iPad Air First Impressions

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I didn’t get the iPad Air but I did get to see one and use one today at my local Apple store and got some impressions for it. I also was able to snap a few pictures of the iPad and it does look nice. Here are my thoughts.

Design:

I like the design that is taken from the iPad mini. It is essentially a bigger version of it. The design with thinner bezels is a good one especially because the screen will tell when you are holding it so it won’t mistake it with a touch for say a button.

Screen:

All I can say here is that the screen is remarkable just like the other iPads with retina displays.

Weight:

The weight surprised me especially after having an iPad 3 that is heavy for a tablet. The iPad Air does take after it’s name. I cannot even tell the difference of weight from the iPad Mini and the new iPad Air and that’s something remarkable and I think that is a reason alone for a lot of users to upgrade from their current generation.

Performance:

Sense I used the floor model I have limited things I can do. However opening apps, viewing 3D buildings, and running games all ran smoothly. A lot better on the iPad 3 I have been using but that was indeed a bad choice with processor. The A7 displays amazing power in the device and will be enough to handle almost anything you throw at it.

Bottom Line:

The iPad Air seems to be a very good option if you are looking for a large screen tablet with an all day battery life. In terms of portability and weight this iPad is the best out of all generations. The weight alone is enough of a reason to upgrade because it will allow you to take it more places and make you want to use it more and more. The power is great enough for anything you want to do on the iPad. The thinness of the device is staggering and the display is absolutely incredible. The iPad is pricy starting at $500 for 16gb on wifi but if you are looking for an amazing tablet that you can bring anywhere loaded with apps this is your device.

Gallery:

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WWDC 2013 Rumor Roundup

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WWDC 2013 is happening in a little less than 3 days so it is time to take all the information learned about what Apple could release and put it into one giant post. Let’s get started

iOS 7

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This is what most people are the most excited about it would seem I can tell you for a fact it is what I am most excited about. Last year Scott Forstall was pushed out of Apple by Tim Cook making Jony Ive in charge of iOS and that makes me very excited for a few reasons.

Flat Design

There is no real doubt of iOS getting a real change in design now after Tim Cook pretty much confirmed this at D11. Ive is expected to kill the “skeumorphic” or real world textures in the new iOS. For example if you were to go into the calendar it looks like an actual calendar. Ive is expected to get rid of this sort of design and actually I don’t know how I feel about it. It doesn’t really bother me but I want to see some changes and it will be interesting. Recently snapchat went “flat”.

It is told that iOS will be more of a gray and white texture with different colored navigation bars such as an app being white but with say blue or red buttons and navigation bars.

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Image by Dirk Jan Haarsma on Dribbble

Hopefully weather will see an update to the new sort of design by Ive to be a more animated concept sort of like the weather channel app but in an Ive Apple sort of way. The image above shows a great example of what we could see.

Image Credit: 9TO5Mac
Image Credit: 9TO5Mac

Notification center could have much improvement and Apple knows it. There could be more information showed there. The Image above made by 9to5mac shows what could happen with more information such as news to be in a sort of widget. Hopefully if this does happen Apple will let 3rd party apps have the ability to take advantage of notification widgets.

Social

There have been news around saying iOS 7 may include the ability to quickly upload photos to Flickr and videos to Vimeo. This would sort of be like how you share with Facebook/Twitter for photos and Youtube with videos you take.

Apple may also include Airdrop between iOS devices and Mac devices in this update. This function would allow you to quickly share information to other iOS devices and Mac’s. What specifically would be allowed to be transferred could include photos, documents, contact information, and more. However there were rumors of this being tested in iOS 6 being pulled right before launch.

Maps

Maps for me is fine. It gets me from point A to point B very well to be honest but that is not the case for other users and it needs to be changed. Hopefully Apple has something up their sleeves for more 3D cities and better navigation data.

Siri

Siri again works well for me but I wish it could do more. It needs to have offline mode for some simple tasks such as opening an app and calling say a contact but even more important than that it needs developer support. I want to be able to tell it to play a pandora station or something. Needs to happen and I think Apple will bring it to us with iOS 7.

Multitasking

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Everyone I have talked to has agreed the multitasking needs to be changed. It seems to be plain and boring compared to the multitasking of other OS’s including Android. While Apple may not do this a card style multitasking system may be introduced with the next version of iOS.

OS X 10.9

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WWDC isn’t just going to be the hub of iOS, OS X 10.9 is going to be released at the keynote as well which yesterday Sea Lion for a name has been popping around due to the sort of wavy banner you see above.

Interface

While iOS 7 is supposed to get rid of the skeumorphic design 10.9 is rumored to keep the design keeping the calendar leathery. Eventually we will see the Mac remove these items and designs but for now it seems we are going to have to deal with them

Power

There has been word that 10.9 will add more features for power users such as myself while keeping the operating system relatively simple for those who want the OS to be as simple and user friendly as can be. An example of this would be tabbed browsing instead of multiwindow.

Full screen mode is supposed to have better support when connected to an external display. As it currently stands if you are on your Mac using a display for a secondary display and not mirroring and enter a fullscreen app you will have the basic Linen texture doing absolutely nothing for you. Apple knows of this problem and is going to let you do something with the secondary display in fullscreen mode.

Back To The Mac

The main point Steve Jobs made when introducing Lion was that Apple was taking what they had learned from iOS and what people loved and brought it to the Mac. Apple did this with more features in Mountain Lion and it seems they are going to be doing the same thing with 10.9.

Apple may bring the App Switcher in the current iOS or if they are making a newer one for iOS then the newer one and bringing it to the Mac. This would benefit users who are accustomed to iOS and would allow better power and battery management running multiple apps.

Siri is also expected to make it’s way onto the Mac to help you with the same things it does with iOS hopefully with developer support.

Hardware

As for hardware I wouldn’t expect any iOS devices to make an appearance with updated hardware at WWDC. However there may be some new Macbooks that come into light at the conference.

MacBook Air

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9to5mac has pricing information that appears to point to new MacBook Airs to come to light next week. The additions seem to be duel microphones and faster processors. The update would also include faster 802.11 AC networking. A retina display seems unlikely but with the addition of Intel’s new faster and battery efficient Haswell chipsets it could happen but at WWDC may be unlikely.

MacBook Pro

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There is little talk of the MacBook Pro retina or not being updated at WWDC but it is very possible that the 13inch Retina MacBook Pro could be updated with faster networking with a thinner design.

iRadio

Saved this for last because I am not really to sure about this one. Today it was told iRadio is a go as all major record labels had agreed with Apple’s terms for the service but if Apple decides to announce it at WWDC is a very valid question because they don’t have to they can wait for the launch of new iPod’s and iTunes later this year.

The service is expected to be a sort of Pandora style experience streaming what a user has previously listened to. Also the songs would be based of interest of the user and the service could pull user data from songs purchased through iTunes or on devices running iTunes in general.

Pricing would be free but there would be ads with the service and of course a paid version for all ads free.

Coverage:

I will be covering as much as I can through my twitter (@matthewjagiela) and I will have my twitter feed on the top right of the site the day of the keynote. It is yet to be known if Apple will allow users to stream it live. The Keynote is supposed to be 2 hours long with the Betas to released to developers after the Developer portal is back up.

Read More: What I Want To See in iOS 7 (iPhone) (iPad).

Lets Talk iOS 7 (iPad)

NewI talked about some things I wanted to see with iOS 7 in the iPhone and now I am going to do the same thing with the iPad. So lets get started.

Multitasking

For multitasking I want it pretty much the same as what I said with the iPhone. Live tiles with toggles. If you want a more I’m depth look then read it in the iPhone post.

Screens

Now remember this is from a software standpoint so this is not about retina or anything like that. You can find that in let’s talk about the next iPad mini. What I am talking about is 2 different apps side by side. The iPad is supposed to be a post PC device and in many ways it is but there needs to be away for two apps to run side by side at once. Maybe not in this update but someday it has to happen for the iPad to fully beat the PC.

Missing apps

Before we get to the iPad on this one let us take a trip to 2007 with the release of the iPod Touch. The iPod left out some of the most basic apps including email and then later on got them in a software update for $10. Even though the iPad comes with standard apps there are a few missing such as a calculator and weather. Before iOS 6 the iPad didn’t even have a native clock app and instead of just installing a clock they should have brought the missing weather, stocks, calculator, and clocks app into one sort of app or section. Something like dashboard for the mac where you can have different clocks and alarms but also a calculator, stocks, and weather all in the same screen. It makes sense!

Facetime

Now Facetime is going to be a little weird due to the fact that it goes both on the Mac, iPad, and past and current iPhone’s and iPod Touch’s. Now With the iPad there needs to be the ability to be able to talk to more than one person at a time using the giant screen. Even with the iPhone 5’s added screen size there is a way to have more than just one person chatting with you at a time. The iPad could easily fit 3 and the iPhone 5 could fit 2 people. It would work s being able to tell what device you are on then having a “+” near the end call. If both you and the person currently on call are using iPad’s or Macs you can add up to 2 more people and if one person is using an iPhone 5 you can have one extra person. If one person is on an iPhone 4/s then you can’t add someone so the call will still look fine for them.

Screen Sharing

I don’t know about anyone but one of the best things about Messages for Mac and Skype is that you can share your screen with someone so you can tell them how to do something they don’t understand. Something small but I think that would be great especially for people like myself who need to help a lot of people with their iOS problems.

Homescreen

One of the things that has annoyed me ever sense the iPad was introduced was that the home screen is exactly the same as the iPhone. Don’t even deny that it is. Without a few of the default apps the home screen is exactly the same and it is annoying me because there is so much extra space you can put. The iPad has great battery life so yes I am going to say it – GIVE IT WIDGETS. The screen is big enough for them and the battery is good enough to handle them. Just give some functionality to the space and the home screen. I have faith in you Ive don’t disappoint.

Summary

Most things I want for the iPad are also in the iPhone version of this same post. So if you want to check it out: Let’s Talk iOS 7 (iPhone). I have hopes for iOS 7. I think it’s going to be great for something new.

AT&T loosens up, allows FaceTime on LTE For most

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AT&T is famous for annoying their customers with iPhones. At the launch of iOS 6 AT&T made it so only members with a shared data plan would be able to use FaceTime off 4G. It seems AT&T has learned that was a reason many people were leaving their network for Verizon and will make it so anyone without an unlimited data plan can use FaceTime over cellular.

Of course it says LTE device meaning iPad 3,4 and iPhone 5 customers exclusively with the upcoming LTE iPad mini as well. It says LTE models but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will not run off of AT&T 4G hspa+ networks as LTE doesn’t cover very many places. This will be available in the next 8 to 10

This means users with an LTE enabled device running on AT&T will be able to FaceTime on cellular data as long as you don’t have an unlimited data plan.