After the recent WWDC, Apple made it much easier to teach its programming language, Swift, in schools. In iOS9, you can run apps created in Swift on an iPad without the need for a virtual machine which means students can test, change a bit and test again with ease. They’ve also released some great looking iTunes U courses to help you learn. I look after the 1:1 iPad program in my school and I’d really like to take advantage of this for my students. The problem is I need to learn how to program in Swift and to do this I need a MacBook. Unfortunately I don’t have a MacBook. Everywhere I look, other teachers, students, everyone seems to have one of those sleek looking MacBooks, but I don’t. As I wipe my tears away at the prospect of all of my money going on nappies for the newest member of the Potter family and not a new MacBook, I turn my attention to making one from what I already have. Here is what I came up with. Continue reading
To Be Won: 10 free promo codes for the Notes Plus app
Contest Deadline: Thursday June 11, 4:00PM US Central
I reviewed Notes Plus last August and I was really impressed with it in terms of it being an excellent productivity app with some great features.
Notes Plus is celebrating it’s 5 year anniversary and the developers have sent us 10 free promo codes for their excellent app.
How to Win
Leave a comment on this post to get one entry for a chance to win.
As I’m addicted to scouring the world for the greatest productivity apps, you can get a bonus entry by naming your top 3 iPad productivity apps.
*** Please include a valid email address with your comment, as that’s where we will send the winners’ promo codes to.
According to Apple Insider and a number of other Apple news sites there’s growing evidence that Apple may be bringing the Touch ID feature to the next generation of iPads.
Poking around in code for the Touch ID framework in iOS 7.1, Twitter user and developer “UNiCORN”found a reference to Apple’s iPad lineup, potentially suggesting that the next-generation iPad mini and iPad Air may sport the company’s fingerprint scanning technology.
I haven’t used an iPhone in years and haven’t tried out Touch ID as yet. I imagine it’s a pretty useful alternative for quick access to a mobile device.
It would be interesting to see this feature come to the iPad, but it’s far from top of my wish list for the next gen models. More RAM is my top wish in terms of hardware updates and swipe typing is by far and away the single iOS feature I’d most like to see added.
What are your thoughts on Touch ID? Is this a big one on your next iPad wish list?
Apple held their 2014 Q2 financial results call yesterday afternoon. During the call they announced iPad sales numbers which were down compared to the same quarter last year. The number of iPads sold in the second quarter was 16.3 million (down from 19.5 million in Q2 of 2013).
Here are some more impressive iPad numbers shared by Apple during the call:
— The iPad is the fastest growing product in Apple’s history, with over 210 million sold to date. Over the same timeframe since original release, its sales have doubled those of the iPhone.
— iPad users in the US generate almost 4 times the traffic of Android tablets.
— iPad has over 95 percent share in the U.S. education market.
And maybe the most impressive of all:
— 91 percent of tablet activations in enterprise are iPads.
Not too shabby for a ‘disappointing’ quarter for the iPad.
Red Herring is a soon-to-be-released new iPad game from the makers of the excellent 7 Little Words game. Here is the developers’ short introduction to the game:
Red Herring – containing word game, logic puzzle and trivia challenge elements – is about organizing words into categories while keeping an eye out for sneaky “red herring” words that are only in the puzzle to confuse you.
They promise that the game is simple and addictive – two words that perfectly describe their 7 Little Words game. I did a review of 7 Little Words for iPad here last year, and it remains one of my all-time favorite iPad word games. The developers were kind enough to let me try out Red Herring prior to its pending release – and I can tell you it is a uniquely challenging and fun game. I’m already hooked.
Check out the trailer video above and look out for Red Herring hitting the App Store very soon.
Refurbished Retina iPad minis are available now, and for the first time, at the Apple online store. This morning there are just two models available – the 32GB WiFi only model at $419 ($80 off the new price) and the 64GB Wifi only model at $509 ($90 off new).
The refurbished section is updated often though, so I imagine we’ll see 16GB and WiFi + Cellular models of the Retina iPad mini available soon too.
Apple ‘s refurbished line has quite a good reputation – all their refurbished products are tested and certified and come with a one year warranty. Refurb iPad models also come with a new battery and outer shell.
You can check out the refurbished Retina iPad mini deals at this Apple online store page.
Happy iPad shopping.
The best movies app for the iPad just got another great update yesterday. Fandango Movies has a new icon, a very cool new Spotlight carousel feature, and a few more nice improvements.
Here’s the short but very sweet change list for Version 6.0 of Fandango Movies for iPad:
We’ve made your Fandango mobile experience even more exciting. Check out our latest updates:
• The Spotlight carousel now available for both iPhone and iPad!
• Our brand new look features visual enhancements to movie pages, theater lists, as well as a new rating system and easy-to-spot ticketing information icons
• Sign in to your Fandango account using Facebook or Google+ (iPhone only; iPad coming soon). Don’t have an account yet? Create one now for one-tap purchases and to save your favorite theaters.
Fandango has been an excellent iPad app as long as I can remember. It makes it quick and easy to find a great movie, check out when it’s showing in nearby theaters, choose seats and book tickets right within the app. This is a very nice update to this already stellar app.
Here’s an App Store link for Fandango Movies; it’s a free app and a universal app designed to run on both iPad and iPhone.
Wow. How cool is this? A MacRumors forum member shared a concept mockup for an Apple device called an iPad. Not in 2009 with Apple tablet rumors swirling all around. This is back in 2004 – 3 years before even the iPhone launched and a full 6 years before the iPad was released.
The concept itself is not close to what the iPad turned out to be – especially with that trackpad feature, and appears to be more of a smartphone device – but it got the name spot-on.
The Next Web has a good write-up on this.
Over recent days I’ve started seeing early talk of new iPads expected this late this year and in early 2015. Apple Insider has a report up, citing an analyst (Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI) with a respectable track record on these sort of subjects, that talks about some expected features for new iPads that are now on the horizon.
The highlights so far, at least for the next-gen iPad Air, seem to be:
— A new A8 mobile processor
— A Touch ID sensor as the new iPhone 5s has
— An 8 megapixel rear-facing camera
Thorin Klosowski has a piece up at Lifehacker where he states that quitting apps in iOS can actually worsen battery life – and quotes a former Apple Genius Bar tech on the subject:
Yes, it does shut down the app, but what you don’t know is that you are actually making your battery life worse if you do this on a regular basis. Let me tell you why.
By closing the app, you take the app out of the phone’s RAM . While you think this may be what you want to do, it’s not. When you open that same app again the next time you need it, your device has to load it back into memory all over again. All of that loading and unloading puts more stress on your device than just leaving it alone. Plus, iOS closes apps automatically as it needs more memory, so you’re doing something your device is already doing for you. You are meant to be the user of your device, not the janitor.
I don’t feel 100% sure that his premise is right, and browsing through the comments thread I’m not the only one with doubts on it.
And even if the premise is right, then to me it’s just an excellent confirmation of why iOS devices desperately need more RAM. I don’t get any great joy out of being my iPad’s ‘janitor’ – but I sure as heck know that I *need* to be its janitor on a regular basis when it comes to managing memory. That is if I want apps to be able to refresh pages properly. Or to prevent apps freezing up. There are numerous times per week where I need to close out a ton of apps in order to allow one app to run correctly.
Seriously, biggest wish list item for the iPad 6 or whatever this year’s model will be: RAM. Lots of it.
Card Shark Collection Deluxe is an app for solitaire enthusiasts. I was a big fan of the 4 deck version of Spider Solitaire on my desktop computer. Since an iPad is a comfortable way to play solitaire games, I began seeking a good version of Spider Solitaire. I tried several apps and then I discovered Card Shark. This is an app with a multitude of Solitaire games including Spider Solitaire. The first thing that impressed me is the ease of moving the cards. It is very quick and smooth. I was also pleased with the features and variety of solitaire games.
Card Shark Collection Deluxe has over 70 different solitaire games including the 1, 2 and 4 deck version of Spider Solitaire and 1, 2 and 4 deck versions of Spiderette which is a smaller version of Spider Solitaire that is quicker to play. When you start Card Shark, it remembers the last place you were. This is an opening screen of the 4 deck version of Spider Solitaire.
Touch and drag the cards to the appropriate pile. When there are no moves, touch the deck at the bottom to deal another row of cards. When you start playing, you will see 2 arrows at the bottom left.
They are the Undo and Redo buttons which will let you undo or redo your moves. If you want to start the game over from the beginning, touch and hold the Undo button at the left. At the bottom right is the “home” button. Touch this and you have several choices.
New Game – This wil bring up a fresh game of the card game you were playing.
Statistics – This will show statistics for your play of the game. They include what percentage of games you have won out of games you have started, the total time you have played that game, the average playing time, the fastest win time and number of moves, your current win streak and longest win streak and the average win time. You also have the option to reset the statistics for the game.
Rules – This is your how-to-play for the game.
Restart – Restart the current game.
Resume – Go back to where you were in the game.
More info – This will take you to the developer’s website. Continue reading