Tag Archives: Ipad

Hands-on with Paper, a new sketch app for the iPad


The way Paper displays your journals with 3D pages is part of what makes this app visually appealing.
(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

As CNET’s Mary Jo Foley reported earlier today, former execs associated with the nixed Courier dual-screen tablet from Microsoft have joined together to make an elegant sketchpad and ideas app.

Paper, by developer FiftyThree, is free and offers only a handful of features initially, but it’s just enough to make you want to sample some of the in-app purchases for more tools.

Upon launch you’re presented with a welcome screen that outlines the simple set of tools. A tap opens a book, and swiping horizontally lets you turn the 3D pages. The feel of the app is very fluid, and it even accounts for your swipe momentum, so a stronger flick turns several pages until they slow to a stop. Details like these make the simple interface impressive, even without many bells and whistles. From there you simply tap on a page to start editing.

The app manages to make your sketches smooth and fluid, even with only a simple set of tools.
(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Paper offers five different tools for different types of sketches and drawings, each with its own unique properties. The free version comes with the Draw tool (a stylized ink pen that makes it easy to make smooth lines), an eraser, and a simple color palette. There are four other tools that can be purchased individually for US$1.99 each, or you can buy the full set of tools for US$7.99.

The remaining four tools are all unique and will come in handy depending on what you use Paper for. Sketch tools offer the ability to create soft pencil lines; Outline tools let you make bold strokes; Write tools give you an ink pen that makes your freehand writing look better than you’d see on other apps of this type; and Color tools add painting effects and color blending for more-artistic projects. While I appreciated the quality of the added brushes, both the individual and package prices seemed a little steep to me.

Using the writing pen, you can make lists or take down journal entries and the app automatically smooths out your handwriting.
(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

When you’re finished with your idea or sketch, you can close the book with a pinch gesture. Now you can touch the Share button to upload your sketch to Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter, or you can send it via e-mail.

While there are several sketch and painting tools in the App Store, Paper has a certain elegance that few apps in this category can match. Even if you just try the free version, you will quickly see that a lot of thought went into making this app simple, yet visually appealing at the same time. In the coming weeks, I’ll be interested see if the price point for Paper’s tools will be a roadblock for users to buy the complete package.


Top Retina Display-ready games for your new iPad.

The best thing about the latest Apple iPad is that high-resolution Retina Display that packs four times the pixels of its predecessor. The problem with such a screen is that apps that aren’t updated for it won’t look as good as they should. And despite having improved graphics hardware, you’ll find that most of that horsepower went into powering that screen–the new iPad isn’t significantly faster than its predecessor.

While we believe that most developers will be working on Retina Display-enhanced versions of their apps, the updates will take some time. Meanwhile, Apple has a new section (with 45 apps at last count) that highlights some of the apps that are ready for the high-resolution display. Of course, not all updated apps get into Apple’s list and few of them are games. Hence, we have rounded up some of the best games that will look great on your new iPad.

You may also have heard that apps updated for the Retina Display on the iPad have been super-sized. In other words, the higher-resolution graphical assets required by that 2,048 x 1,536-pixel screen have resulted in an increase in file size. While the magnitude of the increase varies depending on the app, the biggest culprits are usually games, especially those that boast 3D graphics. For instance, Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation is a whopping 1.05GB download. Hence, we have included the size of the file (these files are likely to be expanded in size when installed on your iPad).

1. Angry Birds Space HD
Just when it seems that Angry Birds has become more about the brand and the merchandise–there are even plans for theme parks–comes a reminder from developer Rovio that the franchise is still about the games. By blasting the birds (and pigs) into space, the latest installment in the series adds a new dimension to the gameplay by mixing in zero-gravity. Our favorites are the bonus levels that are obvious tributes to classics such as Space Invaders and Super Mario Bros.Price: US$2.99
File size: 20MB
2. Diamond Dash
A huge hit on Facebook with 10 million players, Diamond Dash has been equally successful since moving to the iOS platform. This pattern-matching game isn’t that different from competitor, Bejeweled Blitz. Both games are incredibly fast-paced due to their 60-second time limit, but the flashy explosions and effects of Diamond Dash fit right into its frantic clickfest gameplay. As with most social games, there’s the element of playing against your friends. To keep things exciting, you’ll even get a score handicap if you have a lower rank.Price: Free to play with optional in-app purchases
File size: 23.4MB
3. DragonVale
If you’re a fan of “How to Train Your Dragon”, DragonVale is probably right up your alley. This simulation game has the player raise their own dragons in a park. Besides the usual hatching and feeding, there are also options to upgrade the park with more facilities. The fun, however, is in unlocking new breeds of dragons, which is done by cross-breeding different elemental types of dragons. The graphics are cute enough to distract you while waiting for your dragons to grow (unless you wish to pay real currency for ingame items).Price: Free to play with optional in-app purchases
File size: 24.9MB
4. Flight Control Rocket
Besides Angry Birds, another game that has made the recent leap into outer space is Flight Control Rocket. The original game was about directing air traffic and the latest version is more of the same. The graphics and art design is top-notch and it looks really good on the new iPad. There are new spaceships that change the pace of the game due to their different characteristics and robot assistants that give various bonuses. Unfortunately, using these robots often require ingame purchases which undermines the game experience, especially when this is not a free app.Price: US$0.99
File size: 31MB
5. Galaxy on Fire 2 HD
Arguably one of the best sci-fi games on mobile platforms with its engrossing story and a huge number of side missions, this visually stunning game gets even better with high-resolution textures designed for the iPad’s Retina Display. If you’re going to be looking at this game for an extended period of time–Galaxy on Fire 2 HD boasts more than 10 hours of gameplay–it’s important that you get the updated version.Price: US$9.99
File size: 519MB
6. Infinity Blade II
The poster child for gaming on the iPhone/iPad, Epic Games’ action RPG, Infinity Blade II, is critically acclaimedfor its outstanding graphics and combat system. Given the already-excellent visuals, you may be hard-pressed to see the differences between the non-Retina Display version and the high-resolution update. However, this is besides the point: The art design and the swordfighting are more than sufficient reasons to play this game.Price: US$6.99
File size: 791MB
7. Mass Effect Infiltrator
Mass Effect 3 may have ended the saga of Commander Shepard, but there are still stories to be told in that universe. Mass Effect Infiltratordoes that by putting the player in the role of an agent who turns against his company because of its experimentation on aliens. As with most other Retina Display-enhanced 3D games on this list, there’s plenty of eye candy to go along with the inevitable explosions and combat scenes. Your ingame performance in Infiltrator can also contribute to your overall score in Mass Effect 3 if you own both games.Price: US$6.99
File size: 647MB
8. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation
One of the best first-person shooter titles for the iOS platform, Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation is a huge game, from its massive 1GB download size to the amount of content. There’s a campaign with 13 missions, where you can enjoy the cinematic cutscenes as you get used to the controls. Once you’re done, it’s time to dive into the multiplayer mode, which you can play with up to 12 players via local Wi-Fi or through online game servers. While the storyline isn’t much to write home about, the gorgeous visuals and excellent multiplayer mode make up for it.Price: US$6.99
File size: 1.05GB
9. Real Racing 2 HD
When it comes to racing games on the iPad, it doesn’t get more photo-realistic than Real Racing 2 HD. The HD version for the iPad 2 looked really good and the latest Retina Display update only makes it slightly better. Chances are that despite the company’s claims of 4x anti-aliasing, you probably won’t notice all the improvements on the new iPad unless you stare intently at the screen. However, there’s no doubt that it’s the racing game to get, with its 30 licensed cars and multiplayer mode with up to 16 players.Price: US$6.99
File size: 444MB
10. Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy
First demoed at the launch of the latest iPad, Sky Gamblers has high-resolution visuals that show off the capabilities of that Retina Display. The plot and the premise aren’t any good and you shouldn’t expect a realistic flight sim, but the fast-paced arcade-like action and the stunning graphics still makes for an entertaining game.Price: US$4.99
File size: 360MB


Apple iPad 2012 Review.

The iPad’s new screen is a stunner. That’s really all you need to know about the new iPad (yes, that’s the name). That, and a reminder that pricing still starts at US$499 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model, with 4G starting at US$629.

Forget all of the minor tweaks and incremental updates Apple has made to its third-generation tablet. The faster processor, the upgrade to 4G data, the improved camera–it’s all housekeeping. It’s the stuff it had to do. It’s the stuff any manufacturer could have done.

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What you need to know about the new iPad (FAQ)

(Credit: Apple)

Apple debuted its third-generation Apple iPad yesterday, and many CNET readers still have some unanswered questions about the device.

The new tablet is set to hit store shelves on March 16. Apple has already outlined the basic new specs of the device. But there is still some confusion around what some of these new features are and how they can be used.

In this FAQ, CNET answers some of these questions and provides a basic primer on what Apple is calling simply, the new iPad. If you’ve got more questions regarding the third-generation iPad, let us know and we will update the FAQ.

What’s different about the new iPad compared to the iPad 2 introduced last year?

  • There are several key differentiators.
  • Higher resolution high-definition screen.
  • 4G LTE wide area network connectivity.
  • Faster processor A5X chip.
  • Upgraded 5-megapixel camera with 1080-resolution for video with image stabilization.
  • New apps, such as iPhoto and updates to Garageband and iMovie. iPhoto is US$4.99, while GarageBand and iMovie remain US$9.99 each.

Is there anything that has stayed the same between the iPad 2 and the third-generation model of the device?

  • The basic design and dimensions of the iPad are the same. The new iPad is less than a millimeter thicker than the iPad 2, which means most of the existing iPad 2 cases will fit the new iPad.
  • Battery life is consistent, with the iPad giving users 10 hours when on Wi-Fi and about 9 hours of use on a 4G LTE network.
  • Pricing and memory configurations are the same for the new iPad as they were for the iPad. The base model with Wi-Fi connectivity and 16GB of storage will cost US$499, while the most expensive 4G version, with 64GB, will cost US$829.
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