Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: iPad Impressions

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  • giovanni tiso,

    But if you'd typed "I'm or" and it figured 'You've started a sentence with I'm, this is the second word and starts with or, so based on your previous writing, I'll suggest originally as the word you would like me to autocomplete by pressing tab

    Really, I've seen various autocomplete applications and they are the most irritating thing in the world. Bar Refaeli. (Ach, see, I was going to write "Bar none". Bloody thing.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    Let me clear up one thing; the QWERTY layout was not designed to slow typists down; it was designed to prevent the keys from jamming, thus allowing typists to work even faster.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    FWIW, if you need a keyboard for your iPad, the Apple keyboard dock costs $119 and works very well.

    The Apple case that folds out into a wee angled stand would have been useful, but no one had them for sale last week.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    I'll ask -- we'll talk to one of their people on the show this week.

    But a website is a cost centre, both to build and maintain, and it's
    hard for a monthly magazine to maintain the kind of traffic that would make advertising a viable source of income.
    The iPad app is a front-end for $6.49 purchases of the digital version
    of the magazine, which is mostly generated straight out of their
    production system, so in theory it wouldn't have to be more than a
    modest success to make money.

    Now that I think about it, there wouldn't be much point in an android
    app until there are enough android tablets out there. I wouldn't be
    willing to shell out $6.49 to read a magazine on a phone.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    FWIW, if you need a keyboard for your iPad, the Apple keyboard dock costs $119 and works very well.

    The Apple case that folds out into a wee angled stand would have been useful, but no one had them for sale last week.

    So once you get those extra bits and perhaps an external drive and some ports (could they be integrated in the keyboard?) you would have a device with the capabilities of a proper laptop but that can be taken apart for different levels of portability? That would be very nice. I'm still trying to get rid of a line item in The Future, you see.

    (And what about your iPhone? Could the iPhone be docked as a 3G modem into the iPad? In The Future, I mean.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Handing a few words off to a remote server is still a huge step away from transcribing even 30 seconds'-worth of speech.

    The iPad is fully capable of transferring audio of sufficient quality of speech recognition in real time. Skype does it bidirectionally, for example. So there is no technical reason that an iPad can't hand off any amount of speech to a server for transcription. It's less convenient than doing the transcription locally, primarily because it requires a network connection and a certain amount of bandwidth, but it's entirely workable. The real issue is still the accuracy of the voice recognition software, wherever it's run.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    Some people claim that the reason everything has gone to pieces over the last six thousand years was God's reliance on early speech recognition software as an interface for the Creation Engine.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • TeAtaoTu,

    Re Vodafone.

    I gave up with my vodafone problem. I emailed the chief executive, saying that they were once slick and cool and fast and now they were as effective as the manager of the flight of the conchords. He cc'ed me into a email send to a manager who sorted it all out for me. If everybody does that who knows what we might achieve... imagine, perhaps even good service.

    CHCH • Since Jul 2010 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    So once you get those extra bits and perhaps an external drive and some ports (could they be integrated in the keyboard?) you would have a device with the capabilities of a proper laptop but that can be taken apart for different levels of portability? That would be very nice.

    It'll be interesting to see what happens, but for now, there are some very attractive keyboards and desk stands, and of course the iPad Kitteh Stand.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Jimmy Southgate,

    Re Dragon noted up thread.

    Its available for iPhone & iPad already in North America. I think they work around it on the lower spec devices by recording & sending the audio to servers for dictation & then send the text back to the device. Im not certain that's true but it seems to work reasonably well, though its hard for me to test it because of my kiwi accent that trips it up.

    Oh, and on another point (and apologies if this was mentioned) i'm pretty sure if Apple gets a cut of Kindle downloads its purely from the initial purchase of the app. But then I think that the app is free so it can't be that either.

    All this talk of iPad makes me want to buy one after all. Ruh-Roh.

    editing to add
    Dragon requires a network connection so is definately passing a recording back & forth. Doing a 3 sentence paragraph seems to take it about 5-10 seconds, so not as fast as typing, but definately usable.

    Wellingtown • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    had to go to the local DSE today for something basic. Asked the ever-helpful Andre, what is this iPad thing anyway? (Yes, luddite-alert)

    He said basically it is an iPhone with a bigger screen.

    Is this accurate or a heresy?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    You can't use it as a phone, so no.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    He said basically it is an iPhone with a bigger screen.

    Is this accurate or a heresy?

    It's basically a bigger iPod Touch. But if that's meant to be disparaging it's missing the point. The bigger screen makes huge difference to a lot of things. It's the same difference as between a 19" TV and a 41" TV (fixed bad calculation).

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Just typing this at the kitchen table via the iPad keyboard dock.

    In this mode, it's essentially a netbook, but with a portrait screen orientation -- which it seems to me is not so good for tasks, but much better for both reading and writing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    The Apple mini Blue tooth wireless Keyboard works too apparently. Have the key board for when I connect Macbook to TV, but no iPad yet.

    Still I write a lot of posts here on my iPhone, so I'm thinking I'll manage. Won't be quite as fast, but I'm not writing a book, so that's Ok. Well, not yet...

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    Thanks Steve H. Puts in terms I comprehend.

    To protect the reputation of Andre, it is me rather than him than confuses an iPhone and an iPod

    P.
    who not only takes Danielle seriously but also has little idea about new-technology

    ** I understood everything my first cellphone (brick, 1991 or so) was capable of. Now, no show .

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    The Apple mini Blue tooth wireless Keyboard works too apparently. Have the key board for when I connect Macbook to TV, but no iPad yet.

    I've heard that some USB keyboards work through the camera connection kit. Didn't work with either of the keyboards I tried. What did work was a USB hub. Turns out that if you plug in multiple cameras at once it just picks one randomly.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    It isn't quite the same, but Google has a voice search app for Android phones that works reasonably well on the go. I actually use it quite often and for doing a quick search on the move it seems to get intended search terms /result about 75% of the time. It is far more convenient even on a smartphone with a nice touch screen interface

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Personally, I'm impatient for a decent virtual DJ app to turn up for iPad. The ones released so far all have too many shortcomings for me.

    Until iPad class devices get substantially more CPU (not to mention decent USB host support to talk to the audio interface) I wouldn't hold your breath. Rendering music takes a lot of CPU off a laptop, especially assuming true pitch shifting and a few effects.

    Plus, are users going to be willing to fork out hundreds of dollars for *anything* on an iPad, or has the die been cast for applications to be in the single digit pricerange? I can't see how Ableton or Serato could manage to supply and support a product for $9.99.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    I've heard that some USB keyboards work through the camera connection kit. Didn't work with either of the keyboards I tried.

    Scratch that - turns out you just have ignore the thing when it says the "device is not supported". Keyboards with built in hubs won't work if you plug them straight into the iPad (they draw too much power), but mine works fine if I plug it in via a powered hub.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I had a good look at at the iPad. I want the device mainly for WiFi web browsing on the couch in front of the telly, email, movies and above all as an e-book reader.

    Once again, Apples arrogant pricing policies have put me off - $200 to upgrade from 16GB to the 32GB that might make the bloody thing useful?? Steve Jobs can fuck right off!!

    I am going to wait for an Android 2 based device. It'll be based on open standards, won't tie me to Apples shitty apps stores and probably come with a -*gasp* - USB port.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Talking of Android-based devices...

    Ben Austin, please tell me, are you pleased with your HTC Desire? And also: how do you think it compares to the HTC Legend?

    (My phone celebrated Russell's birthday by dying.)

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    has the die been cast for applications to be in the single digit pricerange?

    I think the peer pressure ceiling for stand alone apps is low tens of dollars, on the other hand if you can make the app a gateway to subscription or downloadable content, the sky seems to be the limit.

    Rendering music takes a lot of effort, but what you can program relatively easily is things like multitracking, loop, and adjusting volumes using well documented libraries. Then you get harder, but possible, things like adjusting playback speed and pitch of the channels using poorly documented libraries. After that comes the 'too much effort' things of actually modifying the sound waves themselves.

    So it depends on how much you'd want a DJing app to acheive.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    In this mode, it's essentially a netbook, but with a portrait screen orientation -- which it seems to me is not so good for tasks, but much better for both reading and writing.

    How fast is it, to do those laptoppy tasks? Because my eee with its 1.6 Ghz and 1GB of RAM frankly is pretty damn slow.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    as Ben would no doubt point out.

    It's enough that the idea was transmitted to you, clearly without loss.

    But basic vocal commands are a different matter. I quite like the idea of saying "iPad: Shut up!" if the occasion demands.

    Heh, I remember way, waaay back when such things were new and cool, it was a popular office joke to sneak up on the guy who used voice commands and yell out "Application, QUIT", and then see what words were captured by the software as he cursed at you.

    I'm sure this device will be a little bit of the future. If the price is less, why not? As it stands, it's priced as a major appliance and needs either a large budget or a good excuse, but that will change, and probably reasonably soon.

    Currently I can think of about 40 things that are cheaper that I'd rather have (my TradeMe watchlist is always a few pages). But bring it down to say $300 and we're talking the short list. 2 years?

    No keyboard is a limitation, but the whole point of the device is not for composing, but reading. Looks good for that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

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