We visit the Monster Costume offices to get a look at their awesome new iPad app, Bartleby’s Book of Buttons Vol. 1: The Far Away Land. Aimed at children and parents, Bartleby is a new take on what a book can be when you have the power of the iPad and its multitouch screen at your disposal. Rather than focusing on pages, the book focuses on interaction with the story, character, and elements.
We also chat about the potential future of interactive books in general, and where Monster Costume sees that they can take their publishing platform in the future.
Welcome to the first post-San Diego version of Weekend Reading. I’m not linking to any convention reports because, well, other people do a much better job of tracking them all down. However, I will link to this. Mark Evanier does a much better job than I ever could of explaining how the Hollywood invasion of Comic Con International is not only necessary but welcome.
Spurgeon V. Field: There are many reasons why Tom Spurgeon won the Eisner this year at San Diego. This is one of the reasons why he should win it next year, too.
iPad: If you’re thinking of getting one, Beau Smith can make that decision easier for you.
Up, Up, And Away He Goes: James Bond and Superman screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz has passed away. Says The Guardian‘s classy obit: “In 1977 the director Richard Donner recruited Mankiewicz to work on the script of Superman, for which he received the credit of creative consultant, a fancy name for script doctor.”
Our pals over at iLounge have gotten a few iPad-related tibdits from one of their sources, and we thought it was interesting enough to pass on. They are hearing that, in conjunction with the regular September ipod event that Apple conducts each year, that the company may announce a smaller version of the iPad. They say it’ll have a 7-inch display, making the screen closer to that of the Amazon Kindle (Amazon released a new Kindle last week.) We’ve also been hearing that a smaller iPad was on the horizon, but we didn’t hear anything about a date. Other sources are claiming that the next iPad will definitely ship with a front-facing camera as well, turning them into Facetime devices (the next iPod touch will likely include similar functionality.) Even if it doesn’t happen in September, we fully expect to see a smaller iPad by January.
If Apple wants Facetime to catch on, they definitely need to get it into more devices than just the iPhone 4, and this would be a good way to accomplish that. A smaller iPad with increased functionality launching so soon after the original could result in buyers remorse for some, but it’s not like Apple hasn’t made similar moves in the past, especially with the iPod a few years ago.
Read More | iLounge
We know that ever since iOS 4 hit the scene, many users have been clamoring for a jailbreak release so they can install hacks and apps that Apple won’t approve, or frowns upon. Well, that time has come, as an iOS 4 jailbreak has arrived—and it’s super-simple. To do the deed, just head on over to JailbreakMe.com. You’ll see the image above. All you need to do is swipe, and the jailbreak process will begin, directly on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. After a couple of minutes, the process will be complete. Couldn’t be easier!
Microsoft is frustrated by the success of Apple’s iPad. Well, who wouldn’t be if you were once the greatest thing to ever happen to computer technology? Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer let the world know that he is quite jealous of the iPad’s success in the market, quoted as saying that the iPad sold “certainly more [units] than I’d like them to have sold.”
This open admission of envy doesn’t come without a back up plan however, as Ballmer unseals his lips just enough to mention a future Microsoft tablet in the works. The only other tidbit of info he let slip was that “the operating system is called Windows.” That’s a no brainer.
Whether or not Microsoft’s Windows 7 tablet will be able to capitalize on the iPad’s success and beat it at it’s own game is unclear at this point, but Ballmer has high hopes. “It is job one urgency. No one is sleeping at the switch,” states Ballmer in reference to the Microsoft tablet. Expect this Windows 7 based tablet to hit the market in time for the holiday sales rush.
The crew from GDGT rolled into town a couple of days ago, and our pals from Sonos were there to show off their upcoming Sonos Controller for iPad remote control app. We talk with Sonos rep Thomas Meyer about what makes their iPad app special and unique, and show the differences between it and the smaller Sonos Controller for iPhone. We definitely can’t wait to see this one hit the App Store, which they say will happen before the end of the year.
To use the Sonos Controller for iPad, you’ll need at least one Sonos zone. We love the product, and if you wanna get started enjoying the world of Sonos, might we recommend the Sonos S5?
Apple has just informed the world that the iPad is set to launch in nine additional countries this Friday. We don’t have any solid numbers yet as far as pricing in these territories goes, however, on July 23rd you’ll be able to buy Apple’s tablet device in the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, and Singapore. Don’t fret if your country has been left off the list, as Apple has also promised that “many more countries” will get the iPad before 2010 ends.
In addition to releasing iOS 4.0.1 earlier today, Apple has also given us iOS 3.2.1, the first software update available for the iPad. Some changes and improvements in 3.2.1:
- Improved Wi-Fi connectivity
- Fixed an issue that could prevent copy and paste of single-page PDF attachments in Mail
- Addressed an issue that could cause video playback to freeze
- Improved reliability of video-out when using iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter
- Added Bing as an option for Safari’s search field
Just connect up your iPad and check for the update in iTunes, and you’ll find it ready for you.
FaceTime currently establishes a connection on the iPhone 4 using your phone number as a means to authenticate. This is a problem for Wi-Fi iPads and the iPod touch, since they don’t have a cell service to verify who you are. However, that isn’t gonna stop Apple from bringing FaceTime to those devices. BGR has a couple of images showing that Apple will likely use your Apple ID—the email address you use when you register Apple products—as the means of authentication on those devices. From there, you’d get a push notification whenever someone wanted to have a FaceTime chat with you. Works for us, but of course, we likely won’t find out any more about this until September, when Apple introduces the next iPod touch. One more image after the break.
Read More | BGR
Our pals over at BGR have got a scoop from a “reliable Apple source” that has told them that the company is preparing for a major shift in their iTunes strategy. Basically, Apple is readying an iTunes cloud service that would bring a few new capabilities to the service, and untether you from keeping and accessing your content strictly off of a local hard drive. Once live, you’d be able to stream your music and movies directly from Apple’s servers to your devices, no matter where you are. Further, you’d be able to steam music and movies from your home computers to your other computers and remote devices, kind of like an extension of Back to My Mac. Lastly, we should finally see wireless iTunes syncing come to devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
These changes would immediately negate pretty much all storage space woes with WiFi-capable Apple devices. A 16GB iPad could stream every movie you own rather than requiring the movie to be stores on the device itself, making internal storage much less of an issue. Apple typically has their iTunes and iPod event in September, and this year should be no different. If this is real, we’d expect it to be unveiled in just over two months.
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