All posts by AliciaB

To stylus or not to stylus – my impressions of Wacom Bamboo Pen

Tablets used to be synonymous with styluses (or stylii). These ancient writing utensils made a big comeback in the day of PDAs, Windows Slates, and pre-smart cell phones.

Then the iPad came along. Sans stylus. Designed to be used without one. An aesthetically pleasing, functional machine that works by personal, intimate touch. No stylus needed. Still, as with many things that Apple probably did not envision would happen with the iPad, manufacturers started making styluses for them. And so the question: to stylus or not to stylus. Continue reading

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BBC brings TV video streaming to iPad

Like many of my generation, I grew up watching BBC shows, particularly comedy shows. I remember laughing really really hard at those classic sitcoms back in the day. Side-splitting laughter. So when I heard the BBC has brought out an iPad app with TV shows available for streaming to a European audience, I did not hesitate for a single second. Download of the free app iPlayer done, I proceeded to look around. Continue reading

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Best Free iPad App of the Week – TED Talks for iPad

For this week’s Best Free iPad App of the Week, look no further than the TED app for iPad. For those among you who are already familiar with TED, it needs no introduction. For those who aren’t, sit back, relax and be prepared to discover inspiration.

Under the banner of Ideas worth spreading TED (Technology Entertainment Design) is the name given to a set of annual conferences, aimed to bring together the top of the field of various fields – science, business, entertainment, culture, to name a few – to share insights, learnings and ideas. Originally only those in the conference audience were privileged to gain from the lectures. Then from 2006 onward, TED talks were made available online for free for the general public, with much success. This week an important milestone was announced, TED videos have been viewed over 500 million times. In 5 years.

If you’ve taken the time to view a TED talk you know that they are thought provoking, inspiring, funny and memorable. There are hundreds and hundreds of videos to choose from, on a variety of interesting topics: medicine, magic, education, beauty, aging, leadership, you name it – whatever interests you. You can and will lose a lot of time watching videos, some over and over again.

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Surprise, surprise: people still in line 3 months after iPad 2 launch

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Three months to the day after the iPad 2 launched in Austria, I decided to see if I could walk into a store in Vienna and get one. I couldn’t. It’s not possible. Three week waiting period, AFTER you pay down on your chosen unit. Isn’t that just mind-boggling? And why do the Xooms and Tabs and Playbooks of the world think that they have a fighting chance on the market if people still prefer to wait FOR WEEKS rather than walk out with an Android tablet? Continue reading

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Best Free iPad App of the Week: Hipmunk Flight Search

Our choice this week falls on the release of Hipmunk Flight Search app, which is now available as a free universal app for iPhone and iPad. Those familiar with the web and iPhone version will not be disappointed. Sexy flight search meet sexy platform.

It’s hard to describe the unique appeal of Hipmunk’s UI – it’s THAT different. Usually looking for flights entails painstakingly entering data in web forms, with the results displayed in ugly overloaded grids that often strain the eyes. With Hipmunk you get options displayed in a clean, linear module, colour-coded by airline. Click to change option views to see price, layover details, select legs and book your desired flight via

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Quick review: Instamap for iPad

The one thing all 3rd party Instagram viewing and browsing apps for iPad and iPhone have in common is they all tap into the secret of the success of the photo snapping and sharing community. What’s this secret? The images themselves. The panoply of multi-coloured images arranged attractively in grids that can be pleasurably browsed through and shared at whim.

And so, given such a visually unique point of departure, a lot of developers are riding the Instagram wave, hoping to drive the myriads of IG addicts to their platform. I’ve been looking at another offering that recently made its debut on the app store – Instamap for iPad. How does this new app measure up against others like Instagallery and Flipboard that I previously reviewed? Continue reading

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With the new iPad 2 ad Apple’s just getting started

No doubt a lot of you out there are too young to remember the excitement us Apple watchers felt in the early days when a new iPod commercial came out. There were gasps of “cool!” all over the proto-twitterverse/blogosphere in reaction to the new Indie song that had been chosen to herald the iPod in all its silhouetted glory. Songs like Walkie Talkie Man, Are you gonna be my girl? or Jerk it out enjoyed a nice chart run on Apple’s coattails. Good times. Continue reading

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Qwiki for iPad delivers Wikipedia on speed

I try to keep an open mind when test driving an app for the first time. The 3 main questions going through my mind are – what does the app do? Does it do it well? And, will I use it?  I apply these three basic questions to any app, whether it’s being heralded as the Next Big Thing in the app universe or it’s a humbly obscure offering of the mom-and-pop variety fighting for press attention.

And so I approached Qwiki – which is being pegged as Yet Another Innovative Way to Connect with Information on the iPad. Continue reading

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A look at Hitpad & Zite for iPad

Flipboard for iPad has set the bar quite high for up and coming news aggregating iPad apps who aim to imitate their secret formula: a simple clean elegant UI, fun and compelling to use, one that makes you keep coming back for the experience. I recently discovered two apps – Zite and Hitpad – that both aim to please in much the same way as Flipboard does, bringing news you can use in an iPad-friendly smart-swiping way. The two have slightly different approaches – I can’t help wondering which one will find a permanent place in my app habits. Continue reading

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Why the iPad will change education as we know it

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When I was in high school, we lugged really heavy and expensive textbooks around e.g. Gardner’s Art through the Ages (Amazon link), our backs bearing their combined weight during our commute. Now in 2011, a student’s life is being transformed to adapt to the digital age (at last). As we’ve seen since the advent of the iPad, the first early adopting schools have started paving the way for integrating the devices in classrooms all over the world. Will our children grow up in a world where costly printed textbooks and heavy uberdimensional bookbags are a thing of the past? Continue reading

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Why I love my white iPad 2 and why you might too

Like many Apple watchers, I sincerely hope that the mystery of the mythical white iPhone 4 will soon be solved. Now it’s apparently been taken from the Apple store, despite indications that it would be available in spring 2011 (there’s no mention of it on the iPhone 4 page). Hmm. Even stranger than the question why it hasn’t materialized so far is the fact that Apple has managed to mass-produce a white iPad 2. There have been many theories but not much in the way of explanation from the mothership. Only a humorous allusion to the mythical white iPhone by Steve Jobs while introducing the iPad 2 a few weeks ago (yes it’s only been a few weeks). So while I have no insider knowledge to share about could or may be, I can share some insights about the white iPad 2, for those who may be weighing their choice between white and black. Continue reading

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