I have a boy in grade school, and his whole world comes comes down to a few passions, which include Legos and iPad games. That's why I am vicariously excited for him about this week's release of Sick Bricks, a new mash-up of click brick toy and tablet game. Read the rest
...and that's exactly what I wanted, because I'm not a big caller. But maybe it's time to switch to Android, because they already have stuff just like it, and with some meatier hardware to boot.
The above graphic, published by OSXdaily, illustrates Apple's new selection of phone sizes--and also includes the iPad Mini, which lacks cellular calling but now seems part of a consistent spectrum. As one of those people who often finds the iPad Mini a little too big, but the current iPhone too small, I figure that the 6 Plus will be what I'm after. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 4--slightly less wide than the 6 Plus, but significantly thicker--didn't quite sell itself to me, though that might be because Android is just not the language my thumbs speak.
Here's the specs for reference.
Tell me what to buy. (Yes, a Moto F3, I know.) Read the rest
I have a first-generation iPad that works well as a Netflix streamer, game platform, writing tool, and web and email machine. I have no desire to upgrade to the latest model. Rob Walker, writing for Yahoo News, reports that I'm not the only one who feels this way. "A recent report by Localytics concluded that 38 percent of all iPads in use — a commanding plurality — are iPad 2s," he writes.
So what does it take to make a device seem obsolete? I’d say there are two categories of answer. One is some sort of relatable spec improvement: Twice the memory that your straining laptop has, or the ability to hold three times more songs than your current MP3 player.
The other category basically involves aesthetics and form: A remarkably lighter object, a flashy new color that signals to the world you’ve got the latest thing. Apple is skilled at this, as the intense interest in the gold version of the most recent iPhone proved yet again. Indeed, the Macbook Air’s form-factor success even got an indirect nod in one of today’s few surprises: The new iPad is called the iPad Air.
Maybe these gambits just don’t work as well in the context of tablets. I’ve never bumped against the technical limits of my iPad 2. And since I don’t flash it in public very often, I’m ambivalent about whatever stylistic statement it may or may not make.
Apple's big iPad problem Read the rest
The Los Angeles Unified School District has decided not to award 300 students for cleverness after the students figured out how to access YouTube and Facebook on the locked-down iPads the district gave them. Instead, the district "put an end to home use of the devices, and district sources say the misbehavior may delay the rollout of the full program." Read the rest
$0.99 buys you "beautiful 360-degree high-resolution rotations of over 300 animal skulls." Here's a chameleon skull. Don't miss the two-headed cow skull.
Skulls by Simon Winchester Read the rest
I’ve been using this stylus like crazy and I am in love! It’s a touch sensitive stylus for drawing and painting on the iPad which works incredibly well. Because of its touch-sensitive capabilities, this is the first stylus that allows me to think of the iPad as tool for serious illustration. I love my Wacom tablet, but using this is a completely different and, in some ways, a much more direct way to connect to my work… especially once I’d found the right drawing app. I suggest Procreate, which is designed to take advantage of the Pogo Connect. Read the rest
Bloomberg reports that a team of "about 100 product designers are working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad." Read the rest
This Cult of Mac video makes it look pretty easy to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad. What is a good reason to do it? If you have jailbroken your iOS device to do something cool that you couldn't have accomplished with a non-jailbroken device, please tell us about it in the comments. Read the rest
After 4.6 billion years of evolution, DNA's mission is complete. There is nothing left to do but sit around and wait for the heat death of the universe.
2-In-1 iPotty with Activity Seat for iPad
(Via This isn't Happiness) Read the rest
Scott Snibbe, the developer for Björk’s "Biophilia" app, has developed an iOS app for the Philip Glass remix projec: REWORK_
The puzzle game Chocolate Fix has been a family favorite around our house for years.
IEEE Spectrum just released a fun iPad app that's all about real robots!
“Wow, it feels like a Kindle,” and “Ew, the screen is terrible,” were Mrs. Daring Fireball’s initial reactions when Gruber handed her the iPad Mini to see what she, "an avid daily user of an iPad 3," thought. "Her initial reaction matched mine exactly, and perfectly encapsulates the experience," Gruber writes. But his prediction: "This is going to play out much like the iPod and iPod Mini back in 2004: the full-size model will continue to sell strongly, but the Mini is going to become the bestselling model." [daringfireball.net] Read the rest
This parody promo for the iPad Mini is funny because it's all true.
This review is cross-posted on DownloadTheUniverse, a group blog that reviews science-related ebooks and discusses the future of the written word.
An illustration from the The Royal Bestiary, depicting a unicorn laying its head on the lap of a lady. Presumably, the illustrator had never seen a unicorn, nor (one suspects) a lady.
A Medeival Bestiary is just not that into me.
We should have gone so well together. It was a scanned copy of The Royal Bestiary, a 13th century manuscript stored in the British Library, enhanced for the iPad with text and audio interpretation on every page. I was a giant nerd. Clearly, a match made in heaven.
But I don't think it's going to work out.
It's not that the book is terrible. In fact, parts of it are, objectively, pretty damn cool. We are, after all, talking about an opportunity to virtually thumb through the pages of a very old book. And the scans are excellent. You can see stains on the vellum, and the margin lines drawn by the scribe or illustrator to make certain that text and images were put into just the right place on every page. You can zoom in on the beautiful, colored and gilded drawings of bees and eagles, lions and centuars. On every page, there is, indeed, a little tab that you can tap to learn more about the animals you see in the pictures – especially helpful for the book's many imaginary animals, such as the leucrota. Read the rest
Turnstyle's Noah Nelson interviewed comic book great Mark Waid, longtime creator of adventures for Superman, Batman, Spider-man and The Incredibles. He's now mastering the format's transition to digital media such as the iPad.
“That doesn’t change the image but it completely changes the context of what the story is.”
Take the comic Waid wrote for Marvel’s new “Infinite Comics” line. A hero hurtles through space, a red-orange blur behind him. When the reader swipes the screen, the page doesn’t turn. Instead the image shifts focus. The blur becomes the fiery cosmic Phoenix, the X-Men’s most deadly foe.
“I got news for you, I’ve been doing this for 25 years and this is the hardest writing I’ve ever had to do,” Waid said.
Be sure to play the audio at Noah's article: it's fantastically produced. Read the rest
I recently had a chance to visit NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory with Miles O'Brien. At the NASA center in Pasadena, engineers are readying for the long-anticipated landing of the Mars Curiosity rover on Aug. 5. During our visit, we met with the team behind a cool new iOS app from JPL: NASA's Spacecraft 3D, an augmented reality application that allows users to "learn about and interact with a variety of spacecraft that are used to explore our solar system, study Earth, and observe the universe."
Using a printed AR Target and the camera on your mobile device, you can get up close with these robotic explorers, see how they move, and learn about the the engineering feats used to expand our knowledge and understanding of space. Spacecraft 3D will be updated over time to include more of the amazing spacecraft that act as our robotic eyes on the earth, the solar system and beyond!
The app is really a ton of fun. You can download it here for free, iPad and iPhone and iPod Touch. Here's the JPL press release announcing its release. Read the rest