Tag Archives: apple

Top 5 Things I Like About The iPhone 5

By Benét J. Wilson, chair, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force & social media/newsletters editor, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

We’ve all been waiting with bated breath for the details of one of the world’s worst-kept secrets: the new iPhone 5.  I admit I’m a geek, so I followed a lot of the live blogging from the event, with Mashable offering my favorite coverage.

As a journalist, I wanted to know what about this new phone benefits me as  I try to work smarter. Here’s what Tim Cook gave us:

  1. Price. I paid $299 for my 32GB iPhone 4 back in 2010, and that’s the same price as the iPhone 5 version.
  2. Battery. The new phone has 225 hours of standby and eight hours of talk time.
  3. Camera. They boosted it up to eight mega pixels and it now has the retina display. It also has Panorama, which lets you take high-definition panoramic photos.
  4. Microphone. For those of us who shoot video on the iPhone, the 5 now has three microphones!
  5. 4G LTE. Thanks to this, we’ll be able to surf much faster.

BONUS -  we are *finally* gettnig a decent earpiece, which features noise-cancelling technology.

iPad: To Buy, Or Not To Buy? That Is The Question

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

As Apple prepares to ship out the first iPads, my work and NABJDigital Twitter followers  have been discussing whether or not to order their own.  I love to have the latest tech toys, but I’m just not feeling it for the iPad quite yet.  I have an iPod Touch, a Blackberry Curve and a Dell laptop.  I’m just not seeing how an iPad would fit into my life right now.  And $629 for a 16GB iPad with 3G wi-fi access is a bit steep for my pocketbook.

But if you’re still thinking about getting one, there is help.  Thanks to Mark Luckie of the 10000 Words blog for passing along a column from Wired magazine’s GeekDad blog, which has a cool flow chart that walks you through the process of whether or not you need to buy an iPad.  If you get one, drop us a line — we’d love to write about how you’re using it!

Introducing The iPad

By Bliss Davis, Bowling Green State University Journalism Student

Photo courtesy of Apple

I’ll admit, when I first saw the tweet from @TheAppleBlog when the iPad was unveiled, I was more than unimpressed. First, I wanted to know who came up with the name, and not to congratulate them. Next, as an iPhone 3GS and MacBook Pro owner I wasn’t convinced having an iPad was that big of a deal. My sentiments were confirmed after looking at various news and blog outlets and their traffic commenting on it.

Here are the physical specs for the iPad, per Apple:

Height: 9.56 inches
Width: 7.47 inches
Depth: 0.5 inch
Weight: 1.5 pounds Wi-Fi model; 1.6 pounds Wi-Fi + 3G model

More specs are at Apple.com/iPad

Pricing starts at $499, with the priciest model (64 GB with Wi-Fi+3G) at $829. The highest price is much less than the anticipated $1000 estimate circulating when the iPad was a mystery. Even so, it doesn’t quite sound all that spectacular. Listening in on the unveiling it appeared Steve Jobs focused heavily on convincing everyone why they should get it. Was he wondering the same, perhaps?

Whatever he was wondering aside, the following are the ideas that grew on me in the hours surrounding the announcement:

Wandering through Twitter I came across one person in particular who was very excited about the iPad. Photographer @JeremyCowart had this to say about it, “I’m pumped about the Tablet announcement today cause it’s really going to help the photography industry I think. Especially editorial.”

This makes perfect sense. In terms of front end content, the iPad is on to something. Delivering content is the meat of what the device can do, and it’s meant for those with specific goals in mind. I can easily envision a reporter using it to look up news RSS feeds before morning meeting. Sure, you can do this on a smart phone or take a quick look at your computer when you arrive at your destination, but the screen in the former and the need to get to information quickly in the latter is remedied when an iPad steps into the picture.

An iPad would also be useful in the field, though I admit I would still prefer my laptop until I got a hold of one to test out. With a combination of Wi-Fi capabilities and the revamped version of iWork, the iPad is ideal. Its pricing is fairly competitive compared to other tablets out there, though an only issue would be it’s lacking innovation. If Apple wasn’t synonymous with cool these days, it probably wouldn’t stand out too terribly against its PC counterparts. Combine that with a lack of camera, and it’s even less impressive. I’m definitely eager to get my hands on one in a few months to see how it stands up to other tablets.

Another idea that crossed my mind was it’s potential usefulness in areas where a way to access the internet and transfer info is crucial. If you’ve ever followed Haitian news closely, you know that there currently isn’t much Haitian generated news to follow. Haitian journalists in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding region have had very little resources to work with since the January 12th earthquake. If Apple made a “rugged” version of the iPad (akin to the Panasonic Toughbook tablets often seen in hospitals), they would have my vote as something field-worthy. Thin may be in for now, but to be useful in the field it likely needs a more heavy-duty backbone.

Only time will tell when it comes to Apple. Known for new models and updates with features consumers wanted in the first place, the future looks optimistic the iPad. For now, we’ll have to see how content creators take advantage of the it. Are these possibilities even exclusive to the iPad? We’ll see come spring.

Best of NABJ Digital: What Would You Do with Apple’s Nonexistent iTablet?

Editor’s note: we are taking this week off to enjoy the holidays with our families.  So this week, we’ll be re-running past posts.  Today’s post is from DJTF member and student Bliss Davis, who offers up ideas on how to use the still-secret Apple iTablet.  It originally ran on Nov. 24.  Enjoy!

By Bliss Davis, Bowling Green State University Journalism Student

Trying to ignore it won’t work–it’s already showed up on quite a few news outlets.

The “big thing” and “it” I’m referring to is the currently nonexistent (at least, on store shelves) Apple tablet, dubbed the “iTablet*” and already gaining popularity quickly, (per Mashable.com, TheAppleBlog and others).

With all of the buzz surrounding it’s potential release one can only wonder what digital oriented/multimedia journalists–well everyone, really–could possibly do with a device like this.  Its purported size, fitting inside a manila envelope, seems to be optimal for carrying around instead of a laptop. Size and usability play a huge factor in what journalists deem practical enough to carry with them on the regular, as evidenced by the popular Flip camera.

Getting gadget happy can have its drawbacks though. I read a blog entry written by James McPherson  earlier this year about how reporters with gadgets are taking over the journalism world.  Okay, not exactly, but he does say this, “As technology continues to improve and news organization cut more staffers, those organizations can rely increasingly on non-professionals to provide content.”

McPherson meshes this view with another potential downfall web and broadcast quality producing gadgetry, “…amateur citizen journalism further decreases the need (in the eyes of owners) for qualified journalists, and increases the possibility for error–or even intentional fraud by people who may try to scam a news organization with dramatic–but misleading or false–video or text.”

**cough**balloonboy**cough**

Now, as a lover of all things technological, I consider it a great thing to have these battery-zapping resources at my disposal, but it does make you think. What will it take to be sure a citizen is accurately capturing a story? Will the judicial system be forced to reevaluate false light and other applicable laws? How about backpack journalists, will they become preoccupied with reporting technology and forget about the storytelling (purely human driven) aspect? True, these are by no means new questions, but the advent and rise of citizen journalism throws a whole ‘nother facet into the mix. The journalism job industry is going to look mighty interesting in coming years.

*This entry is dedicated to the auspicious, yet covert “iTablet,” in lieu unconfirmed of existence.

Top 10 iPhone Apps for Journalists

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair,

Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

I do not have an iPhone, but I do have an iPod Touch.  I was chatting with a friend who would marry her iPhone if she could, and we started talking about the apps we love.  Somehow, the discussion got to the apps I use in my job as a journalist.  So below is my top 10 list, in no particular order.

  1. The AP Stylebook.  I hate paying for apps more than anything, but there are times when you have to open the wallet, and this is one of those times.  It costs $28.99.  The app provides the stylebook, along with a good search function, an ability to create custom entries, add notes and bookmark the places you visit most frequently.  And if you buy it now, you automatically get the 2010 edition.
  2. Dictionary.
  3. CoDesign Translator.  This app translates words and simple phrases from English to almost 2 dozen languages, from Afrikaans to Yiddish.
  4. Google.
  5. Google Maps.   Can be used to search for locations and even used for GPS directions as needed.
  6. Town Hall.  For 99 cents, you can track current and past members of Congress, including links to official sites, news, Wikipedia, OpenSecrets, VoteSmart and GovTrack.
  7. The Constitution.  You never know when you’re going to need it as a reference.
  8. World Leaders.  99 cents gets you information on the chiefs of state and cabinet members of the governments for various countries, based on the  CIA’s World Leaders publication.
  9. The Weather Channel. This app covers cities worldwide and gives the current, 36-hour and 10-day forecast.
  10. USA Today Auto Pilot. If you are a journalist who travels, this app is a must-have.  You can enter your trips and have them tracked, you can see a map of airport delays across the U.S., a travel directory of airlines and hotels, weather, a destination gallery and a roundup of the newspaper’s  travel-related stories and blog posts.

What Would You Do with Apple’s Nonexistent iTablet?

By Bliss Davis, Bowling Green State University Journalism Student

Trying to ignore it won’t work–it’s already showed up on quite a few news outlets.

The “big thing” and “it” I’m referring to is the currently nonexistent (at least, on store shelves) Apple tablet, dubbed the “iTablet*” and already gaining popularity quickly, (per Mashable.com, TheAppleBlog and others).

With all of the buzz surrounding it’s potential release one can only wonder what digital oriented/multimedia journalists–well everyone, really–could possibly do with a device like this.  Its purported size, fitting inside a manila envelope, seems to be optimal for carrying around instead of a laptop. Size and usability play a huge factor in what journalists deem practical enough to carry with them on the regular, as evidenced by the popular Flip camera.

Getting gadget happy can have its drawbacks though. I read a blog entry written by James McPherson  earlier this year about how reporters with gadgets are taking over the journalism world.  Okay, not exactly, but he does say this, “As technology continues to improve and news organization cut more staffers, those organizations can rely increasingly on non-professionals to provide content.”

McPherson meshes this view with another potential downfall web and broadcast quality producing gadgetry, “…amateur citizen journalism further decreases the need (in the eyes of owners) for qualified journalists, and increases the possibility for error–or even intentional fraud by people who may try to scam a news organization with dramatic–but misleading or false–video or text.”

**cough**balloonboy**cough**

Now, as a lover of all things technological, I consider it a great thing to have these battery-zapping resources at my disposal, but it does make you think. What will it take to be sure a citizen is accurately capturing a story? Will the judicial system be forced to reevaluate false light and other applicable laws? How about backpack journalists, will they become preoccupied with reporting technology and forget about the storytelling (purely human driven) aspect? True, these are by no means new questions, but the advent and rise of citizen journalism throws a whole ‘nother facet into the mix. The journalism job industry is going to look mighty interesting in coming years.

*This entry is dedicated to the auspicious, yet covert “iTablet,” in lieu unconfirmed of existence.