iPad tops Consumer Reports ratings, rumors surround iOS game controllers

April 3, 2012

There’s a rumor floating around that Apple is working on a game controller for its iOS devices, The Verge reports :

Ever since the introduction of the iPhone over five years ago, Apple has scoffed at the notion that users need anything other than their fingers to control iOS devices. Apple has never offered a stylus, nor has it built any physical control accessories for its iOS devices, despite many gamers balking at touchscreen-only controls. That hasn't stopped other companies from bringing hardware buttons to iOS, but now we're hearing a rumor that there might be a first party solution in the works.

Buried deep within AnandTech's comprehensive review of the new iPad is a remark that Anand "know[s] of an internal Apple project to bring a physical controller to market, but whether or not it will ever see the light of day remains to be seen." While this is clearly far from a done deal, it would mark a pretty radical strategy shift for Apple. It wouldn't surprise us to learn that Apple has developed prototype hardware controls for iOS over the years, but bringing it to market is a whole different story. Such a move would be an admission that touchscreens aren't the best input method for all situations, something the company has refused to do with its iOS devices over the years.

On the other hand, iOS devices have worked with Apple's Bluetooth keyboards for years now, and if users are going to buy external hardware accessories, Apple would surely prefer users buy its solutions. Such a solution might play nicely with the iPad's AirPlay mirroring to the Apple TV — an iPad with physical controls plus the Apple TV could make for a nice living room gaming setup. That said, we're not holding our breath for this product to hit the market any time soon, but we'll be keeping an eye out for any rumblings of a gaming-focused accessory.

Meanwhile, Apple’s iPad tops Consumer Reports’ ratings, The Post’s Hayley Tsukayama reports:

Despite taking a detour to comment on the new iPad’s tendency to heat up, Consumer Reports has given Apple’s latest tablet its top rating. The magazine announced Monday that it has classified the iPad as “recommended” and is, in fact, placing the device at the top of its recommendation list.

The magazine said the iPad’s camera was good and its 4G network (as tested on Verizon) was very fast. It also had high praise for the battery life. The report did mention the previous report the magazine had done on the iPad’s heat issue but said that — ultimately — it wasn’t that big a problem.

Consumer Reports “didn’t find those temperatures to be cause for concern,” reviewer Donna Tapellini wrote.

The review also addressed another issue it raised with the tablet in its previous report on the device. In March, Consumer Reports said that, in at least one testing scenario, the iPad still lost battery charge while plugged in to an outlet.

But “further tests of observations we made that the new iPad was not recharging when playing a demanding, intense video game, showed that the problem was limited to times when the device was playing a demanding game with the screen fully bright,” Tapellini said.

Overall, the nonprofit group said, the iPad “establishes a new benchmark of excellence” and called its display “the best we’ve seen.” In fact, Consumer Reports said it is adjusting its standard for excellence in screens based on the new device.

In other iPad news, Facebook has updated its app for the Apple tablet. VentureBeat.com reports :

Facebook has updated its popular iPad app with much-welcome support for the new iPad’s Retina display and needed fixes like the ability to sign out of chat.

After a seriously long wait, Facebook finally released its Apple iPad app to the public this past October. The app functions much like the Facebook site and the iOS app. But as Facebook’s more than 750 million users seem to love photos, the app needed updating to support the iPad’s fantastic Retina display, which is one of the best-looking screens on the market.

On top of new support for the Retina display, the app also fixes bugs and adds features including:

The biggest one of these fixes I like is the ability to sign out of chat. There are many times where I want to check Facebook and not be seen as online by friends, so now I can do so. Profile pictures and request notifications working correctly are also welcome.

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