New iPad set to be Unveiled

Apple will be holding a 10am (Pacific time) media event that is widely believed to be the unveiling of the latest iPad, dubbed iPad 2.

The update however, is said to be minor. The iPad’s specifications should be increased but not many drastic new features. It may be Apple is adopting a similar approach to when it released the iPhone 3GS in the wake of the massively popular iPhone 3G.

Other potential updates may include a MobileMe revamp as supplies of the boxed retail version have become constrained, a telling sign of an update. It is speculated to increase the shift towards cloud based operations. There may also be the first look at iOS 5, although an iOS update has garnered it’s own press conference in recent years.

The press conference may well be simulcast from Apple.com which has been the trend with recent press conferences.

First iOS 4.2 Beta Released

Apple has released the first beta for iOS 4.2 to developers; the update is to be released in November. The update will bring the iPad all the features of iOS 4 as well as new features such as Printing. The update is also available for iPhone and iPod Touch. Here is a brief video preview from App Advice outlining how the updated features work:

The update comes just a week after iOS 4.1 was released. The update is only available for developers at this stage.

Amazon Takes on iPad in New Ad

Amazon has released an advert for the Kindle in which it is dierectly pitted against an iPad. The premise of the ad is that you can’t read an iPad in direct sunlight, but you can read a Kindle. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:

You can, of course, still purchase the same books via the Kindle app on an iPad.

Sketchbook Pro for iPad Review

For many iPad users with a bit of creativity, they will have considered purchasing a painting app. The choice usually comes down to Brushes or Sketchbook Pro. I decided to go for Sketchbook Pro.

iPad Screenshot 1Sketchbook Pro has been described by some as not as intuitive as Brushes, but I can’t grasp this, Sketchbook Pro was incredibly easy to use and I am a complete novice in this area. You start with a brief tutorial and within seconds you can start painting. There are a vast array of tools to choose from, many are professional, some are rather gimmicky but for those just wanting to doodle these can be very fun. Sketchbook Pro can be enjoyed by any skill level, but obviously some artistic flair will help you. But this app is always enjoyable and really will cater to any user and allow itself to be morphed into what the user requires.

For my first image, I decided to create a replica of a photo I took in Iceland a few years ago. I was able to use a certain brush for the grass and subtle airbrushes for clouds, something you couldn’t do painting alone. The result isn’t too bad for a first attempt.

My main gripe with the app (which I discovered whilst creating my second piece) is that it can become annoying when you want to find the perfect colour and therefore have to navigate the menu again and again. It is simple enough to do, but is not the most efficient method.

The last piece I created is a logo for the site. The iPad frame and the 30 Pin Connector were all created using Sketchbook Pro with relative ease. I then exported the two images via email, a little work using Pages and voilà! The iPad’s background is what I use on my iPad currently. It is an actual painting my brother (who is a much better artist than I am) did. If you like it, more of his work is viewable here.

So there you have it, my feeble attempts to paint a masterpiece. But as you can see, even someone with as little ability as myself can create something. For the Pros, I imagine they could create truly magnificent pieces. For the amateurs, a very enjoyable experience with an app that is thankfully merciful! The app is available here for $7.99 or £4.99.

Forecast for iPad Sales Statistics: 28 Million in 2011

Front, back, and side views of iPad Wi-Fi.

Market Analyst Maynard Um of UBS Investment Reasearch has forecast that Apple could sell 28 million iPads in 2011, and warned this figure could be “conservative”.

Um goes on to state that while he believes iPad sales are not impacting Mac sales, but rather that “sales of traditional notebooks appear to be feeling pressure from the iPad“. He goes on to state that while people do not see the iPad as a realistic alternative to a PC at the moment, but rather that “consumers who purchase iPads may be more willing to delay purchases and upgrades of existing PCs”.

The iPad is considered a massive success with Apple having already sold 3.27 million at least since launch.

The Hero HD for iPad Review

A new app for download on the iPad is “the Hero HD” which is available for $1.99 or £1.99. The App is brought to you by Chillingo, the people who brought you Angry Birds. As you’d expect the Menus are slick yet simple and very well designed.  There is also the Option to Play with Friends if they also have the app via the Crystal Online System.

The app follows the same premise of the iPhone version of the app. You play the Hero and steer him around to stop robbers, catch falling babies, put out fires, even stop giant spiders!

There are three control methods to choose from. Tilt to steer, finger control or my favourite and the default, D-Pad control. They all have their pros and cons; tilting for example can leave your arms feeling the strain after a while. They do all however, offer a great deal of responsiveness and accuracy. There are other buttons such as the Speed-Boost (it does what it says on the tin) and Superpower buttons which offer a great deal of fun and variety.

The graphics are really nice with an almost comic-like feel. Colours are bright and vivid, the artwork is superb and nicely styilised. There is a good variety between levels whether it be in the sky colours, the buildings or just the number of different challenges, it never feels like you are playing the same level twice despite the simple concept.

This is app is also great for those -and if you’re reading this, you’re probably going to be one of said ‘those’- who have imagined being a super hero.  For when you really get the hang of the game you can perform moves of almost a cinematic nature. My personal favourite is flying high in the air, turning around and to just speed towards the Earth and smash a tank to Kingdom come!

The Hero HD is a great app to just pick up and play. It is a pleasure to use and is extremely fun. There is more variety than you’d expect and  you will find yourself saying “Just one more level…” again and again. The Hero HD is excellent value as you’d expect from Chillingo. The Hero HD for iPad could definitely be what Angry Birds is on the iPhone