Padvance is a website dedicated to answering a few simple questions about Apple’s iPad: how can this device make your life easier, better, and more fun? Everyone is excited about the iPad, to be sure, but nobody really knows what it can do or how best to use it. We see ourselves as explorers of, and evangelists for, this revolutionary new product. To those ends, we will review iPad apps and accessories; share iPad tips, tricks, and how-tos; scour the internet for iPad news; and film videos covering the coolest and most interesting ways to use the iPad.
OATS – Organization of App Testing Standards
Padvance is a member of the Organization of App Testing Standards, and we take its mission very seriously. Visit www.gotoats.org for more details on how the Oath dictates our editorial policies.
Padvance grades iPad apps and products on a four-point scale. The scores and their associated meanings are as follows:
1: Avoid. This score is reserved for iPad apps or products that are broken from a technical standpoint or are simply functionally worthless. Such products have no redeeming qualities and are a waste of your time and money.
2: Caution. These iPad apps or products are useful and perhaps worth downloading, but they come with major caveats that may make for a bad experience overall. Products in this category should not be avoided in all cases. Some iPad users will find value in them. However, we strongly recommend reading our full review before purchasing, so you’ll know what you’re getting into.
3: Good. Essentially, this rating is our seal of approval. Although a “good” iPad product isn’t perfect, we’re confident that you’re going to have a satisfactory experience with it, and there will be no nasty surprises waiting for you post-purchase.
4. Must Have. This category is self-explanatory. When we give an iPad product this score, we’re saying that it’s the best of the best, and that no iPad user should hesitate to buy it. To enter this elite club, a product must be truly extraordinary in one or several respects. We won’t award this score very often, so these products are definitely worth watching out for.
Why are we grading things on an unusual four-point scale, rather than using the more common five-star or one-to-ten rating systems? Because we wish to avoid the score-mongering trap. Numerical scores are a necessary part of the reviewing process, but over time, their importance has been overinflated at the expense of the actual content of the review. Basically, we think that the four-point scale conveys exactly enough information about a game to get you, our reader, to read and digest the whole review. This is especially true for the many products that will fall in the 2-3 range. Separating a high 2 from a low 3 is a very difficult responsibility, and we are taking it seriously. We won’t take the easy route of offering mediocre products three stars out of five; we will give them a 2, along with a detailed explanation. This site’s real value is in that text, not the number.
Besides, here on Padvance, those numbers can, and will, change. As alluded to above, we believe that the iPad’s ability to seamlessly update applications should be factored into the review process, so we will use “Review Updates” to keep our information as current as possible. Substantive improvements to an app, as well as any price changes, will be noted in these updates. We will also revise an app’s score upward, if warranted.
Note that Padvance will occasionally feature reviews of iPad games from our sister site, Slide To Play (and vice-versa). Slide To Play is staffed by the same editors and adheres to exactly the same editorial standards as Padvance, so you may be confident that an STP review is every bit as thorough as a PV one.
If you notice a specific factual error in one of our reviews, please click on the author’s name and notify him or her. We will research the claim immediately and update the review as appropriate.
Steve Palley, Founder and CEO
In addition to being a longtime mobile games journo and founder of Padvance’s sister site Slide To Play, Steve is an inveterate gadget hound and Apple fanatic; he purchased five generations each of Mac, Powerbook and iPod before moving onto the iPhone, and is now an early adopter of the iPad too. Steve is also a PhD student at UCLA, and is looking forward to puzzling out how Apple’s “magical device” can help him in that context.
Jeremy Wood, Co-Founder and Producer
A serious Mac-nerd, Jeremy is a developer, so-so graphics artist, web designer, and podcast-buff. He was an avid Newton user (taking extensive notes in economics courses in college) and lives in his iPhone. He needs to get his act together with two sites to work on and a day-job, and hopes that the iPad can help.
Andrew Podolsky, Editor in Chief
Andrew is a technology and entertainment journalist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since 2009 he has been the Editor in Chief of Slide To Play, a website that covers videogame reviews and news for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Andrew has also written for 1up.com, Gamespot.com, Electronic Gaming Monthly, iPhone Life, and many other print and online publications. His interest in the iPad is mainly centered on gaming, but he also sees a lot of potential in using the device for home life and office work as well.
Tim Rattray, Associate Editor
A long-time Apple geek and videogame lover, Tim joined Slide To Play as an intern in March 2009. Since then he has turned what was at first a hobby into a full-blown career in journalism and eventually became the Assistant Editor for the site. With the release of the iPad, Tim is excited to see what non-game apps come to fruition on the larger touch interface. His favorite aspect of Padvance is the irony of videogame nerds reviewing productivity apps.
Grant Holzhauer, Senior Editor
Grant has been covering video games and related technology since 1998 and got his first break writing about the Sega Dreamcast. Although his first Apple products were a G4 iMac and a 5GB iPod, his wife (a Mac Specialist in her past life) fully converted him to the ways of Apple. Between them, they have three Macs, two iPhones, countless iPods, and plenty of other assorted Apple goodies. After a stint writing for Slide To Play, Grant is now devoting his attention to the iPad and the revolution we all hope it brings to the digital era.
Parisa Vassei, Assistant Editor
Parisa has been a technology and gadget aficionado since early childhood. She’s often been the one her friends and family would go to for technical advice or to learn about new products and applications. Recently, she decided to embrace this passion of hers by returning to school to pursue a graduate degree in Computer Science. Her love affair with the iPad began after numerous visits to the Apple store to experiment with the Wifi-only model when the 3G model had not yet been released. It was “love at first touch” and she decided that the 3G model would be the perfect gadget for her mobile computing needs. Being one of the early adopters of the iPad, Parisa is amazed by the plethora of features packed into the beautiful, lightweight device and looks forward to sharing her knowledge and passion with our readers.
James Kittredge, Contributor
As a former Sega Master System owner and first-gen Compaq iPaq user, James quite possibly has a few screws loose. In fact, much of his life has been characterized by the sadness of loving and backing the wrong technological horse. That said, he is quite confident that his embrace of the Cult of Cupertino has him batting for the right team, and he has the Macbook Pro, several iPods, iPhone, and iPad to prove it. An educator by trade, James is excited by the iPad’s potential as a tool for pedagogy and productivity. This is his first gig writing about his technological passions, and he looks forward to sharing his discoveries with the Padvance community.
Cole Jones, Editor
Cole Jones is a music nerd, videogame specialist, and has been writing about apps since he got his first iPhone. While he loves RPGs, shmups, and platformers so tough they might crack your LCD screen, he’s always searching for games that push boundaries and try new things.
Raymond Padilla, Senior Editor
Jon Mundy, Writer