March 20, 2013 iPad Meeting: Could the iPad be Facing Competition?

Hello iPad Users!

 

Today, during our iPad Meeting we were introduced to another kind of tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro. Could this tablet be the future competitor of the iPad? We may not know, but this new device brings a lot to the plate.

The Surface Pro basically functions like a laptop, but is smaller and more portable. It has many great features like: Windows 8, 64GB to 128 GB of storage, HD Display, Pen Tool, Intel Core Processor, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth, 5 hour battery life, Two 720p HD LifeCams front and rear facing with True Color, USB and Mini Display Ports, and many Apps. Some additional features include keyboard. There are two kinds that a user can attach. One is touch sensitive and can also act as a cover for the tablet while the other one is similar to a regular keyboard that you would attach to the tablet. However, there is an on-screen keyboard as well.

The Surface Pro is touch-orientated, which is great for multitasking because it is easier to navigate between Apps. Additionally, it allows a user to place two open Apps side by side on the screen so that the user can view two things at once on one screen. The other cool thing you can do with the Surface Pro is draw or write on documents by using the writing tool (Pen). This is great for note-taking. Normally on other devices, when we draw or write it looks like a bunch of scribbles, but with this new device the writing looks clear and realistic. One useful program mentioned for note-taking was One Note. One Note automatically saves your work to the Skydrive, which is storage in the cloud, so the user does not have to worry about whether or not they saved their work. They also don’t have to worry about on what device they saved their work and where on that device the work is located. The great thing about cloud storage is that your work can be accessed anywhere and on any device, and shows when changes were made to a document. Other Apps besides One Note, like Word, can be used with Skydrive, too.  Lastly, there are many Apps that can be downloaded onto the tablet , but since the Surface Pro functions like a laptop a user can install any other program they want like they would on their desktop or laptop. The Surface Pro could be the replacement for laptops because of its functionality.

However, the Surface Pro, like any other tablet, does have its disadvantages. The number one issue being cost as it starts at $899.  Yes, many people would feel they can buy a laptop for this price, but since the tablet possesses similar functions of a laptop,  Microsoft feels it should be valued at the same price.  Though, if price is a concern, Microsoft has another tablet called the Surface RT, which starts at $499, but has less features and storage available. Both these products can only be found in Microsoft stores.  Another issue is the weight. It is two pounds, one more pound than the iPad, making it difficult to hold  for a long period of time. Though, it is more weight to lug around, the Surface Pro is still lighter than lugging a laptop around. Also, one more pound is not going to kill you, so don’t let that affect your decision about buying this product. The last issue is that the Surface Pro is not meant to be used for games. It does support minimal game use, but if this is the only reason you want to buy this device than you should reconsider. Games are better supported on an iPad. Whether Apple likes it or not, the Surface Pro sounds like the next best thing.

Also, during our meeting we discussed several Apps. Those being: Dropbox, Box, SpiderOak, 1Password, Evernote, Penultimate, and Video Pix. Dropbox and Box were previously mentioned in another blog, but I will briefly explain them again. SpiderOak is basically the same concept as Dropbox and Box, but is a more secure way to store your files on the cloud. Dropbox lets you bring all your photos, documents, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Access any file you saved to your Dropbox from all your computers, iPhone, iPad and even the Dropbox website! The Box.net App  lets you access your Box.net account directly from your iPhone. Open documents, images, music and videos, anywhere. Also, use it to stream music that didn’t fit on your device, to read PDF, Word or Excel documents on the go, or to access any other files you have stored on Box.net. For more information on these applications, follow this link: http://ipad.blogs.pace.edu/2013/03/07/battle-of-the-boxes-dropbox-vs-box-net/.

Another App were discussed was 1Password, which stores all your passwords in one secure place. 1Password for iPad can store website passwords, credit cards, secure notes, and more, and make it all available at the flick of your finger. Everything is protected with the last password you need to remember. When you touch a website login, 1Password takes you to the site and automatically fills in your credentials for you. You don’t have to remember your password or even the URL for each site. It doesn’t get any easier than this. Also, passwords are encrypted, so even if someone does gain access, you are still protected.

The next Apps discussed were Evernote  and Penultimate. Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.With Evernote, all of your notes, web clips, files and images are made available on every device and computer you use. You can take a photo, screenshot, or record some audio and save it. Save entire webpages to your Evernote account with the web clipper browser extensions . Share your notes and collaborate on projects with friends, colleagues and classmates. Penultimate is the original and easiest-to-use handwriting app for iPad that combines the natural experience of pen and paper with the flexibility and syncing of Evernote. Lose the paper, keep the handwriting, and remember everything.With Evernote syncing, your notes are searchable and available on any computer or mobile device you use. The last App discussed was Video Pix. VideoPix is a Slow Motion editor, Video Frame Grabber, and an enhanced video player all with a simple and powerful user interface. However, this App eats up storage,  but with applications like Dropbox you can store your work there. Also, these videos can be uploaded to Youtube, but be sure to specify that the work is being used for educational or personal purposes or you can face copyright issues.

The next iPad Meeting is on April 15, 2013 at 12:20pm- 1:15pm in the VC Rooms.

iPad 4 vs. iPad Mini

“What is the difference?” is the famous question many customers ask when going to purchase an iPad. One would say there is no difference; it is simply just a miniature version of the iPad with the same functions and performance. However, don’t let the smaller size fool you. Though both iPads deliver the iPad experience, there are some differences that people will overlook.

In this blog, I will help you better understand the differences of these products by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of an iPad and iPad Mini. However, some of these differences are based on user preferences, so you can decide what product is best fit for you. The iPad 4 is “bigger, faster, and stronger,” better for productivity, has better photo and video manipulation, and better for web browsing. It has a 9.7-inch “Retina Display,” (you can’t see the pixels) and has more than four times the graphics power. The iPad Mini, 7.9-inch screen, does not have retina display so you can see the pixels; the screen has the same pixel count as the first-generation iPad (1024×768). This means the graphics on the iPad Mini will have a fuzzy display.

Here’s a screen comparison to illustrate what I mean:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, rumor has it by next year the iPad Mini 2 will have an even better retina display than the iPad 4. Next, the iPad 4 has twice the amount of processor power than the iPad Mini, and is much stronger as well. With the bigger display on the iPad 4, it makes it better for getting tasks done because an individual can comfortably view web pages without having to zoom in, like they would have to with the iPad Mini. Many customer reviews claimed that the iPad Mini was hard on the eyes. Also, the bigger display is good for software like Pages or Numbers because there is extra space to get work done and a great way to replace laptop use. The smaller display on the iPad Mini is fine for many tasks like watching movies, reading books, music, or playing casual games. Aside from productivity software, the bigger display really helps out if you are planning to do a lot of photo or video editing with the iPad, and with the retina display it allows the user to work with higher resolution photos.

Nonetheless, the iPad Mini does have its advantages as well, those being cost, size, and weight. The iPad Mini is small enough to hold with one hand comfortably, and only weighs 0.68 pounds compared to the 1.44 pound iPad. Many customers complained that the iPad is heavy, which makes it tiring to hold for extended periods of time. Additionally, with a smaller size it is a lot easier to type with, and many people have said this is helpful with emails. The iPad Mini is more mobile than the iPad, easily fitting into a purse or the side pocket of a backpack, making the iPad better for traveling, especially since one will not have to feel like they are lugging around extra weight. Furthermore, the iPad Mini even has access to Siri, Apple’s “intelligent assistant.” However, the number one reason to go with an iPad Mini is the cost. The iPad 4 starts at $499 while the iPad Mini starts at $329, which is $170 in savings or about one-third off the price. For those who want an iPad but feel the price is just a little too high, the iPad Mini is a good choice.

There is no clear perfect choice when picking out the right iPad. For many people, the iPad Mini will do everything they need an iPad to do and they will barely even notice the difference between the two tablets. For others, the bigger screen, sharper graphics and faster processor will make all the difference in the world.

 

Battle of the Boxes: DropBox vs Box.net

There comes a time where you think about storing your files on a cloud server but you don’t know which company to choose. Well two of the biggest companies are Dropbox and Box.net which both have apps available for free on the iPad!

Here are some major differences between Dropbox and Box.net when you use it on the iPad! In Dropbox when you register for an account you get 2GB of free storage which is good, BUT Box.net gives you free 5GB storage which is great for those on the go and those who don’t want to carry around their flash drives and risk losing that. When you use both of these apps on the iPad they integrate well with many things such as Pages BUT Box.net integrates MANY more apps such as Adobe Reader, Pages, and even a movie player.

Also if you are the type of person who enjoys sharing files with your friends and families Box.net is the best way to go because you can actually send the person the exact link to the file where they can download them. Privacy for both apps are great as they both allow you to set permissions on who has access and who doesn’t.

One major factor that made Box.net the better choice is the upload and download speed! You can upload your files on average 10 seconds faster then of Dropbox. If you are a person who is on the go and rush then Box.net is the choice for you!

The winner of the battle of the apps Round 1 is Box.net! But both still make good choices for students and professors of Pace University!