"If you've used the Netflix iPad app, you've probably thought how cool it would be if you could connect your iPad to a TV to watch what's streaming to the app. Someone at Netflix must have read your mind, because the company on Wednesday updated its iPad app to support video output via Apple's optional VGA, component, or composite dock connector cables."
The update, version 1.0.2, lets you view movies at higher resolutions, now up to 1024 by 768, as well as some crash fixes. I doubt I will use this feature much but I can see where I might if I didn't have my laptop with me. I prefer the laptop when viewing away from home on a large TV, since I can use AirMouse [affiliate link] to control all the action from the comfort of my bed. But options are always nice to have aren't they?
"Until now, you could not purchase an iPad with cash. Instead you had to swipe a credit card and make it easier for Apple to make sure that you're obeying the two-iPads-per-person limit."
This changed because a woman named Diane Campbell went into the Palo Alto CA store to purchase an iPad, with of all things cash, and was politely turned away. This was one way the company used to enforce the two iPad per person policy, but it wasn't very well thought out. So they reversed it and rightly so, and in the process Diane Campbell was hand delivered a free iPad for her trouble. Nice.
Star Walk for the iPhone from Vito Technology has been out for awhile, and I've used it many times to see what was going on in the sky above me. It is a fantastic astronomy app for the iPhone, so I was pretty excited when they announced the version for the iPad. It is available now in the iTunes Store for $4.99 USD [affiliate link], and if you have used Star Walk for the iPhone ($2.99 USD in the iTunes Store), this will be very familiar to you, albeit on a much larger scale. The app really transitions well from the iPhone to the iPad, and in my opinion is much better on the iPad as it uses the larger screen to full advantage. As you can see from the opening screen above, called the "Sky Live", it starts out by giving you a brief overview of what is happening in the sky above you for a particular day, including sunrise, sunset, moon phase, etc. But it also offers much more, with the 3D graphics you are used to on the iPhone on a larger scale.
"Originally rumored to launch as soon as next week, Hulu's planned $10-a-month subscription service for advance content and access via an iPad application remains in the works."
But they are delaying it now, with sources inside Hulu saying there is "no way" it will be ready for the previously announced May 24th launch. The talk around town is that Hulu plans to offer a subscription plan for access on the iPad via an application versus using the browser. Hulu also is not jumping on the HTML5 bandwagon, at least for now, and keeping its Flash based player. I, for one, am very interested in seeing what they come up with.
"From the gorgeous-apps-we'd-love-to-use category, we bring you Tabloids, a Twitter app that turns your stream into a pretty and useful news magazine."
Interesting idea if you are a Twitter fan, but I think using something like TweetDeck would better suit my needs. But it is always good to have options. If you are interested in something like this, it's available now in the iTunes Store for $2.99 USD.
"That was fast. Apple has updated international websites to note that iPad pre-orders accepted from today on out will ship by June 7th. If you've already placed an order, you can still expect to receive your shiny new device on May 28th."
This week they started accepting pre-orders, initially with a ship date of May 28th, but now it appears that has been moved back about a week. This goes hand in hand with the news about shortages in the US, which have led to orders with ship dates 7 to 10 days out. I wonder if they will reach the $1 billion dollars in revenue that is predicted if these shortages aren't corrected?
"Apple is advertising the iPad in a new spot that breaks from previous iPod an iPhone product ads to present the new device as magical and revolutionary. The new spot, which Apple today posted to YouTube, asks 'What is iPad?'"
Does that sound familiar? If you have been following Apple products for a number of years, it might. Check out why after the jump.
"If you love your iPad but can never quite get comfortable with it, there's a lap for that. Or more specifically, a lap desk. Quirky, an e-commerce site where products are directly influenced by community members, unveiled its new Cradle lap desk for the iPad on Monday."
Not sure if you have checked out Quirky before, but it is a user driven site that makes your dreams reality, if there is enough community interest. They really have some cool items, if enough commit to the product then it gets made. In this case they came up with a "desk" for your iPad, complete with rotating holder so you can easily switch from landscape view to portrait view. The desk sells for $53.00 USD.
"They're taking their time, but it's coming; CBS just announced this week that it's turning its entire video content on CBS.com into the iPhone-friendly HTML5. This means that by this fall, you'll be able to enjoy Horatio Caine, Barney Stinson, Anthony DiNozzo and many more right from your iPhone OS devices."
And it will be direct streaming from their website, unlike ABC, so it even makes watching on your iPhone or iPod Touch possible. Sweet. Now all we need is NBC and Fox to get onboard the HTML5 train.
"Despite of the "common currency" and the EU, doing business in Europe is a hassle. So much of a hassle actually that even Apple just couldn't get it right."
Yesterday we noted Steve Job's email responses about international pricing, and for Germany he noted they added a copyright tax. Problem is, that is only on devices that have 40GB or more of memory. So Apple had to lower the prices on the 16GB and 32GB models. Woops. Macworld has posted a comparison of the international pricing for the iPad if you are interested.
"Rogers released their iPad pricing today. Unlike AT&T, they have a cap at 5GB and it costs C$35 compared with $30 US for the 'unlimited plan'."
Yesterday we noted that Orange Uk and Telstra in Australia announced their data plans for the iPad, and Rogers is also in the mix now. Initially Rogers had an option to add an iPad to an existing plan for $20.00, but apparently they have taken that out of the plan. But they do allow iPhone tethering which is a plus.
"You've just picked up that nice iPad 3G and now you're heading off on vacation in Europe in a month. You'd like to keep up with news about Icelandic volcanoes, so you're taking your iPad with you. How much is it going to cost you to do data roaming as you wander the streets of Venice? Unfortunately, a lot."
This is of course if you use the 3G service, and if I was traveling to any of the countries on the AT&T list then I don't think I would use their plan. I haven't done much international traveling but can't you just get a sim card from the country you are in and use that instead of using your AT&T sim? Wouldn't that be cheaper than what AT&T is going to provide? I mean, it's not like it is your iPhone and you need to keep the same number so people can reach you. Wi-Fi seems the place to go when you travel with one of these.
"Most or all countries getting the iPad on May 28th will also get iBooks and access to the iBookstore at the same time, Apple has disclosed. So far confirmed are Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Spain and the UK. France, Germany and Switzerland are likely to have iBooks support as well, but this has yet to be mentioned by Apple."
What a nightmare it must be to negotiate all of the issues such as iBooks internationally, when each country has different laws regarding copyrights and the like. I can see why they have such trouble getting them to work right or they have delays such as iTunes and movies.
"With Apple's announcement on Friday regarding availability of the iPad in nine new countries later this month, a number of potential customers expressed dismay at the apparent higher prices in those countries relative to those in the United States. Several of those customers took the time to email Apple CEO Steve Jobs with complaints on the issue, two of whom shared his identical responses with us."
For the customer in the UK, Steve said "Please educate yourself. UK prices must by law include VAT, which is around 18%. US prices do not include tax." When a customer in Germany sent a similar email, Steve said "Blame your government. Germany just added a new copyright levy for computers." Obviously we don't have those taxes (yet anyway) in the US so this just adds to the cost of the device. I think they have always had a price difference because of things such as this haven't they?
"As iPad fever grips the nation, Telstra today announced it will offer dedicated data plans for the iPad 3G in Australia."
And if you activate your "kit" by the 30th of June, 2010, you get an additional 2GB of data. The pricing is a bit different from what we have here in the US, which is $14.99USD for 250MB of data on the basic plan and $29.99 USD for unlimited data plan. Another company on the international front that has announced data plans for the iPad is Orange UK. Their announcement has their basic plan at £12.50 and their unlimited at about £40 per month. In comparison, if they priced the same plans for basic and unlimited as AT&T is in the US, their plans would cost respectively £10 and £20 per month.