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Difference Between Apple Devices

Last Updated: Friday, 09-Jan-2015 12:32:37 PST

What is an iPhone?

The iPhone is basically a small computer, with an app for a phone. An iPhone requires anywhere from $0-200, upfront, plus a high monthly data plan, that cumulatively magnifies that cost, so that most of the cost is in the high monthly fees and not in the nominal upfront fees.

You can buy the phone upfront and unlock it, so it can be used on any carrier, but in the US any smartphone requires the same monthly fee, whether or not you got the subsidized version (including unlocked iPhones and all Android phones) and most iPhones models, in America, will only work on one carrier. This means that in America, all brands of cell phones are virtually the same cost. You also usually have to buy an entirely different phone, for a different carrier in the US (because they all use incompatible technologies), and you will find out, that even Android phones are definitely not free, if you lose or damage one, or switch carriers or return the phone.

An iPod Touch is like an iPhone, without a monthly fee, but it has: a slower processor, less RAM, a less powerful camera, less advanced screen, and no GPS or digital compass capabilities. It can run all the same apps (including games) and other content (like songs, podcasts, iTunes U lectures, books - except the giant enhanced ones - movies, TV shows, and newspapers) and OS, except Siri (because Siri requires an Internet connection to work), is roughly the same size, is exactly the same screen resolution, and has the same warranty as the iPhone.

What is an iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Mini?

An iPad is like a big version of the iPod Touch, except it is more powerful, in processor and RAM. The iPad should run almost any apps, that run on the iPod Touch, except only the ones labelled iPad will make use of the full screen. The iPod Touch/iPhone apps appear, in a little window, on the iPad, that is one quarter, of the iPad screen width.

The iPad Mini is now just like the regular iPad, but one half the size. the iPad Mini will run all the iPad apps. The the new regular iPad is now renamed the iPad Air, because it is lighter in weight. Other than that it is just like the previous iPad (except for the increased computing power). The iPad Air will run all the iPad apps.

What is a Mac?

A Mac is like a PC, but runs a different OS, so you usually have to buy different software for it. The Mac now have their own online App store too. Macs can now run Windows too, which you have to buy separately at the same speed as Mac apps, because Macs now use the same Intel processors that PCs use.

Apple is an earlier adopter of most next generation technologies. The iMac was one of the the first computers to have a USB port and not have the floppy drive. Apple users had wireless Internet (WiFi) and new graphical web technologies, included in and related to HTML5 (Webkit/desktop computer class mobile web browsers, CSS3, Canvas, HTML Video), ahead of most PC users. Apple is now leading the way in having high resolution displays and sold state drives and removing DVD burners to extend battery life, decrease weight, increase speed, and increase reliability of their computers.

Apple has been steadily increasing, in the number of Macs sold, each year: for many years, 1/2 of people buying Macs had never used a Mac before. If you count in the iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Mini, Apple sells more personal computing devices, than the leading PC maker. Apple is the most popular laptop brand, in the US. Mac market share in America is now 15% and 5% worldwide, up from less than 5% in the US and 2% worldwide, 10 years ago. Mac sales are increasing, in a great worldwide depression, as PC sales are shrinking.

Apple Device Compatibility

Contrary to popular opinion not only are all iPods, iPhones, iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Mini compatible with Windows, most Apple device users use a PC, not a Mac. iTunes (for Mac and PC) is the main way in which you can configure, load content onto, buy from Apple's online digital media stores, and organize media with.

Introduction to Retina Displays

Contrary to common myths, regular graphics look the same, as they did before and do not look bad, on the new devices. I have the iPad 3 or iPad Air, or the iPad Mini 2 or higher now with the new retina display, and very good eyes and can confirm that older graphics will look just fine. The real advantage, to the new displays, are the increase in readability of (real) text, which will automatically make use, of the new resolution, without any changes.

Most displays are at a low resolution compared to print. Most screens are 72-96 DPI, whereas Retina displays are around 200-300 DPI. Most printers output documents with resolutions of 300-1,200 DPI. This increase of screen resolution, in a Retina or high resolution display, makes reading on the screen much easier than before, as one of the main drawbacks, of reading on a computer display, versus paper is the difference in resolution.

Progress on Retina Display Optimization

My site is also optimized, for Retina displays, as all the text is in real text and backgrounds, to that text, plus all my repeating graphics throughout the site are now optimized, for high resolution displays. I now have updated most of the graphics, that appear only on one page, with special focus, on the text book and background sections. Other unnecessary graphics have simply been removed.

Most of the photography, that is in the galleries, is now updated and the only major type of content still not updated is some of the galleries of drawings, many of which I do not have a higher resolution version, to put online. I will continue, to look for the best way, to update these. Most the updated galleries are now styled with a tan background and a heading, with white text and a red background. The new retina ready galleries are much more efficient/simpler, in design, and should load faster.

Technical Aspects of Retina Display Optimization

You cannot increase the size of a graphic, beyond its original size, like a photo or something designed in Photoshop, unless it is made entirely on the computer, with vectors. You can convert regular pictures into vectors, but highly detailed illustrations, with dense decorations, like textures, and the like, and photos generally do not convert well into vectors. Vectors only work well, when composed of simple shapes.

I have been able, to update my website graphics, to a higher resolution, while also increasing website load speed, by finding ways, to optimize all the types of graphics formats I use. Most these techniques involve reducing the number of colors or simplifying shapes in graphics. In technical terms, I have mostly used completely vector graphics (optimized and compressed losslessly), or bitmaps at 288 DPI (4x the orignal size) and many as losslessly optimized PNGs, with less than 256 colors.

Depending on your device, the site may look a little different, but all the same elements are all there. You may see a subtle difference, in resolution, on a regular display, because many screens are 85-100 DPI or more and my previous graphics were only at 72 DPI.

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