Saturday, December 28, 2013

iPad mini retina vs iPad Air

iPad mini retina vs iPad Air, comparison.

After the biggest iPad got smaller and lighter, and the Mini got the Retina display, choosing has become harder. This article attempts a bit of perspective.

Friday, December 27, 2013

An Apple Geek’s Week with Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX

An Apple Geek’s Week with Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX, article.

Good article, comparing the iPad Mini with the KF HDX 7-inch.

It's so hard to make good gear decisions and make clear reviews. Even with something as simple as a hammer, how Good it is depends on the job to be done, differences in exemplars, how you hold it, how big or strong you are, your experience, etc. And of course a tablet is a million times more complex, so...

I have a Kindle HDX just for one thing really: so far it's the only machine which will read out loud my Kindle books. And it does it in the best quality I have heard, sometimes I actually catch myself in thinking of the "person" who is reading aloud, so close has it come now.
But to illustrate my point, there is always something, durnit. Sometimes the Kindle will start to turn the pages faster than the speed at which it is reading, so I lose my place. Ot is will simply stop reading (for some reason always after a full stop). It has not happened often with bought Kindle books, but it has happened a lot with homemade Kindle books, collected from fanfiction found on the web. It is really irritating. I managed to remove some of it by emailing (for conversion) a .docx format file instead of a .txt file. It's clear that there are some hidden codes in there which are doing havoc with the Kindle, but which ones? I can't even see them.

Also, just trying something as simple as to install an alternative browser (like Chrome) on the Kindle Fire is a loooong excercise in frustration. Some people, like above reviewer, can't even access the Google Play Store. For some reason I can. And I can install Chrome. Or rather, it tells me it is installed, but it's not, can't find it anywhere. And one file of another app just downloaded. I had to figure out that there must be a Download folder somewhere... but do you think Amazon has made it easy to find that? If so, congratulations on your trust. I tend to be a happy little trust machine myself, but even I am suspecting that Amazon has done all in its power that the KF is only being used in exactly the ways Amazon wants, and none else. And most of those ways is sooner or later leading to your next Amazon purchase.
Granted, it is more stable than other Android tablets I have tried, but it is very limiting for people who want a tablet rather than an Amazon Window/reader/player.

With such complex things, "your mileage may vary" is a gross understatement.