Friday, April 22, 2011

Where are the grips?

With the hundreds (thousands?) of different iPad cases and stands out there, I don't get why nobody apparently yet has made a compact/light case with an actual handgrip built in. Just a nice, solid grip to hold onto. Everybody knows how important it is on a camera, but on tablets, we're woefully behind. This goes for all sizes, from the small ebook readers, over medium tablets, to big ones. They are clumsy to hold, especially since there is very little space to put your fingers if you aren't to push any buttons or the screen.

The only thing I know which makes the iPad really solidly comfortable to hold is the Big Grip, but it's bulky and some find it not pretty (I kinda like it though, in an odd way).

Your iPhone Is Tracking You. So What?

Your iPhone Is Tracking You. So What?, NYT article, David Pogue.
Your phone is tracking you. 
This news, inevitably, has triggered quite a bit of breathless alarm online. Ooh! Apple is spying! Ooh! The government is tracking! Ooh! Big Brother is watching!
The news has also triggered quite a bit of misinformation.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Grove iPad case again

I ended up ordering a Grove iPad2 case. I think it's really beautiful, all natural materials, light weight, and seems to even beat the Apple Smart Cover in functionality (the portrait stand mode seems more stable than Apple's).

Book-love wearing off?

It surprised me last year that I took to e-reading as fast as I did. As in, immediately. It surprised me even more that very soon I preferred it over paper-reading. Didn't see that coming.

Here's another one I didn't see coming: my love for paper-books seems to be slowly wearing off!
Even though I knew intellectually that it's the content I loved, not the form, I still couldn't imagine ever getting rid of my big collection of books. But today I suddenly looked at some novel I'd never gotten around to reading, and I felt nothing. It was just a paper object. If I wanted to read the story, I would buy the ebook.

And I've even been vaguely conscious for a while that the books are not a pretty thing in my home. Simply because they are all in different sizes and colors, and they clash badly, no matter what you do.

So I can actually imagine getting rid of them. Perhaps slowly. There's still a deep residual attachment there. And some of them are quite aesthetic and may never go, we'll see.

The shelves may be a different matter. I've bought a lot of expensive cherry-wood shelves, and though simple boxes, I think they are gorgeous. So maybe I'll find other things to put on them. Might be interesting.

Maybe I'll even do the great heresy: buy books as decoration. Like the lovely big, dark, matching leather volumes in the hallway of the law office from Will & Grace. Beautiful. Heck, it's only heresy if you don't read, and I do, I just prefer on screen where I decide the text size, font, and brightness.

Man, I should have guessed: there are actually businesses specializing in selling leather bound books just for decoration! 

Clutch case ad

Now this is advertising which is going places! Funny, hot, outrageous.
(Warning, contains kissing.)

Apple: Samsung Copied Design

Apple: Samsung Copied Design, WSJ article.
Apple Inc. sued rival Samsung Electronics Co., claiming its Galaxy cellphones and tablet "slavishly" copied Apple's iPhone and iPad, in another sign of the escalating intellectual-property tensions in the mobile market.

I didn't see that one coming. Everything is iPhones these days, and I had not thought Apple would think it could do anything about it.
But then I'm not familiar with all brands, perhaps Samsung is more blatant in the copying than others.

I'm not sure what to think. Litigation, and conflict in general, seems such a waste of time, energy and emotion. But then, it must be frustrating to see one's innovations mercilessly copied every time and by everybody. If everybody is just allowed to do that, then years of hard work and real innovation only gives a few months of head start in the market, a meagre reward for driving an industry forward.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Writings" for iPad

When the iPad 1 came out a year ago, I lamented the lack of good, simple word processor apps for it. (I lie, there was already one: My Writing Spot.) But I predicted and hoped they would soon come. And indeed they did, there must be a dozen good ones now, and one of the latest looks very nice: Writings for iPad.

Like many such apps, it's a pure text editor, meaning you can't even use bold or italics or such. Pure text. This is great for concentrating on pure writing. But... I usually think of which words I want to emphasize while I'm writing, it would feel odd to go over the text later just to put in those. And standard manuscripts, pre-Internet, used underlining for all emphasis, for clarity.

Any working writers who can tell me how they do this? And how to editors in various fields want their manuscripts? Pure text? Some formatting? How much?

More iPad home screens

Here are two other of my fave home screens from Pimp My Screen.

(Click for big pic.)

Many of their wallpapers have shelves or pigeon holes which fit with the positions of the iPad icons.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mama, me made QR code!

Hey, I'm feeling real advanced: I made a "QR-code" for downloading the Android app on my nudie site.
It was dead-simple, you just go to a place like here, type in the text (URL for example, and you get the square code. You can hotlink to the graphic or put it on your own server.
And then the Android user points his device camera at the code, and his QR-reader app reads the address and lets you download the  app. Ding-dong done, pretty neat.
It can be used for other text too, but even a couple of paragraphs makes for a pretty big square! Just the text I have on above-mentioned page made this humonguous square!

Shaky web

I've just bought an iOS web browser, Shaking Web, which purports to compensate for vibrations in unsteady hands, for example in a Tokyo subway car. (Sounds promising, but I'm not sure I can really see the difference, no matter what way I try to shake my iPhone 4.)

I've tried quite a few browser alternatives now, because Safari on iPad does not have tabs for some odd reason, and won't let you change text size (for shame). And every time I download a browser, I have to sign off that I'm over 17, because the web browser may show me Questionable Content... I wonder what web sites I can see on these browsers that I can't see on Apple's own Safari?!

It's an insane to "rate the content" of a web browser, that's like rating the content of a TV set itself.
The browser's page on iTunes actually says:
You must be at least 17 years old to download this app.
Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes
Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content or Nudity
Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes
Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
Infrequent/Mild Simulated Gambling
Infrequent/Mild Realistic Violence

Ha. I think that some people may have seen things on the web (or TV for that matter) which went beyond "mild sexual content" etc...

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Blames iPad For American Unemployment

[Thanks to Dennis.]

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Blames iPad For American Unemployment, article/video.

No comments necessary, I imagine.

Fast on screen keyboards?

Watching the video in the post below (iPad/Xoom dogfight), I got a shocker: this guy types almost as fast on a screen keyboard as I do on a good physical one! I didn't think that was possible, how the heck does he do it?
Obviously I can't feel the keys, and I have big hands, so they cover up many of the keys for me to see.
But I have to admit that when I try to use more fingers (like the middle three fingers on each hand), I can do it pretty well, and if I trained a bit with it, perhaps I could get up to good speed, and maybe even get over my frustration of not feeling the keyboard so I never have to bring an external one (I slightly doubt the last part though, I like touch-typing).

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Motorola Xoom reviews

There are already many reviews of the Xoom to be found in text and on YouTube. In general they boil down to:
1) Not really any big advantages over the iPad, but a good alternative if you dislike Apple.
2) Good hardware with few niggles, although it will have to be updated later to accept SD card expansion and the upcoming 4G network.
3) Very good software, Android Honeycomb, although it's a bit rough yet, and there are not many apps yet.
4) A bit on the heavy side, especially now the iPad 2 is lighter and slimmer.
5) The high price is a deterrent, it's just not competitive with the iPad. What a new situation for Apple, to be the price leader too!

One odd thing that struck me with several reviews I've seen is how damn reflective the Xoom's screen is. And some say it's not very bright either.  It seems almost like it's easier to see what's reflected in it than what's on it. That's a fail. Anti-reflex coating is a must these days, folks.