Category Archives: Just for Fun

iPad5: Four New Features I Want

A Better iPad

With the Worldwide Developers Conference still underway, iPad enthusiasts like me are hoping they’ll unveil the 5th Generation iPad, but they almost certainly won’t.

So while we wait, here are Four features I would like to see in the new iPad5, in order of preference:

  1. More RAM

  2. The iPad4 is incredibly fast considering its relatively paltry 1GB of RAM. It’s a testament to good software design what some games and high-end image editing programs are able to do with such limited resources and they should be commended for their constraint and programming discipline. But enough is enough – give us another gig or two!
    Just imagine the iPad with 4GB of RAM. It wouldn’t just be fast – it would fly! And couple that with the already-impressive Quad Core Graphics in the processor, you’d have a lean, mean, gaming-and-professional-quality-visual-editing machine! No more would budding visual artists, photographers and video editors have to incorporate a “real computer” into their pipeline. It could all be done on an iPad.
    And Gaming? Forget about it. The iPad already has an impressive lineup of games, but this would put it well over the top. You think the recent release of Knights of the Old Republic was a big deal? Wait until you see the iPad version of Crysis3 or Aion. With mention of Gaming comes the inevitable mention of . . .

  3. Gamepad Compatibility

  4. Steve Jobs’s vision for the iPad was an all-inclusive device that didn’t need anything added to it. It’s a great thought, but it means that the iPad has continually been something of a letdown when it comes to supporting third-party hardware. It is time to change the philosophy to something more like, “the average user won’t need anything besides their iPad, but we want to make the device practical for everyone including specialists and enthusiasts.”
    In short, Apple should either make a universal gamepad for the iPad (iGamepad? iController? iPwn?) or at least write compatibility with existing generic devices into iOS. And speaking of iOS . . .

  5. A Better File Management System

  6. I am currently trying out a certain 3D Modeling App to review on this site (stay tuned, modelers!). This particular App can import a certain filetype, but because of iOS’s restrictions and because there is no way (that I can find) to save a file that the iPad can’t attribute to a certain app, I have to transfer the files from my desktop like a sucker. What happened to the all-inclusiveness?
    While file systems can end up being just as disorganized and messy as their owners, I don’t think it would be that difficult to write one in, at least for downloaded files. If they like, it can even make “clean-up recommendations” once in a while, or have a limit on the file size. I think this would do a lot to attract more Windows Users like myself, since they’re used to seeing all their files in a list or as icons. We shouldn’t have to use third-party apps for this – it should be built in.

  7. More Compatibility With Desktop-Quality Apps

  8. You know what I would like to do? Put CS6 on my iPad so that I can use Photoshop or Illustrator on-the-go rather than wasting precious time doing it at home when I could be playing with my children. This would require something along the lines of item #1 actually happening, but I believe this step would be a significant nail in the coffin of traditional, stationary, mouse-based computing and would add yet another layer of deeper, more significant user interaction to an already very user-friendly and handy device.

So will we see improvements like some of these in the next iPad? From what I’ve been hearing, probably not. It seems that Apple is still focused on making it lighter and giving it a slim bezel facelift likely similar to its little brother. Not necessarily bad changes, but still not the leap that some of us are waiting for.

iPad Hardware Specs: Does it Matter?

iPad Hardware came under fire a few weeks ago in a series of Windows 8 ads. They compared it to the ASUS VivoSmart Tab and claimed that it fell short in several areas. Most of these claims were true, some were false, but for the most part, they were right. The physical components of the iPad are, by and large, older and less cutting-edge than some of its Windows 8 tablet counterparts.

But does it matter? Does the iPad need the latest and greatest components in order to be relevant as a computer, or even a tablet?

What get's the job done?

The strength of the iPad lies in what some consider its greatest weakness: the closed iOS system. It feels funny to write those words since I used to be the biggest Microsoft fanboy you’d never want to meet. I believed that allowing for third-party vendors to write unverified software for Windows OS was a great way to encourage economic growth, free expression, and competition. Then I used Windows Vista for the first time.

I won’t go into detail about the train-wreck of an OS that was Vista, it’s nothing you can’t find on another blog from a different time. The main problem I had with using Vista was in using third-party software like Photoshop and most video games. For the record, the tragedy of Vista does not lie solely at Microsoft’s feet, but at the feet of the hardware vendors who failed to listen when they were being told how Vista would work differently than XP, particularly in how it would access the CPU.

The thing is, this kind of disaster almost certainly would not happen with an Apple product precisely because of their closed-system. In order to release an App in the Apple Store, it has to be tested and approved by Apple techs, who help the vendors work out their bugs and ensure compatibility for the product itself.

This is not a perfect system, and far too often, Apple strays into restrictive territory unnecessarily by keeping apps that it arbitrarily doesn’t like in approval limbo for years, like with the Onlive Gaming Service. They should be held accountable for this.

At the end of the day, when I’m working on a digital device of any stripe, whether it is a full-fledged desktop computer with all the bells and whistles or a seven-year-old laptop that hums only a little quieter than a jet engine, whether the product is made by Apple, Asus, HP, or even Microsoft itself, the question is not, does this product have the latest and greatest in hardware?, it’s can this device get the job done?

As I’ve mentioned before, the iPad not only helps me get things done, it helps me get them done in a way that is enjoyable and makes me more productive for that enjoyment. If the same can be said about a Windows 8 tablet when the time comes to replace my iPad, I’ll seriously consider it. But it all they can do is brag on hardware and disrespect and belittle their competitors, I think I’ll pass.