Well, that was fast. A well-known iPhone jailbreaker MuscleNerd claims he managed to obtain root access on the iPad, and he backs it up with a video of how it’s done.
To do this, he has used a port of Comex’s “Spirit” jailbreak, which works on both iPhone OS 3.1.3 and the iPad’s 3.2.
This is just a demonstration; there’s nothing for you to download just yet. But if you doubted that iPad will ever be jailbroken, this should set your mind at ease.
Surprisingly, it makes a game of scrabble go much faster, since the computer does all those difficult maths for you, but the experience isn't without its shortcomings. If you exit the Scrabble app to the home screen, or accidentally brush the "Menu" button on the iPad app, your game is completely gone. There isn't even a helpful warning like "are you sure you want to end this game you just invested an hour of your life into without even saving or something?" There's also no option to save a game and resume at later date. The app is more forgiving if you drop a connection with your iPhone, or lock the screen on the iPad for a moment, but we'd really appreciate it if EA rounded off some of these rough edges before we chuck the iPad across the room in a Scrabble-induced rage. Check out video playthrough after the break.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: iPadIt hasn't even been out for a day, but there are already hints of the next iPad in the current iPad's OS. BoyGeniusReport did some digging around in the iPad OS file system and found some interesting seeds burried pretty deep. They found references to "iPhone3,2," "iPhone3,3," "iPod4,1," and "iProd2,1."
iProd 1,1 was the original reference to the current iPad. The current model of the iPhone is 3,1, while the current iPod Touch is 3,1, and the current iPad is 1,1. What the new references reveal is that not only is Apple working on the next iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (no shock there), but that there will be two versions of the next iPhone.
Products with different storage capacities do not get differing referal numbers, so its anyone guess how the next iPhones may differ. One possibility could be that the differing iPhones may be an AT&T-specific iPhone while the other could be a T-Mobile or Verizon-specific iPhone. The only thing these product reference numbers tell us for sure is that in today's day and age, the newest piece of tech you buy is virtually already outdated.
Disclaimer: I wrote and published this post, in its entirety, from my iPad.
Apple’s “magical and revolutionary device” is supposed to be the ultimate content consumption tool. You can play music, watch movies, and surf the web, all from a device that is meant to be smaller, more focused, and more elegant than a netbook or even a laptop.
For content creators though, there has been a strong amount of skepticism. Without the mouse and keyboard interface, how fast can you really type emails, photoshop pictures, and build code with just a touchscreen?
These are questions that will be answered over the next few weeks as content creators push the iPad to its limits. In the meantime though, I’ve decided to run an initial test by writing an entire blog post from scratch, using the WordPress iPad app to fill the webpage you are reading now with elegant text.
Here are some of my raw observations:
- The act of typing itself is not too bad at all, especially if you do it in landscape mode. I was able to type pretty quickly with most of my fingers. Most mistakes were autocorrected. I am pleasantly surprised by the results.
- With that said, girls with longer fingernails will get annoyed with keys that don’t press when they want them to.
- I will just come out and say it: typing with HTML is a pain in the ass. I got better with it over the course of this post, but I hope I don’t build many lists on the iPad.
- Copy and Paste didn’t function properly for me. I don’t know if that is me being an idiot or the interface, but I wanted to bring it up.
- I can see images being a pain. If you have photos or screenshots on the iPad, it’s real easy to add them via WordPress. If you want a specific image size (like the ones you see on the top of most Mashable posts), then it’s more difficult. I bet there will be great image editing apps very soon to fix this issue, though.
- I am far less inclined to add links in posts because it’s such a pain to retrieve them and copy them into WordPress. A feature to easily link to other pages on your blog would make sense, along with a way to quickly browse the web from the WordPress app.
Overall, you can type rather fast on Apple’s tablet, although I will use the iPad to edit rather than write posts. It is no replacement for my laptop, but if you want to get up a quick post on-the-go, the iPad does a decent job.
Reviews: Mashable, WordPress
Last summer I wrote a blog post in which I claimed that tablets, for lack of a better word, suck. Yet I actually woke up early today to confirm that I’d be able to get an iPad the day it came out. I wanted to take a moment to explain why I am actually excited about the iPad (image source = Scobleizer + my wannabe Photoshop skills).
First, my anti-tablet arguments, and how they do/don’t apply:
- Tablets suck at handwriting recognition.
Still true, hence Apple implementing an on-screen keyboard and building a physical keyboard to go along with it. I don’t consider this a particularly great solution, I’d actually prefer a “Palm Graffiti-like” option (yeah, not elegant, but once you knew it, you were fast).
- Tablets suck to carry around.
Still true, actually one of my biggest concerns about my personal use of the iPad.
- Tablets make you tired.
From using my Droid Eris I’ve already noticed slightly different types of strains on the muscles in my forearms, not sure if its from the typing or the swiping (or the general frustrations with Android). Curious to see how this plays out with the iPad.
- Tablets can’t share nicely with others.
In typical Apple fashion, rather than try to make all Office apps work they’ve created a new ecosystem for productivity apps. I feel this is an okay approach, but still not what I want. I am concerned that I’m going to want to sketch notes and markup docs and have no way to effectively do it – but I can’t really tell if this’ll work or not yet.
- Tablets suck at hiding smudges.
Any carrying case worth buying will have a little pouch to keep glass cleaner. It’s going to be smudgeriffic for sure.
- Tablets are bad Web browsers.
I think this is one area I’ll have to eat my words a bit – mobile browsing is better than it used to be, and it really seems that Apple has focused specifically on the Web experience.
- Tablets are priced poorly.
Well, it’s not cheap, but it’s not crazy either. For an early adopter product, I’d say its priced appropriately, though will need to eventually come down. Unless it’s actually a viable personal laptop replacement (more below), in which case the price point is awesome.
- Tablets suck at everything else.
Still true – unless the entire ecosystem is built off a custom app platform and instead of trying to run traditional computing applications (ahem, Windows), it’s running all new stuff… But it still might suck.
So what happened here? Am I just a rampant hypocrite? Have I been drinking too much Apple Kool-Aid? Do I just want to be the first kid on the block with some shiny new object (unlikely)? Or is it something different?
For the “haters” (basically all the crazy tablet fanatics who got offended that I don’t love their products as much as they do and am apparently not supposed to state said opinion), this will sound bizarre, but in a nutshell I don’t really consider the iPad a tablet. Yes, it’s a slate form factor. Yes, it has a touch screen. Yes, there are a ton of similarities to the tablet category. But it’s not a tablet.
I consider the iPad much closer to a “big iPod Touch” than any other category of product. While it has some aspects of productivity tools, the reality is the product is optimized for other types of usage. Let’s face it, that virtual keyboard is probably going to get annoying pretty fast. Further, with no USB there’s very few options for extensibility. Which means you can’t think of it like a “computer”, since it’s actually much less versatile than one. But as a product, it’s just as versatile as it needs to be.
From one perspective I guess I do drink a bit of the Kool-Aid, as I do believe the company has effectively built the “not a phone, not a laptop” product. I also think they’ve built something with tons of versatility and practical use. As we continue to march down the post-computing era of gadgets, I think the iPad will start transforming a lot of peoples’ mindsets on what exactly can be done with innovative technology.
And as I said in the original tablets suck post, “But if you do figure it out, I’m buying!”
The other day I surmised on what the iPad (still calling it that – it’s the shortest option) might be, as a device. With only three days left to go prior to launch, I still find myself pondering the “how do they build something at the right price point that’s useful beyond the context of novelty and/or on the commode?” question. While many are going gaga over pretty much anything that could come out, I in my stubborn fashion still just can’t conceptualize what we are about to see. Of course I’m effectively ready to pre-order it, but I still can’t piece it all together in my head. So as the follow-up to what might the product be, I thought I’d amble on about what I don’t think we’ll see…
Hardware without software
One of my general rants about Tablet PCs is the lack of compelling software. Sure Microsoft splashed some “touch features” across the OS, but for the most part it’s a trainwreck. Apple won’t do this. Everything that ships on the iPad will be designed completely to work in a touch fashion, or it won’t be included period. I’m still torn between whether it’ll be a version of OS X or a version of the iPhone OS, but either way, the device will ship with oodles of applicable software, custom-built to be great in gesture, touch, multi-touch, or even by looking at it the right way.
Niche or otherwise narrow market scoped
I stated in my last post that a possible product category is just a heads-on Kindle killer. I’d characterize this as a small opportunity – yes, it’s been great for Amazon, but the market for “better than Kindle e-readers” is small. The only small product Apple still ships is the Apple TV, which they’ve characterized as a hobby product (and rightfully so) from day one. Granted they haven’t actually said anything about the iPad yet, but their PR machine is too smart to let this much buzz build up and fall that short. Then again, if this thing doesn’t come with an espresso maker and difribulator, some people are going to be disappointed.
An open platform
Focused on productivity
Unlike the Microsoft approach to “ecosystem” – where everything other than the Xbox is able to view and edit Excel spreadsheets – my hunch is the iPad is all about lifestyle, the Internet, and entertainment. I’d guess there’s a native version of Safari, some kind of simple email and calendaring, and that’s about it. I think Apple doesn’t have any interest in trying to build buzz or sales into the corporate world, and will instead stay close to their home turf with consumer appeal. I’d go so far as to say it’ll be fun to use, and the new user experience will center entirely around delivering entertaining content.
Support every mobile carrier
Okay, this is one of those “I think I’m right, but what if they really figured it out???” things (Google didn’t really, and they’ve got some smarty folks too). Supporting all the US carriers is cost prohibitively “impossible” – you’d need a minimum of 2 different antennas/chips and the relationships in place. Doing this adds to cost, which is transferred somewhere (consumers), and for the most part neither manufacturers nor consumers like to have “wasteful” componentry. Which means it’s much more likely there’s either multiple SKUs, or only one carrier. And since the former isn’t very Apple-y, it’s much more likely there’s only one carrier involved – or none at all (which makes some sense, if this were 1997). Further, this gets messy when we consider Verizon, the best network in the US, as their CDMA platform is unused in Europe, a place where Apple sells a lot of stuff.
I could probably add a few more pages of the what I don’t think will happen variety, but they start getting less interesting in my own opinion (5 colors of iPads! – not). I did have one more “I’ll bet they do” item, which is…
Embrace Augmented Reality Even More
Lots of hot trends in the technosphere, from Twitter to FourSquare, from App Stores to Cloud Computing. But Augmented Reality is actually an interesting one, has more usefulness than others, and is right up Apple’s alley. I’d predict there are several native applications and services that provide very cool augmented reality features. I’m firmly in the camp of one or more cameras on the iPad, and I think Apple will include one or more fun exploits of the concept from the get-go. I don’t know if it’ll be as awe-inspiring as PlayGunman, our amazing lasertag on iPhone game, but hopefully it’ll be close (disclosure – I’m extremely involved in it. also, I’m joking around – if Apple can’t make our game look like Adventure on the 2600, I’d be stunned. and it’s not like our guys are slackers, but it’s freaking Apple). Apple will definitely do some kind of boundary-pushing move with this device, and I’d hunch that augmented reality is one of the areas they could truly make us think a little differently.
If you follow gadgets or new tech and you are not aware that Apple is introducing “something” next Wednesday, you are either (1) my wife or mother or (2) awaking from a long long sleep. Now along with virtually anything Apple does, or contemplates doing, or doesn’t contemplate doing but others contemplate on their behalf, the rumor mill on this “iPad” is just out of control. Not a day has gone by this week, and probably the week prior, where numerous stories on TechMeme centered on the speculated device. My turn.
I’ve tried to think about this entirely with the following perspective:
- Tablets, as we think of them today, suck (unless you are in a very specific niche, or perhaps a crazed fanboy).
- Steve Jobs does not like to ship suck-y products.
- Apple does not focus on niche markets.
- Some of the rumors we’ve seen are likely correct (a million monkeys on a million keyboards…).
- Apple will still likely do one or more things nobody’s even hazarded a guess at.
So with that in mind, what is Apple up to?
Some more assumptions:
- It’ll have 3G services built-in. I’d hope for Verizon, but that limits Apple to its international possibilities. And there’s no way they’d waste the money on two different 3G chips.
- It’ll have a “built-for iPad” program at launch. Still nothing from Droid on this front, but you can bet that Griffin, Case Logic, Kensington, and all the other players will have cases and other accessories coming to market extremely soon.
- It’ll have the iPod connector, USB, DisplayPort and an SD card slot. A webcam is highly probably, and I wouldn’t be surprised with an IR interface as well.
- It might have some clever method of charging (magnetic induction).
Here are some thoughts on the product itself, in no particular order:
- Sub $300 e-reader + tablet: How about if Apple directly takes on the Kindle, and throws in a great version of Safari, and a Verizon 3G connection? They sell it at cost, give it a beautiful touch-screen, make it all iPhone-y, but keep it as a simple device. At this price point it does compete with the iPod Touch, technically, but not in reality, as they are such vastly different products. We know from the Kindle’s success that there’s a market for the category, and we know that the Nooks and Sonys of the world won’t stand a chance versus Apple and Amazon as the category leaders. In the “what seems kinda possible and stands a chance at selling in the millions” way of thinking, this is definitely a contender. Not as sexy as some other options, but possible.
- Detachable MacBook screen: I’ve come back to this one a few times, as it seems to fit “the world we know” fairly well. What if instead of it being a whole new device, Apple upgrades all MacBooks to have touchscreens that are detachable. In other words, the keyboard part of the laptop comes off. It would require some fairly sophisticated engineering to pull off, as the bulk of the computer itself is in the keyboard area, but if anyone’s going to do it. I think it’s a bit farfetched, but only because I can’t conjure up the physical realities that would be required for it to work.
- Mac “Accessory”: Had an interesting chat about this concept the other day – basically it’s the idea that the tablet is a remote desktop viewing device that lets a user log in to another Mac elsewhere on the Internet. It would probably have an internal Web browser as well, and some simple other features, but effectively it’s a “dumb terminal” for a more powerful computer. And in a coup de grace Applesque way to do things, it would probably let you log into a Windows 7 computer as well (assuming you got the right drivers installed, of course). I don’t think this is a strong possibility, as it doesn’t seem mass-market enough, but it would become a really interesting competitor to a netbook in regards to being a “disposable computer”.
- Media Slate: So picture a device that’s sleek and sexy, can play back movies, TV shows (including live TV), Internet radio (lala), show pictures/slideshows, play simple games (app store), and be otherwise completely entertaining. It connects from anywhere, has enough internal storage to last a nationwide flight, and is all about fun. Further, it comes with numerous context access options, including free services, a la carte purchasing/rentals, and subscription options. It probably also has a Webcam and native iChat support. I’m fairly bullish on this concept, as it seems to fit in with the Apple iLifestyle very well, and makes for a useful product.
Those are all good, and nice safe bets. I don’t think I’ve hazarded guesses that others haven’t. But now I’ll (try to) get more interesting.
- What if the entire device were touch-sensitive? Front AND back. Fully gesture enabled, not just multi-touch but multi-hand. Remember, one of the things that makes tablets suck is figuring out how to hold it right – so let’s assume they “magic mouse” the whole thing, and made it smart enough to figure out the difference between the “holding hand” and the rest of it.
- What if it’s a flexible display instead? Okay, this is probably stuck in the in my dreams category, but it would be crazy impressive if they skip the whole concept of a tablet and move the industry up a notch with a flex display.
- What if there’s a built-in pico projector? Going on the “media slate” theory, but kicking into gear the concept of “fun for the whole family”. Also doubles-up as a productivity device for showing presentations.
What if there’s no tablet?
Seriously, it’s a real possibility. What if instead of showing us a tablet, they show a 4G iPhone and impressive updates to other devices (or not)? What if they announce media streaming services instead? We all know Apple plays their own game, and if they haven’t figured out how to make this thing magical, I don’t think they’d want to ship it. It would be a bit of an odd strategy, as there seem to be a few too many pseudo-confirmed rumors, but then again, Apple doesn’t deal with terrorists rumors. It’s a possibility…