iBraryGuy’s eReader Poll – Have your say!

The bad news just keeps piling up for that venerable, big-box purveyor of print – Barnes & Noble.  We have been hearing for quite some time about the chain’s falling sales and revenue figures.  Now, the news is reporting on layoffs and funding cuts to its Nook eReader division.  Et tu, dear Nook? Continue reading “iBraryGuy’s eReader Poll – Have your say!”

Do All Apps Go To Heaven?

In re-researching case management apps for an upcoming presentation, I again stumbled across RLTC: Evidence. Its web-site, accessible here, lists all the wonderful features of this particular case management app: many file formats are supported, users can add annotations to existing files, the app can project onto a tv or monitor via Apple’s SVGA cord, etc. I was interested in what appeared to be a very useful app, but in trying to conduct further research, I was met with peculiarities and roadblocks:

  • The app didn’t appear on the Apple app store
  • The home web-site had broken links for the app’s help file and Apple app store
  • The reviews about the app seemed to stop in 2011

Interestingly, there isn’t a database of deceased apps, an app doesn’t receive an obituary–there is no real definite way to determine if an app is no longer with us. And, moreover, the grander question of “why did this app fail?” is never answered. Was this app too expensive? Did one of its competitors do a better job (Exhibit A, TrialPad and Client File come to mind) of filling this particular niche? What was the reception of this app from the legal community?

Even out of the chaos of the internet arises a peculiar rule: heaven isn’t the ultimate destination for deceased apps, it’s more the stasis of a digital purgatory.

Review: iPad IS a game changer!

After months of heightened anticipation and rampant speculation, Apple’s seemingly mythic iPad has finally made its debut. Hardly a media outlet has been able to escape the ensuing debate over whether Steve Job’s latest creation lives up to the hype. Now that the iBraryGuy team has managed to get their hands on one and taken for a serious test-drive, we are ready to weigh in. The iBraryGuy verdict? Apple’s iPad is powerful, sleek, and worth the price. Yes Virginia, it IS a game changer!

They say that a thing if beauty is a joy forever. The iPad may not last forever, but it is truly a gorgeous little piece of machinery. In the capable hands of Apple’s design and tech wizards, this beauty is also a thing of power, form, and function. The iPad is light and easy to hold with one hand while manipulating the touchscreen with the other. The screen is highly sensitive and quickly moves from portrait to landscape modes. The screen is crystal clear and easy on the eyes. All in all, the design is solid. Does it look like an oversized iPhone? You bet. Then again, why not build on one of the most successful and revolutionary devices of our time?

We really enjoyed the speed of the iPad in navigating applications and switching between them. Sure, you cannot multitask right now. But let’s be real. Is it really necessary to always be doing many things at once? That’s what a full-fledged computer or laptop is for. These new tablets are not meant to be replacements for their bigger, more powerful cousins. The iPad and the wave of competitors that are sure to follow ushers in a new level of convenience computing technology. To approach them with the same standards to which we hold actual desktops and laptops is to do these tablets and ourselves a huge disservice.

Some of the apps we have tested have been awe inspiring, to say the least. From the tactile page turning and full-color display of iBooks to the sweet video-streaming of Netflix and ABC to the interactive, pushpin format of the Associated Press, app developers have pulled out all the stops to create some really amazing offerings. We have also been impressed with the usability and functionality of Apple’s own iWork suite of productivity tools. If someone had told us we’d be walking around the house using a word processor and typing with only three fingers, we would have never believed it. Yet that was exactly how we typed this blog entry. It was a true “Jetsons” moment!

Yes, there are some drawbacks to the iPad. A camera for videoconferencing would be nice. A USB port would also come in handy. But the lack of these was no deal breaker given the convenience the iPad offers. The onscreen keyboard will take some getting used to for some folks as well. Our biggest complaint so far is that when the unit is turned off, tou can see all the fingerprints. At least they show just how much we are already using it. We also have not experienced either the WiFi connectivity issue or the overheating that some folks have reported. We’ve even found a workaround for the fact we did not buy a 3G model. But we will save that for a future posting.

The iBraryGuy team is happy with its new iPad and we expect to get a lot of “on the go” use out of it. That is what these new tablet computers are about after all. The iPad lightens our load while providing all of the computing power we need to be productive and have some fun. And yes, we certainly did have some fun with it. Pac-Man anyone? The iPad was worth the wait and the price. Apple has thrown down the gauntlet and changed the game.