Since October 16, talk has been mostly about better this, faster that and more of the other. But whether we all got what we wanted this time round in our iPads Air 2 and Mini 3, aren’t they just gorgeous regardless? Of course I’m biased.
And as Apple continues to report quarter upon quarter of eye-watering revenues, accessories makers happily carry on riding her coattails unashamedly, producing all manners of add-ons – some to simply personalise your device, whilst others to enhance functionality in ways that continue to be imagined. Personally, slapping on makeup on my already beautiful device is superfluous; I’m a big fan of the latter however, and the AirTurn Manos Mount falls into that category.
It may not be quite the right place to be talking too much about what makes us happy in life, but it wouldn’t be too much to share with you that I find myself thanking my lucky stars a lot these days. And one reason is that I get to participate in the march of technology first-hand – what a rush! But whilst I class myself a technophile, and most form does follow function, user experience always tops the list when it comes to why I choose what to adopt.
Take books for instance. There’s less and less need to argue the advantages of electronic/digital books on mobile devices these days as they speak for themselves. Literally sometimes. But for all I swear by my reading devices, there are particular types of books I will always prefer in physical form, and in the same breath will agree with the reasons traditionalists give to lay the same case. And to swiftly bring this opener back into relevance, whilst the virtual keyboard on iOS devices is the best in the business, there’s still a lot to be said for the physical keyboard, especially for the touch-typists out there. Being a fussy one of them, I went looking and found this little gem – the Perixx Periboard-806 Folding Bluetooth ALU Keyboard. Mouthful.
Love food? I do! But far from that pretentious way some might be with it, I’m in that simpler category of food lovers – if it’s good, I’ll have seconds before I feel the need to mouth off about it in an essay. And I’m not afraid of big bad carbs either. Like the almost universal companion of foods in this part of the world – the humble mash. But enough about food.
A piece of audio – from a sample to a symphony – can happily exist as a standalone, as it always has. Until the late 70s, that is, when artistes began serving it with a kind of mash – the video. Then came MTV and their Video Jockeys, and 30 years later, audio without video almost plays like a sad piece of roast chicken missing her carb companion.
So what’s vidibox all about? It’s an audio/video remixing App ‘that lets users create real-time music and video projects from an intuitive drum pad interface’. It comes with a long list of features, but what the developers forgot to add is that it is super fun!
“If you build it, he will come.”
It’s Field of Dreams’ quadranscentennial anniversary this year, and that line continues to be (mis)quoted to this day – just last week I stumbled upon an article about a pastor using it in his sermon, who tweaked it quite nicely to fit his message. I love the line, and hopefully will be able to justify borrowing it for this review.
After being fed the line by that ghostly voice repeatedly, the protagonist of the movie (Kevin Costner playing Ray Kinsella) would have had some mighty planning to do prior to embarking on the crazy task of replacing a few thousand corn stalks with a baseball diamond. In fact, it would have taken some careful planning by the moviemakers to fit those scenes into the picture, prior to investing time and money to actually build it in real life for the sake of 107 minutes of entertainment. The process of storyboarding, where scenes are planned and sequenced to blueprint an entire project, is therefore paramount; these days the storyboarding process is almost universal in its use in motion picture and animation, and has found its way into other disciplines, including advertising, interactive media and even for novelists. So, if there really is a novel in everyone, everyone might want to give Storyboards 3D a go.
Quick research will show that Loop Attachment started its life developing a silicone watchband for the sixth generation iPod Nano (I still have one; it’s no iWatch but it’s decent enough for what it is), but it was the release of the Mummy Case for iPhone a while after that brought them better attention. At a slight risk of being sexist, the band of vibrant colours seemed to delight the girls, and the boys got excited that the silicone strips on the back held their plastic and Nando’s loyalty card. The silicone-clad marriage appeared happy enough.
As one would have expected, an iPad Mini companion was later released on the heels of its iPhone Mummy Case sibling. Although they’ve removed the card-carrying function this time, they were kind enough to replace it with another: it’s now a thief-deterrent. Who’d want to steal a kitsch tablet?
On the face of it, a hands-free accessory sounds superfluous for a chic device designed for hands-on use. Not only is the iPad screen meant to be touched, along with the OS, almost all well-designed Apps have been perfected to have an intuitive UI that requires minimal sequence of gestures to get a task done. With your fingers.
As it is plainly obvious however, these short years have seen the boundaries of function of the iPad repeatedly redrawn, or quite frankly completely erased. Along with the living room, bedroom and playroom, the iPad has now found its way to the classroom, boardroom and, err, apparently cat room! For all the love we have for its beautiful screen, there are specific moments that we could do with stepping away from it, whilst still in some control of it. Like when you need to flip a page with hands full of that cat. Enter AirTurn, the wireless page turner (and more), especially for those very moments.
As many working musicians will know, most of what is created, stored, organised, accessed and performed start their lives on paper – chord sheets, lyrics, sheet music, set lists, etc – and many will stay on paper for the entirety of their lives. Some of these get organised; others rot at the bottom of the guitar case pocket, only to be rediscovered when desperately looking for a scrap piece of paper (because your ‘phone battery is dead, of course).
OnSong promises to “replace the mess of paper and binders with performance-ready, interactive, digital chord charts on your mobile device” – no question, this it intuitively does with distinction. And in this process of cleaning up guitar case pockets, it manages to streamline other off-stage tasks as well, either by default or by providing more functionality strings to its bow.