It might take you a week or so to see it, but Twitter is rolling out a new version of their mobile site made specifically for the iPad. This updated format offers the same multiple-column styling as found on the regular site and is based on the existing HTML 5 mobile sites used by the iPhone and Android devices, but advertises being optimized for touch gestures.
This news will be exciting for those who prefer to use web apps from a browser window instead of launching a native app on their device. While many of you may question this preference, there are potential advantages especially when you may share an iPad with other family members and you’d like to keep your account private. In addition, web apps offer a centralized delivery system that allows for quick updates, feature adds and bug fixes. It may also give them a playground for testing new ideas before implementing them into their native apps.
Twitter is just the latest in a series of high profile organizations making the move to HTML 5. Last week, Kobo announced that they were also developing an HTML 5 web application (albeit with a different motivation), not to mention Adobe’s announcement that the preview of their new HTML 5 development tool, Edge, is available to try. Still on the horizon is Project Spartan, Facebook’s entry into the HTML 5 arena that has the potential to take the mobile world by storm with a social networking and gaming platform that circumvents the need for installation of any native apps.
This ability to deliver a quality user experience without developing a native app has to be making Apple at least a little concerned as it could eliminate a considerable revenue stream if companies can isolate users and their purchases away from the App Store. But I digress…
I think there is something rather zen about tweeting out news about Twitter itself.
HTML 5 is a new standard in web development, giving developers the tools they need to deliver fully interactive and multimedia rich content to their site visitors without the use of add-ons and proprietary plug-ins such as Flash.
» Related posts:
- YouTube Mobile Site Updated to Fully Support iPad
- Pandora Gives Nod to iPad, Chooses HTML 5 Over Flash
- Twitter Integration in iOS 5!
Categories: iPad Latest News Tags: android, bug fixes, delivery system, development tool, facebook, gaming platform, gestures, HTML, Improves, Ipad, iphone, Mobile, mobile world, native app, profile organizations, quality user, revenue stream, rich content, Site, social networking, spartan, twitter, Updates, user experience, web apps
When you are the head of a special unit pinned down on the top of a hill with the enemy advancing, you know you’re in for a rough ride.
In Hills of Glory: WWII Premium HD players are transported to the middle of the second world war, and it is time to prove yourself. The game incorporates simple multitouch gestures after introducing players to an exceedingly challenging first couple rounds.
From single tapping to swiping with two or even three fingers, this WWII era defense game makes use of just about every gesture out there. As the gestures get more and more complex, the attacks players dish out get more and more intense.
With your three team members hunkered down with you, defeating enemies can happen any one of six ways. The team members can be promoted in rank by earning gold, effectively reducing the cooldowns of their attacks. Different characters can also be unlocked by spending your hard earned coin.
As you can see there are two ways to play, which are linked together meaning upgrades in one mode mean upgrades in the other. Different attacks are more effective against different types of enemies, so be careful not to use all your attacks all at once, no matter how tempting it is!
Gold is available for in-app purchase at varying prices, but it is also easily earned by playing the game. Also, a word of caution, try getting along in campaign mode before attempting the survival mode, it is very difficult at lower levels.
What I liked: The ability to upgrade your team gives players something to strive for, especially when the upgrades are harder to unlock than most. Multi-touch gestures are finally incorporated into a fun, addicting game!
What I didn’t like: The graphics and animations could have been done a bit better. Would like to see additional bunkers and more arsenal added to it.
To buy or not to buy: At $3.99 this game offers a very good experience. It is a game that you can play for 2 minutes or 2 hours and not get bored.
- App Name: Hills of Glory: WWII Premium HD
- Version Reviewed: 1.1.2
- Category: Games
- Developer: Bulkypix
- Price: $3.99
» Related posts:
- Tesla Wars HD – iPad Game Review
- Feevo HD Brings Addictive Match Three-style Gameplay to iPad
- Bug Heroes for iPad and iPhone – Game Review
Categories: iPad Latest News Tags: animations, bunkers, campaign mode, caution, couple rounds, dish, enemies, gesture, gestures, Glory, good experience, hd, Head, Hills, Ipad, playing the game, rough ride, second world war, six ways, survival mode, tapping, team members, three fingers, two ways
Have you always dreamed of being able to create your very own comic books? Or Maybe you’re looking for something fun to do with your photos? Either way, we’ve found the perfect app to inspire you.
ComicBook! is a photo editing app that can apply several different halftone-style printing effects to your photos, turning them into genuine comic book styled pages and pictures.
The app opens with a quick help menu, and then lets the user dive right in. Tapping create in the bottom left will open a menu with all of the different photo options. Picking a layout is the first thing to do, and there are several to choose from in both landscape and portrait mode, for up to seven photos.
From there, it’s just a tap on the blue icons to choose a photo from your photo library, or take one using the camera (if you have an iPad 2). Each photo is added to the layout individually, so this will need to be repeated several times. If a photo is accidentally selected, or doesn’t fit in right, it can be deleted by double tapping. Photos in the layout can be moved around to the perfect position, and zoomed in to using standard pinch gestures.
When the photos are in place, it’s time to add the effects. Tapping the FX button in the upper corner of each photo will open the menu that allows you to add different halftone looks to your photos. There’s an option for small, medium, or large dots, and there are a total of nine different styles, such as comic, manga, and poster. The halftone effects can be left off entirely for a plain photo layout, which is a great feature if you just want a photo collage, and they can be used without the dots.
When the layout is complete and the photos are in place, the next step is adding captions. Captions are available in all different speech and thought bubble styles, as well as title bars. Tapping on the added captions will open a box where the font, size, and color can be altered, and they can be moved anywhere on the layout. Double tapping will allow misplaced captions to be deleted.
There’s also an option to add various comic book style stickers to the photos, to make them look even more authentic. There are tons of ultra fun words to add, like “attack of, shocking story, unbelievable,” plus standard comic book words like “WHAM!” “POW!” and “CRUNCH!” Icons are available as well, in shapes like hearts, tears, and lightning bolts. There are a lot of great stickers and caption bubbles in the app, and experimenting with them is a lot of fun. Tapping a sticker will allow it to be resized and tilted in any direction.
The final icon, an options menu, will allow the overall font and font size to be edited, and the border color can also be changed here. When the photo is completely finished, it can be saved to the photo library or exported using email, Facebook, or Twitter.
What I liked: There are a lot of really fun stickers and caption bubbles to apply to images, so it was fun creating silly photos to share with my friends and family. I liked that there were multiple halftone effects, which allowed for a lot of versatility beyond just a simple comic book.
What I didn’t like: The effects have to be applied image by image, which was tedious and time consuming. I would have liked an option to apply one effect to all the photos at once. The app crashed multiple times and I lost my work, but the developer is currently working on a fix that should be released very soon.
To buy or not to buy: At just $1.99, this is a fun way to spice up photos and to create your own comic strips. It’s easy to use, and once the crashing issues are fixed, it’ll be a must have app.
- App Name: ComicBook!
- Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
- Category: Photography
- Developer: 3DTOPO
- Price: $1.99
» Related posts:
- Create Your Own Comics and Embellished Photos with Halftone – PadGadget iPad Photography Series
- Digital Comics Just got a Whole Lot Bigger!
- Disney Launches Comics App for iOS
Categories: iPad Latest News Tags: bottom left, captions, comic book, comic books, comic manga, ComicBook, comics, Create, different styles, dive right, gestures, halftone effects, help menu, Ipad, photo collage, photo editing, photo layout, photo library, photo options, portrait mode, something fun, thought bubble, title bars
One of the features of iOS 5 for those users who have difficulty with the existing interface, is Assistive Touch. The latest beta version released to registered developers yesterday has activated Assistive Touch and initial reviews are very mixed with many people wondering what real advantage this offers.
With the addition of an on-screen menu, the need for the buttons on your device is eliminated. It would seem to me that if you can manage to swipe from the top corner of the screen to display the choices for things like locking the screen rotation or adjusting the volume, you could just as easily have used the buttons in the first place.
There are also options for tapping on the menu instead of pinching or swiping, gestures I can see some people having a hard time getting the hang of. But for most, this will likely be an additional (unnecessary) step when interacting with your iPad.
The option in the menu to ‘shake’ the device also comes with some confusion as it hasn’t been incorporated into any apps yet.
I may eat my words when I actually get the chance to play with it, but for now I’m not sold. Given the considerable effort that would have gone into implementing this feature we can only assume that Apple received a number of complaints about the existing interface options and has produced this in response –so maybe it will prove handy in the end.
» Related posts:
- ‘Find My Friends’ Feature Uncovered in iOS 4.3 beta
- iPad 3 to get 2048×1536 Display, A Bigger iPod touch?
- iOS 4.3 Beta 1 Brings New Multi-Touch Gestures to iPad [VIDEO]
Categories: iPad Latest News Tags: Activated, Apple, apps, beta, beta version, choices, confusion, developers, Feature, gestures, hard time, initial reviews, interface options, ios, Ipad, ipod touch, Latest, raquo, screen menu, swipe, Touch’, unnecessary step, ‘Assistive
Microsoft just released an update to their popular search engine app, Bing for iPad. In this new release, developers have created a new way to search for words or phrases using a touch gesture called Lasso.
No more selecting words, copying, pasting, selecting the search box, pasting and entering (Apparently there are nine steps to copying and pasting a word into a search engine, but I could only come up with these six). Just two simple steps will get you to the search you are looking for.
On its blog site, the Bing developer team discusses the idea behind Lasso. From doing some research, the team realized that most searches come from articles that people are reading. You might be reading the latest news about the iTunes Festival in London and an article might mention something about the festival’s venue, The Roadhouse. You want to know more about The Roadhouse, so you copy and paste the name into your search engine. This can be tedious on the iPad, you have to aim it just right in order to select the word you want, and if you want more than one word, you have to stretch out that little highlighted text bobble. Lasso takes the effort out by letting you just touch the lasso icon and move your finger across the word or words that you want to search. You don’t even have to put it in the search box. It will automatically search once you have selected the text.
‘Lasso’ in action (note: this video will not play on an iOS device)
In addition to the technologically advanced new Lasso feature, Bing has made improvements to the movie search. You can now view multiple show time days and theaters. There are also improvements to the history search, the homepage and much more.
Bing skyrocketed in popularity by being the first search engine to truly utilize the iPad’s features. Instead of a web browser style scroll down and select app, Bing utilizes page swipes and offers a visually rich selection of categories to choose from. You can download it for free in the app store including the new Lasso feature today.
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- Microsoft to Launch iPad Apps
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- Kindle for iPad Update Available Now
Categories: iPad Latest News Tags: Bing, developer team, developers, gesture, gestures, history search, improvements, Ipad, lasso feature, Multitouch, new release, nine steps, phrases, popularity, Reinvents, rich selection, roadhouse, search box, show time, simple steps, swipes, theaters, time days, web browser
Bamboo Paper – Wacom Notes for Stylus is a portable scratch pad that doesn’t kill trees. With stylus in hand, a user can customize this digital notebook. It is well-suited for scribbling down memos, doodles, meeting minutes, or class notes. The app offers a host of options including six shades of ink, three pen thicknesses, and a choice of plain, ruled, or graph paper.
The notebook’s name can be changed and users may choose from one of four available colors for its cover. To change ink color while working simply press and hold the stylus to the screen bring up the pen menu.
Intuitive gestures such as pinch-to-zoom and two finger-drag to pan made it easy to move through the notebook. Touching the arrows to undo or redo something, or using the eraser to clean up stray marks helped neaten up my notes.
It is as simple to create pages as it is to delete them. If a user wants to share his notebook, Bamboo Paper has plenty of options. Single pages can be emailed, saved to Photos, or printed. The entire notebook can be printed or emailed as a .pdf. Touching the trash icon underneath the front cover resets the entire notebook.
Users can bookmark particular pages, a useful option once your notebook grows large. Bamboo Paper also works in conjunction with an iPad connected to a projector, so users can share ideas with a group.
Though Wacom likely designed Bamboo Paper as a companion to the Bamboo Stylus, I tested writing with my finger, and it worked well for short periods of time. The app is available for download in the App Store for free until June 30, 2011, and $1.99 thereafter.
What I liked: The app’s clean UI was pleasing to use. I loved having access to the multiple ink colors, which were as easy to change on the fly, as they were to erase. My handwriting remained legible as I wrote, particularly with the fine line.
What I didn’t like: It was difficult to pan without leaving stray marks on the page. Because you can only have one notebook, the app isn’t as functional as Penultimate, although both apps will sell for the same amount after Wacom’s freebie deal ends on June 30th. My work tended to look messy very easily, so I think it would take a fair amount of effort to create presentation-worthy work using Bamboo Paper.
To buy or not to buy: This aesthetically pleasing app ran very well, and is a must own for any user who needs a note taking app for light duties and can get by without multiple notebook. Get Bamboo Paper now while it is free and you may never need to buy another scratch pad.
- App Name: Bamboo Paper – Wacom Notes for Stylus
- Version Reviewed: 1.2
- Category: Productivity
- Developer: Wacom
- Price: Free until 6/30/11, then $1.99
» Related posts:
- Wacom’s Bamboo Stylus for iPad
- Duo Stylus Capacitative Pen for iPad – Accessory Review
- Totes m ‘Notes – A Great Note-Taking Tool for iPad – App Review
Categories: iPad Latest News Tags: arrows, Bamboo, bamboo paper, digital notebook, gestures, graph paper, handwriting, ink color, ink colors, Ipad, meeting minutes, memos, notebook users, Notes, paper, projector, Review, scratch pad, shades of ink, short periods, stray marks, stylus, thicknesses, trash icon, wacom
Snapseed is an amazingly intuitive photo editor that’s been designed especially for the iPad and takes advantage of the large touchscreen and multi-touch gestures. It’s easy enough for anyone to use, but powerful enough even for professional photographers, making it a great solution for mobile editing.
I had high expectations when I saw Snapseed in the App Store, because it’s made by Nik Software, the creators of some excellent image editing software and plugins for Lightroom, Photoshop, and Aperture. I was not disappointed, because Snapseed seems to be just as fully featured and functional as its more pricy cousins.
You begin with tapping the open image button to import photos from your iPad photo gallery. As with most photo editing apps, Snapseed includes the typical features like crop, straighten, brightness, contrast, saturation, and more. But unlike most photo editing apps, Snapseed has some very unique controls that are easy to learn and make photo adjustments ultra quick.
Once you select the function you want to use, for example, “tune image,” a swipe up or down will select specific options like brightness or contrast. A simple swipe to the left or the right decreases or increases your chosen setting, and ultimately, this allows for much less hand movement when editing than other photo apps. Straightening, rotating, and cropping are also simple to use, with helpful guidelines and pinch and drag gestures.
If you don’t feel like fidgeting with a bunch of settings, Snapseed has an auto correct feature, which will immediately enhance your photo. I did a compare and contrast with the auto correct feature in Aperture, and while Snapseed’s correction was less true to the original lighting in the photo, the correction was more than acceptable and even preferable to Aperture for some pictures. Plus, preference towards one application’s auto correct is often a matter of taste rather than the application’s ability to process images. The Snapseed version is on the left, and the Aperture version is on the right.
Selective adjust was another feature that I was pleased with – it let me add some cool features to photos and it was useful when I needed to adjust only a small area. Selective adjust allows you to add circular control points to various spots on your photo, the size of which can be changed with pinch gestures. Circles can be adjusted from tiny to huge, and within the circles, you can alter the brightness, saturation, and contrast of just one selected section. You can’t paint dramatic color onto a black and white photo like Colorsplash, for instance, but you can decrease the saturation of specific areas, which is a nice effect in its own right.
Snapseed also comes with settings to add neat effects to photos. A swipe to the right on the main menu reveals black and white, vintage filters, drama, grunge, center focus, and organic frames. Within each effect, there are several different settings to choose, adding up to thousands of unique photo enhancements and adjustments. These filters can also be stacked to create some great images.
Saving photos adds them to your photo library, without overwriting the original, so you never lose your work. Sharing is easy, with just a tap you can send your photos to Flickr or Facebook, add them to an email, or print them. Snapseed can be used in portrait or landscape mode and works equally well in both orientations.
Snapseed only has 6 different filter types, but they’re well done and useful. While more features and filters are never a bad thing, Snapseed comes packed with options that will help you make gorgeous photos in a simple and intuitive way.
What I liked: The controls took no time at all to learn, and felt really natural to use. The filters, while limited, are all extremely high quality and photos never look cheap or poorly edited.
What I didn’t like: While there was no part of this app that I disliked, an option to view my added filters in layers would be nice, for easier removal and comparison. I also missed not having a button to share my photos on Twitter.
To buy or not to buy: Considering the price of Nik Software’s photo editing plugins, Snapseed is a total steal because it has a lot of the same functionality and power. At $4.99, this app is definitely worth buying.
- App Name: Snapseed for iPad
- Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
- Category: Photography
- Developer: Nik Software
- Price: $4.99
» Related posts:
- Become An Expert With PadGadget’s iPad Photography Series
- TouchUp for iPad – A Creative Photo Editing Tool
- PhotoPal for iPad – Powerful Editing Tool On Sale (One More Day)
Categories: iPad Latest News Tags: aperture, compare and contrast, cousins, creators, Editing, gestures, great solution, high expectations, image button, image editing software, Ipad, lef, matter of taste, open image, PadGadget, photo, photo editing, photo editor, photography, professional photographers, saturation, Series, Simple, Snapseed, swipe, touchscreen, typical features
Digitimes is reporting that Microsoft is seriously considering to launch its own tablet PC featuring Windows 8. The new tablet design would be targeted directly towards the iPad and would leverage Microsoft’s Windows 8 design program, which is being established to encourage chip designers to work more closely with Microsoft in an effort to create a well integrated design.
Is Microsoft ready to build its own tablet PC? Will they have enough time to build a robust product with Windows 8?
Microsoft has shown serious signs on going after Apple with their Windows 8 design. Just a week ago, Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky, demonstrated at the D9 event his new tablet-native interface powered by Windows. As shown on the video below, Windows 8 is heavily focused on widgets and a design that would leverage finger touch and multiple gestures.
Based on what we’ve seen, there is no question that Microsoft plans to copy Apple’s App Store model by launching its own Microsoft Windows app store. We’ve already seen how Microsoft filed a motion objecting to Apple’s use of the term “App Store”. Although not fully confirmed, the following leaked image seems to show the way Microsoft is thinking about launching their own App Store effort.
But, who will partner with Microsoft in the development of its own tablet PC? According to Digitimes, Microsoft is planning to collaborate with Texas Instruments (TI) and Taiwan-based OEMs/ODMs. Microsoft could possibly use TI’s 1.8GHz OMAP4470 chip as a starting point.
Microsoft has been extremely successful with the XBOX 360, the Kinect and the ecosystem around those two products. However, the company has seen how the iPad has created a big dent on the PC-related market. The Zune media player has not been able to compete against Apple’s iPod family, and the iPhone, let’s just say, is a no contest. That leaves Microsoft looking for a strategy where they can leverage its branding around XBOX 360, the Kinect and the ecosystem around it. The answer could very well be Windows 8, if the company finds a way to tightly integrate all those pieces with a new operating system that brings simplicity to consumers and somehow another distribution channel to developers.
Let’s not forget that Apple’s vertical integration strategy is one of the reasons why the iPad has been so successful. Apple’s iOS integration with the App Store, iTunes, and a strong discipline around the hardware design and select partners has allowed Apple to dominate the tablet market. This week’s WWDC keynote will only add more ammunition to Apple’s domination. The iCloud service and iOS 5 will certainly force several companies to scramble.
Apple has certainly forced Microsoft to think about a new Windows 8 tablet. Will Microsoft be able to challenge the iPad with its own design? As of now, the rumor seems to show a release around late 2012 coinciding with Windows 8 shipments. That may be a bit too late for Microsoft. The iPad 3 will be in stores by then.
» Related posts:
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- Microsoft Readies For Big Tablet Push
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Categories: iPad Latest News Tags: Apple, chip designers, digitimes, finger touch, gestures, integrated design, Ipad, microsoft, microsoft windows, native interface, odms, Planning, robust product, Signs, Tablet, tablet pc, texas instruments, texas instruments ti, that would allow users, webos, widgets, Windows, xbox, xbox 360
Apple just posted a new iOS 5 video on its YouTube channel. The video shows most of the features announced yesterday during the WWDC keynote, and then some.
For instance, the video shows that iOS 5 will allow users to define their own custom multi-touch gestures, and will finally offer the four/five finger gestures to allow users to switch between apps, or go back to the home screen (remember, the feature was part of the iOS 4.3 update, but it required a couple of tricks to be enabled, as the feature was meant to be tested by iOS developers only).
In Apple’s own words:
iOS 5 includes a few new moves and shortcuts to help you get around even quicker on your iPad: Using four or five fingers, swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar, pinch to return to the Home screen, and swipe left or right to switch between apps.
Most of the team here at PadGadget has been using the gestures for quite some time, and they work great. And if you can’t wait for the iOS 5 update to use them, you can always use this trick to enable them:
To enable the multitasking gestures, you will need a Mac, and Xcode, a piece of software published by Apple to help developers build apps for iOS. You can either use Xcode 3.2.6 (available for free on the iOS Dev Center, you just need to register), or download Xcode 4 from the Mac App Store, for $5.
Once Xcode is installed, fire it up, plug your iPad to your Mac, and a new window should pop up. Select your iPad on the left menu (under ‘Devices’), then click on the button labeled ‘Use for Development’. If you are asked to enter a developer username and password, enter the information you used when you registered on the iOS Dev Center, and if you do not have an iOS developer account, simply hit cancel, as you don’t need to be a registered developer to be able to enable multitasking gestures.
Unplug your iPad, go to the Settings app, and switch the ‘multitasking gestures’ tab to ‘ON’. Your iPad should now support multitasking gestures.
» Related posts:
- New Apple Video Showcases iPad Developers
- iOS 4.3 Beta 1 Brings New Multi-Touch Gestures to iPad [VIDEO]
- Apple Releases Updated iOS 4.3 Beta to Developers
Categories: iPad Latest News Tags: Apple, apps, Available, developer account, developers, download xcode, five fingers, gestures, Introducing, ios, Ipad, left menu, new moves, quite some time, shortcuts, swipe, Video, wwdc keynote
Looking for ways to turn your iPad 2 into a laptop? There are a few ways you can do that with a few smart accessories that will combine a keyboard functionality with a protective case to safely secure your iPad 2.
Earlier this year, computer accessory giant Logitech announced their entrance to the lucrative iPad 2 accessory market by unveiling their Logitech Keyboard Case. However, CruxCase plans to take your iPad 2 a step further by releasing the first clamshell-keyboard case that features both a remote-Bluetooth trackpad and an additional-external battery for your iPad.
The interesting thing about the Crux Loaded case is that CruxCase plans to use a new technology that will allow you to navigate the iPad 2 via a remote-Bluetooth trackpad. In other words, if you are accustomed to the iOS multi-touch gestures, the Crux Loaded claims it can bring the same experience to your iPad. In addition, the case features an extra-external battery that when connected to your iPad will extend the iPad’s battery life by about 7.5 hours between charges.
For iPad 2 enthusiasts that are looking to completely replace their netbooks or laptops, it looks like the Crux Loaded case allows you to scroll pages, resize pictures, play games, and do many other functions without using the iPad’s screen. Perhaps you’re an avid user of remote-desktop programs such as LogMeIn Ignition, Jump Desktop, or Splashtop, and may be looking for an additional way to access remote PCs while on-the-go, even though there will be some connection delays depending on your network connection.
However, here lies my main concern with this accessory. The price tag of $249 is quite expensive for an iPad 2 accessory. The Crux Loaded certainly looks attractive and promises some really good functionality for a certain market segment.
The Crux Loaded is targeted for release in the Fall 2011.
» Related posts:
- Logitech Enters iPad Accessory Market with iPad 2 Case
- HyperMac Stand Adds 16 Hours to Your iPad Battery
- More Upcoming iPad 2 Accessories – Griffin, PADACS, Clamcase
Categories: iPad Latest News Tags: accessory market, Adds, battery life, clamshell, connection delays, Crux, desktop programs, enthusiasts, external battery, gestures, Ipad, keyboard functionality, Loaded, logitech keyboard, market segment, netbooks, new technology, price tag, protective case, raquo, smart accessories, Trackpad