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This is the developer blog of Simon Wolf, Mac and iPhone developer, owner of Otter Software Ltd.

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Entries in iPad (3)

Monday
Oct252010

The Skadoosh iPad Stand

Pretty soon after buying my iPad I realised that I needed a stand for it. Four things that I immediately wanted to do were:

  • Be able to prop my iPad up on my bedside table so I could watch a film whilst lying in bed.
  • Be able to work (or watch movies) when I’m out and about. Typing on a flat iPad is very uncomfortable.
  • Be able to sit on the sofa with the iPad on a lap-tray so I can write some notes, catch up on email, etc. whilst I’m watching TV and spending some recuperative time away from my Mac.
  • Be able to use my iPad as my ‘Twitter device’ during the day at my desk. Having Twitter active on something other than my Mac is better for productivity because it is less distracting.

My main considerations for a stand was that it should be stable (pretty important for an iPad stand really) and portable. Additionally, being able to leave my iPad in its case would be good and having a stand that is attractive was definitely a nice-to-have feature.

I stumbled upon the JaDu Industries Skadoosh by accident. When I came across it there hadn’t been much coverage of it at all but what coverage of it there was sang its praises. It seemed to match all of the criteria I had for a stand so I paid $99.99 (the price has now dropped to $69.99 and there is now also a black version) plus $10.00 for international shipping and two weeks later it arrived (in fairness they dispatched it very quickly so the delay was in the postal systems). Also, be aware of import fees. In the UK I ended up paying £11.22 for VAT (our sales tax) and am £8.00 handling fee from our postal service.

My first impressions were that it was a gorgeous stand. It’s very small and portable and I wondered how well it would support the weight of an iPad. In landscape the stand works beautifully. However if you have your iPad in a vertical orientation you will probably want to use the fold-out arm which adds additional stability to the stand. The arm doubles the footprint of the stand and is slightly problematic on small surfaces such as airplane and train seat-back tables but I imagine that most people would have their iPads in landscape in most circumstances anyway.

The angle of the iPad can be adjusted from vertical to around 30 degrees, the latter being a nice angle for typing. The stand is low enough and unobtrusive enough that it is possible to type comfortably on the iPad when it is fully reclined.

So, in conclusion, the Skadoosh is a great stand. It’s not the cheapest available but the price certainly reflects the quality. It is small and compact yet keeps your iPad stable and secure and I’ve absolutely no regrets about buying it.

You can find some photos of the Skadoosh along with some more information about it at the JaDu Industries web site.

Friday
Mar122010

Indie iBooks Publishing - Updated

Matt Gemmell noticed a change in the information given on Apple’s page about iBook.

Apparently, “The iBooks app uses the ePub format — the most popular open book format in the world. That makes it easy for publishers to create iBooks versions of your favorite reads. And you can add free ePub titles to iTunes and sync them to the iBooks app on your iPad.”

Great news.

This is an update to my previous article about iBooks.

Friday
Jan292010

Indie iBooks Publishing 

Update: Please see the additional good new in this post.

One of the main functions of the the iPad is that of an eBook reader. To quote Apple, “The iBooks app is a great new way to read and buy books. Download the free app from the App Store and buy everything from classics to best sellers from the built-in iBookstore.”

This implies that iBooks documents will only be available via the iBookstore which is a shame because I’d like to see a way for individuals and organisations to publish and distribute their own iBooks documents. For example, as a software developer I could create an iBooks version of my application’s user guide and my customers can load it onto their iPad and have the guide right where they expect it. Similarly schools could generate their own iBooks content and distribute them to their students.

How cool would it be to be able to drag an iBooks document into iTunes and then be able to sync it onto your iPad. Even better, allow iBooks documents to be emailed to you on the device and have iBooks import them.

Apple even have the perfect means to allow people to generate iBooks applications: Pages. I’d love to see both the Mac and iPad versions of Pages include an ‘Export to iBooks’ option.

The reason this may never happen: piracy. It would be really easy for people to convert existing eBooks into iBooks documents and distribute them and this is something the publishers would hate to see happen (understandably really).