iPad 2 Launch Video

I shot this video at 5pm on 25th March 2011. I was about 50th in the queue outside the Apple Store in Liverpool. I’d queued up for 7 hours and about 30 minutes later I was the owner of a brand new 64GB iPad 2. The video was shot on my iPhone 4, edited with iMovie on the iPad 2 and then uploaded to YouTube directly from the...

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

One of the new features of the iPad 2 is “mirroring”. This provides the ability for the iPad to mirror (i.e duplicate) it’s output to an external display device such as a monitor, a projector or TV. The image below shows my iPad 2 connected to a 23″ monitor. The iPad’s Home Screen is displayed on the monitor as well as the iPad itself. Video Out Although this functionality is available on the first generation iPad, on iPad 1 the support for “video out” (as many people call it) is provided by individual apps, and not all apps support it, whereas with iPad 2, the support is provided by the iPad which means that the output of all apps, as well as the Home screen, can be displayed on an external display. Delivering a Presentation One of the main uses of video out and mirroring in a work/business environment is delivering a presentation. Hook up the iPad to a projector or large TV screen (many of our meeting/conference rooms have replaced projectors with TV screens) and run the presentation on the iPad. The latest version of Keynote (Apple’s presentation app) allows you to display your presenter notes and/or upcoming slide on the iPad whilst the actual presentation is displayed on the external display device. Keynote supports video out which means you can do this on both iPad 1 and iPad 2. I’ll be covering this in more detail in another blog post. Sharing Ideas Another app that supports video out is Adobe Ideas, a sketchbook-type app that can be used for capturing ideas in graphical form. In the image...

iPad 2 – First Impressions

“Slimmer, faster and better-looking” is how I’d describe the iPad 2. Fundamentally it’s not that different to the first generation iPad which was released only 10 months ago. It has a faster processor but the storage capacities remain the same (16GB, 32GB and 64GB), it has 2 cameras (one on the front and one on the back), both of which are capable of taking still photos and video (especially useful for video conferencing), although the quality of the output from the cameras is poor compared to the iPhone 4 and the reflective screen is still too shiny use when sitting outside in the sunshine (not a problem in the UK). So why, when I already own a 64GB iPad did I drive 80 miles on a cold Spring day and queue up for 7 hours outside the Apple Store in Liverpool (with little food and one toilet break) in order to ensure that I got my hands on one on “Launch Day” in the UK? The killer feature for me, as a Trainer and Presenter, is the ability to display the iPad’s output onto an external monitor or projector, either via VGA or HDMI. To do this requires an appropriate cable. One end connects to the iPad’s Dock Connector and the other end connects to the monitor/projector. This functionality is available on iPad 1 but is dependent upon individual apps supporting it and also there is no HDMI support in iPad 1. The original iPad was only available in black but this time around, Apple gave us a choice of black or white. I’d planned to purchase a 32GB...

Bring Your Own Computer

The company that I work for are trialling “Bring Your Own Computer”. The way it works is that the company gives each employee a set amount of money and in return we bring our own computer into the workplace. Employees can either purchase a new computer or if they already own a computer, they can simply use that. They’re not the first company to implement such as scheme and from my research the jury is still out on whether it’s a good idea or not, but it’s supposed to be a win-win situation. The benefit for the employer is reduced hardware and support costs and the benefit to the employee is that they can use whatever device they like (PC/Mac/Tablet) as long as it gets the work done. Although the device is configured with a virtual machine that contains work-related applications in a work-related environment, users can switch out of the virtual environment to use other apps and files without the need for a reboot. Although I’m not part of the trial, I have been bringing my own devices into work for quite a long time and I’ve been doing it without receiving any additional compensation. I do so because I feel that it makes me more productive and helps me to get my work done faster and with fewer problems. Here’s just a few examples: iPad Thanks to my iPad, I have been able to “go paperless” at work. I can take notes in meetings, produce sketches and drawings for projects, plan projects and training courses, produce audio recordings of meetings and audio recordings of my training courses...

Awesome Note – A Review

I use my iPhone and iPad for many things including making notes and to that end I have a number of note apps on both devices. Some of them I’ve tried and some are awaiting evaluation. Not all note apps are the same, however. Penultimate, which I reviewed on episode 46 of MacBites and Notes Plus, which I’ve recently started to use and will review in a future episode, are more of a notebook than a notepad. I use these apps for tasks such as note-taking and creating drawings or sketches when I’m in a meeting. I’m no artist so by sketches, I mean a rough sketch of a dialog box or a sketch of data flow in an application I’m building. Also Penultimate and Notes Plus are only available for the iPad. What I’ve been looking for is an app that allows me to create simple notes, primarily on the iPhone. For example, I’m out walking the dog and I get an idea about something for MacBites or I’m at work and I’m going to a meeting and I need a note of the room number or I’m going to meet someone and they say “call me when you get to reception” and I need a note of their extension number. In the days of analogue notes (i.e. pen and paper), I’d carry a pocket-sized notepad and I want to replace that functionality with the digital equivalent on the iPhone. There’s a few free apps that spring to mind like Droptext and Plaintext which sync with Dropbox and even the built in Notes app, however, I have other...