App of the week: Screens VNC


If you rely on VNC protocol to access your desktop computers remotely on your iPad or iPhone, then Screens VNC is as best an app you could get. Screens VNC is pricey at $19.90 for an iOS app, but the app gets it right by implementing features that make it easy to use touch based interface to maneuver the cursor on the desktop. Screens app is an universal app with iCloud and AirPlay integration. And a free Screens Connect helper app enable you to access your desktop from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Screens VNC on App Store

iOS 5.1.1 is released


Apple has released iOS 5.1.1, which contains mainly of bug fixes. Among them are reliability improvements to HDR in Photo app, AirPlay video playback and Safari bookmarks and Reading List syncing. The update is for iOS 5 devices, which include iPhone 3GS and above, iPod touch third-generation and above, and all iPad. You can update iOS 5.1.1 directly on your iOS device from Settings app->General->Software Update.

iPad keyboard prototype shows Apple how touch editing can be better

Daniel Hooper has a clever idea that shows Apple how touch editing on the iPad can be better. As he shows in the video, the fix to current iPad keyboard is to make use of the keyboard itself as trackpad for selection, caret movement and shift key. There is no promise Apple will ever implement it, but we all hope iOS 6 will spot at least some of his idea after watching the video.

How to switch off 4G LTE on the new iPad to save on bandwidth and battery life

The higher speed of the 4G LTE wireless in the new iPad means that you will consume your data plan faster. For the first time, 1080p movie is playing smoothly wirelessly when you are outdoor. But please don’t watch a HD video using your precious 4G LTE bandwidth as you will hit your monthly limit in no time. Unless you have an unlimited LTE data plan with your telco, it pays to be watchful of what you consume over the high speed 4G network.

There is no question that 4G LTE uses more battery life than 3G, as in general newer technology is not as power efficient as time-tested improvement in 3G hardware.

4G LTE is a great addition to the new iPad. With great feature comes the above minor minuses. Luckily it is straight forward to disable 4G LTE on the new iPad.


On the Settings app, tap on Cellular Data. Toggle the switch beside “Enable LTE” to turn off LTE.


Example picture showing Retina Display on the new iPad at work

Photography is one area where the Retina Display really shines. To find out the difference in the Retina Display of the new iPad compared with older iPad, photographer Duncan Davidson created in his blog post where tapping on a showcase picture will toggle between normal resolution and higher resolution of the picture. This is an easy way to check the improvement of the high resolution screen of the new iPad. Check out the blog post below on your new iPad.

An Example of Photography on the Retina Display

Should I buy the new iPad?


The new iPad is hot. We are talking about the sales number and not about the new iPad running warmer than iPad 2. If you are pondering whether to shell some dough to Apple, here are some pointers for your consideration.

If you already own an iPad 2, there might not be a need to upgrade to the new iPad. The new iPad comes with an enhanced A5X CPU. But much of its power is used to drive the doubling resolution in the Retina Display. Benchmark shows that there is not marked improvement in terms of processing performance in the new iPad compared with iPad 2.

The selling point of the new iPad to iPad 2 owners are the Retina Display and 4G LTE wireless. If you do not plan to subscribe to a 4G LTE plan, then the Retina Display is the main differentiating feature. Do not try to compare the screen in the Apple Store as the temptation would be too great. Resistance to upgrade though would prove futile to many.

If you own the first generation iPad, then the new iPad is a timely upgrade. The first generation iPad lacks a camera and some popular apps such as iPhoto can not run on it. In general, we would advice an upgrade to your iPhone and iPad once every 2 generation of model.

If you are new to iPad and you are looking to buy a tablet. Look no further. There is no better tablet in the market.

The return of iSight


Remember iSight camera on your Mac? iSight is the name Apple used for the webcam on Mac computers before its transition to the current “FaceTime” or “FaceTime HD” camera naming. When Apple launched the new iPad, it refers to the new 5MP camera as an iSight camera.  And iSight name is prominent in iPad’s product literature. More than just the new iPad, Apple has just applied the iSight name to the camera in iPhone 4/4S. The camera on both the new iPad and iPhone 4S appears to be the same going by specification.

The iSight branding is expected to extend to the camera on the Mac during their next refreshes later in the year. It is safe to say that the resurrection of the name only make sense when Apple plans to make it a differentiating product feature. To speculate, Apple might be adding motion sensing detection technology into the iSight camera. This new technology might be enabled as part of Mountain Lion and in iOS 6. There might even be a standalone iSight webcam accessory for the AppleTV, with full gaming API support for its motion detection technology. Will Apple play catchup with Kinect? We will know for sure when Apple unveils iOS 6 in June.