Sponsors
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsors

Osmo uses the FaceTime camera to merge real and virtual worlds

This clever mirror, stand and software combination effectively provides an extended iPad control surface. We can't help think how much more powerful this could be if the iPad had two cameras FaceTime, thereby providing depth perception of sorts.

You can preorder Osmo now and receive a healthy 50% discount.

With 225 million sold, where next for the iPad?


It's hard to overstate just how successful the iPad has been. With all the recent press about slowing iPad sales, it's interesting to consider just how many iPad's have been sold since 2010, the majority of which are still in use. With 225 million sold since 2010, the iPad is easily the best selling personal computer of all time.

The Commodore 64 sold 17 million units throughout its entire lifetime, the iPad hits that sales figure every 13 weeks or so! In short, it's highly likely that every version of the iPad has outsold the C64. That's pretty amazing, however you slice it.

Of course, computing is far more ubiquitous now than in the 80's when the C64 had its time in the sunshine. Nonetheless, the iPad like the iPhone before it, is a phenomenal success, by any measure.

With the iPhone below and the MacBook above, is there space for the iPad to expand its reach? We think there is. Check back tomorrow for further thoughts on the future of the iPad, our guess on what Apple has in store for 2014 and beyond.

Solving the iOS 7 wallpaper problem with Blur

You know how almost none of your usual photographic wallpapers work with iOS 7's flat design style? Well, Blur by Enormous solves all that. By blurring a photo so that it's just a smudge of colour, Blur can create the perfect wallpaper for your iPad and iPhone with absolutely zero effort on your part.

If you're stuck for colourful source material, don't panic. Blur can generate random wallpaper on the fly. The results are almost always appealing.

App Store Link: Blur

Apple's 'What will your verse be?' iPad adverts

 

Both of these iPad adverts are inspiring. They both show the iPad being used to create wonderful content, so why am I left feeling underwhelmed?

The cuts are too quick, and the examples of content creation on offer are beyond the average iPad owner. It's all too idealistic. These adverts portray the iPad as the creative tool for outliers, for people who live unusual lives. As inspiring and aspirational as these films are, they are largely ineffective.

The best Apple advert of the post Steve Jobs era is the iPhone Christmas video advert, the one where the young lad captures a moment in time and shares it with his family — ordinary situations made memorable by the full use of everyday Apple devices and applications, this is where Apple should go with iPad advertising, I think. Making the ordinary, extraordinary.

iPad split-screen multitasking

Hidden deep within the code of the iOS 8 beta is split-screen multitasking. To be clear, the presence of this code is no guarantee that the iPad will get split-screen app capability this year, but we certainly hope it does.

At the end of last year I switched from an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. I'll explain in more detail the reasons for my switch in a forthcoming post, but the ability to split-screen multitask was certainly one. As with much of what Samsung does, the idea is better than the execution. But still, it's a useful feature and one that I would love to see on the iPad in 2014.

Is Apple saving this for the iPad Pro?

GarageBand: The Perfect Kiss by TelevatorMuzak 

I must admit, I've been ignoring GarageBand lately. I think it's because GarageBand isn't something that you can simply dip into for a few minutes. No, it takes a good chunk of time to really produce something satisfying, as Francis has demonstrated yet again. Thank you for sharing your work Francis, it's really appreciated.

'It Will Be Back Soon...' by Laurent Canniccioni

Love this!

'Mesa Verde' by Susan Murtaugh

Susan is absolutely one of our most favourite artists. Whatever she graces with her unique style really jumps off the screen! This classic scene from Colorado is no exception. 

Further reading: Susan Murtaugh

Kensington KeyFolio Pro review

Chances are you type way more text on the iPad's virtual keyboard than you thought you would. In fact, studies show that responding to emails is one the of most popular duties of the iPad. It's little wonder then that bluetooth keyboards have become so popular of late. I've tried quite a number over the last 3 years and none have truly hit the mark for my personal tastes. Can the Kensington KeyFolio Pro finally deliver? Let's find out.

Key Features

The KeyFolio Pro is a smart combination of a leather textured iPad Air folio case and slimline bluetooth iPad keyboard. The keyboard is held in place by powerful magnets. Magnets are employed elsewhere for keeping the iPad in 1 of 3 viewing angles and as part of the clasp for keeping the folio case shut. The keyboard has all the keys that you expect on any iPad keyboard plus a few more, the Siri key is especially useful. Battery life is stated as 960 hours working time and 180 days standby time. Impressive! The keyboard has no backlight, though the white on black characters stand out well even in low light.

Likes

There is much to like about the KeyFolio Pro. The leather effect case feels premium with the stitching being particularly impressive, something that we have found lacking on other iPad cases. The iPad Air fits perfectly, with unrestricted access to the speakers, cameras and ports. Again, this is something that you would expect all manufacturers to get right, but you'd be surprised how many don't. All in all, the folio case is a quality item that protects the iPad Air rather nicely. Moving on to the main event, how does the keyboard fair?

I have average sized hands and I find the KeyFolio's keys to be perfectly sized and spaced given the obvious constraints. It's hard to see how this aspect of the design can be improved until such time as Apple launch a larger iPad. All the keys are exactly where you would expect to find them. Battery life is as advertised.

Being able to detach the keyboard from the folio case is a huge advantage. You can prop up the iPad on any available surface whilst typing away at a desk or even your lap. It's worth noting that the basic features of the keyboard work with the Mac too.

Dislikes

I have just 2 small gripes. When the KeyFolio Pro is open, the magnetic clasp occasionally swings around from its resting place to slam into the iPad's screen. This may sound awful, but keep in mind that the glass used on the iPad Air is incredibly scratch resistant. Even so, I think this issue could have been avoided by using slightly stronger magnets. The second gripe is more serious. If you are used to the sensitivity of the MacBook keyboard or Apple's other standalone bluetooth keyboards you will struggle at first with the KeyFolio Pro. The pressure needed to register a key press is often about 30% greater than on the afore mentioned keyboards. You soon get used to the extra pressure needed, and the perfectly spaced and sized keys compel you to keep typing, but it's something to keep in mind if you have a particularly light touch.

The Kensington KeyFolio Pro is available for £99.99 from their website. There are plenty of other iPad keyboard cases available from Kensington, so it's worth a good look around.

Lightroom Mobile Hits the iPad

We haven't really had a chance to play with it yet but we were really excited to hear that Adobe have at last released Lightroom for mobile (well just the iPad initially - but an iPhone version is on the way).

We will bringing you a more in-depth look at Lightroom mobile in the next week and importantly what this means, if anything, for our current favourite Lightroom companion, the excellent Photosmith.

For now though, we hope these videos from Adobe give you an insight on what to expect from Lightroom mobile: