Posts Tagged iPad

How to turn your iPad into a valuable boardroom tool

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to show a keynote presentation, or flash up a spread sheet on my iPad and I haven’t had my VGA adapter handy and have had to go through the well documented workaround of screen dumping each slide to a photo and then using Airplay to show my photos.

Well, sitting at home on Saturday afternoon and my Apple TV prompted me for a system update. I let the update do its thing and at the end it gave me a what’s new page and something caught my eye “iPad2 mirroring to HDMI output”

Could this be what I’ve always wanted and thought the iPad needed … wireless transmission from the iPad to a large screen for all apps, not just those that supported Airplay?

Indeed it is exactly that… one of the coolest features in iOS5 and one that hardly anyone knows about… and to turn it on couldn’t be simpler.

You won’t find the controls in the Settings app on your iPad. Instead, they are next to the iPod controls. Double-press the home button on your iPad to see the multitasking bar (the one that shows all your recent apps along the bottom). Swipe to the start of the list and next to the music controls you’ll see the AirPlay icon. Tap on that, select your Apple TV and toggle the mirror button to ‘on’

Voila, on your TV you’ll see your iPad desktop and it’s just like having a large monitor or projector connected… every app I’ve tried has worked just fine.

So, if you’re a business user nip out and spend a very modest £100 on an AppleTV box and stick it in your boardroom. Not only will you get even better use from your iPad you also get the wow factor with your visitors.

PS.. make sure you download the latest update for Apple TV once you’ve installed it.

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Tip : How to improve iPhone and iPad battery life

There have been lots of reports in the press about how battery life has taken a hit following people buying the new iPhone 4s and from people who have upgraded to iOS5.

This isn’t something new as I found that my battery life used to be poor on iOS4 until I turned off spotlight search. However, when I upgraded to iOS5 the problem came back so I thought it must have reset the soptlight search options.

But when I checked in settings, they were all still disabled … or so I thought … scroll right down the list and you’ll discover two new spotlight search services which must be new to iOS5 “voice memos” and “reminders”

Disable these and power down your phone and turn back on again and voila the battery life is sorted…

, , , , , ,

1 Comment

Is Apple losing the plot??

If you read my blog you’ll know I’m a fan of all things Apple but of late I’ve been noticing a few things starting to go slightly wrong:

When I connected my iPad to my PC for an update last night the update was a whopping 500meg allegedly only to fix a small security vulnerability.

Speaking of security vulnerability the marketing would have you believe that apple devices are free from the things that are the menace of Windows devices.

Then during the update iTunes hung, not the first time it’s happened on a few occasions now, and then I couldn’t upload my IPad purchases to my PC.

This got me thinking back to last week when safari crashed several times on different sites on the iPad, and the reception on my iPhone is still inferior to non-apple devices.

So, is it me??? or could it be that Apple devices and software are becoming too complex or are they putting quality behind innovation, when in fact most of us just want things to do what they promise.

But then again we let them get away with it because we’re hooked and we love them….

, , , , ,

1 Comment

Exceeding expectations, The Amazon Kindle – I like it…

I’ve been an iPad supporter for some time now and just this week acquired a Kindle for the first time. Taking it out of the packaging I was surprised to find it was fully charged and ready to use. It’s fair to say I can’t remember ever getting an electronic device that has come ready to run, great start.

Connecting it to the network was very easy, in fact I was in proximity of an open wireless connection and it took less than a couple of seconds. So, I’m switched on and connected, the screen looks excellent, black and white yes, but good contrast and very easy to read.

All, good so far, but having a rummage around the options I’m finding it hard work… I’m so used to the touch screen of the iPad, I keep forgetting I have the use the keyboard and buttons to navigate. Anyway, I persist and after a little while I get the hang of it, so it’s time to get hold of a book.

Actually, I already have purchased some books as I’ve been using Kindle for the iPad and what happens next is very cool. When I open the book on the Kindle, it takes me to the place in the book that I’m up to on the iPad… now that’s very clever, a big well done to the designers.

Next time I pick it up I discover the Experimental options under the main menu. Here I find a web browser, which is good enough to use for basic browsing and I’ve used it to access my webmail. Like the iPad though it doesn’t support flash. Also, It’s a bit restrictive viewing web pages in portrait mode and whilst you can change the orientation to be landscape it doesn’t really work as the keyboard is then in the wrong place, but hey… It’s a freebie; I didn’t even know the Kindle had a web browser.  

In summary, I like it… it does what it says on the tin plus some unexpected surprises. What’s more it’s less than half the size and weighs a fraction of the iPad. If I want a device to take with me on holiday to read books then the Kindle would win hands down.

I wonder how good it is a squishing mosquitoes?

, , ,

1 Comment

Technocrats put your soap box away and give the Cloud a chance

If you’ve read any of my recent posts you might think that I’m not supportive of Cloud. Some have even insinuated that I might even be a detractor, deliberately trying to slow down the adoption of Cloud.

Well, it’s time for me to come clean and state for the record that I’m actually pro Cloud, yes that’s right I’m actually pro Cloud. I believe that the Cloud is a good thing that can deliver many user benefits and that the Cloud will change our industry forever.

However, I’m not a Cloud technocrat … I’m not prejudiced or biased towards Cloud vs. other delivery models. And even though I’m a technologist by profession, my real passion is for using the most appropriate technology, whatever that may be, to deliver solutions that drive customer benefit and solve real business problems.

I predict that no single model will dominate the technology roadmap and therefore I don’t support the theory that everything has to run on the Cloud. Stand alone on device applications and on device applications connected to Cloud services will continue to provide excellent pragmatic solutions to many problems for years to come. It’s clear for everyone to see their ascendency and this trend won’t change anytime soon. I also feel that the desktop as a platform for on premise applications is far from dead and that client server architectures will continue to prevail in the future in many guises.

But coming back to Cloud, I find it interesting not because of the hype, but because it offers new opportunities spanning many different technologies and operating models. The Cloud allows easier sharing of information between entities, and therefore fuels collaboration. It enables anytime any place anywhere accessibility. It lends itself to a “pay for what you eat” utility, and it offers a conduit between connected and disconnected systems and thus enables composite Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

Today, the delivery model we hear most about in relation to Cloud is Software as a Service (SaaS) and it may come as a surprise to some to hear that I also understand and support the benefits of the SaaS model of software delivery. Its great for some things but its not a panacea for all things and so I’ve been a tad critical of those who try to ram the “SaaS is the only Cloud delivery model” down everyone’s throat. To those people I would suggest they:  

Go speak to an IT director and they may tell you they’re looking to move some of their internal systems to the cloud in conjunction with one of the many Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform providers. What’s the most pragmatic way to approach this… demand that they must throw out all of the systems that they have acquired and customised over a period of time to meet their business needs and replace them with a whole suite of “not anywhere near like for like” SaaS equivalents… or help them on the journey by suggesting they look at virtualisation as a first step, i.e. their existing systems work as they always have… no retraining, no costly redoing of system integration, they’re just hosted in the cloud, and then gradually move to SaaS and other forms of Cloud on a business needs basis.

Or go speak to an ISV developing mobile software or an iPad developer who is accessing data and a business service running on the Cloud and they may tell you the future as far as they are concerned is all about utilising the best of both worlds. It’s all about applications developed specifically for a device that leverages all the power of the device (not just a web browser running on the device), connected to highly scalable services running in the Cloud that fully utilise the power of the Cloud.

These are only two examples of how businesses want to use the Cloud that don’t involve SaaS, and there are many more. You don’t have to look far to see there is lots of great work and innovation going on around Cloud. So, how come I keep coming across the suggestion that the Cloud isn’t being adopted fast enough and how this is down to traditional vendors of on-premise software deliberately slowing down the adoption of Cloud?

Well, more and more I wonder if Cloud adoption is actually being hindered rather than helped by those who believe they are trying to promote Cloud by demanding that “if you want to be Cloud you have to be SaaS”, and that you have to be prepared to share your “sensitive business” information in the same database as others whether you like it or not.

I’m not normally one for controversy, but… “Demanding you have to be SaaS to be Cloud is a crazy suggestion”… even if it was sensible, and I for one don’t think it is, it would take decades to convert the plethora of applications that businesses use today to SaaS applications, by which time the cloud will have passed us by… and we’ll be onto the next major trend.

So, technocrats … you know who you are … put your soap box away and give the Cloud a chance.

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Is this the future, is #Apple defining the future here??

Is this the future, is this type of web store the provisioning model of the future, is Apple defining the future here?

Apple has already changed the music landscape with iTunes and the iPod, they have changed the mobile landscape with the iPhone and they have changed they have unshackled workers from the office with the iPad. Are they now changing the landscape of the PC user? Does this put a firm brake on the notion of some (I wasn’t one of them) that the PC, and applications running on the PC are dying?

Does this seamless on-line provisioning disperse with all of those age old headaches and arguments about on-premise CD’s and time consuming installations? Is the appeal of this limited to consumers or will it appeal to the business community as well?

Just as others have followed Apple into the new world of music, mobile and tablet computing. Surely the question now is not whether, but how long before, others follow suit?

, , , , , ,

1 Comment

This time it’s Apple TV… am I turning into an Apple fanatic??

Okay, so I’ve written a few posts on the iPad, iPod and the iPhone. I’ve ranted incessantly about the horrendous experience I had following the upgrade of my iPhone 3GS to iOS4, I still can’t believe how Apple got away with making so many peoples life a misery for so long. I’ve also written here about how my iPad wouldn’t replace my PC, not least due to printing and lack of Flash support. But again I’ve written here how both of these limitations can easily be resolved.

I didn’t realise how hooked I had become on Apple kit until recently… over the last few years my wife, two kids and I have amassed 2 x iPads, 2 x iPhones, 2 x iPod Touch, 1 x Classic iPod, 2 x iPod Nano and an iPod Shuffle… Steve Jobs has certainly done well out of this family.

A few months back I also invested in an Apple Airport so that we could stream music from our 6000 song collection on iTunes around the house, and at only £80 or so, we were delighted with this.

Now well and truly hooked, I then asked Santa for Apple TV for Christmas and he duly obliged.

Setting this up couldn’t be simpler, almost plug in a go (once you’ve connected it to a router). You have to set up home sharing in iTunes, which again is very simple and that’s it. Now, I can sit in the living room and stream movies, music and podcasts from iTunes to my TV in very respectable quality.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, why didn’t he just put the DVD into the player connected to the TV?  Fair point I suppose, but I can also rent movies from AppleTV (iTunes) for a modest price of £2.99 … which is cheaper than my Virgin cable provider at £3.50 (a huge saving of 51p) … so if I rent 250 movies then the Apple TV has paid for itself right?

Erm no, that’s not what it’s about at all. I bought it because it’s a really cool gadget, for the same reason I bought my Sling Box and a whole host of other gadgets, and even if I only use it a half dozen times it still gives me enjoyment.

So just as I’m really happy with my Apple TV, things get even better when I discover that with Apple Airplay I can stream movies from my iPads, iPod Touches, and my iPhone as well. This means my PC iTunes library doesn’t have to be switched on and any movie installed on my device can very quickly be played on the TV, brilliant!!

What’s more Airplay also gets me round the limitations of only being able to stream the same song from iTunes to my Airport devices as I can use my iPhone etc as a separate play list and play different songs to different rooms.

So there you have it, an Apple fanatic? Well I’ve not got a Macbook yet, but it could just be a matter of time…

, , , , , , , ,

1 Comment