All posts tagged: iPad

➟ Turning Paper to Pixels with a New Game Design Tool

From Paper to iPad, Pixel Press Turns Drawings Into Videogames Bonnie Cha, recode.net I loved play­ing videogames as a kid, but I can’t say that I ever spent any time sketch­ing out ideas for my own games like my broth­er and his friends did. (My doo­dles usu­al­ly involved cute ani­mals or spelling out my crush’s name in bub­ble… The core concept is every kid’s dream: designing their own games for friends to play through, or just for the heck of it. But without some serious inspiration, what you can do in a short platformer level is very limited. I remember a D&D game maker tool for PCs in the 90s; that was infinitely better because you could create a STORY, and set up narrative funnels for your players. 20 years later, our idea of imaginative play can’t be restricted to letting kids carve out crude worlds in 3D chunks and 2D lines.

➟ Star Trek’s iPad-like designs

Not the freshest link on the internet by this point, but a really fantastic story about how budget constraints and creativity led to the creation of touch and screen-based control panels on the Enterprise, 23 years ago. Update: More awesome PADD screenshots here, including Facetime and image manipulation apps. Link [arstechnica.com]

Ditching Read It Later for Instapaper

This evening I made the switch from Read It Later to Instapaper. The latter is by far the more popular service. On the surface, it might be hard to choose one over the other. Their iPhone apps both cost $4.99 (Read It Later, Instapaper), they both have free-to-use websites, they both suck the text out of a web article you’re too busy to read at the moment of encounter, and store it online for later enjoyment. Well, at least that’s the idea. It seems grabbing the right text off a page isn’t that easy, and RIL was just letting me down too many times. Quite often I’d have words like Home, About, and Related Articles – clearly bits of the navigational interface missed by the dust filter – appearing before or in the middle of the story I wanted to read. Sometimes they’d be the only words on display: the article itself having been weeded out and tossed aside, 90% of the page’s content or not! The RIL text engine wasn’t very smart about pretending to …

➟ iPad magic in Tokyo

A Japanese magician performs a multimedia (and multi-prop) presentation with an iPad, out on the street by Ginza’s iconic Apple store. It’s a pretty impressive string of visual effects, one after another in under three minutes. Link [YouTube]

Why the $14.99 Ebook is a Tragedy for Reading

Edit: Inserted an extra paragraph before the last one, 20 minutes after hitting Publish. Sorry about that.— I couldn’t believe my girlfriend was oblivious to the huge row between Amazon and the publishing houses of Macmillan, HarperCollins, and Hachette. Until I remembered that, unlike me, she has a real job, and that the whole thing only blew up one week ago. “The iPad was announced only last week? No way, it feels like two weeks at least!” I said, not realizing that the constant reading of similar news stories can cause a retardation of time (amongst other things). If you haven’t caught up on Amazon’s ebook troubles, this post by John Scalzi will serve as an excellent primer. Short summary: Amazon used to sell ebooks at a near-standard price of $9.99, reportedly at a loss on what they paid the publishers, to help sell more Kindles.Monkey wrench: Apple’s iPad bookstore will reportedly let publishers set their own prices, which will be $14.99 for most new books.Result: Publishers have started to push Amazon to raise its …

The New Apple

There’s a phrase that tends to pop up in conversations about the latest divisive move from Cupertino: “the new Apple”. There’s always a new Apple that threatens the way things have been, or turns its back on a loyal segment; doing something other than what we, presumably desirable, tech-savvy customers want for our money. Lately, it’s been the iPad and its being in bed with the iPhone OS when we’d already arranged for a marriage to Mac OSX. It’s a computer for grandparents that will have severe implications for their grandchildren’s ability to grow up into the kind of curious, tinkering hackers who poke their noses where they don’t belong and thereby discover new and better ways to write software and build hardware and renew the flattened spirit of progress, thus we are destroying the circle itself!, the naysayers charge, gasping for air. With the iPhone model, software developers leave Apple a cut of every sale on the sides of their plates, while suffering the indignity of letting the publisher have final veto rights. Tinkering …

Fear of a Pad Planet

There’s been a certain reaction to the iPad from some quarters of the tech-inclined community, inspired by the belief that the device signals a shift towards a new form of computing that old people can finally understand. That reaction has been fear and apprehension. It begins by looking at the iPad as a better personal computer for the majority of people. After all, it surfs the web, does email, plays games, and that’s what most people do with their computers most of the time, right? Better yet, it does all of those things without a long boot-up sequence, viruses, and confusing computery concepts like a filesystem, administrator rights, directories (recently renamed ‘Folders’ for these same users), registries, multi-step installation procedures, and the list goes on. Parents will finally stop calling us for help with strange error messages, and we will forget that it was ever hard. But if people start to prefer the iPad and its descendants to ‘real’ computers, so the argument goes, then we will have robbed the next generation of a basic …

Alex Payne on the iPad

Alex Payne, in a widely-linked article, wrote today that: The thing that bothers me most about the iPad is this: if I had an iPad rather than a real computer as a kid, I’d never be a programmer today. I’d never have had the ability to run whatever stupid, potentially harmful, hugely educational programs I could download or write. I wouldn’t have been able to fire up ResEdit and edit out the Mac startup sound so I could tinker on the computer at all hours without waking my parents. The iPad may be a boon to traditional eduction, insofar as it allows for multimedia textbooks and such, but in its current form, it’s a detriment to the sort of hacker culture that has propelled the digital economy. As far as I can tell, Apple never intended for young Alex Payne to access the Mac’s startup sound any more than they intend for a future programmer to hack an iPad’s filesystem and do some tinkering of his own tomorrow. Sure it’s harder with DRM and encryption, …