Entries in iPhone (28)

Two important features of the iPad 5 confirmed

So the rumours were true and the leaks confirmed, the iPhone 5c and 5s are a colourful iPhone and a faster iPhone with a fingerprint sensor. There were a couple of surprises and these have a bearing on the next iPad, almost certainly to be launched next month.

A7, the new 64bit chipset

Driving the new iPhone 5s is the A7, a powerful 64bit chipset with twice the general computing and graphics power of the previous A6 chipset. It seems certain that the iPad 5 will get an enhanced version of the A7, most likely called the A7X. It's likely that the A7X CPU will run at a higher clockrate and the GPU will likely be significantly more powerful than what is used in the A7. The full sized iPad has many more pixels to push around than the iPhone, so a more powerful GPU is a given if Apple want to avoid a disparity in performance across this new generation of iOS devices.

Free iWork and iLife apps

Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iPhoto and iMovie will be supplied free of charge with anyone purchasing a new iOS device. This is significant as these are all content creation apps. By giving these apps away free Apple is increasing the value of its devices. We think many new iPad owners will be amazed at what the iWork and iLife apps are capable of.

What are you expecting from the next iPad, have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments section.

Video: Silent Film Fun made on iOS

It Looks Like Rain from MacPhun on Vimeo

This short film was shot and edited entirely on iOS app Vintagio (formerly Silent Film Director) by MacPhun.  We think it is a lot of fun and hope it brightens up your Friday morning.

The movie itself has a great little story and it is a fantastic reminder of the computing power we now carry in our pockets.  Some great editing really makes this movie snap too, we hope you enjoy it.

App Store Link: Vintagio

Immunity by Jeremy Goss, an impressive iPad production!

Jeremy and his fellow musicians have been busy. 'Immunity' is a classic example of the kind of end-to-end creative solution that the iPad offers. Jeremy explains:

"Music video shot on iPads and edited using iMovie for iPad. Song recorded with GarageBand for iPad. This is a song I wrote and recorded on my iPad. The teens at my church helped make this silly video using only iPads and iPhones to film. Then I edited the footage with iMovie for the iPad. Enjoy."

It's a catchy tune with a solid vocal performance and a fun video. Congratultions Jeremy, you have our attention, we look forward to seeing what you produce next.

Galileo Kickstarter Project is an iOS Image Maker's Dream

This is Galileo for iPhone. It is an already funded Kickstarter project, but we think you will love it if you are into iOS photography or video of any kind.

What is it?

"The Galileo is a revolutionary, iOS-controlled robotic iPhone platform with infinite spherical rotation capability. Just swipe your finger on the screen of your iPad or other iOS device and Galileo reacts, orienting your iPhone or iPod Touch accordingly."

Basically, the Galileo is a charging dock/holder for your iPhone that can be rotated to any angle and controlled remotely via your iPad's screen or another iOS touch device.

Galileo iPad Control

What can I do with it?

Lots! Check out the video above for some ideas, but it has applications for:

  • recording video
  • photography, time-lapse (very excited by the answer to this question)
  • video conferencing
  • baby monitoring
  • video surveillance

and many other uses, with the added benefit of controlling your device from anywhere in the world over wi-fi.

Galileo Robot

There are plenty more examples listed on the Kickstarter page.

The Galileo also features a standard tripod mount, which means it will fit straight into and onto your existing equipment, including tripods and gimbals.

Additionally, with the imminent release of an SDK, Developers can integrate Galileo functionality into their apps, so a whole world of ideas could soon be opened up. We're looking forward to seeing what robot mounted devices start appearing.

How much is it?

Before the project finishes in (at the time of publishing) 16 days time, you can get the Galileo at a very reasonable $85 with free US shipping (but us International customers will need to add another $20 for shipping).

After the project has finished the retail price will be $129.95, so if the Galileo is something you want to have in your iOS life, you would be best advised to jump on it now, plus you'll get yours before it is on general sale.

Galileo Skateboard Car Repair

Where can I get one?

Right now, you will need to set up a free Kickstarter account and become a backer of the project to at least the $85 level pledge to reserve your Galileo. We think it is a great price for a robotic device like this and the potential integration with your iPad as a control device has got us very excited.

Do you fancy getting the Galileo? Have you already ordered yours? Let us know in the comments.

iPad vs iPhone 4S camera shootout, part 2

In part 1 of this camera comparison we considered still photography, could the new iPad with its 5MP sensor compete with the iPhone 4S and its 8MP sensor? Not too surprisingly, both devices produced very similar results. Be sure to check out the entire article, which includes plenty of sample shots, for the full story.

1080p v 1080p

With video, things are a little different. Both the new iPad and the iPhone 4S capture 1080p video with decent stabilisation. We were expecting the iPad and iPhone 4S to be very evenly matched, and indeed they were. The samples from each device are almost identical. So much so, in fact, that it would likely take someone who is very familiar with iPhone 4S video quality to spot the differences. But there are differences.

The processed look

Just like with the photographs, the new iPad video capture has a slightly more processed look. We are not quite sure what's going on here. Why should the new iPad have a more processed look than even the iPhone 4 which also features a 5MP sensor? We are fully aware that minds sharper than ours are suggesting that Apple is simply reusing the 5MP Omnivision sensor as last seen in the iPhone 4, but the actual results seem to suggest otherwise. The iPad samples show some kind of edge enhancement that neither the iPhone 4 or 4S exhibit. It's not a deal breaker, in fact you may prefer this new look, but it does seem a little odd to us.

Is it possible that the new iPad is packing the exact same optics and sensor and the iPhone 4S, yes an 8MP sensor, but that the camera software is binning those extra 3 mega pixels in order to give a final 5MP image? It seems unlikely, but then it also seems unlikely that Apple has deliberately chosen to give the iPad photos and video a more processed appearance. The truth is, we just don't know the answer, and for most people the video capture from both the iPad and iPhone 4S will be indistinguishable, we really are just splitting hairs here.

Audio capture differences

Perhaps it's because the microphone on the new iPad well clear of our hands, or perhaps it's just a bit more sensitive, but whatever the reason, we are quite convinced that the new iPad picks up a little more ambient noise than the iPhone 4S. Play the video sample above through a decent set of speakers or earphones and hear it for yourself.

An end to end experience

There simply isn't another consumer video camera on the planet that has a display quite like the new iPad's display. It's also true that there is no camera available that has the video editing and soundtrack creation goodness that iMovie and GarageBand bring to the iPad. As an end to end video capture, editing and distribution solution, the new iPad is in a league of its own making. People will produce stunning videos using nothing more than the new iPad and a couple of cheap apps. Yes, the new iPad is a bulky device for capturing video, but you have to remember, this isn't just the camera, it's the entire solution, and an extremely powerful one at that.

AmpKit+ 1.3 - Double the Resolution, Half the Price

AmpKit Icon TransBG

Agile Partners have updated their sonically amazing guitar amp sim AmpKit with new Retina Graphics and it looks gorgeous.

We think they are (at least one of) the first guitar sim app makers to update their in-app graphics for the new iPad's Retina display.

It isn't anything that really affects the every day use of the app of course, but it is a lot nicer to look at and makes the amp controls especially a whole lot clearer.


Retina Upgrade

As we are interested in how Developers are updating their apps, we took a series of screenshots from AmpKit+ before we upgraded so that you can compare them.

It's hard to see in these scaled down versions but if you look closeley you should see the added clarity and detail on the amp controls and stomp pedal graphics in the gallery below.

New Gear

With the release of AmpKit+ 1.3 Agile Partners have also added 3 new pieces of kit and bass players get a little love. From the Press Release:

Trace Elliot 1215
For the first time, a world class, full-featured bass amp and cabinet for iOS bass players.

Rocktron Metal Planet Distortion
A versatile, true heavy metal distortion pedal - not for the faint of heart

Rocktron HUSH Noise Reduction
If you aren't using HUSH, you aren't using real noise reduction for guitar.

Select the links if you want to find out more and see videos of Rocktron Hush and Rocktron Metal Planet Distortion.

50% off!

In addition to the updates mentioned above, the purchase price for AmpKit+ has been halved to $9.99/£6.99 and the 3 pieces of new gear have between 33% and 40% off for a limited time.

If you haven't pulled the trigger on that AmpKit+ purchase yet, now is the time to do it, it is well worth it for the savings you make over individual gear purchase prices.

App Store Link: AmpKit (Free) / AmpKit+ both Universal apps

iPad vs iPhone 4S camera shootout, part 1

IMG 0837

Would you even consider taking photos or shooting video with an iPad? That's the big question, because if the answer is no, then the huge increase in camera quality that the new iPad has over the iPad 2 is a moot point.

It's clear to us that the current trend is to treat the very idea of tablet computer photography and video capture with utter derision, almost every iPad 3 review that mentions the camera includes a comment or two about how stupid you would look doing so. We are reminded of the reviews of early smartphones. 'Who would be so stupid as to take pictures with their phone', they said. Now less than ten years later the iPhone 4 is the most popular camera on Flickr. Conventional wisdom often misfires.

If you're still reading this then there is a good chance that you are open to the idea of tablet photography and video capture. It's also quite likely that you already own an iPhone or another brand of high-end smartphone. So, do you have anything to gain by using the iPad as your camera instead of another device? Perhaps.

iPad vs regular smartphone

Some of the latest smartphones from Nokia, HTC and Samsung are equipped with cameras that should easily outperform the new iPad. We have seen 8MP shots from some very popular smartphones that struggle to match these iPad 5MP photos, but in the main, the very latest smartphones are more capable at capturing stills. However, things are not so clear when it comes to video capture. Apple have done a sterling job with the video stabilisation, so much so in fact that it's quite hard to tell the difference between iPad 3 footage and dedicated video camera footage. The new iPad offers 1080p video capture with superb stabilisation at very high bit rates and with clear mono sound capture. If you are a proud owner of the new iPad, it's also worth noting that you just purchased a first class video camera too.

iPad vs iPhone 4S

In theory the iPhone 4S and the new iPad should be very close in terms of general camera performance. In some ways this is true. For example, both the new iPad and the iPhone 4S have similar dynamic range of luminance and colour balance. However, the iPad has a more processed look. The iPhone 4S shots have considerable more fine detail when viewed at 100%. Our guess is that Apple engineers have fine-tuned the iPad camera so that its stills and video look their best when viewed on the iPad display. This makes sense, though we would have preferred a slightly inferior iPad viewing experience and a cleaner final image. In short, the iPhone 4S captures cleaner, more detailed, images and video than the new iPad, though you'll need to zoom into the frame somewhat to notice the difference. The iPhone 4S takes the lead, but it's not by a country mile.

An end to end experience

One area where iPad photography and video capture makes perfect sense is when looking for a complete end-to-end experience. Consider this; the iPad 3 has a higher quality display then any consumer camera. It also takes great quality 5MP stills and top spec fixed lens 1080p video with stabilisation. Add into the mix iPhoto, iMovie and any number of the superb photo and video apps available for the iPad and you have a pretty compelling end-to-end solution.

There's one market for which the new iPad camera makes perfect sense. The education market is going to adore this new iPad. We can't wait to see how students of all ages put this new camera/computer combination to use.

Anyway, enough of our rambling. Be sure to check out this Flickr set for direct comparison shots. You'll find iPad photos first followed by iPhone 4S shots taken a moment or two later. In each case we have made sure that we've focused on the same area of the scene. They are all available at full resolution, so why not download them to your iPad or computer and examine them for yourself. We would love to know what you think, so please be sure to leave a comment below.

In part 2 of this series we'll be looking at video capture.

Further viewing: iPad vs iPhone 4S Flickr set 

Voice Synth for iPad: Sing Like a Cylon

Ever fancied speaking/singing like a Cylon (original series), a Dalek or even Metal Mickey (it was a big 1980’s weekend tea-time show here in the UK)?

Voice Synth by Qneo can help you do just that, but there is so much more to the app than that. We’ve been playing with this universal app on both iPad and iPhone for the last few weeks and we love it.

If you need a fantastic sounding vocoder with a great UI, myriad range of controls and options, or even if you want to sound like some sort of robotic popstar, we recommend you go and get this app right now.

But if you want to know a bit more about Voice Synth check out the video and a few of our notes below it.

Video Demo

Here is a very comprehensive walk through of Voice Synth from Qneo which tells you all you need to know and we promise everything that is shown in this video demo is easily achievable within minutes of opening the app.


As you’ll see from the video, the range of controls, filters and effects is mind-blowing, check out the features section of the Voice Synth site for more detail.

The UI is lovely looking and not just eye candy, it is functional and responsive too. We especially liked the EQ with its swipe-to-set action and live meters, as well as the central Pitch/Scale Shift dial (very HAL).

The controls were a joy to use and fit the feel of the app perfectly. All this for just $4.99/£2.99 at the introductory 50% discount.

Incoming update and much needed features

As much as we enjoyed using Voice Synth, our main gripe with the app was not being able to send audio out to GarageBand or other DAW type app on our iPad, with email being the only way to get recorded audio out of the app currently.

With the upcoming 1.1 update though, much needed ACP (Audio, Copy & Paste) support is being added along with MIDI support and uncompressed WAV audio export. This will give Voice Synth some serious potential for use in recording of your vintage 80’s/futuristic tinged iPad productions.

We are sure that Voice Synth will provide hours of fun for anyone though, even if you are just letting the kids play around with their voices. Our iPad Creative kids loved the Sampler feature and also the Live mode where Voice Synth converts your voice instantaneously (best with headphones but also works well through a hi-fi or amp).

We recommend picking up Voice Synth now while it is carries a 50% discount so that you can start delving into its powerful features and you’ll have it ready for the more useful 1.1 version which is imminent.

App Store Link: Voice Synth

Video: Creativity in the Digital Age from iWorld 2012

We saw this video today from the Macworld / iWorld 2012 expo and thought you might like it.

Chris Breen of Macworld leads a panel made up of veteran creatives Bert Monroy (Digital Artist), Eduard Solér (Photographer) and Stephen Lipson (Musician/Percussionist).

In this video they chat about how technology has affected their particular area of creative endeavour, but also how the iPad and iPhone are starting to affect what they do and interestingly what is still required of them.

It isn't a long enough segment for us, but they start talking about mobile devices at 32:20. If you click on the video below it should start playing at the right moment, but this might not work on your iPad, we are experimenting with embedplus.com.

If you want to watch the whole session you can always drag the slider back to the beginning, these guys have seen some amazing changes in their careers and we found the whole thing very interesting.

The iPad will soon outsell the iPhone, perhaps within the next 12 months

The latest quarterly results from Apple show that demand for all Apple products is at an all time high. 37 million iPhones, 15 million iPads, plus millions of Macs and iPods sold in just 3 months! That's an impressive result by any standard.

Well over 15 million iPad sales in a single quarter is an astonishing achievement. As you can see from the chart above, the iPad reached 15 million sales per quarter in half the time the iPhone took to break through that same barrier.

The multi-touch tablet market is all about the iPad

Given this rapid uptake and also taking into consideration the comments from Apple CEO Tim Cook, it looks increasingly likely that the iPad will soon be selling in quantities that exceed even the mighty iPhone. We would not be too surprised if that occurred for the first time at some point during 2012. Apple entered the smartphone market as a fresh faced newbie with lots to learn, the same cannot be said of the tablet market, Apple created the multi-touch tablet market. With the iPad, it currently defines the entire market. If at some point over the next couple of years Apple decide to split the iPad range into high, middle and low end devices, it's hard to see how it would not sell iPads faster than it can manufacturer them.

At the recent education focused event that saw the launch of iBooks 2, the new iTunes U app and iBooks Author (more on this soon!), Apple failed to explain exactly how schools will be able to afford thousands of iPads. We believe that Apple will address the lower end of the iPad market this year with a cheaper variant. Will this cheaper iPad be for education markets only? It's certainly a possibility, though not that likely.

As we said on Twitter recently, the iPad is now Apple's primary computing platform. We fully expect to see it mature rapidly throughout the next 3 years, to the point where only a relatively small percentage will pick a Mac over an iPad. In short, the iPad story is only just beginning and we'll be following it every step of the way!

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