Steve JobsThe whole Internet is buzzing with Steve Jobs’ resignation as Apple CEO and the possible effects it might have on Apple and its products. There are people who hate, admire, get inspired and feel hatred about him. But, someone who shaped and revolutionized the digital world with his products not in the seat of CEO doesn’t mean of his company doesn’t mean end of all. In fact, he will continue to be with Apple but might not be in the same capacity and not so close to the team, due to whatever reason and I respect. In my opinion, Apple will continue to amaze the world because Steve has sown the seeds already.

  • It’s not Steve who designed iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc. all by himself but his talented engineers he assembled, motivated and inspired for so long. The core skills he has implanted for decades in Apple makes him the leader.
  • Simplicity & user-centric design: Steve and Jonathan Ives (VP of Design) have created for Apple better than anyone for any company. I would say simplicity is Steve’s signature style. Form-factor and design of today’s many Apple consumer products will tell the success of Steve & Jonathan!
  • Not many have given so much importance to usability as Steve & his team have.
  • The culture of always looking for better things without settling for what they are, that he has infused into the organization and imbibed by many in Apple today will go a long way.
  • Of course, it was not with failure also (Steve is good in accepting failure too)! Apple had some not-so-great products but as everyone else it learned the lessons, recognized the potential and applied both in future vision!
  • In my perspective, Steve is a leader of innovation: from the bare metal lab to consumers’ heart, he has paved way for unique "experience" in everything in between. Innovation is not always about new things, but doing things differently too!
  • With due credit for other companies and individuals, Steve has set the standard for today’s mobile devices, be it a phone or a media player. Not just the devices, the applets on them, developing those applets, bringing them on to devices, advertising and making everyone profit from the whole ecosystem was the result of Steve and his team!

I am always inspired by this man of "innovation for simplicity"! Hats off to Steve!!

Just installed the GM seed of iOS 4.3 on my iPad. As announced in the recent iPad2 release, the new version has two new options:

  1. Set the side switch (the one above volume key on the right side) functionality: Mute or Lock Rotation.
  2. Sharing your iTunes library with any iOS 4.3 device (within the same network)

The multi-tasking gesture function that was originally announced to be a developer preview feature, now looks to be making its way to the final release also.

Here is the option to set the 1st feature:

iOS 4.3 New Features: Side Switch & Multitasking Gesture

The multi-tasking feature basically lets you switch between open applications with left/right swipe and see the open application list with ‘swipe up’. You can still double-press the Home button for the latter.

Now the 2nd – Home Sharing: This option as you probably know, lets you stream your iTunes library on your PC or Mac to other iOS 4.3 devices in the same network. In order to do this, you should first enable Home Sharing in iTunes (I did this in iTunes 4.2/Windows 7):

Turn on Home Sharing in iTunes 4.2

You will also be required to login with your Apple ID when you turn on Home Sharing. Once done, you can enable Home Sharing on your iOS 4.3 devices and see the shared iTunes library; you should again login on the device with the same Apple ID used for Home Sharing in iTunes. Let me repeat: your iTunes host PC/Mac and iOS 4.3 devices should be on the same network.

Home Sharing in iPad with iOS 4.3

After providing the same Home Sharing Apple ID, open your iPod application to view the shared library:

Home Sharing on iOS 4.3

Select your shared Library and you all set to enjoy your iTunes home sharing/streaming!! (the albums you see below are from my iTunes library on my Windows 7 box)

Home Sharing in iOS 4.3 in Action on iPad

I am yet to install the 4.3 GM on my iPhone. Not expecting any surprises…

After I figured out how images and movies from outside digital cameras can be imported into iPad, I don’t get that impulse to buy a big one anymore! :-)

The big question people might have after reading my earlier post is: why would anyone want to go through that painful process of renaming, copying and importing files while you can simply drag and drop them with the help of iTunes? Simple answer is more memory. If you have already stuffed up your iPad with lots of things but have more stuff to view on iPad, may be while on travel, you can simply copy those things to a large capacity SD/USB storage and use the Camera Connection Kit to view them on iPad. But mind you: you should have enough swap space on your iPad to import files. The whole idea is nothing but the memory paging concept of operating systems but applied in raw way, I don’t take the credit:-) So, in net:

[External Card Capacity] – [iPad Swap Space] = Extra iPad Virtual Memory!

In my case: [64GB USB Drive] – [Free 8GB of 16GB] = 56GB!!

On a lighter side: if you can carry more memory cards then total up their capacity so you will have even more stuff to play with :-)

This really took me for a ride!! In the past two days I burnt so much of energy trying HARD to transfer some JPEG and PNG files from my laptop to my iPad. The simple intention was to use those nice files for the "Digital Photo Frame" feature of the iPad. So, now I got my iPad Camera Connection Kit (CCK, as some people refer to it) and a 2GB SD card. I went over to my laptop, happily copied my favorite pictures to the SD card and inserted it into the SD Card connector on to the iPad. After a few seconds, the Photo application came up with a new Camera tab with a message "No photos to import". A bit baffled.

iPad not Recognizing Images

I triple-checked my SD card that the files were indeed there (underneath DCIM folder from the root) and they were readable by opening them off the card itself – no problems on that front but no luck yet. Confused enough, I deleted all the images on the card and copied a different set and repeated the procedure. To bring a little smile, this time iPad recognized some images on the card, but not all of them I copied. I went a step ahead and analyzed/compared the image properties (height, width, bit depth, file size, etc.) of the files recognized by iPad and those were not, but finally it hardly made any sense.

Frustrated enough I thought I would fool the iPad that the images were created by a camera by renaming the files on the card as DSC_NNNN.jpg where NNNN is a 0-padded number (almost all cameras save images in this file name format, numbering them sequentially) and inserted the card into the connector. WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!! There you go!! iPad recognized all the images I copied without any fuss! Honestly, this file renaming thing occurred to me completely from nowhere and I never ever thought it would work.

Windows Explorer View

[iPad recognizes images named as per the standard naming convention – IMG_NNNN or DSC_NNNNN; ignores others.]

iPad Recognizes Properly Named Images

Sure, I know this is a Camera Connection Kit and it is intended to import stuff from a camera but isn’t too much to expect people to plug in their memory card hot out of the camera into the connector OR have dependencies on the file names!!

I usually name my pictures as descriptive as possible, just out of habit but never I would land in such a funny trouble one day!

 

I hops this helps someone.

I do a lot of scribbling/note taking and draw diagrams (how can a software Architect be without diagrams :-) ) while in meetings, reading technical books and so started looking for a decent note taking application for my new iPad. Honestly, there are many notes applications but not many satisfied my key requirements sufficiently: 1. Handwriting & 2. Free-form drawing. Many iPad notes applications support keyboard (onscreen) based typing but who will have the patience to type in notes in quick meetings or change your flow from reading to typing. After doing quite a bit of research I finally ended up with Notes Plus. Just awesome!! For me this is only next to Microsoft’s OneNote in terms of features and well worth the money. It has features much more than what I expected. If you use a stylus (iPad-compatible), then that completes it!

Notes Plus photo

Worth mentioning features are:

  • Palm Pad (grey area at the bottom in the above screenshot) – help you rest your palm on the touch surface for comfortable handwriting (palm pad area becomes insensitive to your palm touch)
  • Excellent drawing support (though not extensive, I can do my mind-mapping diagrams in quick & dirty way )
  • Integration with Google Docs
  • You can mix handwriting, voice recording, freehand drawing, keyboard typing to any extent – something I love in Microsoft’s OneNote also!

There is one big compliant however: if you do lot of complex drawings then later delete them, the application simply crashes! I think it is because it over-does drawing pattern recognition, handwriting manipulation, etc.

I only wish Microsoft had developed iPad version of its OneNote application, but I am well settled with Notes Plus now.

I highly recommend this iPad app for those who are looking for a ‘value-for-money’ notes app for iPad.

 

Note: I am just one among the satisfied users of Notes Plus application and no way connected to the company developed it.