iPad 2017: A Few weeks In

You may have noticed I used to do a lot more Apple evangelist type stuff. Then again I used to blog more often too, for the Apple stuff though there has been a lot less to write home about as the computer tech world seems, to me anyway, to be stuck in a malaise of mediocrity. Nothing is particularly bad, Windows has caught up to MacOS again after deciding that desktops are different than tablets and phones. Thanks for playing guys.

iOS 10.3 is an excellent platform for all your mobile needs as is the latest version of Android. It is down to personal preference which you prefer, unless you go bargain basement both operating systems have similar features albeit in different places.

But I got myself a new iPad. Go figure.

My MacBook is wonderful, but very old being born as she was in 2009. So I thought the iPad would take the strain of my daily use prolonging the life of “old faithful” and with the £100 price cut and the introduction of a new faster chip (A9) it was a no brainer even for me.

As firmly ensconced in the Apple infrastructure as I am, this is my first iPad (not made by Fisher Price) set up was a breeze. I actually used my iPhone as wi-fi hotspot as I am a child and couldn’t wait to get it home to set up. Sign in with your Apple ID and you are good to go. As long as you have iCloud turned on everything from email to bookmarks and photos were available to me. My tinfoil hat has long been folded up in a drawer, if people want to find out about you they will whatever you do. Chances are they don’t so you may as well use cloud services for the ease of use they bring. Apple have been in court fighting for user privacy, so I don’t think they’ll want to see my iCloud pictures of my prize winning rooster or my Persian cat. Someone tells me there are enough pictures of cocks and pussys freely available on the internet.

More professional reviewers than I say that the Pro line of iPad’s are designed to replace computers. Well I couldn’t afford one of those and all I do these days is browse and write, sometimes at the same time thanks to the great split screen feature. So, so far the iPad (unprofessional) is doing a great job. Yes if I was a YouTuber I might be pushed to edit video on it, but as long as I didn’t run out of storage (I got the 32 gb version) iMovie could do a passable job 1080p editing.

I have got faster typing on the virtual keyboard. Although I feel in the coming months I will get some kind of stand/case/keyboard thing. Dunno which yet due to the wonderful naming convention system. This simple boy is confused.

So far, very pleased. It does everything I thought it would. Battery good, screen good, apps plentiful. For what it is, it’s a very good value device.

(WMB4X) QuizUp

Something new for these fair pages an App Review. Or more likely as it turns out me saying “Look at this cool App” So look at this cool App.


QuizUp is a pretty damn sweet quiz (clues in the name people) game from Plain Vanilla. It’s a very simple premise, download the App from the App Store (Android version on the way) create an Account, you can use Facebook, Twitter or email address for this then you are off and running. Choose from over 250 different topics anything from Family Guy to Myths and Legends or Logos to Harry Potter, you then get to answer 5 questions multiple choice questions for a maximum of 20 points followed by a sixth question for a maximum of 40 points.

The longer you take to answer the lower your score will be, getting the answer wrong will mean you get nothing. It may also mean you want to launch your iPhone or iPad across the room. Oh of course you are not playing against your phone. You are playing against your friends, if you link your Facebook, Twitter or Game Center, or if you are a loner like me random strangers from across the globe, so it does require an active internet connection. However if you want to challenge one of your friends who happens to be lets say hard at work or busy contemplating their navel you can set a score for them to try and beat later on. In addition you can also find players nearby to play.

I did think initially that it was going to be too Americanized (note the “z” in homage) for me. And yes some of the TV rounds will have people without the “right to bear arms” perplexed, as will some of the Logos. However I have noticed the very English (now owned by GM) Vauxhall (known as Opel elsewhere) pop up. This game will only get better as time passes because they allow the community to apply to submit their own questions. The key word here is “apply” implying that there is a vetting process so, “Whats the largest landmark in Sweden?” Answer “Yo Mamma.” quite disappointingly won’t occur.

My advice. It’s free, give it a bash. Then when you have finished that play QuizUp. You might even end up playing me. Be warned its addictive. (They aren’t paying me)


Visit the Resident Weeble’s blog. He’s the reason I look like I know about Game of Thrones. I thought it was a regal version of musical chairs

(WMB4X) Pain in the Analysts

I would like to think myself creative (but I’ve tried and it didn’t work) I was never too good with numbers (which is why I work in stats now) there are people who love the numbers, get lost in the spreadsheets and can draw a pie chart quicker than I can draw my curtains. They love the fact that there is no grey area with numbers, it’s either right or wrong off or on. Binary list of 0’s and 1’s.

Know your numbers and you can make some serious cash. As a banker, a broker or Carol “I’ll sell anything” Vorderman. You can even be a market analyst, a gazer into the financial crystal ball. These people are telling us what we want before we even know we want it, and they have huge influence over the finances of the world and where money is invested, what with buy-ratings and the like.

In the world of business an equal amount of creativity and market nous is needed to make it. We can’t all be Jonny Ive. However it is important to get right people in the right roles. Money people, are not experts on lets say consumer electronics.

In 2008 analysts said that Apple needed to make a Netbook. (Remember those)

Netbook popularity in 2008 (PriceGrabber)

In 2010 Apple released the iPad, which is definitely not a Netbook. The rest as they say is history. Now in 2013 analysts say Apple need a iWatch, an actual Apple TV (not just the great set top box) a larger iPhone, a Smaller iPad, a larger iPad, A social network, a video games console the list is endless.

Apple may or may not make some of these things. But thanks to analysts we now get stupid headlines like this “Apple TV set reportedly delayed to at least 2015 over content deal trouble” So a product that hasn’t been announced is delayed. I mean even First Great Western couldn’t be accused of running a late train if it wasn’t announced. So what harm do these stories do?

Share price dip. These analyst wet dreams can wipe billions off companies share price. Why should we care? Well companies may rush things to market to keep the analysts happy and share prices high. Meaning we get to spend our hard earned on something thats half finished. Also analysts aren’t creative, they are more like a jealous neighbour “Keeping up with the Joneses.” ‘Well they have one, so you should too.’

All companies (Apple Inc included) are worryingly conforming to market pressure. This may lead to a very boring future. Like letting Bob from Accounts design your website. Scary very scary.

Please visit the Resident Weeble His 8 book deal with Penguin has been delayed

iPad Mini: “Isn’t the Nexus tab crappy”

Before 2009 there was another tech love dear to my heart. Even now in the midst of my Apple fan boyism there is a piece of my heart that will be forever Sony. This love began simply as love stories all should. I won a colouring contest in the mid 1980’s and was presented with a new Sony Walkman. I was well and truly wired for sound. I did indeed listen to “Wired for Sound” on it too big Cliff Richard fan back in the day. (I was a strange child) That Walkman was used and abused and lasted at least 10 years before it died. A love was born.

I then set about filling birthday and Christmas lists with Sony kit, in the hope that my parents could take out a second mortgage and buy all the kit I asked for. Between the years of 1990 and 1997 I got given a Sony Triniton TV for my bedroom and a boom box style CD player. I loved them dearly and took them both to my new house when the need was there to spread my wings. I then set about filling my own house with Sony kit.

PS1 then PS2 and onto the present PS3, DVD recorder, Freeview box, and pride of place a 27” wide screen Sony CRT. At the same time I was doing this the company themselves were in trouble. Loosing money like no tomorrow. You see between the Walkman and Blu-Ray Sony forgot how to innovate. They famously lost the battle for home entertainment, with their technically superior betamax losing out to the less expensive VHS tech of JVC. A few years ago Sony had slipped into a bad practice of re-badging. This is letting someone else make things and shoving your name on the front. Wouldn’t be bad if these products were good but alas this was not the case. Sony’s reputation for good quality suffered.

Now I fear that Apple have forgotten how to innovate. Yesterdays launch of the iPad Mini is a case in point. The iPad was a innovative device that changed the landscape of computing and created a market all it’s own. Others tried to compete but could not match the quality user experience that the large screen iPad gave. Now it has gone mini. Why? I have a horrid feeling it is because it’s competitors have.

Last nights Keynote was without a doubt the worst Apple event I have witnessed. Don’t get me wrong the new iMac’s are amazing as the 13” retina display MacBook pro was predictable. But the iPad Mini section… or as I like to call it “Aren’t Google Tablets shit” section was awful. I cannot remember an Apple presentation that focused so much on a rivals product. This includes the entire Mac vs PC campaign.

Engineered so you can hold it in one hand, like an bigger unwieldy iPhone then. What is it for? Small and portable, you have your phone. Easier to create and absorb content for extended periods (with optional Coffee and bagel) you have the full sized iPad. Who is this device for? Who is it aimed at?

It’s not cheaper, sorry less expensive, than equivalent Android devices, so anyone in the Android Army is unlikely to jump ship, especially when you factor in the cost of buying new Apps. So what is the main competitor for the iPad Mini? The 4th Generation iPad. This appears to me to be Apples very own “Starbucks” moment Apple competing with well… Apple.
That’s not to say it won’t sell, oh it will. There will be lines of people, whooping and hollering excited to buy what is essentially a smaller iPad 2. Two whole generations behind it’s larger retina displayed brother.

iPad Mini every inch because someone else was doing it.

Spirit of Adventure

Lots of people write blogs about their various travels to glorious places, where they take fantastic pictures with cameras worth more than I would get if I sold one of my love spuds on eBay. Jealous much? Maybe. But then again maybe not. I love looking at the pictures, there are some spectacular places in the world. Do I want to travel there? With the plane journeys, spiders, and mile long hikes only to find the view is obscured by fog. No not really.

Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant (creators of the Office) have made two series (seasons) of travel shows for people like me. “An Idiot Abroad” for those who haven’t seen it is where they send Karl Pilkington, a man who shares my view on world travel, to all these far flung places. Then they film his views and reactions, to be fair Karl looks at things in a unique way that I could never get close to, so maybe it’s not a good comparison. But there is common ground.

It’s not just travel. I do not like to take risks, I like to plan my fun night out, I hate surprises, I’ve never taken any drugs stronger than ibuprofen largely because I’m not sure how they will effect me, no anti-drug crusade here. I know that my friends from time to time must get frustrated with my inability to go for so much as a coffee without consulting my calendar.

What is to be gained by spontaneous actions? Whenever I have thrown caution to the wind it has come back and smacked me in the face. There is a reason why the term “grasping the nettle” exists, in my experience all you get is a swollen hand and a spontaneous afternoon in search of calamine lotion or a dock leaf.

There must be something to it, otherwise no-one would do anything. High risk strategies pay off in lots of areas, business for example. The iPad when it first launched was high risk, all tablet computers had failed and now look at it. Perhaps some of you are actually looking at it, Hello there iPad blog readers! I guess that’s why I’m never gonna be Steve Jobs.

Spontaneous actions drive progress. Travel broadens the mind, enriches the soul. But without the planners of the world, the progress would stagnate because the inventors of the “next big thing” would have already moved on to the “next next big thing” leaving early adopters in the dust wondering why they brought what they did.

Sometimes I yearn for adventure, but then the nerves kick in, and I have to consult my calendar!

I’ll leave the adventures to these folks! They take better photos than I could dream of!

Whilst I Was Sleeping

Whilst my motivation has been lacking I missed:

Jimmy Carr and Tax
Team DB not for Team GB
Microsoft Surface
Euro 2012
Murray Mania

So because I know you are all dying to hear what I (the angry masses) thinks about all this microblog a go go.

Jimmy Carr

Rich man employs people to pay as little tax as possible shocker. “It’s not fair” scream the masses all of whom would have done the same thing if they had:

1. Thought of it
2. Could afford a decent accountant.

Life isn’t fair, people will always want more for less in return. Human nature folks, embrace it.

Team DB not for Team GB

David Beckham 25 year old footballer plays for Man Utd and England, he has the vibe of a man who has yet to reach the pinnacle of his career, he has a wicked right foot that can fizz crosses into the box and he can hit a dead ball with style similar to that of Roberto Carlos. So it is a travesty that this young talented player has been denied a chance to perform at London 2012. What do you mean he’s 37 and a bit part player in LA? You are kidding me???

The Olympics is supposed to be for athletes who are at the peak of fitness to compete with each other according to Olympic ideals and values. Yes David Beckham gave a lot to bring the games to London but so did Seb Coe. I don’t see anyone mounting a campaign for him to get out his running spikes. Why? Because he had his time. As has Beckham.

Microsoft Surface

Finally a piece of hardware that suits Windows 8. An iPad killer? No. I don’t think so one because the iPad fitted into an ecosystem that was already in existence, and the distribution plans are shaping up to be a nightmare. On launch the Surface will only be available at Microsoft Stores and online in the states. How many stores? Less than 30!

Euro 2012

England were ok. Despite all the press saying we failed. We played a defensive game versus Italy that nearly worked. Boring well maybe, but defending is part of the game too. Spain were a cut above. The dutch need to actually like each other, relax in each others company. Maybe over a smoke and a pancake.

Murray Mania

Tennis. I can watch. Not the greatest fan but I can watch. Wimbledon however seems to be surrounded by people who are unaware that Tennis is played as part of a world tour. They seem to think that Tennis pros play for 2 weeks in a year. I don’t think Andy Murray will ever win Wimbledon which is a shame for him and Scotland.