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Entries in Phil (438)

5 Apps We Cannot Wait To See on the iPad - Part 3

With the US launch of the iPad now less than a week away, we take a look at some of the apps we know are coming to the iPad, or that we really want to see hit the platform when it launches.

Some of this is wishful thinking, some of it is just us getting excited about the ways we can hopefully use our iPads. Between now and launch day we will post one app from each core area of the creative sphere. Part 3 of 5 is...

Photography: Photoshop Mobile App

 

 

Admittedly, with regard to photography, we could have picked any number of photo apps currently available for the iPhone. To varying degrees, they all allow manipulation and enhancement of your photos. So it was very difficult to decide on just one.

Really, this is a representative pick, but the Photoshop Mobile app is one that we have used a lot on our iPhones and we would love to see a killer version created for the iPad, taking into account the screen size and extra processing power Adobe could use.

We are all fairly keen amateur photographers here and so we are eagerly looking forward to getting our hands on the iPad and putting it through its paces with photo editing and processing. But what would be really nice is an app that can handle some sort of RAW image processing. The desktop version of Photoshop can obviously handle RAW files, but with the camera connector kit and the capability of pulling images off of a memory card, the iPad completely trumps anything the iPhone can do.

And it would seem a real shame to see the iPad used as just a portable disk drive, without any ability to edit the photos once they are on there. With the latest update to Apple's desktop photo processing software, Aperture 3.0.2, comes iPad support. Initially it looks like it is just syncing with the iPad and recognising it as a photo storage device that is supported.

But imagine if there was a mini-Aperture (or even iPhoto) in the pipeline for the iPad, then things could get really interesting, and for Mac users, the editing and syncing experience could be seamless, with edits made on the iPad carried across and remaining editable back on your Mac.  Bliss!

As it stands at the moment though, Photoshop Mobile has fairly basic, but effective and easy to use editing functions and its clean interface and speed on the iPhone has impressed us so far. We can only hope that Adobe are prepping an iPad native re-design of the app as we speak.

It may not happen on launch day but we expect someone, if not Adobe, to come forward fairly soon with photo-editing software on the iPad that will blow us away.

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for Part 4 of our Top 5 apps we cannot wait to see on the iPad. If you haven't already, make sure you don't miss it by subscribing to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter.

5 Apps We Cannot Wait To See on the iPad - Part 2

With the US launch of the iPad now less than a week away, we take a look at some of the apps we know are coming to the iPad, or that we really want to see hit the platform when it launches.

Some of this is wishful thinking, some of it is just us getting excited about the ways we can hopefully use our iPads. Between now and launch day we will post one app from each core area of the creative sphere. Part 2 of 5 is...

Video: Reel Director app

Reel Director stands out in the current app store offerings as the video editing app of choice. It has enabled iPhone users to edit and output videos that could arguably be mistaken for iMovie produced videos. But it can be a bit painful carrying out editing, and viewing the timeline on the iPhone's screen.

Enter the iPad, with the same ease of use, but bags of extra room to view the timeline and video plus a good deal more extra processing power (very important for video). We have not seen anything from Nexvio about their plans for developing Reel Director on the iPad, so this is just wishful thinking at the moment.

However, it is not hard to imagine being able to stretch the timeline across the full horizontal width of the screen, have multi layered tracks stacked on top of each other with an iMovie like Canvas showing a preview of the movie on the fly, easier adding of audio and transitions, there is so much that could be done.

We are hoping that, just because the iPad cannot shoot video, it doesn't run into the issues faced by iPod Touch and iPhone 3G users, who were not able to initially load and edit video with Reel Director due to Apple restrictions on file access for these devices. It seems unlikely, and it would be very short-sighted of Apple to cripple the iPad in such a way, especially when it seems the ideal device on which to do this consumer level of video editing.

Until we get our hands on the iPad though we won't know for sure, but for now, take a look at Reel Director as it currently appears on the iPhone OS:

 

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for Part 3 of our Top 5 apps we cannot wait to see on the iPad. If you haven't already, make sure you don't miss it by subscribing to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter.


5 Apps We Cannot Wait To See on the iPad - Part 1

With the US launch of the iPad now less than a week away, we take a look at some of the apps we know are coming to the iPad, or that we really want to see hit the platform when it launches.

Some of this is wishful thinking, some of it is just us getting excited about the ways we can hopefully use our iPads. Between now and launch day we will post one app from each core area of the creative sphere. Part 1 of 5 is...

Art: Brushes app

One of the things that initially excited us about the iPhone was the perfectly implemented touch interface, especially when we started playing with the doodling and sketch apps. But we quickly found the size of the iPhone screen a little frustrating to work with. Yes, we could zoom in and out to see the detail on the iPhone, but it has to be said that it is still a bit too fiddly on a 3.5 inch screen.

However, when we saw the iPad being demonstrated it wasn’t reading our newspapers and magazines, or watching movies, or playing games that crossed our minds first of all (although these things are really exciting us), no! It was the thought of using that lovely touch interface to draw graceful arcs across the 9.7 inch screen, washing in a watercolour fill on a skyscape background, or seeing our whole sketch, drawing or image and then picking out the detail and zooming in with all that extra elbow room the iPad screen will allow us to use.

And then we saw Steve Sprang demo his Brushes app, completely revamped for the iPad interface, and our heads exploded! This was it, the perfect app for the iPad’s new supersized touch screen. So we had to mention this one first really, this was the app that sparked our imagination during the iPad keynote. Steve Sprang looks to have done a fantastic job with this app, the interface has been optimised to use the full screen real estate that has been given him, the tools look gorgeous and easy to use, it uses layers, implementing them really well and, watching the demo, you may not even need a stylus, but if you do this one looks good.

Check out the video demo of Brushes for the iPad below:

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for Part 2 of our Top 5 apps we cannot wait to see on the iPad. If you haven't already, make sure you don't miss it by subscribing to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter.


Friday Fun - iPad Accessories

Ok, we don't usually do this type of post, but because it is Friday and nearly pay day for many of us here in the UK (and, more importantly, only one week away from the iPad launch for you fortunate US residents) here is a link to the ipadaccessories.com Essential Accessories for the iPad.

Our favourite?  The horrendously-overpriced but lovely-all-the-same Muzetto iPad Messenger Bag.  In fact, their round-up of messenger bags has got all of us creative types reaching for the credit card.

And, just for a laugh, let's not forget The Joy of Tech's take on how to carry your iPad.

Enjoy!

Paid Content and the iPad Catalyst

Earlier this week, the new Chairman of the UK television network ITV, Archie Norman, e-mailed all his staff requesting they contact him directly with comments on a new strategy for how the company can move forward. 

But the comments he makes later in the Telegraph article show what he thinks the future of TV networks is likely to be, paid content on mobile devices and computers.  And the mobile device he specifically mentions?  Of course, the iPad!

"I think it is very likely [we will use some elements of pay-TV] because one of the things that is going to happen as people consume their television off different platforms — such as internet-enabled TV, off your laptop, off your iPad as you commute to work — for some parts of the content that ITV own or others own, people will pay."

This is interesting because it shows how major content providers see us using our iPads, as well as other mobile devices.  The rest of the Telegraph article is worth reading too for an idea of how corporate networks are thinking.

In another news story this morning, the BBC are reporting that UK newspapers the Times and the Sunday Times will begin charging for access to their online news service from June.  They will launch new versions of their websites in May, offering an initial free trial period, before charging £1 for one day's access or £2 a week for a regular subscription.  It is not something we are used to here in the UK so, as the article says, it will be interesting to see whether this 'high risk strategy' pays off, or if people instead go to the free sources of news that abound around the Internet.

The New York Times is itself reporting that advertisers are going for a 'land grab' of sorts over advertising space in certain iPad apps before the April 3 launch.  The NY Times comments that this is arguably the hottest time to be in front of punters' eyes whilst the excitement lasts.

Those of us familiar with the iPad launch event will remember well the New York Times demo of their app for the iPad, and this is certainly how many people see themselves using the iPad.

The iPad Catalyst

You may think it is going a little too far calling the introduction of the iPad a catalyst, but that is how many see it, for the content creators especially.

Just like the iTunes store affected the music sales model and the iPhone shaped the development of 'SmartPhone' or mobile apps, we think the iPad has the potential to shape the future of content delivery.

Whether the 'paid content' model works or not is going to depend on a lot of factors, some of those being cost, quality of content, accessibility (i.e. independent stores or everything routed via Apple's iTunes/iBookstore), and quality of service, especially for video based content.

Have an opinion about paid content on the iPad?  Let us know in the comments.

iPad? I'll have ten!

Macrumrors have reported that Apple are promoting the iPad to Educational Institutions with a special 10-pack bundle for the Wi-fi only models (not the 3G models).  Academic organisations can benefit from the fairly modest saving of $20 (about £13.41) for non AppleCare iPads and a slightly better $40 (£26.82) discount per unit if they opt for AppleCare. 

The iPads will be supplied in one big box without individual packaging though, so it is very much a distribution pack. The Educational establishment will not be allowed to resell them of course.

Individuals (Students/Educators) who would normally receive an Educational discount from the Apple Store are not included though it seems.  We have gone through the Education Store and verified that no discount is applied if shopping for just the one iPad.

Why is this of interest? 

Even before the iPad was announced, many commenters discussed the merit of using the device in an Education environment, and it excites us to think of the creative uses the iPad can have in a classroom. 

It is easy to think of how the iPad can be used in areas such as art, music/audio and video production, Languages, Geography, Design, etc.  It also seems a natural fit for Internet based research, as well as being used for textbooks and e-learning. 

In fact, when you sit and think about it for a minute, there are many possibilities of using such a simple, and let's face it gorgeous, device in the Education arena.

The modest discounts offered here aren't going to completely enable the adoption of the iPad, but it does mean that Apple are thinking along these lines too and this opens up new opportunities for engaging learners of any age, but especially those of school age, who arguably have more of a leaning towards the use of technology in their learning.

Have you got any ideas for how the iPad can be used in Education?  We would love to hear them in the comments.

iPad Kindle App officially announced

We knew it was coming but Amazon have officially announced their Kindle App for 'Tablet computers including the iPad' (italics ours) on their website.  The announcement focusses on the app, but the iPad makes it into the headline, with a specific mention later on too.  It is an interesting play for Amazon, especially when many pundits have said that Apple is looking to put some pressure on Amazon with their iBookstore.

The Kindle app has been available on the iPhone for just over a year now, but the iPhone is not really suited for reading books or magazines for most people.  This announcement is of note because it appears to duplicate one of Apple's most touted iPad features, the iBookstore.  Business Insider have an interesting side-by-side comparison of the two apps on their site and it is obvious which one is Apple's, as they say:

So far, it looks like Apple is winning the design contest, especially for its e-book store.

 Duplication = customer choice?

There is certainly function duplication here, and Apple have refused apps on the iPhone simply because they 'duplicated functionality' already installed on the device.  However, the deals that Amazon have with publishers and the books they have available should differ from Apple's selection in theory.

In addition, Apple would certainly be seen to be anti-competitive if they refused the Kindle app simply because it sold books too, wouldn't they?

However, as Amazon are announcing the Kindle app, we can only assume it will be available in the app store for the iPad sometime after it launches.  It is a complex relationship that Apple and Amazon has at the moment and it will be fun watching it pan out.  Our only hope is that the choice will remain in the app store, to the benefit of us, the end consumer.

What do you think about Amazon's play here?  Let us know in the comments.

Australia's First iPad App is a Medical Encyclopaedia

Australia's first iPad app is going to be a medical encyclopaedia according to Mogeneration. In conjunction with Medwords, they have announced the publication of Carter’s Encyclopaedia of Health and Medicine, and it will be released first on the iPad.

This 1,100 page medical encyclopaedia will have the traditional look of a hardback encyclopaedia, but it will contain interactive images, a browsing history and allow you to add bookmarks. From the screenshots on Mogeneration's website it looks a lot like the Dorling Kindersley Human Body book for the iPad, demoed by Penguin publishing, which we blogged about a few weeks ago.

However, this is interesting from two perspectives:

1) This is an example of a serious use of the iPad for educational purposes and much is being said about the iPad and the impact it could have on the field of education and research.

2) Mogeneration's publishing framework is quite interesting. It allows any content creator to publish their content via a native iPad/iPhone (and Android) app, which can then be purchased through the App store, but they do the development work.

Mogeneration are not the first to offer this service and provide books via apps in iTunes, but from a creative point of view this kind of service is interesting. It is an alternative to the more traditional publishing route using the iBook store that Apple will be introducing with the iPad launch.

Once the iPad is launched this is certainly the approach that we expect many self-publishing Creatives to take in getting their content onto the iTunes App store without having to deal with Publishers and all that entails, thus joining the hundreds of other 'appbook' publishers already there. It is an area that we expect to develop rapidly and we will be watching with great interest.

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