Category Archives: iPad

iPad 2 – Hits stores in Australia Friday 25th March

That’s right…tomorrow is the next big game changer for the Australian tablet market, the iPad 2 is being launched.

According to Lifehacker Australia’s sources the new generation iPad will be available online from 1am tomorrow (25/03/11), but if you want to buy one in store (at a selected authorised Apple dealer) , your going to have to wait until 5pm. Maybe this is designed to build more hype. I know when we purchased our iPad last year we just walked into a store at 9:10, picked one up and left 20 minutes later, no lines or mass queues.

Pricing has also been released:

For Wi-Fi only models: 16GB is $579, 32GB is $689 and 64GB is $799. For the Wi-Fi+3G models, the 16GB model is $729, the 32GB is $839 and the 64GB is $949. Standard smart covers are $45, while the leather versions are $79.

Lifehacker Australia

In today’s Green Guide from the Age it was reported that 70% of iPads sold in the first day in the recent US launch were sold to new customers. So those looking at upgrading might miss out tomorrow unless you get in quickly.

It also appears that recent world events in Japan may cause component shortages and may even cause the price of some electronics to increase due to a loss of both facilities and a workforce.


iBooks for iPad updated now with OS4 devices support (iPhone and iPod Touch)

Today I noticed on our iPad here that the iBooks application had a pending update. A quick look at the change log revilved the following:

What’s New in Version 1.1

• In addition to iPad, iBooks is now available on any iPhone or iPod with iOS 4.
• Open and read PDF documents from Mail. PDF documents will be added to your library and appear on the PDF bookshelf. You can even search PDFs for words or phrases and bookmark your favorite pages.
• Take advantage of new ways to bookmark. In addition to highlighting a word or a passage, you can now also add notes or bookmark an entire page with the new page ribbon.
• Keep your bookmarks, notes, and your current page wirelessly in sync between iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with the new automatic bookmark syncing feature.
• See your book pages in a new font, called Georgia.
• Read your books on white or sepia colored pages.
• Choose left or fully justified text layout from Settings.
• Read pages with greater ease by increasing to even larger font sizes.
• Enjoy greater stability and better performance. (Source iBooks in the iTunes Store)

We personally hadn’texpereinced any stability issues with the first version, but then again we didn’t use it all that much, since it didn’t appear to have PDF support (For PDFs we have been using Stanza, which has also been updated with OS4 support).

Let us know in the comments how your find iBooks and if you are trying it out on an OS4 device.

iPad AirVideo [Apps]

Dying to watch some videos on your shiny new iPad? Well so was I…until I hit the file format wall.

The theory behind watching a video on an iPad is easy right, connect your iPad to your computer with iTunes, grab the video file and drag it into the movies section in iTunes and let it sync…Well apparently I’m wrong, because iTunes returned an error of:

"Video.mp4" was not copied to the iPad "andrew's iPad" because it cannot be played on this iPad.

Well now that’s annoying.

I was faced with two options: convert any video files that I wanted on my iPad, then copy them (hard way) or find a better way (easy way).

Well it turns out that the guys over at have a huge time saving solution for us: AirVideo (both free and paid versions)

How it works. (Short Version)

1) Install “Air Video Server” on the computer that has the videos that you want to watch, and configure the folder that the files are in.

2) Install the AirVideo app on the iPad (or iPhone)

3) Run the App, locate the server, find the file, press play and Enjoy.

How it works. (Extended version)

The Air Video server is a pretty graphical front end to the FFMpeg software that converts the video files on the fly, then streams it to the client app on the iPad/iPhone. If the file is already in the correct format all it needs to do is stream it. This works similar to how YouTube works.

The benefits:

The benefits of this solution is that you don’t have to waste time converting video files, then coping them onto your iPad before watching them. It’s snappy and it’s fast.

The downside to this method is that it only works within the local network of where the server is. (I’m pretty sure you could port forward your firewall/router to allow external access, but then there is the added cost of bandwidth)

The free version and the paid version are identical with their basic feature set, but the free version does have the limitation of  only being able to show 3-5 files/folders from the server at a time. (Which can make finding that particular video hard, on the positive side it means that you can add some random spice into what you watch)

For more information check out the Air Video site: [Air Video] or in the iTunes App Store [Free] or [Paid]

iPad Mail App Review

I have been toying with my new iPad for just over a week now, and one of the features that I have been testing out extensively has been the Mail application.
Mail appears to have the same support in the iPad as it does on an iPhone. Supporting: MobileMe, Google Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, AOL and with IMAP and POP email systems.

Setting up a breeze, just enter in your name, email address and password and Mail will go out and try and configure the device for you, if it can’t or fails, or needs additional server information it will ask you for it and finish off setting it up.

I have my iPad successfully connected to a Google Apps account (same as gmail) and a Microsoft Exchange server.
The exchange server took more work to setup because I had to add the additional server settings, whereas the Google Apps account worked its self out straight away.

Emails are great to view, when in horizontal mode, the current folder that you are viewing appears on the left, while the email that your reading appears on the right hand side of the screen. When it comes to writing an email it appears as a pop over box over the top of the dual panel screen.

To test out the mail attachment support I sent myself a number of test emails from my laptop to my ipad. These included 2 different word documents (both 2007 format, one was fairly basic while the other had more formatting and pictures inserted into it), a excel workbook with multiple spread sheets, and a PDF. All files types opened without an issue and in some cases looked better on the iPad than on my laptop. One thing I noticed with the Word Documents were that they blend all the pages together and remove the white space, rather than just leaving it blank like the desktop version of Word does. The Apple iPad site lists the following files as supported for viewing:

Mail attachment Support

Viewable document types: .jpg, .tiff, .gif (images); .doc and .docx (Microsoft Word); .htm and .html (web pages); .key (Keynote); .numbers (Numbers); .pages (Pages); .pdf (Preview and Adobe Acrobat); .ppt and .pptx (Microsoft PowerPoint); .txt (text); .rtf (rich text format); .vcf (contact information); .xls and .xlsx (Microsoft Excel) (Source:

Microsoft Exchange:

The calendar and contacts integrated beautifully with the calendar and contacts application on the iPad, with no known issues at this time. We shall see over the coming weeks how well this continues. A down side to note is that it won’t support any more than one exchange account on the iPad at any time. The alternative to this, is to use Outlook Web Access which works as well as it does in lite mode (such as when accessing it in firefox on a computer)

One issue I did run into is not being about to open eml (Forwarded emails from certain applications) on the iPad.

To wrap up, Mail on the iPad is great for when you’re away from your mail desktop/laptop or just want to quickly write an email/view an email. At this stage, I probably won’t be solely relying on it for my email, but rather leaving my email in the cloud and have the ability to access it when required.

1 of the last iPads in the store…

Following my purchase last Friday, I showed it to 1 of my clients on Tuesday who fell in love with it within 60 seconds…he loved the keyboard (although all he typed was his name), he loved the email system (all he saw was a test account that I set up and a email I sent him that said “Test from Andrew’s iPad”) he just had to have one…only problem, he is flying out this Saturday, and wants one before he goes. By the end of the day I was assigned this task: Find an iPad that I can buy before Saturday, and let me know of any accessories/apps/add-ons that I may need. So then started the search.
Again, starting at JB HiFi, they had a couple of the 64GB Wifi +3G models lefts ($1048), and were expecting a new shipment of others in the coming weeks…coming weeks! We wanted one now. I then preceded with a bunch of other “electrical” retailers such as the Good Guys and Harvey Norman to hunt down another iPad…no luck, I got the same old answer “We don’t stock those, and don’t know if we even will”.
The report back to the client went something like this:
The only place that has one left in town is JB Hifi for $1048.
Since you are flying out you will need at least a cover for them, they are about $25-$40 from JB Hifi.
All you mail/calendar/contacts will sync, just like you iPhone (The great thing about MS Exchange servers).
Apps you might want to buy are: Pages ($12.99) and Numbers ($12.99).

Later that night I received this email:

Hi Andrew

We managed to get one from JB Hi Fi walked in about 5.55pm (they close at 6) and then out of the store and on our way home 6.05pm.  We’ll have to get you to set up tomorrow so we don’t bugger it up first.


And that was it, 60 seconds playing with mine, and 24 hours later he had one in his hand. (He also got a case and stand with it)
It just shows what a great job Apple has done at attaching an experience along with this product. Yet I’m finding more and more that each person has a different “experience” attached to it.

A chilly Friday, no line, no waiting, no breakfast, one iPad.

Yep today is the day…Apple have launched their new iPad range in Australia. I decided this morning to give JB HiFi in a town a ring to see how sales were going. It turned out that the new iPads where only walking, not running out the door like I had expected. So instead I ran out the door, jumped in the car and drove down to pick up a new iPad. It was around 9:30 by the time I got there, I was able to walk upto the counter, enquire, make a decision, pay and walk out, all within under 20 minutes. (Anyone who has ever brought anything from JB Hifi that they kept out the back knows that it takes a while for the paper work to be done so that the device can be signed out of the store).

Upon arriving home, I ate some breakfast while the latest version of iTunes downloaded. After updating iTunes, going though all the sign up and registration processes, Next, Next, Next, I agree, Next, Finished, the iPad was ready.

By this time, good friend Phillip Day had arrived and we began to explore. Like little kids on Christmas morning, we pushed buttons, pressed things here, there, found out new things, it was all rather exciting.

I’ll post more information about the iPad and what I like and don’t like in future posts.

In the mean time, head over to Tekzilla ( and check out their in-depth reviews about the device.

Have you brought an iPad? If so let us know what you think in the comments section.