Mar 27

iHome iD50 Front View with iPad 2Last year’s iHome iA100 remains one of the most feature-rich (and complicated) iPhone/iPad alarm systems ever released. It’s one of the few solutions  for demanding users who want unmatched control of how their alarm clock and iOS device(s) work together to ease them to sleep or into a new day. Despite its high price and over reliance on app-based controls, it’s still on my recommend list for users who would benefit (as I do) from its highly-customizable options. 

But there’s a new iHome iOS alarm clock that’s probably a better choice for most would-be users.  The company has released what you might call the iA100’s little brother, the iD50. Similar to the iA100, the new iHome iD50 is smaller, cheaper, shares most of the same features, and adds a welcome dose of simplicity without sacrificing function.

All things being equal, I’d say if you were considering the iA100, you should go with the iD50 instead.

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Mar 22

Air Display Getting a Retina UpdateOf all the apps on my iPad 2, the one I was probably most looking forward to trying on the new iPad was Air Display.  This iOS utility from Avatron allows you to use the iPad (or iPhone, iPod touch if you’ve got a magnifying glass handy) as a second display for your Windows PC or Mac. On the iPad 2, that was all well and good – I’d use it for a PDF viewer or for iTunes to cut down on my primary monitor’s clutter – but with the iPad 3’s 2048×1536 resolution… the app’s utility seemed like it would, well, quadruple. 

But last Friday, iPad launch day, there was no Air Display update.  There wasn’t one Monday or Tuesday.  Yesterday I found out why.

According to a post on the company’s blog, they got to work immediately on a Retina-friendly version of Air Display when the iPad 3 was announced, but after testing the update on an actual 3rd Gen iPad last week, the results were disappointing.  They continued their work and now an update is currently under Apple review and should be available in the coming days.

You can still use the current version of Air Display on the new iPad, you’ll just get a lower resolution that’s not particularly pretty.  Still, if using your iPad as a second display sounds good to you, give it a try (you can read my initial review of Air Display here, which I will update once the new version goes live).  Avatron promises improved performance on older iPads with the upcoming update, too.

M. Nichols, Products Editor

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Mar 20

iPad's Hot!

Apple’s sales report shows the new 3rd Gen iPad is red-hot, selling over 3 million units its first weekend out the door. That number comes from totaling sales in the handful of countries where the tablet is offered, not just the U.S., but if true it’s a very impressive number.

Being hot isn’t always a good thing, though.

Many users, including yours truly, have found that the new iPad gets anywhere from warm to downright hot during use, and particularly during more demanding use, an apparent result of the tablet’s new high-end System-on-a-Chip and larger battery.

Another Apple Gadget, Another Somethinggate

Reports of the iPad 3 getting warm – or even hot – began instantly upon its release.  Mid-morning on Friday, a user known as faatty posted in an Apple forum “I’m loving the screen and speed but there’s something weird about it. It gets rather warm/hot after 30minutes of usage. It has never happened on my iPad 2.”  Many similar reports have been seen in online forums, on Twitter and around the ‘net since then, and while it doesn’t seem to affect all users, for those it does, the issue is somewhere between an annoyance (hand raised) and a real usability concern.

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Mar 16

3rd Generation iPad

Updated March 19, 2012: For days I’ve been reading rave reviews of the new 3rd Gen iPad. Each early reviewer had his own unique observations, but generally the love was directed where you would expect: the Retina display, battery life, graphics performance, LTE, and overall Apple-ness. From the moment it was announced – and actually even before – I never doubted I would love the new iPad even more than I did the first generation or the iPad 2. 

And I do greatly appreciate the important new features. But after spending a few days with Apple’s second tablet revision, love is not the first word I’d use to describe my feeling.  In fact, I’m a little disappointed.  Not that the iPad 3 isn’t great – it absolutely is -  or that it’s improvements aren’t important – they are – but in taking their tablet to the next level, Apple has also sacrificed some of what made the device feel like the “magical” slab of glass it’s been since the first model was introduced two years ago. 

Is the gain worth the give?

The Hardware

An understanding of the new iPad’s hardware begins and ends with its screen, the Retina display.  This 2048×1536 264PPI  IPS touchscreen is the star at the center of the iPad 3 system, around which all revolves.

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Mar 14

New iPad Launch Day Retailers

We all knew the New iPad – aka iPad 3 – was going on sale Friday.  What we didn’t know was exactly who would be selling Apple’s latest tablet on launch day.  But now we do.

Apple has announced that – aside from Apple Retail Stores – Sam’s Club, Walmart, Radio Shack and Best Buy will all have the New iPad on March 16th.  Verizon Wireless and AT&T retail stores will also be selling their respective LTE/3G models, eager for you to start shelling out dough for their wireless data services.

U.S. stores are expected to begin selling the iPad 3 at 8:00AM local time on Friday.  In addition, the New iPad will go on sale in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands that same day.

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