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Entries in Fun (20)

Video Find: DIY iPad Cycle Mount

It is funny what you find when trawling the Web for iPad related videos.  Over at Vimeo we found the video below, uploaded a few days ago from Alejandro Pozo.  It is a series of stills but shows how he has gone about creating his own mount after searching for a commercial solution.

Why would you want to do this?

a) Why not?

b) Imagine this as a map replacement for cycle touring or as a large screened GPS. There are a number of apps being developed for the iPad specifically, but iPhone versions of cycle apps already exist. Just do a search in the app store and you will find lots of them.

The potential for writing off our iPad concerns us a bit, given the likelihood of a fall when cycling especially in the Winter, but maybe if a sturdy enough casing was used this would be better.

What do you think? Do you know of any other good solutions for Cyclists? Let us know in the comments below.

DIY. How to mount an Ipad on a bike. from Alejandro Pozo on Vimeo.

 

SpinArt Studio - save the mess and 60% for a limited time

To celebrate the second anniversary of the original iPhone version of SpinArt by Brian Smith (7twenty7), you can save 60% off the iPad version, SpinArt Studio, for a 'very limited time'. This makes the price of the iPad app just $1.99 (£1.19). The iPhone version is on sale too with 50% off at $0.99 (59p).

This app is great fun and such a fantastic way to keep the kids entertained on a rainy Autumn weekend (we think a few of those are on the way).

You can even share your wonderful creations (once your head has stopped spinning) in the SpinArt Flickr group or on the SpinArt Facebook page and browse other users' creations there too.

If you get this app let us know what you think of it in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.

In the meantime, here is a rundown of the app's features from the iTunes description, and don't forget to check out the review of the app in the video above:

• Full 1024x768 HD resolution
• 15 canvas shapes!
• 54 colors!
• 3 brush types and 5 brush sizes.
• Multitouch painting with up to four fingers at once.
• Improved glitter from the iPhone version.
• Use in any device orientation.
• Ability to offset the canvas to create even more amazing designs!
• Save to your Photo Library or email directly to a friend.
• Undo

This Will Make You Hungry

We love things wrapped in bacon: sausages, chicken, turkey, vegetables, oysters, iPads... 

Yep, you can now declare your love for all things Bacon and protect your precious iPad at the same time.  You may have seen this one around the Web, but we wanted to make sure you knew about it!

This one pegs the crazy meter as far as iPad cases go, but we are seriously tempted, even at a whopping $59 (£38).

Check out Etsy seller Antjes page to find out more. 

Could This Be The iPad's Future?

Over the weekend there have been quite a few posts around the web about Griffin's 'not actually announced but confirmed by the FCC' product PartyDock, so we won't tell you about it again, but check out thisthis and Griffin's confirmation/product page for a start. 

What we will say though is how stupidly excited the potential of this device has made us, even if it is not officially Apple sanctioned and in production yet.

Why has this device announcement got our creative cogs turning?...

The Obvious

Just being able to take the fairly small PartyDock around to someone's house or on holiday to set up and entertain the kids between pool-time and dinnertime (and the adults when the kids have gone to bed) is a huge advantage.

We have been known to take a Playstation, Wii and separate DVD player on holiday with us. Imagine if the games are such that the iPad (or even iPhone) and PartyDock is all you need to take with you to connect up to the hotel, chalet, caravan TV when you get there.

You would be bringing your iPad anyway right? Just make sure it is loaded up with all the movies, games and blogging apps you need before leaving and everything is right there in a 1.5 pound device.

Developers Wanted

With the launch titles being mini-games and one full game, all developed by Griffin, we know the PartyDock will not have Sony and Nintendo quaking in their boots, or even noticing that it exists to be honest.

Checking the RSVP (sign up) page though, you will notice that it asks if you are just a normal interested punter, or you can select, "I'm a developer and I'd like to learn about developing for PartyDock".

This is what got us excited!  There are many creative and innovative Developers out there. Who knows what kind of application they cam think up for this software/hardware? 

If Apple approve this device and if the right Developers get involved and if Griffin make it worth their while, there is massive potential here for a whole new eco-system developed around seeing your content on the big screen.

A lot of Ifs, yes, the biggest being if Apple want to let Griffin open up additional functionality.

Sony have had a big hit with the social, family and friends quiz game series Buzz, that uses a similar four player interface, wired on Playstation 2 but wireless on Playstation 3.

This is the obvious application for the PartyDock with the PR shots showing a 'Battle of the Sexes' game being played on a large-screen TV.

Multi Media and Potential Uses

As well as the games aspect, the PartyDock will allow the docked device to show photos, videos and slideshows, as well as play your music/audio collection from the iPad/iPhone. This can already be done via the Apple sold Dock Connector to VGA Adapter but it could easily replace this Apple add-on in a lot of homes and useage scenarios.

Imagine how easy it will be to sling your iPad into the waiting dock and get going, rather than trying to find the connector cable and then having it hanging off your iPad whilst trying to prop it up somehow.

But what if this dock could be used for web browsing, typing up a blog post or editing Pages documents? We have no idea if it is possible but what if Developers could make the PartyDock work with eight or even sixteen or more controllers and it was permanently connected to a projector in a classroom as a 'quiz master' device?

Educators could design a custom set of questions for the quizzes making revision and learning a lot more fun and interactive, using fastest finger type of quizzes but also poll and multiple choice questions with onscreen charts showing the summary results.  

Now that some schools are issuing iPads to new students on enrolment this September, or setting up iPad labs (recommended reading), this is a definite real-life scenario that could be developed.

Pie-in-the-sky scenario 

What about editing a video on the iPad with an external keyboard and Magic Trackpad type of device (not currently compatible - no mouse pointer) and your 40" TV acting as the external display?

The iPad, especially future more powerful versions, suddenly becomes a computer replacement!

Ok, we may have just wandered off into fantasy land for a second there, but even if it is not the PartyDock's purpose to enable a 'computer replacement' scenario, if Apple approve this device the potential is there for some sort of dock for the iPad (and even future versions of the iPhone) that can provide this kind of functionality.

We have already said that the Mac's days are numbered, read more about that here. Maybe one day we will look back at these kind of dock interfaces and say "that's where it all started"?

Over to you

What do you think? Have we lost it? Can you think of any other uses or potential developments for these dock devices? Would you even use the PartyDock if it is approved?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

The Littlest Girl On The Big iPad Screen

Parents are getting a lot of help recently with teaching and literacy for their children using the iPad. Just yesterday we mentioned a fun and interactive app to help pre-school children learn their Alphabet and today we heard about the release of Thumbelina for the iPad.

This interactive children's book is from Parent-programmers Touchoo, who focus on producing beautiful book-apps for Toddlers and pre-school children. We have to say the illustrations by artist and illustrator Hagit Hashimshoni are really appealing and simply gorgeous. More of her illustrations for this book are to be found in a Flickr group here.

Interactive Features

An interesting approach has been taken in some scenes, as you will see in the video above, where children are encouraged to interact with the Thumbelina story by physically moving the drawing and acting out the story. We thought this was a nice innovation and will help to engage the child's imagination by becoming actively involved with the story telling process.

Thumbelina screenshots08.png

There are four ways to experience the story of Thumbelina with this app (taken from the iTunes description):

  1. Read to Me – listen to the story, narrated in English
  2. Read Myself – the most flexible story time experience
  3. Record myself – your voice, your language, and your way to tell the story!
  4. Auto page flip – Using any one of the narration options, pages will turn automatically. Best for little ones, when they’re reading alone.

Thumbelina for the iPad is on sale at 50% of its usual price until 31 August to celebrate the launch of the app, so you can pick it up now for £1.19 ($1.99) if you are quick.

If you try it, let us know what you and your little ones think of it, in the comments below.

Get Rafter HD for FREE this Sunday only

If you fancy grabbing a free copy of a great little physics based game with some special iPad only features, then make a note in your diary to visit the app store this Sunday 22nd August to download your copy of Rafter HD from Punflay.  The game usually retails for just  £1.19 ($1.99) anyway, but every penny helps right?

Punflay are offering both the iPhone and iPad version for free to mark the company's one year anniversary and to get more people playing Rafter. As you can see in the video, the gameplay is like some of the other physics games, with some really challenging puzzles and multiple solutions in the later levels.

Much of your success depends on your drawing skills to as the shape of the object directly affects your success, so creative types may have an advantage!

There are some unique features in Rafter (some only available in the iPad version) such as:

  • You decide the shape and size of the object being dropped by drawing it first
  • Now extended to 101 levels (from an initial 21)
  • Variable Gravity, Fan and Bounce (Buoyancy) controls to help solve puzzles (iPad)
  • Redrawn graphics for HD version
  • Moving and multiple targets

Coming up in a future version are new themes but most interestingly a level editor which should add a great deal of value to the game, especially for those who have completed the built-in levels and want to challenge themselves further.

Check out the video below from YouTube user TechTechReviews if you want to see more of the gameplay, and set yourself a reminder to go and get your free copy on Sunday (22nd August).

Want to dock your iPad in style? (Creative iPad Docks)

Recently there seem to have been a number of unique, home-made iPad docks springing up, some of them re-purposing old Macs. Three of the most creative ones that have caught our attention in the last few days are below:

Gamer Arcade Cabinet

We want! Based on ThinkGeek's April Fool's iPad joke dock, this cardboard but fully functioning mock-up has us very excited (we really wanted one of the ThinkGeek ones and tried to find out how to order it, hoping that it was real, but were very disappointed). Read more about how they did it at TUAW's site.

iPad Arcade Accessory from hm0429 on Vimeo.

Classic iBook Clamshell Dock

ipad_ibook7.jpg

Ingenious and very creative, our next DIY iPad dock is built into a clamshell iBook. Although called 'Fisher Price' and otherwise mocked when it came out, we have a soft spot for this little iBook, having owned several versions, the latest one being very similar to the iBook used for this case mod.

The original post (in Japanese) does have a lot of photos showing how the iBook case mod was done, but we heard about it over at the MacStories site, where they have a description and links to the original, as well as a translated (not at all well) site.

Suffice to say, we love this.

Mac Classic dock

This one has been around for a little while on several big blogs, so forgive us if you have seen this one before, but it is creative simply for nothing other than recognising that the screen size is perfect and attacking a Mac Classic with a dremel. Although there is no access to the Home button or other buttons, or a dock connector at the moment, we think that is easy to remedy given the iBook solution above.

Check out Wired's article for more details and see the video below for what it looks like in practice, and the project creators Site Hirac even have another video on YouTube of the iPad working with a USB keyboard.

Friday Fun: iPad Guitar DJ Frame

Fancy performing live with some of the fancy iPad Synth and audio apps?  VJ Frank Z has you covered. He is taking pre-orders for a custom guitar-like frame which mounts your iPad and controllers on what looks like a snowboard for your very own live performance. Whilst some are scoffing at this idea, we happen to think it is very creative!

Check out the video evidence below, and extra kudos points to the person who leaves a comment naming all of the iPad music apps VJ Frank uses in his video:

Get Creative With Groovemaker On Your iPhone To Win An iPad

 If, like us, you have been playing around with IK Multimedia’s Groovemaker on the iPhone for a while, you will know how much fun it can be pretending to be a supersonic DJ doing all the cool funky stuff they do (we are not cool or funky so we won’t try and say the things they do). Now that the Groovemaker app is on the iPad, with an extended interface enabling you to access more features at once, we think it is even better, but we will be looking at that in another post in the near future.

If you haven’t got your iPad yet though, IK Multimedia are giving you the chance to show off your groove creation skills to the world, and possibly win an iPad in the process. Basically, you create a video of your amazing Groovemaker creation in action (including yourself in the video if you want to), upload it to YouTube with the required tags and other info, then promote it like crazy however you want to on the social networking sites that we all know and end up having to use every day.

It looks like you have to create your unique composition on an iPhone or iPod Touch, as (we are guessing) if you record it on the iPad you are just being greedy because you have one already, but you can use the free versions so it won’t cost you anything. You have until 30th June 2010 to get your video viewed as many times as possible to stand a chance of winning.

We think it is a great way to promote music creation amongst users, combined with a healthy dose of competition (and a good dollop of marketing on the side). If it is your thing anyway, why not give it a shot? If you do enter a song, let us know in the comments and we will drop by and check it out.

Gizmodo - iPad mockups we want for real

For the last few days Gizmodo have been running a competition asking readers to submit their mock-ups and ideas for apps they want to see on the iPad.  Today they posted the winners and included a gallery of all the notable entries, all 53 of them.  Some of the entries are a bit borderline humour/offensive (you have been warned) but there are some really good ones too.

Interestingly, a few of them echo our wishlist in our recent five part series on the apps we want to see on the iPad (which ended today), including the GarageBand app, the sort of iMovie app, the Sketchbook app and a Photoshop app. An honourable mention goes to the DSLR remote control/Live View app for Photographers too.  Who knows, perhaps we will see some of these for real soon?

Do check these out though, there are certainly some talented Photoshop users out there!

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