Could Apple’s latest creation be the gadget that takes online gaming to the next level? Robert Blincoe sees plenty of reasons why it could
Apple is on to something with its iPad tablet computer (as it was with the iPod and iPhone). The concept of touch screen PCs has been knocking around for quite a few years but its taking Apple to deliver its high-quality design to the product to get it to take off.
This is in spite of it being a very expensive hi-tech gadget at launch. Then it didn't have 3G (but does now) and it won't be until autumn, when the upgraded iPhone 4.0 operating system hits the device, that it'll look much more attractive as a netbook or laptop replacement – or book, TV, or games console for that matter.
Sales of the iPad topped the one million mark in 28 days, selling more than twice as fast as the iPhone did at launch. And the competition are getting in on the act with Nokia, HP, Google, Acer and Toshiba launching or readying their slate-like devices.
So, the question you need answering is whether these tablets are going to make your gaming a better experience, and it's down to two things. Is the touch screen and connectivity concept good for gaming, and are there going to be the sites and services supporting it.
Aside from design, where Apple makes sure the user has a great experience, something Apple is brilliant at delivering is a mass market to make it worth a developers while to build apps for the device. It's looking at 80 million of these babies being out there. But you're reading this, and you're interested in gambling, and that's an area the West Coast-based US company has historically not liked to go anywhere near because of the US e-gaming ban.
However, in May, Betfair become the first major betting company to offer a downloadable gambling application from Apple’s iPhone App Store, marking a turnaround from the computer company. The app, available to customers in the UK and Ireland, uses GPS to ensure bets can only be placed from these territories. Betfair says the app can tell if you are in the UK or Ireland, and if you’re not, it won’t function.
Mobile gaming, and its promise of assisting in-play betting, is the upcoming thing that will grow the gaming market. Apple's clout means the iPhone is going to play a big part in this, but the iPad and its clone followers should really help deliver on mobile gaming.
All the major sportsbooks launched iPhone apps because of the customer base and profile and the market boom in these smart phones. The iPad is likely to be no different – it’s not as if the gaming sites have ignored Apple. The company's market share of computers is trifling compared to the Windows side but Bodog, PokerStars, PartyPoker and Full Tilt, for example, are all Apple Mac friendly sites.
If there are enough iPads sold, and it looks pretty certain there will be, then the apps will follow, but most probably from the gaming sites themselves rather than the App Store.
So how does the actual technology measure up? The reason why previous tablets running Windows didn't take off is that the interface was dire. The tablet was just a laptop without the keyboard, but with a stylus to help you hunt-and-peck a response. Apple can do interfaces.
Take a look at the ad on Apple’s website and you'll see users' fingers flicking across the touch-sensitive screen, while their feet are resting up on the sofa. It's a cosy device aimed for comfort. The iPad is a high-resolution 9.7-inch LED-backlit computer that weighs just 1.5 pounds for the basic model.
Reviewers say its just the right size to hold or balance on your lap like an ordinary notepad and works in either portrait or landscape mode.
It is powered by an ARM-based A4 processor (rivals reckon they'll come in with something more powerful) with a promised battery life of up to 10 hours. Units will have an option for 16, 32, or 64GB of internal flash storage. All iPads have built-in Wi-Fi with 802.11n, which is currently the fastest wireless protocol available. In addition, there are 3G models with data speeds up to 7.2MB per second.
The critics’ word is that the screen image is bright and clear, and the multi-touch screen has been made more precise and responsive to help counter the potential problems it would face with a much larger screen. The device is small enough to hold comfortably, yet still large enough to view and read complete web pages without needing to zoom in on the text at all.
With its connectivity specs and battery life, it erases all the issues people have had with accessing the internet on their phones. The graphics engine handles sophisticated games so would have no trouble with poker tables and fancy slots applications.
Poker wise the touchscreen would really lend itself to betting, folding or checking via a tap or slide of the finger. Same for the sportsbooks. And the screen can handle four poker tables at a time as well.
The iPad has been said to be small enough to be portable and comfortable to use, yet large enough to work really well for tasks such as web browsing, reading books and playing video. For gaming it seems as though it will really hit the spot when the apps arrive.
It's no surprise the iPad is well up on US president Barack Obama's radar. He's just said that with this bit of kit, alongside other tech devices, that “information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation".
He's a bit off the mark – it’s certainly going to provide empowerment and entertainment for gamers.
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Betting on the iPad
Gambling Online Magazine
A BETFAIR LAUNCH IN THE US INCHED CLOSER AFTER THE US STATE OF NEW JERSEY’S GENERAL ASSEMBLY UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE EXCHANGE BETTING MODEL USED BY COMPANIES SUCH AS BETFAIR AND BETDAQ, EGR Magazine reports. The approval by the junior house in the state’s two-house legislature, means the measure to approve exchange betting will now appear before the Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation committee of the Senate, the senior house. Both the Senate and Assembly in the north eastern state have now disbanded for the summer recess. Meanwhile, the New Jersey Gaming, Sports and Entertainment Advisory Commission has been given more time to report back to Governor Chris Christie on how best to maximise the state’s horseracing and casino industries, Gaming Intelligence writes. The report, which is intended to be the basis of a state-wide approach to gaming is now due on August 1.
Betfair's US prospects boosted as NJ Assembly approves exchanges | eGaming Review
2,422 TIMES IN RECORD-BREAKING WIMBLEDON MATCH
Isner and Nicolas Mahut served up the longest-ever tennis match today at
Wimbledon, Isner winning 70-68 in the deciding set.
what makes this match doubly amazing is that the favouritism changed an
incredible 2,422 times on Betfair during the course of in running
betting on the match.
spokesman Tony Calvin commented: ““The
odds changed in the blink of an eye - or rather a bullet serve.”
Wednesday’s World Cup clash between Spain and Switzerland was the biggest-ever football match on Betfair, Live Odds and Scores reports. Over £50m was matched across Betfair’s markets in the shock 1-0 defeat for Spain, with over £32m traded in the Match Odds market alone. It was also the biggest-ever football game in terms of revenue for the exchange. The volume of the Match Odds market eclipsed England’s opening draw with the USA, and Italy’s meeting with Romania in Euro 2008, Betfair’s previous high before the World Cup kicked-off in South Africa.
Betfair Football's World Cup Specialists had one of their most successful days yet yesterday, correctly calling the outcomes of all three games and delivering five winning tips out of six.
The panel of eight experts from around the globe that we assembled to help you make money betting on events in South Africa were up £36.70 (to £10 stakes) from their first five suggestions. Only David Villa's failure to convert a penalty prevented a clean sweep.
Group G pundit Jonas Dahlquist got the ball rolling with successful punts on Portugal beating North Korea and over 2.5 goals being scored, and Group H tipster Maldini kept the momentum going in the afternoon by backing Chile to win and under 2.5 goals.
The Spanish journalist was then rewarded for his confident prediction that the European champions would return to form against Honduras, but Villa's miss from the spot, having already scored twice, meant under 2.5 goals, denying The Specialists a sixth straight success.
They're clearly on a roll though and who better to continue that later today than Eamon Dunphy, who is showing the biggest profit so far after making £108 from his first five calls. Click here to read his Mexico versus Uruguay verdict.
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