Codea is an incredible app that allows you to create games and interactive simulations directly on an iPad with graphical assets, sounds, and a full code editor. Codea is built on Lua and it adds various native options for managing resources and functions visually – it's one of those apps that gives a new meaning to the “post-PC” idea.

Today, Codea 2.0 was released with full iOS 7 and 64-bit support alongside new features that tie in with more aspects of iOS. The app has a location API to access a device's location, Bluetooth keyboard shortcuts, a new unified asset system, new sound and music functions, and specially commissioned audio packs with music and effects made specifically for the app. The code editor has been completely rewritten with autocomplete, smart indentation, and inline errors; there are dozens of other changes that make game creation on iOS both simpler and more powerful.

I don't use Codea, but I've always been interested because I'm fascinated by the app – to me, it looks like the kind of iOS-only, Pythonista-like breakthrough that's possible on modern devices and that augments classic programming with native integrations and a touch interface. The new version sounds amazing and it's only $9.99 on the App Store (free update for old customers).

Following speculation from earlier this week, Apple has today launched updated versions of its iPhone 5c and fourth-generation iPad, the latter previously discontinued in October 2013 for the iPad Air.

The return of the 16 GB iPad 4 marks the company’s official discontinuation of the iPad 2, first introduced in March 2011 and sold until today as the most affordable iPad in Apple’s line-up. The relaunched iPad 4 is the same device that Apple unveiled in October 2012 — it comes with an A6X processor, FaceTime camera, and LTE support, but it replaces the iPad 2′s 30-pin connector with Lightning, making it consistent with the rest of Apple’s iPad family.

Now for $399 customers can get iPad with a stunning 9.7-inch Retina display, fast A6X chip, and 5MP iSight camera, offering a dramatic upgrade in power, performance and value compared to the iPad 2 it replaces,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The iPad line sets the gold-standard in mobile computing and all iPads have access to the largest and best ecosystem of more than 500,000 iPad optimized apps from the App Store.

The 16 GB iPad 4 is available at $399 for the WiFi model and $529 for the WiFi + Cellular version, and it’s shown on Apple’s website as “iPad with Retina display”.

The iPhone 5c has received a new 8 GB storage option today, currently available in Apple’s European stores but expected to become available in the US later today. The new model is £40 cheaper than the 16 GB iPhone 5c in the UK, and it starts at £429, fully unlocked. The 8 GB iPhone 5c hasn’t replaced the 8 GB iPhone 4s, which is still available on Apple’s website.

The iPhone 5c was introduced in September with multiple color options as a slightly upgraded version of the iPhone 5, but its sales have been below Apple’s expectations, as also confirmed by CEO Tim Cook in January.

SurfacePad

Twelve South, makers of high-quality accessories for Mac and iOS devices, have launched the SurfacePad for iPad mini this week, a new entry in the SurfacePad line of products that aims at protecting your iPad with a leather case that adheres to the iPad and that also works as a hands-free viewing stand and typing wedge. (more…)

Apple:

Mountaineers Adrian Ballinger and Emily Harrington have scaled many of the most renowned – and feared – mountains on Earth. In exploring frigid and unforgiving altitudes that most humans visit only in the comfort of a pressurized jet cabin, one piece of equipment has become essential to them: their iPad.

Earlier today, Apple posted the second profile of the Your Verse campaign for the iPad. The webpage has a neat layout and there are notes about the GPS app Ballinger and Harrington use, but I was hoping Apple would also specify whether or not 3G/LTE coverage is usually available and/or reliable at base camp. Overall, a good showcase of the iPad's portability.

Great story by Shawn Blanc:

My Grandpa’s iPad has enabled him to do something that he’s been unable to do for as long as I can remember. The 9.7-inch touch screen has turned my Grandpa into a photographer.

Ben Thompson has a good post about the differences between “computing” tasks on the Mac and the general-purpose nature of the iPad. I agree with his conclusion:

Ultimately, it is the iPad that is in fact general purpose. It does lots of things in an approachable way, albeit not as well as something that is built specifically for the task at hand. The Mac or PC, on the other hand, is a specialized device, best compared to the grand piano in the living room: unrivaled in the hands of a master, and increasingly ignored by everyone else.

Forget about this stuff and forget about “convergence”. My question is: for the future, does Apple think that the iPad – and by extension, iOS – will become suitable for traditional computing tasks?

Right now, Apple's answer is that the Mac and iPad can coexist, each in a different space – and I believe that's accurate. But as more people will choose tablets and smartphones as their primary computers in the coming years (with Mac sales further shrinking alongside the rest of the PC industry), will they start wondering whether spreadsheets, layouts, and photo management can be done on a multitouch display?

Does Apple think that their customers will want more from the iPad? And how would they deliver more without making the iPad more complex and less “magical”?

Good post by Benjamin Mayo. I don't think that the idea of snapping sidebars is the best way to handle multitasking on a tablet, but he makes a great point I forgot to cover in my article last week:

Apps should also have the capability to be ‘faceless’, so that other apps can query for data without needing any intermediary UI. This would enable apps like to draw on information available in other apps without pushing additional UI. For example, GarageBand could import sound-clips from apps like djay or Animoog in addition to the Music app. Similarly, a word processor could retrieve definitions from the users’ preferred dictionary app rather than stick to whatever the developer bundled with the app.

In my case, that would be a list of synonyms from Terminology. But imagine if Editorial could provide its workflows as services to other apps, or if you could retrieve files from Dropbox without opening the Dropbox app. Android is far ahead of iOS in this field, and it's time for iOS to grow up.

Jan
15
2014

Thinking About An iPad Pro

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iPad Pro

I’ve been thinking about a rumor that I’ve seen showing up in tech headlines lately – that Apple is working on a larger version of the iPad (dubbed “iPad Pro”) that is allegedly on track to be released in Fall 2014. While I haven’t been paying particular attention to rumors (with the exception of Mark Gurman’s original reporting), the idea of a larger iPad reported by the tech press thus far strikes me as an odd proposition. As someone who uses the iPad as his primary computer, I wanted to recollect past instances of this rumor and reflect upon the consequences that such device (and way of thinking) could have on the iPad line, iOS, and consumers. (more…)

Your Verse

Apple has today aired a new iPad Air commercial called “Your Verse Anthem” focused on the capabilities of the iPad as a device to express the creativity of the human race. The ad features voiceover by Robin Williams taken from the movie Dead Poets Society; in the clip that Apple chose, John Keating (Robin Williams) describes why people read and write poetry and how everyone can contribute a verse to the world. Interestingly, as noted by Linus Edwards, this isn’t the first time Apple has been inspired by Dead Poets Society. (more…)