This is certainly ground that has been covered in MANY articles, both before and after the release of the new 10.5” and 12.9” iPad Pros, and for plenty of reason. Apple’s marketing has placed the iPad Pro squarely in the conversation as a primary computing device, and encouraged this kind of examination. However, because the conversations tend to center around those of us in the Apple blogosphere and the tech community at large think, they usually focus on the iPad as a laptop replacement for US as “power users,” rather than more typical users.
In the last installment, I talked about Apple’s missed opportunities and overall apathy when it comes to gaming. In this final chapter, it’s time to talk about what Nintendo has done right since the failure of the Wii U. There are also some interesting comparisons to be made between Apple’s ambivalent attitude toward gaming, and areas where they have been more aggressive, and ultimately more successful.
In Part One, I covered from 2006, when Nintendo became the kings of console gaming and were still flexing their muscles and substantial lead in mobile gaming, up until 2013 when Apple had turned the tables in mobile and Nintendo’s revenue and stock price were in free fall. Now it’s time to take a look at how and where Apple dropped the ball in gaming, the App Store in general, and especially on the big screen, and the ramifications.
I finally managed to track down a Nintendo Switch in stock right before Prime Day, which is NOT as easy as you might think. You can find bundled “deals” at ThinkGeek/GameStop and other retailers, but finding a stock Switch alone for the regular price of $299 takes either luck or signing up for in-stock notifications or trackers. This after close to five months on the market shows a level of interest that feels reminiscent of the first year of the Wii. I don’t think predicting sales of 100 million Switches is reasonable right now, but to dismiss this unique very and well-designed hybrid console is just as unwise.
Apple has revamped the lower / older end of their iPad lineup. They have discontinued the iPad 2 line, and brought back the 4th gen iPad – or iPad with Retina Display as it’s listed in their online store.
The iPad 4 is available right now in 16GB WiFi and WiFi + Cellular models – priced at $399 and $529 respectively – and available in black and white models.
This is effectively a nice little step up for the lower end of the full-size iPad lineup. The iPad 2 was a heck of a great device, but as a 3-year old device it’s hard to compete with the current lineup of tablets from Apple and other vendors. The iPad 4 has excellent specs and features for the price point it’s offered at.
You can see all the details on the new / old iPad 4 and the full iPad lineup at this Apple Store page.
I always say the iPad is an amazing device in so many ways. Generally though when I’m saying that I’m not thinking of indestructible as one of the words I’d use to describe it. Then again, watching this video, maybe indestructible should work its way into the standard set of Apple superlatives for our favorite tablet.
Here’s a little back story from Marcos Suzano, the owner of this tougher-than-tough iPad 2 and creator of the video:
Returning from a trip I had made, I forgot my iPad on the cars top in one of the stops I did. We got on the road and he fell from where I left him onto the asphalt. When we realized and came back to fetch it, it was already destroyed and I even saw buses and truck run over it before the traffic had allowed me to get it… The amazing part is that, when I got it all destroyed and pressed the home button, it was still working normally! That includes the perfect image and all the other functions, working with no sign of damage.
Nice going iPad and thanks to Marcos for emailing about this.
Apple’s latest TV ad for the iPad 2 is titled ‘Love’. It’s the sixth in the series that started with ‘We Believe’ – all featuring excellent narration by Peter Coyote. This one has another good ending line:
Getting lost in the things we love has never felt quite like this.
This one features a handful of people engaged in things they love on the iPad 2 – from a basketball coach showing his team a play in a huddle to a young kid enjoying a dinosaur app in a tent.
My favorite part is when they show a woman painting a landscape while standing out in it with the iPad 2. For years now I’ve been fascinated by the amazing art that is created on iOS devices. I’ve even got a little site devoted to it.
This ad, like all in this series, speaks volumes about how versatile the iPad is.
That’s my lovely new iPad 2 Smart Cover up above. It’s one of the newly added dark gray polyurethane models.
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.
Apple has done a minor refresh on their line of Smart Cover cases for the iPad 2.
In particular they’ve made some changes to the polyurethane line of smart covers. They’ve discontinued the orange cover and replaced it with a dark gray one.
Another change is that the microfiber lining inside the polyurethane covers is now color-matched to the cover itself – and the covers are said to be ‘more vibrant’.
Pricing for the polyurethane and leather smart covers remains the same – at $39 and $69 respectively.
I’ve been wanting to try out one of the polyurethane smart covers for a while now (I currently use a navy blue leather one) and I ordered a dark gray one this morning. I should have it by around the end of the week.
You can have a look at the full range of iPad 2 smart covers at Apple’s iPad accessories page.
A new security vulnerability on the iPad 2 allows anyone with a Smart Cover to bypass passcode lock security on an iPad 2 running iOS 5 (and possibly on older firmware as well).
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.
Apple has recently tweaked a few of the pages / elements in their online store page. One of the changes is a more user-friendly page for selecting and buying an iPad 2.
Instead of just statically showing all the different models and colors and carrier options, the page now asks you to make choices and walk through to get to the model that works best for you.
Step 1 on the new page is selecting a black or white model, followed by choosing between 16, 32, and 64GB models and WiFi or WiFi + 3G, and then choosing a carrier.
It’s not a massive improvement, but I think it should prove helpful for many first-time iPad buyers.