Tablets For Media Working

So what’s new in the new iPad?

Well, two main things really…

  • 4G connectivity
  • Retina Display running at 2048 x 1536

So how much better is it?

Well, not a great deal.

ipad-white-touch_610x324_34G Connectivity and the iPad

The 4G does not work in Australia, regardless of what the folks at the shop will tell you, the iPad will NOT run on the 4G network in Australia, and it won’t for a long time. The correct frequencies will not come available until 2015 in Australia, let’s be honest, by then you won’t have this year’s iPad.

So how does it perform? Well, it runs on Dual Channel 3G, so in layman’s terms that means ‘a bit faster’ than your current 3G connection, and much slower than an Android 4G tablet (which does happen to run on Australia’s 4G network).

 

As you can see from this image, the speeds are erratic at best, and not a great deal faster than the iPhone 4S, which consistently downloads data at around 5 or 6mb on the Telstra network.

If you need speed, you are better off getting the WiFi iPad, and using a Telstra 4G dongle thing. Cumbersome, but 3 or 4 times faster.

Retina Display

Well, for me the novelty of the Retina Display has worn off now, most new Android Phones run at ultra high resolutions making dots invisible, so this isn’t an amazing thing, although on a screen this large, it is quite a big deal. Images look crisp, text is super sharp and overall its far easier on your eyes. The pixel density is not quite has high as the iPhone, and as a result, if you look closely you can actually see the dots, contrary to the story Apple will tell you. Despite that, it’s still the best screen I’ve ever seen in my life, and I am eager for my Mac to now ‘go Retina’.

Browsing issues

Something no one has spoken about yet, but as a creative agency, is a big deal is website design for the new iPad.

Unless you have custom coded your website (read, Apple.com only at this stage), your website will look FAR WORSE on the new iPad.

Why? Well… your text will look ridiculously crisp, yet your existing images will appear non-retina (because they are just ‘normal’ images saved for standard web specs) which means that your eye perceives all images as blurry because they are displaying at half resolution. Usually this is not a problem because on your Mac, PC or old iPad, the pixels are the same density for both text or image, however with the new iPad, images are rendered at the ‘old’ pixel density, which when put next to text at the new retina density, quite frankly look terrible.

 

So what’s the solution, well we’ve found there are some code snippets that will check for retina display and stream double size images to the new retina display device, however think about this… Retina Display images are 4 times, yes FOUR TIMES more pixels than standard screen images, in real terms that means FAR bigger images, and with such a crisp screen you will want to make sure you compress your images far less to avoid JPEG artefacts which again means even bigger images.

In the real world that means a ‘nice’ quality full screen background image of medium complexity, could easily be over 1Mb, add to the mix a few transparent PNG’s for sprites or graphics and your website could really start to slow down on load, especially over a 3G/4G network. Later this year it is predicted that Apple will roll out the retina display to their line of Macs which means this dilemma is here to stay until we have a much faster internet and ALL users are on new retina screens, both Mac and PC users.

The beautiful retina display has created a new nightmare for web designers and coders. Just as we approach a time where we are rid of the ‘design 2 versions for IE and Firefox’, we are now faced with a new dilemma: saving images at two different sizes for regular screens and iPads. The scale of this problem is directly related to the number of images on your site, if you have a text only website you are safe, if you have a blog with thousands of images, well… you are screwed.

My prediction is that Apple will release a new version of Safari that checks the server for a double size version and automatically swaps out the low resolution image with the high resolution image, but thats purely speculation.

Until then, we are left having to manually code HTML to do the swapping process for us. In the process you can expect your new retina display website to take realistically 4 to 10 times longer to load on the new iPad because your images will need to be that much bigger to cater for the new screen.

If you have the new iPad and want to see an example of this, visit apple.com, you can see incredibly crisp text and blurry images, then wait about 10 to 20 seconds and slowly you will see the high resolution images swap in one by one.

Thanks Apple, you are now officially a web designers nightmare

 

KONY. It’s the word on everyone’s lips, and their facebook pages as well. It’s the latest social media phenomenon that has exploded over the last few days. The documentary is pretty powerful stuff based on Joseph Kony – a warlord in Uganda responsible for the enslavement of more than 30,000 children and the efforts of Invisible Children (a not-for-profit organisation) trying to harness the power of social media to garner attention and make a change, namely having Kony arrested and brought to justice.

Aside from the subject matter, what is interesting is how social media has been implemented to make the voice of a few the voice of millions in such a short space of time. News programs have jumped on this to try and capitalise on the interest and not matter where you look you can’t escape it. Another predictable side effect is that although social media has been used to great effect to generate this massive amount of exposure, it is the same format that could ultimately be this causes downfall, with many coming out against the campaign and the people behind it – Invisible Children.

And to think that all this has occurred in less then 48 hours, amazing. How long can this message of change be kept front of mind before the next big social media phenomenon hits and takes all the headlines away, oh it’s happening already, the next ipad was just announced.

Check out the site, watch the documentary and make up your own minds. Finance your IT hardware at Joe Nahas Finance

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