Facetime, Splashtop and more

The new iPad2 just keeps going from strength to strength!

iPad2For new readers, no I’m not an Apple Fanboy, I’ve been a Windows man since, well, DOS! But then there is the concept of “the right tool for the job” – Windows has it’s place – and so does the iPad2. Tonight I was sitting here getting on with some work on my Windows 7 PC (if anyone is still using XP or Vista, do yourself a favour if it’s not cost-prohibitive – bin them – Windows 7 is light years ahead) and my wife (who is currently in the USA while I’m here in sunny downtown Wark in Northumberland) rang me on Facetime (which for those of you not in the know is Apple’s kind-of equivalent of Skype).  I picked up the iPad2 and pressed the connect button and there she was – in a Barnes and Noble somewhere in Chicago – for all the world you’d think she was next door and we had a nice chat as I went off looking for the new kitten (she’s been away for a week and kittens grow quickly).

After waving to our pal Debby I asked her to switch cameras to the back camera – at which point I got a good look around the shop before ending the (free) call.  I recall before we got married you were talking a dollar a minute thanks to greedy BT (well, their predecessor) and their US equivalent.. thankfully – those times are gone forever and BTs claim to owning the Internet went no-where – what a joke.

Maureen and I chatted for a while as I got a good look around the store..  and then we ended the call and I noted a new update for Splashtop – which is a program that sits on your PC or PCs at home which then lets them talk to your iPad (for the techies, much like LOGMEIN but about a century ahead of the latter). I popped into the house and upgraded Maureen’s PC.  Some time and a glass of wine later I figured I’d give it a whirl. For the uninitiated, Splashtop and Logmein are programs that let you access the screen and keyboard of one PC from another – in the case of the latter – you can access your PCs from your iPad or iPad2.

Well, I don’t know if it was the upgrade or the extra speed of the iPad2 but I’m here to say that sitting in my office, I accessed Maureen’s Windows 7 PC from the iPad2 and went off to the BBC website – selected the latest news video (Flash – which the iPad doesn’t support natively for good reason) and ran the video. You would NOT believe for a SECOND that you were watching this remotely – PERFECT video, PERFECT audio, PERFECT sync – the power of a desktop PC in my hand!

The future of computing… remote access to any PC you own – and video access to those you know… on a lightweight, all-day-battery tablet – is here! It actually blows away the original Star-Trek concept which was limited to boring technical data only – but then that was a generation ago.

What we need now – is better, more universally available WIFI (FAR more important than 3G and it’s successors IMHO) studio lighting on the tablets so you look good in a pub when video conferencing – and that’s simple –strips down both sides of the tablet that light up white (high efficiency but WARM LED lighting – now readily available)… UTTERLY practical due to the low power requirements of warm white LEDs. and hey – this was MY IDEA!!!! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Technology that works – warm sunny weather in APRIL… what MORE could you want?