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iPad

Review of Excel for iPad

Macworld logoI spent some time (a lot of time, actually) with Excel for the iPad, and reviewed it for Macworld:

There are any number of spreadsheet apps available for the iPad, but recently the market changed dramatically when Microsoft released the full Office suite for iPad, including a version of Excel. While you can argue that Excel is many years late to the iPad party (and I wouldn’t disagree), the iPad version of Excel is a solid entrant, and instantly changes the landscape for competitive apps.

Read the rest over at Macworld.

Macworld: 2014 writings

Macworld logoThe following table covers all of my writing for Macworld in 2014, current as of the last month shown on the table.

I'll update the list throughout the year, assuming they keep asking me to write stuff for them.

Macworld: 2013 writings

Macworld logoAll (or as many as could be found online) of my 2013 writings for Macworld.

Siri, why is Google voice search better than you?

In case you missed it, a month or so ago, Google added voice search capabilities to its free Google Search app for iOS devices. If you haven't tried this out yet, I highly recommend you do: I find it so useful I've given Google Search a spot in my Dock.

What's so good about Google's voice search, especially on a device that comes with Siri already? To demonstrate the answer to that question, I made a little video, wherein I used my iPad mini to ask both Siri and Google four questions:

How do you spell exuberant? Who won the Trailblazers basketball game last night?
How do you make vanilla ice cream? How high is Mount Kilimanjaro?

So how'd it work out? See for yourself…

Watch the full-size version
[mp4 only • 1024x768 • 11MB]

(Production aside: Yes, I realize you can use Siri from anywhere. I toggled back to the home screen each time simply to give different backgrounds to Siri and Google.)

Read on for my thoughts on how these two tools compare.

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Why didn’t Apple reveal iPad mini sales figures?

First, only Apple knows why they didn't share iPad mini sales figures, so what follows are just my thoughts. Instead of splitting the mini from the fourth-generation iPad, they reported a combined three million units for the iPad mini and fourth generation iPad. So why didn't they split it out? At the highest level, I think (again, only my thoughts) it's as simple as this:

Apple hasn't ever historically split out products by type within a family. In their annual report, they tell you how many Macs, iPods, iPhone, and iPads were sold, and that's it. Reporting a combined "total iPads sold" figure is perfectly in line with past behavior.

Beyond that simple explanation though, I believe that reporting a sales mix would be a lose-lose proposition for Apple. By way of example, here are some theoretical press headlines, based on a few mini/full-size iPad sales splits.

mini: 500,000; iPad: 2,500,000

  • "Apple's new mini a flop; sells only 500K units"
  • "Apple's lost the magic touch post-Jobs; new mini tanks"
  • "New fourth-generation iPad underwhelms; doesn't reach 3mil units mark"

mini: 1,500,000; iPad: 1,500,000

  • "Customers confused by iPad options; pick both equally"
  • "iPad mini cannibalizes iPad sales"
  • "Full size iPad sales impacted by release of mini; margins likely to dip"

mini: 2,500,000; iPad: 500,000

  • "New mini succeeds, at huge cost to full-size iPad"
  • "Margin impact of iPad mini sales success will harm profitability"
  • "iPad mini roars to life; is the full-size iPad dead?"
  • "Full-size iPad on life support after horrid opening weekend"

Clearly there's some (OK, a ton of) exaggeration in these fake headlines, but the summary level is certainly true:

  • If iPad mini sales exceeded iPad sales, then that's a margin hit, and a warning sign on full-size iPad's future.
  • If the sales were equally split, that's still a margin hit, and possibly a sign of customer confusion.
  • If iPad mini sales were substantially under iPad sales, then the new product's a flop, and Apple's lost their touch.

So even ignoring Apple's track record of reporting sales by family, it seems there's no upside to splitting the sales figures. Given the lack of a good interpretation for any split, as a shareholder I'm happy they're reporting a lump sum figure.

Note that this does not make the iPad the equivalent of Amazon's Kindle: Amazon has never, to my recollection, reported any exact Kindle sales figures.

Wallpapers: iPad 3 and newer

The following wallpapers are 2048x2048 pixels in size, and designed for use on third-generation iPads ("the new iPad"). Note that the images shown in the image sliders below (hover and click to cycle) are low-quality 256×256 JPEG representations of the actual photos; to get the high-quality images, download the entire bundle [29MB] and install only those you wish to use.

Home Screens (5)Lock Screens (24)

License: All photographs in these wallpapers are © Rob Griffiths, and are freely provided for personal use only. You may not include these wallpapers on other sites, nor in any commercial product, without my prior permission. (I hate having to put this here, but prior experience has shown it to be necessary.)

Wallpapers: iPad and iPad 2

The following wallpapers are 1024x1024 pixels in size, and designed for use on the first and second generation iPads. Note that the images shown in the image sliders below (hover and click to cycle) are low-quality 256x256 JPEG representations of the actual photos; to get the high-quality images, download the entire bundle [9MB] and install only those you wish to use.

Home Screens (8)Lock Screens (30)

License: All photographs in these wallpapers are © Rob Griffiths, and are freely provided for personal use only. You may not include these wallpapers on other sites, nor in any commercial product, without my prior permission. (I hate having to put this here, but prior experience has shown it to be necessary.)

How to not upgrade to iOS5

If you follow me on Twitter, you're probably familiar with my iOS5 installation difficulties. Two days into the process, and I've still not been able to update either my iPad (first generation) or iPhone 4. This is—by far—the most frustrated I've been with any Apple upgrade, ever…and that covers a lot of history!

Simply as a means of venting, and perhaps to save someone else from going through what I've gone through (though note that I haven't yet solved the problem), here's what I've gone through to try to upgrade my iPhone and iPad.

Update: On my 48th attempt, my iPhone 4 successfully updated to iOS5. Now, on to the iPad…

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