Posts Tagged ‘apple’

One thing I have noticed during the last few months is how Apple continues to invest in releasing new iPad models during different times of the year and that come with different titles. The company is also making these iPads different in terms of price, size or form factor, and hardware specs.



This in turn may be good and bad for consumers. By having choices, they can really find out what they want and need for their needs at different price points. However, this also means they have to invest their time into research and in the end may purchase the iPad that wasn’t meant for them or that they could have gotten a better deal on if they really knew the market.

An example of this was Apple’s recent push with the now outdated iPad 2 hardware and the original iPad Mini hardware. In terms of refurbished products, they are still both sold at similar price points ($248 for iPad iMini vs $279 for iPad 2) and Apple continues to keep the iPad 2 as the refurbished model to get rather than put an iPad 3 or The New iPad in there as the cheaper product with the full screen. 

This confuses consumers who are on a budget because they would be smart to not listen to Apple’s marketing and purchase the iPad 2 at this price since it is the full sized iPad with the same hardware specs as the Mini. The Mini is simply the newer product that hit the shelves, but in reality both of these iPads have similar hardware specs within them.

This goes back to the question: are there too many choices and price points right now on the market available to consumers within the iPad lineup? I think the answer is yes. Even when we do not take the refurbished models into consideration, the main iPad lineup still includes the Mini as an option along with the Mini with Retina, iPad Air and the cheaper and a bit older iPad with Retina display (iPad 4).

At least it is the iPad 4 now that is being sold cheaper than the other models new, because until recently this was still the now much-outdated iPad 4 that Apple had in this bracket. 

On the main website (when not clicking on compare models) it is a bit less confusing with the latest Mini and iPad Air being displayed side by side. This was a smart move by Apple. It tells consumers to get the product they want depending on size they want or need and price. However, the market is a lot more confusing than this when venturing further into Apple’s website and really figuring out what you as the consumer want and need.


Basically, Apple may be biting themselves a bit in the foot by not offering a shoppers guide of sorts on their website that guides consumers into choosing the right tablet for them. There is still and expectancy of knowledge or research on the market involved and this gets even more confusing for consumers shopping for rival Android tablets as a potential replacement for the iPad. 



According to Engadget, the iPad 2 might have a new and faster processor and a retina-like display with double the current pixel density. It might also sport an SD card slot.

I think the rumors sound wonderful if true but a bit farfetched. That is if the iPad successor, rumored to be coming out and unveiled within months, is to remain at current price points.

The SD card slot rumors sound plausable and really necessary in my opinion. I believe flash memory is too expensive to match what netbooks have as storage with movable hard drives so slots like SD is where Apple needs to expand until the prices and technology advances.

Dual cameras are also rumored to be included and I think there is a very likely chance of this happening. No reason not to put that in as the current iPhone 4 has dual cameras. Facetime or some sort of Skype conference calling would rock on an iPad.

I also think that the iPad will have more accurate or higher-def pixel density than the current model, but it really begs the question of how much higher res the display will be.

One thing that is absolutely necessary in my book is for the second iPad to have more ram and be geared from the get go for multitasking. 512 mb is the very least but I would like to see a gig in there. The ram is also more expensive and not the standard ram sticks we see in computers or netbooks however but I believe Apple can pull it off.


I found a great little piece with a long two-part audio segment relating to citizen journalism and Web-based journalism:
Journalism? Are you crazy?

The message is clear; anyone who has anything to say can be heard and do reporting these days. We do not need gatekeepers anymore.

My experience with print media has been less than stellar. I did some internships and do have some experience in this field, but there are numerous reasons for my criticism. One is that many editors seem to think they are gods, or that they can alter and change your writing to suit their personal style. This got me really angry because the writing was so altered that it didn’t even sound like it was coming from me at times. It was also altered, or edited, in areas not having to do with copy errors or AP style errors at all — simply preference by the editors. A lot of the editors still around in print are also not willing to embrace social media, the Web, and citizen journalism. Some of these papers also rely entirely on interns (who do not get paid) for actual journalism work, while they sit in their chairs and rule as if they were kings. They also do not value the things that younger readers in the midsts of Web 2.0 value: social media, interaction and news that reaches them.

I can go on and on about my dislike for traditional journalism in the newspaper sphere of things. Shocking headlines for example and ruining someone’s reputation to get your name as a journalist out; or quoting one side of the story without the other. These are all central California themes we see from these small town-newspapers who want to do things the easy way rather than put actual work into every story they cover. There is a reason many crime suspects, and their families, refuse to answer reporters’ questions anymore.

This is also a reason I have been focusing on freelancing and technology reporting. I find that having such a niche is indispensable in today’s world with more newspapers and print media falling. I enjoy news and breaking events as well; but do not want some old guy sitting in a sofa telling me what to do or how to put the shock value at the audience — at the expense of someone else. What needs to happen is for online outlets to be able to gain revenue through more means than Google Adsense and for Web news to become more profitable.

There is a lot to like about traditional journalism; especially the professionalism and standard taught to students that prove quality over teh interwebz speak. However, this doesn’t have anything to do with print media necessarily because real journalists can work remotely or freelance as well.

Well, since I want to make this post fit in with the theme of this particular blog, where does the iPad fit in with Citizen or New Journalism? The iPad is light, portable, has apps from Youtube to Twitter to WordPress itself. The battery lasts all day.

When the camera comes in with the next generation of the iPad and the flash-memory improvements arise, we can really talk citizen journalism on the go (literally all day anywhere you are at the time you could be participating in citizen journalism).

Citizen journalism to me means using Web tools like Twitter, Youtube, WordPress, and your journalism degree and background of good writing — to create unique content and on-the-go with the iPad is the perfect way to do it. I think this is where the future revolution of journalism will go. Not just writing but being able to create new content for the masses in general (video, audio, writing, etc.).

Hello to anyone who reads this blog. I haven’t added any recent reviews or updates in a while but have been pretty busy. I’ve been writing for AppModo (as well as subsidiaries of iPadModo and MacModo) right now and here is my profile with a list of stories I’ve written in the past week or so:
AppModo, iPadModo, and MacModo.

Apparently, the Evac HD review wasn’t posted on TheAppera but I’m going to leave it here. It must not have been the type of game James found his readers would enjoy and it’s a shame as it is great. I am also putting off working for NoDpad off for a while due to AppModo policies of not writing for competing sites. It is worth it for me though as AppModo is a great site with all kinds of tech topics to talk about — not just games. There is also possibilities pay and advancements hopefully so I can do what I love as a profession. I am also looking for various other part(maybe full)-time jobs that relate to the Web, tech or writing in some way or form.

-I also posted this editorial on NoDpad

As many iDevice users and touch gamers know, a DOS emulator was released for the iDevices about a month ago and pulled by Apple the very next day. The emulator works a bit more natural and works better on the iPad than the iPhone due to it’s larger screen and two orientation viewing angles it offers. It even has a layout depicting mouse buttons and a computer keyboard that can be switched off to full screen with icons of touch keypads. Evidence of this can be seen by googling iDOS as mostly just iPad articles pop up with a brief mention of the iPhone version that was also released.

In terms of apps and games that this emulator supports, the results are very mixed — this is mostly because of speed issues. The emulator also requires either basic knowledge of DOS command prompts or some experimentation and instructions in order to segregate files correctly and get games running. Despite this, the DOS is the home of many great games and classics that started some of today’s most popular game series. Elder Scrolls, Warcraft, Fallout and it’s Wasteland prequel started on DOS. many of the greats will not run fast enough on this emulator in it’s current state but other games will. It takes some fiddling with the configuration file at times as well to get some games up and running at the max potential.

Here is a list of games that I found quite playable and enjoyable that is worth trying out on iPads:

The original Warcraft is quite good here with speed being just fast enough to enjoy. Panzer General is another good little strategy gem that plays quite well and has a slow turn-based pace that runs quite well. Darklands is an amazing open world role playing game for its time that plays very well and I highly recommended. Survivor horror Alone in the Dark does slow down but is just playable enough to keep on the list. Zeliard is a very interesting 2d platformer with RPG elements that plays well. Jazz Jackrabbit series are some other great platformers I recommend. Pirates is also worth a try as it runs just smooth enough. And, Master of Magic is an interesting strategy game and works great as well.

These are just some examples of games I have got to play quite nicely and will continue to enjoy on this emulator but there are many more not mentioned worth trying. On the iPad it’s wise to set the cpu core config to normal and cycles around 3500 worked for me most of the time as the best default setting in the dospad.cfg configuration that can be saved and replaced via iTunes. Many of these games have their own niche of configuration to run well like. An example of this is Ultimate Underworlds and Ultimate 7 requiring an opposite setting in dospad.cfg — one needs xmx=true and ems=fale and the other the opposite — although both run too slow to be truly enjoyable they show a glimmer of hope to what kinds of western RPGs could be made. The other issue is that adding and replacing files can be confusing as dragging zipped files is the only thing you can do via iTunes and not actually entire game files with subfolders.

One thing the emulator has shown me is what is possible in the iPad’s future. If games like Warcraft can be enjoyable and fun to play imagine what Blizzard could do with RTS games if they embrace the device like ported all three Warcrafts to the App Store. What’s interesting is many pc games could be done with a fake mouse icon and this has hampered some genres before. The emulator shows that a fake icon that you control via touch but not directly touching the icon itself but touching the screen near it thus not obstructing view, can work quite well. The iPad’s screen is big enough for this kind of control to work. Before fiddling around with this emulator I was only exposed to RTS games on the App Store that have direct finger control like touching units or drawing boxes around them for control. This brings a whole new idea and option that can be done for such genres like RTS games. What bugs me about the current way RTS games selection controls are is sometimes you end up selecting the wrong units or have a hard time making a box the perfect size with your fingers for the units you want to command.

Beside RTS games, the emulator shows how classical PC games like Pirates and Might of Magic could work great if embraced on the IPad by the big companies. I think the iPad can offer potential for many classical computer games to be revived and even complex or hardcore games can work. The battery life of the iPad and screen space allows this vs. the other iDevices although I believe there is room for all of them. Many of these games are known for landscapes with large view screens and different caves or dungeons to explore and find on a world map. I really like what I have seen from iDOS despite speed and configuration issues and hope Apple will find a way to embrace such emulation whether by buying the rights from Gates himself or only offering limited quantity of games like the current ZX and Commodore 64 emulators do. I have seen a recent resurgence of classical gaming on the App Store and in gaming in general with titles recently being released on the App Store like Warlords Classic that recently was released.

Hello fellow gadget-lovers, gamers, or potential employers. My name is Mike Lata and I decided to start this blog after I acquired some cool gadgets, like the iPad, as graduation gifts. It started out mainly focusing about games and apps, but it now offers more of a personal page full of my writing credentials. The site, however, still mainly deals with technology and computing. I recently received the 16GB Apple Ipad and the iPhone 4 as gifts for graduating College with a journalism Bachelors degree (minor in economics). I went to Chico State (took a semester at San Jose State as well) and now live in Cupertino, CA — where the Apple headquarters is.

I have never been a fan of Apple until recently because of my previous stereotypes of Macs. I was turned off for example by the thought of not being able to load popular games on a Mac; but now discovered a program called BootCamp that let’s you load both Windows and iOs on the Mac. This means you can get the best of both worlds – Mac OS X and Windows apps, programs, and games. Now that I have access to an iMac that has the latest Mac OS X and Windows (via the Bootcamp method), overall expectations of Apple totally changed. I became a pretty big fan, but still have use for certain Windows apps or programs.

I also heard many stereotypes about the iPad being just an oversized iPod Touch or iPhone. All these pre-judgments of course turned out to not be true in my experience due to the form factor being so much superior in my view.

What I also want to mention is I went through two different Windows laptops that got over-filled with viruses and spyware in the course of last year. I fixed one (with a clean hard drive reformat causing me to lose all of my data), but the other one is pretty much unfixable. In order to reformat that laptop, all the hardware specs woukd have to be factory defaults. I am looking into selling it for parts to tell the turth — especially since I only use my iPad for mobile computing.

Besides having access to an iPad, iPhone, iMac, and another older laptop, I also have the iMac with dual-boot Windows and Mac OS X (bootcamped). I am typing this blog and plan to type most if not all future blogs on my iPad using an app called Pages. The app is part of Apple’s iWork suite on the App Store. It is a pretty good for word processing, but laxks certain desktop features like tracking chanes. The app offers various fonts, spell checking, header and footer xustomization, and the ability to export (via various formats). It pretty much has what students and bloggers need for typing and I definitely recommend it. I also recommend the offline pages app for the Wi-Fi only iPad owners as it stores Web page data. I might go further into these apps in future blogs.

As for myself, I am a recent graduate with a bachelors in journalism and have been doing feature writing as of late for various sites. I am also getting better at video filming/editing using Apple’s Final Cut Pro. The Film creation process is another huge fascination of mine that I enjoy. I especially love historical films like ‘Kingdom of Heaven.’

Right now, I live in Cupertino — the place where the main Apple headquarters is. I am also trying to improve my Web design skills. When I update my websites, or create new ones, I will share it here. It will be interesting to see if Google’s Adsense turns profitable for me.

In regards to my history, I was born and raised in Poland and came to California at the age of 9. Most of my family is still over there and I visit every couple years. I speak Polish and English fluently and some German and Spanish. I think languages teach a lot about cultures by the way they allow people to express themselves or by looking at the tenses and formality rules. I also enjoy traveling and meeting people from all walks of life.

My older blog about the world wide web and online journalism that I wrote in my final semester of college for a course can be read here:
Technology and Journalism

I also wrote a Blogspot blog-post about student volunteers helping the homeless:
Peanut Butter and Jelly Time

I did an internship for Palo Alto Weekly and my stories can be found by searching my name.

I also wrote many good and interesting stories for the award winning Chico State newspaper ‘the Orion‘ but they are in the process of updating their archives.

As you can see I have some experience as a reporter and a journalist and it really is my passion no matter what subject or topic-at-hand I always seem to learn something new.

Do not hesitate to send me an e-mail at

I also recently started a Twitter about App Store games and technology.

The Apple Ipad is a really nifty lightweight gadget. Rather than just a gadget, I can almost call it a third-hand of mine ever since receiving mine that I just I had to have. Despite what some critics say, it is much more than just a smartphone or Another iPhone. It has pretty much all the features of the iPhone plus applications specifically built for the larger screen like Pages. Certain applications need the width and height of the iPad to function well, hence why I don’t think word processing has a future on the iPhone but it does on iPad. Surprisingly, the touch-toned keyboard is very responsive and efficient – much more so than the iPhones and a Bluetooth keyboard is easy to connect. Though due to the Os setup there is no bluetooth mouse connectivity so that kind of defeats the use of the keyboards in my opinion. The whole gist of the iPad is in how well the Os is setup for touch interface-use however in the sense you can do everything from quickly moving the cursor between letters by holding down a point to getting rid of entire URL entries by clicking an x that is much easier to navigate than with the iPhone.

The thing that sets the iPad apart from the standard desktops for me is the portability of the device which includes it’s lightness and the ability to put it between your arms while walking – thus having your hands free – and the fun or slickness of it. The $40, iPad case is really a must though and makes the experience much better. Besides protecting the shell and screen, it allows the iPad to independently stand upright in front of the user like a monitor instead of having to hold it like a book.

The battery life is incredible and in my book one of it’s selling points to both iPhone-heavy users and laptop-heavy users – both probably hassled by having a power source nearby and their charger cables on hand. The iPad will pretty much go whole day without having to be charged and that includes in a night or dark lighting.

Some of the downsides – which are often blogged about and mentioned on tech websites – are the competitive software restrictive practices of apple. For instance Adobe Flash is inaccessible despite the fact many websites rely on it for content or are based off Flash. However Apple does have a point in terms of the battery drainage and processing power bottlenecks that result from many Flash applications and websites. Many apps, like Farmville, also have their own AppStore versions that can downloaded for free off iTunes, or for some small change, and run much more efficient than the official flash-web variants. ITunes is very easy to use and prices are just right in my opinion especially compared to Windows-based applications or software you have for notebooks (including netbooks).

Another downside is the integration of some apps like trying to add attachments to e-mails is difficult -although I heard there are some apps for this on iTunes – or wanting to add files off the iPad to websites through browse selections. The lack of USB ports is another shortcoming.

Despite some downsides the iPad really made web browsing fun again and took away most of the hassle away associated with portable computing. Besides the already-mentioned shortcomings of laptop-devices not having to scroll with a notebook scroller or have to carry a mouse on you, is another thing to think about in terms of comfort and portability. I even use mine standing up in Starbucks restroom lines for instance without any discomfort or heaviness of the device.

Integration of various applications needs some fine tuning but it is not bad at all with some patience and practice. For example I wrote an early version of all three of the first blogs in one long iWord document and copy and pasted parts of each – including a block of text between two others with the drag commands. I pasted these blogs, or block a of text, onto each post here on WordPress that I also downloaded from the App store free.

I have also recently added my blue tooth keyboard from my iMac to the ipad and it is a nifty little addition despite the fact I was trying to find a mouse with my right hand at the same time. It just seems as second nature and it would be a cool addition of Apple gave you the option to use it in addition to the touch interface. However I understand the limitations and that the main draw for the iPad is obviously its portability.

One thing I also want to mention is how I love the fact portrait and landscape modes offer such different experiences to users and tailor to people who want different things out of their iPads as each offers advantages and disadvantages in typing and visibility.

I suggest for anyone that does a lot of web surfing or on-the-go computing to try one out, and look what the iPad really has to offer before dismissing it as another smartphone or netbook. As I’m typing right now competitors are emerging that include the infamous Samsung Galaxy, but Apple clearly set the tone in this market and brought tablet-computing on the map as an alternative to the notebook.