Alexander: Why an iPad can't be read in sunshine

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 24, 2012 - 4:18 PM

QFor an iPad to have a display that is only readable indoors is a real deficiency. Why hasn't Apple made progress in creating an iPad that could be read outside in the daylight?

JOE FORD, GREEN VALLEY, ARIZ.

AScreens that can be read outdoors come with visual trade-offs that tarnish their appeal.

Consider the Amazon Kindle e-reader. It uses a screen technology called electronic ink that resembles printed paper and can be read in bright sunlight. Why? Because electronic ink reflects light, while the LCD screens used on iPads and most other computers emit light.

Unfortunately, an unaided electronic ink display can only be read in bright light. To read the Kindle in dim light or darkness, you need an electric light accessory that shines on the screen. Another electronic ink e-reader, the Nook Simple Touch, offers accessory lights that are built in along the edges of the screen.

Another drawback to electronic ink is that it takes longer than an LCD would to "refresh" the screen image when you "turn the page" of an e-book. This slowness is merely an inconvenience on an e-reader, causing a momentary screen flicker. But it prevents electronic ink from being used on iPads and other computers because the display can't change fast enough to play video.

Two readers, Bob Busch of Eden Prairie and Lloyd Everest of Lakeland, Fla., had a problem downloading the Malwarebytes security software I recommended. The legitimate free download was surrounded on the website by links to software I would never recommend, which they accidentally got instead. (Busch and Everest reported that the programs they downloaded claimed to find more than 1,000 PC problems that needed to be fixed -- for a price. They were rightly skeptical.)

Here's the fix. First, uninstall the bogus software by going to Start, Control Panel and "programs and features." Left click the name of the program in the list, then right click the highlighted name. On the drop-down menu, click "uninstall."

Then install Malwarebytes. Go to tinyurl.com/6my24hx and click "download now." You'll be taken to another screen, but DON'T CLICK ON ANYTHING ON THIS SECOND SCREEN. Wait for the appearance of a small installer window that says "mbam-setup-1.61.0.1400.exe." Click the save button to save this file to your PC.

Install Malwarebytes. If you use Internet Explorer, click "run" in the menu box at the bottom of the browser window. If you use Firefox, go to the drop-down menu at the top left, choose "downloads" and click on the "mbam" file to install it.)

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com or write to Tech Q&A, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.

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