Tag Archives: iPad

Mon, April 14th, 2014 by Graves and Allen

iPads and Labradors

OK, it has been a while since I had time to post, but I am going to start again, now that my books are published.  This post should interest a number of vendors.  My wife left her iPad out where our young (7 month old) Labrador Retriever, Buck could get his mouth on it.  Buck has already established that, like his guardians, he prefers Apple products (he has been trying for an iPhone for the last month).  Anyway, for those of you not aware of this, Labs are wonderful dogs, but unstoppable (and quite strong) chewers. The Lab chewed through the case and the iPad, resulting in the interesting side note for my wife, a retired school teacher:  She can tell people that the dog ate her iPad.   My wife’s misadventure resulted in several conclusions.

1.  Targus cases are pretty decent, and, as a general rule, fairly protective of iPads;  but they cannot withstand the onslaught of a young Lab exercising his chewing instinct.

2.  Gorilla glass may be tough and damage resistant, but, it cannot withstand the onslaught of a young Lab exercising his chewing instinct.  He shattered the gorilla glass in the lower right corner and it sent spiderweb cracks through the rest of the device.

3. I have liked the  Zagg Invisible Shield and recommended it for some time.  I put one of them on the iPad before giving it to my wife.  Although the shield could not protect the iPad from the Lab’s jaws, it did accomplish two very important things.  First, it held all the gorilla glass shards in place so that the dog’s mouth did not get cut and neither did my wife’s hands when she picked up the iPad to assess its condition.  Second, it held everything in place, allowing the iPad to continue to work over the weekend, until my wife could get to the local Apple Store and talk to the Genius people. Interestingly, while the cracks in the gorilla glass allowed air to get in and cause some bubbling o the Invisible Shield, I did not detect any teeth marks on it when I examined it.  I didn’t see Buck attacking the iPad, so I don’t know if that results from something intrinsic to the Shield or from the fact that the iPad cover was closed and he put enough pressure on the outside cover to shatter the gorilla glass display.

4.  While I do not normally think that the extra warranty protection that computer and other electronics manufacturers offer are particularly good investments,  I have made it a practice to recognize that highly mobile devices like iPads and iPhones are more likely to suffer damage than other devices.  As a result, I have purchased the extra protection from Apple for my iPads and iPhones.  My wife took the iPad to the local Apple Store this morning and came back an hour later with a new iPad.  They charged her $49 for the exchange.  All in all, I think that is a pretty fair deal.  Kudos to Apple customer service.  They got that one right!


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Mon, October 11th, 2010 by Graves and Allen


Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.

The iPad comes with a high-resolution, 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS (in-plane switching) display. Apple designed the iPad to display content in portrait or landscape orientation. The IPS display technology has a wide, 178-degree viewing angle. The iPad weighs in at about a pound and a half and measures 9.56” x 7.47” x 0.5”. Apple claims up to a ten-hour battery life for the iPad.  Apple has made the battery inaccessible, as has become its custom, so you cannot simply pop in a new battery and must rely on an external power supply for recharging or operating an iPad with a discharged battery.  Fortunately, my experience with the iPad to date supports the claim of long battery life.  I have not tried to push the ten hour limit, but I have used my iPad for several hours at a time without exhausting as much as 50% of its power.

Apple offers two basic versions of the iPad: WiFi only and WiFi plus 3G. Each version also gives you the choice of 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB of memory. I encourage you to opt for the higher memory units, as the iPad has no provision for additional memory.  I chose the 64GB WiFi+3G version for myself.  I have already maxed out the memory and find myself moving apps, books, movies and music on and off the unit far more often than I would like in order to accommodate different circumstances.

The iPad has the same docking connector as the iPhone and iPod. Like the iPhone, it has no other ports for data or charging.  Apple offers a number of accessories: The list includes a dock, a keyboard dock, a case that folds up to make a stand for you to use the iPad with its virtual keyboard, a VGA adapter that will let you connect the iPad to a projector or other VGA device, and a camera connection kit that will allow you to transfer pictures directly to your iPad. You can also use the Apple Wireless Keyboard and other Bluetooth accessories with the iPad.

The WiFi iPad requires a hotspot to give you Internet access. The WiFi plus 3G version works through accessible hotspots and also gives you the option of a 3G cellular connection. Apple set up an arrangement with AT&T, which changed the plan very shortly after the iPad came to market and started selling with amazing rapidity.  The revised plans do away with the “all you can eat” data module and offer you the choice of 250 MB of data per month for $14.99 or XXGB for $YY.  AT&T’s programs come with cancellable monthly renewable terms, allowing you to cancel the plan or reinstate it whenever you want or need to do so.

The iPad’s larger screen offers a much better Internet experience than the iPhone or the iPod Touch.  It also provides better viewing for movies and pictures.  The iPad has a wide viewing angle, which enhances your viewing experience, but also means that people sitting on your side on an airplane or next to you at a lunch counter can easily read your screen. Available third party privacy screens can restrict the ability of others to see your screen, protect your privacy your clients’ confidentiality.  Consider a privacy screen a necessary accoutrement to the iPad if you desire to use it in a public place and have any semblance of privacy for your content.

Among its many talents, the iPad also functions as an eReader.  I find the iPad’s backlit clarity, high resolution and color technology far more pleasing than e-ink technology employed by the more traditional eReaders, such as the Kindle or the Nook.  Apple’s iBook App lets you buy books from Apple’s iTunes Store, organize them on your iPad, synch them between your iPad and your computer with the assistance of iTunes and read them very comfortably.  The chameleon-like iPad, also does a pretty decent Kindle and Nook imitation as well.  Amazon has made a free Kindle App available and Barnes & Noble has made its own reader app available at no charge.  The installation of these Apps gives you the ability to access the entire Barnes & Noble and Amazon collections of electronic reading materials, acquire them, coordinate them, read them and use them with features substantially the same as the Kindle or the Nook.

Apple says that almost all the Apps in its store will run on the iPad.  While that has proven technically accurate, many Apps require modification to take advantage of the iPad’s screen size and features

If you use Apple’s Calendar and Address Book, your calendar and contacts will look better (and appear larger and easier to read) on the iPad than on the iPod or the iPhone.  Apple also tuned up its Mail program, creating a unified in-box that allows you to see all your unread mail at one time, without having to go back and forth between accounts.   The iOS 4 operating system Apple released with the iPhone 4 also includes a number of additional features that will come to the iPad when Apple makes the iOS4 available for the iPad.  Apple has announced that it will make the iOS4 available for the iPad sometime this fall.

You can find out more about the iPad at (www.apple.com/ipad). You can buy the iPad online at (http://store.apple.com/us) or arrange to pick one up at your local Apple Store.

What’s Missing?

The ability to expand the iPad’s memory through the addition of memory cards would make it much easier to use the iPad as a picture album, a movie viewer, a music player, an eReader, and a storage device for a variety of other information. It would, for example, allow you to get a media card to store books or movies that you don’t need on a daily basis but want to have with you when you travel.  As Apple has not allowed the use of memory cards in the iPod or the iPhone, the odds favor Apple’s not making this feature available in the iPad.  Perhaps, future iterations of the iPad will increase the offered memory to 128 or even 256 GB when the price of such memory comes down.

A built-in webcam for use in videoconferencing would also have made the iPad much more useful.  I anticipate seeing Apple add this to a future iteration of the iPad, much as it has now done with the newest generation of its iPod Touch.


The iPad is useful as an e-mail device, or as an Internet appliance, or as an eReader, or as a . . . pick a function, any function. While not as useful as a laptop, the iPad will enable me to travel to many meetings without a laptop. Its weight and size make it an easy fit for a briefcase or a large purse. I will likely carry it with me most of the time as it will do for me most of what I expect my laptop and my Kindle to do.

As a tool in a law office, I consider the iPad helpful (but pricey).  Nevertheless, I could not call it as essential.  It does offer conveniences, largely due to its size, weight and flexibility.  As a personal Internet appliance, however, it excels and will change the way many of us interact with the Internet at home and particularly on the road.  I have found sufficient uses for the iPad at work that I can justify the acquisition and I am certainly glad that I have one.

Copyright, 2010 by Jeffrey Allen.  All rights reserved.


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Tue, June 15th, 2010 by Graves and Allen


OK, so Apple has come up with a great new device called the iPad.  I got mine on April 30, 2010, because I chose to wait for the release of the 3G versions.  I really like the iPad and will write more about that in a later post.  I chose to write this post to warn all of you who may get an iPad 3G about a very serious rift between Apple and AT&T respecting the servicing of the iPad.

My iPad 3G works fine except for the cellular radio.  It failed shortly after I received the iPad.  We can discuss Apple’s quality control some other time. When it failed, I got “NO SERVICE” messages everywhere I went.  I contacted AT&T as I thought it was a network issue and was told repeatedly that AT&T does not support the iPad and that Apple provided all technical support respecting the iPad (even 3G network issues).  It will probably not surprise you to learn that contacting Apple tech support resulted in the finger pointing back to AT&T.  Apple tech support’s position was that AT&T had the responsibility of providing tech support for all 3G network related issues, as Apple could not provide support for AT&T’s network problems.

AT&T went so far as to tell me that they could not service the iPad, as Apple had not provided them with any information as to how to support the iPad.  AT&T’s store personnel and customer service personnel actually got downright surly about it.

I have long believed that Apple made a bad decision in partnering with AT&T and that AT&T represents the weakest part of the iPhone/iPad package.   That belief results from the frequently dropped calls, spotty coverage and poor customer service and support that AT&T has provided over the years and continues to provide now.  In this instance, however, I believe Apple and AT&T both equally share the responsibility for this situation.  Neither Apple nor AT&T provided accurate or adequate information to their customer service or first tier technical support personnel or, in the case of AT&T to their in-store employees and managers.

If you encounter similar problems with your iPad 3G(and I expect that you might as was told by an AT&T customer service supervisor that she had handled seven calls similar to mine that day), be sure that you get to second tier tech support.  I finally got my issue resolved (Apple sent me a replacement iPad) by getting to the second tier of Apple’s tech support and having the tech support person get a second tier AT&T tech support representative on the line.  A three-way conference call resolved the issue in about 20 minutes.  In that call, both the AT&T and the Apple second tier tech support representatives repeatedly apologized for their company’s mishandling of the problem and for the lack of correct information that the lower echelon tech support representatives had respecting the manner in which to address such problems and the issue of which company is responsible for what.

Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Allen.

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