The Google-powered maps for the iPhone and iPod Touch have been a mainstay of the iPhone OS since its inception. With the iPad, the maps app gets some subtle new features.
More importantly, and perhaps harder to convey in words, is the fact that the screen real estate afforded by the iPad transforms the app from a squinting approximation of a map into a full-fledged map replacement. Holding it in my hands, I couldn't help feeling a little like Dr. Evil, plotting my course for world domination.
There are a few things to know right off the bat. First, all versions of the iPad include an integrated digital compass, which the maps app can use along with Wi-Fi triangulation to approximate your location and orientation.
Also note that you'll need to invest in a 3G-capable model if you really plan on utilizing the iPad as a proper "Where the heck am I?" kind of map. Not only will the 3G-enabled iPad ping nearby cell towers as an additional means to determine your location (along with Wi-Fi signal triangulation), but the hardware on the 3G models includes extra assisted-GPS hardware, providing a true GPS experience that you can't get on the Wi-Fi only iPads.
Technical details aside, what's so special about maps on the iPad? Well, as the hands-on video at CNET TV demonstrates, the map's street view mode feels all the more godlike on a nice, big, capacitive touch screen. With the screen nearly three times the size of the iPhone's, you can literally see the steam coming off a cup of coffee, or in the video's Lombard Street example, you can see an enthusiastic tourist giving the thumb's up. In short, street view is much more impressive on iPad than it is on the iPhone, though no more practical. Contrasted with a comparable laptop screen, iPad's capacitive touch screen makes the experience feel like spinning a digital globe. It's fun. … Read more
This week's Apple iPad announcement gives us the perfect opportunity to discuss the future of publishing with Cliff Chiang and Jerry Ma, two graphic illustrators in the comic book industry. They join us in the studio today to talk about their collaborative project, "Secret Identities," a graphic novel anthology of Asian American superhero stories.
Growing up as an Asian Americans in the world of comics isn't easy, especially when the only culturally identifiable characters you see are either stereostyped villains or hyper-sexualized women. As comic books quickly gain popularity here (although they are still not nearly as prevalent as in Japan), we're starting to see a shift in the cultural perception of comic books, away from the chiseled, American superhero archetype. The artists behind "Secret Identities" navigate this sea change with stories equally rooted in Asian American history and individual experience.
Throughout today's episode of The 404, Jerry and Cliff offer a unique perspective on the current state of the publishing industry and the move toward digital comic creation. As it turns out, neither of the guys are fans of the new iPad, but Jerry raises an interesting point about the practical application of the iPad in the hands of a parent. And although we didn't have a chance to talk to them about it on the show, both are still considering the Modbook, an aftermarket Apple MacBook modified to work as a tablet computer.
We also love when guests bring us gifts, so look out for another contest for a chance to win a copy of "Secret Identities" (also available for purchase on BlackLava) that features custom sketches from Jerry and Cliff!EPISODE 508 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Though it may have seemed like another of Apple's perfectly timed third-party leaks (and I certainly mistook it for that), McGraw-Hill CEO Terry McGraw's remarks to CNBC earlier this week were nothing of the sort. The publisher tells me that it was not privy to iPad prelaunch details and that to conclude otherwise is a misinterpretation of McGraw's comments.
"As a company deeply involved in the digitization of education and business information, we were as interested as anyone in the launch of the new device, although we were never part of the launch event and never … Read more
Overall, Apple's iPad looks and behaves like a scaled-up version of an iPod Touch or iPhone, but there are some key differences that distinguish the iPad from its pocket-size comrades. One of these differences, surprisingly, is music playback.
Clicking on the iPod icon sitting in the virtual tray at the bottom of the iPad opens up a music browser that looks nothing like any previous generation of iPod or iPhone, but instead, works like a stripped-down version of Apple's iTunes music software. There's the familiar iTunes gray bar running across the top, with playback controls, a volume … Read more
Apple's new iPad device looks like it will have some of the same security issues that affect the iPhone, such as weak encryption, a mobile security expert said on Thursday.
For one, if the iPad employs encryption the same way the iPhone does, sensitive personal data, including phone numbers and e-mail addresses, could be retrieved and viewed, says Daniel Hoffman, chief technology officer at SMobile Systems, which sells mobile security software.
"The problem with the iPhone security encryption is it is fundamentally worthless," he said. "It can be easily bypassed."
Hoffman is not alone in … Read more
There's been no shortage of opinions on the iPad, for sure. Some think it's just a big iPhone that can't make phone calls, while others see it as the tablet of the future. To get into some of these points, CNET's Ina Fried and Josh Lowensohn weigh in on some of the issues.
Also, be sure to check out CNET Reviews' Editor's take by Donald Bell.Who is this for?/Who will buy this?
CNET senior writer Ina Fried: This is a tough one. I think it is for people who want a second computing device, for sure. It won't replace your laptop. It is good for casual Web browsing in the house--seems like a great way to be even less social while watching TV with the family. I think it is also good for travelers who want to have one device that can replace a stack of magazines, books, and DVDs. Most of all, I think a lot of the killer uses for this have yet to be created.
CNET associate editor Josh Lowensohn: Travelers indeed, and everyone I've talked to about this keeps bringing up how "awesome" this would be on an airplane. I don't spend all that much time on airplanes, but when I do, I'm completely satisfied with using my iPhone.
If anything, the two things that bring that experience down are having to hold on to it the entire time (which the iPad requires), and the smallish screen (which the iPad fixes). Then again, if I do want more screen real estate, a laptop always seems to be a better option since I can just adjust the screen to stand it up, leaving my hands free to grip the elbow rests in terror of the next patch of turbulence.What about the name?
Lowensohn: I think the iPad makes a lot more sense than the iSlate would have. Everyone knows that a pad is something flat that you write/work on. A slate? What?
Fried: Yeah, I got nothing for you there Josh. But, iPad? Might be another reason for Apple to add a few more women to its top ranks.How about the size?
Fried: It is a little awkward--too big for any clothing and yet not a full replacement for a laptop. It's between a PC and a phone, and the key question is if people want something that size.
That said, people love this touch interface, whether it is on the iPhone or Microsoft's Surface. The iPad's size gives the opportunity for people to get their hands on something closer to the Surface. It is also just big enough that I think we will see some multiuser applications, which are part of what makes the Surface so cool, but not really practical on the iPhone or iPod Touch.
Lowensohn: I totally agree about the size, and thank goodness it doesn't need to double as a coffee table in my living room.
But being the curmudgeon I am, I have one big qualm about the screen. The 1024x768 resolution is great for apps, but less than ideal for the Web. Bumping it up to a 16:9 ratio display would be even better for Web browsing, along with movies and certain types of games.
Fried: I tend to agree about the aspect ratio. I think making it killer for HD movies and TV would have made a more compelling product. That said, there's always the next iPad.… Read more
This episode of The 404 Podcast is dedicated to all of our heartbroken comrades out there who were expecting an Apple tablet computer, but got an Apple e-reader instead. Join us as we recap what might be the most underwhelming Apple product announcement since Apple TV.
Full disclosure here: This entire 30-minute episode is dedicated to the Apple iPad. We know a lot of you must be exhausted with all the moaning and groaning so far, but we'll take any opportunity to make fun of Wilson. Bear with us as we try to get him to say one bad thing about the iPad.
In addition to a healthy dose of polite yelling, we also play a collection of voice mails that drive the stake in even further. We guarantee tomorrow's show to be (relatively) free of Apple talk, and we're also very excited to welcome Jerry Ma and Cliff Chiang of the Asian-American comic anthology "Secret Identities," who will join us in the studio tomorrow to talk about state of the industry, ethnic minorities in the comic genre, and...well let's face it, we want their artistic opinion of the iPad.EPISODE 507 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
While it's still too soon to tell if it can live up to the insane amount of hype that preceded its introduction, the iPad is, more than any other product the company has made, the quintessential Apple device.
From the almost entirely homegrown technology, to the addition of the books counterpart to its iTunes media hub, to taking a risk on the middle category between smartphones and laptops, the iPad completes the picture for Apple in a lot of ways.
Steve Jobs used "revolutionary" to describe his company's newest device Wednesday, and while that's more … Read more