iPAD is Here

You’ll be aware of the UK launch of the Apple iPAD TODAY, no doubt if you saw the news last night you’ll have heard that the unit is available from today and that they’ve sold a million in the states.

Poor old Beeb, that’s ancient news and a quick look on the web will add at least 50% to that figure! Also they won’t have enough units to keep up with demand so expect delays! If you’re planning a trip to the Apple store I’d ring first! There are 6 models broken into two sets, the first set of 16gig, 32 gig and 64 gig have WIFI and motion sensing only, the second similar set add 3g and GPS into the mix – and of course the cost rises accordingly. Prices will start at £429 (including VAT) for the perfectly capable 16Gig WIFI model.

Meanwhile the iTunes store is up and running, I have had the American version of the iPad since it’s launch over there and everything’s working a treat. If you want to keep up with the latest apps I suggest you take a look at AppShopper, a nicely laid out website that’s easy to use. It has both iPhone and iPad apps and you can select both or just iPad apps.

Apple’s PAGES Word Processor is now available (as of a few days ago) and you’ll be needing that if you want to do any word-processing on the unit.

If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, remember, this isn’t a laptop, it won’t run Microsoft software! It runs only what you can get in the iTunes App store – but as they have countless thousands of Apps in there, some free, some a few pounds, you should find just about anything you need.

Some pros and cons for those of you looking at this miraculous unit for the first time:

The iPad+ Apps CAN:

  • View pictures, videos and play tunes
  • Read Word, Excel, PDF and many more document formats.
  • Read and write Emails.
  • Play games (but only the countless games in the App Store).
  • Talk to Bluetooth headsets and keyboards out-of-the-box.
  • View YouTube video
  • View the BBC iPlayer (new and VERY good quality !!)
  • Handle TV (tvcatchup) and radio (tunein radio)
  • Run Skype
  • Provide weather reports (the weather channel)
  • Search maps (google maps)
  • Control your Sky+ box (Sky+)
  • Share 3g/WIFI with many phones (Joikuspot on phone)
  • Record audio
  • Handle social networks (many Apps)
  • Run for up to 10 hours without mains power
  • Emulate iPod

The iPad CAN’T:

  • Let you access all it’s memory like a disk. Memory is split up into application spaces and of course the place you store your videos, pictures and music. I’ve found no way to “see” this as a single disk drive.
  • Run Microsoft software. It is not a laptop.
  • Handle USB disks and cameras directly.
  • Run FLASH video (though YouTube and iPhone are supported – see CAN).
  • Run WiFi super-reliably (sure it runs WIFI but it breaks occasionally – soon to be fixed)
  • Share WIFI with your iPhone (deliberate and stupid move)
  • Take pictures or video (no camera)

I hope this information helps you make a decision. Am I happy I bought an iPad?  Most definitely YES. Would I pay the extra for the 3G version? No. Am I happy with 32Gig? Can’t even start to fill it up so the base model will do for many people. Music and video lovers with massive collections may opt for the larger models.

Peter Scargill

To order these units online I BELIEVE you go here http://store.apple.com/uk

p.s. If you want to know more about using the iPad, for example with a 3G dongle – see my other articles….

Comparing Android and the iPhone/iPad operating system

Using the iPad with a separate 3G source like an iPhone, MS Smartphone or dongle SIM

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

3G for iPAD

So you’re an Apple enthusiast, you probably already have an iPhone – and now you’re considering the iPAD – but which version? Do you go for the WIFI only or get the 3G version and land yourself with ANOTHER contract?

Well, there may be another way. As it happens I have a Vodafone 3G dongle allowing (fair use) unlimited access to 3G signals to supply broadband to the laptop.

That won’t work, I hear you say, it’s a USB dongle and  the iPAD won’t handle a USB dongle! True, but, as I found out this morning, the SIM in the Vodafone dongle works in a phone – at least, for data anyway. I just happen to have a Nokia e65, but any old phone with WIFI will do… head on over to Joiku where they have software for most phones to turn the phone into a WIFI access point. You run the software, it makes the call – and supplies a WIFI signal for your laptop. Which means of course – your iPAD. I’ve yet to try using this to provide a signal for the iPHONE so that I can use SKYPE (which refuses to work on 3G or even 3G with a VPN) – but that’s because I went out to do my testing with a flat phone battery and just managed to knock off a couple of emails to prove that it all works.

More on the SKYPE episode later but if you can lay your hands on a suitable phone, the only downside to using this as against the dongle – is that you end up with something else to keep charged… but rather than adding another contract that surely has to be a worthwhile compromise?

Peter Scargill

How will you get WIFI for your iPAD?

With the launch of the iPAD just around the corner in the UK, you might think that there are plenty of WIFI access points to use it with, bearing in mind that the basic unit will NOT allow tethering to your iPhone…..

Well, that’s a worry because the government is doing it’s best to screw up WIFI access in the UK

On the other hand there are signs of common sense when it comes to the IMPLEMENTATION of the Digital Economy Bill (DEB) – but only very thin on the ground at the moment..

Of interest, what of those who buy one of those 3G access points, I refer to the likes of the Solwise 3GWIFIMRW wall server unit. You plug in your 3G dongle and it serves up IP addresses you can use yourself or share with others for a small meeting. Technically that makes you an ISP!!! When the iPAD takes off you can be sure that gadgets like this and the even simpler ones offered by others will take off – or will they – it all depends on how the press plays the DEB.