Tower Block

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I went to see this film on Sunday and it was not what I expected. It’s about a group of tower block residents who are in the process of being rehomed because the tower block is soon to be demolished.

The film starts with a brutal (and I mean brutal) murder of a teenager by 2 other teenagers. From there we start to get to know some of the residents – some are decent people, others intent on intimidation and violence. All of a sudden someone’s head explodes, and from there the residents learn that there is someone outside with a sniper rifle who is intent on seeing them all dead. From there we learn more about the characters, possible motivations of the killer, and their attempts to escape.

Some of the characters seemed a bit stereotyped, and the whole premise is a bit far-fetched. Even so, it was an enjoyable film that had me hooked, and I would definitely recommend it.

Review: Apple Smart Cover for iPad

Despite my earlier post there are times when it's wise to put a case on your tablet. On the beach for example. Suncream and iPads really don't mix, and putting an unprotected device into a bag with suncream WILL end in disaster (I know from experience). So I thought I would try Apple's Smart Case, the version of the smart cover that fully covers the whole device. It's not cheap, but being an Apple product you generally get top quality goods, it can also be engraved at no extra charge.

Upon receiving the case I was mightily disappointed. For a start, it feels very cheap. It's not very sturdy, with the Smart Cover you can stand the iPad up and use it as a picture frame, or just watch a film. The Smart Case apparently supports this, but the iPad seems very precarious when in this position, any sight nudge of the table would send the iPad crashing forward to the floor. The Smart Case also adds an enormous bezel around the screen, making the iPad's screen seem small. It also seems to trap a lot of dust on the screen and doesn't work as a screen wipe when you close and open it as the cover does. Talking of opening it, it's not obvious which side you open it from, and when you have finally worked that out you will need long nails to open the magnetic case.

On the plus side it does protect the iPad well, even the back. However I can't recommend this product for day to day use, and seeing how bad it is, it seems a bit much to she'll out for occasional trips out to places such as the seaside. I'm not sure what happened at Apple, it's certainly not to their usual standards (but it's still at their usual prices). I have now gone back to using a Smart Cover and it's like I have a band new iPad 🙂

 

How long should a tablet be supported for?

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Tablets are billed as “post-PC” products designed to replace the job of a PC for most people. The argument goes, most people don’t need a truck (a PC) and instead they just want a small car. True as that may be, I see a problem when the car only gets supported by the manufacture for 2 years. That’s the case with the original iPad. According to Apple, iOS 6 will not run on the iPad 1 which was released in 2010. Buy not having the latest operating system, this means the latest security updates will not be available, nor will the latest developer APIs. Many of Apple’s own apps (such as the Pages) will likely be updated, and these updates will only support iOS6 (this was the case when iOS 5 was released). Will the file formats be compatible? Let’s hope so. The same will probably happen with a lot of 3rd party applications. It also means the new OS features such as shared photo streams and Facebook integration wont be available.

Yes this is a fast moving industry, and yes the iPad 1 was woefully underpowered (especially when it comes to lack of RAM, the version of iOS it came with didn’t support multitasking remember) and you might argue the that iPad 1 is a special case, as it was mostly purchased by early adapters who will probably be running the latest model of iPad by now. I can also see how Apple might not want developers to hold back their software to ensure it works on the older hardware – iPhoto doesn’t run on it today.

That said, I really think Apple should be sending the message to consumers that their tablet will be relevant in at least 2 years time (you would expect a laptop to be). If they can continue to support the iPhone 3GS (released roughly 6 months before the iPad in 2009) then why not iPad?