The iPad mini could sport a retina display and still cut costs.

john gruber on the iPad mini’s display :

I believe the iPad Mini (or whatever it’s going to be called) uses the same display as the iPhone 3GS. So instead of cutting these sheets into 3.5-inch 480 × 320 displays for the iPhone 3GS, they’ll cut them into 7.85-inch 1024 × 768 displays for the smaller iPad. Same exact display technology, though — display technology that Apple has been producing at scale ever since the original iPhone five years ago.

I think a better alternative would be to use the non-ips retina display found on the ipod touch. It will work out considerably cheaper than ips retina displays. Producing those in large quantities shouldn’t be a problem for apple. Plus, they could use the retina moniker to market the ipad mini. I don’t see Apple taking a step back in display technology just to cut costs.

This will be a revolutionary touchscreen for the iPad 3

This will be a revolutionary touchscreen for the iPad 3

  • This will make iPad revolutionary and not evolutionary.
  • Skeuomorphic interfaces will thrive and shine because you can feel textures.
  • Will be one big leap for touchscreen devices.

Update: Nothing of that sort. iPad of 2013 could sport this. Maybe.

Improving the iOS spotlight screen

I have always felt that the spotlight area in iOS( the universal search screen) is underutilized. There’s a lot of screen real estate there which can be put to better use. In iOS 5, Apple introduced the ability to tap and hold any word and see its definition(The tap and hold feature doesn’t work in spotlight area strangely). Handy feature, but it can be further enhanced if we could simply type any word into spotlight search and view its definition. Just like in the pic below:

A simple define option would be just great. This would make the inbuilt dictionary functionality even more useful. Right now whenever I need to find the meaning of some word, I just go into messages app and tap and hold to define.

Bring some siri-like functions for non-siri users and more

Almost a year ago, Palm added a feature called just type to its WebOS. The same idea can be applied here as well. There should be options like Tweet, Update FB status, Message etc for whatever I type in the text box.

Now to some siri-like functions: How about typing in weather and see a nice weather widget slide in? Type 2+2 and show the calculated result? There is a lot that can be done. Simple questions which we ask Siri ; “Do I need a raincoat?” , “How many bytes in a kilobyte?”  when typed should show some quick results just like Siri answers. Or something like “wake me up at 6 am” should just let me set an alarm right  from the spotlight screen.

You must be thinking that this feature wouldn’t make any sense for 4S users. They already have siri. But let us be honest. Siri doesn’t always get things right and its not always possible to speak to our device for eg. when we are in a meeting, etc. And Siri doesn’t understand some accents yet. During such times, you can quietly write your iPhone/iPad some instruction to get simple things done. Of course, there is an issue with throwing too many options at the user while typing, but some intelligent algorithms and Apple’s elegant design can easily take care of that.

This kind of a feature will make iPhones even more smart. Easier to use. I really wish Apple tried to implement something like this in iOS 6.

iCloud just works. Not.

When iCloud launched, Apple said that it just works. It turns out its not completely true. While many things like syncing of contacts, push mail etc work well, its the syncing between the iPhone and iPad apps that doesn’t work well. I added a reminder on the iPad and just forgot about it. In normal scenario, what would you expect to happen when icloud is enabled for reminders? You expect the reminder you added on your iPad to immediately appear on the iPhone as well. Well it turns out that the sync functionality works perfectly only when an instance of the app in case is open on both devices.

Same is the case with iBooks. You must open a new instance of the app to make it sync with other devices if its not running already.

Isn’t this method broken? Shouldn’t it just work, as promised? I hope things improve in a later update.

After a month with the iPad 2: Things I like and don’t like about the device

Its been a month with my iPad 2 and I thought its a nice idea to share my opinion about the tablet. This is not an in-depth review but some quick thoughts on the iPad.

  • Display: Very good IPS display but not fantastic. Users of iPhone 4/4s will know what I am talking about.
  • Screen: Extremely responsive touch- just like all apple devices. They could do something about fingerprints though.
  • Apps: The best of the best are available on the app store. Flipboard is one of my favorites.
  • Battery life: Phenomenal.
  • The device feels great in hand. Could have been lighter, but its the best designed tablet out there.
  • Camera: Sucks. The front camera is actually better than the back one.
  • Software: iOS is great. The best tablet OS. And its only evolving every year.
  • The device feels very snappy. No lags whatsoever.
  • Music and videos: You won’t find yourself listening to music so much on the iPad. But its great to watch videos.
  • Reading books: Its a very good e-reader but not the best. From what I have heard from others, Kindle is the best. Again, iPad is still a very good device to read your books.
  • Games: Many games are better on the iPad than the iPhone. Especially board games shine on this one.
  • The newsstand concept is trash. But the intention is good.
  • I can assure that you can stop your newspaper subscription if you own this tablet. The news apps available are all too good.
  • iCloud: It got more attention than what it deserved when it launched. iCloud does a great job of keeping your Apple devices in sync but it won’t make you dump dropbox; because iCloud doesn’t let you store files in the cloud.
  • Browsing the web on this one is like a breeze.
  • The in-built speaker could do a better job.
  • Multitasking gestures are a big boon. And they are good to show-off 😉
  • You can use this as a photo frame. Run the slideshow and prop it on a stand.
  • The best tablet? Yes.
  • Worth the money? Surely yes. Casual users of the web can in fact replace their PC/Mac with an iPad.

I can talk a lot more in detail, but this gives an idea. What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments section.

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