Friday, May 14, 2010

Has Google Wave gone the way of cold fusion?

So, I realized this morning that I hadn't logged into Google Wave since February. I was never a big wave user, even at the best of times. However, I noticed that all the waves I had been following appear to be long dead.

I don't hear much about it in the tech news lately either.

On the other hand, a quick search of with:public shows a lot of activity, so maybe it's just me. I like the idea of Wave, but seem to have trouble fitting it into my digital lifestyle.

Is it just me? Is anyone out there actually using Wave? And, if so, what do you use it for?


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why does Apple hate MobileMe?

Ok, so I've got this new iPad. While I truely love it, there is one slight problem. Syncing documents back and forth is just a little too complicated for my tastes. But, that's OK. I mean, Apple has this other, cool technology called MobileMe. It's specifically designed to help us keep all our computers in sync. It even has an app in the app store. So, I can use MobileMe to shuffle files onto my iPad...except, the MobileMe app is still iPhone only. Oh, you can run it on the iPad, but it does not support opening files using other applications, which makes it pretty much useless.

No worries. The iPad has a full web browser. MobileMe has a full-feature web interface. I can just open up and download my files from there...except, only gives me access to an iPad specific version of the web page. Sure, it has instructions for setting up email and contact syncing, and for installing the various (iPhone only) apps. That's nice I guess. Oh, and I can even access "Find My iPhone," but I cannot access iDisk directly. Yes, that's right. I can find my iPad from my iPad, but I cannot download a PDF file and open it in GoodReader.

So, the bottom line is, there comes a time in every man's life when you just stop beating your head against the wall and start using DropBox. Just sayin'.


PS: To all the web developers whose pages redirect my iPad to a stupid mobile version. Stop! It! Now! I swear to all the TCP/IP gods, if you keep this up I will hunt you down and punch you in the throat.

Location:Spencer St,Honolulu,United States

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What would you like to see?

I'm about to start working on another set of iPhone/iPad articles. Are there any topics you'd like to see covered? Leave a note in the comments, and I'll see what I can do.


Location:Waialae Ave,Honolulu,United States

Sunday, May 2, 2010

iPad as ebook reader

When it comes to just reading text, I much prefer my Kindle. I know a lot of people say they don't notice any eye strain when reading from the iPad, but boy I sure do. Especially if I'm already tired. Now, admittedly, I will gladly spend several hours reading a good novel at one sitting, so I might not be a representative sample.

But, here's where things get interesting. I tend to read four things: novels, computer books research papers, and pen and paper RPGs. Of these, only the novel plays nice with the Kindle. The Mobi ebook format just doesn't handle the formatted text well. Yes, several computer book publishers have worked very hard to make Kindle compatible versions of their books, but the end result always feels a lot clunkier than either their epub or PDF equivalents. And many books (not to mention all research papers and RPGs) are only available in PDF. The less said about the Kindle's PDF support, the better.

With the help of some third party apps, the iPad can easily handle all three common ebook formats. It may not be the best ebook reader, but it is the one reader to rule them all. So, while I may prefer to read on my Kindle, I think I may find myself spending more and more time reading on the iPad.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

The age of the iPad

Ah, yes. I finally got my hands on an iPad. Yes, I know I'm a month late, coming to the party, but. I really wanted to wait for the 3G iPad. There's been a lot of chatter about which device users should choose. I suspect it depends on how you look at things. If the iPad is primarily a couch computer for media consumption, then WiFi is for you. If it's primarily a mobile device, then you'll want 3G. Personally, I prefer to work outside the house/office as much as possible. So, I'm mobile all the way.

I've only spent a few hours with the device so far, so it's too early to give anything but very superficial initial reactions.

In general, I love the richer UI. There are so many more possibilities than on the iPhone. But, of course, with great power comes great responsibility. Some iPad apps actually feel a lot less useful than their iPhone equivalents I'm looking at you, Mail. Admittedly, I'm trying to use Mail to manage four different email accounts. But, bopping between accounts never bothered me on the iPhone. On the iPad, however, it feels a lot clunkier.

Similarly, I love having official support for transferring documents to and from the iPad. I don't even mind having to physically plug the iPad into my computer (though Mobile Me based document syncing would totally rock...just sayin'). But, why oh why has apple forced us into a process that must be 100% manual! Ok, fine. Funnel everything through iTunes. I'm OK with that too. But please, let the app drop boxes appear as folders or drives in the finder. Or, at the very least, give us Automator or AppleScript support for slurping these files around.

Most surprisingly, I find the onscreen keyboard much more useful than I would had expected. With the help of the autocorrection, I can type at almost full speed. I mean, I've written this entire post on my iPad. I'd never have managed anything this length using the iPhone keyboard. And I'll probably get faster as I use it more. While a Bluetooth keyboard would br nice, I think I'll favor mobility over raw typing speed, and just go commando.

Well, that's it for now. I'm going to give myself a couple days to just explore the device as a user, before I really start looking at it as a developer.