Happy Holidays Did You Remember Batteries

Batteries Chargers

It seems like today everything takes a battery? From a simple toy for the kids to that toothbrush you bought your spouse for Christmas. I remember years ago we forgot batteries for the kid’s toys only to be rushing out Christmas morning to buy some at a high priced convenience store. Now we move years later and everyone in the house is looking for a plug to charge something they are carrying or wearing. I guess the one positive thing to come out of all of these gadgets is that the battery companies and seeing stock prices go up, and that is good.

I find myself each night as many of you. I plug in my laptop, plug in my phone and take my watch off and connect it to its little cradle.  Then I can safely go to sleep knowing all my gadgets will be ready for me in the morning. One of the worse feelings is waking up and finding the plug was not all the way on my phone and it is running on fumes. Never fear I can plug it into my car on the way to work. Yes, we have become a battery/charger nation.

Sometimes I have to reflect back on the simple days. When you had to get up to change a channel on the TV, and when the phone rang we didn’t ask who’s phone was ringing we ran to the kitchen to answer it. When we left home we worried everyone was in the car not who gets to the car chargers first. But I must say I do enjoy the convenience of having a world of information in my pocket and now on my wrist. And I can honestly say since I have had my smartphone I have never been lost anywhere.

Let me hear how you handle a plugged in charged world that you live in? And have you ever thought of investing in a battery company?

IPad Keyboards

Having a keyboard for an iPad is really just you trying to turn it into a laptop, Right? Not really it is just a way to make the iPad easier to use to create content. The only issue I have ever found with iPad keyboards are that most of them are not very good. I bought a keyboard that is blue tooth and sits away from the iPad. I find these keyboards are more like a normal keyboard in that the keys have some travel room. The ones like the picture above really have no travel on the keys. If feels like you are typing on a table top. I have also found most of those keyboards have very small keys. The best one I have seen and I can’t afford it is the clam shell cases. They turn your iPad into a MacBook Air look alike. From what I hear they are very good and allowing you to type just as you would on a normal laptop. The bottom line is buy and try. If you buy from Amazon you can always return it if it just does not feel right.

The iPad Lineup

iPad Lineup

Apple has been working on the iPad since 2009 with the first one being released in 2010. When it was first released I seen this device as many did as being a larger iPhone. But after time and using one for awhile I found that is was much more then that. I now feel that Steve was creating a laptop killer or is this what he was thinking? The truth is many of us will still need a computer of some kind either a desktop or a laptop. I feel this because most of us are use to a full keyboard and internal hard drive and the programs we have grown use to using. But I sat and talked with a teacher yesterday who teaches computer classes. As we were talking she felt that as the younger generation grows up the keyboard is becoming less important to them. We are raising a generation of touch typist. I see the kids today and I know my own kids can type pretty fast with just their thumbs. So will the iPad or tablet computers someday replace laptops or desktops with keyboards? Time will tell the story. But as you see in the picture above we can see that the iPad  first got smaller and now they are getting larger. I think Apple is designing these devices to capture a entire market of users who either want to carry something smaller or something to do your daily work on. For me I really like the device mainly because the battery will last all day. I still like having a keyboard but I grew up with typewriters. Will tablets replace traditional computers? I think time will tell.

Creating On An iPad


It has been said by many people that you can not create content on an iPad? I even read a large column once that said it is not a creation tool. I have to admit it is different. It is not a computer this is true. Although it is used as a computer by many people. The smart phone in your pocket is also a computer. It seems now a days that these mobile devices are used by more people then the desktop computer. But that still leaves us with the question. Can you create content using an iPad?

I am writing this post using only an iPad. I have to admin I am using a bluetooth keyboard. Using the onscreen touch keyboard makes typing a little harder. It can be done but it is different. I see many people as well as myself using the iPad to take notes during meeting and conferences. You have to admin they are lighter and take up less room on your lap.

The truth is I can not use the iPad to do all of my work as a technologist. I need certain programs that run on a desktop. And I always say, there is really no one device that can handle every type of computing. We are getting close, but it’s just not there yet.

My last thought is. You can create content using the iPad. It is different and there might be a learning curve. But it can be done. But keep your computer, you might just need it again one day?

Larger Phones Less Tablets?

Large Phones

I have the opportunity to get a shinny new iPhone 6 under the Verizon Edge plan. My first thought is that I know I want to get the 64 Gig. I have a 5C now with 16 Gig and it always seems full. As I have been looking at others who have the new iPhone I have been asking if I should get the Plus 5.5″?

The first person I talked to told me “YES!” She says that she never uses her iPad any longer. She tells me she can watch movies on it and read books. The next person I talked to said, “NO!” He said that he can’t use one hand to text while driving. Okay well not an issue. I don’t text when I drive and if I have to respond I use Siri. My daughter got a larger LG phone and she loves it.

My over all thoughts is that these larger phones and replacing the tablets. Normally if I take a class or sit in a meeting I bring my phone in my pocket and I bring either my iPad or Windows 8 tablet or laptop. It might be nice to just have my phone. I have started looking for some kind of keyboard for the iPhone 6 but then it would be just another item to carry. We will get more into touch typing another time.

So what do you think? Do you have one of these larger phones? If so maybe you can comment and give the readers your thoughts. And I do get one of these little monsters I will do a blog post using it. Then we can maybe find out if it will be my tablet replacement?

Creating On The IPad

I hear that Microsoft will be releasing a version of office for the IPad? They are doing this at the expense of their very own Windows tablets because they don’t have a full version of office yet for their own platform.

I wanted to write this today again not to give you the tech news that has already been reported. But to tell you we have been creating on the IPad ever since they have been released into the wild. There has to be ways to create on the IPad they have been and are used in schools since they were first put on the market. I want to give you a few programs that already work very well on the IPad.

DocsToGo: I have been using this app ever since I was using a Blackberry. The app allows you to create slide shows, write documents, and create spread sheets. Not only that it allows you to open all forms on Microsoft documents.

Google Docs: Install the app Google Drive and have access to all of your Google Docs on your IPad. You can even create new documents while on the go. And best yet they since up with your Google Drive on all of your devices.

Key Note, Numbers and Pages: These are native apps written for the IPad from the creator of the IPad. Yes Apple and if you have a Mac you can open these documents anytime on the Mac from the Apple Cloud service.

So should we really be excited because now much like every time in history Microsoft is jumping on the moving band wagon? Here is the real kicker that set me on fire. This is going to be a subscription based service. Which means folks that you have to pay a monthly or a yearly fee to use office on your IPad! Stick with the one time paid or FREE apps. You will be happier at the end of the day.

If you have any other ideas for creating documents, spread sheet and slide shows on the IPad please comment and let me know what you are using.

Apps

 

New Facebook IOS App

I normally don’t talk much about applications. I think I need to move a little that way and give you my views on the apps that keep us up to date and up to the times.

Facebook has long been a battery drainer on your IPhones or IPod touches. But they rolled up their sleeves and got their programmers working overtime. What did the come up with?

A beautiful clean and easy to use new IOS app called “PAPER”. I will be the first to tell you I am not a Facebook fan boy. I use it mostly because everyone I know is there and I can locate and chat to my friends. But with this new “PAPER” I am finding myself opening it more and more.

It is also easy to create great looking posts and makes it easier to find news and what you are looking for. There is however a little fight going on between Facebook and another company FiftyThree who has had this name for years “PAPER”. Their app is really like folded paper on your IOS device.

Question of the day: Should larger companies be allowed to take the name of someone else’s applications? You know if this was reversed Facebook would be suing the crap out of this little guy. Check out my new web site: facebook1.com? What would happen?

Download the new app to your IOS device. It also looks great on the IPad.

Paper

Is Paper Print Dying Off?

This is a question we get everyday on the job. With all of the digital content floating around and with all of the access to cloud based storage drives, there is a decrease in paper being used. If you want to lower the paper use in your business you need to follow a few simple steps.

  1. Provide all of your office workers with a sharing solution. This will allow them to share, read and edit documents without printing them.
  2. Remove any desktop printers that you have. If you ask your office workers to walk to the printer, you will see a drop in the printing.
  3. Create a central monitored printing area. This could be one office worker that see all of the print jobs.

I really didn’t want this to turn into a lesson on creating a printing plan. I wanted to point out that print on paper is dying off. I have noticed over the years in education there is a lot less printing happening.

The last thought is that we consume the written word in a different way. I know I read my Kindle and IPad more then I ever have a paper, book or even magazines. It is sad I have been reading book for the better part of 47 years, I enjoy them but I don’t get hung up on the smell or the feel of the book. If we hold back we should go back? Remember the wringer washing machine, no one said a word when those went away?

Magazines

Creating Content with your Tablet

Most people if not all will tell you that they use their tablet for reading or watching videos. If you watch the commercials you will notice that everyone is using the tablet to consume information and content.

Apple’s new commercial is showing the IPad and way’s that you can use to create content. I have been carrying my IPad to meetings and conferences for years. I have always use it for keeping notes. I have also used it for writing books, creating short videos, and recording audio. You can also use it to broadcast your audio online with a simple app. So yes you can create content.

The tablets have been out selling laptops and the laptops have been out selling desktops. Why? Because people want to be mobile, or at least not attached to a desk. Make you wonder why computing in schools are still taught at desks? Or why for that matter office workers are still made to sit at a desk and look at a monitor. Maybe allow your office staff to roam around the office space and create on their tablets?

A few applications or apps I use on the IPad are. DocsToGo: for creating slide shows, documents, and spread sheets, Numbers: Another Spread Sheet Program, Keynote: Another slide show creator, Pages: Another app to create documents. I use Garage Band to create audio files or for podcasts. And one of my favorite programs of all is EverNote, it allows me to sync my note over all of my devices.

So yes you can create content on your tablet. We have one staff member using her IPad on a daily bases to create all of her content. Talking to her yesterday was proof that this can be done. Now put that laptop down and get to work on your tablet!

Full Tablets

Portable Computing The Easy Way

At one point I wanted to create a Christmas list of items that everyone would love to find under the tree. I still will reserve the right to create that list to help you to make some choices that are sure to make your loved ones smile.

This post covers the item that about a million or more people are asking for this year. The portable tablet computer. I have been in this field for so many years that I remember when the mini tower case was the portable computer. Computing devices are changing all the time. Bill Gates once said that he wanted a computer running Windows in every household. I also remember the same Bill Gates standing on a stage with a portable tablet in his hands saying “This will be the future of computing”! He was of course right, but like my self to many years early with his invention.

Today we see tablets all over the place. The number one of course is the IPad followed by about a thousand Android devices and then a few hundred Windows devices. To give the Windows devices their fair shake, I have tried them and they are really nice and easy to use.

Can a table replace your computer? In the way that many people use their computers more as a consumption device then I would say yes. You can also create on a tablet why do you think they make key boards for them?

My final thought on tablets and what you might be buying. If you family member ask for a IPad then buy them the IPad. If they ask you for a Kindle HD then buy them the Kindle HD. I know there are cheap knock offs out there and remember they are CHEAP for a reason. Happy Shopping!

Tablets