Radio kills the Video Star

For me, I personally think that streaming video to your mobile device is over rated. Doesn’t matter if you are referring to or YouTube, the paltry mobile data plan you have isn’t going to cut it. I written about the consumption of video in the past, and to be fair…your 3GB data plan will run out of steam. For most of us, the 3GB is what many telcos are limiting these days even if it says you have an unlimited data plan. The powers that be will throttle your speed and watching video will be a pain once the buffering is more frequent.

This is where radio is a good place to start. I love radio, and when I was a kid, I use to record music off it.

When I got the iPhone, I decided to get an app to listening to overseas radio, and I was disgusted that folks out there were charging up to 0.99 cents per radio station app. Then came TuneIn Radio, which has a free and paid version. I tried out the free version, loved it. Then I went to buy the paid version—which is available for Android at an offer of 0.49 cents now.

Now this is the standard app I have now for listening on my Blackberry and Galaxy Note.

So what’s the main difference between the paid and free version? Well the paid version has recording capability so you can record programs for keeps. Sleeptimer is standard on both free and paid version and so is the local radio search. For those of you who have devices without built in FM radio, this helps a lot. Once you have located a station you like you can also browse the recommended stations along with it—giving you links to other similar type stations. Podcast search is also available as well.

Sports, news and even recorded programs can be found on the search function so if you have something in mind, just key it in. Tunein app uses up to 100MB of data an hour compared to YouTube which would consume that in less than 15 mins. Now this figure is dependent on the streaming quality. Some are as low as 48K a sec, while other radio stations stream at a higher rate, consuming more data.

If you are having buffering problems, you can also choose a lower streaming rate so as to enjoy fuss free radio.

Often, the problem with buffering is only a problem when your data line has a very high latency rate. If you have a low latency rate of 60m/s captured using a ping test, then you should be able to stream at higher speeds.

TuneIn Radio Pro in now on offer on Android market so better get it now as you can sync your station presets to your own personal account which will appear in all your devices once you log in.


What you really need to know about the new iPad

Many pundits have given lukewarm response to the new iPad 3 but let us be clear on one thing. The iPad rocks when it comes to gaming. It has more games on tablet form than Android and little else.

If you are looking to replace your gaming console for a tablet, this is a good time. Forget the PS Vita, games are overpriced in the first place, and the Nintendo 3DS, to small a screen to justify the gameplay.

new iPad

I have been buying games on the Galaxy note and realize that title for title, it does not play as well as on the iPad.

Hardware specs have been upped, but the LTE and 4G radios are not going to be show stealers. They may have a GPS built in, and is good for offline mapping but if you already have an iPhone , there is little to justify getting another GPS enabled device.

The 5 megapixel camera is probably the same as the iPhone 4, but this needs further confirmation as Apple is now using sensors from Sony for the iPhone 4s, they may have also switch to Sony as the main supplier for the 5 megapixel shooter.

Now here comes the caveat. File sizes are going to be big. If you go with a 16GB model, you will be screwed in the long run. And since there is no iPad model that does not have a camera, you are left without a choice even if you don’t want to use the camera.

Even though Photoshop and iPhoto is available for the iPad, the ability to load and enhance images from your DSLR is limited by the storage size. You can select individual images for post production editing but you cannot upload a whole row of shots and pick them off as there isn’t enough storage available. If you get a 64GB model, you are still limited by the fact that you cannot upload and download images back to your HD once you are done editing them. Instead, you need to rely on a WIFI or 4G connection to Cloud storage. iCloud is a rip off. You only get 5GB of storage free. However if you were one of those lucky enough to enjoy the offers of past, where they handed out free 50GB of cloud storage for free (for life too) then you may have reason to use a 4G enabled iPad for your work. For the rest of you who do not have large cloud storage, you are screwed. BTW, iPhoto for iPad cost $5 bucks and is not free.

This is the same for those who have business reports and presentations to do. iCloud is something you need to buy once your run out of space on your iPad. For seamless access to presentations created on your desktop, cloud storage is the way to go. If you don’t have much real world work to do, then the iPad is nothing more than a gaming machine.

I think social media posting from FB and its ilk is over rated for the iPad. Sure people do get online to connect but if you already have a smart phone that can do that, why bother?

So here is the deal. Get the iPad 3 if you are fall into the following:-

  1. I play all sorts of Games on the iPad
  2. I read books and magazines on the iPad
  3. I have enormous cloud storage access
  4. I have kids, and I want to download educational apps

You will realize that I have not included watching TV, movies and listening to music because this can be done on ANY tablet. The only difference is the iTunes store where you can download them, this too will mean having a WIFI connection as OTA is limited to 50GB file sizes.

The bigger retina display is more of a hassle than a real benefit. Apps for the new iPad will need to carry larger graphics files meaning you have to download bigger and larger size apps, and with the limited storage, this is going to go down well for the majority of you who buy the 16GB  model.

File size comparisons

Many of the apps today are not optimized for use on the new iPad. Raster graphics, that means graphics made to pixel accurate sizes, will appear pixelated when viewed with the new Retina display.

Vector graphics however are not affected since these can be rendered by the improve graphics chip.

Lastly, not many iPad apps are monetized well, and as such, developers will not see any reason to put up a new version. Only game developers would be keen to tap the current improved graphics capability and that too is dependent on the app making money in the past.