Draining an iPad battery has never been easy. Even before Apple's tablet had a retina display and LTE networking, we marveled at how such a thin package could be such a mobile powerhouse, sipping power as it churned through 10-plus-hours of reading, movie watching, web surfing and bird flinging. When iPad 2 slimmed down the form factor without sacrificing any precious battery power, we were duly impressed.
But now it's getting ridiculous. With the most brilliant, crystal-clear display on any device, ever, and a near-imperceptible increase in thickness--there's just no way that the new iPad can possibly live up to Apple's 10-hours-on-a-single-charge claim, at least not in any real-world situations.
Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Apple Rumour Roundup, Mac|Life’s bi-weekly take on the rumors and speculation surrounding Cupertino. This week, we've got our radar set on the iPad 3. With a launch window set for early next month, the talk about the device has really been heating up. Let’s take a look at a pair of the more interesting rumors that have cropped up recently, both of which come to us courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.
OnLive's cloud-streaming gaming service allows folks to experience the latest AAA releases via a high-speed Internet connection, even if you don't have top-of-the-line hardware or a very recent Mac or PC. Following a long lead-up, OnLive is finally knocking on the door to the App Store with its submitted app, which lets iPad owners get in on the fun with either custom touch controls (for select games) or a Bluetooth wireless controller. As the app continues to await Apple's final approval, I've had a chance to try out several of the titles available on the service, and spend more time checking out the touch controls following an initial hands-on at the Penny Arcade Expo in August.
After all the hooplah, jabs, hype and hyperbole leading up to its launch, the Kindle Fire -- which lends itself to so many failure puns, it’s almost as if Jeff Bezos is daring us not to buy it -- is not an iPad. It’s not even an iPad attacker.
There’s a reason why Apple’s computers have become the runaway success that they are today. As the saying goes, their products ‘just work’. It can be argued that the hardware’s near mythic reliability comes from a combination of Cupertino’s bullet-proof industrial design and the elegant strength of the code used to create OS X. That said, Apple’s not the only one able to crank out a nice little bit of all right. Microsoft has earned their share of pain after inflicting gems like Windows ME, Microsoft Bob and Windows Vista on unsuspecting consumers, but from the look of things, Redmond’s days of flinging flaming electronic turds on the public may be coming to an end. While it ain’t OS X, the stability seen in Windows 7 shows that Microsoft’s software engineers are willing to learn from their mistakes, and Windows Phone 7 is surprisingly pleasurable to use. In June, Microsoft officially announced the existence of a new operating system currently under development. It’s named—you guessed it—Windows 8. From what we’ve seen it’s shaping up to be a pretty slick operator, but will it be able to go blow for blow with Lion in areas the areas of feature set and functionality? Based on what we know about Windows 8 so far, let’s take a look.
If hotcakes were selling like iPads, IHOP would be the hottest investment on the block. But hold the maple syrup -- despite the higher price tag on most Macs, Apple’s making more money off iPads these days. Its Q3 2011 iPad earnings were $6.05 billion, up 179 percent since the previous year. Meanwhile, Mac sales raked in $5.1 billion…representing gains of only 16 percent.
What’s driving the iPad’s explosive growth? The “cool factor” is certainly part of it, but the iPad’s utility is the foundation of its success. It’s terrific as a second computing device (the first being a Mac or PC), and for many of us, it’s taking the spotlight as our primary platform for work, email, browsing, and beyond. Thanks to the cutting-edge offerings in the App Store (15 billion downloads served!), it’s even more practical than ever before to handle all your productivity needs with an iPad. We’re talking photographing checks to deposit them, piping video calls to your TV, and loads more. But how?
The advent of last year's iPhone 4 caused quite a stir with its high resolution Retina Display. So, when the iPad 2 was announced, we were expecting to see that Apple's next-generation tablet would follow suit with a Retina Display of its own. It didn't, but that doesn't mean that it falls short when compared to its smaller iOS brother. Whether we're watching a movie, playing a game or browsing the web, the iPad 2's display really does impress, and as Dr. Raymond Soneira, President of DisplayMate Technologies points out in his recent iPad and iPhone display shoot out, the two iOS devices are like two peas in a pod -- or, as he puts it, Arnold Schwarzneggar and Danny DeVito's characters in Twins.
Well, I've escaped the reality distortion field of this morning's iPad 2 announcement, although the RDF did its best to chase me down Highway 101 back to the office. Yes, the new iPad is sweet. Super sweet! Let's explore why -- and examine what Steve Jobs and Co. chose not to say.
The very first time we laid hands on a Verizon iPhone 4, it took us about 0.00000004 seconds to fire up the Settings app and dig into the Personal Hotspot feature. How's that for speed? Can you hear me now, and so on?
The good news: Personal Hotspot works really well, and a monkey with an ice-cream headache could have it set up in seconds.
The bad news: It requires an extra $20/month charge, on top of your (required) voice and data plans, and (optional) texting. And AT&T users don't have it yet.
If there was ever a relevant moment in the original Star Wars trilogy, it would have been during the Empire Strikes Back when an ancient Jedi Master named Yoda calmly stated that "Size matters not." Yoda then proceeded to lift a multi-ton spaceship out of a muddy bog and placed it exactly where he wanted it using nothing more than the force. With that inspirational moment in mind, we think of Sony's recent unveiling of the much-anticipated, next-generation handheld console, currently codenamed the "Next Generation Portable" -- or "iPod touch killer" in some circles.