Jul 30, 2010

Internet everywhere + save on an iPad 3G

Here's a way of not only saving some cash but also get a great piece of kit that's going to let you get internet access with all your wireless enabled devices.

Wi-Fi modems like this one from Virgin Mobile not only let you get internet access wherever you can get 3G coverage but they're got a built-in wireless router.  This router lets you connect up to 3 devices to it's little protected network.

That's your laptop, iPad, phone, whatever.  Just turn it on, throw it in your pocket or bag and you're online.

I have no idea why you'd want a standard USB modem anymore.  And also why you'd bother to buy 3G versions of whatever it may be.

Price-wise it will save you $20 if you buy a 64GB Wi-Fi only iPad and this device - plus you'll get 5GB included data with the Virgin offering in your first month for a $150 investment.  A no-brainer really....

Jul 14, 2010

Old Spice Genius

These series of Old Spice ads featuring Isaiah Mustafa doing the rounds on the social networks are just brilliant. The most impressive aspect of this campaign is the fact that there's hundreds of video responses to tweets sent to the @OldSpice channel.  Probably one of the best uses of the channel and example of through the line advertising.

Check them out if you haven't already - you know you should. Man.

I'm on a horse!


Jul 9, 2010

African Tigers...

This is the splash screen for the Optus 2010 FIFA World Cup mobile application.

Tigers in Africa?  Seems that someone somewhere along the line needs a lesson in either biology or geography, or both :)

And while I'm at it, that 32 panel black & white Telstar ball hasn't been used since 1974!

Jul 5, 2010

iPad Camera Connection Kit Withdrawn?

Apparently there's a 'problem' with the iPad Camera Connection kit from Apple's point of view in that it allows you to connect more than just a camera to the device.  This lets you use things like a USB keyboard, Skype headsets etc, which apparently aren't 'supported devices' as suggested or provided by Apple themselves.

It also apparently allows the loading of software other than via iTunes, making Jailbreaking and running third party apps much easier.

For this reason, it seems that Apple has withdrawn them from sale (or more correctly, not currently re-supplying them to stores), until they've been 're-engineered' and locked down.

An Apple store employee told me as such yesterday and a ring around most iPad suppliers seemed to confirm the supply issue and rumour.  The Apple store online says that none are shipping for another 6 weeks.


Jul 2, 2010

iPad, the photographers friend

It's been a few weeks now since I laid hands on my iPad, and to be honest, there was a little bit of "what the hell did I just do" when I walked out of the Apple shop with my brand new 'designed in California' piece of kit.

I'm not an Apple fanboy in the traditional sense; meaning I don't own a Mac of any description. I do however have various iPods and I'm on my second iPhone, so I guess I'm more into the 'i' stuff purely cause of the geeky, gadgety, gotta have it cause Uncle Steve told me so. Plus the packaging is always cool :)

Anyhow, the reason why I was a little regretful was the fact that it really did dawn on me that I'd just slapped down a grand for what was really just a 'big phone' as my niece calls it. What could this iPhone Maxi really give me that I didn't already have on my phone? I mean pretty much every function on the iPad is identical to the iPhone - and pretty much every app for the phone runs on the pad. It's just more cumbersome and sucks up slightly more power.

In the past few weeks, I've really now learnt to love this tiny laptop. It's funny cause although it's is just a big iPhone in so many ways, I use it completely differently. Firstly it's an e-reader. I read Wired, The Australian, BBC News and ABC iPad editions every day. Although a little heavy, its big, bright screen is easy on the eyes and a cinch to use.

I also use it as an email reader, the mail application is really easy to navigate and really fast.

Of course there's a stack of games on there too, but for now they're pretty much ports of the iPhone versions. However Scrabble gets the thumbs up for its 'party play' mode that hooks up the iPhones as your tile holder. Nice.  Unlike my phone and iPod, I rarely use it for playing music.

But the single best use for the iPad for me is for photo viewing.

As an amateur photographer, I love to show off my work to family and friends. With the pad, this is now so much easier to do because of its beautiful, 1024x768 132ppi, 9.7inch screen. Photos really come alive on such a large display.

Putting your photos onto the device is really easy too, you can either use the Camera Connection kit and copy photos straight from an SD card or your cameras USB port, or you can just use iTunes. I prefer the iTunes method as you can keep your albums nicely organised. Just create a subdirectory on your PC and it will appear as a new album in the photo viewer - just like the iPhone.

By way of apps, there's quite a few good photography related apps available that do a variety of things from connecting to Flickr to manipulating images. Of these, really like Colour Splash and TiltShift Generator. The first allows you to add spot colour to a photo, the second helps you create an artificial tilt-shift for that miniature effect (check out my Flickr photo set for some examples).

When it comes to having a bit of fun, the camera sharing apps such as Duplicam do things like letting you control one or more iPhone cameras straight from the pad itself. You can even do some cool Matrix 'bullet time' effects if you have enough iPhones lying around ;)

I'm not saying that it's a replacement for a good PC (or Mac) and Photoshop or Lightroom, but the iPad really holds its own when it comes to portable image viewing, backups and quick and simple editing.  Now if someone were to develop an adaptor that allows you to use the iPad as a camera remote like Camera Control from Nikon, I think we pretty much have the perfect companion for photographers at every level.

Go iPad!

Jul 1, 2010

HTML5, Flash and YouTube

YouTube has posted a blog update discussing HTML5 and how browser-native video support shapes up in its future.

The short version is that in order to achieve the same level of functionality that Flash provides, HMTL5 seems to have a long way to go.  Video streaming, Content Protection and Embedding seem to be the biggest speedhumps in the future of the new standard.

Check out more at the YouTube API blog.