Before the launch of the iPad, Apple removed all the plastic and film screen protectors from its online and brick and mortar stores, even though they are among the most popular accessories for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Apple didn't seem to give any particular reason for this move, but as iLounge noted in an article, "One vendor speculated that the ban is an Apple marketing attempt to suggest screen durability, despite scratches that have damaged both plastic and glass displays of its products for years." Others have mentioned that because it's hard to adhere the … Read more
Apple wants how much for the portrait-orientation-only iPad Dock? $29? Sorry, but I'm tapped out after spending $500 on the iPad itself. What do you have in the $5-$10 range?
Nothing, of course. (Does Apple sell anything in the $5-$10 range?) Fortunately, if all you want to do is prop up your iPad for movie viewing, recipe reading, photo slideshow-ing, or whatever, you can buy or build a perfectly good stand for cheap. These five candidates cost anywhere from nothing to around $7. Take a look:
1. Think the kids will miss a handful of Tinkertoys? If … Read more
Largely overlooked amid the overwhelming iPad hype is its biggest potential achievement. Apple's touch-screen quasi-PC may have finally struck a fatal blow to the long-standing king of input devices, the computer mouse.
Make no mistake about it, the era of the familiar PC mouse is coming to an end. It may not be a 2012-style apocalypse (and the mouse will surely hang on in some form for many years to come), but the door is slowly shutting on the universal acceptance of this single iconic piece of hardware that we have equated with personal computing for decades (for argument's sake, let's agree to date its lifespan from the 1972 invention of the ball mouse, and its use as a consumer device from the 1981 Xerox Star). Replacing it is an array of touch input devices and icon-focused operating systems that are built (not always for the better) around expediency over flexibility.
Long before the iPad, touch-screen tablet PCs had been around for years, occasionally enjoying a brief surge in consumer interest, and then fading away again, as users discovered that touch navigation was not really ready for prime time. Apple's iPhone, and later the iPod Touch, changed all that, bringing actual one-to-one touch to the masses for the first time.
But on the PC side, this only made the sluggish, temperamental touch screens found on most tablets even more glaringly obvious; we frequently described these devices as having a rubber-band effect. You'd drag a finger across the screen to move an icon, and it would follow behind by half a beat, as if on the end of a rubber band. The takeway was that touch was workable on tiny handhelds, but not well-suited to larger laptop screens.
The iPad's disruptive success in building a larger touch environment that has received almost universal praise puts the lie to that theory. It may not be as productivity friendly as your ThinkPad, but add a Bluetooth keyboard and Apple's iWork apps, and you've got a reasonable approximation of a laptop experience in many cases.
But even before the iPad, PCs that traded the mouse for a fingertip have been making significant strides. HP has led the way with its TouchSmart line of all-in-one desktops and convertible tablet laptops. Again, the experience wasn't entirely seamless, but each successive generation of these systems has seen further refinement of their specialized touch interfaces, which sit on top of Windows, hiding the mouse-driven desktop from view. Asus also did an decent job with the custom interface on the Eee PC T91, a touch-screen version of the popular Eee PC Netbook (despite that system's other flaws).… Read more
On its Web site, BlueLounge has a quote from Albert Einstein that says, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but simpler." Well, when it comes to accessories, the company's Cool Feet ($12.95) product, which was initially designed to raise a laptop just enough to "allow a constant cooling airflow," is about as simple as you can get, and now the company is marketing it toward iPad owners.
We're not sure how much sense this makes for an iPad, but we can see how the feet, which have integrated suction cups for … Read more
The Droid's had one for months now, and today Google's Nexus One gets its own car dock. When we consider how heavily the free Google Maps Navigation app played in establishing the Nexus One's popularity, we're surprised that it took this long for a car kit to be released. This isn't the first peek that we've taken at the dock, but it is the first official look. Plus, we've got specs!
Like the Droid's car mount, the Nexus One's dock features a suction cup mount to hold the handset in place … Read more
If the contents of our CNET in-boxes in the last week or so are any indication, iPad owners have no shortage of accessories to choose from when it comes to embellishing, encasing, and steadying their new devices.
Crave reader Amit Jain, however, wasn't spotting a stand that fit. Observing that most he's seen so far "are made of lightweight aluminum or plastic," he wanted a heavy, sturdy holder that could withstand the impact of multiple touches without getting wobbly when he used his new device as a touch computer.
Say what you will about the new iPad, but there's no denying it's a sleek and sexy device. Good looks aside, there is certainly some friction between the gaming community and Apple's new tablet.
Sure, the iPhone and iPod Touch have carved out a considerable niche in the casual gaming market, but, like we've said before, it's tough to consider the platform a legitimate gaming machine without buttons. The same can now be said about the iPad and its 10-inch screen.
We've had plenty of hands-on time with gaming on the iPhone, and though it's a relatively pleasurable experience with titles that just require tapping, the same cannot be said for games that were originally created for consoles with controllers. Sonic the Hedgehog is a perfect example of this shortcoming, as the game performed quite well with the major exception of having to use an onscreen virtual button configuration.
Of course the iPad will give developers more real estate to work with, but it's arguably even tougher to grasp the iPad like you would a normal handheld gaming device. The recent unveiling of a patent filing may give some more insight as to how Apple plans on addressing the awkwardness of touch-screen gaming. … Read more
For this week's Crave giveaway, we've got Powermat's upcoming new Wireless Charging System for the iPhone. Yes, you heard right, upcoming, which means if you win you'll be this first on your block with one of these puppies when it's officially released mid-April.
In case you don't know what Powermat's all about, its products allow you to charge cell phones (and other stuff) by simply laying the product down on a mat that's plugged into the wall. Powermat's new Wireless Charging System for the iPhone comes with a Powermat 1X mat, … Read more
Motorola announced the Motorola H17txt today, and no, it's not an April Fools' joke. The Bluetooth headset has MotoSpeak, Motorola's name for its text-to-speech technology. It is designed to read text messages to you so you never have to take your eyes off the road. Funnily, it also promises to read out acronyms like "lol" and "l8r" as actual words. It will also read out incoming caller/texter ID, plus it comes with a list of autoresponse messages.
Other features include A2DP streaming so you can listen to your podcasts or your phone's … Read more
It's a very special day at Dialed In. For a limited-time engagement, our very own Bonnie Cha graces us with her presence on her way back to New York City from CTIA. Bonnie had a little business on the left coast, which included a visit to her old stomping grounds at the San Francisco office. She's even back in her old cubicle so it's like she never left.
But as exciting as her visit is, today's show is all about CTIA. We saw a lot happen last week in Vegas, from America's first commercially available (… Read more