I love it how a few days after the Consumer Electronics Show 2012 in Las Vegas ended, where people lustily obsessed over 55-inch wafer-thin screen TVs, Apple has got people talking arguing about education reform.
Two years after launch, Apple has now unwittingly made the use of iPads in the classroom the topic of discourse and mild controversy. Finally.
Jim Dalrymple has an excellent post up at his site, The Loop, titled ‘Modern tablet concept is Apple’s; everything else is just a feature’. It sums up perfectly the current state of the tablet market, why the iPad is dominating, and why its rivals have fared so poorly.
Essentially, it is just as Steve Jobs predicted at the unveiling of the iPad 2 – 2011 is the Year of the Copycats.
Just a few lines in his piece that I think are spot-on:
Apple didn’t invent the tablet, but they did perfect the way we use tablets in our modern lifestyle. The concept of the tablet is now Apple’s. … The proof is all around us. Look at Apple’s competition — everything being released today looks and acts exactly like an iPad.
Some tablet makers and OS developers are trying to convince people that their products are better than the iPad. The fact is, all they are doing is adding features to Apple’s concept. Anyone can copy a concept and then add small things to it, but Apple still owns the original and consumers identify with that. Nobody is being fooled.
The whole post is well worth a read, check it out HERE.
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
Of all the things that make the iPad an amazing device, its power as an educational tool has always been one attribute that stood out above others for me. I’ve seen this first-hand with my own daughter, kids of family and friends, and in online discussions.
I’m glad to see that this is something that has hit home for my old friend Dawn as well. Dawn and I worked together a million years ago when both of us were first starting out in the tech arena (doing tech support by phone and similar). She’s one of the brightest people I’ve ever met, and she’s got a lovely toddler-aged daughter who is growing up as part of what Dawn describes as ‘The iPad Generation’.
The little one is one of the first in a generation of kids that will be growing up with the very accessible touch technology of the iPad.
Dawn’s post about the iPad generation highlights the impact the iPad, and some great apps, have had on her daughter’s development. It’s a great read and rang many bells for me, as my daughter Zoe also thoroughly enjoys the iPad as a learning tool.
What I didn’t realise until recently, is what a brilliant job these apps do of teaching her the basics in a way that works well for her and at a pace she can dictate herself. The iPad also has the advantage of not needing to be set up. We don’t have to sit at the kitchen table and worry about her drawing on the walls with pens and crayons. It is a totally clean tool!
Check out Dawn’s post here when you have a chance: http://www.themoiderer.com/blog/2011/06/the-ipad-generation.html
If you have younger kids, this is a great look at how the iPad can fit into the learning activities you help them explore.
A recent survey of tablet owners in the US is very good news for Apple and the iPad, and for tablet makers in general. Not surprisingly, it’s not great news for makers of laptops, netbooks, and eReader devices.
The survey, highlighted in a CNET report and conducted by Resolve Market Research, concludes that tablets are no longer seen as just expensive toys, and shows them having a strong ‘cannibalization’ effect on several other similar product classes.
Some of the results and numbers that jumped off the page for me include:
— As we already knew, the iPad currently holds a dominant position in tablet ownership among both personal and business owners. As the chart above shows, they have an 89% share of personal owners in the survey, and an 81% share of business owners. The %age of business owners with an iPad 2 (29%) is impressive.
— A chart showing tablets owners thoughts on what type of device they will not buy after owning a tablet is bad news for eReaders (53%, to top the chart) and netbooks/laptops (42% to come in second in a race nobody wants to win).
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
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
One of the foundational elements of the Apple experience has always been a sense of community. Being from a Windows background, I only have a few years of personal experience with this phenomenon, but I have always been aware of its existence. If you haven’t been a part of the Apple ecosystem for very long, it can be a little difficult to understand, but it is everywhere you look. From enthusiast sites and blogs, to podcasts, to user groups, to the Apple retail stores themselves, there is something at the core of the Apple experience that seems to inspire a higher lever of loyalty and devotion than your typical computer or electronics manufacturer.
One of my most-used iPhone apps is Instagram – the photo sharing platform/community that gives users an entertaining and pleasurable way to post, customize and comment on images (check it out here in case you haven’t had the chance yet) so it was no surprise that having gotten my iPad, I was soon itching to use it on the iPad as well. Since Instagram on iPad is not yet available – what are the alternatives around today?
I am one of those people who loves to read. Back in the day I loved the smell of books from the library, magazines from the newsstand, encyclopedia volumes in our home library. My mother would hoard past issues of various magazines and periodicals, refusing to throw them out for years and years (!).
Times are a-changing. Every self-respecting magazine publisher now has an app version of their formerly printed product and most have opted for a pay-per-issue type system, often with a sample issue to whet your apetite and to let you know what you’re getting from your cash. While I remember the olden days of physical reading material quite fondly, I’ve resolved to place myself firmly in the present and accept the new formats. Thus I decided to download Reader’s Digest and see if I could adapt my reading habits and love the iPad issue as much as I once loved the print version. Continue reading
If you don’t need to sell your iPad V1 in order to help finance your iPad 2, or just find yourself with extra iPads laying about your house, here’s a great way to re-home them.
Apple now has a program that can match your obsolete iPad with someone who really needs it — an educator in a low-income school district. Through alink on the Apple Retail web page, Apple is directing those who want to share the magic of the iPad with an appreciative audience to the Teach For Americawebsite.
Teach for America is an organization that aims to end ‘educational inequity’ and help ensure that even children in low income communities receive an excellent education. I think that’s a great objective and a very worthy cause – especially now with all the looming cuts to schools and teachers here in the US.
To donate your iPad to Teach for America you just need to take it into an Apple retail store. They’ll do the rest and get it prepped and delivered to a school district that can put it to good use.
For those of you who have recently got an iPad 2, what did you do with your first-gen iPad, or what do you plan to do with it?