iPad mini 3; Is Touch ID Enough for You?

 

Apple rolled out the new 2014 lineup of iPads. The star of the show was the iPad Air 2. With more RAM, faster CPU and GPU, the iPad Air 2 is a step up from the iPad Air.

But what about the iPad mini 3?. The only new feature available on the mini 3 is the Touch ID sensor on the Home button and the addition of the “gold” color scheme. The rest of the specs remained consistent with the previous generation (now called iPad mini 2).

Of the 2014 changes to the mini, the Touch ID is the most compelling. In my estimation, save the money on the iPad mini 3 and buy the mini 2.   it appears that the iPhone 6 Plus is weighing heavy in the minds of the Apple folk in Cupertino. There might not be an iPad mini 4.

 

iPad as Laptop? Workflow Issues

iPad as Laptop
iPad as Laptop

I have, from time to time, made the attempt to re-task my iPad as a productivity device; my “not a laptop” laptop.

After going through many keyboard configurations (ZAGG, Logitech, Apple, etc.) and any number of productivity apps (Pages, Numbers, KeyNote, Docs TO Go to name a few), I have finally accepted that the iPad is just not a laptop replacement for me.

This is not to say that the iPad could not be used by others for that purpose. The hurtle that I cannot seem to clear is the workflow issues. The sandboxing of the different apps make it difficult for me to achieve the level of productivity I need. Too many years of “drag and drop” between applications I guess.

The iPad can be used as a laptop stand-in for at times, and, with the introduction of iOS 8, perhaps the software is moving into a new phase that would provide more of the workflow model I use.

But, for now, I will use my MacBook Air for the brunt of my mobile work and relegate the iPad to it’s rightful place as an outstanding media consumption device.

Then again, there is a hint of an iPad Pro. Hmmm….

 

iOS 8, the Bread’s Not Done

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Over the past few years, Apple has embarked on a yearly refresh of Operating System software for both the Mac and iOS lines of hardware. In particular, the release of iOS is tied to the introduction of the latest iPhone arrival each fall. It’s almost biblical. When the leaves begin to show fall colors, a new iPhone is near.

With iOS 7 and again with iOS 8, it is evident that even though the hardware was ready to go, the software was not. This “good enough” release cycle is giving Apple a black eye. While hardware is a science, software continues to be more of an art form. As art, it is most difficult to tie the release of new software to a date certain. Software is ready when it’s ready and not before.

Perhaps the problem is that Apple is overreaching in the feature set and needs to scale back such that the changes needed in the software match the programming resources Apple can deploy to meet the commitments. I would rather have a stable, functional release of iOS rather than a feature-rich environment in which I have to battle the feature set to maintain control of my device.

With iOS 8, we had the initial release, followed closely by version 8.0.1 which, in turn was followed more closely with version 8.0.2 needed to correct issues introduced with 8.0.1. In fact, the first release of iOS 8 should have been version 8.1.

Has Apple adopted the old Microsoft model. Get the OS out there and fix it in Service Pack 1 or 2. Can anyone say “Vista”?

Here’s hoping that Apple returns to the Apple of old and delivers a software experience that matches the hardware it runs on.

New use for Zagg Auto Fit Keyboard

zagg autofit 10A few weeks ago, I purchased the ZAGG Auto Fit 10” keyboard folio to replace the dreadful keyboard supplied with the ASUS Transformer Book T100. The ASUS tablet popped right into place and I have been using the keyboard with the Windows tablet ever since.

On a lark, I tried to insert my iPad 3rd generation into the keyboard enclosure, but the form factor was too tall.

In the intervening weeks, I shipped the iPad 3 off to Gazelle. On Saturday. en email from Best Buy arrived in my inbox. In it was a trade-in offer for the iPad 2 I had purchased some three years ago. I took the iPad 2 to my local Best Buy and walked out with a new iPad Air 2.

I looked at the iPad Air 2 and noted the sleek lines when compared to my iPad 3. I picked up the ZAGG keyboard and popped the ASUS tablet out and popped the iPad Air 2 in. Well, by gosh and by golly (pardon my language) the new iPad fit very nicely. The new iPad is clad in a thin TPU case. I positioned the tablet with a slight bias to the right to clear the “Volume Up” button.

I haven’t paired the iPad and ZAGG keyboard yet. That will be the next step in the process. The iPad may be compatible with the keyboard in fit alone, but I am hopeful of more.