Four Issues With The New iPad and Their Solution

It’s been a week now since the ‘new iPad’ hit the retail stores in the United States. The early reviews of the tablet are out, and like every time, Apple has not failed to impress users and shut up its critics, even though the initial reaction of the new iPad was underwhelming.

However, the new iPad, like some of the past few product releases from Apple, has some launch issues that will be sorted out as time progresses. Below is a list of the popular problems, which owners of the new iPad are facing, right now-:

1) Hot! – So yeah, the new iPad is hot, and I mean literally. Reports have already suggested that the new iPad is up to 9.6 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the iPad 2. Apple forums are already flooded with complaints from user about the new iPad overheating.

The reason behind the new iPad overheating is the new A5X SoC, specifically the PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU, and the Retina Display. To power such a pixel-full display, Apple had to make sure that the new iPad had a very powerful GPU and the PowerVR SGX543MP4 certainly fulfills that requirement. More pixels means the GPU has to work harder thus generating more heat. The A5X SoC is quite a bit larger than A5, which is the main culprit behind the new iPad getting warm. However, a gadget getting hot, sometimes too hot to be unusable, is nothing new. The popular Galaxy S II also has a similar issue, where it would sometimes get so hot that the user actually has to wait for the phone to cool down before he could again use it.

2) Poor Wi-Fi Reception – Since the last couple of days, quite a few users are reporting that the new iPad has poor Wi-Fi reception. Compared to the iPad 2, the new iPad reports two-third of the signal strength. For some users, the new iPad will simply drop Wi-Fi networks after sometime.

The original iPad had also faced similar Wi-Fi issues, and so this is nothing to be surprised about. Hopefully, the next iOS update from Apple will fix the poor Wi-Fi reception issue on the new iPad.

3) Poor Battery Life – The new iPad sports a battery bigger than the one found in MacBook Air (2010) model. The 42.5whr battery has enough juice to power the Retina Display, the 4G LTE baseband and the quad-GPU for up to 9 hours. However, some users are reporting poor battery life with their new iPad.

Reports have confirmed that the new iPad continues charging itself for up to 1 hour after the battery indicator shows 100%, and it actually helps in increasing the battery life. Also, if you are gaming too much or watching too much video on your new iPad on YouTube via Verizon’s or AT&T LTE network, your iPad is bound to get hot and last only a few hours.

Since the battery capacity has increased tremendously, the new iPad will also take longer time to charge than its predecessors.

4) Heavier Apps – Thanks to the Retina display on the new iPad, all apps optimized for the tablet will be up to 5 times heavier than its iPad 2 version. There is not much developers or users can do about it, except for making sure that they buy a higher capacity variant of the iPad.

Frankly, I don’t think any of the above issues are really a deal breaker for the new iPad owners. New iPad owners will ultimately get used to the device heating up and the longer charging time. Apple should fix the Wi-Fi connectivity issue in the next iOS update, until and unless it’s a hardware issue.

China Now Leads World in iOS and Android Device Activations

This should come as no surprise, but China’s growing smartphone demand has continued to cause a steady rise in the mobile device sales over the past year. New data reveals that the country now has overtaken the U.S. to become the world’s largest market for iOS and Android devices activations for the first time.

Flurry iOS and Android China Activations

Today, a new study from analytics firm Flurry has revealed that in February Chinese mobile users activated more devices running the two top mobile operating systems, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. By tracking the data set of over 1 billion app sessions per day across 160,000 apps, the analytical firm was able to measure the growth rate of device activations through software usage. Flurry calculates an app session by the launch and use of a particular app.

In addition, China was also the fatest growing country in app usage as measure by app session growth. The country is the second largest app economy and saw an increase in app sessions over the past year, moving up from 7th place on a 1126 percent increase in app usage since the first quarter of 2011.

FTC Calls Out Apple For Google Being Default Service On iOS

In the US, Google is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on anti-trust charges. There’s a lot being said against Google and the company is being even considered as a monopoly. The company’s policies regarding user privacy, social and advertising have raised concerns. The FTC investigations are focusing on Google’s advertising pricing and search ranking favoritism.

In an update on the FTC investigations, Bloomberg’s Sara Forden and Jeff Bliss are reporting that Apple has been subpoenaed by the FTC for having Google as the default service for iOS features. Google and Apple have had a strained relation since the launch of Android and Apple is trying to reduce their reliance on Google. Back in 2010, Apple added Bing as a search engine option in Safari and much recently, during the launch of the new iPad, the company made its intentions clear when they showed OpenStreetMaps integration in iPhoto for iOS.

It may be possible that Apple saw the FTC investigation coming and this was a reason for switching to OpenStreetMaps. Or it is spite. Or economy.

New Apple iPad vs. iPad 2 – To Buy Or Not To Buy?

The new iPad is superior in every way to its predecessor, the iPad 2. However, is the new iPad a worthy update if you own the iPad 2?

Below are 5 areas where the new iPad  is a major improvement over the iPad 2 -:

Display – The new iPad has the same screen size as the iPad 2 at 9.7-inches. However, the biggest difference between the two is the resolution of the screen. While the new iPad has an eye-busting resolution of 2048*1536, the iPad 2 has a mere screen resolution of 1024×768. The saturation and color rendering on the new iPad screen is also up to 40% much better than the screen on the iPad 2.

iSight camera – The iPad 2 was the first iPad to come with a camera, but sadly the camera on the device was a disappointment. It took some terrible photos, but was perfect for video calling. After all, who uses a tablet to take photos? Well, iPad does not want to take any chance, and has updated the camera on the new iPad to a 5MP one, which sports the same camera technology as the one found on the iPhone 4S 8MP snapper.

Performance – The iPad 2 still is the best performing tablet out there. The PowerVR SGX543 GPU inside the iPad 2 is still an overkill for the resolution it has to push on the iPad 2. However, since the new iPad has such a big screen, Apple also increased the core count on the PowerVR SGX543 GPU to a total of four. In theory, at the same resolution, users should expect to see a 4x improvement in performance. While that might not be possible in the real world scenarios, the 4 cores inside the PowerVR SGX543 will make sure that games on the new iPad don’t struggle at such an insane resolution.

RAM – While the iPad 2 has only 512MB of RAM, the new iPad comes with 1GB of RAM. Considering the increase in resolution, apps appetite for RAM will also increase, and so it was obvious for Apple to increase the total amount of RAM on the new iPad. While the extra amount of RAM may not affect performance much in day-to-day use, it will definitely come in handy while loading big games or under heavy multi-tasking.

Connectivity – The new iPad is the first device from Apple to support the blazing fast LTE networks from Verizon and AT&T. This ensures that users can get a download speed of up to a whopping 72Mbps per second! In contrast to this, the iPad 2 comes with support for only the 3G networks, with a maximum download speed of up to 14.4Mbps.

It is clearly visible from the above five points, that the new iPad trumps the iPad 2 in every possible way. However, if you own an iPad 2, should you really upgrade to the new iPad? In my opinion, while the new iPad comes with some major changes including a beautiful display, I don’t think there is any need for iPad 2 owners to update to the new iPad. The iPad 2 is by no means outdated, and still offers more than decent performance.

If you own an original iPad though, its time for you to update though! The original iPad is now more than 2 years old now, and has reached the end of its life. If you are a graphic designer, and use your iPad for some graphic designing purpose though, I’d recommend you to buy the new iPad though. The difference in resolution will be greatly appreciated by all the graphic designers.

Finally, if you still don’t own a tablet, the iPad 2 for $399 is an awesome bargain for a tablet. Go get it now!


iPhoto for iOS, Updates for iMovie and Garageband Now Available on App Store

With the introduction of the new iPad, Apple also introduced iPhoto for iOS, which will be available from today itself. iPhoto for iOS offers a wide choice of photo editing and comparison features, including auto-enhancements such as straightening photos and fixing contrast. Brush palettes offer a number of editing tools including red-eye removal, lighten, sharpen, soften, and darken. iPhoto can handle images up to 19 megapixels.

With iPhoto for iOS, Apple brings Multi-Touch to photography in a breakthrough way. Browse, edit, and share your photos from your iPad or iPhone, like never before – all the powerful tools you need are at your fingertips. And with iCloud, you can share your experiences as stunning photo journals.

Use simple gestures to quickly sort through photos and find your best shots. A powerful set of Multi-Touch tools helps you perfect color and exposure, crop, straighten, and retouch images. Enhance pictures by adding beautiful, Apple-designed effects with just a tap. Or use fingertip brushes to apply adjustments exactly where you want them. In addition to posting photos to Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter, you can beam photos between your iPhone and iPad, stream photos and slideshows to your Apple TV with AirPlay, and use iCloud to publish photo journals to the web to share your stories with friends and family in a whole new way.

The company has kept its promise, and now iPhoto is available for purchase.  The app costs $4.99 and is available via the App Store for purchase. [Direct Link] In addition, iMovie and GarageBand have also been updated, and are a free upgrade for current owners.


iOS 5.1 IPSW Direct Download Links

Along with the ‘new iPad‘, Apple has also released iOS 5.1 to iDevice owners. This new version of iOS brings with it quite a few changes, bug fixes and new features. The most important change in the new version is that Siri now officially supports Japanese language. Secondly, users can also delete photos from their Photo Stream.

Other changes include a permanent camera shortcut icon on the lockscreen, battery life improvements, and more. Below the the full change-log of the update -:

  • Japanese language support for Siri
  • Photos can now be deleted from Photo Stream
  • Camera shortcut now always visible on Lock screen for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch (4th generation)
  • Camera face detection now highlights all detected faces
  • Redesigned Camera app for iPad
  • Genius Mixes and Genius Playlists for iTunes Match Subscribers
  • Audio for TV shows and movies on iPad optimized to sound louder and clearer
  • Updated AT&T network indicator
  • Address bugs affecting battery life
  • Fixes an issue that occasionally caused audio to drop for outgoing calls.
The iOS 5.1 update is available for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and the iPhone 3GS, along with the 2nd and 1st generation iPad. Owners of iPod Touch 3G and 4G can also download the update for free from iTunes. Alternatively, iDevice owners can manually update their device to iOS 5.1 by downloading and installing the IPSW file.
The iOS 5.1 IPSW file for the iPhone 4S can be downloaded from here, while the IPSW file for the iPhone 4 can be downloaded from here (GSM) and here (CDMA/Verizon). The IPSW files for iPod Touch 3G and 4G can be downloaded from here and here, respectively. iPad 2 Wi-Fi model owners can download the latest version of iOS 5.1 from here, while 3G+Wi-Fi model owners should click here (GSM) or here (CDMA).

Apple Unveils The Next-Generation iPad; Retina Display, 5MP Camera, A5X SoC and More!

After months of rumors, Apple finally unveiled the next-generation iPad…the new iPad (!). No, it’s not known as the iPad HD or the iPad 2S as rumors were suggesting.

Physically, the new iPad looks similar to the iPad 2 except that it’s a bit thicker (9.4mm) and slightly heavier (1.4lbs) and that’s about it. While the screen size of the new iPad remains the same as its predecessor at 9.7-inches, the resolution of the display has been bumped to a whopping…. 2048×1536 pixels. Yes, that means the new iPad is the first tablet in this world to feature a Retina Display! Heck I never thought a 9.7-inch display panel with such a high-resolution even existed. Such a high-resolution means that the iPad has a whopping 3.1 million pixels, which is a million pixels more than a 1080p HDTV. Also, the Home button is still present on the iPad 3. So yeah, all you Home button haters on iOS devices, your dream of a Home (less) iPad needs to wait until the iPad 4.

Internally, the iPad comes with an A5X SoC, which consists of a “quad-core graphics”. I am assuming the number of cores of the PowerVR SGX543 GPU, which was used in the iPad 2, has been bumped to 4 to make it a “quad-core graphics”. Apple did not really mention whether the A5X uses a dual or quad core Cortex-A9 or A15 processor.

With the new iPad, Apple also improved the camera on the back of the tablet tremendously. The new 5MP backside-illuminated camera uses the same technology as the 8MP snapper on the iPhone 4S, including a 5-element lens, IR filter and a custom ISP from Apple itself. The new ‘iSight’ camera also features Face Detection, Autofocus, White Balance, 1080p HD video recording, video stabilization, and temporal noise reduction.

Sadly, the ‘next-gen’ iPad does not feature Siri. However, it does come with voice dictation, which will definitely make typing on the tablet a hell lot easier. The 3rd generation iPad also supports the blazing fast 4G LTE network, along with support for 21Mbps HSPA+ networks. In the U.S, the iPad will support AT&T’s as well as Verizon’s LTE networks. Apple has also tied up with Bell, Telus and Rogers for LTE variants of the iPad for the rest of the world where LTE is available. While there will be a separate version of the LTE variant of the iPad for AT&T and Verizon, the 3G variant is capable of global roaming.

Regarding battery life, the ‘next-generation’ iPad will have the same battery life as the iPad 2. The 4G LTE version will have 9 hours of battery life though. As with the iPad 1 and 2, the price points still remain the same. The 16GB Wi-Fi variant will cost $499, while the 32GB and 64GB will cost $599 and $699. The Wi-Fi + 4G variant will cost $629, $729 and $829 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variant respectively.

While the pre-orders for the next-generation iPad begin from today itself, the tablet will hit the retail stores on 16th March.


Next-Generation Apple TV Announced!

While everyone was waiting for Apple to announce the next-generation iPad, the company announced the third generation Apple TV. The new Apple TV comes with a “streamlined new user interface” with a gorgeous 1080p UI. Unlike the 2nd gen, the Apple TV is also able to play back Full HD (1080p) videos.

Internally, the 3rd gen Apple TV is powered by the same A5 SoC, which powers the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2. The new UI makes it easier to browse and install apps. Other notable features include the ability to recommend movies based on what you have already seen, overall faster browsing experience and others.

The next-generation Apple TV will hit the retail stores on March 16th, and will be available for only $99. Pre-orders for the device begin from today itself!


How To Catch up iPad 3/iPad HD Event Online

In around 6-8 hours, depending on your time zone, Apple will announce the best tablet out there, iPad 3 or as the latest rumors have been calling it, the iPad HD.

The iPad 3/iPad HD is the first ever product that Apple is going to announce after the legendary Steve Jobs passed away. While the iPad is still the undisputed leader in the tablet market, the iPad 3 along with the next version of iOS have a very strong contender coming their way, Microsoft’s Windows 8.

Early reviews of Windows 8 suggests that the next major version of Windows might not be suited for PCs, but is perfect for tablets and other touch-screen operated PCs. The Metro UI does an excellent job of showing all the important info to the user by just glancing at the screen once, and the UI looks stellar and is touch-friendly as well.

The iPad 3/iPad HD is undoubtedly going to be the best performing tablet out there when Apple releases it. It will absolutely smoke all the Android tablets in performance, including the Asus Transformer Prime. The Retina Display screen will make users forget all the Super-AMOLED goodness they have been hearing from Samsung nowadays.

So yeah, chances are you must have become excited about the third-generation iPad by now. Apple will be announcing the iPad 3 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco at 10AM PST tonight. Sadly, until now Apple has only streamed one of their product launches online. This means that Apple won’t be streaming the iPad 3 event online, so if you are not present at the event physically, you are out luck…not!

Readers might be able to watch the live-stream from here. An audio stream might also be available from here. Alternatively, if the live-stream links don’t work then users can resort to following the live blogs of The Verge, gdgt and Mac Rumors.

Safari User Sues Google over Claimed Privacy Violation

Last week, it was reported by The Wall Street Journal  that Google had used code that allowed them to bypass the standard Safari privacy settings, which then allowed them to insert advertising cookies on an affected device. Did somebody say evil? Now, Bloomberg reports that a user of Apple’s Safari, the default web browser of every Mac and iOS device, is suing Google Inc. after their sneaky tactics were revealed.

Attorneys for Matthew Soble filed the complaint on Tuesday in Delaware’s federal court and are seeking class-action status for the suit which suggests that Google bypassed certain Safari privacy settings in order to track users’ web habits. Apple’s Safari browser is set by default to blocks cookies or small bits of code to identify users when they return to a previously visited site. In the past, Apple has been criticized for not caring about their customers’ privacy, but this is just further evidence that they do. While on the other hand, Google tracks Android users without them knowing.

Google, the hypocrites, have denied this by stating that: “The Journal mischaracterizes what happened and why. We used known Safari functionality to provide features that signed-in Google users had enabled. It’s important to stress that these advertising cookies do not collect personal information.” Give me a break! If this were true, that would justify the number of times Google has been caught doing something wrong in the past year, right? In fact, just after being contacted by WSJ, Google disabled the code and later removed information from a company site. Yup, doesn’t sound fishy to me at all. “Don’t be evil” indeed.