 2 not only hadn’t charged, but was dead as a rock. When put on the charger, I could get an apple logo to show up and a “hook up to itunes” restore message, but it would turn off and not power on under battery as soon as it was unplugged.

I ended up driving down to the Apple Store in Bellevue Square. The place was a complete zoo, but Apple seemed to have enough employees on hand to keep everything moving along. I proceeded to the back of the store where the very busy “Genius Bar” was located and I was intercepted before I could quite get to the counter by a guy asking me if I had an appointment. I said I didn’t and he pulled out his Ipad, asked me some basic questions about what was going on and created an appointment for me for 10 minutes later. In the meantime, I wandered the store looking at various accessories and doodads that I probably shouldn’t buy. A tech flagged me down, questioned me about what I was experiencing, plugged it into a testing device, verified the problem and hooked me up with a new, non-refurbished unit within another 15-20 minutes. I got home, plugged the replacement in, restored my most recent backup and had my replacement unit fully functional in hardly anytime at all. Granted, not everyone lives by an Apple Store, but I was very pleased by how quickly my problem was resolved. Oh, and the new unit did not have any back-light issues.

This Ipad 2 replacement process is a huge contrast to the long, uncertain chain of events that one must go through if a PC breaks down. Especially troubling is how manual (and thus difficult for a casual end user) the process is of migrating one’s programs, settings and data from one PC to another. The PC world has had decades to get this right and still gets it profoundly wrong. Quite simply, Apple with their Ipads and Iphones currently offers the easiest and most seamless old profile -> new device migration in the computing world.

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Hands on with Ipad 2

Posted by Deliverator on 17th March 2011

Well, I wound up getting myself an Ipad 2. I was able to sell my Ipad 1 via Gazelle for a substantial percentage of a new one, so the cost of upgrading was minimal. I ended up visiting 5 stores on the first day of sales (March 11th) before I finally found an Apple store at University Village with any left. I ended up getting a 16 GB model with Verizon 3g. As with the first Ipad, I purchased a 3g model not for the 3g connectivity but for the GPS functionality. I’ve been using the new Ipad 2 pretty heavily the last few days and thought I would share my thoughts:

-The Ipad 2 feels very different when held due to the curved edges and flat back. The flat back is really nice, as the first generation Ipad had a curved back and wouldn’t lay flat on a table and tended to want to scoot around when used. The curved edges are frankly quite annoying, as it makes it extremely difficult to plug in the main dock connector and the 1/8th” headphone port doesn’t fully mechanically support the headphone plug on all sides, making it difficult to determine if headphones are properly seated. This may also prevent the use of certain headphone designs.

-The Ipad 2 includes only a single speaker like the Ipad 1. It would have been nice if they had gone with stereo speakers, but that said, the speaker on the Ipad 2 is a LOT better. The original’s speaker was overly quiet and wasn’t much good for watching movies and the like.

-Upgrading from the Ipad 1 to Ipad 2 was super-easy. I ran a full backup of my first generation Ipad and then synced my Ipad 2. Itunes transfered all my apps and data. I only needed to manually restore settings for a few program, such as my twitter client, online banking client, etc. which don’t allow their data to be backed up. This had to be the easiest old computer->new computer migration I’ve ever done.

-I purchased an official Apple leather “smart cover” to go with my unit. I really like Apple’s minimal approach to providing screen protection. The smart cover adds only minimal thickness, provides scratch protection when you have the Ipad in a bag and folds up into a stand giving you two useful viewing angles. It also engages/disengages sleep mode on the unit. I expect this cover to be a good solution for most users. I doubt it will be the final solution for me, however. The Ipad 2, like the Ipad 1, is very slick, literally. There is no texture to the back surface, making it difficult to grasp one handed. I bought a Street Skin for my first unit and will likely do the same when they introduce an Ipad 2 version.

-The cameras are really crappy, especially for still shots. Grainy, low resolution, motion blur, poor light sensitivity are all words I would use in connection with these cameras. I really wish Apple hadn’t gone so low end in this area. The two upsides to the inclusion of cameras is that Apple has come out with a good video editing program for the Ipad for the first time and the camera works with most iOS apps designed for the Iphone. This has enabled me to deposit checks into my bank account without needing to visit my bank, for instance.

All in all, I really like the Ipad 2 over the Ipad 1, but it definitely has its faults.

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My take on Ipad 2

Posted by Deliverator on 2nd March 2011

I own an original model Ipad and use it daily. Today, Apple announced Ipad 2. Here are my thoughts on it and whether it is enough for me to upgrade:

Pluses:

-Ipad 2 is thinner and a little lighter than the original, while retaining the same general width x height and screen size of the original. The slight reduction in weight will be nice for those who use it as an book reader, as arm fatigue was a definite factor with the original.

-Ipad 2 has dual cameras. I’ve never seen video conferencing as much of a killer app, but I know some people that were really dieing for this with the Ipad 1.

-Ipad 2 has a new, faster dual core processor with what is being described as “9x” faster graphics. I am all for increased performance, but it is up in the air whether many app makers will write applications that make use of the faster subsystems for risk of alienating the large Ipad 1 user base.

-Magnetic screen cover system is a big plus in my view, as it lets you protect the Ipad’s screen when putting it in a bag or (in my case) large pocket, while adding little to the dimensions of the unit. Most cases for the Ipad 1 greatly increased the unit’s apparent bulk.

-3G models available for Verizon and not just AT&T.

-Has some extra motion sensing capability (3 axis gyro) compared to Ipad 1, which should be nice for gaming.

-One of the big pluses in my view is the new HDMI video output adapter, which works for ALL applications. This is a big change from Ipad 1 where applications had to be specially coded AND approved for TV output use. Think Hulu+, games, etc.

-Pricing is being kept competitive or slightly lower than similar Android devices

Negatives:

-No built in SD slot for downloading photos. This should have been do-able even with the thinner bezel of Ipad 2. The lack of a SD slot was a consistent minus cited by many Ipad 1 users/reviewers. I hate that Apple tries to make their devices aesthetically clutter free at the expense of needing to buy and carry a lot of easily lost adapters & dongles.

-No USB port. Nuff said. Wasn’t a big issue with me, but I know a lot of people wanted it.

-The Ipad 2 apparently still has only 256 MB of ram. I’ve bumped up against this consistently in my everyday use of the Ipad 1, which has the same amount, especially when doing tabbed browsing.

-Still requires an external power brick for charging versus being able to charge via USB on most computers, even if it takes significantly longer.

-Still no syncing over WiFi.

Externalities:

-Apple is beginning to enforce much harsher terms on 3rd parties wishing to supply content to Ipad users. They are essentially requiring any content being provided to users to also be available for purchase through their own content stores at the same price, so that they can get a (sizeable) cut of the pie. This will apparently apply even when the purchase is made “off site” and not as an in-app purchase. This will effectively make it impossible / not cost effective for competitors like Kindle, Nook and Sony to offer eBooks to Ipad users and will likely broadly apply to other types of content as well. I find this move to be incredibly anti-competitive and is a HUGE minus for me. One of the things which has made Ipad such a compelling part of my daily life is its ability to consume media from a variety of sources, whether that is news, books, music, podcasts or video. By constraining my choices to what Apple itself offers, they have greatly limited the appeal of the whole platform to me. If it wasn’t for this single thing, I would probably buy an Ipad 2. As is, if these changes take effect, I may sell my existing Ipad 1 in favor of an Android alternative.

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