Tag Archive: ipad


Apple Remote app for iPad

Apple has finally updated their Remote app to version 2.0, and included support for iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4 Retina Display, and for the iPad. It will also support shared libraries for iTunes and, of course, the new Apple TV (2010) that’s just started to hit the streets. AirPlay is also supported, currently for what was previously AirTunes, and no doubt for full on iOS 4.2 video goodness when that’s released as well.

Previous rumors have suggested Apple’s Remote app was the work of a single engineer at the company who had since been reassigned. Whether that was accurate or not, it looks like the release of the new Apple TV was enough to get Remote out of mothballs and onto the iPad, with a new iTunes 10-style icon to boot.

I loved the previous version of Remote, especially for entering passwords and searches — onerous via the infrared remote — so I’m eager to try this one out. If you have already, let us know what you think.

Today, Best Buy announced that they would be expanding the availability of Apple’s iPad to all its U.S. retail store locations beginning on September 26th. The retail giant will carry both the Wi-Fi and 3G models in over 1,000 stores as well as online.

“Technology is becoming more and more personal, and our customers say they really value visiting a Best Buy store to touch and try the iPad for themselves,” said Wendy Fritz, senior vice president of computing at Best Buy.  “We’re delighted that we’ll soon make that opportunity available to everyone who’d like to come see us, and experience this device in any Best Buy store nationwide.”

The iPad will carry the same price tag as it does in Apple’s retail stores. The news comes just days after BB announced it would also be carrying Amazon’s Kindle ereader in time for the holiday season.

So Hulu Plus preview users on the PS3 and iPad have run into some strange licensing issues. The details on the iPad situation are a bit unclear, but the PS3 users get to pay lots of extra fees for the privilege of watching content they could see for free on the web.

Let’s start with the PS3: not only will users have to pay $9.95 a month for Hulu Plus, they’ll also have to pay $50 per year for the requisite PlayStation Plus membership if they want Hulu Plus right now. After all that, users paying for the service aren’t able to watch the free content via their PS3. This is of course the free content on the web that non-paying Hulu users can see any time they want on the web. Sony has stated that Hulu Plus will eventually be available to all their users in near future. It’s unclear at this time if that means that Hulu Plus subscribers wouldn’t have to pay the $50 for a PlayStation Plus membership or not.

iPad users have experienced the same issue. Content viewable for free on the web is unavailable via the Hulu Plus client. Apparently it comes down to licensing: Hulu doesn’t have the rights to include some of the shows available for free on the web via their premium product. No doubt this is something the lawyers will work out later, but for right now it kind of sucks for the people who are paying for Hulu Plus.

We showed you the Camera A/Camera B iPad apps that allow yout o use your iPhone as wireless, digital camera. However, HDcam seems to be much more polished and is updated and ready to go for iOS 4 and iPhone 4 users.

The picture quality is pretty great, especially with the iPhone 4, and couldn’t be much easier with an automatic connection made between your iPhone of choice and iPad. Currently the app is only available for iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 running iOS 4, so 3G owners are, unfortunately, out of luck.

If you tried the app before, you can expect some major enhancements in the latest update including the following improvements:

– 40% faster streaming

– HD images quality improved 30%

– Low-res images quality improved 300%

– Embedded photo gallery

– Fully automatic connection

– Minor bug fixes

You can pick up HDcam for iPad from iTunes now for $1.99.

[via iTunes]

The folks who own iPads and pay $99/year for MobileMe subscriptions have something to be happy about: The MobileMe iDisk app is now iPad-compatible. Of course, that compatibility upgrade also brought iOS4 support for the iPhone version:

What’s New In Version 1.2
– Designed for both iPhone and iPad
– Multitasking support for iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS (iOS 4 required).
* Quickly switch to another app and back to iDisk
* Play audio from your iDisk while using another app
– When app is opened, the last file or directory viewed is displayed
– Option to open iDisk documents in compatible apps such as iBooks
– When sharing a file, an email can be sent from any configured email account
– The URL for a shared file can be copied and pasted
– Various stability improvements

The Complete Guide to Using iOS 4

iOS 4 is here for iPhone and iPod touch. You’re probably downloading right now. Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of iOS 4.

First off, have you actually upgraded? If not, Here’s how.

Here are all the new things that are in iOS 4, and how you can try them. While you’re trying this, go and download the apps updated for iOS 4.

The Complete Guide to Using iOS 4

The big one. Here’s how you try it.

  1. Open the phone app
  2. Hit the home button once, then open Safari and go to any site
  3. Double tap the home button, which will bring up a little menu tray
  4. Select one of the “open” apps to switch directly to it

You can also swipe left and right to scroll through the different “pages” of apps you have open. If your app is multitasking-enabled, it will resume exactly where you left off. Games will continue from pause mode, web pages will be where you left them, music will continuously play even while you’re in another app, and so forth. The standard multitasking benefits.

So yes, this allows you to listen to Pandora in the background while you do other stuff. Well, as long as you grab that new version of Pandora. Strangely enough, YouTube backgrounding does not work, even though I remember specifically talks of that working. Not sure what happened there, or if the YouTube app needs an update.

The big picture is you can do a lot of stuff now that you couldn’t do before. You can have a Skype phone call and use your phone simultaneously, have a GPS turn-by-turn navigation app keep your place and keep routing you even while you go and send a text message, or even just load up a web page and have it full in in the background while you go change a song.

To close a running app

Steve Jobs doesn’t recommend that you even deal with closing running apps, because the phone will take care of it automatically. But if you want to shut off Pandora, or AIM, or anything else that’s running in the background and giving you alerts or doing something you want to end, here’s what you do.

  1. Double tap the home button from any app
  2. Press and hold on an app icon. The dismiss “minus” icon will pop up on each app and the icons will start shaking
  3. Click the minus icon to kill an app. You can do so repeatedly for all the apps you want to close.
  4. To get out of this mode, hit the home The Complete Guide to Using iOS 4

The hell of countless app screens is finally gone—or at least manageable in a sloppy way now. The folders in iOS 4.0 aren’t perfect but they help organization just a bit and they’re simple to use.

All you need to do is press-and-hold any app to trigger rearranging app icons and you’ll be able to drag them onto each other to create folders. Done. Your iPhone will even automatically suggest a name for the folder based on the type of apps you’re sticking in there (though you can change that with a tap).

Folders aren’t exactly perfect though. They fit twelve apps, but only show tiny versions of 9. Once opened, folders show apps in rows of four—which leaves a net nine-app folder looking awkward once open. No matter though, we’re content with being tossed at least a scrap here and hope that future iOS upgrades will address the some of the shortcomings of folders.

It’s not surprising, but it’s good to know that you can in fact stick folders into the dock.

The Complete Guide to Using iOS 4

We’re glad to see that the Mail app received a bit of a feature makeover of sorts. All the new changes appear to be in response to complaints we’ve had our heard from other iPhone users.

The email threading feature is surprisingly solid. When you’ve got it turned on, emails will be grouped by replies—like in Gmail for example—and you’ll see a little number indicator next to the most messages in your inbox to show you how long a thread is. Tap that most recent message and all others will pop up.

Speaking of Gmail! Those users will be happy to see that the “delete” button that shows up after a swipe has turned into an “archive” button. Makes things just a bit more logical.

We’re also happy to see that there are now “smart” links in emails now. This means that you can tap on dates to add events to your calendar, press tracking numbers to pull up the UPS website, or open the Maps app when there’s an address included.

And the best change to the Mail app? The long-awaited unified inbox. You can finally view emails by inbox or in one large dump. When replying to a message from the unified inbox, your iPhone will automatically use the correct email account.

The Complete Guide to Using iOS 4

New iPod multitasking controls

The Complete Guide to Using iOS 4
While you can no longer get a pop-up set of iPod controls by double-tapping the home button, you do have a decent replacement in the multi-tasking drawer. By swiping over to the very left of the drawer, you’ll be able to access some minimal iPod controls next to the orientation lock. Play/pause, forward, back. It’s just enough to make some quick adjustments to song selection, but we still miss the old pop-up-style controls a bit.

The Complete Guide to Using iOS 4

That book e-reader program that’s already out on iPad is coming to iPhone! (Yay.) But it’s not built in. (Wha?) You have to hit the App Store and manually download the iBooks app. It’s free. Maybe for competitive purposes? Who knows.

In any case, you can sync ePub and PDF books directly from iTunes by using the iBooks section. If you have books in other formats other than ePub, use calibre to convert them.

Game Center

The Xbox Live-like social networking game infrastructure that supercedes all the community-created ones is not here yet! It’ll hit some time after launch, once developers integrate it into their systems and Apple finishes building it. But, it should give you a pretty good unified system for communicating with your friends over various games, as well as allowing you to do game recommendations (and invitations). It’s definitely something we’re looking forward to.

The Complete Guide to Using iOS 4

If you have an iPhone 3GS or a late-model iPod Touch, you can set backgrounds for your home screen. Like on the iPad. Here’s how.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap Wallpaper
  3. Tap on the two icons that represent your two current homescreen/lockscreen wallpapers
  4. Choose a picture from either the Wallpapers list that Apple included, or use one of your own photos from your photo album
  5. Decide whether you want it on your lock screen, your home screen, or Both
  6. Hit the home button to see your new home screen

The Complete Guide to Using iOS 4

Keep in mind that this is digital zoom, so the already-wanting quality of the iPhone 3G/3GS camera will get even worse when you go 5x bigger. This is no enhance, enhance, enhance magic.

But to do so, just open up the Camera app, tap somewhere on the middle of the screen and the slider will appear. Slide it right to zoom, left to un-crappify. Note, zooming doesn’t work on videos, where you can only tap to focus, but not zoom.

The Complete Guide to Using iOS 4

Pairing a Bluetooth keyboard—almost any Bluetooth keyboard, not just the slender Apple-branded kind—is as simple as pairing any other Bluetooth device. Turn the keyboard on, turn on Bluetooth, let your phone detect the keyboard, and tap a few numbers. Done. It works quite well, though it takes a while to get used to not having the on-scree keyboard pop-up while a Bluetooth one is connected.

The Complete Guide to Using iOS 4

The Complete Guide to Using iOS 4

You can now tether your phone to your computer over USB or Bluetooth. But how? The first step is turning on tethering on your account, which you can do by going toatt.com/mywireless and enrolling in the tethering plan. It’s an extra $20 a month, and you get to share whatever data plan you have on your phone with your computer.

Charging an extra $20 just for the privilege of using the same data you’re already using on another device seems seems pretty lame, but that’s a gripe for another time.

iAds

What, you’re in such a hurry to look at ads on your iPhone? You’ll have to cool it for a bit, because the ads themselves aren’t available until July 1. What you can do, though, is opt-out of the targeting portion of the ads by going to oo.apple.com, but that isn’t live until July 1 either.

What we still didn’t get (and want in iOS 5)

  • SMS tone customization. Seriously! C’mon!’
  • Facebook integration, or any kind of cloud-contact syncing
  • iTunes cloud streaming, direct from an iTunes.com
  • Better multitasking, because only having four icons visible at once is arbitrarily clumsy. Why swipe through so many apps to find the one to “quickly” switch to
  • solution to the modal popup problem. I don’t want to be locked out of what I’m doing whenever I get an IM
  • Widgets in the multitasking tray
  • A lock screen that shows email count, IM count, SMS count and other info to be determined by the user
  • Home screen widgets even
  • Free turn-by-turn application (Android can do it, why not one for iPhone)
  • Ability to remove Apple’s default apps
  • Horizontal homescreen
  • Ability to disable spotlight searching entirely, for both privacy reasons and for clumsy-swiping reasons
  • iChat mobile, with FaceTime on iPhone 4 somehow worked in to video chat with desktops

IMG 0959 Review: Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2   Kart Racing King?

Overview

Crash Bandicoot returns to the iPhone in a kart in Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2. The game presents classic kart racing like the original, but with brand new courses, new modes, and updated graphics. The game is all about arcade racing where speed is king, plus you get the help of weapons to make your opponents stumble.
IMG 0957 300x200 Review: Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2   Kart Racing King?

Features

There are 12 different tracks that are presented in groups of three in four different cups. As you complete the cups you unlock the course to play individually, plus you unlock new game modes and characters and cars. Game modes include mission, eliminator, time attack, arcade, collector, plus there is online multiplayer.
IMG 0958 300x200 Review: Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2   Kart Racing King?

The Good

The game is simple fun that only kart racing can provide where you never worry about the brakes, and it’s all about out maneuvering your opponents. Another good aspect is the absurdity and challenge of the courses so you never know what obstacle is around the corner. On top of that, if you fall behind you can use weapons to get back into it, and if you have the lead you can always lose it from opponent’s weapons.

The game is a definite step up from the original, but that isn’t saying much as it’s very poor quality by today’s game standards. The graphics are definitely good quality from the 3D environments to the various weapon animations. Each of the courses has its own unique soundtrack which fits the theme perfectly.
IMG 0966 300x200 Review: Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2   Kart Racing King?
The game features four different cups with a lot of variety between all of the twelve courses. On top of that there are a number of various game modes including online play though they all seem to meld together. There is solid content, but nothing special, and not much to keep you coming back.

The Bad

The game just doesn’t have the same hectic feel as a typical kart racer, and therefore becomes rather mundane. There never is really any challenge, and most races you have a gigantic lead out of weapons’ range. The game feels more like a stroll in the park than the usual sheer challenge of kart racing.
IMG 0965 300x200 Review: Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2   Kart Racing King?
Boredom ensues, and there is no real reason to replay any course or cup. You will make it through all four of the cups in no time, and the extra modes offer no real difference in terms of challenge giving you no urge to play them. The online multiplier could help, but it takes forever to connect.

There are only ever a few rooms open, and even when you join them, more often than not that group is in the middle of the race. You’ll spend way more time waiting to join an online race, than ever racing online. The controls don’t provide much customization leaving you with only automatic gas, and only a choice between tilt, and on screen wheel for steering.
IMG 0960 300x200 Review: Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2   Kart Racing King?
What makes matters worse is that the game costs $9.99, though it lacks the quality of many cheaper games. There isn’t much time to spend with this title, and there is practically no replay factor. The game is boring more than anything else, and just isn’t worth $10.

The Verdict

Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 provides solid kart racing, but nowhere near the quality to charge $9.99 under current app store market conditions. The game lacks the fun no holds bar hecticness of typical kart racing, and instead gives you a rather boring drive. The game lacks incentive to keep playing as every race you will barely be challenged.

For $9.99 Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 is not worth it, and there are many better ways to spend $10, and there are better kart racers for much cheaper.

IMG 0808 Review: Split/Second

Overview

The content in the App Store is getting better every day, and that is exemplified by the recent release of Split/Second which launched with the console game of the same name. Split/Second isn’t just another racing game, and instead is an action packed thrill ride as you drive through TV sets rigged to explode at every turn. As you drive through the different locations you earn power based on your driving which you can use to set off the explosions known as power plays.

IMG 0824 300x200 Review: Split/Second

Features

There are three gameplay modes beginning with season mode which is the heart if the game. You progress through a TV season with nine episodes with each episode representing a different location, and each one having four events. There is race mode which is self explanatory, elimination mode where a racer is eliminated every certain interval of time, and detonator mode where you try to beat the lap record solo with every power play detonating along your way.

Quickplay is the second mode which allows you to lay any unlocked event at any unlocked course. Finally multiplayer mode features local connectivity over bluetooth or wifi as well as online multiplayer.

The Good

From the first race you’ll be hooked by the adrenaline packed races in Split/Second. The game presents a racing experience like none other for the iPhone. It’s not just about the best driving skills to reach the finish line first like in Real Racing, Need for Speed Shift, Asphalt 5, etc.

It’s more about being the last one standing as power plays are used by every racer multiple times per race. The game is an arcade racer to say the least as you fly through the course, and you truly need split second reaction time to avoid or maneuver through the power plays.
IMG 0825 300x200 Review: Split/Second
Not only do you need the reaction time to avoid, but also to use the power plays as an action button flashes only for a second. You need to be ready to press that button when your opponents are in range of the power play devastation. It’s easy to fill the power meter to be able to use power plays as all you need to do is drift a little, catch some draft, or just avoid another power play.

The power plays make this game an amazing experience so no deficit is too large to overcome, and you can never be too overconfident in the lead. Going through season mode will give you tons to do with nine different episodes, and four events per episode. Each mode plays differently, and after you complete the main three events there is a race in the track of the next episode to unlock a new car and location.
IMG 0804 300x200 Review: Split/Second
Race and eliminator mode are great fun as you battle it out with everyone trying to destroy everyone else. Maybe the most challenging mode is detonator where every power play goes off, and you’ll be surprised by each one the first few times through. Then to be able to play head to head locally trying to mess them up is definitely enjoyable.

You also get to play online with anyone around the world to bring this action from the commuter to actual people. Online races are quick to set up and load, and all played without a hitch. They’re tons of fun as usually you’re playing experienced players with tons of tricks up their sleeves. The tilt steering controls work effortlessly to allow for fine precision throughout the game, and the drift mechanism works extremely well which can’t be said for other games listed earlier.
IMG 0813 300x200 Review: Split/Second
The game is wonderfully designed for an iPhone game as the racing genre has been able to do as a whole. As you’re screaming down the track, never looking back you’ll see the fine details of the environment go by seamlessly. Then there are all of the power plays which are amazing to see on the go.

The power plays include crashing planes, collapsing bridges, oil tanker explosions, runaway trollies and trains, and so much more. Another great aspect of the visuals are the crashes whether it’s your own, or even better your opponents as they’re cars flip and bounce around you as you speed by. A nice action soundtrack is also included though there isn’t a lot of variety to the music.
IMG 0806 300x200 Review: Split/Second
Now this game is a far cry from the console version which has massive explosions on your HDTV. This is a review of the iPhone version compared to other iPhone games, and not console games, and in terms of visuals for the iPhone this is right at the top of the class. It would be nice to see more from the console version make it in to the iPhone build, but for an iPhone game this is quite an achievement.

It would be great to see an iPad native version which shares more of the visual candy with the console version. The iPhone version plays really well on the iPad running at double pixel though it only looks as good as it can running at double pixel.

The Bad

There are a few and odd negative oversights in the game starting with no tutorial. It’s odd for a game to have no tutorial especially when there are timing mechanics, there is nothing you can’t pick up, it’s just odd. Another problem is that the game lacks no control customization.
IMG 0810 300x200 Review: Split/Second
You have automatic acceleration, with an on screen break, and the pop up action button when you’re in range for a power play. You can’t add manual acceleration or chose a different steering option, and can only switch the location of the grace and action button.

When you go online to play it’s definitely fun as detailed above, but there is no ranking system. There is no way to keep track of your online results, and how you stack up with the rest of the world. There are online high scores for points earned in season mode, but nothing for the online component.
IMG 0815 300x200 Review: Split/Second
Playing the game has a few minor problems beginning with the crash recognition. As you begin it seems it’s very broad so you’ll be crashing often, but as you progress you’ll see that it’s not the game, but rather the car you’re driving. With new stronger cars you’ll be able to get by more explosions in tighter squeezes.

As stated earlier the explosions looks mundane next to the console version, but that doesn’t mean they don’t look good looking at the iPhone app alone. Another problem is that the game may be a little too easy even racing on normal mode once you unlock new cars. The unlocked cars speed past your opponents so it’s rather boring as you win easily, so play on hard or stick with one of the originals three cars unless you crash often which blanches the playing field.

The Verdict

Split/Second is an amazing driving experience on the iPhone that is the most exhilarating on the platform. It’s absolutely outstanding as your speeding down the track always needing to be on your toes to avoid and create power plays through intricately laid out tracks. The game is wonderfully designed, and will give you plenty to do to make it well worth your money.

Split/Second is a should buy for $6.99 that will be tons of fun for most players, and especially arcade racing fans.

It’s amazing what an on-stage Steve Jobs mention will do.

Everyone has been buzzing today after Pulse, theawesome news aggregator, was pulled from Apple’s App Store after the New York Times apparently complained about their use of content. But what’s really odd about this is that just 24 hours ago, Pulse was highlighted on stage by no less than the Apple CEO himself as a great new app for the iPad. Jobs and those running the App Store seemed to be on a completely different page. Not anymore.

Pulse has already made a triumphant return to the store, their Twitter account confirms. So what happened? Did Jobs himself step into the fray and get the NYT to ease up? More to come.

You can find the $3.99 app once again here.

Update: When asked how the app returned so quickly, co-creator Akshay Kothari wrote back:

We’re trying to figure that out ourselves. Keep you posted.

We’d previously heard some nasty rumors that Apple appeared to be delaying iPad shipments until June 7, ostensibly to prevent a bum rush of people grandfathering into AT&T’s $30 unlimited dead-plan-walking. Whether that’s really what was going on, we may never know — but the carrier’s making things right today by saying that it’ll let anyone ordering an iPad prior to June 7 get in on the $30 plan whether they’ve received their unit or not (and let’s be honest, if you order now, you’re definitely not getting it by Monday). When asked for an exact cutoff time, AT&T told us that you can push it all the way to 11:59PM on the 6th, so procrastinate all you want, you… procrastinator, you.