Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

iPad or Android tablet?

Monday, September 1st, 2014

If you’re looking to get a tablet, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is choosing an iPad or an Android tablet. While the iPad was the only real choice several years ago, nowadays both the iPad and Android tablets have evolved considerably. In this article, we’ll show you the strengths and weaknesses of each platform – as well as a few recommendations on the best iPads or Android tablets to buy. Let’s get started!

iPad: Strengths

  • Largest range of accessories and apps
  • Easy to use
  • Well designed, inside and out

So – the iPad. It’s the quintessential tablet, and its popularity is one of its greatest strengths. It means you’ll find a wide range of iPad accessories, from iPad cases and covers to chargers, screen protectors and stands. You can find accessories to fit pretty much every need and every style. With only two models – iPad Mini and iPad Air – to be released recently, an entire industry can work easily to support them.

The same popularity also makes the iPad the biggest target for app developers, allowing them to finetune their apps to suit the iPad and make the very best use of its screen and capabilities. That translates into better apps, and more of them.

Apple have always tried to make their products easy to use, and that continues with the iPad. The Apple tablet is simple in places, but that ensures that there’s little that you quickly won’t learn how to do. Even complex tasks like cloud printing are presented well, making it easy to get things set up properly.

Finally, the iPad is well designed, with powerful hardware and a stylish look. The tablet’s processor and GPU are regularly listed among the best in the business, and the battery life of the tablet is considerable too. The iPad is also good looking, with a slim metal design that feels solid and dependable in your hands. The most important strength of the iPad is its display though, which is generally pixel-dense, bright and well-calibrated. 

iPad: Weaknesses

  • Little customisation
  • More expensive

Of course, there are downsides to Apple’s approach. The simplicity they have wrought means that more advanced controls are hidden or not present at all, leaving the operating system far less customisable than its peers. Apple’s tight control of their app store also allows them to remove apps they find objectionable, particularly those on questionable moral or legal ground.

The iPad’s premium materials and hardware command a premium price, making the iPad more expensive than similarly equipped Android tablets. Additional storage is also costly, with a 32GB model costing £80 more than the 16GB option – and there’s no option to add more storage with a microSD card later.

iPad: Recommended tablets

If you’re looking to pick up an iPad, there are only two real models to choose between: the iPad Mini with Retina Display and the iPad Air. The iPad Mini has a gorgeous 7.9-inch display, while the Air moves to 10.1-inches. Both tablets are well crafted out of aluminium, and boast good battery lives in addition to their well-tuned screens. The iPad Mini is the better choice for portable use (with one hand), while the iPad Air makes a better tablet for keeping at home (with two hands).

Android: Strengths

  • Wide range of tablets to suit any need (including low price)
  • Deep customisation possible

The strength of the Android operating system for tablets is breadth and depth. In almost any attribute you can name – dimensions, speed, capabilities, camera, price - there will be tablets that hit every point on the range. Sony produce a range of powerful, waterproof tablets with good cameras. Samsung opt for slim workhorses, many with styluses built in. Amazon have a range of high-performance tablets, tied into their own ecosystem, for a low price. These are just the tip of the iceberg; with sufficient time you should be able to find an Android tablet to fit any requirements.

You also have a lot of choice with an Android tablet after you’ve purchased it. It’s possible to buy microSD cards which will extend your available storage cheaply, and there are a decent range of other tablet accessories available too. While there aren’t as many third-party accessories available as there are for the iPad, that means tablet makers like Samsung and Motorola often produce an excellent first-party range.

Customisability is another advantage with Android. It’s often possible to make deeper changes than on iOS, and there’s also the option to install a new variant of the Android operating system (like CyanogenMod) that will allow you even greater control. There are very few questions you can ask that start “Can I…” that end “No.”

The final advantage to Android is often price. Google and Amazon are well known for their low-cost tablets that still deliver an excellent experience with good hardware; their content-first strategies mean that they’re willing to sell tablets at a loss so you use their stores for apps, music, videos and books.

Android: Weaknesses

  • Some Android tablets are poorly designed inside and out
  • Less apps truly optimised for tablets

As we saw with the iPad, there’s a definite trade-off between simplicity and customisability. The average Android tablet errs towards customisability, which can be overwhelming.

There’s also a high amount of variability when it comes to the design of Android tablets, in terms of both software and hardware. Many Android tablets – including barebones Android found on the Nexus series – are well designed and look good, but there are also many tablets saddled with confusing interfaces, poor designs and underpowered hardware.

The final bugbear for Android is that of apps. You’ll find some great tablet apps, but lazily designed, stretched out mobile phone apps are still relatively common. The large range of Android devices also makes it harder for developers to optimise their apps, so you may find you’re arbitrarily unable to install apps if you aren’t using a well-known device.

Android: Recommended tablets

Google make some of the best Android tablets, which come with a clean version of Android, good hardware and an aggressive point. The most recent release, the Nexus 7, is a great choice with a sharp 7-inch display, good battery life and a simple, durable outward design.

Samsung are the biggest sellers of Android tablets, thanks to a massive range of models, a host of software additions to stock Android and slim designs. The Tab S 10.5-inch tablet is the most recent, and offers a good battery life, a bright and beautiful screen, and a slim chassis.

Sony operate at the highest end of the Android market, with top-notch screens and cameras and stylish waterproof bodies. The Xperia Z2 Tablet is a good example of their approach, with a squared-off waterproof body, good screen and relatively untouched version of Android on board.

Signing off

Thanks for checking out the article – we hope it made it easier for you to choose an Android or iOS tablet! If you have any questions or comments, then please leave them below or speak to us on Twitter @mobilefun.

Top 10 addictive iPhone and iPad games 2014

Monday, August 11th, 2014

In this article, we’ll share ten of the most fun and addictive iOS games for the iPhone and iPad in 2014. Take a look!

1. Hearthstone: Heroes of WarCraft

Blizzard are well known for creating addictive game franchises, from World of WarCraft, to StarCraft, to Diablo. Their latest is a (digital) collectible card game called Hearthstone, which vaguely resembles Magic: the Gathering. Like that game, it’s incredibly deep, with satisfying strategic battles against AIs and online opponents, but here you don’t have to pay a penny for the pleasure.

2. Monument Valley

Monument Valley is probably the most beautiful game on iOS right now, with a brilliant style inspired by the drawings of M.C. Escher. Each level is an impossible puzzle with its own rules, and discovering them is an absolute joy.

3. Walking Dead: The Game

Telltale are the best in the business at creating point-and-click adventure games, and The Walking Dead is one of their best efforts. The game is set in the same world as the TV show, but with a different cast of characters. There are puzzles to solve here, but the biggest challenge is making tough decisions under stress with long-reaching consequences. Each episode is punctuated with a few of these really big choices, and your decision will stay with you for some time afterwards – particularly if things don’t go to plan.

4. Micromon

Micromon is a Pokémon clone, with the same familiar formula of capturing, training and battling. The game is currently #1 on the App Store with a 4.5/5 rating. While the game doesn’t have the depth or the polish that Pokémon is famous for, it’s still one of the best creature-hunting games created for Apple devices.

5. Hitman GO

Hitman GO is a surprisingly good strategy adaption of the assassination-focussed Hitman series. You take turns positioning your hitman, making your hit through stealth or outright bloodshed. The game’s simple rules are extended through the layout and equipment found in each level, and it becomes increasingly challenging to complete each objective as the game progresses. The game has cool “scale model style” graphics too, like you’re playing with a board game.

6. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood

In this game, you attempt to become a major celebrity through fashion, dating, modelling and other such things. While this game looks like it ought to be awful, it’s surprisingly well constructed. Two words of warning, though: in-app purchases. Progressing in the game without spending real money gets increasingly difficult, and the game is making millions of dollars. Don’t get sucked in.

7. Godus

Godus is the latest god game from Peter Molyneux, who created Black & White back in the day. As the name suggests, you act as a god for a growing group of followers, sculpting the landscape, influencing nature and setting an example for your people. The game looks quite beautiful, and developers 22cans have promised more powers to come.

8. Minecraft – Pocket Edition

Minecraft is a leviathan in the gaming world, where players build the most fantastic contraptions from harvested wood, stone and metal. The Pocket Edition is a faithful recreation of the full experience you’ll find on PC and consoles, and is a perfect fix for anyone that’s jonesing for a little creative construction on the go.

9. Hoplite

Hoplite isn’t much to look at, but beneath the simple pixel graphics there’s a game of immense strategic depth. Like other roguelikes, you’ll find elements of randomisation and permanent death, so it’s important to choose each move carefully if you want to survive long. It’s an addictive experience for strategy aficionados.

10. Two Dots

Dots was a simple but brilliant game, tasking you with connecting the dots in a colourful and frantic manner to beat your high score. Two Dots is the sequel, an extension of that basic concept into a deeper game with adorable artwork and more varied objectives.

Bonus: 868-HACK

868-HACK is probably the most challenging game on this list. It’s a roguelike set in a 6×6 grid, where you’re tasked with hacking “precious data while the world sleeps.” Threats like viruses and glitches will seek to distract and destroy you, while you seek siphons to gain cash, energy and abilities – and ultimately to escape to the next level. It’s very hard, and very addictive. Good luck.

Conclusion

I hope you’ve found these recommendations helpful. If you’d like to share your own selections, please do so via the comments below or talk to us on Twitter @mobilefun. Thanks for reading the article and have a good one!

Top 10 Lightning accessories for iPhone, iPad and iPod

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

The Lightning connector divided opinion upon its release with the iPhone 5. On the one hand, it was a smaller, more convenient connector that was reversible. On the other, it meant that Apple’s long-standing 30 Pin connector was obsolete, a move that sent millions of accessories to the grave – from cheap charging cables to expensive speaker systems. Whatever your opinion on the matter, Lightning is here to stay so you may as well make the most of it! In that spirit, let’s take a look at ten of the best accessories for the now ubiquitous Apple connector.

1. Dexim Universal Dock Station (iPhone & iPad with Lightning Connector)

Official Apple iPhone 5C Lightning Charge and Sync Dock - White    Official Apple iPhone 5C Lightning Charge and Sync Dock - White

Our first Lightning accessory is this dock from Dexim. The dock is rare in being outfitted for both iPad and iPhone, allowing you to connect either device as required. The 2.1A output ensures all devices will charge rapidly, and the adjustable connector allows for cases to be kept on while charging.

2. Qi iPhone 5S / 5C / 5 Wireless Charging Receiver

Qi iPhone 5S / 5C / 5 Wireless Charging Receiver    Qi iPhone 5S / 5C / 5 Wireless Charging Receiver

Qi is a popular wireless charging standard in Android world, but don’t expect it to appear on an iPhone any time soon. Thankfully you can get this wireless charging receiver which plugs into your phone’s lightning port, then can be tucked into a case of your choice. Then you’ll have the convenience of wireless charging when you want it, in a package that’s compatible with all Lightning iPhones and a wide range of cases.

3. Griffin Wired Keyboard for Apple Lightning Devices

Griffin Wired Keyboard for Apple Lightning Devices    Griffin Wired Keyboard for Apple Lightning Devices

If you want to get some work done on an iPad or iPhone, then a full-size keyboard is quite helpful. One option is a Bluetooth keyboard, but these are expensive and require recharging. A good alternative then, is this Griffin Wired Keyboard, which plugs directly into the Lightning port and works immediately.

4. Genuine Lightning Digital AV Adapter

Genuine Lightning Digital AV Adapter   Genuine Lightning Digital AV Adapter

Want to show your iPhone, iPod or iPad content on the biggest screen in the room? This Digital AV adapter lets you easily connect your Lightning device to HDTVs, monitors and projectors. Again, everything is plug-and-play; just connect up the relevant cables and away you go. Perfect for screening HD movies, showing off photos and playing music. Definitely one of the most helpful Lightning adapters for the iPhone 5.

5. KitSound X-Dock 2 Lightning Clock Radio Dock for iPhone 5S / 5C /5

KitSound X-Dock 2 Lightning Connector Clock Radio Dock for iPhone 5    KitSound X-Dock 2 Lightning Connector Clock Radio Dock for iPhone 5

This clock radio dock is a powerful piece of kit, with room for an iPhone 5S, 5C or 5 next to a digital display. This is the ideal accessory for your bedside table or desk, allowing you to keep an eye on the time, charge your iPhone, set alarms and listen to the radio. You can wake up to your favourite FM station, your favourite iTunes songs or even the standard ‘bzzz’ alarm clock sound.

6. Kit: Lightning to Micro USB Adapter – White

Kit: Lightning to Micro USB Adapter - White

This simple adapter ensures that you don’t always need a Lightning cable around all the time. Instead, you can use the rather more numerous microUSB cables and accessories to charge and sync. And since the adapter is so small, there’s no excuse not to bring it with you!

7. High Power Lightning Car Charger with USB Port – Black

High Power Lightning Car Charger with Extra USB Port - Black    High Power Lightning Car Charger with Extra USB Port - Black

Car chargers are brilliant, particularly if you’re trying to entertain your kids in the back seat with an iPad or navigate with an iPhone. This one offers 2.4A of charging power, allowing an iPad – or two iPhones – to be charged at full speed. That means even if you’re draining a lot of power from playing movies or using GPS navigation, you’ll still end up with way more battery life than you started with. An integrated USB port allows other devices to be charged too.

8. Kit 4-in-1 Connection Kit

Kit 4 in 1 Connection Kit for iPad Air / iPad 4 / iPad Mini 2 / Mini    Kit 4 in 1 Connection Kit for iPad Air / iPad 4 / iPad Mini 2 / Mini

This tiny box is one of the most useful accessories you can own for the iPhone or iPad. Plug the Lightning connector into your device, and then you can plug in a USB device (like a keyboard or flash drive) as well as SD cards. That makes it really easy to get stuff on or off your iPad, or plug in a full-size keyboard for a better typing experience. There’s even a Lightning port, so you can keep charging your device while everything else is connected.

9. Kit Magnetic Battery Case for iPhone 5S

Boostcase Hybrid Snap Case with 1500Mah Battery for iPhone 5 - Purple    Boostcase Hybrid Snap Case with 1500Mah Battery for iPhone 5 - Purple

This clever case includes an battery pack which allows you to recharge your phone on the go. The battery is magnetically attached to the rest of the case, and can be used in situ or removed from the case as necessary. With 2800 mAh you’ll have three times the battery life, and that makes a  big difference.

10. iMee Sync and Charge Lightning to USB Cable – Gold

iMee Sync and Charge Lightning to USB Cable - Gold    iMee Sync and Charge Lightning to USB Cable - Gold

Our final Lightning accessory is also the simplest: a stylish Lightning cable in Gold. This is a great fit with the Champagne Gold iPhone 5S, but looks great with other colours as well. Otherwise, this is just the same as your Apple Lightning cable, offering charging and syncing at full speeds.

Conclusion

OK, so these are our selections! We hope you’ve found this blog helpful, and be sure to let us know if you have any questions or comments below!

A truly magnetic precision stylus for iPad arrives

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

What makes a good stylus? For some, it’s all about the precision – being able to take notes and draw carefully. For others, it’s about feel and comfort – being able to draw or write for extended periods. Another important attribute is convenience – just like a camera, the best stylus is the one that you have with you. Today, we introduce the Adonit Jot Pro Magnetic Stylus, which looks to excel on each and every one of these fronts.

Precision

Adonit Jot Pro's - Gun Metal

The Jot Pro has long been a well-received precision instrument, and little has changed in the stylus’ latest iteration. The basic form factor – a pen-like point wedded to a clear plastic disc – still works remarkably. The clear plastic is the key, as it provides the wide footprint necessary to be picked up by capacitive screens, while still allowing clear vision of the centre point. Thanks to the gimbal at the base, you’re also able to freely hold the stylus at any angle and still get complete contact with the disc. With this in hand, you’ll find you can make smaller and neater strokes and achieve much better results whether writing or drawing.

Feel & Comfort

Adonit Jot Pro's - Gun MetalAdonit Jot Pro Magentic Stylus Pen - Silver

The biggest offense commited by cheap styli is that of comfort – often, these sticks will be technically capable of producing good results, but you won’t be able to use them long enough to find out. Where these styli are thin, plasticky and hard, the Adonit Pro has a wider body made of soft rubber, similar to a pen. This makes using the stylus much more enjoyable, and unlocks the ability to write for hours at a time, as is often necessary at work or school.

Convenience

Adonit Jot Pro's - Gun Metal

Our final factor is convenience – and it’s here that the latest model of the Adonit Jot Pro is newly imbued. The handle has been instilled with magnetism, allowing it to cling securely to the back of your metallic tablet. This makes it an ideal iPad stylus, and also works on some Android and Windows tablets which use metallic materials.

A suitable super stylish stylus

With its newfound magnetism, the Adonit Jot Pro is the ideal precision stylus. For more information or to pre-order your own, check out the product page below:

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A secure and convenient way to store up to 10 iPads

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

We normally cover accessories for home users, but this business-orientated iPad sync & charge cabinet caught our eye. With storage space for ten iPads, it’s a secure and easy way to ensure that your iPads remain safe, cool and charged up.

Whenever you have that many iPads lying around unsecured, you’re practically asking for them to go walkabout. This cabinet can be secured to a table using an integrated mounting plate or a cable lock, while the tamper-resistant door with two included keys will ensure that once locked in, the iPads can’t get out.

While one or two iPads could be charged using their standard AC adapters, once that number starts rising you’re looking at an absolute mess of cables all taking up their own wall socket. This Kensington iPad cabinet requires just one power cable, yet allows all ten iPads to be charged at full speed simultaneously whilst inside.

Finally, keeping so many iPads in a small space will produce a fair amount of heat, which could be potentially damaging. So the cabinet includes a fan that’ll keep the iPads at safe operating temperatures automatically.

The Kensington Charge & Sync Cabinet for iPad is compatible with all full size iPad models. That includes the fourth generation iPad with the Lightning connector, as well as the earliest first, second and third generation iPad with the old Apple 30 pin connector.

What do you reckon – would your business be interested in picking up such a cabinet? Let us know if we should stock this iPad accessory in the comments below!

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