Review: Panic’s Status Board — the ultimate information dashboard for your iPad

My personal Status Board

The guys over at Panic Inc. have been teasing their new iPad app on their blog and Twitter all week, and today the app known as Status Board hits the App Store.

Panic was kind enough to allow us a preview of its app, and needless to say, we liked what we found.

The Oregon-based software company is largely known for their OS X FTP client Transmit, but entered the iOS space in April 2011 with the launch of Prompt, their SSH client for iPhone and iPad, followed by their affectionately named web editor Diet Coda this past May. This marks the third year in a row that Panic has released an entirely new app on the iOS platform.

Let’s jump right on board:

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Apple *could* upgrade the little computer in the Lightning HDMI adapter to do better 1080p

Digital-A-V-connector-Lighting-take-apartWe reported over the weekend that there was some confusion over exactly how Apple’s new Lightning digital AV adapter works and why it lacks the ability to carry a native 1080p signal. One theory is that Apple was using an AirPlay wireless streaming protocol, but we’ve since learned that is not the case. According to a post  that purports to be from an anonymous Apple engineer explaining how the cables function, Apple does not use Airplay protocol. It instead uses the same H.264 encoding technology as AirPlay to encode the output into the ARM SoC. From there, the data is decoded and sent over HDMI:

It’s vastly the same thing with the HDMI adapter. Lightning doesn’t have anything to do with HDMI at all. Again, it’s just a high speed serial interface. Airplay uses a bunch of hardware h264 encoding technology that we’ve already got access to, so what happens here is that we use the same hardware to encode an output stream on the fly and fire it down the Lightning cable straight into the ARM SoC the guys at Panic discovered. Airplay itself (the network protocol) is NOT involved in this process. The encoded data is transferred as packetized data across the Lightning bus, where it is decoded by the ARM SoC and pushed out over HDMI.

Perhaps even more interesting is that Apple could improve the quality with future software updates since the firmware is stored in RAM as opposed to ROM. The poster noted that Apple deemed the quality “suitably acceptable” but *will* make improvements with future iOS updates: Read more

Apps & updates: Diet Coda goes live, Draw Something & Opera Mini go Retina, more

A few newsworthy apps and updates already landed in the App Store today including the Diet Coda development platform that we told you about a few days ago, and some Retina graphics updates for popular apps such as Draw Something and Opera Mini. Another notable app in the news today is Blizzard’s recently released Diablo III. The company announced on its site that it sold more than 4.7 million copies on launch day and more than 6.5 million in a week.

We will update the list throughout the day as more notable apps and updates are released:

Draw Something: OMGPOP’s massively popular Pictionary-style drawing game was updated today with “Bright, high resolution graphics” for users of the new third-generation iPad’s Retina display. Other improvements included in the update are a new password recovery system, a new loading screen, and the usual bug fixes. The free version of the app received the same update.

Diet Coda: We told you a couple days ago that developer Panic planned to release an iPad version of its Coda developer platform, and the app has already landed on at least the New Zealand store today. It is listed as $13.99, but it should go for $9.99 USD when it hits the U.S. App Store later today. That is a 50 percent discount as a launch special good until Thursday.

Some of the app’s features include remote editing of documents, FTP and SFTP File Management, Syntax Highlighting, and a “Revolutionary Super-Loupe” that allows for easy positioning of the cursor in iOS. It also has an “AirPreview” feature that allows you to use “your iPad as a dedicated preview window for Coda 2 on the Mac.”

Opera Mini Web Browser: Opera’s Mini web browser app for iPhone and iPad has always been a great third-party browser option on iOS, and it gets even better with a new UI today for the third-generation iPad’s Retina display, as well as a Data Usage option in the main menu, and various bug fixes and stability improvements.

Mint Personal Finance app: Intuit has updated its universal Mint.com Personal Finance iOS app today adding “two of your most requested features.” On both iPhone and iPad, you can now create and edit budgets as well as spilt transactions into multiple categories.

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