After almost every Apple keynote I like to step back, try to see the big picture and get my bearings on where Apple is positioning itself and its products. A way to review things we saw that were surprising as opposed to things that were expected. Here are my first impressions of the Apple media event, which was already dubbed “iPad mini Launch” event by many in the tech press, but which surprised in the diversity of its additional announcements and thus turned out to be more significant, in my view. Continue reading
Following the success of the RPG, or role-playing game, another form of gameplay decided to take things to the next level: the MMORPG, or massively multiplayer online role-playing game, which allows groups of users to meet together in a virtual world and collaborate on missions, trade and barter, or just goof around for awhile.
Some of the more popular MMORPGs today include Second Life, Star Wars: The Old Republic and City of Heroes. However, the king of the crop is the fantasy-based mind suck otherwise known as World of Warcraft. Unfortunately, any rumors of bringing WoW to the mobile platform are just that, rumors. At this point, it may be at least one or two years before WoW is introduced to the iPad.
Order & Chaos Online looks to be, at first glance, a mobile rip-off of WoW. There are similar environments, characters and quests that seem to mirror those of its computer-based counterpart. Upon playing the game, I discovered it really can be quite the WoW copycat. However, I don’t consider this a bad thing.
The RPG, or role-playing game, has become one of the fastest-growing game genres on the iPad. Gone are the days when it was simply enough to hack and slash at fruit or jump doodles; nowadays, even mobile games can be expected to have a plot, character development and satisfying action. But the real question is: Do they succeed?
To answer this burning question, I have decided to devote all my iPad game reviews to different RPGs for the next several weeks.
Before sudokus, crosswords and Angry Birds became popular forms of puzzle-based entertainment, there was the Rebus. Dating back to the Middle Ages, rebuses are allusional devices that use pictures to represent words or parts of them. They were originally used to represent people’s surnames and tell stories during a time when a majority of the population couldn’t read.
Now, they’re just fun, engaging and challenging puzzles.
The Rebus Show is a fantastic game that brings rebuses to the iPad — not necessarily for the first time, but certainly for the best time. While other rebus apps on the iPad tend to look like poorly drawn Microsoft Paint creations, The Rebus Show is a visual feast … especially for those like myself who love turn-of-the-century art and culture.
In the world of iPad gaming, puzzle games still hold the spotlight.
Oftentimes, more casual iPad users prefer puzzle games; because, unlike more involved games such as Sid Meyers Pirates! and Grand Theft Auto III, puzzle games are much easier to pick up, play and then ignore. It’s a more passive type of gameplay, which is great for those who only have a spare 15 minutes here and there to throw an angry bird at some green pigs.
The GorillaMobile Ori iPad 2 case by Joby is one of the most versatile and slick looking cases I’ve seen, at least by the looks of things in the demo video for it. Here’s a bit of detail on this innovative looking case:
Inspired by the Japanese art of the fold, Gorillamobile Ori for iPad 2 transforms effortlessly from a flat, light- weight protective case to an amazingly versatile iPad stand. Following months of research, Ori was designed to provide limitless ergonomic screen positioning and hands-free stability, without sacrificing the protection or portability of a sleek iPad case. Whether you’re watching a movie on the plane, flipping through a portfolio pre- sentation or typing an email at a café, you can position your iPad at the most comfortable height and viewing angle for you. For quick adjustments, simply tilt the screen or swivel the iPad from landscape to portrait display. Engineered from a special aluminum composite used in high-performance cars, the Ori stand delivers rigid sta- bility in a sculptural, lightweight form …
I love the look of the Ori iPad 2 case, and ordered one earlier today. It goes for $69.95, and you can see more information on it and place an order at the Joby product page for it here:
Image Source: Ten One Design
iPad stands are among my favorite accessories for the iPad. My iPad 2 gets a ton of use every day alongside my MacBook Pro – so it needs a good home on my desk. A good stand to sit in when not fully in use.
The Magnus iPad 2 Stand from Ten One Design is the latest one I’ve tried out. Ten One pitches the Magnus as boasting a sleek form factor, elegant Apple-like looks, and using the magic of magnets to hold the iPad 2 in place in the stand.
I’ve been using it for a few days now and of course I’ve got some thoughts on it. The short story is that I’m disappointed with this stand. Hit the break for the reasons why …
During the question and answer segment of today’s Earnings Conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook made some interesting comments in response to a question of what the company thinks of their competition on tablet market. What follows is a paraphrasing of his direct remarks.
He began by stressing that Apple was happy with the 15.43 million iPad units sold in the final calendar quarter of 2011, explaining that it was consistent with their long-term belief that the tablet segment is a huge opportunity for Apple over time. Indeed, he explained that they believe that the tablet market will be larger than the PC market; tablet sales are already seeming to exceed desktop sales in US.
With regards to the competitiveness of the iPad, he feels that the iPad is in a class by itself. Their focus is on optimization of apps that take advantage of larger canvas. The iPad has a wealth of quality apps available, compared to only a few hundred on competitors’ offerings.
He closed by saying that they don’t see limited function tablets such as e-readers being in the same category as iPad. These limited-function tablets will have customers and they will sell a fair number of units. However, he opined that people who want an iPad will not settle for a device with less functionality.
He delivered a smile-inducing full stop to his remarks, saying that last year was supposed to be year of the tablet. Rather it was Year of the iPad.
I’d been wanting to try out one of the polyurethane models for quite a while, as I’ve only ever used the leather one I bought on iPad 2 launch day.
I took the new smart cover out of its box two minutes ago, and figured I should grab a photo of it while it as clean as it will ever be. So far I quite like the dark gray – though it’s too soon to make any comparisons on using the polyurethane as opposed to the leather one of course.
If I spot any interesting differences in using this new model I’ll be sure to share some thoughts on them here.
My colleague Joe over at iSource reported on this last night and I have tested it out and confirmed the hack works just as described – like so:
- Take a locked, passcode-protected iPad, and wake it up, but do not enter a passcode
- Hold the power button until the “Swipe to turn off” button appears.
- Close the Smart Cover (or use a magnet)
- Open the Smart Cover
- Hit “Cancel” at the bottom of the screen (to cancel the shutdown)
This will leave you wherever the iPad 2 was prior to being locked. So if you were last in the Mail app, someone using this hack would be left staring at your Inbox and able to use it (though they will not be able to switch to any other apps). If you were last at the home screen, an attacker would be able to see your installed apps but not launch them.
Griffin has released their new TechSafe Case for the iPad 2 this week. It’s actually a case plus a lock-down system intended to keep your iPad 2 secure while you’re on the go.
The case itself is said to be a good, protective one and also offers this handy extra functionality:
… the TechSafe Case locks around your iPad and provides a secure anchor point for the included 4-digit combination-lock security cable. Key in the code, press the lock’s plunger, and it instantly releases tablet and case for carrying; it’s the perfect balance of security and convenience. Griffin provides online storage for your unique 4-digit combination-lock code. Store your code, accessible only by you, at GriffinTechnology.com, and retrieve it anytime.
The TechSafe goes for $79 and is available to order now at Griffin’s product page for it.
I’m not sure a lot of home users are going to want or need this level of protection, but it may have good potential with companies deploying iPads. What do you all think? Does your iPad need this sort of protection?