Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New iPad Review



Ok I promised I’d write a review about the new iPad and here it is. 

First of all, what do we have?  We have an iPad that looks just like the previous model (iPad 2).  It is a little bit thicker but not so much thicker where iPad 2 cases wont fit it, and it is also a little bit heavier but these are differences that you can only see if you are holding both of them.

The main big difference with this new iPad is the Retina Display that provides us with a 2048 X 1536 resolution.  That’s a higher resolution than most computer monitors.   The new iPad also sports a A5X processor which provides us with a Dual Core CPU and a Quad Core GPU.  So what exactly does this mean?  It means that as far as CPU speed we have the same old CPU as the iPad 2.  The CPU is the one that processes all the data the system needs to do.  The GPU however is what takes care of the 3D graphics and display.  In order to keep that retina display going and giving us better 3D games, a better GPU was needed, and that’s exactly what they did.  So what does this mean to the average user?  It means your programs will run about the same as they do on your iPad 2.  If you are into gaming however you will be able to get much nicer looking graphics if the games take advantage of the GPU. 

The Screen:

The screen of the new iPad is what everyone is talking about.  So, is it as amazing as people seem to think it is?  Well, that once again has a lot to do on what you plan on doing with it.  The screen looks nice, I wont lie, but if you just do email, web browsing, books, small games with your ipad then you probably wont really notice a big difference unless you put that iPad next to an iPad 2.  The Screen on the iPad 2 was nowhere near horrible.  Truth is that you get used to the screen real quickly and you are just left wondering why your application just crashed on you.  Now if you like playing some of the more  hardcore games, and when I say hardcore I mean just the fact that a lot more resources went into making them, you will certainly appreciate the screen.  Also if you are into photography then the high res screen is a great thing to have.   So with the exception of Photography and Video Games I’d say the screen doesn’t feel like anything special after the first couple of minutes of “oooooh” and “aaahhhh”.

Camera:

The rear camera on the new iPad is nice, it’s like a mixture of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S cameras.  It records video at 1080P resolution and it takes 5MP pictures.  There however are very few times when I’d consider using a tablet to take a picture.  Either I saw something I really liked and I didn’t happen to have another way of taking a picture with me at the time, or I’m in a meeting and decided to take a picture of a white board to add to my notes.   The front facing camera is nothing special, just the old VGA.  REALLY wish they had updated this one since when it comes to tablets, this is the one you’d use the most with things like Skype and Facetime.  But truth is for these applications VGA tends to be good enough.

4G LTE:

Well I don’t have the 4G LTE version of the new iPad, but it’s 4G LTE, the speeds will always depend on how full your network is and where you are.  I’m sure the 4G LTE is a welcome addition.  Although personally I prefer to just tether my 4G LTE phone to the iPad.  There is a lot of people complaining about how much data they are using with their iPad.  Well, maybe if these people would learn to take advantage of Wi-Fi networks in the area rather than just leave their iPads using the 4G connection all the time they wouldn't be having all these problems.  Also what did they think would happen after streaming so many HD videos?   Using a phone tethering plan not only can I hook up the iPad when I don’t find a wi-fi hotspot, I can also connect other devices to it.  So that’s certainly something to think about.  The only downside is you can’t really use the messenger app unless you are connected online and you’ll just have to wait to get your Facebook updates. 

Ports:

The new iPad only has the usual Apple dock connector in the usual place.  This is kind of a bummer, with applications like iPhoto and that beautiful retina display this is a great tool for a lot of photographers, but they still refuse to add a dedicated SD card or any kind of expandable microSD card storage.  You can still load pictures from an SD Card using the Camera connector kit, but then you have to remember to always carry that thing with you.  I’ve also never been a fan of the connector, feels like it would mess up my connection on the iPad.   But that’s just my opinion.

Issues:

There are a few things some people are complaining about.  As mentioned earlier a lot of people are complaining about this thing eating up data quick.  Well, that’s not the iPads fault, if you leave it on 4G because you are too lazy to switch to your home’s wi-fi and if you go around streaming a ton of music and video, then that will happen.  The Screen makes HD stuff look nice and all but don’t abuse your data plan.  Another thing people have complained about is it getting warm, the area by the CPU does indeed get warmer than any tablet I’ve noticed.  However for me it has never been something that is so hot I can’t touch it.  I can usually touch it fine, but it does get hot enough where you wonder if this is ok.  It also gets hot enough where it does become uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time. 

Conclusion:

So the big question for a lot of people is “Should I upgrade from my iPad 2?”

Honestly, no.  If you just do things like web browsing, email and reading I wouldn’t even upgrade from an original iPad.  The only reason to upgrade from an iPad 2 would be if you just have to have the latest or again if you are into photography and feel the screen would help you out a lot.  As far as computing speed the new iPad has 1GB of ram while the iPad 2 has 512MB of ram, so the new iPad has twice the memory but that really only translates to applications loading a second or 2 faster. 

So what if you don’t have an ipad and are looking for a tablet? 

If you are looking for a tablet and you don’t have one already then the new iPad is certainly worth buying.  It is a very good tablet that should last you a good couple of years.  You could also get an iPad 2 which is now $100 cheaper ($399).  If you are trying to decide between the two and you could easily acquire either I’d certainly pay the extra $100 for the Retina display, nicer camera (which could be useful at times) and the extra 512MB of ram.  But if you really want an iPad and can’t find the new iPad then the iPad 2 is certainly a great deal at $399.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Little Boxes - Walk off the Earth

Walk off the Earth uploaded another video and I must say I love it just like their previous songs.  I love this group and their originality.  I certainly hope to see more stuff like this in the future.


Yup that iPad is Hot!


When I say that new iPad is hot, I mean it is Physically Hot!  

As some of you may know last Friday I received my new iPad which I had preordered.  I will be giving my opinion on it in a few days after I’ve used it a bit longer, but I wanted to share this with everyone.  While playing with the device I kept feeling that the thing was kind of hot.  I started to wonder if it was just me.  I hadn’t owned an iPad since the original iPad so I didn’t know if the iPad 2 got this hot.  My Roommate who had an ipad 2 told me his didn’t.  Yesterday Dutch website “Tweakers.net” published results of some testing they did where they put the new iPad and the iPad 2 under a infared camera and came to the conclusion that the new ipad actually runs around 10 degrees hotter than the older iPad 2.

10 degrees may not seem like much, but after holding the iPad for a while it really does start to get somewhat uncomfortable.  This result is also from 2 devices these people at Tweakers decided to test, some iPads may certainly be getting warmer than 10 degrees, I’m surprised no one else seems to be making more in-depth tests. 

My review of the new iPad will be coming soon!

Javier Torres
AnarchyLive.com

Sunday, March 11, 2012

No your iPhone is not now 4G!

I wanted to make this post to help clear some of the confusion that AT&T may now be causing to some iPhone 4s users.  But in order to do this I need to give some information about 3G and 4G.

The 3G and 4G names are supposed to follow a specific standard and right now none of the carriers have the speed required to really be called 4G.  However when Sprint and some other carriers got their HSPA + network that was faster than 3G they decided to call it 4G.  Then Verizon brought us their LTE network and decided to call THAT 4G LTE.  The LTE Network is a lot faster than the HSPA + network (so far) and the HSPA + network is quite a bit faster than regular 3G.

Things do get a lot more confusing than that but I'm trying to simplify the general idea.

For a while now AT&T has been calling a lot of their Android phones "4G" phones.  However now AT&T has it's own LTE network and they are calling those phone "4G LTE".  So now they are making it confusing because it's either 4G or 4G LTE.

With the iPhone they had never marked the network as being 4G, they still just called it 3G.  Not sure why.  In an attempt to set their iPhone 4s apart from Verizon they are now calling the new iPhone 4s a "4G" phone as well.  This is because Verizon doesn't have a HSPA+ network, so the iPhone 4s on Verizon does run slower than the iPhone 4s on AT&T.

I do wish however that they'd stop confusing people and they'd just call it 3.5G or 3G+ or something like that.

So when you see that your iPhone 4s is now 4G, don't go thinking that you got an upgrade.  You are in the exact same network as before getting the same speeds that you used to.

I should mention that The new iPad WILL be an LTE device for both AT&T and Verizon, although sadly those are pretty different networks even though they are both LTE and it will require you to buy a new iPad for either Verizon or AT&T, one will not work on both, unless you want just regular 3G speeds, then one should work on both.

Hope this helps clear up any confusion.

Javier Torres
AnarchyLive.com


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Apple Keynote and iPad thoughts

Ok so yesterday I went ahead and posted some information about the new iPad.  Today I would like to give my opinions of the event and the iPad itself, what did I like, what didn't I   like?

First off the keynote event.  This was always such a special event, people always waited for Steve Jobs to come out wearing the same stuff and "WOW" us.  I don't think anyone was really wow'd by the iPhone 4s and I don't think many were wow'd by The new iPad.  So maybe it's difficult to make a good keynote when there isn't really anything amazing to show.  Or maybe I didn't find the new screen all that amazing because they didn't do a good job at selling me the idea.  The event was just mostly rather rushed and boring in my opinion.  The new Apple TV got what?  5 minutes? I think they spent more time selling me iLife than the iPad.

With all that said, Tim Cook has a very difficult position of trying to fill up Job's place and it'll take some time for him to get his own thing going.  A lot of people were expecting Steve Job's "And one more thing" at the end, well that's not Steve Jobs up there so I guess I'm glad he's not doing that.

As far as the iPad goes, I guess it was just about what everyone expected, and that's the problem.  We are so used to being amazed that getting exactly what you thought you would seems dull.  I do have some complaints of course...

Front facing camera:  Why did they leave the old VGA camera?  You have a beautiful display, you have a good rear camera, why not give us a somewhat decent front camera as well?

SD Card:  No built in SD Card reader again.  Why?  Seriously! WHY??  You make this tablet mostly for pictures, you make the iPhoto application you make it have all these awesome photo effects but you don't make it super easy for people to transfer their pictures?  Yea you can get that SD Card dongle, but who wants to use that thing??

HDMI: Basically all Android tablets come with HDMI built in, it's useless most of the time but every now and then you find it useful.  Why not implement it into the tablet?

Stylus: Even though I said Apple wouldn't have a stylus input like the Galaxy Note, part of me was really hoping it would.  Anotation with a stylus (a real one with different preassure sensitivities and a thin point) is just so much nicer!

CPU:  They made the GPU on the thing faster but the CPU is the same as the iPad 2.  I do hope the new iPad does have more RAM.

Rear Camera:  Not much to complain about here other than if they could make it what it is, they could have made it be exactly like the iPhone 4S instead of just almost as good.

Siri:  I'm not totally sure how to feel about this one.  They did implement the speech to text part of it, but not the full thing and we all know the iPad can handle it.  But, seeing as SIRI is something that needs the Internet at all times to work, I guess it makes some sense to not have it on the iPad.

With all of that said, I do think that this is certainly a good update.  People were hoping for much more but Apple can't be innovative EVERY year.  Look at the iPod, it's just been the iPod for many years, there is only so much that you can do with a device.  However, on the Android side we see a lot of companies playing around with a lot of neat ideas, Samsung is making the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, Asus is working on the padphone that turns into a tablet that turns into a Netbook style table.  So, I don't know, I think Apple could have done much more if they wanted.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The New iPad


Well today was the day that so many have been waiting for.  The day when the new iPad would be announced.  So how was it?  Well, to be honest, there really wasn't anything surprising.  Don't get me wrong, it's a very nice device and I already ordered one, it's just that there was nothing that wasn't already being expected.

Well I can't really say that, there is one thing that did catch me off guard.  Everyone said that it wouldn't be called an iPad 3 and that instead it would be called the "iPad HD".  However the official name is "The New iPad."  Kind of a weird name.  I keep thinking they really wanted to call it "iPad HD" but then realized that everyone thought that's what they would call it so they said "F you guys we'll call it something else!  We are not that predictable!"

What it has...

The display is the main strength of the new iPad, it has a High Def 2048 X 1536 display.  I haven't seen it myself but I'm sure the thing must look very sharp and bright.

Other than the display "The New iPad" brings a faster CPU and Graphics processor.  Honestly this isn't all that exciting for me because the iPad 2 has a better processor than the original iPad but I never found a HUGE difference between the two.  Yes the iPad 2 runs faster and it certainly looks nicer but it's not something that completely ruins the experience on the original iPad.  So I expect things will be the same between the iPad 2 and The new iPad.

The new iPad also brings a 5 Megapixel camera that is basically the same camera as the iPhone 4S.  It will be able to record full 1080P video at up to 30FPS.  I'm sure this will be a welcome feature for a lot, I still don't think I've ever really used the camera in any of my tablets.  I've used them to test things but I've never considered them real cameras.  Well with the exception of the front facing camera which I use for skype.  The front camera on the new iPad is still the same old VGA camera.

There will be 2 different iPad versions in the US as far as the Radio ones go, one for Verizon LTE and one for AT&T LTE.  This is done because both of these LTE services are too different to keep into one tablet.  However, you should be able to use any 3G signal from any carrier in the world with either of these versions.

Another think you'll find The new iPad brings is the ability to do dictation.  You press a mic button on the keyboard and it makes a Siri type sound.  You can then talk and once you are finished talking it'll go ahead and type everything you said.

Finally they are promising up to 10 hours battery life without 4G and up to 9 hours with the 4G.  The  new iPad is a little bit thicker than the iPad 2 but I'm sure that has to do with a bigger battery and 4G radios.

What it doesn't have...

There are some things that The new iPad doesn't have, the first one being Siri.  Not sure why they decided to not implement Siri on this or if they just forgot to mention it (which I highly doubt).  Honestly I'm not sure how useful Siri would actually be on an iPad, they obviously used the technology for that Dictation program but the actual Siri is nowhere to be found.

Still no SD Card reader!!  They announced iLife for the iPad and the new iLife application this year is iPhoto, they showed how great the iPad will be for photographers with so many effects and things like that, but they still don't provide a nice simple SD card reader for us to use.  Still going to have to keep using that dongle that I dislike so much, I feel like that thing is messing up the iPads connector all the time.

No tactile feedback on the screen.  Some people were thinking this is what they meant when on the invitation they said "And Touch", but no, it's just a very pretty screen but no tactile feed back.  I honestly didn't expect that, I know they are working on the technology but I don't think we are anywhere near ready to mass produce that.

A truly killer feature!  Aside from a nice looking screen I didn't see anything that made me go "wow!! Damn you and your imagination Apple!".

Final Thoughts:

If you are like me and need to have the newest gadgets then we already both know that you'll get this iPad.  However, for most of the people out there the big news might just be the iPad 2!  Instead of discontinuing the iPad 2, Apple will continue selling it at a lower price.  The 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2 will now be $399.

I expected the iPad 2 to drop to $400 simply because they usually do that in order to get rid of inventory, but if they plan on selling the iPad 2 for $400 for good then that means really bad news for any Android Tablet manufacturer out there.  I love Android but right now the ONLY real tablet (full tablet not something like the Kindle Fire) that I know of that can compete with that price is the Asus Transformer TF101.  So Samsung it's time to lower those prices!

Well I hope this info has been somewhat helpful for you!

Javier Torres
AnarchyLive.com

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Facebook Messenger

If you use Facebook a lot and you are on a PC you may have noticed a little button by your messages asking you to install the Facebook messenger.  This is because on Monday Facebook released a new PC program (coming soon to Mac) called Facebook Messenger.  But what is it?  What does it do?  Do I need it? 

Well, at first I thought it would just be a simple instant messenger program.  Which would be kind of useless considering the fact that there is already so many options to do that on your computer.  Programs like Trilian and have been able to do this for a while.  But I had to download it and give it a try.  

If you've ever kept your web browser full screen then you've probably seen the new messenger set up that the website has, where you see a bunch of your most contacted friends on the side and it'll tell you if they are online or not while at the very top it lets you know what your friends are up to.  Well that is exactly what the messenger looks like.  

So why would you want this if it looks exactly like the website?  Well, if you are one of those people who is always on Facebook, then you may like the idea of being able to have that information there even when not on the website.  You can go ahead and dock the messenger bar on the side of your monitor and go ahead and do whatever else you want on your computer without losing your visibility to new messages or posts.  

I know a lot of times I'll say hi to someone on Facebook but then I remember I wanted to check something on another website but I don't know if this person is going to reply back or not so then I open the other website on another tab or window just in case.  Well with this I no longer have to worry about closing the Facebook window.  

Again it looks exactly like it does on the website, it kind of works just as bad also.  It's nothing amazing, it's just kind of convenient at times.  If you use Facebook a lot and enjoy chatting with people there a lot then I'd certainly say it's worth it.  Otherwise I'd pass on it and just use the one on the web browser, why have yet another thing running on your computer?  

Javier Torres
AnarchyLive.com

Monday, March 5, 2012

The iPad HD

Thinking about getting yourself a new iPad?  Well, you  may want to stop and think for a second.  Why? Because there is a new better Android tablet coming out?  Not exactly, but this Wednesday Apple is expected to announce the new iPad HD, or iPad 3, or iPad 2s, or whatever they decide to call it.  Although It's really looking more like iPad HD.

Now, I'm not a fan of Apple rumors and I've been trying my best to keep them away from my Blog, but I figured with the announcement coming in just a couple of day, why the hell not?  But remember, these are all just rumors, we wont know anything for sure until Wednesday.

First there is the basic obvious improvements, it is expected to either have a much faster dual core processor or a Quad core processor.  I'm not too sure about the Quad core processor, these processors are still fairly new and Apple isn't really known for jumping into new tech. I would also expect it to have a better graphics adapter for better looking video games.

The new iPad is supposed to have a screen resolution of 2048 X 1536.  This would be better than any laptop resolution I've seen.  It would also allow for full 1080P resolution, so if this is true I'd expect some major Apple TV integration.  Based on the invitation image I've posted above, I would certainly believe that there is something special going on since it says "We have something you really have to see."

It is also expected that there will be no home button anymore and that this iPad will have more gesture commands and that would be why on the image on top you don't see a home button and also why it says "And touch".

I would expect the new iPad to have 4G LTE capabilities.  Apple was strongly criticized for not having it on the iPhone 4s and I doubt they'd go once more without it.  I'd expect there to be a better battery that still offers the same life time even with 4G LTE.  It is expected to be a little Thicker than the iPad 2 and that's probably because of that battery.

Some people have commented about the possibility of it having a real stylus kind of like the Galaxy Note, I highly doubt it,  I would LOVE it, but Apple wouldn't want people saying their iPad has a Stylus kind of like the Samsung Galaxy Note.

We wont know if any of this is true until Wednesday, but the main reason to wait on buying that new iPad is the fact that normally when Apple introduces a new device, they have to get rid of the old ones, so usually those end up on sale.  I remember when the iPad 2 came out, the $500 iPad was going for $400.

I just know I currently don't have an iOS device and I have spent a lot of $$ at the App store from when I had my iPad and my iPod Touch, so it's about time I get some sort of iOS device, it just may be the new iPad HD.

Javier Torres
AnarchyLive.com



Friday, March 2, 2012

Try This: Flash Content on your iPad!! (OnLive Desktop)



For those of you who are not familiar with it, a lot of times on the iPad you can’t view certain online content because the iPad won’t handle Flash content.  I say “Won’t” instead of “Can’t” because the iPad most certainly could handle Flash if they wanted, but Steve Jobs never liked flash and felt that it would soon be replaced by HTML5 and even though he’s right in the fact that Flash will be replaced by HTML5, he was wrong in thinking it would not be needed at all.  There is still a TON of flash content out there. 

So what is an iPad owner to do if he/she finds a website they need but they can’t really use it because of the lack of Flash? Well this problem is kind of solved with a program called “Onlive Desktop”.  But to explain what Onlive desktop is, I kind of have to explain what Onlive is.

Onlive is a company that started with a rather impressive technology for Video Games.  The simplest way to explain it is like this,  you install their program on any computer and it allows you to log into their servers.  Once you are logged in you can pick a video game from their server and play it.  Normally there is a lot of games you can try out for free but if you want to keep any of them you need to pay for it. 

There is nothing impressive about this, there is tons of services that let you play online right?  Well the way OnLive works when you connect to them it’s like you are receiving a video signal and you are sending commands to their servers.  They use some technology which I can’t explain myself which allows them to send amazing looking video using very little bandwidth.  So basically the full game is running on their server,  you are just getting the image back and sending the control commands needed to play.  The video games still lag a little bit but it’s not that noticeable.  It’s truly impressive how they can manage to send all that video and audio like that. 

The main idea of the service is that with something like this it doesn’t matter if your computer can’t handle a game, their servers sure can and you will never need to upgrade computers to be able to play the games because it’s always going to be the same video feed.  You don’t even need a computer anymore, they now sell a very small box and remote controller that allows you to plug it into your TV and play that way.

Now there is OnLive Desktop! 

The exact same concept but instead of games you get to control a Windows 7 desktop.  Now it’s a very limited version, you can’t install anything.  But you DO get to upload up to 2Gigs of files (100MB Maximum file limit) and play with them on the desktop.  You can play with Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and a couple of other things.  The service is available for the iPad and Android Tablets and it’s free. 

However, and this is finally the reason for this article, if you want to be able to use the Internet Explorer program to browse web pages, then you’ll have to pay $5 a month.  With this option you’ll be able to use the Internet Explorer to view websites just like you do on your own computer.  And it still streams the video and audio just as well.  You can open it up and watch youtube videos if you want or go to Hulu.com and watch those (Hulu has always blocked their service from Tablets and I wouldn’t be surprised if they figure out a way to block this).  It really is incredible how flawlessly the videos play.  Even videos that I’ve uploaded to the server and tried opening on the Virtual Windows 7 played fine on my tablet.

It does allow you to use a Bluetooth keyboard to type, if you don’t have one then you have to use the Windows 7 Onscreen keyboard which isn’t very good.  On Android Tablets it’s even more fun because Android does have support for a mouse.  It just makes dealing with Windows 7 easier. 

So, if you own an iPad and you need to view some page with Flash on it or just want to play certain flash games and are ok with skipping Starbucks once a month, then this just may be what you need.  To start you’ll need to go to http://desktop.onlive.com and make an account.  They won’t request any credit card info unless you really want to get the paid plan.  I’d at least try out the free plan and play around with word and excel. 

I keep saying iPad, Android Tablets can certainly enjoy this service as well, Android Supports flash but it can certainly slow it down.  The OnLive servers are super powerful so they wont be slowed down, and they are super fast as well, so, technically browsing the web on one of these can be faster than on your regular connection.

Javier Torres
Anarchy Live