5 reasons you should consider a 3G iPad 2

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5 reasons you should consider a 3G iPad 2

via Resources | ZDNet by Matthew Miller on 3/21/11

Back before the iPad 2 was released to consumers Robert Scoble recorded a CinchCast message that said no one should buy a 3G iPad because you can just use the WiFi hotspot capability on your smartphone. Brian Chen, from Wired, also recently posted an article on why you can skip 3G on the iPad 2. This idea sounds reasonable and I admit to being a part of that camp for a couple of years, but after using my Samsung Galaxy Tab with integrated 3G I realized that integrated 3G is actually the way to go for power users and I have five reasons you should consider a 3G iPad.

There are 18 variations of the Apple iPad; black or white, 16GB/32GB/64GB, Verizon 3G, and AT&T 3G. Thus, it isn’t easy to make a choice, unless you end up like me and have no choices left. It has now been over a week and I love using my iPad 2 with integrated 3G service and am happy that is what I was led to purchase. I have been traveling a lot to Alaska for work and get 3G data even up in Ketchikan where I was able to watch March Madness live.

Here are five reasons why you should consider a 3G iPad:

Battery life: Using the mobile hotspot on your phone is convenient, but 3G and 4G kill the battery on phones faster than just about anything while the iPad models can go 10 hours. If you actually ever want to use your phone to make and receive calls or text messages, you won’t have much luck if you kill it through tethering. To support the devices you carry for WiFi hotspot functionality you will also have to carry a means to charge up your phone and maybe your iPad if you use them paired together extensively.

Integrated saves time: Today’s smartphone WiFi hotspot utilities are much better than the ones I started out using a couple years ago, but it still takes several steps to launch the hotspot and get connected with your iPad while integrated 3G is just always there and good to go. Also, it can cost you money or be a pain to find other WiFi hotspots at hotels, airports, and such while integrated 3G is always there with you and ready to go.

iPad has large antenna system: The iPad 2 has a larger antenna than your smartphone and it is possible that you may see a stronger signal to let you connect in more places. I have only seen 4 or 5 bars on my iPad 2 and the experience has been terrific.

iPad 3G has a GPS receiver: Unfortunately, Apple does not include a GPS receiver in the WiFi only models. GPS is slick with Google Maps, Navigon, and a number of other 3rd party clients that let you roll down the road with a large screen GPS navigation display.

Integrated 3G could be cheaper: WiFi hotspot services on your smartphone can range from $15 for 5GB (T-Mobile), $20 for 2GB (ATT and Verizon), up to $29.99 unlimited from Sprint. 2GB of data on AT&T is $25 for the iPad while Verizon has a 1GB option for $20, 3GB for $35, 5GB for $50 or 10GB for $80. The monthly data cost differences between the integrated or WiFi hotspot options are fairly close so monthly price should not be much of a factor in your decision.

I can understand if you have a group of people or a family with multiple iPads and you want to connect all of them at once with one smartphone then you can use that phone as a sacrificial phone and WiFi only iPads may be the way to go. However, after tasting integrated 3G on my Galaxy Tab and now on my iPad 2, I cannot go back to a two device tablet connectivity solution.

Can you think of any reasons to buy or not to buy a 3G iPad?

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Use your iPhone’s camera to paint with light

via DVICE Atom Feed by Adam Frucci on 12/21/10

Use your iPhone's camera to paint with light

Magic Shutter is a new iPhone app that will allow you to use your phone’s camera to take long exposure images. For only $3, it’s pretty sweet.

Slow shutter speed, long exposure shots allow you to do “light painting” and capture motion like cars whizzing down a highway at night with stunning effect. You’ll need a tripod or a steady surface for your phone to rest on for this to work well, but if you feel like playing around with your phone’s camera in a new way, this could be worth the cash. 

Magic Shutter via Gadget Lab.

This iPod dock makes your iPod appear to magically float

via DVICE Atom Feed by Adam Frucci on 8/3/10

This iPod dock makes your iPod appear to magically float


The Wireless Streaming Music Centre is like many iPod docks: it lets you plug your portable media player into it and acts as a large speaker for it. But its design sets it apart from the rest.

Motorola Droid now best Android phone ever

Motorola Droid now best Android phone ever *via DVICE Atom Feed by Stewart Wolpin on 10/28/09

Motorola Droid now best Android phone ever *

A few weeks I go I proclaimed the Motorola CLIQ the best Android phone ever, asterisk, at the time it came out.

On Nov. 6, the new Android champion will be the Motorola Droid. That’ll make Verizon customers/Apple haters happy now that the carrier has a phone to match its vaunted 3G network, or will have when it becomes available on Nov. 6 for $200 after the usual contract stipulations and rebate.

Handling the phone for the last couple of hours, I find Droid’s imperfections overwhelmed by Android 2.0 advances that help unify related functions and, first and foremost, its gorgeous screen.

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At 3.7 inches diagonal, Droid’s display is the biggest on a cellphone, yet the Droid is only a hair larger and actually a bit thinner than the CLIQ. Even better, the LCD is 854 x 480 (WVGA) or 400,000 pixels. Most similarly sized screens are 480 x 320. In less tech terms, text and colors are sharper, bolder and crisper than on any other cellphone LCD I’ve seen.

All Together Now
Droid is more than its screen and slide-out QWERTY keypad. To make non-verbal communications easier, Motorola borrows the contact-centric phonebook from CLIQ’s MOTOBLUR social-network interface. Contacts in your phone book include text and email data, but let you compose a message or post to varying your contact’s pages on social-networking sites such as Facebook without having to actually boot the Android Facebook app. Droid also handily merges all the info from contacts culled from varying app phonebooks and email contact lists, such as Facebook and Gmail.

Further unifying disparate functions, the home page-based Google Search now scours not only the Web but data on your Droid. For instance, if you do a search on U2, you’ll find websites, plus websites you’ve visited or bookmarked, apps, contacts or, optionally, YouTube and your music. You can change these search options in the settings.

Google Maps now comes with voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions and “layers” — instead of having to choose a normal map view or a traffic view or a satellite view, you can overlay these options on top of each other. You can also share your location with other Google Navigation users for keeping track of your peeps or coordinating arrival at a mutual destination, i.e., “I’m lost, do you see where I am? How do I get to where you are?”

Moto Quibbles
I have some initial complaints. First, the 5MP camera is slow to process the large images. And, despite included image stabilization, indoor shots with the dual LED flash come out blurry if you don’t hold the camera stock-still until the shot is processed. Photos also can be geotagged, but oddly this is not the default setting. I’m not even sure why there is an option to begin with — what is the drawback to having all your photos automatically geotagged?

Like the CLIQ, Droid’s slide-out horizontal keyboard is three-line rather than four, which means you’ll need to tap ALT to access the number keys.
YouTube playback was hinky on my demo unit, especially when I tried to watch videos in HQ. They’d get stuck in “loading” and never actually play. Unlike other Android phones, there isn’t a “full screen” zoom option, which means videos that do play play in the middle third of the screen.

But Droid’s big, sharp screen makes everything easier to read, Android 2.0 adds the kind of intuitive interface that makes using a complex cellphone easier, Verizon’s EV-DO network speeds net surfing, and Droid’s solid metallic body fills klutzes with confidence.

Now all we need is an iTunes-like Android client software.

15 ghoulish apps you can download to your iPhone

via DVICE Atom Feed by SCI FI Wire Staff on 10/28/09

15 ghoulish apps you can download to your iPhone

Whenever a new gadget appears, you can be sure it will be demonized in popular culture. Gothic novelists wrote about haunted typewriters. There were Twilight Zone episodes about evil electronics and telephones that went straight to grandma’s grave. There were movies about cursed computers long before there were PCs (HAL 9000, anyone?), and there are countless straight-to-DVD flicks about eerie cellphones.

But it used to be that those hauntings were involuntary. Nowadays people are willingly downloading the ghouls, ghosts and goblins themselves, usually at about a buck a pop. Follow the jump below for our 15 favorite scary iPhone apps.

To read the list, follow this link our sister site, Sci Fi Wire.

How the iPod Nano can beat the Flip (hint: a camera’s not enough)

How the iPod Nano can beat the Flip (hint: a camera\'s not enough)

The star of Apple’s dog-and-pony show today was undoubtedly the iPod Nano, adding so many features that our Twitter live-blogger was wondering if there would be a kitchen sink included. An FM radio on the Nano? The pigs were about to fly when they heard that one.

But the biggest addition was a video and still camera (update, it’s video only), knocking on the door of all the other portable camera makers with a clatter so loud that when the Flipmakers peer through their peephole, they might see the Grim Reaper.

In the Pocket

It’s common knowledge that the most useful camera is one that you have with you, and given that a large percentage of the population carries around a music player wherever they go, video and still camera possession will soon be almost a given.

Sure, our informal survey of teenyboppers told us they don’t care much about having a camera on board their iPods — most told us that they already have cameras on their cellphones. But do they have a video camera in their cellphones? Most don’t. New Nano users will soon realize how useful it is to have a camera with them all the time, even if it is only 640×480.

Jack of All Trades, Master of All

Perhaps the most ominous fallout from this announcement will be the fate of camcorders from such companies as Flip and Creative that have made such impressive inroads with tiny camcorders. In waltzes the iPod Nano, a music player that’s already a highly desired product, with a camcorder thrown in. If Apple can make it super easy to send videos to YouTube, this’ll be a sure winner.

Note to Apple: check out what FlipShare is doing, and then beat that. Or, just do the same thing you did with the YouTube implementation of the iPhone, which is as good as it gets.

No Cam for the Touch?

A camcorder in a music player is such a great idea, we’re still scratching our heads and wondering why the iPod Touch didn’t also include a camera. It would be a natural, loading up movies to YouTube just as easily as the iPhone does now. Already, iPod Touch users are speaking out. Said one disgruntled Touch user, “Once again Apple screws me over by putting all the cool new features in the iPod Nano, and NONE of them in the iPod Touch.”

Was Apple protecting its iPhone franchise? Perhaps the fact that the iPod Touch can only connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi would have frustrated users who’d like to instantly upload their YouTube videos from anywhere. That said, expect the iPod Touch to also include video camera capability in its next generation, hopefully in HD resolution.

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iPhone OS 3.1 update already in beta

via DVICE Atom Feed by Charlie White on 7/1/09
iPhone OS 3.1 update already in beta

Just when we got used to the new iPhone OS 3.0, Apple rolls out a beta of version 3.1. Top of the list of this bug fix is the ability to nondestructively edit video. With the current OS 3.0, if you trim the beginning or the end of the clip and save it, those edited parts of your video are gone forever. In OS 3.1, you’ll have the option to save a copy of the edited video, leaving the original intact. But wait, there’s more:

• Voice Control now works over Bluetooth
• Faster boot time
• iPhone vibrates when moving icons
• Updated AT&T profile to 4.2
• Updated modem firmware to 5.08.01
• Improvements to OpenGL and Quartz.
• APIs to allow third party apps to access videos and edit them.

One fix I wish they would implement: It’s harder to place the cursor within text than it was in the old iPhone OS (could that be because of the new “oleophobic” screen?). Maybe somebody could try fixing that. Let’s also hope the developers do something to improve the iPhone 3GS’s speech recognition, which is laughably lame thus far.

Developers are getting the beta software and firmware now, but the official release date for the rest of us iPhone-totin’ suckas is unknown.

The iPhone Blog, via Geeky Gadgets