For those who are just sick of hearing about iPad, I apologize. But the more I play with it, the more I realize that Steve Jobs wasn't just blowing smoke up people's asses when he called iPad a "magical and revolutionary device"... minor criticisms aside, it really does feel a bit like magic sometimes... mostly because it has this uncanny ability to just disappear, leaving nothing between you and what you're interacting with.
As if that wasn't enough, iPad is responsible for Betty White, Apple Genius, to appear on Craig Ferguson...
Since iPad is so new there aren't a huge number of releases for it yet, but I have run across three great apps that are worth having...
Star Walk ($4.99). This astronomy app is a nice star map app with a good-sized catalog of stars, galaxies, planets, and other stellar objects. It's slick, polished, and beautiful, but what makes it so cool is the "Star Spotter" function it inherited from the iPhone version. Hold the iPad up to the night sky, and it will use your location and direction to follow your moves and display a map of what you're seeing. Magical...
Tap something on the display then hit the info button, and StarWalk zooms in and tells you all about it...
On the iPhone, the app was nice, but not very practical because the tiny size made usability difficult. But on iPad's beautiful big, display it's fantastic. If you have even a passing interest in astronomy, it's $5 well-spent.
Ocean Blue ($9.99). While $10 may seem pricy for a passive application like a virtual aquarium, the quality here is pretty amazing and it's the perfect app to show off your iPad. Just like StarWalk, you can move Ocean Blue around, and the virtual display will pan around the ocean, allowing you to "dive" and look around (you can also tap-navigate as well). There's currently not a big variety of fish you can choose from, but the developer has promised more in future updates. If they look and move as beautifully as the current batch, a terrific piece of software is just going to get better and better...
Sam & Max Episode 1: The Penal Zone ($6.99 for a limited time). One of my favorite cartoon creations, Sam & Max, Freelance Police have come to iPad with an adventure game that's pretty sweet. Things start out kinda confusing... homicidal rabbit-thingy Max has unexplained psychic powers, and you're dropped into the end of the story. From there, you have to piece together not only the mystery of what happened and how it happened, but how to stop it from happening again. Like I said, confusing... but still a lot of fun. I've run into occasional audio drop-outs and video stutters, but the overall game is so hilarious and clever that you won't be too disappointed. The game is played by moving the characters around and tapping on objects to interact with them. With the help of Max's psychic powers, you solve puzzles and move the story forward. But the best news? This is only the first episode, and there's four more to come...
Overall, not a bad start. As more and more developers start taking advantage of what the iPad is capable of, the future is going to be magical indeed.
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Glad to hear Sam & Max is good – I’ve pre-ordered the PC/Mac edition but it’s not out yet! You can get the whole season for $35 I think.
Sorry Dave. You gave me Betty White AND Craig Ferguson. I didn’t listen to anything else you had to say.
CBS’s web page being compatible with the iPad is so nice. I’ve been catching up on a lot of TV, adding the wonderful ABC app to this mix.
Also, I’ve noticed that Vimeo has converted many of their videos to work on the iPad (HTML5/H.264). And it’s nice to have the videos I do work directly on the iPad (Quicktime).
Now to queue up that Craig Ferguson Betty White clip.
I’ve not found a game I like yet, so I am waiting for more apps to become available before purchasing one. I still use my PS3 and PSP for most of my gaming, due to the LEGO titles that are on those systems. Once LEGO titles start showing up for the iPhone/iPad, I may shed the PSP as my main gaming device.
Is there anything more awesome than Betty White shouting “Betty White Rules!”?
Wait, the iPad has a compass? I missed that. Sold! (Just kidding, I’m already sold.)
Betty White DOES rule. *sigh*
I’m still not convinced yet that I need an iPad. But Betty White DOES rule….
That one Gemini baby looks like it’s sexxxually harassing the other one! RUDE!