Our new app is out! Quip. A new Twitter app for iPad.
Dude, your pixels haven’t gone anywhere! The new iPad’s retina display squeezes four of them into the space that only one occupied on previous iPads. So here’s the magic: this means they pretty much disappear right before your eyes. Apple calls this a ‘retina display’ because at normal viewing distance, your eyes can’t see individual pixels anymore. Curved lines no longer look like small dots joined together – they actually look more like vectors. To get an idea for the difference, take a look at the magnified comparison above.
A couple weeks ago, when Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced the new iPad and its retina display, he also announced that it would be in stores in just over a week. So naturally we got to work on preparing The Early Edition 2 for the new display. Four days later, version 2.2 was ready, and to our surprise it was approved the morning that the new iPad launched.
The Early Edition is now finally matched by a display so detailed that it resembles real ink on real paper.
Seeing this update for the first time in the Apple Store that morning was an amazing experience. Sure, our new graphics look as great as I’d hoped at retina resolution, but even more stunning are text and images. The Early Edition is now finally matched by a display so incredible that it resembles real ink on real paper. Photos look like high quality prints. Wow.
Naturally with any Apple release, there were the usual handful of articles labelling it an incremental update and that Apple should have done more. My local TV news simply reported that the new iPad had ‘a better screen and a faster processor’. Reports like this simply don’t understand the difference a retina display makes on a device like the iPad.
Today it will be something cool, tomorrow something you never imagined possible.
I’ve always thought of the iPad as fundamentally just a canvas. The multitouch display is its one big feature. Combined with the App Store, the iPad’s uses are limitless. Today it will be something cool, tomorrow something you never imagined possible. The device won’t have changed but what you use it for will. If you think about the iPad’s retina display as a hardware spec, you’re doing it wrong. It doesn’t make the iPad better, it makes apps better. It transforms dots into paint. It turns digital images into actual photographs. It makes digital text look like ink on a page.
There’s nothing minor or incremental about that.
The Early Edition v2.1 has today been approved by Apple. This is a big update and includes wide variety of new improvements, services and features.
One the headline features in 2.1 is a deep integration with Readability. Not only can you now view short-content feeds in Readability’s clean interface, but we’ve also included full syncing with Readability accounts, so you can even view and manage your Reading List, Favorites and Archives.
Another big improvement is the new image gallery view. Now when you tap an image you’ll go straight to the image view and when you tap text you’ll go to the feed view. You can also swap between image, feed and web view via the toolbar and keep swiping through content seamlessly. (note: for anyone who prefers the old double-tap for image view, it’s available as an option in Settings).
We’ve also included support for sharing to Evernote, Pinboard and Readability, plus a really handy ‘Quick-share’ option in Settings:
Configuring your newspaper and sections is now even quicker and easier, thanks to the one-tap shortcut menu:
Here’s the full list of what’s new:
- Significant sync and assembly speed improvements
- Major overhaul for viewing images, (plus image view now appears with one tap instead of two).
- Readability integration
- Headlines now given more lines before being truncated
- New sharing services: Readability, Evernote and Pinboard
- Sharing services are now reorderable in Settings
- Full Readability account sync with access to Reading List, Archives and Favorites (via a second shoebox)
- Quick-share setting: choose a sharing service to add to your long-tap contextual menus
- More efficient image loading algorithm
- Paper doesn’t require a roll-up for as many actions
- New (AVOS) and old (Yahoo!) login support for Delicious
- Now allows darker screen dimming for night reading
- Maximum number of articles is now capped at 15,000
- Many UI tweaks and improvements
- More logical version number (now 2.x instead of v1.x)
- Bug fixes
The Early Edition is available on the App Store here.
Apple has approved the latest update to The Early Edition 2, which contains a number of new features, bug fixes and other improvements:
What’s new in v1.0.3:
- NEW: Instapaper Mobilizer added to Settings
- NEW: Short-content options added to Settings (optionally defaults to web view if content contains fewer than 1, 3 or 5 lines of text)
- NEW: Image frequency added to Settings: Most, Some or None (i.e. you can now choose to see fewer images per page, or none at all)
- NEW: Font settings added for better support of non-English languages
- NEW: Pinch-to-close article added
- FIXED: Yesterday’s paper now loads while auto-fetch occurs
- FIXED: The date is now properly updated every day
- FIXED: ‘Auto-fetch – Every launch’ setting when app is foregrounded
- FIXED: Sync bug which was causing prolonged sync time for some users
- FIXED: Other minor bugs and visual improvements
For more information about The Early Edition 2, please have a look at the Product Page or watch the video below.
Gift Plan v1.3 has today been approved by Apple. This update improves workflow, adds support for ages and addresses a few minor bugs. We hope you’ll enjoy the changes. Here’s the full list of what’s new:
✔ Now displays ages for birthdays (including notifications)
✔ Adding to Ideas and Shopping takes one less step
✔ Recipient is no longer required for Ideas or Shopping entries
✔ Occasion is no longer required for Ideas, Shopping or Bought entries
✔ Entering a year is now optional when adding occasion dates
✔ Fixed bug with passcode screen sometimes not appearing
✔ Minor performance improvements
Gift Plan is available on the App Store here.
Being an app developer, it’s a given that whenever a new iOS device is announced, I’ll be getting one. I can live with that, but the downside is that our first generation iPad (which I keep for testing older hardware and operating systems) ends up lying around and gathering dust.
Ever since I got an iPad 2 I’ve been trying to think of ways to give the older one more of a dedicated use. But what? Nothing really came to mind aside from using it to play videos for the kids on long car trips, which doesn’t happen all that often. Then the other day I saw this awesome under-cabinet mount by Griffin. Perfect!
Except for two small problems: Firstly, it’s only available for the original iPad (not a problem now, but when screws are involved I like some flexibility). And secondly, even if Griffin decides to make attachments for future iPads, the mount itself is only available in the US.
Then Xavier Verhoeven (iPad accessory maker and former online editor at Australian Macworld) reminded me of an Aussie startup with a product called The Wallee. The Wallee is an iPad case with an X-shaped hole in the back, with accessories that let you hang it, hold it, swing it or do whatever you like with it. And it turns out they have a Vesa mount for it, which suddenly means it will work with hundreds of brackets from any number of other manufacturers.
So after finding a Vesa mount and confirming with the Wallee guys that it would work, I bit the bullet and ordered all the necessary bits and pieces.
Here’s what I got:
- Brateck under-cabinet Vesa mount ($18.13)
- Wallee iPad case ($39.95)
- Wallee wall mount disk ($10.00)
- Wallee Vesa adaptor ($14.95)
This is what the Wallee case looks like from the back. I got a clear one, but there are other colours available.
This shows the under-cabinet mount with the Wallee Vesa adaptor and wall mount attached to it. The hinge tilts 110 degrees and swivels 360.
Here’s what it looks like when folded away under the cabinet.
All set up. The app shown is TuneIn Radio Pro. (highly recommended – the UI is excellent and it has all the major Australian stations).
The Wallee can be rotated 90 degrees, so both orientations are supported. The app shown here is the excellent The Photo Cookbook.
Being English, my wife likes to keep up with the latest on the BBC iPad app.
All in all, I’m very happy with the result. Sure it’s not as sleek and tidy as the Griffin one, but I can live with this and my wife is stoked to have radio, email, Skype, the web and recipes all within reach and without consuming valuable bench space.
Have you got an iPad rig or dedicated use for an old iPad? Please share it in the comments!