iPad Prices in Australia

Because spreadsheets aren’t all bad, I just ran some numbers on how much Macs cost here in Australia, compared to the US. GST was removed from the Australian price, as sales tax is not part of the advertised US price.

You’re left with an effective exchange rate. Prices usually only change when a model is refreshed, so the rate varies from model to model. Right now, Mac Pros are most overpriced (US$1=AU$1.31) and the best deal is the MacBook (US$1=AU$1.18). There are smaller fluctuations made locally to make the price end in a “99” (or a “49” for the cheapest Mac mini).

The average is US$1=$AU1.22.

That all means that the Wifi iPads will probably be $649/$799/$950 (if we’re lucky) or $699/$849/$999 (if we’re not). The AU$ is strong and has been for a little while, so let’s hope it’s the lower of the two numbers.

Please feel free to correct my numbers if you wish.

US Price AU Price ex GST AU Price inc GST
iPad WiFi 1 499 A$611.39 A$672.53
iPad WiFi 2 599 A$733.91 A$807.30
iPad WiFi 3 699 A$856.43 A$942.08
iPad WiFi+3G 1 629 A$770.67 A$847.74
iPad WiFi+3G 2 729 A$893.19 A$982.51
iPad WiFi+3G 3 829 A$1,015.71 A$1,117.29

Welcome to WordPress and Lefty and Ron

A couple of things. First, this blog is moving has moved to WordPress, since Blogger is discontinuing FTP and I should really be doing this stuff myself anyway. Templates will take a little while to sort out, so there may be a few issues while I finalise it.

Secondly and more importantly, my first iPhone app is out! Called Lefty and Ron, it’s an illustrated kids book with audio, for free. Grab a copy, amuse your kids, and tell your friends!

iPad Thoughts

So Apple release an iPad, to some happiness and much bitching. I can’t believe so many people have missed the point and are whining about specs and missing features. A few pointers:

1. Never believe the pre-release hype. It’s all rumours. If you expect it to have tentacles, you’re absolutely going to be disappointed.

2. Apple designs for 80% of the needs of 80% of the people. Those 80% don’t care about multitasking. At all. If a feature could confuse, there’s a good chance it won’t make the cut. That said, Apple have relented on many small items and if they can make some form of multitasking work, they probably will. Eventually.

3. The iPad is not the device for forum trolls, tinkerers or demanding tech geeks. However, it’s great as a second browsing device for around the house, as an eReader or while travelling. It’s perfect for a vast number of younger people who don’t need or want a full computer. Perfect for kids. Perfect for older people or anyone scared of computers. Perfect for professional applications where it could be used while walking around. Fantastic for education with Pages and Keynote built in.

4. Think harder about the cool stuff you’ll be able to do with a bigger screen. For starters, think of existing apps. How about a larger Pianist or Guitarist? Sketchbook Mobile, actually the size of a sketchbook. Comics the size of real comics. Never having to buy a physical book again, and having your whole library searchable, in your hands. Interactive storybooks that actually look and feel like storybooks.

5. The software and interface looks great. Nobody else has nailed it to date and I don’t see anyone else coming close soon. Apple makes sexy gear that everyone can use and few other companies seem to be able to do either.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect. I’d love to see videoconferencing on this and I think Apple could have made it a killer app. Maybe v2. In the meantime, this is still the perfect machine for my mother-in-law.

Two people who do get it: Stephen Fry and Fahim Ahad on Mactalk.

Oh finally, the name. Yeah, recalls feminine hygiene products. Well, Nintendo named their last console after urine. Worked out pretty well for them.

So you want to mock up an iPhone application design

This may be a cool set of Photoshop widgets, but if you’re considering using them, please consider using the Interface Builder app that comes with the iPhone SDK. All free, and it’s the actual tool that real iPhone developers use to build interfaces.

Extending an element is as easy as dragging it out; adding another icon to a toolbar automatically redistributes the others. Everything auto-snaps to build a GUI that follows Apple guidelines — it’s easier than Photoshop!

Just as designing a website in Photoshop gives you very little insight into how a website is actually built, designing an iPhone app in Photoshop is not going to help you understand how that’s going to work either. Interface Builder can be daunting, but for mockups it’s dead easy:

1. File > New… and make a new Cocoa Touch application.
2. Window > Library and drag objects into the window.
3. Double-click on buttons to change their text.
4. Window > Inspector and use the first section (Attributes) to change colours/styles if needed.
5. When you’re done, File > Simulate Interface and it’ll appear in the iPhone Simulator.
6. Command-shift-4, then press space. Click on the simulator to grab a pixel-accurate screenshot of your iPhone app, with shadow.