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As new iPad owners anxiously await the calendar turning over to Friday, March 16, this “hump day” is looking more agonizing than most. After all, who likes waiting, especially in this era of digital instant gratification? Unfortunately, we can’t help bend space and time or whisk you into the future, but we can try to distract you with some tech news to take your mind off that impatient waiting, courtesy of today’s recap for Wednesday, March 14, 2012.
Apple launched 1080p movie and TV show content last week, managing to efficiently compress these files into a size not much larger than their 720p predecessors. But how do they stack up against Blu-ray discs? That’s what Ars Technica decided to find out in their “video smackdown,” using the feature film 30 Days of Night as a reference. While the iTunes 1080p version is a bit softer in spots, color reproduction was nearly identical. The real Achille’s heel for iTunes comes with highlights and dark gradients -- but for many users, the difference may be negligible. “I was surprised to see how close the iTunes 1080p download comes to Blu-ray, considering that it's only a fraction of the file size,” writes Ars scribe Iljitsch van Beijnum. “And let's be honest: there are lots of Blu-ray titles that look much worse than this iTunes download.” Now that movies are part of iTunes in the Cloud, movie lovers might be willing to trade convenience for slightly higher quality -- especially if Apple can manage to bring the price down a bit.
Speaking of shootouts, Dr. Raymond M. Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies Corporation has published a preview of his Display Technology comparison, which will pit the new iPad against last year’s iPad 2 and the one that started all this Retina Display madness, the iPhone 4. While the full article with lab measurements and viewing tests for the new iPad won’t be posted until Monday, March 19 (we know what Dr. Ray will be doing this weekend!), the current preview offers some extensive insight into the world of Retina Display “based on detailed laboratory measurements and extensive viewing tests with both test patterns and test images.” Dr. Ray takes on the Retina rumor mills while explaining why the new iPad is a true Retina Display but not an actual Retina Display -- something Apple’s Phil Schiller also acknowledged at the media event last Wednesday when he disclosed that the new iPad packs 264 pixels per inch (only four ppi more than necessary). The preview shootout makes for some fascinating reading, especially if you find yourself camped outside a local retailer waiting for Friday 8m, or wondering when the UPS or FedEx truck will come down the street with that preorder.
Billed as “the wildest PC shooter series ever,” Devolver Digital’s Serious Sam is going somewhere it’s never been before: The Mac platform. The high-energy shooter Serious Sam 3: BFE is finally making the leap to the Mac on April 23, which the company announced today in a playfully Apple-esque commercial embedded here. Devolver’s latest chapter of the Serious Sam saga “is a glorious throwback to the golden age of first-person shooters where men were men, cover was for amateurs and pulling the trigger made things go boom.” Serious Sam 3: BFE will be available for both Steam and Get Games on April 23, and players are encouraging to visit the developer’s Facebook page for more details -- including system requirements, which are coming soon.
Things have been a bit quiet from developer Readdle lately, but the Ukrainian company looks to have a busy month, starting with today’s update of Remarks. Version 1.1 of the innovative iPad note-taking app has gained improved handwriting and wrist protection as well as sync for Dropbox, Google Docs and WebDAV. The $4.99 Remarks Version 1.1 is now available on the App Store as a free update for existing users. Meanwhile, PDF Expert 4.0 has been submitted to the App Store with full support for the new iPad’s Retina Display as well as the ability to watch embedded video or listen to audio in PDF files, iCloud support and thumbnails for previewing files. Also on deck for the near future is ReaddleDocs 3, a major update to the classic iPhone app which brings a new UI, iCloud support and much more. No word on when the pending updates will arrive, but we’re looking forward to seeing PDF Expert 4.0 on that new Retina Display iPad when it lands in our hot little hands...
Ape Entertainment and Bolt Creative have announced the release of Pocket God Comics issue 14, which wraps up the current story arc with a final chapter entitled “Para-Abormal Activity” based on one of the best-selling iPhone games of all time. “Straight from the spooky aisles of ghostliness and with the girls unable to regenerate, this may not be the best time to hang out on a haunted island,” the press release teases. “Yep... ghosts, a mystery, and a dubious murder make this an ooky-spooky, extra-kooky issue of Pocket God.” The app is frequently updated with free extras including The Pygmy Peril newsletter, an exclusive remastered version of the first Pocket God animated short and more. Pocket God Comics is available for only 99 cents from the App Store in partnership with iVerse Media, LLC.
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