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TechnologyWhat Is NewReading the Apple iPad outside

Reading the Apple iPad outside

Can you read the Apple iPad display while outdoors? Do you need to be in the shade or can you see it in full sun? What if you are in the bright desert?

I live in in the mountains in Prescott, Arizona, but today I’m in Scottsdale visiting family. We’re taking the opportunity to play with the Apple iPad outside in the bright sunshine so we can answer these viewing questions. Here are photos & videos from this exploration.

We used two basic applications for this exercise: The Weather Channel TWC Max + and iBooks with free Winnie-the-Pooh. We started in shade then with the same applications open moved to bright sun and rotated so you can see the variation.

The video and photos were taken just after 9AM MST. We’ll check again at noon and 3pm to see if it’s different. Keep in mind that it’s likely that as the season changes to summer and angle of the sun changes that the viewing conditions will be slightly different too. (But will we want to read outdoors when it is 110 deg. F out? Not likely.)

Overall, reading the iPad outside is acceptable because of the application design. When you’re able to adjust application font size to make larger than average and can increase screen brightness all the way, then it’s readable.

Oh, one thing we didn’t do was take a photo of the iPad next to the Kindle. We’ll do that next.

Lora is passionate about student access to technology and information, particularly 1:1 computing environments. Also, has strong interest in natural user input, user experience and interaction behavior patterns.

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13 years ago

Wonder what happens when a iPad is left in a car when it’s 110 degrees (F) !!

13 years ago

Pete, guess we’ll all find out in July! For summer months, we’ll want to use the case. Otherwise, it may be too hot to hold.

We took 2 iPads outside yesterday around noon & 3pm. People sat in shady areas (83 deg) and passed around the iPads. Glare wasn’t that different from what see in inital video, and squinting was less when in the shade.

Also, we should point out that the display appears slightly easier to read / brighter in the video than it did to our eyes.