The SlingPlayer app for the iPhone has long been a good example of what the platform can do. When last month Sling was allowed to stream video of AT&T’s 3G network, the deal got even better. Now we’re hearing that Sling is hard at work on a version of the app specifically for the iPad. This is great news for every Slingbox owner who whishes the iPhone screen was just a little bigger.
The current SlingPlayer app (which costs $29.99) will work on the iPad, but will be upscaled. Sling was tight lipped about just when the iPad native app would show, but did seem to hint that it would be able to stream video at the iPad’s native resolution of 1024 x 768. We’re skeptical that this sort of resolution will be possible over AT&T’s 3G network, even with high compression.
The only real concern we have is the cost. If the iPhone version is $30, how much will the iPad edition cost? Are there any Slingbox owners out there? Would a high quality Sling app for the iPad entice you to take the iPad plunge?
Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania is a small institution of higher learning with a mere 2,100 students. According to an announcement made by the school today, all 2,100 of those students will be getting an iPad. The school’s iPad page says of the move, “This new program provides students with the best in technology and collaborative learning tools.”
The iPad program is part of the Griffin Technology Advantage Program which also provides students with 13-inch Macbook. Students are encouraged to use the devices in class and at home. The school will replace the Macbooks every two years. No word on replacement iPads though. All items provided as part of the Griffin Technology Advantage Program are owned by the students so they can take everything with them after graduation.
Seton Hill’s programs are geared at developing tech savviness in their attendees. However, it still remains unclear how much the school will use the iPads in a classroom environment. We predict a lot of games of Plants vs. Zombies will be happening in those lecture halls.
If we were to ask Maximum PC readers which they would rather have, a netbook or an iPad, we suspect the netbook would win by a landslide. Pose the same question to the mainstream, however, and the results are a lot closer, according to a recent NPD study.
NPD pinged a group of 18-34 year olds to see which they'd prefer, and while the netbook came out ahead, it was a slim margin of victory. Just over half -- 51 percent -- said they'd prefer to roll with a conventional portable, but even more interesting, 44 percent of existing Apple device owners said they'd rather get a computer like the MacBook than an iPad.
"Considering what people are planning to use the iPad for, it's not hard to understand why people who have these capabilities on other devices, such as the iPod touch or a notebook/netbook, may not want to spend $500 or more on a similar device," NPD's Stephen Baker said. "This points to the need for Apple to close the content deals that focus the iPad on what is likely to be its best long-range value proposition...high quality media consumption."
Overall, about 57 percent objected to the $499 price point for the entry-level model, while 43 percent of Apple users also took issue with the price. Only 18 percent had serious plans to purchase an iPad in the near future.
It's important not to confuse sales with shipments. Huberty expects Apple to sell more than 6 million units this year. However, Wall Street is not as sanguine over the iPad's sales prospects and has settled for a more conservative estimate of 3-4 million units.
Apple is expected to release an update to the popular iTunes software this Saturday in conjunction with the launch of the much anticipated iPad. Many of the software enhancements are meant to support features of the Apple tablet. Some updates that users can look forward to are improved Genius mixes, redesign of iTunes store categories, and an improved device management interface.
For Genius mixes, users will be able to play them via iTunes DJ, and rearrange them simply by dragging them. As far as iPad related enhancements, we can expect the “audiobooks” category to be absorbed into the new iBook store. Newspaper and magazines may also end up under this heading. Apple may also beging using some sort of shorthand to indicate is content is designed to work best with the iPad or iPod/iPhone.
One new feature will be the ability to convert audio on the fly to 128kbps AAC when syncing to a device. This was previously only available with the iPod Shuffle. The conversion saves space on the device, but leaves the computer files unchanged. How do the iTunes users out there feel about these changes? Anything to write home about?
Would you be willing to pay $17.99 a month for a digital subscription to The Wall Street Journal? That's how much the newspaper is going to run on Apple's upcoming iPad, which is a little bit more than Kindle owners have to pay ($14.99 a month).
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch apparently got the memo that Apple product owners are willing to pay more (zing!), but the question is whether or not the subscription is overpriced. The Wall Street Journal isn't the only U.S. media outlet developing an application for the iPad, and it will be interesting to see what others try to charge
Advertisers are already jumping on board the iPad frenzy, too. According to The New York Times, advertisers have been spending big bucks to buy ad space on the iPad applications from different media outlets (Times included). Chase Sapphire in particular has bought 60 days worth of advertising from the Times, the paper reports.
When Apple announced its iBook store there was one publisher conspicuously absent: Random House. In case you don’t keep up with the wheelings and dealings of the publishing industry, Random House is the largest publisher in the world. Now we’re hearing the strange truth about why they won’t be jumping on the iPad bandwagon. According to the Financial Times, Random House doesn’t want to start an ebook price war.
We certainly find this confusing, as most other publishers are moving ahead full speed with the apparent intention to cause just that. The Amazon model has always rubbed publishers the wrong way. Amazon simply buys the book licenses and sells them for whatever they want (usually $9.99). Many in the industry feared that ten bucks would just become the default price for a book, much as $.99 became the price for music. Apple will allow them to pick their price, and pay Cupertino a 30% cut of that.
It could be that Random House just wants to stay above the fray until the whole thing is worked out. Maybe if the iPad really takes off, Random House works will deluge the iBook store. Are you concerned about this impending of future of siloed content? Will we ever be able to just get everything in one place?
In a little under two weeks from now, Apple will start shipping its much anticipated iPad tablet, but don't expect the company's App Store to be flooded with new customers. According to market research firm comScore, most upcoming iPad owners are more concerned with surfing the Web than they are with buying apps.
comScore surveyed 2,175 Internet users regarding their awareness, attitude, and opinions of the Apple iPad, as well as other e-readers and tablet devices. What the research firm found was that half of all respondents plan to cruise through cyberspace, while 48 percent said they expect to use the iPad mostly for email.
By comparison, only 26 percent said they are likely to download applications from Apple's App Store, and 36 percent said it would be "unlikely" to do so. That can't be what Apple wants to hear, but it remains to be seen if those numbers hold up once the product actually ships.
Apple isn't the only one who stands to make a lot of money off of its iPad tablet - app developers do too. Enter Amazon, who along with Barnes & Noble, revealed to The New York Times plans to create new digital readers and storefronts for the iPad.
"We have actually developed a tablet-based interface that redesigns the core screen and the reading experience," said Ian Fred, vice president for Kindle at Amazon. "Our team had some fun with it."
According to NYT, the Kindle app for the iPad allows readers to slowly turn pages with their fingers. The interface also introduces a couple of new ways for owners to view their ebook collection, including a view where large thumbnails of book covers are displayed on a backdrop of a silhouetted figure reading under a tree. What's cool about the backdrop is that the sun's position coincides with whatever time it is.
Amazon has also set up a page to promote "Kindle Apps for Tablet Computers," which includes all tablets.
"Tablet computers, including the iPad, are coming and with our free app you'll be able to read more than 450,000 Kindle books," Amazon claims. "Like all Kindle apps, Kindle for table computers will include Whispersync technology, which automatically synchronizes your last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across your Kindle and Kindle compatible devices including PC, Mac, iPhone, and BlackBery."
More details may have leaked out regarding the upcoming HP Slate. Spanish site Clipset appears to have gotten pricing information from HP itself pointing to a €400 price. That converts to $546, but direct conversions rarely hold up. In fact, it is possible the HP Slate may come in under the price of the entry level iPad.
The HP Slate is expected to be and Atom-based device running Windows 7. As such, there will be Flash support, a memory card reader, a web cam, and USB connectivity. It is basically has all the things people wanted the iPad to have; we’ll have to see how successful that combination really is. The official launch should happen sometime in June, with retail availability by late summer in Europe. Hopefully that means an earlier launch in the US.