Tag Archives | Tablets

Smartphones and Tablets Get Their Gaming Buttons

As Sony and Nintendo cling to physical buttons as a major advantage of dedicated portable gaming systems, smartphone and tablet accessory makers have come up with an answer. At a CES press event, two companies were showing off attachable game controllers for smartphones and tablets, providing the tactile feedback that’s sorely needed for precision shooting and platforming.

I checked out one of these controllers, Gametel, from a Sweden-based company called Fructel. The controller clamps on to an Android phone or iPhone–or pairs remotely to an iPad–and communicates via Bluetooth. It includes a directional pad, four face buttons and two shoulder buttons on top. Gametel’s built-in battery runs for about nine hours before needing a charge from either mini USB or Apple’s 30-pin connector, depending on model.

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The Ultimate Guide to Phone/Tablet Styluses

I’m still looking for the idea stylus for my iPad–I like to draw, and it’s way easier with a pen than it is with a finger. At the moment, I’m using Adonit’s Jot and mostly liking it, although I’m still not sure whether it’s possible to build a truly great stylus that works with an iPad. (I want one with a feel exactly like that of a good hard, pointy pencil.)

Serenity Caldwell of Macworld has spent way more time with digital styluses than I have. Maybe more time than anyone has. Here’s her amazingly exhaustive review. (The Jot scores quite well.)

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Fusion Garage: Not Dead. Also, Not Selling Products

Fusion Garage, the strange company behind the JooJoo and Grid 10 tablets, is still in business. But once again, it’s in trouble. From an Engadget interview with its founder, the never-boring Chandra Rathakrishnan:

Is it possible to buy a device right now? Can I go on the website and buy a Grid 10?

No. We’ve stopped selling the device at the moment. We think that until we resolve the future of the company, it’s not fair to continue selling it. Until this situation with the existing customers has been resolved satisfactorily from their point of view, and until the future of the company is decided one way or the other, I do not think it’s fair to continue selling the device.

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Microsoft, Maker of iOS Apps

Boy, Microsoft is taking Apple’s iOS seriously these days. Today, it announced SkyDrive for the iPhone and Kinectimals for iPhone and iPad. Yesterday, it unveiled OneNote for the iPad and said it would soon bring its Lync integrated-messaging app to Apple devices.
All this activity doesn’t prove that Microsoft Office for iOS is on its way. But it does suggest it’s not a pipe dream, doesn’t it?

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HP Open-Sources WebOS

At last, we know what’s next for WebOS

HP plans to continue to be active in the development and support of webOS. By combining the innovative webOS platform with the development power of the open source community, there is the opportunity to significantly improve applications and web services for the next generation of devices.

This could turn out to be good news. But even if it does, it might be years before we know for sure. (Mozilla was open-sourced by Netscape in 1998, but wasn’t until 2004–when Firefox was released–that it was clear the platform had a bright future. 
TechCrunch’s Leena Rao is reporting that HP says it’ll do a new WebOS tablet–I’m already thinking of it as the TouchPad II–but it may not show up until 2013. I wonder what the tablet market will be like by then?

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Goodbye Textbooks, Hello iPad

A technology shift is underway. The PC’s promise to transform how learning happens in the classroom is being realized by Apple’s iPad. Students and teachers in grade school through higher education are using the iPad to augment their lessons or to replace textbooks.

The iPad is especially helpful for students with special needs. Its simplified touch interface and accessibility features help these children learn more independently; aftermarket accessories assist in making the iPad more classroom-friendly.

In March, I wrote about how my mother learned how to use her iPad for basic stuff–like checking e-mail and browsing the Web–without ever having used a PC in her life. Students at all grade levels are finding it just as easy to use.

Jennifer Kohn’s third grade class at Millstone Elementary School in Millstone, NJ, mastered the iPad with minimal training. For the most part, the students didn’t need to be taught how to use their apps, Kohn says.

Kohn uses the iPad when it’s meaningful to enrich, extend, or introduce what students are learning in the classroom. Her class has used their iPads to interact with storybooks, brainstorm ideas for creative writing, and to learn mathematics. Math Bingo, an app that teaches kids math through gaming, is one of the top selling iPad apps  for education.

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Here We Go Again: $99 HP TouchPads Hit eBay Sunday

Miffed you didn’t get in on the last TouchPad fire sale? Fear not, Technologizer reader: HP will sell off some refurbished 16 and 32GB models on its eBay store beginning at 6:00pm Central Time Sunday, December 11. Originally this was supposed to be an employee sale at first, with a public announcement scheduled at 6:30. Leave it to TechCrunch to mess up HP’s plans.
For only $79 more, HP will send you an accessory bundle that includes a case, charging dock, and wireless keyboard. It is unknown how many units will be made available, but if the past is any indication you better have your fingers at the ready to get in on this.
Keeping out the profiteers, eBay will require a PayPal account and will limit sales to two per eBay ID. If you’re trying to make a quick buck on the popularity of these things, remember that first off they’re not new, and you better create quite a few user IDs in order to make it worthwhile. There’s also one more caveat: instead of the standard one year warranty, you will only have a 90-day guarantee on these bad boys.
I have a few friends that participated in the initial frenzy. As for me? No thanks — my iPad 2 is doing fine — and with HP still undecided on the fate of WebOS I’m not going to spend my money on a potential brick. Did that once already, and that’s why my HD DVD player is sitting in my entertainment center gathering dust.

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