Photos won’t sync

Just been updating some photos on my home iPad and discovered that a lot of them weren’t syncing.  Very annoying!  After much Googling and poking around in preference files, I decided to try syncing a small iPhoto event across and seeing which ones didn’t sync.  It turned out that some of my photos didn’t have a title (‘untitled’) and it was these photos which weren’t syncing.  After a quick Photos>Batch Change and then changing the title to the filename, this seemed to fix the problem.  Phew!

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iPad mini – hands on

Yesterday I (finally) got to try out an iPad mini. The “sorry, we’re sold out” sign outside the Apple Store suggests that it can’t be all that bad. And I don’t think it is.

The size is really nice. It’s small enough to hold in one hand, but the screen is definitely big enough to interact with. It does indeed remind me of the 11″ MacBook Air with its diddy but high density screen, which allows you to get everything done just as well. I don’t think it would work so well as a shared device though, but who’s to say. I’ve done some work with kids using iPod touches one between two and that seemed to work fine.

It does remind me of the iPod touch in terms of portability but without the use restrictions. I’ve heard people talk about using 1:1 iPod touches in schools, but to me there didn’t seem to be so much you could do on it. Whereas an iPad mini suggests many opportunities.

Other pluses:

  • Better camera
  • Lovely build quality
  • Super light
  • Great price

Anyway, enough of my sales pitch…

Can’t connect to iTunes Store

…is an annoying message.

Whilst trying to install an app on one class’s set of 6 iPads I kept hitting a ‘cant connect to iTunes Store’. Strange and frustrating. I tried using the trick of changing the date to some point in the future but that didn’t work.

What I did do was reset the iPads, wiping all content and settings. It’s a little extreme, but it did seem to do the trick! And restoring off an iCloud backup is super simple.

Except when you’ve only got a 20meg pipe.

This is the major drawback with running a ‘cloud’ setup with iPads. It’s been good up to now, especially with keeping the costs down, but in future getting a sync and charge case and going down the wired iTunes route is probably the best idea.

Thoughts on iPad mini

I’m really excited about the iPad mini although I have yet to actually hold one in my hand. They’ve been out for barely a week, but they appear to be selling like hot cakes. I think they hold great potential for doing a 1:1 deployment in a school. Here’s why:

  • Cost. It’s only about £50 less that the iPad 2, but that’s nearly a 20% saving. Which is not to be sniffed at, especially if that nudges a bulk purchase into the realms of affordability.
  • Screen size. It is quite diddy (I’ve made a paper mock-up of the screen size already!) but not unusuably so. And because there’s the same number of pixels as an iPad 2, you can still do as much on i. I use an 11″ MacBook Air every day, which has a poky screen compared to a retina display MacBook Pro. But because it has such a dense display, you’ve still got plenty of pixels to play with. I’m guessing the same applies with an iPad mini.
  • Better camera. Always good, especially in a school where making movies and taking photos has so many uses.

Maybe once I get to hold on in my hand I might change my mind, but at the moment I’m pretty hopeful about their usefulness.