CNET TV Has a few new How-To videos that pertain to the iPad, where editors discuss and demonstrate some of the desired features for the iPad and iPhone OS, including adding cameras and, yes, even "using" Flash.… Read more
When you bring home your first iPad and open up the box, everything is so pristine and pretty--so Apple. Eventually, as you warm up to the device, you're going to want to make it a little less "factory fresh" and a little more you.
Loading up your own media, photos, and apps is a good start, but there are also a handful of quick things you can do to really put your unique stamp on the iPad.
Whether it's slapping on your own home screen wallpaper or new ways to organize bookmarks in Safari, I've … Read more
I suppose the "place the sub wherever" myth is based on the fact that low frequencies (80 Hertz or lower) are nondirectional, so it's hard to tell where in the room the deep bass is coming from. That's true, but that's not the same thing as disregarding subwoofer placement concerns altogether.
Some experts recommend always sticking the sub in the room's corner. I rarely do that, but corner placement will produce more bass at a given subwoofer volume setting. The corner's two walls and floor reflections "reinforce" bass output, so sure, the sub would have to work harder to generate the same amount of bass when it's not in a corner. But in my experience the bass is smoother (flatter) and better integrated with the speakers when the sub's placed next to a wall.
If your speakers are small, fewer than 10 inches high, with a 4-inch or smaller woofer, I recommend keeping the sub within 3 or 4 feet of the front left or right speaker. The logic here is that if the sub is much farther away it's easy to tell the bass is coming from the sub. The goal is to make the bass sound like it's coming from the speakers, not the sub.
Larger speakers, with 6-inch or larger woofers, make more bass on their own, so the sub is only responsible for delivering the deepest (nondirectional) bass. Sub placement options are greater for that reason, but the best possible bass sound still requires a little work on your part.
Some placement experimentation may be useful; play a CD with lots of deep bass and keep repeating the track as you move the sub to all of the visually acceptable locations in your listening room. Wireless subs simplify the task somewhat, but they always have at least some wires and need to be plugged into an AC power outlet. You'll be amazed just how different the bass will sound in different locations; some will be muddy, some will sound louder, and some will reduce the bass volume. The goal is to get the best balance of deep bass and still have mid and upper bass in equal proportions. … Read more
Many people are hoping the iPad can replace their traditional laptop for many productivity applications. One such group is students. If you need to copy text from one of your eBooks on your iPad, you may be disappointed to find out that the DRM management in iBooks does not allow this directly. Use this tip to copy and paste content from your downloaded eBooks.… Read more
Finding the official Netflix streaming video app ready to go for the Apple iPad launch was a pleasant surprise, as it's sure to be near the top of anyone's killer apps list for the tablet.
We were able to download the Netflix app from iTunes and give it a test drive, and the initial results are very promising (which you can see for yourself in the video above).
Launching the app takes you to what looks almost exactly like the Netflix Web site. You sign in with your username and password just as you would when using Netflix … Read more
The iPhone and iPod Touch were both unexpected hits in the portable gaming category, but the iPad has had high expectations for its video game capabilities from day one. We checked out a few titles, including puzzle, racing, and shooting games, to see how they stack up.
One thing to keep in mind with iPad gaming is that your existing iPhone games should work, even though they may not look fantastic. The experience is a little like playing a classic PC game on a high-definition monitor. Obviously the most-popular games have or will have iPad-specific versions, but we're not … Read more
Update (10:00pm PT): Just hours before the Apple iPad is set to go on sale, Amazon has made the iPad-optimized version of its Kindle app available. Like the iPhone version, it's free, and can access any Kindle books purchased through your Amazon account. We have not had a chance to load the new iPad version of the Kindle reader on an iPad yet, but screenshots indicate it had a similar bookshelf feature and page-turning animations. This is a surprising development, as Amazon had previously claimed they would not have the app available on April 3. Original post continues below.
At first glance, the new Apple iPad includes most of the features we've been complaining are missing from the current generation of specialized e-book readers, namely the Amazon Kindleand the Barnes & Noble Nook.
If one were to build from scratch a device for reading books and periodicals onscreen, there's a good chance it would include a touch screen for navigating and flipping pages; a color display for illustrations, photos, and book covers; and--infrequently mentioned but still important--the ability to download and read e-books from several different sources.
The current Kindle DXhas a display size similar to the iPad's, at 9.7-inches. But from a features standpoint, the iPad blows away the Kindle. In addition to its color screen, it's got a laundry list of functions above and beyond its e-book reader capabilities: a robust (albeit Flash-less) Web browser; built-in iTunes audio and video playback; photo viewing; and access to the entire library of tens of thousands of iPhone apps (let alone new, iPad-optimized ones that are just coming online).
Some first impressions when comparing the reading experience on both devices:
The screen: The Kindle's e-paper display has plenty of fans, with many agreeing with Amazon's sales pitch that the flat matte screen is easier on the eyes than backlit displays. It also makes the device readable in brightly lit environments, including direct sunlight. By contrast, the bright, colorful display on the iPad really pops at first glance. And it's backlit, so you can read in complete darkness. The question is: will that remain comfortable over long periods? During our short time with the device, we found the iPad's highly reflective glass screen to be problematic--we were always shifting angles to avoid seeing the reflection of overhead lights. (The iPhone may have the same issue, but it seems less problematic on its smaller screen.) Like many things, this is going to be a personal preference--but we'd give the Kindle (and other E-ink readers) the nod for brightly lit environments, while the iPad wins for darker ones. Meanwhile, if color is a necessity, the iPad wins hands-down.
Software--iBooks versus Kindle Reader: We were able to load up the Apple iBook reader on our iPad and we were impressed with many of the iBook features, including its browsable collection of book covers, the ability to see two pages at once in landscape mode, and the easy-to-use timeline at the bottom, which shows you the page count as you fast-forward through the book.
There's a cool page-turning animation as well, but that may get old rather quickly. Still, it beats the full-screen page flash that happens when you turn a page on a Kindle. … Read more
Apple iPhone Configuration Utility hits version 2.2. The new version released on Tuesday includes support for the iPad.
Apple's utility isn't designed as an end-user troubleshooting tool--it's intended to help enterprise users create configuration profiles for device deployment--but it provides three functions that can be useful for anyone troubleshooting iPhone security settings.
We wrote about these uses last fall, and we recommend that you read it.
Mac OS X's Software Update tool provides the following description of the update:
"iPhone Configuration Utility lets you easily create, maintain, encrypt, and install configuration profiles, track and … Read more
Version 9.1 of Apple's iTunes software is now available for download, bringing a handful of improvements and iPad compatibility.
Without an iPad to connect, there aren't a whole lot of visible changes for users to notice. The Audiobook library category has been renamed "Books" and broadened to include all book-related content, including audiobooks and back-ups of e-books purchased using the iPad's iBooks app. Although the feature isn't advertised, we found that free EPUB books from Project Guttenberg or Google Books can be imported via drag and drop. Unfortunately, without the option to view … Read more
Apple posted some short Guided Tour videos about the iPad on Monday, confirming my first impression that the iPad isn't a great leap forward for music. That's understandable, since there are other gaps that the iPad is trying to fill first--I think the big draw will be iBooks and Web surfing from the couch over a Wi-Fi connection, which can be done with an iPhone today with much eyestrain.
But the video about music playback (labeled "iPod") did give a couple of hints on how the iPad might evolve to take advantage of all that extra … Read more