Tag: ipad 2

Is this the first iPad 2 to climb a volcano?

Thanks to a well-stocked campus Apple Store and quite a lot of driving around, I ended iPad 2 launch day with a shiny new tablet in hand. I didn’t have time to start on my review immediately though, because my flight to Guatemala was only a few hours away. So the iPad ended up shoved in the bottom of my backpack as I made my way through security lines and customs stations and, finally, to the streets of Guatemala City.

The wing of our plane, twisted up courtesy of Photobooth

The wing of our plane, twisted up courtesy of Photobooth.

I took a bus from there to the nearby city of Antigua. It’s a strange town – filled with nice ex-pat bars and fancy restaurants on one street and houses made of tin sheeting and crumbling brick on the next. Antigua was my base to explore rural Guatemala and, eventually, the top of an active volcano. My iPad 2 came along for every step of the journey.

A new friend uses the iPad 2 to check her email in an Antiguan coffee shop

A new friend uses the iPad 2 to check her email in an Antiguan coffee shop.

Unreliable hotel WiFi is just one of those things you put up with in a country still recovering from a 26-year civil war. Every morning, I’d flit into a nearby cafe to eat my breakfast and take care of my morning work. The place was always filled with ex-pats and missionaries working in the outlying villages. Within a few short mornings, my iPad 2 was the “go to” email machine for all of my new friends.

But it wasn’t until I travelled to the sleepy town of San Lorenzo that my new iPad was really put through its paces. Five minutes of tooling around on GarageBand was enough to convince me that the iPad 2 was the perfect device to keep a gaggle of little kids entertained. A local youth mission was only too eager to help me test that theory out.

There weren’t many kids hanging around when I first arrived, but I quickly found one little girl with a Hannah Montana t-shirt who was eager to play. I took her apparel as a sign that she wouldn’t be offended by my complete lack of musical talent.

iPad 2 is easy

It took me about three minutes, total, to run her through all the basics on the app. How to switch instruments, how to play, how to set up the drums. By the time my demo was over, she was all but an expert. Despite the fact that she’d probably never seen a touchscreen before that afternoon, my little friend was running her own demos within the hour.

Already an expert on the iPad 2

Before long, it was time for me to head out and get some table-building done. But I didn’t want to deprive my Guatemalan homies of their new toy before it was absolutely necessary. Thankfully, my good friend Magenta (who saw Rocky Horror for the first time that week) was there to take over. After a little more GarageBand, she decided it was time to fire up Photobooth.

The kids didn't know what to make of that one at first
The kids weren’t quite sure what to make of that one, at first.

Magenta showed them how to use it - and they loved it

But then Magenta showed them how to warp the faces of their friends into weird, twisty blobs. They loved it.

If I’d had more time there, I’d have pulled out a Family Guy DVD to test my new theory on the convergent amusement trends of poor children in the third world and stoned college students.

The iPad 2's kaleidoscope view was a crowd-pleaser

The kaleidoscope view was a big crowd-pleaser too. If I hadn’t had a volcano to climb, I’m sure they would have drained the battery and giggled the whole way.

Kaleidoscope feature still a big crowd pleaser with Guetemala kids

The Volcano.

This is a picture of the Pacaya volcano, 8,373 feet high, erupting in 1976.

The Pacaya volcano, 8,373 feet high, erupting in 1976

We arrived a little less than a year after the most recent catastrophic eruption, and things were peaceful. The ground was covered in a thick layer of marble-sized volcanic rock. Once we hit clouds, the whole world got real moist. I worried a little about the iPad, nestled (perhaps unwisely) in the very top of my pack.

On top of a volcano with an iPad 2 in a backpack

But I needn’t have. The iPad functioned perfectly well when we hit base camp. Magenta stuck it into her giant adventure purse, and we set out with our Ox Guides to roast marshmallows on the tip of a volcano. I’d been expecting a giant rent filled with lava. Reality was somewhat less colorful.

The last eruption pulled open a tiny scar on Pacaya’s tip. Raw, boiling geothermal heat radiated out from it. If you got closer than about a foot, it was hot enough to singe your eyebrows. Marshmallows cooked in seconds, no flame required. To help with the lighting, we tossed some sticks in. They ignited, providing me with yet another Photobooth opportunity.

Roasting marshmallows on top of a volcano

Kaleidoscope roasted marshmallows

There was also a giant heated cave nearby. At the top was a great vent, bleeding intense heat out into the sauna-like room.

A giant heated cave nearby

As I fiddled about, Magenta snapped this picture of the world’s first iPad 2 to reach the top of a volcano. That’s just my assumption. Maybe Apple really does get crazy with the stress tests.

The first iPad 2 on top of a volcano!

The iPad 2 is pretty darn resilient. I wasn’t reckless with it, but I also didn’t hesitate to toss it into a backpack and toss that backpack into the bed of a ratty old F-150 for a harrowing ride through poorly maintained mountain roads. If it handled all the moisture of Pacaya, plus being sat on for close to an hour by a nameless member of my tour group. I didn’t even have a smart cover to protect the display.

Apple made this thing right. I’m frustrated by several aspects of iOS– the lack of widgets is annoying to a long-time Android user, and being forced to go through iTunes to add in media sucks. I’m considering a jailbreak. The iPad doesn’t do as much as I’d like, but it does what it is built for exceptionally well.

The iPad runs smoother, provides a more enjoyable browsing experience and offers a superior volume and quality of entertainment content to every rival I’ve tried. And, between CES and MWC, I’ve tried nearly all of them. I’m sure Motorola’s Xoom or HP’s TouchPad could both have survived my trip around Guatemala. I doubt either of them could have kept a room full of hyperactive village kids entertained for hours on end.

For more of my Guatemalan iPad 2 adventures go here.

The view from the hotel roof, slightly modified
The view from my hotel roof… slightly modified.

Apple put components on a diet to keep the iPad 2 thin

Apple is well received for its intracacies in design, and it appears it tinkered with the components of the iPad 2 to fix the arguably unwieldy first generation’s weight and size.

The total thickness of the iPad 2 is just 8.8 millimetres, slashing 34 percent from the 12.4 mm thickness of the original. It also weighs in at 600 grams, lighter than it’s fatter, older brother by 15 percent at 700 grams.

The way Apple managed it, according to IHS iSuppli, was by cutting down on dimensions of the components that make it tick. 

The iPad 2’s battery subsystem thickness was reduced 59 percent from 6.1mm for the iPad 1 to just 2.5mm. It’s a “major shift,” according to IHS iSuppli. Apple trimmed the battery by moving from two thick cells into three thinner variations, which flattened the structure of the battery. It also let Apple rubbish a comparably bulky injection-molded plastic support frame. It’s the most significant redesign which also shrank the weight of the iPad 2 by 5 grams, but maintaining the same battery lifetime.

Noticeably, Apple got rid of a stamped sheet metal frame from the display which cut thickness from 3 mm to 2.5 mm – down 17 percent. It also used a cutting edge glass technology that thins the overlay from 0.8mm to 0.6mm for the iPad 2.

There’s suspicion from analysts that the new durable glass came from Asahi Glass Co., which peddles its recently released Dragontail Glass technology rather than huge cans of Japanese beer. It is more flexible and way more durable. 

Apple will take most touchscreen shipments in 2011

Touchscreens produced for tablets are expected to reach shipments of 60 million units this year, with no prizes for guessing which company will account for the lion’s share.

However the proportion of screens destined for non-Apple tablet PCs is set to increase, with the iPad market dominance likely to subside over time up until 2016 according to DisplaySearch analysis, when the total shipped units could reach 260 million, representing an increase of 333 percent.

According to  Jennifer Colegrove, Vice President of Emerging Display Technologies for DisplaySearch, tablets are the “fastest growing application for touchscreens” – with most tablets leveraging “multi-touch projected capacitive technology” like Apple.

She also points out that some manufacturers are using resistive touch, due to the ability to enable handwriting recognition and its lower price.

Apple’s own iPad 2 was subject to a teardown recently, with its touchscreen costing an estimated $127 according to IHS iSuppli, up from $95 for its previous incarnation.

The way that the supply chain is evolving is said to vary between different regions of production, with Taiwanese suppliers focusing on the overall value chain while expanding their manufacturing capacity for the touch panels.

At the same time Japanese suppliers have struggled to grow due to the strength of the yen over foreign currencies.

Over 10 different structures are in use for projected capacitive touch screens at the moment, due to the different IP and manufacturing strengths and weakness of each supplier.

According to Colgrove it is the suppliers which are able to utlilise simpler structures, alongside fewer materials and processes, that are in a good position to make a push ahead in the market.

DisplaySearch also noted that the the market for touchscreens is continuing to expand into other areas with a large number of firms utilising the technology in a variety of interesting ways.

At CES this year there was a deluge of tablets from all the usual suspects, and there are increasingly more desktops and laptops that utilise the technology in interesting ways that should mean the continued increase of touchscreens.

One example is the reclining display HP all-in-one PC, which is able to tilt back by 60 degrees to allow easier access to the touch screen, something which has so far hindered the usefulness of touchscreens in the desktop environment.

The Dell Inspiron Duo is able to switch to a netbook to a tablet swiftly, offering another way in which the technology can be implemented.


iPad 2 bill of materials revealed at $326.60

The bill of materials (BOM) for the iPad 2 has been revealed, with the second generation tablet managing to keep costs close to that of its predecessor, and coming at under the cost of competing Android tablet, the Motorola Xoom.

According to the breakdown by IHS iSuppli, the NAND flash memory version of the iPad 2 with GSM/HSPA has a total cost of $326.60, while the CDMA version has a BOM of $323.25, which compares rather favourably to the $320 estimated costs for Apple’s first tablet, with the small rise helping create the slim profile of the new offering.

Even with manufacturing cost included, rising to $336.60 and $333.25 for the GSM/HSPA and CDMA version respectively, the costs have not moved significantly – largely due to changes being tweaks to existing hardware, with component and vendor selection similar to the iPad 1.

Meanwhile the Xoom is thought to have cost $359.92 according to a similar teardown by IHS iSuppli recently.

“Despite the obvious changes to iPad like the enclosure and the battery, and the less obvious changes in the touch screen, the iPad 2’s components and design are remarkably similar if not the same as those of the iPad 1,” said Andrew Rassweiler senior director and principal analyst and teardown services manager for IHS iSuppli.

“The iPad 1 and iPad 2 use the same components and suppliers for the NAND flash, the multi-touch controllers and touch screen drivers, as well as the same core chip in the wireless section as was found in the iPhone 4.

“Many of the other components—including the apps processor and the Bluetooth/frequency/global positioning system/wireless local area network chips—have the same suppliers and are essentially new revisions of the chips found in the previous iPad and other iPhones.”

One of the areas which has seen costs rise is with the touchscreen, though the LG display has remained the same.

The touchscreen is now thought to cost $127, a leap from the $95 for the orginal iPad according to the results of the teardown, which is mainly attributable to low production yields throughout 2010 – meaning higher prices.

The more slimline Gorilla glass cover has pushed costs up, as well more expensive glue being used with greater detail now demanded in the touchscreen inspection process.

The cost of the new A5 processor is another notable area where costs have risen, with the more powerful processor bumping the price up by 75 percent, though it is expected that this will fall significantly over the next year as production ramps up.

Camera costs were not highlighted however.

The improvements seen with the battery have also added to the increase in material costs, with the new  $25 ultrathin three cell version offering improved performance over the $21 two cell battery powering the iPad 1.

Ye Booke of Arm

Book of ARM  - TechEye Bible Reading


Book of Arm In which the children of Tudor Brown wonder what he is playing at 1. And it came to pass that there was a wandering tribe of chip designers born of the deserts of Arm. They rejected enclosed structures and liketh the Fab not. 2. And the Arminites had for their King a person called Tudor Brown for he hadeth the most splendid name amongst them. 3. And all was well among the Arminites for the great Messiah Steve Jobs did pay them well to provide him with ideas for mobile chips, which he had no idea about, even unto the faintest clue. 4. And as the Children of Jobs did rise into the mobile market, so did the Arminites make piles of dosh, which had to be stored in tents, because the Arminites trusted not the bricks and mortar. 5. But Tudor Brown was perplexed for he had consulted his balls of crystal and liketh not the hairy future he saw for the Arminites. 6. “I trusteth not these tablets created by the Children of Apple. For is it not early days of the technology? Tomorrow people might be back into hula hoops or something else faddish.” 7. But the people listened unto him not. For they believed that their time had come. They told him to look unto the Kings of the East, were they not attempting to copy the Children of Apple? Would they not partake of the Arminite chips also? 8. So King Tudor Brown did negotiate with the Kings of the East and they too did decide to build tablets that were remarkably like unto the tablets of Jobs. They too decided to partake of the Arminite chips. 9. And the Arminites did dance and sing for had not the whole world moved to tablets which did run on the Chips of Arm? 10. But Tudor Brown was still not certain. He still feared the tribe of In-Tel who did dominate the world with their ex-eht-Six chip. His balls of Crystal did show him that if his children did not smite In-Tel and the Kings of the East failed to smite Steve Jobs then there would be lean times for the Arminites. 11. But the Arminites laughed and lived off the fat of the land. It was a time of plenty and they sat on huge piles of money. 12. But lo it came to pass as Tudor Brown foretold. The Kings of the East could not organise a piss up even unto a Brewery. They fought the Children of Apple by trying to charge even more, or released tablets which were even less useful than those of Jobs. 13. And people did look at the Arminites and wonder, why do we value these people so highly? Why do they sit on these mountains of Gold? 14. And the value of the Arminites fell, even as Lucifer fell from heaven. And the Arminites did wail and gnash their teeth. 15. And Brown did say unto them: “Trust not the tablets of Apple, nor the tablets of the Kings of the East for these are like a mirage unto the desert. We must look unto the clouds which riseth. We must ally with the People of Redmond and King Ballmer, so that we may go onto better things. 16. And the people did shrug and say that it was a better plan than relying on the Kings of the East.

iPad 5 out 2nd April, 2011

Fans of Jobs’ Mob’s luxury consumer electronics would be wise to save their pennies. According to documents leaked to TechEye by trusted sources, Apple’s iPad 5 will be out this April.

While the iPad 2 has only just been announced, some are warning that the iPad 3 will be on release this Autumn. Details are, of course, thin – but there’s a chance the iPad 3 will be a slightly lower-priced model to cater to further markets. Those familiar with Apple product life cycles also recommend waiting the standard two days before upgrading.

But a roadmap we have seen says that the iPad 5 is going to be hitting all Apple Stores on the 2nd April, this year.

According to a prototype that we paid £1,000,000 for in the Dog and Piddle, Soho, it will be 7/8ths as thin as the iPad 2 and as small as a matchbox.

It’ll have 19 front facing cameras and operate in what is codenamed Super HD. The screen, about the size of an ogre’s thumb nail, will revolutionise the way we view tablet computing: using your iMonocle from the Apple Store to enhance and enlarge the crystal clear iPad 5 screen. Users can extend their typing range by attaching, by sellotape, iPins to the end of their fingers – for incredibly accurate typing.

Each letter appearing on the iPad 5’s on-screen keyboard will be accurate to the point of a nanometre, but we’re told five iPins will be included and you can purchase more from any Apple Store.

The device will run iOS v.20.6 and, like Lion, will implement game-changing technologies such as “auto-save”. 

Speaking to TechEye, an Apple spokesperson said: “This is our most beautiful, magical device yet. It is beautiful to see every single Apple announcement push legitimate news stories from the front pages of national newspapers with a global reach.

“And it is really magical that people keep taking out loans to pay for shiny rectangles that we manufacture for a penny with our trusted partners in Shenzhen, China.”

Motorola landed with Xoom tablet lawsuit on release

Motorola has been hit with a lawsuit over the use of the Xoom name just as it releases the much-awaited tablet today, with the firm in real danger of having to change the device’s branding.

A lawsuit was filed yesterday over the Android-based tablet at the US District Court of North Carolina on behalf of online payment company Xoom Corporation asking that Motorola cease from using the name with a permanent injunction as well as a “temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction”.

This is well and truly a spanner in the works for Motorola on the day that it releases its iPad rival, with attention likely to be attracted for all the wrong reasons.

However why this wasn’t dealt with before is unclear, particularly since Xoom Corporation is a  reasonably well established company that has been trading for a number of years, meaning that it is hard to fathom quite why Motorola would have ignored the matter.

According to Florian Mueller’s FOSSPatents blog, Motorola’s alleged trademark infringement is described as “willful and intentional conduct” for which Xoom Corporation believes to be entitled to “treble damages”.

It is believed that the firm has been operating using the Xoom moniker since 2003, with a trademark registration filed a year later, while Motorola filed its own trademark last October.

Matters are made worse by the fact that as Xoom appears to be a relatively well known company and is perhaps not just attempting to make some quick cash off the back of Motorola device.

In recent rounds of investment between 2007 and 2010 the firm received $53 million of venture capital from large venture funds which, coupled with the fact that high profile lawyers Morgan, Lewis and Bockius will be fighting the case, shows how serious the lawsuit is.

Furthermore, as Florian points out, while there is another small Texan brand operating under the name Xoom to sell office supplies, Xoom Corp are engaged in online transactions, so it would be quite possible that tablet could be used to perform transactions via Xoom Corp.

Although the outcome of the case is far from decided, it is certainly an unwelcome distraction for Motorola when it would rather be focusing on the launch of it Honeycomb based tablet especially with the general excitement and retail sources reporting optimism over sales, according to Digitimes.

And with features that are mainly surpass the original iPad and seek to preempt what the second generation Apple tablet might bring to the tablet 10.1-inch the Xoom is well placed for an otherwise successful launch.

Though consumers are likely to feel the sting with Motorola’s tab initially retailing at around $800, as compared to $499 for an entry level Apple product, with an iPad beating screen HD resolution of 128 by 800, 2 megapixel front-facing camera and Flash player at least on its way the Xoom appears to be a competent rival to first gen iPad at least.

The Motorola device also comes with 32GB of memory though there is a card slot that will allow an upgrade, with battery life claimed to be around the 10 hour mark for video playback.

iPad 2 production delay gives Android 3.0 window of opportunity

The next generation iPad, creatively named the iPad 2 by the keen press, could be delayed to June this year because Foxconn’s suffering from “production bottlenecks” according to analysts at Yuanta Securities.

Apple altered the design just before the Lunar New Year, says Yuanta, though Apple is taking its normal line and refusing to comment at all. Hon Hai / Foxconn has not responded, either. Vincent Chen, analyst at Yuanta, is quoted in the Taipei Times as saying problems are “being encountered with the new production and it is taking time to resolve them.”

Chen suggests that the delay could give Android 3.0 tablets the upper hand, as some are being released in April and May. “The delay in iPad 2 shipments may give the Android camp a brief window of opportunity,” he said.

The report says a two month delay could deflate overall shipments from 30.6 million to 23 million units this year. Meanwhile, shares at Hon Hai sank to their lowest point since last December, 2.2 percent to NT $111.50, or US $3.8, at the close of Taipei trading. 

Expect Skype support for the iPad 2

If the iPad 2 has a camera and it almost definitely has, then we’re going to see it supported by Skype. And Skype executives told me in Barcelona that it will support Research in Motion’s tablet, too.

Skype is in a good position with the competition too. One senior executive said: “I think when youre looking at other enterprise solutions they’re costly, Telepresence for example. At peak [times] we have 28 million people on line. The execs talked over a number of themes including fraud, and admitted that Skype should have addressed this problem quicker and better. A few weeks ago, we reported difficulties one of our reporters had when his Skype account was fraudulently attacked.

“I know that as a company, it’s a huge priority, and [we’re]  investing a ton to extending support staff, and putting in place 24 hour response times. and success with decreasing response time. It  [security[ is a huge priority. and we have raised a big flag on this,” the executive said.
He added that Skype was going to offer more options where people can pay a subscription and with the group calling you get live chat – with support. But, he said, if  you want good support you must pay a fee.

Skype does not have any inside knowledge about the iPad 2, he said, but is determined to support a broad array of tablets – that is a company priority.

Skype is making deals with operators all over the world, especially in emerging markets. It has a new programme to put a thin Skype client on whatever phone they like,  and use less data and less bandwidth. The company is also working with the United Nations and created a light Skype client that does very basic IM and messaging for refugees and for poor people in rural areas.

Apple’s iPad 2 moves closer to release

A report said that Apple’s iPad 2 is currently in production and could be with an expectant world within the next two months.

Apple’s favourite supplier, Foxconn/Hon Hai, will be building the iPad 2 according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which quotes sources familiar with the matter.

Apple will enter an unholy alliance with Verizon Wireless and AT&T to provide those essential services these companies do.

The WSJ said that there’s no information yet on pricing o the iPad 2, but it will have a camera, will use a better graphics chip than iPad 1, and be thinner and include a camera.

You can find the report here (subscription required).