Apple Hardware, iPads, Laptops and Two-in-ones

iPad Pro

and while I’m at it Mr. Tim Cook, instead of spending time on unneeded frills as the watch you’ve released, you should have spent time on the iPad Pro. My third generation iPad is getting slow, and there is no room left. See my earlier post about what I want to see in an iPad Pro. 

I love the new MacBook, by the way.  I was almost convinced to get a 17″ MacBook but the specs are night and day. And I’ve been waiting for a new iPad. But at this rate I may be getting a new Windows laptop and a Surface Pro 4!

Oh, and I will not be seen driving around in an Apple carriage. Too afraid of what the little critters will do when I park it. 

Ok, so I’m not a comedian, what do you want?

Apple Hardware, iOS

iPad Air 2, truly nothing but Air, @tim_cook

Well if that wasn’t a sleepy announcement I don’t know what would be. Excuse me while I nap…

So now we know how much Apple listens to their customers; as much as Microsoft. Way to go Tim. We’ be only been asking for a larger size iPad, the Pro for three years. We said we’d rather not have to lug around a hard keyboard if the soft keyboard was of full size and functionality. We said we wanted more memory. And OS X running under a windowed iOS and we said we wanted 256GB and 512GB flash options. We also asked to leave the form factor alone while increasing size and resolution. And more battery life.

Did Tim Cook et al take heed? Of course not, they’re too busy copying Microsoft’s frolicking.

So it appears the only one who had listened to our whispering was Steve Balmer. Well, just…

Mobile phones, PIM’s and Tablets

Review of Griffin Technologies Reveal case for iPhone 6 Plus

Just got two of these cases for our iPhone 6 Pluses. The case adds imperceptibly to the weight or the feel of the phone, and appears to protect well. We love the clear back which allows the iPhone’s rear case to show clearly through. Great in portrait mode as well, although I would have preferred a little more ‘stiction’ on the surrounding grip. It is a large phone which I use with one hand, there is a tendency for my hand to slip when reaching all the way across the phone. The only negative, and the reason I can’t give this case five stars, is that the raised lip around the front of the case, which by the way protects the phone’s glass in case of frontal drops, also hinders raising the Control Panel. In order to raise the Control Panel, you have to swipe up from the edge of the phone right around the middle of the spacebar. Not a problem in Portrait mode, but definitely a problem in Landscape mode where the protective lip is only a couple of millimeters from the screen edge. Perhaps, Grifin Technologies can flatten out the lip in that area of the case in the next version.

Apple Hardware, iPads, iPhone, Laptops and Two-in-ones, Microsoft Hardware

Rejuvenation of TenGo soft keyboard from Windows CE days for mobile devices

The best soft keyboard for mobile devices in Windows CE days, was TenGO.  This was a T9 type, predictive type-ahead keyboard, however, it provided for two alpha-buttons on each keyboard row, see illustration.  To type you simply entered the word by pressing one of the three six alpha-buttons, and the predictive type-ahead engine did a really cool job of figuring out the word you wanted to enter.  If it was not in the dictionary, you could select the actual letter in the alpha block, by pressing the soft key the number of times the position of the character represented I the block.  For example if you wanted to enter the character ‘d’ outside of the predictive type-ahead engine, you would press the ‘asdfg’ block three times.  Once a new word was entered it went in to the user dictionary and was available to the T9 engine at the next entry of that word.

I hope that the maker of this keyboard, will resurrect it now, not only on iOS but for Windows and Android mobile devices.  It was awesome.  TenGO are you listening?

tengo-thumb-2[1]

Laptops and Two-in-ones, Microsoft Hardware

To Surface Pro 3 or not to Surface Pro 3, #5

It appears I am in a quandary, which is whether to convert from my iPad 3 to a Surface Pro 3.

As I’ve discussed in past blogs, the Surface Pro 3 is not a consumer tablet, and should not be expected to have the same lifetime as a consumer tablet.  I’m currently upgrading iPhones and iPads every two years;  I think the Surface Pro 3 will definitely have to last me at least three years.

I really would like to have the 512GB flash, but I can’t see spending $2,000 for it.  Especially when the difference between the i5 and i7 appears to be trivial.  But the top i5 model only comes with 256GB’s.  Will 256GB’s be enough for the extended time I will be keeping the new tablet?  In all likelihood, I just can see spending $700 for an extra 256GBs of storage, so I’ll probably look at the i5/256GB at $1,200.  Well that takes care of the hardware.

Now I’ll need a case.  It will have to be a book type case like on my iPad, so I can have it tilted at an angle to type on the soft-keyboard.  The little trinket in the back of the Surface Pro 3 which makes it stand at an angle is useless for me, unless I am watching a movie.  So probably another $100 for a case.

That’s about $1,500 total.  My last iPad cost $900.  I guess it isn’t bad considering what I’ll be getting.

But, wait a minute…  this is the company that:

  • Killed many programs I used, such as Flight Sim, Money, etc.
  • Got everyone on board Windows Media, and at version 9, killed them.  Now I have my entire music library on WMV, but since it is a dead technology, I have to find another encoder and convert my library to.  Box Music?  Nah…
  • Killed TechNet Professional subscriptions, not because they were losing money, but because the Cloudheads decided that the less admins that were left qualified to run the software, the more business it would draw to Azzure.
  • And for the money I’d have to spend on this deal, they can’t even throw in Office?

It goes back to two things:  a) the entire loyalty issue.  If Microsoft can’t be loyal to me, why should I be loyal to Microsoft?  Who has the bigger pockets me or them?  And all they appear trying to do is make my pockets smaller. b) A ship that is broadside to the wind;  a ship without a captain, a ship without a destination, a ship which will eventually founder.  Am I being a little too strong here you think?  Please tell me.  Remember, I am an MS fanboy…

Hhmm!  I think I’ll wait and see what Apple does with the iPad Pro.  May not have much of a choice in the end.

Laptops and Two-in-ones, Microsoft Hardware

The Surface Pro 3, #4

I’ve been comparing the Surface Pro with my current tablet, the iPAD 3.  First, let me say that the Surface Pro 3 is NOT a consumer device.  Surface Pro 3 is a professional and enthusiast device.  I do not think Microsoft intended it as a consumer device, I’m sure the intended it for what it is.  It will not sell in the same numbers as the iPad or the Kindle.  The Surface Pro 3 is a pre-emptive shot at the iPad Pro, if such a thing exists, and is released by Apple.  End of topic.

This is where things stand at the moment, as I see them, from both a hardware and software perspective:

Hardware

Feature Surface Pro 3 IPAD 3
Screen Size Good Inadequate
Screen Aspect Ratio Good Good
Main Memory Good Inadquate for multi-tasking
Storage Good (i5/i7) Inadequate
Wifi Good Good
Cell None (not sure if this is really required, I can always use my iPhone to conect) Good
USB Good (Can use multi-dongle hub to increase ports) Inadequate
Battery endurance (probably) inadequate Inadequate
Pen Computing Good Inadequate
iTunes Music and Video Good – assumed since it runs Windows Pro Good
Apps Good – Desktop
Inadequate – Tablet
Good – TabletInadequate – Desktop
Soft keyboard Unknown Inadequate – works well in landscape mode, but entirely too man mode changes to get to keys required
Software included Inadequate – should have Office included, but can always install Libre Office Full suite – iWorks
Cameras Good for tablet Good for tablet
Screen Orientation Unknown Good portrait
Good landscape
Enterprise Tools Good – runs same tools as Windows 8.1 Pro Inadequate
Communications Tools Good – runs same tools as Windows 8.1 Pro Inadequate, no X, limited ssh, limited background running
Hardware keyboard Inadequate Inadequate
Weight Inadequate Good

 Software/Apps

Ipad Apps Surface Pro Desktop Apps
GoodReader None equivalent
Zinio Magazine Reader Zinio Magazine Reader, tablet and desktop
PressDisplay (Digital Newsparer) Tablet App, Web viewer
Feedly (RSS feed) Web viewer
iWorks None, perhaps Libre Office
OneNote OneNote
Amazon Prime Video Web viewer
Itunes Podcasts None equivalent
Radio/TV apps None equivalnet, most in Web viewer
Vuescan Vuescan
Worldcard (Business card scanner) None, Tablet Apps want access to private data
Apple Maps None
Clock None

So that’s how I see things at the moment. Check my next blog for my thoughts on whether to go the Surface Pro route or not.