iPad News, Updates, App and Accessory Reviews
We all know just how much fun using an iPad can be. Whether drawing or writing or playing games, there are literally dozens of different apps that can hold our attention. With the newness of the device itself wearing off we have also seen developers go away with new entertainment uses and look to actually make the iPad a more functional device. While there are apps that provide educational resources, Apple has taken a big step in helping teachers with their new program according to a report in Fortune magazine.
Apple has announced that they will be sending 9,000 iPads to the Teach For America organization. This group focuses on putting recent college grads into low income school districts. This program is made geared towards making sure that kids who are growing up in poverty are still getting a top notch education. Apple’s iPads will go to the teachers for use however they see fit, but of course the organization hopes the teachers won’t simply use the devices for their own entertainment. One particular teacher has come up with a novel way to incorporate her iPad into her classroom. Katie Remington said that she uses her iPad as incentive. When students work fast and get their work done, they get “iPad time.”
The program, which is currently active in 38 states received a portion of their iPads from people who upgraded to the iPad 2 and were encouraged to donate their old device. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ wife Laurene Powell is on the board of Teaching for America, which most likely connects the dots as to why the company go involved with this program.
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September 27th, 2011 at 9:25 AM EST |
If you thought you were frustrated by how long it was taking to get an official Facebook app to the iPad, then imagine how frustrated the app developers were becoming. Most of those in the iPad sector have been hearing for a while now that the app has basically been ready but for a couple of tweaks. It appears that the Facebook for iPad app lead developer has become so frustrated with the holdup on a release that he has actually quit the project.
Jeff Verkoeyen recently left the development team to take a job with Google and wrote on his personal blog that the iPad app has been “feature ready” since May. He also said that the company (meaning Facebook, not Apple) was frustrating him because not only would they not give him a release date but they wouldn’t tell him why they were holding the app back. Verkoeyen later took down the part where he had blamed Facebook for the hold up, but of course before he could remove the incriminating post people had made screen grabs.
But in an article on Mashable, there’s talk of the Facebook for iPad app being released along side iOS 5 and iPhone 5 at the Apple Media event coming up on October 4th.
Facebook will launch its long-awaited iPad app at Apple’s iPhone 5 launch event on Oct. 4, Mashable has learned. In addition to the iPad app, Facebook is also expected to release a revamped version of its iPhone app and may unveil an HTML5-based mobile app marketplace.
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Streaming live television to portable devices has been the next big thing for quite a while now. In regards to the iPad, there have already been a couple of cable companies who have tried to go with the flow by offering apps that allow cable subscribers to watch their programs on the tablet. Now it appears that Comcast is joining the fray, much in the same way Time Warner has done it according to macrumors.com. Time Warner allows you to watch certain channels on the iPad as long as you are connected to the same WiFi network that is registered to your television provider. Comcast’s new service, being billed as the AnyPlay will do roughly the same thing.
Comcast users will need to have the right kind of cable box in order for this particular app to work correctly. Apparently, as long as you are using the right box and inside the area that your network covers, you will be able to watch the same shows as you do on your television. Comcast will actually use Xfinity TV’s iPad app and will actually be a bit of an upgrade over what that app can do. Before AnyPlay was announced, Xfinity users could only watch programs that were on demand. Of course, Xfinity users could also change their DVR settings from the app and will still be able to. There is no announcement of when this service will actually launch, nor whether there will be any additional cost but AnyPlay is expected by the end of the year at the latest.
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September 21st, 2011 at 9:37 AM EST |
There is little doubt on Wall Street and Main Street that Apple’s iPad is doing brisk business. There is even less doubt inside the industry. A new study released by the research firm IDC continues to show just how strong the iPad has done on the global electronics market. Thanks in large part to the release of the iPad 2; Apple controlled 68 percent of the tablet market in the second quarter of 2011. Granted, Apple had plenty of control over the market before that. While that 68 percent was an increase, it was only a three percent up tick from the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Apple saw iPad shipments hit 9.3 million while Android actually saw a rather large slip in the second quarter. IDC believes that a bit of Android’s fall was due to RIM entering the tablet market, but that wasn’t the whole story. RIM captured just 4.9 percent of the market in the second quarter while Android saw its market share fall from 34 percent in the first quarter to 26.8 percent in the second quarter.
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Since its release in March 2010, there has not been any single consumer electronics device that has had the popularity of the iPad. One of the reasons why the device has been so popular is because there are so many different things you can do with it. Recently we told you that the NFL (or at least one team) was the latest to get into the iPad game when the Tampa Bay Bucs adopted the iPad as their preferred method to keep playbooks. And there was also the report of United Airlines switching out pilot flight bags in favor of the iPad. Now it appears the iPad might be making its way into government.
The Indiana legislature is apparently looking at moving towards adopting the iPad as their official computing device, replacing the laptops that are now distributed to every member of the house and State Senate. In all this would mean that Indiana government would be purchasing 150 iPads, making this move a rather large investment for the state government. Advocates of this move point out that the iPad is more portable even than the laptops they currently use. Considering that every representative and state senator is provided a paper copy of every bill, changing over to having them all in PDF versions will save the state massive printing costs. With the apps out there that allow editing PDF documents quickly and easily, members of the government would still be able to mark up the bills like they were still using paper copies.
Should Indiana adopt the iPad, they would join West Virginia as the only states in the nation to do so. Virginia and Vermont are also reportedly looking at making the move.
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As the iPad is now well known among both users and developers alike, we are seeing more apps that take advantage of the full abilities of the tablet. One of these newer apps that give you a combination of entertainment and education is Solar Walk 3D. With this particular app you can navigate around the solar system with just the touch and drag of a finger.
When you open the app, you are immediately blown away as you travel through a sort of star tunnel to arrive hovering just outside a digital display of our entire solar system complete with all the planets as they are lined up, in rotation around the sun. You can touch and drag anywhere you would like to better get a look as to where one planet is to another and how the diagram looks from up top, or below or at any other angle you’d like. Of course this isn’t just a digital diagram. Tapping on the magnifying glass on the bottom left of the screen will bring up a menu that allows you to look at a whole host of different interstellar objects. Planets, stars, places and even satellites are all viewable with just a little scrolling.
Of course once you’ve selected a place or object to take a look at you can press the “I” button and get some very specific information on select places in the solar system. The bottom right of the screen offers another menu and when you click on this you will find a bunch of other features to keep the app refreshing and new. Through this menu you can choose whether to view objects to scale or Orrery (basically meaning you can zoom in or out.) You can also arrange the screen the way you would like and then take a screen capture that can be placed on your Facebook, or Twitter or emailed to whomever you would like.
The Starwalk 3D app also offers several animations that can do anything from showing you just how big or small one planet is to another to how the tides on the earth are affected by the moon and the surrounding planets. All of this is set to a nice relaxing musical accompaniment that can be turned off if you choose to stare in awe in peace and quiet. Of course because this is Starwalk 3D, we’d be remiss if we talked about the app without mentioning the 3D part.
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