Tag: iPod Touch

Upgrading Your Smart Phone, iPod

Smart Phone SecurityI recently starting considering whether I would upgrade my iPod to the latest version. It got me to wondering what are the issues associated with an upgrade. Also what about upgrading my cell phone to a smart phone at the same time. The costs that are pretty high. But I can also sell my existing iPod to recoup some of the expense of upgrading.

This Is What I Currently Have

First let me tell you what I have at the moment. I have an older Samsung flip phone which works well although the battery only lasts about three days before needing a charge. Other than that it works very well. I also have an iPod touch which is a year old, so it does not have the built in cameras. I purchased it with 32 G’s of memory and even with loads of pictures and music on it I am not even close to using all of the memory.

Now you may wonder why I just don’t upgrade to an iPhone. Well we live in Canada and the rates for cell service plus data service is ridiculous. That’s why with the iPod, I just use WiFi and the data does not cost me anything. Sure I have to find a WiFi site, however I have discovered that there are so many around that I always have access when I need it.

I am currently paying about $85 a month for 500 minutes of local and long distance service shared between two phones to Bell Mobility. I know this is high by USA levels, but that is what we are stuck with in Canada. This includes voice mail and text messaging. It does not include any data at all.

The best part is that I am coming to the end of my contract and I can now negotiate with Bell, my current provider and with Rogers who are the main competitors.

What Should I Upgrade to?

What I would like is a new iPhone 4 as an upgrade with data and voice at a much better price that what I am currently paying. I am used to the iPod and really like all of the current apps that I have. I would like the current configuration that I have on my iPod plus voice.

I have to wait another month for my contract to end and then we will see what kind of deal Bell and Rogers will offer to me. Bell to keep me and Rogers to transfer me and pick me up as a new customer.

If I can get a new iPhone 4, then I will sell my iPod. I have seen them going for roughly $140 to $170 on Ebay and considering I have had it for one year and I paid $300 for it, this is not a bad deal.

Can Anyone Suggest a Better Approach?

If anyone has a better suggestion about how to get a better deal or what I should expect for a proposed offer for service, I would really like to hear your comments now. The end of May is my drop dead date for making a decision on a new phone of some kind. If they will not give me a good deal, then I might just keep what I have?

For more iPod touch information, click here.

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Apple iPad 2

Apple iPad 2The Apple iPad 2 is rumored to be released in the 1st quarter of 2011 and the ideas and feature rumors are rampant. We have searched a number of sites to compile a list of new features that Apple may be adding to the new iPad. Well 2011 has come and gone. It is now 2013 when we are updating this post and the Apple iPhone 4th generation is out, the iPhone 5 is out  and there are rumors about other updates on the way. Apple is continuously updating their devices and it is expensive to keep up with them.
One of the best ways to keep up is to sell your old device before it gets too old, recover some of your investment and grab the latest and greatest model. Of course if you are buying an iPhone, you must buy the phone unlocked so that it is much easier to sell. Prospective buyers can easily insert their own SIM card for their carrier of the choice.

Here is the rumored list:

  • a 7-inch display.
  • a mini or micro USB port.
  • the 9.7-inch model will actually stick around.
  • a new, smaller model would be “in addition” to the larger, original-sized iPad.
  • the device will feature Apple’s Retina Display.
  • include 128GB of memory.
  • will feature a camera.
  • will feature a camera in the front as well as in the back.
  • be lighter to hold in the hand.

Non of these features have been confirmed yet and Apple may even be letting them continue to keep the competition guessing. And it seems to be working since all of the competitors are aiming to introduce new tablets by the summer of 2011. Apple would appear to have the advantage since it’s product has been out there for longer and has had a chance to stabilize.

Even so, the developers for Android are  working hard to catch up and surpass the Apple juggernaut. Android may have the lead by the summer time in terms of other competitors, but it is any ones guess at this time how quickly they will catch up to the new iPad!

However, while everyone can assume that Apple will put a camera on the new iPad, nothing has been confirmed. And if earlier reports are true, and Apple is indeed creating several different physical models of the new iPad, to throw off any “leaks,” then it may be awhile before we start seeing a clear picture as to what Apple has up their sleeve for their new tablet device.

Rest assured, Apple will aim to be head and shoulders above the competition when they introduce there new iPad. In addition their other products will also not be far behind with feature additions as well. This was demonstrated by the releases of the iPhone 4 and the new iPod Touch in 2010.

More to come as we enter 2011 and Apple gets closer to the eventual release. Comments and rumors welcome! For more details about using iPads, click here.

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Why Some People Hate Their iPad

people hate their ipadCan you believe it there are actually people hate their iPad! Perhaps they had unrealistic expectations with all of the hype that there has been out there in the news and the web regarding the new iPad. We will take a look at the pluses and minuses of the iPad and let you decide if it is the right device for you.

People Hate Their iPad

On the plus side it does have the following features which many people love:

  • Shiny, sleek and cool — the latest must-have accessory
  • Thousands of Apps developed for the iPhone and iPod Touch are showing up on the iPad
  • You can also purchase a keypad for the iPad
  • Brand new form factor that can easily be carried anywhere
  • Surfing the web, sending short emails, paying bills
  • the (.com) button is really handy
  • Uses WiFi connections to connect to the net
  • Fantastic device if you are a consumer of information
  • User satisfaction according to Apple is better than 95%
  • Best feature is that it is “always on”

There are some things that the iPad just will not replace:

  • Use an iPad as a replacement for my laptop if you only browse the net
  • Sending long emails is more difficult
  • Easy to make typo’s (that is why many people sign their messages with – Sent from my iPad)
  • Slower typing for people who are fast at typing on regular keyboards
  • Lack of a tactile sense when you touch the keys
  • Some people do not like the finger prints that show up on the screen
  • Some people find it heavy to carry ( much lighter than a laptop)
  • Not the most efficient if you generate information

Learn to Use the iPad

Like many new devices there is an adaptation period that everyone must go through when learning to use the device. The iPad is no different and if you have used a PC all of your career, then the adaptation will be larger and well worth the effort.

Also I have found that the use of the iPad really depends on what I need to do. After a few months, I found that there are some activities I would rather use the iPad for and never touch my PC. At the same time if I am generating content or making modifications to my web sites, it is just easier to use my PC with larger screens, the mouse and the keyboard.

The message I would like to leave for most people who are considering purchasing an iPad is that it really depends on what you plan to use it for. If you just need a device to read email, browse the net, watch movies etc, then you will likely be very satisfied with the iPad. On the other hand if you need to do more with your device, generate content, work on spreadsheets or presentations, you may not want to use the iPad for this type of work.

I really like using my iPad at the coffee shop to read emails or catchup on the news. It is so much easier to carry it with me rather than a bulky lap top.

If you have your own experiences with an iPad, please leave comments to help our readers. We accept all comments that are constructive and helpful for our readers, Spam comments will be deleted. If you want to link to this page, create a ping back and we will do the same.

For more details about using iPads, click here.

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Smart Phone Applications & Use

Smart Phone ApplicationsThe following is a repost of an article we saw online and felt that our readers might find it interesting. Unfortunately we did not catch the author of this post, so if you happen to know who the author is, please leave a comment and we will be glad to update this post with the authors name and give full credit to him or her. We do not like to copy other peoples work, but when we see a really good post, that we think fits with our work, we like to add it to our blog.

We thought this is so interesting because it really heralds the new trend in marketing and advertisers should take note as well as people who regularly write posts for a living. Your audience is going to someone using a smart phone in the future!

Smart Phone Applications

Enjoy the post!

Advertisers take note: People who have phones with Android operating systems are more likely to open an advertisement inside an app than are iPhone users. That, at least, is what the Nielsen  Company says in a new report that it released on Monday about how people use mobile apps.

The report is the result of the company’s Mobile Apps Playbook survey of 4,000 people, which Nielsen embarked upon last December. It opens with a dose of realism, saying that “most Americans can’t imagine leaving home without their mobile phones,” and pointing out that one in four of the respondents own a smartphone that is “more powerful than the computers initially used to send men to the moon.”

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What did the respondents do with these phones? Download a lot of apps. As of June 2010, according to the report, 59 percent of the smartphone owners surveyed, and nearly 9 percent of the feature phone users, said they had downloaded a mobile app in the last month.

The respondents also are playing a lot of games. The report states that 61 percent of smartphone owners surveyed said they had bought and used a game within the past month.

They’re checking the weather, too. After games, the second most-used category of apps on the mobile phone were weather related, with 55 percent of phone owners surveyed using such applications, the report said. The smartphone owners surveyed also like mapping and navigation apps, social networking programs that access Facebook and Twitter, and music-related apps, according to Nielsen.

The respondents in the survey rarely download instant messenger apps and those used to make Internet voice over phone calls, the report found.

When comparing the different applications based on the type of phone used, the results were almost uniform across platforms.

Facebook, The Weather Channel, Google Maps and the music service Pandora were in the top five apps used on the iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Windows Mobile platforms.

In a blog post on the company’s Web site, Nielsen said, “One of the main challenges facing apps publishers is making sure consumers discover their apps.” And so Nielsen asked the phone owners how they discover and find new apps.

According to the researchers, 40 percent of those surveyed said they found new programs directly on their phones, while 36 percent said they heard about new apps from friends and family.

In addition to the finding about how Android and iPhone users treated advertisements on their phones, the report found that teenagers were “much more receptive than their elders” in engaging with mobile advertising inside an app, with 58 percent of teenagers telling the Nielsen researchers that they look at mobile ads.

Nielsen app market
For more information about smart phones and content, click here.

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iPod Touch Reviews

iPod Touch Reviews I bought my first iPod in March 2010. Ok, I know I am a little late getting on the bandwagon, however I really have been a PC type for all of my computer lifetime.  I bought it for $300 in the spring of 2010, and have really fell for this little piece of technology, and I haven’t bought a CD since as well.

This Generation iPod cost $300 and was the size of a half a deck deck of cards or perhaps even thinner. I purchased the 32 G model and have a huge amount of space for a lot of apps as well as pictures and music. It also apparently has a faster processor than some of the older models.

iPod Touch Reviews

IOS8.01 and iPad

The biggest complaint that many iPod owners have is that they cannot upgrade to IOS 8.1 because they do not have sufficient memory. They have to erase material from their iPad to allow for the upgrade. The other complaint is that older models just cannot handle the new software and are slower as a result. Time to upgrade to a more powerful model.

IOS7.0 and iPod

My version of this device also runs IOS 4.1 and has all of the same features as the iPhone except for the camera and of course the phone.  Apple has sold more than 260 million iPods, and its latest iterations look less like a deck of cards and more like a hand of poker. Since we purchased this iPod, apple is now releasing IOS 7 and  although Apple indicates that our iPod will run IOS 7, we are not planning to upgrade it since it is an older slower machine compared to the devices now being sold. it would be just too much headache due to slowness and unsupported apps in our view.

I really like this little machine. I read most of my email at coffee shops that offer free WiFi, read the news, check on the weather, listen to my favorite radio station, check my Facebook status, even keep up on my banking. This is a really great little device and as long as there is WiFi around, I can connect and be live on the internet. I can even make phone calls over Skype! When I call other people on computers including smart phones running Skype it is a free call. No data plan and no minutes! Utterly fantastic.

Now the company’s newest generation of music players is set to be released into the wild, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the new model.

If you own the last version of the iPod touch, the design of the latest version shouldn’t come as a major surprise. Instead of aping the iPhone’s new glass-sandwich looks, the new touch hews close to its roots with a super thin profile made up of one part glass screen and one part all-metal back. The device still bears the smudge inviting chrome rear panel, and continues the trend of shrinking the thickness as far down as possible. We thought the iPhone 4 was crazy thin, but the new touch looks like a toothpick by comparison.

We especially like the latest iPods, specifically enjoying the front-facing camera of the iPod Touch, but was “less enthusiastic about Ping, Apple’s first attempt at social networking, because it didn’t do well enough with the socializing aspect. With the camera front and back, we can take pictures, take videos and hold video conference calls with our family all from the iPod Touch!

Ping’s other socially awkward characteristics include its inability to notify you when other people comment on or like something you’ve posted or commented on. Apple says these will appear in the Recent Activity page within a week — but not as easy-to-see notifications at the top of the page.

Some changes to the iPod in the past, which is updated each year, have seemed forced, but that this year’s updates are welcome. There are thousands of app’s available that cover just about any situation you can think of. More are being added everyday and the older ones are being updated to utilize 4G speeds. This is truly a great winner for Apple.

iPod Touch Reviews  – Time to Upgrade

There are no design missteps this year, though, at least none as egregious. The 2010 iPod crop takes some design risks and, in some cases, subtracts some longstanding features. But in general, the trade offs are worth it. I cannot wait to get my hands on the new iPod model and put it through its paces. Now that IOS 7 is out and we are several versions behind on the iPod I think it is time to upgrade and purchase a new device.

If you have one, feel free to add your comments here so other readers can find out more about Apple’s latest creation. Please note that spam comments will be deleted. For more details, click here.

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New Ipod Touch From Apple

Smart Phone SecurityThe latest iPod touch is almost here with the announcement from Apple that they are updating the popular iPod touch. I have been using one for the past 6 months and I must say it is the best investment I have made in terms of tools and gadgets. The 4th generation of the iPod touch promises to be even better!

We will list the features that Apple has added in just a moment, however we want to emphasize something first. For those of you who want everything that the iPhone has to offer the iPod touch may be the answer with out the proverbial contract that is tied to all iPhone systems. As long as you have a WiFi connection you can do pretty much everything the iPhone can do without the data charges on an expensive contract.

Using Skype

Using an application such as Skype, you can make and receive phone calls on your iPod, and there are multiple applications that also allow you to send and receive sms messages as well. The only drawback is that you do need a WiFi connection. In my personal experience, I have found so many places to connect that I would never even consider moving to a data contract of some sort with the major carriers.

Ipod Touch Features

However I am digressing. Here is a summary list of the major feature improvements of the new iPod touch as release from Apple, which is scheduled to ship in Sept 2010.

  • Same stainless steel back, with about 15 % shaved off the thickness of the device
  • Same rounded corners, lighter than the original and certainly from the iPhone
  • Improved screen with more vibrant colors and crystal clear display
  • Addition of two cameras, front and back
  • HD video recording capability
  • Video calling with Apples Face time video calling app
  • No Contract
  • 3.5 inch, 960 by 640 pixel resolution retina display

Now you can take pictures and videos and send them to your contacts via email, conduct video chats with family and friends and stay in touch with all of your contacts. As long as you do not need to have emergency phone service you can use your iPod touch for much of your communication with everyone.

Note that we think it does not replace a traditional cell phone, which many of us need to stay in touch, conduct work activities and in general stay in touch with the world by voice. However you can purchase an inexpensive voice plan for your cell phone and use the iPod touch for all of your data needs, surfing, downloading videos and music and much more.

Apple has done it again! This could be another one of those game changers that shakes the industry and continues to put pressure on the telephone and wireless carriers. They still get to carry the traffic, since they feed the WiFi connections, they just do not get to charge the high rates for a data connection. There may be a revenue impact as more and more companies offer data service through Wifi service. Just visit almost any coffee shop and you can get free service!

More details about the iPod Touch from Apple can be found here.

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What’s Wrong with the iPad

What's Wrong with the iPadFirst of all in the interests of full disclosure I am a PC user and have been since he first DOS machines came out on the market place. I have gone through all of the upgrades and platform changes and all of the releases and issues that we all know and love with Microsoft. What’s wrong with the iPad?

Having said that I have recently purchased an iPod Touch mainly for the flexibility it gave me when I am traveling and need to get on the net to check my email, Facebook accounts etc.  There seems to be sufficient WI-FI sites available that I can reasonably find a location where I can get access to the net. It even has helped with my wife’s shopping were I tag along waiting for her to select something and try it on. I can amuse myself with browsing the net, or play games if I cannot get access were we are. However I digress from the main topic of looking at the iPad and what is wrong with the IPAD

What Am I looking for in a Computer?

This is probably my first mistake, since the iPad , although it is a computer is not a computer in the truest sense. Instead it is really a device that is aimed at a particular market segment with a particular set of tasks in mind. As far as I can tell it is really aimed at people who want an easy to use device to browse the internet, view pictures, view web sites and read books. There are thousands of apps that will be ready for the iPad in the next few months as well.

Let’s face it, if this is your need and your criteria , there is really nothing wrong with the iPad!

What you cannot do with the iPad is connect an external screen to it, you cannot connect an external keyboard and you cannot print from it. Fans will argue that you do not need to do this and there is an on screen keyboard for those that need to send emails and text messages.

What’s Wrong with the iPad – Power PC Users

This title implies someone who sits at their computer for hours and hours working on developing apps, developing and writing documentation, spreadsheets and presentations. While other technical experts will use their computers to interface with and debug programs and hardware that is being tested and developed.  These applications are really far from the planned or intended use of the iPad.

These users need external keyboards that are ergonomically designed with multi screens, printers, fax machines and various test gear that the need to attached to their computers. Since they spend so much time in front of their screens, they also need to be able to sit at desks and used keyboards that are ergonomic to protect their posture and their wrists from things like carpel tunnel syndrome.

So if you fit into this category and this is all you do with a computer, then the iPad is probably not for you. The iPad does not even have a USB port.

Do you Need Both Devices

There is an argument for owing both the computer of some sort as well as an iPad. If I had not purchased an iPod Touch, I probably would not have written this comment. The Ipad is basically a larger iPod Touch with many of all the same functions and format on a larger screen.

I have used a PC computer for many years to do most of the things I mentioned above. I use a laptop for its convenience, I can take it anywhere, use it whenever I need it as long as I can get connected to the internet and I can work off line as well on large documents, presentations and spreadsheets that I routinely work on.

Lately though i have found that the iPod Touch is being used more and more. The iPad fits into the same category. I have read and responded to my email around the pool, the restaurant while waiting in line, called via Skype to friends and family and lounged in front of the TV with the family watching a program while scanning the news. I just cannot easily do all of this on my PC in those locations.

So for me there is definitely a use for the iPad in addition to the regular PC.  However personally  I like the iPod Touch for ease of carrying it and its overall size and use.

Love to hear your comments as well. For more information about the ipad and smart phones, click here.

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iPad – What you need to know

There have been over 400,000 iPads written at the time of writing this blog, iPadhowever before it gets actually published there could quite possibly be thousands more iPads in consumers hands. We have looked at a number of areas that consumers may want to consider when buying an iPad. Although it is not billed as a computer and does not have the flexibility of a computer, many people are lining up to get this latest Apple product. It does have a lot of benefits, however there are some drawbacks as well which may or may or not be important to some users.

Review

Apps – It can run most if not all of the apps developed for the iPhone and for the iPod Touch, however they will most likely be the size of the small screens of the iPhone. If you expand them on the iPad, you will probably get pixelization.  Apps are being upgraded and or developed all of the time.

Cost – The price varies from $499 to $899 with memory and 3G connectivity being the main differences. Note that if you opt for the 3G version you will also need to subscribe to a monthly data plan with AT&T adding further cost. All iPads support WI-FI. If you spend $899, you may as well purchase a computer that has more features and business applications that you can add.

Display – similar display to the iPhone and the impound Touch. If you are already familiar with these devices, you will find that iPad the same with a larger screen

Web –Excellent for browsing the web with the same drawbacks as on the smaller devices. iPad uses Safari, which does not support tabs and does not support Adobe Flash, so if you go to sites that require Adobe, you are going to get error messages.

Wireless –The iPad supports WI-FI and AT&T’s 3G wireless plans. If you really need wireless on the go, you will need to pay the extra monthly cost. The iPad is fast and displays web pages with lightening speed.

Books – must be purchased from Apples book store with many titles and newspapers getting into the program there will be lots of content to review. Some reviews indicate that the iPad may be a little hard on the eyes vs. the Kindle if you do a lot of reading.

Email – reading email is similar to the iPhone, with a large screen of course, however the onscreen keyboard although better than it’s smaller cousin, is still not ergonomically sufficient for typing long emails.

Keyboard – Typing long emails is tough on the iPad and there is no USB connection to add an external keyboard.

Size – The iPad weighs a light 1.5 pounds and can be carried easily in your hands or in your briefcase. Most people are shown reclining with the iPad propped on their knees. This is not ergonomically designed , however convenience and ease of use are the primary benefits.

Games – supports all of the iPhone games and more are expected. Brilliant screen makes games on the iPad especially great to play on.

Music – Play all of your favorite songs with the iPad, listen on the built-in mono speaker, stereo headphones or plug it into an external system to listen to your music.

Photos – The iPad does not have a built-in camera, so you must import your pictures from other devices. Pictures can be displayed full screen or in groups. Note that if your pictures are taken with low resolution you might get pixelization when displayed full screen, which is a problem with the picture not the iPad

Movies – great for watching movies with the sharp clear screen. But the iPad doesn’t support the wide screen 16:9 format of most movies, so viewers will have to look at thick black edges on two sides.

Hardware – The iPad features a standard 3.5-mm jack for headphones, a dock connector port, a built-in speaker and a microphone. The 3G models also include a tray for a micro SIM card. Noticeably absent: USB and HDMI ports.

Battery – A built-in battery that cannot be replaced by the user. Apple can replace the battery for a fee. It is important to use your iPad properly , draining the battery every time so that you do not prematurely build in battery memory effects. As will all devices of this type, keep them away from water and high temperatures.

For more information about the iPad and smart phones, click here.

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IPAD vs. Laptop Computers

All of the experts are weighing in on the new Apple iPad. It has just been released and how it will take over the world, Experts feel that it will make all other computers obsolete and not worth the money you would spend on them. So what are Laptop Computersthe issues that people should be aware of. Why would you want to purchase an iPad and/or also have a regular computer?

The short answer really depends on what type of user you are of computers in general. We will try to break this down and let you decide for yourself, however recognize that it is early days yet and we have not had the opportunity to play with an iPad. We have been reading articles by various experts who have managed to get their hands on one of these new devices.

IPAD vs. Laptop Computers

Surfing the Internet, Social Networking sites, Email

Like the I-phone and the iPod Touch, the iPad should excel at this application. With touch screens and relative straightforward typing or input requirements, the iPad is ideal for this. With built in wireless WiFi capability,  fast computing and surfing capability, we expect that users will be more than satisfied with the iPad.

Smaller and less weight to carry around, with the touch screen, it is ideal for carrying around with you to the coffee shop or to work or to a meeting were you can keep up with emails , read the mail or monitor podcast presentations from anywhere you can gain access to the internet via WiFi.

Convenience and ease of use is the major selling point of the iPad. Anyone can use it, in fact it is intuitive surfing of the net. Whether it is your grandmother or your uncle who has never had a computer, the iPad will be the device of choice. The larger screen makes the difference for those who find reading small print difficult.

There is a large market for this general application of computers.

Apps

Currently we have read that any app that works on the iPod Touch or the I-phone will work on the iPad.  We doubt that Apple has had the opportunity to test every one of the 100,000+ apps that work on the smaller devices, however rest assured that within a month, they will be identified and updated.

Many developers are already working on new apps, with many available for the release of the iPad.  Those of you that like the I-phone and the iPod Touch for the app’s will continue to enjoy the same app’s on the iPad.

Preparing Presentations, Writing Small Documents, and Spreadsheets

Yet to be verified by users in the general market place, the iPad can be used to generate presentations, documents and spreadsheets as well as many other application of this type.  However the on screen keyboard and the lack of an external mouse may limit the number of hours that someone is willing to spend using this on screen key board.

Much has been made about ergonomic keyboards, mice, posture and screen angles for heavy users of computers. Small documents , etc should pose no problem, however we are concerned for those who spend long hours using a computer.

Developing  Music, Podcasts, Videos etc

Even though the eventual product is an app (music, podcast or a video or a an app) to be used by iPad owners on their iPad , developers will likely use Macs or perhaps even PC’s to develop these app’s. These app’s will the thoroughly tested on an iPad, however we doubt that they will be created on an iPad. Simply because to the ergonomics mentioned earlier as well as the computing power and ability to support more intensive programs that will not run on the iPad.

The jury is still out on this of course, however it will be interesting to see how this area of iPad use evolves.

Complex Graphics, Documents and Spreadsheets

Developing App’s, Programming detailed complex programs and documents takes long hours and sometimes significant computer power, display and various interfaces. We seriously doubt that the iPad will fit into this category of computer use.

The ergonomics are bad , the screen size is small for most developers are used to several large screens and the lack of an external keyboard makes the iPad not the ideal computer for this type of application.

Conclusion

There is still life after iPad for traditional computers, however the growth potential may be limited since they are both going after the user whose primary application is surfing the internet and responding to emails and social networking sites.

Power users, developers may also have an iPad, however they will continue to use their main computers for all of the traditional workhorse activities.

Give your comments and opinions about our thoughts and opinions either in agreement or disagreement.

For more information about the iPad and smart phones, click here.

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Apple Ipod as a Phone

Apple Ipod as a PhoneYou can use the Apple iPod as a Phone! I recently picked up an Apple iPod Touch from the Apple store in Las Vegas , Nevada. I had wandered into the store and was browsing some of the products when I was approached by one of the many sales people. I have to say that I am a solid PC user and do not know much about Apple’s products. I was intrigued by the number of customers in the store and everyone seemed to be animated and having a great time collaborating over some project they were working on. Perhaps Apple was running a special collaboration project, but I have never seen this in a PC store. I wanted to have a look at the new iPad which is what brought me into the store in the first place, however they did not have a model to show me so I was disappointed in this area.

Apple Sales People are Good At What they Do

Being a good salesperson, the person I spoke to started querying me about what I was looking for and we then had a conversation about how I might be interested in the iPod Touch.  What I was really looking for was an iPhone without the ATT voice and data plan. He quickly informed me that he could not sell me an iPhone, since it must be sold with an activated ATT plan and that I must also have a US address. I told him I wanted to make phone calls using the iPhone using Skype, browse the internet and check on email. His solution was the iPod Touch which can use WiFi connections to connect with the internet and do all the things that I was looking for. The main application I really wanted was Skype which there is an application for that can easily be installed on the iPod Touch free. I will digress and explain a bit about Skype , however this sold me in the iPod Touch right there. Now I do not need to lug my lap top around looking for a WiFi connection when I want to read email or make a few calls while traveling. Another huge advantage is that I can amuse myself while shopping with my wife by listening to the radio, music or reading news and email as long as there is a WiFi network around which there seems to be ample.

Apple iPod as a Phone – Skype

Skype is an emerging VoIP carrier that provides a free application to install on your PC or in my case the iPod Touch. Once installed, you create an account which is also free and you are ready to go. All of this can be done in about 15 minutes. Once installed, you can talk to any other Skype user for free over the internet as long as they also have Skype installed on their computer. You will need a microphone and it is also nice to have a built in camera as well since you can also do video calls with Skype all at no cost to the user as long as you are calling another Skype user.  Skype makes its money when you call outside of the IP network to a traditional phone or cell phone. Rates are typically 2 cents a minute or less. In order to make these kinds of calls you will need to add some money to your account which can easily be done if you have a Paypal account.

Once Skype was installed on my iPod Touch, I quickly signed in and was ready to make calls to all of my listed contacts. Note that you must be near a WiFi network for the iPod Touch to be able to access the internet and your Skype account. Skype worked just like it does on my PC with free calls to other Skype users and paid calls to cell phone users as well as traditional phone users.

The Apple sales person told me that the iPod Touch is exactly like the iPhone without the phone application installed.  What this really means is that there is no microphone installed and there is not a good ear piece.  Although you can hear sounds through a tiny speaker it is not sufficient for listening to music of other voice sounds. Instead you must use ear buds and a microphone chord which is then plugged into the iPod Touch. The quality is excellent and I have used the Skype application installed on the iPod Touch to make several calls to friends and family. In fact they have told me that the connection is better than when they have talked to me over my computer.

No Data Plan

I am still experimenting with adding app’s to the iPod Touch, however so far I have reviewed all of my emails, read the news using Google reader, checked on the weather, checked on the markets and followed some stocks that I am interested in with Yahoo. All of this may seem trivial to Apple users, however having the convenience of being able to do this with a small device like the iPod, without having to subscribe to a data plan from one of the carriers is a major advantage for me.

There seems to be WiFi networks around wherever we go. I did not realize just how many were available, since I did not always carry my heavy laptop around with me. All of the people with iPhones, Blackberries and other smart phones can access the internet and do all of the things that I just mentioned. However they are tied to a data plan which is a major disadvantage in my books when you can access the internet using WiFi for free!  Also you must be wondering why I chose to include this article in this blog under indoor coverage. Well most WiFi connections are indoor only. If you have a wireless network set up for home use, you can use the iPod touch at home as well while watching TV or whatever to finish up a few emails etc without having your lap top perched on your lap!

For more about iPod touch and smart phones, click here.

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