Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

iOS 7 Upgrade (Do it Now or Later?)

The new iOS 7 operating system on display at an Apple event on Sept. 10.

Apple has release an upgrade to its iOS operating system (iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch) from version 6 to version 7, so it must be better and you should do it as soon as possible, right?

Well, first it just came out.  Have they worked out all the bugs?  They won’t know until millions of people have downloaded it and sent their negative feedback back to Apple.  So if you want to help Apple get all the bugs out – by all means download it now.

Second, this new version looks different enough that it might throw you for a loop.  You might want to read more about it before you do the upgrade.

My advice is to wait a couple of weeks to see how it all shakes out.  Meanwhile, read articles on iOS 7 like those from Nick Bilton with the NY Time (click here) for transitioning to the new operating system so you’re not caught off-guard.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying “DON’T UPGRADE”, I’m saying take your time and be aware of the changes you’re about to put onto your Apple device.  I’ve already heard reports that it’s faster than iOS 6, just be prepared, that’s all I want to pass on.

Buying an iPad 2 for Christmas? Hold On–You Just Might Want the Asus Transformer Prime

imageFor starters, you have to admit (whether you know it or not) there CURRENTLY are a lot more apps available for the iPad than for Android-based tablets.  That being said, Android is quickly catching up (after all, how may flashlight apps do you need?)  Asus has announced that their Transformer Prime tablet will be available on December 19, just in time to get it before Christmas.

Why would you want one you ask?  Well for starters, it will be the first quad-core tablet on the market (that means it will have four processors handling the tasks currently handled usually by one processor.)  The Transformer series by Asus also has a keyboard that you can dock with making it much more like a netbook AND as a bonus has an additional battery giving you even more time to use your Transformer without having to plug in.

Engadget did a thorough review of the Transformer Primer – check it out here:  http://goo.gl/wiPmw

Amazon’s Tablet Forcing Competition to Offer Deals

imageWith Amazon’s announcement this last week of their new $199 tablet (the Kindle Fire) we’re starting to see the pressure Amazon is applying to the competition, even though the Kindle Fire won’t be available until mid-November.

Best Buy is offering the 7” BlackBerry Playbook for $299, that’s a $200 discount from its regular price.  http://bit.ly/TekChic0408

Target has the 1st Generation iPad with 16GB and 3G for $499. An iPad 2 like this is $629:  http://bit.ly/TekChic0409

Tiger Direct has the 7” Dell Streak also for $299.  That’s $100 off the regular price.  http://bit.ly/TekChic0411

You may occasionally see some cheap (in every sense of the word) Android tablets for $150 or less, sometimes even under $100.  These are cheap Chinese no-name tablets that are underpowered and don’t have access to the Android Marketplace, so without the Marketplace you’re really limited as to what you can do with the tablet.  I would recommend you stay away from them, as tempting as it may be.

It’s expected that early next year Amazon will be bringing a 10” tablet to market, and so we can expect to see similar aggressive pricing from Amazon and price cuts from the rest.

Learn to Play Piano for Free on Your iPad

imageIf you have an iPad and would like to learn how to play the piano, then you’re in luck.  The makers of Piano Tutor are offering it for free in the iTunes App Store.  Piano Tutor plays like a game, making it fun while you improve your music reading skills.  Here’s the link to their home page where you can read more about it but hey, it’s free!  Give it a try – you’ve got nothing to lose.  http://bit.ly/TekChic0381

Ready to Jailbreak Your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch?

imageIt’s not what is sounds like, it’s not illegal.  The idea of jailbreaking your iOS device is to “free” you from the Apple “jail” where you can only install the apps that Apple lets into their App Store.  There are other app stores, then best known is Cydia that you can only access if you jailbreak your device. 

For example, if you want to use the 3G connection of your iPhone to provide Internet access for you laptop (called tethering) you would have to pay extra to get this feature from AT&T or Verizon.  Your cell phone provider doesn’t care that you are already paying for a certain number of bits (data) each month.  From your phone – data is data, but for some reason if those bits originated from a laptop connected to your iPhone, they want to charge you more.  PDANet is an app you can get from Cydia that will let you connect your laptop to your phone and access the Internet.  Why would you want to do that?  If you travel, this is very handy.  It’s also much more secure than using the free wi-fi in a Starbucks or a hotel.  If you’re in sales and not always sure you’ll have Internet access at your next call, this is a handy feature.

Another app call SBSettings makes it VERY quick and easy to change common settings on your device, put it into “airplane mode”, control the brightness of your screen, turn on/off your bluetooth and wi-fi and data as you need to from a single screen.

How do you jailbreak your device, there’s a new site that makes is soooo easy.  Just go to www.jailbreakme.com on your device, tap the “Free” button and then tap the “Install” button.  That’s it, the site will do the rest and shortly your phone will be FREE.  Your device will LOOK the same, but you’ll notice a new app for Cydia and you are now FREE!  When you’re done you should then install the “PDF Patcher” that actually fixes the flaw that made it possible to jailbreak in the first place. 

You can always revert back if you don’t like your device after using it with the jailbreak, just be sure to do a backup with iTunes BEFORE you jailbreak it.  If you’re intrigued by the idea but not sure, then just click here for a Google search on the best reasons to jailbreak your iOS device.

This method will work if you have an iTouch 3G or newer, an iPhone 3GS or newer and iPad (both versions.)  QuickPWN always has the best info on jailbreaking and go to their site to see exacty which versions of which device are ready for jailbreaking with this method (chances are you are), go to their site here and then you’ll know you’re ready: http://bit.ly/TekChic0376

Over 50,000 Radio Stations and Live Internet Feeds – Free!

imageTuneIn Radio is a great free app for just about any mobile device you may have.  With it you can stream just about any local radio station, as well as live streams over the Internet.  I have a great stereo in my car but the AM radio is HORRIBLE – doesn’t even pick up the local Austin stations in a way that is listenable.  I open TuneIn Radio on my smartphone and  bingo – instant local radio nice and clear.  Is you favorite sports team in another city, there’s a good chance you can now listen to the games with your favorite announcer from that city.  I have a favorite tech network that I like to listen to (how do you think I keep up with all this stuff?) but I’ve tried 3 different apps including directly over the web browser and none of them work anywhere near as well as this one does in a moving car going from cell tower to cell tower.

You can find your favorites and save them so they are easy to find, and whether it’s music, talk or anything else on the radio you should be able to find it on TuneIn Radio.  TuneIn Radio works on Android, iPhone and iPad, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry and Palm.  It’s also available on the Roku box, Google TV and Yahoo TV.

From the U.S. Congress–the iPad is Making Unemployment Worse.

imageWell, maybe not EVERYBODY in the U.S. Congress thinks this.  Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. from Illinois has come to the conclusion (after he himself BOUGHT an iPad) that the iPad is responsible for the closing of bookstores, and putting text book publishers out of business because schools want to move everything to digital.  The logical conclusion is that we need to read MORE on paper, which of course would also help the logging industry (I wonder if Rep. Jackson is in favor of that?)   We could have helped the logging industry 100 years ago even more by keeping the buggy-whip makers in business and not allowing cars to take over.  Let’s just end innovation and progress altogether so we can keep everything the same.  Here’s his rant on YouTube:  http://bit.ly/TekChic0330

Watch TV ANYWHERE on Your iPad (as long as you don’t leave home)

I’m frankly a little bit at a loss why people would really care much about watching TV on their iPad, in their own home (I guess if you’re afraid of missing that big sports play you can take it into the bathroom with you.)

A couple of weeks ago Time-Warner launched and now Cablevision has announced an iPad app that lets you watch your television on your 10” iPad instead of that nasty ‘ol 50” plasma television in your living room.  Want to go to Starbucks and enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the morning, don’t plan on firing up your cable company’s app and be able to watch it there – you have to be connected to the same network that your cable box is connected to, meaning it’s only useful at home.

OK, maybe you want to sit in a chair outside on a nice day, then maybe that’s a good reason (assuming you can see the screen in the bright light.)  Don’t want to miss that touchdown while you’re in the bathroom?  Do yourself a favor and learn how to pause your DVR.

The really silly part is that some companies like News Corp, Viacom and Discovery are actually suing Time-Warner over the app, so Time-Warner is dropping channels owned by them on the app.

If you even cared about this enough to read down this far, may I suggest you go to Best Buy and purchase a SlingBox?  You hook your SlingBox up between your Cable box, Satellite receiver or DVR and television, NOW you can watch your television anywhere you want, even away from home (what a concept.)  SlingBox has apps for your laptop, your iPad and your mobile phone. All you need is an Internet connection.  You can travel across the country, take advantage of your hotel’s free wi-fi and watch YOUR television instead of whatever they are showing in your room.

Find Out When Paid iPhone and iPad Apps Are FREE

imageMonster Free Apps is an app (and yes, it’s free) that watches for apps that you normally would have to pay for are being offered for free in the iTunes store.  So if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch you can get a notification of apps that for a limited time (sometime just for the day) are free.  It will even tell you at the end of the month how much money you’ve save with the free apps.

Tek-Chic Systems really likes free, so head out to the iTunes store and add this app to your device.

The Tablets are Coming, The Tablets are Coming!

image    imageUnless you’ve been living in an igloo at the north pole, you’ve already heard of the iPad (and maybe the recent announcement of the iPad 2.)  The Samsung Galaxy Tab (running Android) has been out for a little while, the Motorola Xoom (pronounced by most as “zoom”) that just entered the game, and soon tablets from Blackberry and HP will be entering the market.  Along with with well known brands, you will start to notice a lot of unknown names and a wide range of prices.  I noted about a week ago that Apple was selling refurbished iPads for $349, and frankly if you find any tablet for less than that you might want to pass on it.  Since Google doesn’t charge manufacturers for its Android operating system, there are some cheap (in every meaning of the word) tablets out there.  Sony has a 7” but imagereally clunky tablet that’s very thick and runs its own operating system for around $150, Viewsonic has one for over $400 but it doesn’t run the version of Android intended for tablets.  Coby has one for $200 with not enough memory and an even older version of Android.  So as you start seeing more and more people with tablets and more and more places selling them like Sears, Radio Shack, Target and Wal-Mart, just remember that some of them can be really bad, and you need to understand what you want to do with it before you buy, so that you can make a smart decision on which one is the right one.

Lots of New Toys Just Around the Corner

imageTomorrow is the start of CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, the biggest electronics trade show of the year.  It’s being held in Las Vegas and just about every manufacturer you’ve ever heard of and lots you haven’t will be there showing off what’s new and what (might) be for sale later in the year.  Last year 3-D TV’s were big, this year there is expected to be a ton of iPad competitors, tablets running Android and Windows.  I’ll post some of the more interesting news as it come out.

DEAL: 16GB Wi-Fi iPad for $429 with No Contract

imageApple has refurbished iPads with a full 1-year warranty for only $429.  This is the wi-fi only version and therefore you are not paying a monthly contract to a cell-phone company.  A brand new iPad like this sells for $499, so with the extra money you can buy a nice case and maybe some apps or games.

The iPad also has Bluetooth built-in, so if you’re good with an Android phone, you can probably tether this to your phone using Bluetooth and have connectivity anywhere and not just dependent on wi-fi.

They also have the 32 and 64GB versions for $100 less than the brand new versions.  Remember, any new iPad that is bought and then returned for any reason cannot be resold as new, even if they are in perfect condition.  Here’s the link to the Apple store: http://bit.ly/TekChic0264

Epson Lets You Print From Your iPhone & iPad

imageEpson has an app in the iTunes app store that lets you print from your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch wirelessly to any Epson wireless printer (now don’t you wish you had bought that $43 Epson wireless all-in-one I recommended a couple months ago?)  I don’t see any great deals currently on Epson printers, but the app is free and if you already have an Epson wireless printer, you’re ready to go now.  Here’s the link to the PC Mag article: http://bit.ly/TekChic0242

Need a Keyboard for Your iPad?

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If you’ve been using your iPad for a while and still aren’t happy with the on-screen keyboard, the Wall Street Journal did a quick review of 3 different keyboards for use with your iPad.

http://on.wsj.com/TekChic0241

Verizon Gets the iPad October 28.

image It’s confirmed that Verizon is getting the wi-fi (not 3G) iPad starting October 28 (can the iPhone be far behind?)  Of course, you can get the wi-fi iPad today at Best Buy and Target (and Wal-Mart starting today).  The price is pretty much the same no matter where you buy it.  Verizon is offering a “mi-fi” card that connects to Verizon’s 3G network and with that you can connect the iPad (and other devices like laptops) via wi-fi.  The nice thing about Verizon’s mi-fi is that you can pay as you go on a month-by-month basis, no contract.

I think this actually says more about the “fact” that Apple and Verizon are working together and that all the rumors about the iPhone finally coming to Verizon are about to become true.  For me, I’m still keeping my Android phone.

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