Also, IllumiBowl loo lights, say Ello to ads again, I Am Bread and so are you, and Jimmy Kimmel explains how to use Apple Pay.
iPad Air 2 Reviews Roundup
Apple has updated its iPad range, with the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 now available. The iPad mini 3 can be reviewed in just one sentence: “Buy the iPad mini 2 instead and save yourself $100.” The iPad Air 2, however, is worthy of a fuller reviews roundup:-
The Verge suggests that “it feels like Apple is so content with its commanding lead in the tablet market that it’s willing to let the iPad’s superlative hardware sell itself instead of figuring out new places for it to go.” The review concludes, “There’s no question that the iPad Air 2 is the best iPad ever made. It’s also the best tablet ever made.” However, it’s “mostly just thinner.”
Re/code states that basically “the iPad Air 2 is a thinner and lighter version of the original Air with a faster processor.” Walt Mossberg is a big fan of Apple and its products, but even he has to conclude that, “Overall, the new model reinforces my view that the iPad is the best full-sized tablet, but this latest iteration isn’t much of a leap.”
TechCrunch sticks to the party line, calling the iPad Air 2 “the best tablet available anywhere.” It further cements that view by stating, “There’s no question that if you’re in the market for a tablet, this is the best one available today.” It describes the iPad Air 2 as “a big-screened slate with a gorgeous display, an exhaustive software library and powerful processing capabilities that you’d be comfortable holding all day, should you have to.” Which you don’t, obviously.
Engadget suggests the iPad Air 2 is “exactly what Apple needed to keep the lineup fresh.” Its one criticism of the larger iPad in Apple’s new lineup is the poor battery life, but that doesn’t prevent the reviewer concluding, “Most importantly, the Air 2 feels like Apple hasn’t given up on the tablet form factor, even if it’s experiencing a dip in sales.”
From these reviews of the iPad Air 2, we can conclude that this is the best iPad Apple has ever released. However, it’s not a significant enough improvement over the original iPad Air to justify an upgrade. So it seems, at least for now, iPad sales will continue to decline.
Microsoft Drops Nokia Name
— Digit (@digitindia) October 22, 2014
Microsoft is dropping the Nokia name, and rebranding its Windows Phone handsets as ‘Microsoft Lumia’. This is according to the Nokia France Facebook page, which told its followers, “In the coming days, you will receive a message from Facebook on the renaming of this page. We are about to become Microsoft Lumia.”
Other countries are set to see the rebrand in the coming weeks, but Microsoft hasn’t officially confirmed it’s dropping the Nokia moniker, telling ZDNet, “We have nothing to share concerning these reports.”
Get HERE For Android Beta Now
First impression of Here Maps on Android is good. I probably won't be carrying old Nokia for navigation anymore.
— Vesku Hartikainen (@veskuh) October 22, 2014
Nokia’s HERE mapping service is now available for free to all Android users running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) or higher. However, this is still a beta undergoing final testing, so all the usual caveats associated with running a beta apply
HERE offers an alternative to Google Maps and Apple Maps, and shows a lot of promise. If you do download the HERE for Android beta then let us know in the comments below whether you prefer it over the competition.
IllumiBowl Lights Up Your Loo
— Sue Peterson (@jasberfitwraps) October 22, 2014
There have been some truly bizarre Kickstarter campaigns over the years, but IllumiBowl may just be the most bizarre Kickstarter yet. With a $20k funding goal and a video which includes too many shots of a toilet bowl for our liking, this one has to be seen to be believed.
IllumiBowl is essentially a nightlight for your toilet, offering a color-changing LED lightbulb which sits under the seat waiting for you to visit the loo in the middle of the night. At $15 it’s pretty cheap, but it’s also rather dumb and completely unnecessary, so we’ll pass… trapped wind, most likely.
Ello Ads Adds Ads To Ello, Obviously
Ello got it half right. They removed the ads. But they forgot to remove the friends.
— Dave Pell (@davepell) October 1, 2014
Ello is the social network aiming to beat Facebook at its own game by not using advertising to make the money needed to keep such an operation in business. Granted, that means users will be asked to pay for certain features, but we’re sure they’ll happily do so without moaning.
If you’re on Ello and want to see how Ello looks with ads, you need a Chrome extension called Ello Ads. This adds ads to Ello. Lo and behold, it turns out ads are a perfectly legitimate way of paying for servers and keeping overworked developers from going hungry. Who’d have thought?!
I Am Bread Is The Strangest Simulator
In I Am Bread, you play a piece of bread on its “epic and emotional … quest to become toasted.” I’m not sure there’s anything I can add to that, but make sure to watch the rather amusing video for more details.
Jimmy Kimmel Explains Apple Pay
And finally, Apple launched its mobile payments system Apple Pay this week, and reports suggest it works pretty much as you’d expect. However, is it really that big a deal? Not only have other companies been offering similar service for several years, is paying for goods with your smartphone something the world actually needs or wants?
American talk show host Jimmy Kimmel remains unconvinced about Apple Pay, as evidenced by this video in which he details the steps you need to take when using the mobile payments system. He’s not wrong, either, so expect to encounter lots of confused cashiers and angry customers for the next few months. And Black Friday is sure to be fun, fun, fun.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Do you have any plans to purchase the iPad Air 2? Is IllumiBowl the strangest Kickstarter you have ever seen? Is Apple Pay destined to succeed or fail?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.