Tag Archives: iPad

Have a Camper Day

I just stumbled across a video of the Have a Camper Day iPad / iPhone app.

It’s gorgeous here today in London (far too nice for me to be stuck in doors working, but needs must!)… anyway this app would brighten up the gloomiest of days, and by the look of the forecast I might need it tomorrow!

If you don’t have an iPad or iPhone, not to worry, you can still use it in all it’s glory on their Have a Camper Day website

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It’s Official, The iPad2, Gives You Wood

I’d seen the Miniot iPhone covers, and while very nice (I do love wood), they weren’t really my thing, plus I don’t have a cover on my iPhone anyway… but my iPad is another story. I just stumbled upon this video on Engadget, it almost makes me want to go out and buy an iPad 2… almost.

NB: unlike Apple’s own Smart Covers that has protruding magnets, the Miniot remains flush on all sides!

Miniot

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Digital Magazine Sales Dropping on iPad

Continued from a previous post… Why are digital magazines on the iPad already in decline, after the initial gold rush users are losing interest in the digital versions. Wired, which sold 100K issues of it’s first iPad release, then managed to sell an average of 31K in the following months, with only 23K for October and 22K for November (for comparison they sold 130k printed versions in Oct-Nov).

Why is this happening?

It’s too early to say for sure (this is a very new market space), but general consensus is that Apple’s lack of subscription based payment is a major reason, meaning users have to manually purchase individual magazines rather than automated payments, plus these work out being more expensive. There’s rumours that Apple are about to roll out subscription based payments, hopefully it won’t be too little too late.

But will it be the answer, possibly, but I believe magazines and news networks need to look at the iPad and tablets in an entirely different way, rather than simply a medium for them to spout out digital versions of their print publications.

I’ve read numerous blogs and reports saying print is dead, but there’s new print magazines being released every week, so that doesn’t seem to ring true to me. Consumers still wish to consume, but the way they consume information is different now, it’s available instantaneously from so many sources and with social networks that information is becoming more and more driven by their friends, associates and their own likes and dislikes.

Flipboard on the iPad is a wonderful example of this, never before has my Facebook, Twitter and RSS feeds looked so good, and been so engaging. Now if I could subscribe to several news networks, magazines etc all within a single app, and micro pay for each article as I read it, I’d be happy, as I only pay for the articles that grabbed my eye and interested me, and the software would automatically highlight related articles from all my subscribed sources and suggest new ones from other popular sources I may not have heard about and would have never found on my own.

Hands up who has ever read an entire newspaper or magazine, cover to cover? Precisely, so why pay for the whole thing when you only read a fraction of it? So rather than getting what you pay for, how about only paying for what you want? Who wouldn’t pay a penny or a cent or two per news item or magazine article that they read, as long as the payment part was transparent and managed for them, most people would give this a go, especially if they knew they could set a cap, or would have access to the whole issue if they went over a certain percentage of articles. Adverts can still be utilised, they could even be used against payment, watch an ad, get the article for free or at a reduced rate.

The technology is certainly there, the main thing holding it up, is publishers being scared to give it go through fear of losing control of their content and user base, but if they don’t do it soon willingly, then their hands will be forced by market forces, and they’re have less room to negotiate!

Who could pull this off, Apple, Amazon, Google, they could all do it, although I feel Apple is best placed for the micropayments, plus by utilising the iPad and the iOS platform, far more engaging advertising can be achieved than on a Kindle. Google just don’t have the payment side worked out properly. Apple on the other hand do, they have iTunes, ease of use and making micropayments is already there. I’ve read often that micropayments won’t work as users are put off by the fear of accumulating enormous bills at the end of the month, but the success of the App Store squashes that claim, often I’ve purchased apps at £0.59 (the minimum charge), for Apps I know nothing about, or will only use for a day or so.

With rumours of the next iPhone and iPad finally having Near Field chips, Apple are in a prime position to take on the big credit card companies that have been dragging their heels on NF for years.

An application that fuses Flipboard and Apple’s iBook into a magazine / news RSS reader, come social app linked to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, that microcharges you for articles as and when you read them, embedded with iAds, all linked back to your iTunes account, would be a very powerful and profitable application, and would be the perfect way for Apple to build it’s own social network (which it’s hungry to do), and utilise it’s new cloud data centre.

Digital Adverts More Effective Than Static Print Adverts

No real surprises there, but it’s good to have some data to back up the claim… Now here’s a title that just rolls off the tongue! Digital Ad Engagement: Perceived Interactivity as a Driver of Advertising Effectiveness snappy eh?

Apart from the title, the PDF is worth a read (if you’re into advertising and marketing that is), but if you prefer something a little shorter, or even a short video that explains the PDF, have a look at the article on the Adobe Digital Publishing Blog.

An incredible sound bite from the video starting at 1 min 30 secs, “every advertiser experienced an increase in brand awareness, with several advertisers seeing percentage increases of 3-4 times!” a 300-400% increase, now that’s impressive!

But it’s not all rosy, as digital magazines on the iPad are already in decline, after the initial gold rush users are losing interest in the digital versions. Wired, which sold 100K issues of it’s first iPad release, then managed to sell an average of 31K in the following months, with only 23K for October and 22K for November (for comparison they sold 130k printed versions in Oct-Nov). Reasons why I believe this happening continued in a separate post

Obviously this increased brand awareness is only an advantage to advertisers if magazines can retain digital user numbers, and that unfortunately is where they’re still getting it wrong!

Android 3.0 Honeycomb

It would appear my previous post about 20 tablets so far being announced at CES was premature, apparently there’s been over 200 so far! So there’s no doubting that 2011 will be the year of the tablet, but what isn’t clear just yet, is who will be the winners and who will be the losers (The Motorola Xoom looks like this years Tablet to watch).

What is clear however, is Google have invested a huge amount of resources and thinking into the next version of Android, plus their Open Source approach is paying huge dividends, it’s obvious they will win no matter which hardware manufacturer wins or loses, as their OS takes the lion’s share of upcoming tablets. As you can see from the video, Android 3.0 is a radical redesign and will propel the OS popularity even further.

A big question circulating at the moment is what will Apple do in response with the iPad to all these new tablets? Unfortunately my guess is, not much right now. It’s not like they didn’t expect to see a huge range of tablets being announced at CES this year, but Apple aren’t know to make knee jerk reactions, they will continue with their meticulously planned iPad 2 release in a month or so and it will be seen by many as safe yet lacklustre upgrade, both in hardware and software (unlikely to have any major OS updates, just functionality and apps, ie camera app etc). iOS is great on phones, but already it’s looking a bit cumbersome, even Microsoft’s Windows Mobile has the edge in many respects, so iOS on the iPad, while functional, is hardly showing the hardware and the platform off to it’s full, there’s so much more Apple could and should be doing. Their desktop OSX has always been their crown jewels and was always years ahead of the competition, but the last couple of updates have lacked any huge innovations, and the competition has caught up.

Apple are of course hugely successful and make incredibly robust and well integrated hardware and software solutions, but they really need to pull the rabbit out of the hat with the next major iOS update, otherwise within a couple of years, their dominance of the tablet and smart phone markets will have all but disappeared.

Android Honeycomb Showcased at CES

interview with Matias Duarte (Director, Android User Experience)

Hey Man, You Wanna Buy Some Tabs?

Is there a single large electronics company NOT announcing a Tablet at CES this year? I’ve read about 20 so far and the numbers keep growing! There’s dual screens (NEC Cloud Communicator, not good), one with a coloured e-ink display (Pocket Book Mirasol, I’m really interested in that one!), one using a LED / eInk Display (Notion Ink Adam, really neat idea, and finally announced!), plus numerous other me toos… but thankfully at least one of them doesn’t look like an iPad clone (I mean in the hardware design department, although it’s still pretty similar)… plus it’s the one that’s been eagerly awaited by the tech industry and I’ve been really interested in seeing, Blackberry’s Playbook (personally I don’t think it’s the best name for a Tablet that will be purchased predominantly within the business sector, but what do I know).

Regardless of the name, it looks like Blackberry have been working hard at creating a pretty slick Tablet, that’s feature rich, responsive, comfortable in the hand and is likely to sell very very well when it’s finally released in the coming months. It’s most similar competitor and undoubtedly main rival after the iPad, is Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, which has been out a few months already and has been selling well (thankfully that’s another manufacturer that decided to differentiate itself from the iPad a bit, by adding a white backside). I’ve played around with a Galaxy Tab and it seemed pretty nice, although I found the UI a little frustrating at times, but I’m sure after a few hours I’d get used to it.

Also Google unveiled it’s latest upcoming release, Android 3.0, Honeycomb, designed specifically for Tablets, as the review and video shows, this looks nothing like previous versions of Android for mobile phones… so I’m not sure what the UI of the next release of Android for mobile phones will look like, but keeping the Android UI consistent will be on everyones mind, let’s hope it’s on Googles too.

Neither of these would make me want to part with my iPad, I’ve invested way too many years in Apple and it’s eco-system for me to change now, but new uses without a legacy will find them worthy competitors and on a hardware only comparison, way ahead on features to the current iPad. Although Steve Jobs would disagree entirely, I feel these smaller sized Tablets are an ideal compromise of portability and function.

My iPad is great, often I’ve carried it instead of my MacBook for meetings and presentations, it’s great for recording and taking notes and the screen is an ideal size to show video and slides etc, but it’s too big to carry all the time. I didn’t bring my iPad with me on a recent backpacking trip to Cambodia, as it’s just too big and heavy (although I packed my Kindle!), plus even when I do have it with me on the underground, I don’t feel comfortable using it for reading or catching up on stuff, but with a 7″ version I would. Steve’s argument that a 7″ screen is too small for a tablet to be a useful touchscreen device is flawed, he only has to reach into his pocket and pull out his own iPhone to realise that, yes I agree the larger screen on the current iPad is great when you’re in the office, or at home, but out and about it’s a little cumbersome.

Of course Steve won’t be seen to go back on his word, sadly there won’t be a 7″ iPad anytime soon, if ever (shame as I would have bought one, another 10″ screen with a speed bump and cameras will not be enough incentive for me to purchase a new one)… although of course he never said there wouldn’t be a new 7″ iPod Touch! we live in hope

Engadget Blackberry Play Book review
Samsung Galaxy Tab website
Android 3.0 Honeycomb video

Project iPad

Rupert Murdoch is probably pretty pissed off at Richard Branson right now, as he’s just released the first daily magazine for the iPad, named Project, months ahead of Murdoch’s very own daily, to be named The Daily

You can download the app for free today, then pay a monthly subscription of £1.79 / £$2.99, for continual updates, so far the content looks pretty good, although I feel the approach to navigation isn’t right. It follows the same approach akin to Wired magazine, taking a print layout analogy and transposing it to the iPad. You may think, so what, it makes sense to me, and you’re right it does, until you look at the different approach used in say Inkling (although Inkling no longer works on my iPad, since I updated it to 4.2), they approach the navigation in a totally new way, which makes perfect sense, but rather than spell it out here, try it for yourself or look at the video on the Inkling homepage. Granted their GUI is designed for books not magazines, but it’s so logical once you start using it.

Anyway I’m sure Project will be a hit and will attract plenty of press coverage in the coming weeks, it will be interesting to see if it makes and appearance on the NookColor.

Project Mag
iTunes download

David Hockney iPad Sketches Exhibition

David Hockney has been a fan of the iPhone and iPad for sometime, having replaced his paper sketch pad with them. Over the past year Hockney has produced over 300 sketches, some of which will be on display at his Flesh Flowers exhibition in Paris.

“The great thing about it, is the distribution of the image, that is profoundly new… the fact that I could make a drawing of the sunrise at 6am and at 7am send it out to 20 people… and remember, If I just had a pencil and paper beside my bed, the sunrise wouldn’t be that interesting” David Hockney

BBC article ironically the embedded video is in Flash so doesn’t play on an iPhone or iPad! (well done BBC)

There’s Music in the Air

I’ve been using Airfoil by Rogue Amoeba for years to pump audio from my Mac to my Airport Express… but I hadn’t realised they’d created a FREE app named Airfoil Speakers, that turns your iPhone/iPod/iPad or any Mac or PC on your WIFI network into a wireless audio receiver.

That’s saved me buying another airport express for my BBQ’s during the sumer, just plug my old iPod touch into the amp in my garden, switch on Wifi and I have streaming audio in sync throughout the house and garden!

So I won’t retire my old iPod Touch to a video wall just yet