Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cheap tablets

I find it interesting and very promising that some can already sell a seven-inch (Android) tablet for only $150!
Of course it's not as good as an iPad! But if they can sell a poor one for $150 now, they can sell a better one next year, and a really good one in two years. Just look at cameras. You can buy a really good digicam now for $200. Or if you have an iPod 4, you already have a really good one.

Tip for podcasts, and the confusing iTunes

Except for those pod- or videocasts which you plan to enjoy on the go, meaning outside of hotspots, it is often just as easy to listen or watch "live" in iTunes on your iPad or iPhone, rather than first download, and then remembering to sync when there are new ones. You save both time and disk space.

I don't think a regular iPod can do this, though, they have to go through iTunes, the app, not the store.

And talking about that, man, Apple has really painted themselves into a corner. What is iTunes? Well, it's a web site. No, it's not, it is a music playing app for Mac and PC. No, it's not, it's an online store, unconnected to the web. It sells music. It also sells video/TV/Movies. No no, it's a distribution system for free university lectures. No, wait, it's a book store. But only for audio books, for ebooks you have to use the iBooks store. But wait, the iBooks store is clearly also the iTunes store, you use the same login and the same system!

And the "iTunes" app on iPad has a completely different function from the "iTunes" app on Mac/PC. The function which iTunes has on the desktop (playing music) is called the "iPod" app on an iPad! On the iPad, iTunes is an online store.

And if that's not confusing enough, iPad also has a "Videos" app which, well, plays videos. But why did they not just combine this with the iTunes (or iPod?) app like on the other devices? There are also videos on the iPod app. So which videos turn up in the iPod app and which in the Video app? I don't know. Some even turn up on both!

And by the way, why can't we delete the Apple apps which we never use, like the useless "Notes"? (Only one font, and it's illegible.) They just sit there and fill up space and make it harder to find the apps you do use.

Geeeeeez.  Apple is like a beatiful, beloved girlfriend, whom you wouldn't be without, but who you sometimes just want to bend over a chair and give the quarter-inch rattan switch.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I made a wallpaper

I made a fun wallpaper.

Ihnatko's iPad-only trip

Unfrozen Caveman Restauranteur, article.
"This is a bit of a historic trip: it’s the first one in which I’m using the iPad as my sole computer. It’s working out swimmingly, just as I thought it would. I even had a new iPad doubleplus love moment."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


If you have trouble on the iPad reading PDFs because of too long or too short text lines, I recommend GoodReader, which now can reflow the text to fill the screen, and lets you set exactly the font, size, and color you prefer. Excellent.

(I've recommended to the developers, though, that while no margins might be a good idea on the iPhone because of the small screen, on the iPad it's not, there should be margins to aid readability. I hope they take my advice.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bags/sleeves (updated)

Highly promising line of bags/sleeves for Kindle and iPad (and other things).
15 October, I have just updated that post. 

Tips & Tricks iPad Secrets by Jon Bonnick et al

Tips & Tricks iPad Secrets by Jon Bonnick et al, e-book or app.

I recommend it. The chapter on the iPad keyboard alone has taught me a host of things I had no idea the iPad keyboard could do. And it's simple to read for us with modern short attention spans: one simple tip per page.

(By the way, why can't we buy Apple-published ebooks in iTunes? All the other content for iPad can be bought there, but iBooks ebooks only on the iPad itself. Worse yet, iBooks is clearly already part of iTunes Store, since you buy with that account, so there seems to be no reason you couldn't buy via your desktop computer too. And like this, there is no way you can link to a book, which is silly.)

Interestingly, the ebook version of this collection of tips costs only two dollars, unusually cheap for an ebook, while the iPad app version of it with the same content is even cheaper at only one dollar! Like I said before, perhaps Apple or somebody has gone too far in suppressing the prices of iOS apps. Normally I complain that ebooks are too expensive at $15, but this may be going too far in the other direction.  I think that if a book (by definition more than a pamphlet) has any value, then surely it must be more than a dollar. I'd say five bucks for a smaller book, ten for a normal book might be reasonable. For books of extraordinary size or value, maybe fifteen for a volume.

By the way, for the authors of this book I would comment that the title is too generic. There are so many, many books with names including the words tips, tricks, and secrets, that it makes it harder to spot this book in the forrest either when searching or browsing. Also, while the ebook version is really nicely layouted ("laid out"?), in the iPad app version it looks like it has been blown up from an iPhone app, so the text is unattractively large.