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On Monday, Adobe unveiled Photoshop CC for iPad, one of the most ambitious third-party software projects we’ve ever seen for iOS. With over 28 years of history on the Mac, moving to a new platform is no easy feat. Photoshop’s breadth of tools makes it essential to the workflows of many creative professionals. Even though it won’t ship until next year, there’s already considerable interest and numerous questions from curious iPad users and Photoshop fans about the upcoming app. 9to5Mac talked with Photoshop’s Senior Product Manager Jenny Lyell to learn more about Adobe’s goals for Photoshop on iPad and to clear up a few pressing questions.
Photoshop 1.0 for Mac OS was released in 1990, when most professionals were still creating work first for print. The tools customers expect today are dramatically different, yet Photoshop retains some of this legacy baggage thanks to its longevity. Adobe has repeatedly stressed that they aren’t bringing a watered-down version of Photoshop to the iPad. But does it make sense to migrate every feature from the desktop? I asked Lyell if Adobe will use the opportunity that a new platform provides to rethink some of Photoshop’s goals.
“We want to make sure that users look at this and they say, ‘this is Photoshop,’ but we also want to get rid of some of that history that barely anyone uses anymore so that it’s lighter weight and modern.”
Lyell prefers the term “real Photoshop” over “full Photoshop” when describing the software. The goal isn’t to clone the app for iOS, but to replicate the core experience.
Photoshop for iPad won’t be feature-complete on day one. Adobe wants to iterate on the app quickly, and that means pushing a release as soon as possible to begin collecting user feedback.
“We’re not going to make up 28 years of work in a year. It’s going to start with the core tools that enable you to do real work,” Lyell said. “In terms of the development, we are going to be releasing more iteratively and in a more agile way, in some sense, to catch up to desktop Photoshop.”
One of the features destined to migrate to the iPad is support for third-party paintbrushes. Adobe wants the brushes you already own to eventually sync right from the desktop. The Photoshop team is exploring support for actions, too, although its priority will be determined by customer demand. 3D features, largely redundant thanks to Dimension CC, may not make the cut.
I asked if the desktop and mobile versions of Photoshop will receive updates in lockstep after near-feature parity is reached, or if one platform will have an edge on the other. Due to the nature of Creative Cloud’s PSD syncing, users will rely on both applications to accurately and consistently display the same files.
Adobe is still sorting out how updates will be pushed, but the intention is to roll out key new features simultaneously on all platforms while iterating device-specific enhancements on a different schedule.
Photoshop for iPad’s touch modifier in action.
Device-specific features may include things like support for keyboard shortcuts. The initial release of Photoshop for iPad won’t offer the same keyboard support as the desktop, but Adobe promises it will return – in some form. The handheld nature of an iOS device requires a rethinking of common workflows that were once accelerated by the keyboard.
Without dropdown menus, commands are presented contextually on the iPad. In a demo, Lyell showed me how after the selection tool was used to highlight an area onscreen, a toolbar of common selection-based actions appeared at the bottom of the display.
“We’re still testing what this final experience is, but right now it is toggling between different tools. We’re looking at customizing, we’re looking at all kinds of things. You can look at it as a touch accelerator as well.”
Today, the touch modifier is working in concert with the Apple Pencil to provide added utility. Pressing the button while drawing turns the Pencil into an eraser. Across the application, Apple Pencil support seems robust to the point that I wondered if it would be a requirement for Photoshop. Lyell says that users without a Pencil or who prefer to use their fingers for editing will have no problems using the app.
Project Gemini’s in-development UI.
Apple Pencil support is also prominent in Project Gemini, a new iPad-first, multi-surface painting tool from Adobe that was unveiled alongside Photoshop this week. The app is promised to simulate brushes, paint types, and textures with an incredible level of fidelity. Photoshop has its own painting tools, but don’t expect the two apps to merge before release.
“If you think about Photoshop, it caters to a lot of segments,” Lyell said. “The tradeoff when you cater to a lot of segments is that you never specialize for a particular segment. When Lightroom spun off from Photoshop, it actually used the same photography engine. It was specialized for photographers. Adobe XD also spun off and tailored more to design. Illustration, drawing – that’s part of Photoshop – but the hope and the goal is that Gemini spins off and becomes super specialized.”
Similarly, Adobe currently has no plans to merge the desktop and mobile versions of Photoshop, although they have given thought to the idea. In June, Apple previewed a framework that will allow developers to bring UIKit applications from iOS to macOS. Given the fact that the iPad will run “real Photoshop,” I asked if the two platforms could eventually have identical codebases. According to Lyell, the change would be too disruptive to long-time users.
“You saw the uproar of claps when Command-Z changed. Every little change can have a huge impact, whether positive or negative. We want to focus on modernization [on the iPad], and the features that people like here, let’s gradually bring that back into Photoshop desktop. If we put too many changes in Photoshop desktop, that can be really disruptive for people’s day-to-day workflows. For the people who are mobile forward, who really want it on the iPad, they’ll be the first that pick this up.”
Jenny Lyell demonstrates Photoshop for iPad at Adobe MAX.
One of the ways Adobe is bridging the gap between platforms is by using a new file syncing method called Cloud PSDs to move data back and forth between devices in real time. While it might sound like a totally new file format, Adobe wants to assure users that existing Photoshop files will be compatible. Lyell offered some more detail on the technical implementation of syncing.
“When the file opens, nothing changes. You’re looking at the same exact thing. The ‘what’ stays the same. The ‘how’ is different. A regular sync would just read all of the pixels and sync the entire file. So if it’s a massive file, it takes a really long time. The Cloud PSD syncs only the differences that are unique. So if you have a document on both devices and you only made one change to one pixel, it scans the whole thing and says, ‘O.K., we’re going to update that pixel.’ We’re not introducing a new format.”
A lot of work has gone into making cloud syncing work seamlessly, but it’s a feature that users who work exclusively on an iPad won’t ever notice. Adobe doesn’t seem bothered by this. In fact, the company seems intent on making it possible for a user to do all of their creative work without ever touching a desktop.
Adobe’s upcoming Project Aero will enable Creative Cloud users to build augmented reality content using existing software and preview it on ARKit-supported iOS devices via a companion app. At Adobe MAX, the company showed a demo of a multi-layer PSD created in Photoshop on the desktop being exported to Project Aero, where the scene came alive in 3D. Head of AR and Adobe Senior Director Stefano Corazza told me that iPad Photoshop users will be able to export to Project Aero as well.
“Some of the [file export] processing now is done inside Photoshop, but we are moving that entirely to the cloud. This will happen in early 2023. We already have the tech, we just have to move it over and release another beta.”
Project Aero demoed in June 2023.
Support for exporting to Aero will make the iPad capable of authoring, exporting, and authentically previewing AR content with Adobe tools in one seamless workflow. That should be exciting for designers, as content can be iterated on more quickly than would be possible if moving across devices.
Although Photoshop is a familiar tool, it’s important to remember that we’re still at the beginning of something entirely new. Adobe is still figuring out which models of iPad will be supported, and the application’s pricing model has yet to be determined. No release date has been set.
It’s too early to call Photoshop for iPad a success or failure, because not even the app’s customers will truly know the best way to use it until they get it in their hands. While iOS users are busy sorting out the future, Lyell reminds me that Photoshop for Mac will still be there and ready to serve, just like it has for the last 28 years.
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Question:Explain the principles which play a major role in development of software.
A set of rules which is made on the basis a number of observations done by user is called the principles of software development. We have described the software development principles which are given below:
Quality on preference – Quality is the first objective of software development process. Because a low level of quality not accepted by the user or client. We have a lot of definitions about the quality product. According to customer he wants the best response on given time with a lot of capacity. The aim of developer should be make unique design software.
Possibility of high quality software – Scope of higher quality is always there. For getting the high quality many techniques, design inspections on time and hired the best employee for this can be adopted.
be on time delivery – The better way is to send the sample to the customer so that he can use that software and give feedback. On the basis of feedback developer can take charge and developed the software according to the need of customer.
Fix the problem – Before getting any solution of problem fix the problem which cause is customer needs. After getting the problem we are trying to use alternate solution of that problem basis on time, cost and risk factor.
Valuation of alternate design – When we know the need of customer then we observed much kind of algorithms and architectural so that with the help of them we can build the software. We select that alternate who have the quality of safety, alteration and more functional.
Selection of appropriate process model – Software development process model have a large area of choice just like waterfall, prototype and spiral module are the suitable examples for this. But there is a fact that every process is not suitable or in favor every time. So on the bases of need of software, area of applications and most importantly risk factor should be sensible.
Minimum gap between client and developer – According to famous Dijkestra intellectual gap may be describe, is the distance between the real world problem and the computerized solution to the problem. If the maintenance of the software is easy then the gap will be low. With the help of the object oriented design and jack system of development method we can find that the structure of software which will be near real world structure.
Design for change – The techniques or method which is used in development process of software should have capacity of change.
Reduce tricks – We should try to reduce of those programs and code who makes compaction in that process.
Management – In the comparisons of good technology, good management is the best option because it helps the employees to motivate them for doing their duties in the proper way. Management planning cannot be done for a long period because its base is time and situation which can change any time. With a lack of resources a person who has deep knowledge of management can provide a positive result in every case.
Right person is the base of success – For the success of any planning we need to experts, experienced and skilled person. An expert can provide the best output with those sources who are not enough in normal condition. On the other hand without experienced person became fail in this condition. So quality is the main part in the selection time of employees.
Use carefully – For getting the best output it is necessary to use different method and techniques with carefully otherwise they provide the wrong output.
Keep updated – In the present time, this world is more progressive and competitive so to survive in the present time it is necessary to stay updated every time for new technology and their risk factors.
Last Updated on October 20, 2023
If you’re planning on buying a brand-new iPad, you’ll face the eternal dichotomy: iPad Air versus iPad Pro. Which one is better? Which one should I buy? Here you’ll learn the primary differences between the two and which one might be the best option for you.
To determine precisely which iPad will suit you the most, you will have to consider the bare necessities of the product first. Whether you’re a student using the iPad for reading, taking notes, and doing assignments, or you are a professional who’s going to need an iPad to replace a computer to do more high-demanding work on it, we’ll present to you a direct comparison of both devices so you can make the aptest decision for your needs.Design
Apple has made a standard design for all of its latest releases. Both the iPad Air and the iPad Pro come in an industrial build with squared-off edges made of an aluminum alloy. The main difference in regard to their design is the variety of colors. The iPad Air is available in Blue, Purple Space Gray, Starlight, and Pink. The iPad Pro, on the other hand, has only two colors, Silver and Space Gray. If colors are what matters the most to you, you might want to go with iPad Air.
Regarding dimensions, the iPad Pro has two different versions, 11 inches and 12.9 inches (although, for the most part, we’ll be talking primarily about the 12.9” model). The iPad Air has one single presentation of 10.9 inches. A bigger screen is usually better, and 12.9 inches is a size that is both manageable, comfortable, and amazing for drawing, gaming, and streaming.Display
Here comes one of the biggest differences between the two. The iPad Pro 12.9 has a 12.9-inch screen with Liquid Retina XDR display, Pro Motion technology, and True Tone, while the iPad Air sports a 10.9-inch display with only Liquid Retina and True Tone.
This difference means that the iPad Pro has a 120Hz Refresh rate, thanks to the Pro Motion technology, while the iPad Air will only provide 60Hz. The higher the refresh rate is, the smoother the screen will look while in action. Having a display with 120Hz means that the screen will refresh the image 120 times a second, so videos and overall images will look noticeably sleeker and more natural over an average 60Hz screen. If you are a gamer or want to enjoy the highest potential out of a device’s screen, the iPad Pro is the best option.Cameras
Apple has always taken great lengths with its devices’ cameras, so both products offer quality photo-taking tech. The iPad Pro has two rear cameras: a 12MP Wide and a 10MP Ultra Wide camera, accompanied by a 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with a TrueDepth system.
The iPad Air has a 12MP Wide rear Camera and a 12MP Ultra Wide front camera. It doesn’t leverage a TrueDepth system, so the iPad Pro will take better pictures in low-light environments. If this is important to you, the iPad Pro is the better option.Specs
Both slates run on the same cutting-edge M1 chip processor, which is the latest chip made by Apple. This will ensure users have the same speed and power on whichever device is chosen. When it comes to RAM and storage, the iPad Pro can have up to 2TB of flash storage and 16GB of RAM, while the iPad Air can reach 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.
Both the iPad Pro and Air have almost the same battery capacity: 29 Watt-hours. That is why Apple lists both devices’ batteries as equal, with “up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi or watching videos and up to 9 hours of surfing the web using cellular data network.”Performance
Performance overall will depend on how much the consumer is willing to invest in the iPad. Due to both devices having the same M1 chip, they both have the reliability of an 8-core CPU, 8-core Graphics, and a next-gen Neural engine, which is nearly equivalent to desktop Mac performance.
The main difference here comes in the device’s RAM capabilities. The larger the RAM capacity, the faster and smoother the experience. As mentioned previously, the iPad Pro can go up to 16GB of RAM while the iPad Air only offers 8GB. You’ll have to pay for either the 1TB or 2TB version of the Pro to gain that 16GB of RAM capacity at a $1,700 premium.
So, if you need to run demanding apps or want to do some gaming, and money isn’t too much of an issue, then the iPad Pro is the one to go with.Expert view
The iPad Pro is a device focused on professional use cases. If you are a graphic designer, an architect, an avid gamer, or have the need to run high-demanding applications, it would be smart to go with the iPad Pro.
On the other hand, the iPad Air offers the best bang for your buck. This is a device with high-end characteristics that will suit the mass majority of users’ necessities. Our expert recommendation is to go with the iPad Air unless you absolutely need something more powerful, like the iPad Pro. Otherwise, you can save that extra money and enjoy the second-best Apple iPad on the market with zero regrets.
For most users, the ‘Other’ iOS storage category—reported after connecting an iOS device to desktop iTunes—is something of a mystery. ‘Other’ storage starts at one to five percent of total device capacity but can quickly creep in to a few gigabytes.
This post will unravel the mysteries behind ‘Other’ iOS storage, explain what it’s used for, how iOS manages it and what you can do to decrease it.Can I see how much space is lost to ‘Other’ storage?
Yes, you can.
iTunes will scan what’s on the device and display its storage graphically at the bottom of the window. Mouse over the yellow section of the graph to see how much space is taken up by ‘Other’ storage.
Sadly, iOS won’t let you see how much space is wasted to ‘Other’ storage.What is ‘Other’ storage used for?
‘Other’ iOS storage includes mostly everything that doesn’t fit into the existing categories, as reported by iTunes: Apps, Audio, Books, Documents & Data, Movies, TV Shows, Photos and Podcasts.
As per Apple, the ‘Other’ iOS storage includes the following items:
Your device’s settings
High-quality VoiceOver voices
Things like Safari Offline Reading List, files created within apps and app content such as contacts, calendars, SMS and iMessages, emails and their attachments and other items are not part of ‘Other’ storage. Instead, these items are lumped into the ‘Documents & Data’ storage category in iTunes.
Here is the full list of iOS storage categories and the data each category encompasses, as reported in iTunes:
Audio: Songs, audio podcasts, audiobooks, voice memos and ringtones
Video: Movies, music videos and TV shows
Photos: Camera Roll content, Photo Stream and Photo Library
Apps: Installed apps
Books: iBooks books and PDF files
Documents & Data: Safari Offline Reading List, files created within apps and app content like contacts, calendars, iMessages, text messages, emails, Mail and Messages attachments
Other: Settings, Siri voices, system data and cached files
By far, the biggest portion of ‘Other’ storage is occupied by various cached files.Why are caches in ‘Other’ storage?
Apple says that iOS creates cached files when you stream or view content like music, videos and photos. “When you stream music or video, that content is stored as cached files on your iOS device,” says the company.
On iOS devices, most caches are not visible to users in per-app sections in Settings → General → Storage & iCloud Usage, though some are. For instance, Safari’s Offline Reading List cache can easily be deleted through the Settings app. On the other hand, caches that iOS manages automatically, like streamed audio and video content, are not exposed to end users and cannot be deleted in Settings.
A quick experiment can easily prove this. Imagine there’s absolutely nothing stored in the stock Videos app on your iPhone. Say you then launch Videos and stream a five-gigabyte movie that was purchased on the iTunes Store.
The reported storage usage for the Videos app in Settings won’t increase at all.
But if you glance at the amount of free device storage reported in Settings, you’ll notice it has dropped by five gigabytes due to that streamed video being cached automatically by iOS, thereby taking up five gigabytes of ‘Other’ storage.
Because the amount of device storage wasted on the ‘Other’ category cannot be directly checked out in iOS, less experienced users may be left scratching their head, puzzled as to why their reported free storage isn’t higher.How iOS manages caches
iOS was conceived to manage storage automatically. Cached content may live in ‘Other’ storage for as long as system circumstances allow. iOS does flush the caches intelligently, especially if the system runs low on storage.
‘Other’ storage on my iPhone 6s, as reported by PhoneClean. Most of it are caches of previously streamed video content.
‘Other’ storage on my iPhone 6s, as reported by PhoneClean. Most of it are caches of previously streamed video content.
The other thing to keep in mind are apps. All apps create a residue of temporary files on your device, so they load faster. For example, the stock Camera app and third-party photo editing apps create their own photo caches.
These temporary files, along with other app items that are marked for the system as safe to delete, are caches inside ‘Other’ storage, too. Even the most mundane things, like a failed iTunes sync, may add up to Other storage by littering the device with temporary files and media junk.
Purging caches, manually or with a third-party app, won’t delete apps nor will it remove your documents. These items—app data, settings and your documents—are kept in separate databases which aren’t part of system caches.Why storage amounts on iOS devices differ from what iTunes reports
That’s because iTunes categorizes cached music, videos and photos as ‘Other’ iOS storage instead of actual audio, videos or photos—that’s why the reported usage for Music, Videos or Audio sections might differ.
As an illustrative example of this, iTunes reports that the Audio section is taking up 856 megabytes on my iPhone 6s. On the device itself, however, the actual reported storage amount for the Music app is 565 megabytes.
NOTE: The screenshot below is meant for illustrative purposes and does not reflect the current amount of storage space taken up by music on my device.
The 291-megabyte difference between the 856MB seen in desktop iTunes and 565MB reported by my iPhone is actually caches for the songs I had streamed via Apple Music. Cached media lets the Music app instantly play any previously streamed song, enhancing the experience at the expense of reported free storage.
People who use iCloud Photo Library with the ‘Optimize iPhone Storage’ option may observe a similar discrepancy in the ‘Photos’ storage section between iTunes and iOS Settings, due to large caches of photos in device-optimized resolution.
Your mileage may vary, depending on how you consume media on your devices. To view the storage usage on your iOS device, go to Settings → General → Storage & iCloud Usage → Manage Storage under the Storage heading.Can I decrease ‘Other’ storage?
Yes, but not completely.
You cannot manually purge cached files from ‘Other’ iOS storage. Even though iOS was designed to clear the caches when it needs more space, it doesn’t do this aggressively enough. And sometimes caches aren’t dumped properly either.
For instance, Kevin Hamm found out that streaming a four-gigabyte iTunes movie will temporarily take up four gigabytes in iOS caches. Should iOS for any reason fail to delete that cached movie, the four gigabytes will get stuck in ‘Other’ storage.
Making matter worse, neither iTunes nor the iOS Settings app provide necessary controls for users to manually delete all the cruft that has accumulated on their devices.
RELATED: How to reclaim ‘Other’ iOS storage
The good news is, specialized third-party applications can clear the caches which are clogging up ‘Other’ iOS storage. Any of these Mac apps should get the job done:
Some of the aforesaid programs will identify storage-hogging iOS apps so you can then delete and re-install them, which in most cases will remove 100 percent of app-specific junk from your device.
If you’re jailbroken, do yourself a favor and manage your ‘Other’ iOS storage using iFile or Ryan Petric’s smartly done cache-cleaning tool.
RELATED: 40+ ways to save storage space on iPhone and iPad
Restoring your device from an iCloud backup can also drastically decrease the size of ‘Other’ storage because iCloud backups have been found to store fewer temporary files and caches than those created by iTunes.
In some cases, restoring your device from an iTunes backup might bring over caches and temporary files that haven’t been deleted properly. In iTunes’ defense, iOS crash and log files will be transferred to a computer and deleted from an iOS device during the syncing process so there’s that.
And lastly, restarting a device may prompt iOS to clear some cached content. To restart your device, hold down the power button until a “Slide to power off” message appears, then slide to restart.
Force-restarting, however, might force iOS to purge more caches. To force-restart your device, press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons simultaneously until an Apple logo appears.
As you’ll hear me recount on the upcoming episode of Let’s Talk iOS, I had to go through quite a lot to get my hands on the iPad mini with Retina display that I desired. The model, a Space Grey 32GB Cellular version with a bundled T-Mobile sim, proved to be a pretty tough get.
But I finally did get my iPad mini, and I’ve been able to spend the last few days truly analyzing the device, and analyzing whether or not the time I invested into acquiring it was worth the hassle.
You’ve likely read plenty of other reviews that pretty much spout off the same thing. Yes, the mini now has an awesome screen, has the same guts as the iPad Air, and it did so by compromising some of its thinness. So what’s the end result? Is this a good product? Will it go down as the best iPad ever? I share my thoughts inside.Air vs Mini
To be honest, my first impression with the Retina mini was slightly disappointing. Mind you, I was just coming from a full sized iPad Air, a device that I had swapped out a few hours earlier for the mini.
The iPad Air’s thinness and weight loss makes the mini feel like less of a game changer than its first non-Retina iteration. Yes, it’s still remarkable that Apple was able to shoehorn so much power into such a petite package, but the iPad Air is no where near the overweight beast that the iPad 3/4 was. The emphasis placed on the size and weight difference just isn’t there this time around.
Because of that, more time is spent appreciating the screens of both devices. The iPad mini’s screen is beautiful, with an insane PPI count. Last gen iPad mini owners don’t even need to think twice about upgrading, just do it. If there was ever a so-called “must upgrade” the original iPad mini to the iPad mini with Retina display is it.
But for those of you who are considering an iPad Air, or who already own an iPad Air and are thinking about “downgrading” to the mini, the decision is a lot harder. This is especially true if you don’t travel a lot and portability plays second fiddle to other issues.
There’s something definitely to be said about the larger screen found on the iPad Air. Not only does the screen appear to look a tinge better than the mini’s, the extra real estate, and larger app icons are something I immediately missed.
Now that size and weight differences doesn’t make the argument between the two a forgone conclusion, it’s something you should seriously consider. With that in mind, I definitely think you should check out both devices in store before making the plunge if you’re on the fence.
If you travel and portability is concern numero uno, then yes, buy the mini. But if your iPad is parked on the coffee table or on the bedroom nightstand 80% of the time, you should really look at both, and compare both before just assuming the mini is the one you should get.
This isn’t to say that the mini is a bad device. On the contrary, this just goes to show how good of a job Apple did with its full size offering.My decision
Ultimately, as you have probably figured out by now, I went with the mini. I went with the mini because I travel a lot, and I always take my iPad with me. For that reason, the mini makes much more sense than the iPad Air.
That alone is the only reason why I swapped out my iPad Air for a mini. If I could somehow shrink down the iPad Air when traveling, and make it full size again when at home, I’d do so in a heartbeat. Until then, I consider it a compromise of sorts to go with the mini. It’s still a wonderful device, but the iPad Air is an absolute home run.Smart Case
Apple switched things up, and for the first time offered a Smart Case to go along with the mini’s Smart Cover. Again, for someone like me who travels, the Smart Case is probably the right choice. It makes it so I don’t even have to think about it when I toss my iPad into my bag and head out the door.
MG Siegler made a post about the Smart Case, lambasting it as one of Apple’s worst products in years. While I can’t speak for the full sized edition of the Smart Case, I’m fairly happy with the mini version.
I do understand where Siegler is coming from when he mentions the way the case buckles a bit at the hinge. But as he mentioned, this problem is a lot less noticeable on the mini than it is with the Air.Cellular
My cellular requirement was one of the primary reasons that I had so much trouble tracking down an iPad mini with Retina display. For someone who travels with the iPad, a cellular version is a no brainer, especially with T-Mobile’s recent 200MB free pitch.Final Thoughts
Having a fully Retina mini, with cellular internet access anywhere — all enclosed in a leather Smart Case — just feels like the future to me. I finally have a portable computer that makes virtually no compromises. The only compromise I can come up with is its size, but when you factor in the use cases, that may or may not be a compromise for you at all.
The iPad mini is the type of device that I dreamed of as a teenager. I knew that eventually one day we’d have a computer that could access the Internet from anywhere, with plenty of power, in a remarkable form factor. I’m just not so sure that I ever imagined that such a device would be here so soon. This really and truly does feel like the future. For those that travel with their iPad, this is the best iPad by far.
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Google (probably accidentally) leaked some details of the Nexus Q before today’s I/O event even started. It’s a streaming…I almost said box, but it’s actually more like an orb. It’s somewhere between a Sonos system, which streams music to stations in different parts of your house, and an Apple TV, which streams music and video to your TV. And I think it’s very exciting. Here’s why.1. BUILT-IN AMP 2. NFC
NFC, or near-field communication (check out our primer if you’re not sure what this is) is becoming more and more common–the new Samsung Galaxy S III uses it really well, and the next-generation iPhone is heavily rumored to have it as well. NFC could be used to easily pair your phone with your set-top box. Airplay, Apple’s protocol (man, that word makes it sound scarier than it is) is easy to use: you’re playing a video or song on your iPhone or iPad or Mac, you press a button, and it shows up on your TV. But you still have to login to the same Wi-Fi network (“what’s your password? Is that all lowercase?”). One of NFC’s nicest, simplest features is automatic pairing: tap your phone to a device, and it’ll trigger Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and automatically connect. No more messing with settings or menus: if you have guests over who want to control the music, they can just tap their phones on the Nexus Q to connect. Easy.3. COLLABORATION
I love Airplay, but one thing Apple has never been great at is on-the-fly playlists (though there are aftermarket alternatives). You don’t always want to create a new playlist and save it for eternity as a neo-mixtape work of art. Sometimes you just want to hear this song after this song, and then this song after that. The Nexus Q gets it. At a party, which is one of my favorite uses for Airplay, you can have a truly collaborative, unique playlist. Anyone can tap their phone to the Nexus Q, then add their favorite song to the playlist, or rearrange it, right there, on the fly. Awesome.4. ANDROID@HOME
Home automation is still in its infant stages, and we’ve been wondering for a year where Google’s Android@Home initiative went–announced exactly one year ago at 2011’s I/O conference, it promised to link up your entire home so you could control it with your smartphone. It then vanished. But the Nexus Q is the first product in the Android@Home field, and it’s a great start. Today, your media. Tomorrow, your refrigerator.5. IT LOOKS COOL/WEIRD
I am not of the opinion that all hardware should be used and not seen. I’m not in favor of garishness either, but I think gadgets should be allowed to look cool and different. The Nexus Q looks pretty different! It’s an orb, bisected with a glowing blue ring that pulses with the beat of your music (hopefully you can turn that off. That’s a little much.). You twist the entire top half of the orb to change the volume. I think it looks cool! Cool and weird!
Of course, there are some things about it that I don’t like. It’s too expensive, for sure. At $300, it’s twice as much as a Boxee Box, three times as much as an Apple TV and three times as much as a top-of-the-line Roku. I suppose you could argue that it includes an internal amp, saving you the cost of buying one, but it’s a fairly low-powered amp and you can get a surprisingly decent one of those for $30.
It also seems to only support Android. That’s a terrible choice! I mean, yes, Airplay only supports iOS for mobile, but that’s also a terrible choice, and Google is supposed to be the company that embraces openness. And I’m not sure how it’ll be with streaming different files–does it work with Rdio or Spotify? Does it stream downloaded video? Does it have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon on Demand? But I think it’s promising, and I’m hoping Google can take these cool elements and make them into a whole that really works. It’ll be available for pre-order today, and will ship in a couple of weeks.
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