Dictationopt

Your New iPad does dictation… sort of.

When this feature is enabled, you’ll see a little microphone key to the left of the spacebar in apps which allow text input.

Theoretically, this is a good idea. However, I’ve tried a couple of dictation apps, and the reality is horrible. While I accept that you need to train these things, you probably won’t have the time to do this, if you don’t have to do it. And if you MUST dictate, you probably already have an iPad app which does this for you.

So I gave the dictation feature a little trial… a very little one.

As you can see from the three phrases I tested in the image above, the app got one right — “so far, so awful”.

Admittedly, the test is unfair. I shouldn’t have tried a phrase at a time, and I should have spent half an hour or so training the application.

I may yet do that, when I have the time.

If you use this feature, please share your impressions in the Comments.

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iPad: Life-Changing in Two Years

by Angela on March 17, 2012

It’s almost two years since I got my hands on my first iPad.

I just came across this old blog post, iPad: the reading and writing experience | Writing Hacker by Angela Booth:

“Until the end of April therefore , I get to read stories from other writers who already have iPads. (However, I may need to stop this habit of reading everything iPad-related. If I’m not careful, I’ll be counting the number of sleeps until the end of April. I can feel myself regressing. )”

Um yes, I was counting the sleeps, I admit it. :-)

Looking back, I can see that the iPad has changed this writer’s life, it’s truly magical.

Here’s how.

* Most of my reading is done on the iPad these days.

I never thought this would happen — I’m a BOOK person. I’d never move anywhere if the location didn’t have a great library, and I never go shopping without visiting a bookstore…

Two years ago, I would have laughed aloud if someone had told me I’d prefer reading on a digital device.

And yet — two years later, here we are. I spend hours reading every day, and I prefer reading on my iPad to reading books. Go figure.

* I think on my iPad.

Before the iPad, I never went anywhere without a small notebook in my pocket, and a pen clipped to my blouse. Nowadays, I create mind maps on my iPad, and create voice notes.

If I’m planning a new ebook, or even a blog post, I do it on the iPad — my iPad’s rarely more than a couple of feet from me, no matter where I am.

* I run my life from my iPad.

My work calendar and all my planning tools live on my iPad — I even keep my diary on my iPad.

Every morning, when I first wake up, I make notes. Since I’m still half-asleep, I create those notes on a paper notepad. Then I take a photo of each note — and it appears on my iPad.

Yes, the iPad has changed my life.

I love this video of a two-year-old with an iPad… and I wish I were two, too… :-)

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New iPad? Just as Magical

by Angela on March 16, 2012

I love my iPad. I’m rarely more than a few feet away from it. To me, it’s entertainment and productivity and creativity in one sleek package.

When my New iPad arrived, I loaded it up from my backup, and sadly packed away my original iPad.

Why sadness? The memory of Steve Jobs, when he introduced the iPad.

Watch this video from two years ago: he introduces the iPad, and its raison d’être.

He knew the iPad was compelling, and very quickly we all did too.

Still… My old iPad does everything I want it to, so why the need for the latest iPad?

As this article points out, In Praise of Apple’s iPad (the First One) – Businessweek:

“You may be completely happy and satisfied with the iPad1 or iPad2, and then, before you know it—despite any economic sense and rational judgment—you find yourself right where Apple wants you: waiting in line.”

So true.

But here’s the thing. Steve Jobs was right. The iPad is magical. And that’s reason enough for the New iPad… a little more magic.

Just to make you smile, here’s the iPad Keynote in less than 180 Seconds: Incredible, Beautiful, Amazing!

Magic.

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High Resolution Display

The new Kindle app on the New iPad

Happy days, the New iPad has arrived. :-)

Since I spend more time reading in the Kindle app than doing anything else on my iPad, I was delighted to see that the Kindle app has been updated to take advantage of the gorgeous new display.

You can read more about the new app in this article, Kindle for iPad app now optimized for new high-resolution display | Digital Media – CNET News:

“One of the big benefits of the new iPad’s high-resolution display is how sharp it renders text–and how good e-books and other text-based content looks on it.

Apple, of course, has already updated its iBooks e-reader app to optimize it for the new display. And now Amazon has introduced a new version of Kindle for iPad that’s also optimized for the new iPad’s display.

So, what’s it like to read on the New iPad?

Wonderful. The text is crisp and clean. It reminds me of going to the optometrist, and getting a new pair of glasses — everything is brighter and cleaner.

Here’s an image of a page in the New iPad…

Read

Thank you Amazon, for this app.

Most of all, of course, thank you to Steve Jobs for the iPad…

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Your Mac is no longer as safe as it was.

This article Eric Schmidt: Want Security? Get a Mac | PCWorld Business Center reports:

“Meanwhile, over the on the Mac, the MacDefender malware, which inspired the security update from Apple, has apparently mutated into Mac Guard, which doesn’t require a password to install. This could fool even users who are technically savvy and who have been taught that programs without a password prompt are limited in the potential damage they can do. Installation of the malware starts automatically once users visit certain Web pages if Safari is set to ‘open safe files after downloading.’”

Be sure to disable automatic file opening after a download.

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When you dump your PC and enter the promised land of the Mac world, concerns about malware and other evils fade away.

This article, Malware on the Mac: is there cause for concern? Ars investigates, looked the malware on the Mac, and reports:

“Tom Bridge, a partner at a firm called Technolutionary, seemed to think that Mac users might be better at avoiding malware because of previous experiences on other platforms. ‘We have yet to see a single one of the Macs we support be hit by MAC Defender or its like,’ Bridge told Ars. ‘We have clients that have been taken by these scams before on PCs, and perhaps they are just more well educated against this particular type of scam, but generally speaking, we’re not seeing this here in the DC area.’”

Maybe Mac users are more wary, or they’re lucky. Or maybe Macs are built to withstand most attempts to subvert its platform.

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OmniOutliner for iPad: Available Now

by Angela on May 15, 2011

OmniOutliner for iPad

Happy days, OmniOutliner for iPad is finally available. Saw it, bought it, and…

sent the suave Help outliner file to myself via email.

Then waited, heart in mouth, to open it in Outliner Pro 3.9 on my Mac…

Results? See the image above.

Love it. Outliner Pro is my favorite app on my Mac, and now it’s on the iPad too. No more fiddling around with my workflow!

Thank you Omni Group. :-)

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Scrivener 2: Out this Month

by Angela on October 4, 2010

The Cellar Door » Scrivener 2.0 – Coming Soon (No, Really).jpg

If you’re a writer, and you use a Mac, you know Scrivener. Chances are, it’s one of your favorite apps. Big news: Scrivener 2.0 is on its way, and I can’t wait.

Apparently the enhancements aren’t major, they just refine what’s already there. (This is fine with me, I like Scrivener the way it is.) The Cellar Door » Scrivener 2.0 – Coming Soon (No, Really) reports:

“Although it may not seem too exciting, perhaps my personal favourite aspect of Scrivener 2.0 is the way the corkboard, outliner and Edit Scrivenings features are now fully integrated. In Scrivener 1.x, the corkboard and outliner were always available if you were viewing a single document, but only the corkboard could be used to show a multiple selection; Edit Scrivenings, meanwhile, was a mode you ‘dropped’ into from one of the other modes, and there was no way of just clicking back out of it again… No wonder it was a source of confusion for new users. Scrivener 2.0 does away with the arbitrary differences between these modes and makes them all available from a single toolbar control:”

Other BIG news, for Windows users, is that Scrivener for Windows is on the way too.

As far as I know, there’s no app for Scrivener on the iPad on the way, which is a shame, but you can synchronize Scrivener text documents with SimpleNote, as this video shows:

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iPad and Velcro: a Love affair

by Angela on May 29, 2010

Got an iPad? Got Velcro? You’ll be amazed at what you can do…

iPad + Velcro from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

Some of these ideas are great; I’ll definitely be Velcroing my iPad to a kitchen shelf so that I can book with Jamie Oliver.

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iPad: report of “crippled” iWork apps

by Angela on April 7, 2010

Apparently some iPad owners are annoyed that the iWork apps (Pages etc) for the iPad aren’t as full-featured as the full-fledged iWork applications on OS X.

Crippled iWorks apps for iPad causes confusion and frustration for new owners | Hardware 2.0 | ZDNet.com reports:

“The problem here is that Apple is attempting to blur the lines between the desktop/notebook ecosystem and the iPad by releasing the iWorks apps for the iPad, but the company is being disingenuous in obfuscating the limitations of the mobile app, especially when those limitations can actually cause irrevocable changes to those documents.”

Sorry, but I can’t see the problem. Sure it’s annoying to get less than you expect, but it seems odd to expect the full-blown iWork applications on… well, I hate to say it.. a TOY.

The iPad has been pushed as a consumer product, on which you can do some work if you wish, rather than a full productivity machine.

Surely the price of the products should offer a clue.

Here you go: iWork 09 is USD $79. The apps for the iPad are $9.99 each. Basically, you’re getting iWork at half price, so it’s only reasonable to assume that there would be fewer features than on the OS X version.

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