I've been wanting a Native Netflix App since day one! Don't get me wrong, I know that there are lot's of good Netflix Queue managers out there for iPhone and iPod touch, however the one thing that they all suffer from is the ability to get in and manage your account. It's not their fault. They can only give you access to what Netflix allows them to give you access to. That being said I knew that a "Neflix" branded app would give me what I wanted. I was very pleasantly surprised to see the Netflix App introduced on the day the iPad shipped!
More than just a queue manager
Although I got what I wanted from a queue management and account access stance, the added bonus and probably the biggest reason to use the App is that you get the ability to stream Netflix movies directly to your iPad. That's right you have access to your "Instant Watch" queue and you can watch any movie you want any time you want directly on the iPad. Of course an internet connection is required since the movies stream and don't download. Once I asked a movie to start playing it started in about 20 seconds. The video quality was better than I expected. Maybe slightly less than DVD due to the compression, but certainly very watchable and to date no stuttering or stopping. YMMV based on your internet connection.
The Movies – Now keep in mind that you can't watch just any movie. It has to be one of the over 12,000 that they have available for streaming. Their hands are tied by the movie studios on what's allowed to be streamed and what's not.
Get it here from the App Store for FREE.
Opera, the browser maker, announced today that their version for the iPhone and iPod touch has been approved into the app store, bringing Opera Mini on as an alternative to Safari if you want and according to Opera, you will notice an uptake in speed, especially on slower networks when using the new Opera Mini.
You can expect a review coming shortly on this to test whether this is really as good (or better) as using Safari. You can get the free app from the AppStore.
One of my hopes for the iPad is that I would use it for presenting my photography to clients, friends and family members. While the built-in Photos App is great for doing basic slideshows, you can do so much more with Keynote including adding text, graphics, movies, sounds and wide variety of transitions and builds. While you can build presentations right on the iPad and include the photos in your iPad photo library, I'm most likely going to build most of my presentations in Keynote and the Mac and transfer them to the iPad to run in Keynote. However, If I need make any last minute changes or additions I'd most likely do those right on the iPad itself. I could also see using the iPad to do presentations on the road for work. Although I usually have software to demo on my Mac, sometimes those presentations start out with a slide presentation. Now I can see having the slides on my iPad and the software I'm demoing on my Mac. This way I could go back and forth between the two as needed.
Presenting from the iPad
Of course if you're going to present from an iPad you're probably going to want a way to hook it up to your projector. Apple sells a iPad to VGA adapter. I'll have a review of this adapter and other iPad accessories on my tech blog this week. The VGA adapter may disappoint some. Unlike your computer, it doesn't mirror everything. It will only display the Apps by Apple (to date). I've tried Keynote, YouTube, and the Videos App with great success. However, 3rd party apps like Netflix and ABC Player get no love on the big screen. So if you were thinking of broadcasting any of your other Apps or the Home screens to do iPad demos on the big screen, think again. However, for what the adapter was designed for it does a great job. I connected the iPad to one of my Epson projectors.
Getting your presentation on the iPad – Like I said I plan to do most of the authoring on my Mac. So the question I had right off the bat was how do you get files onto the iPad. I was fully expecting a WiFi transfer like so many other Apps do. However, Apple insists on making everything sync through iTunes including Keynote, Pages and Numbers documents. Once you have Keynote installed on your iPad and you plug your iPad into your computer, you'll see the special Keynote section in iTunes. This is where you can drag your documents back and forth.
Keynote goes for $9.99 here on the
Adobe has released their Adobe Ideas app that was last week released for the iPad, for the iPhone and iPod Touch as well. It is free and available on the App Store, letting you use your device as a digital sketchbook.
If you are on the iPhone but not the iPad, give the app a try and see how you like to sketch using your fingers on the touch screen.
The popular Twitter client for the iPhone and iPod Touch, Tweetie has been acquired by Twitter, developer Loren Brichter announced on his website yesterday. He will begin a position in Twitter's mobile team and the iPhone application will be renamed Twitter for iPhone and be made available for free in the coming weeks.
Perhaps this also means that an iPad client will be available sooner, now that he is part of a team? Many are already longing to see the application on their iPads and for Twitter now, this would be a smart move to make, quickly.