Last week saw the release of new tablets from Apple, Nokia and Microsoft. Apple, generally considered under assault by competitors, debuted the iPad Air, a modest (some say ho-hum) upgrade to an A7 chip. (Apple has better boosted its iPad Mini with both Retina Display and faster processor.) Defenders say it’s hard to improve perfection, which is a double-edged sword: iPad Air is likely to attract newcomers, but not cause current, generally satisfied iPad owners to upgrade.
People who need their tablets to work with Windows now have some quality choices. They are not going to knock out the iPad, but they do serve a market need. Nokia offered up the Lumia 2520, which runs Microsoft Windows 8, while Microsoft debuted the Surface 2 & Surface Pro 2.
The Nokia/Microsoft connection gets tricky: Nokia runs on a Microsoft Windows platform. But Microsoft, which has basically taken over Nokia, still does not control Nokia’s devices sector, which leaves Microsoft either competing against itself or winning all around. Throw AT&T into the licensing mix and you have either vertical integration or hot mess.
Nokia is also bandying about its Lumia 1520 (with 6-inch display) marketed as a phone/tablet hybrid called a “phablet,” a style customers can expect to see more of from all competitors. (I can’t help but notice that people who are drawn to this ever-changing world of technology sizes and features appear to enjoy having similar options available for their coffee selections. Visit any Starbucks to see what I mean.)
The personal device world is in a state of flux as manufacturers experiment with sizes, weights and features. The technology exists to produce light-as-a-feather computers the size of matchboxes, but that’s not necessarily what customers want. The onslaught of minis, megas, phones, phablets and tablets is both an attempt to find out what customers want/will pay for and create a rush for “new” products that customers will pay for. Ponder that over a Venti Salted Caramel Latte, and good luck to us all.
For more extensive product reviews, see Engadget’s fall tablet reviews.
Back to the Future: The Unarchiver
The future is now. Except, 20 years ago, the future was then. If you are a Mac user and need to get back to the future and open old files, The Unarchiver can help. It opens StuffIt, DiskDoubler, LZH, ARJ and ARC. It also opens Zip, RAR, 7-zip, Tar, Gzip and Bzip2, ISO and BIN disc image. Ranked number 4 in top free Mac apps.
It’s disheartening to see that the Dewey app has not received enough ratings to display an average. Designed for the creator’s librarian mother and updated in August, this app helps users break down Dewey Decimal System call numbers. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. $ .99. For Web use, take a look at Dewey Browse. The site indexes websites for K-12 users
We know from all the PR that Librarians are fun now. We’re not the shushers of yesteryear. But sometimes we still want people to zip it. Enter the Librarian app. Set a maximum decibel level and when the environment exceeds that, your device will do the shushing for you. iPhone. Free.
Here’s an app library types and educators can get behind. If the educators are also library types? Fuhgeddaboudit. Free Books by Digital Press Publishing serves up “23,469 classics to go” via the number one book app. Shelf upon shelf of books in virtually no space at all. For iphone, ipod and ipad. Audiobooks and Classics also available.
Are you a lover or a fighter? Either way, you’re in interesting company as far as librarianship goes. Take the Librarians Rock! quiz to find out just what kind of famous dreamers, schemers and in-betweeners were librarians. (And, yes, librarians do rock.)