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Wednesday, 28 March 2012


The high-res screen has been throwing the web world into a tizzy the past few weeks. Reading all the speculation on how to handle this display has given me a headache.

So as nice as it may be, it seems, to me at first glance, to introduce a lot of potential problems in the immediate future.

Dear Paddy,

It changes the game in predictable (though not necessarily anticipated) ways that are both exciting and annoying.

The fundamental issue is that when all displays had approximately the same resolution (100-150 ppi) you could pretty much size graphics for some plausible median value and they'd look good everywhere.

Jump the resolution by a factor of 2X to 3X and that breaks (e.g., your 1" thumbnail becomes a 1 cm thumbnail).

There's no "frictionless" way to address this.

At the moment, only the 2012 iPad raises the issue, because it's the only large, high-resolution display out there. But it's the shape of things to come for displays in general.

I'll talk more about this in part 2.

pax / Ctein

So you're aware that the voice transcription is processed through some sort of Apple server "cloud" right? That's why it needs to be on the net.

So if you're writing email to your spymaster, you might want to use a keyboard. And something other than your iPad.

I'm just sayin'

I've read about the ability to color profile using the Spyder app but my understanding was that it is of limited use since it only allowed displaying photo's in a color calibrated space.

Have you found another way to do this? I.E. the Colurmunki? If so, this would be useful to many people.

One of the reasons I've hesitated to buy an Ipad is the inability to calibrate it's color profile. Perhaps I've misunderstood this all along?

Dear Andrew,

That's correct, but I don't care about that.

If you are concerned about certain three-letter agencies catching something inappropriate that you've spoken or written, e-mail is entirely out. Data-mining of e-mail is so easy, unless you use encryption, that it's not even close to a state-of-the-art problem. As, for that matter, are telephones. Those folks had general-purpose voice recognition operating back in the 1970's. (The computing resources thrown at the problem were astonishing. I have a journal reference somewhere in my files, but I can't find it at the moment, unfortunately. Predates my electronic filing system.) You can imagine what they can do today.

The reality is that if you're concerned about Big Brother monitoring your communications, and you may very well have reason to be, voice transcription via the cloud is lesser amongst your worries.


Dear Daniel,

For reasons I don't understand, calibrating iPads seems to be hinky business. Some tools work, some don't.

Understand that you're only talking about doing calibration in a tethered environment, where another computer is controlling the iPad's display. There is no way that I know of to go in and alter the LUT in the iPad directly. I don't know if it's prohibited in Apple's API and/or sandboxed out of reach of third-party software, or if it's simply not a job that any of the color calibration companies have tackled yet.

If someone reading this knows of a product that can be used to profile The iPad directly, I'd be very interested in learning about it.

Right out-of-the-box, the new iPad is so close to sRGB-compliant that you ought to be able to use it happily without calibration. It just looks a little bit sweeter if you do. But if ColorMunki had been broken on it, I'd still be happy. The older iPads, with their 70%-of-gamut, lower saturation, and increased-contrast-to-partially-compensate-for-that showed a substantial improvement with calibration.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

Apple is offering Australian customers refunds because the new ipad is not compatible with the Australian 4G and WiMAX networks as Apple had advertised.

Is it time to change your signature Ctein (the MacSpeech element I mean)?

Ctein, ultimately the resolution is good. I think I'm just grumpy about how difficult the web has become and how expensive it is for my clients who don't have the resources. I realize there are a lot of people out there who find this "fun" but I always hoped the web would reach a point where development and deployment would get out of the way. This is, of course, the typical utopic vision of technological progression and one I should be old and wise enough to realize is foolish.

At the moment the methods for serving hi-res content efficiently (when needed) and the network (at least in North America) to deliver it just aren't there.

Ctein - Did you have any of the color temp issues others have reported where the screen gets hundreds of degrees warmer over time? Supposedly this is due to some kind of curing of the panel, but I wonder how consistent that makes the gamut and calibrate-ability across multiple devices.


Datacolor seems to have a solution for calibrating the iPad. Check out: http://cdtobie.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/color-management-and-the-ipad/


Ctein, when you say charging takes longer with the standard 10W charger, do you know if there are stronger chargers that are compatible with the new iPad? I know Apple makes several difference chargers, of different "strengths," but I don't know if there are compatibility issues.

Dear Patrick,

You're right! With the product name change, I should change my sig. line. Real soon now.


Dear David,

There have been a modest number of complaints (remember how many millions of these have been sold). Half the complaints are from people who are simply comparing the new iPad to the old one and other portable devices they have and are complaining because it looks a lot warmer than all of them. They're simply wrong... Or more accurately, all their old devices are wrong; it's the new one that is correct. A small percentage of people have had the ostensible “glue curing” situation. Their iPads stabilize in a matter of days. A very small number of people have honest-to-God defective iPad screens, and for them this whole conversation is irrelevant.

In any case, one of the reasons your color management hardware and software recommends read profiling your display regularly is because it is presumed that displays aren't long-term constant. Doesn't matter what kind of display, that's the default assumption.


Dear JC,

That is a question of considerable interest. I have no doubt that at this very moment the hardware hackers are ripping apart new iPads to figure out if they can handle a higher wattage charger (and if it will void Apple warranty to do so). Could be as easy as simply feeding 15 W into the input port instead of 10. Could be as difficult as the internal circuitry of the iPad really can't support that much power.

We will find out very quickly, I am positive.

If a high-powered charger is possible, I strongly suspect we will see one from Apple offered as an accessory. I think they underestimated how negatively people would receive the charging time changes (and the lack of ability to effectively recharge while you're using the iPad).

Currently, 10 W is the biggest charger Apple sells, and, indeed, a few folks have made the mistake of trying to charge their new iPads off of their iPod or iPhone charger and discovered that it takes an ungodly long time. There even seems to be an issue with the connector cable. If you get a new iPad, you definitely want to be charging it using the charger AND cable provided with the iPad.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

To me the iPhone and now the iPad is all about the Apps. The Apps I use are photography related but I imagine it to be the same for iPad users who are not photographers. Having started a correspondence with several App developers early on I have great respect for their abilities to deliver such capable Apps within a limited computational space. For that reason I am always excited to upgrade my iPhone and now my iPad. The increasing capabilities of the devices brings with it increasing capabilities in the Apps. It's all about the Apps.

"All about the apps... "
Remember when the first hard drives came out for home and business computers? The first one I had was a whopping 10MB! Back then code writing skills included how few lines of code one could accomplish the task with.
Deja vu!

Gawd, I really wish the iPad Dictation worked as well for this poor Dane as it does for this guy. I could really use it, and it seems a cruel twist of fate that an accent so slight that it hardly ever bothers humans, is a fatal stumbling block for this dumb software!


Not sure where you live or travel to, but if it's major urban areas, then forget the two big oligarchs of telecom and go with a Clear. You can get unlimited 4G wifi hotspot that will fit in your pocket, lasts for about 6 hours unplugged for a monthly fee of about $50. It's fast enough if you get a strong signal where you live that you can replace your internet provider. That is if no one else needs the internet in your home when you travel.



I would rather says that research on voice recognition was initiated in the early 90's.

Dear Ctein,

Which storage size did you chose (i.e. 16, 32 or 64 GB) and why? Thanks for your comment.

Can you tell us a little more about hotspot plans? Last time I checked the ATT and Verizon plan lists, it looked like they both allowed hotspot functionality only with their most expensive plan, although I wasn't scrutinizing the details too carefully. What exact Verizon plan are you using here?

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