5 ways you’re still not taking full advantage of your iPad


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While you probably use your iPad every day for web browsing and media consumption, are you really using it to its full potential? Five years after the first iPad went on sale on April 3, 2010, we have five suggestions for ways to get the most out of your Apple tablet.

1. Use your iPad as a second monitor.

Having a second monitor setup extends your screen real estate and can make you more productive. There are a number of apps out there that let you use your iPad as a second screen fairly simply and reasonably affordably Avatron's AirDisplay solution will wirelessly connect your iPad to your Mac or Windows PC. The Splashtop Extended Wireless Display 2 will convert your iPad into a Wi-Fi-connected second monitor. If you're looking for a wired solution, Duet Display, from a team of ex-Apple engineers, can help Read more... More about Mobile, Apple, Features, Tech, and Ipad

5 ways we never dreamed we’d use an iPad


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When Steve Jobs announced the iPad on Jan. 27, 2010 at an Apple press conference in San Francisco, no one could have foreseen the tablet's many varied uses over the next five years Marking the anniversary of the iPad going on sale on April 3, 2010, we're taking a look at some of the more surprising ways people have used the device since it launched. Have a read through our selection below. Do you have an example of an unexpected use of the Apple iPad? Share it with us in the comments.

1. By a famous concert pianist

In 2010, Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang delighted the audience at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco by using an iPad in his performance. Returning to the stage after calls for an encore, Lang Lang produced the iPad, loaded up the "Magic Piano" app and broke into a rendition of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee. Read more... More about Mobile, Gadgets, Apple, Features, and Tech

RAVPower 15W Solar Charger, Savior battery pack keep your gadgets going


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RAVPower Solar Charger with iPhone 6 Plus

We're in the midst of winter in the Northern Hemisphere right now, but that doesn't mean that you can't start making plans for summer fun in the great outdoors. Today I'm reviewing two products that will keep your gizmos going. The first is designed to let you charge up anywhere, as long as the sun's out: the RAVPower 15W Dual-Port Solar Charger (List price US$99.99, available for $56.99). The second is targeted more for day-to-day use: the RAVPower RP-PB18 Savior External Battery Pack ($99.99, available for $49.99).

RAVPower 15W Dual-Port Solar Charger

I'm a fan of photovoltaic solar energy, so much so that my house here in sunny Colorado has a 9 kilowatt array on the roof. The RAVPower 15W Dual-Port Solar Charger is a lot smaller, both in size and capacity, but you don't need all that much power to charge your devices. The design is wonderful. You have a 24 ounce fabric folio covered with polyester canvas on the exterior that folds out revealing three separate panels. Located at four locations around the folio are metal-line eyeholes; these are used with carabiners (four are included) to attach the array to your backpack or a tent, or hang it from tree branches. There are two USB ports available, one with a 2A output, the other with a 1A output. Both, of course, send out that current at the USB standard 5 volts. RAVPower uses what they call "iSmart Technology" to match the maximum charging current with the device so that it is charged in the least amount of time.
four star rating out of four stars possible
RAVPower RP-PB18 Savior External Battery Pack
 RAVPower RP-PB18 Savior External Battery Pack
four star rating out of four stars possible
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Booqpad gains iPad Air 2 compatibility, still has a magnetic personality


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Booqpad for iPad Air 2

Last April, TUAW reviews a very unique iPad Air case - the Booq Booqpad - that melded a magnetically-attached agenda case with a paper notepad. At the time it garnered a 4-star rating thanks to its flexibility and that paper notepad. Today I'm looking at the BooqPad for iPad Air 2 (US$60.00) and we'll see if that changed. Specifications
  • Exterior dimensions: 7 x 9.5 x 0.9 inches (178 x 242 x 24 mm)
  • Weight: 0.88 lbs (0.4 kg)
  • Compatible with: iPad Air 2 only
  • Color: Gray only
  • Comes with removable/replaceable 50-sheet paper notepad
Design Like the previous iteration of the Booqpad, the new version consists of a slim folio that, when opened, features a paper notepad on the left side and a magnetically-attached tray for the iPad on the right side. A slender magnetic catch keeps the cover closed while you're in transit. Around the outside of the paper notepad side are slots for business cards, and you can get refills for your notepad in blank, lined, or graph paper formats ($10 for 3 pads).
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Test driving the ClamCase Pro keyboard case for iPad Air 2 (Updated)


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ClamCase Pro for iPad Air 2

With the arrival of the iPad Air 2 last fall, many case manufacturers went back to the drawing board to produce new products that would accommodate the slightly thinner tablet. One of the favorite keyboard cases for those of us here at TUAW has always been the ClamCase Pro (US$169.00), and that case has recently been updated for the latest member of the iPad family. Specifications
  • Dimensions: 9.74 x 7.30 x 0.74 inches (247.4 x 185.4 x 18.8 mm)
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs (.544 kg)
  • Battery life: 100 hours uninterrupted use time, 6 months standby time, recharges in 120 minutes
Previous Reviews Design
ClamCase Pro for iPad Air 2 -- tablet mode
ClamCase Pro for iPad Air 2 in
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Limefuel Dual Port USB 4.8A Wall Charger: Tiny and powerful


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Limefuel Dual Port USB 4.8A Wall Charger

Another day, another great product from Limefuel. Yesterday we took a look at the company's big-capacity Blast L240X Pro external battery pack, and today we're looking at something that's quite a bit smaller, yet still packs a lot of power - the Dual Port USB 4.8A Wall Charger (US$16.99). The idea behind this little powerhouse is to give you not one, but two 2.4A USB ports in one easily transportable little box. Instead of filling up your house or hotel room with multiple single port Apple power cubes, all with their nasty pointy prongs sticking out, you can hook two of your favorite Apple toys up per wall outlet. When you're done, the prongs fold away to avoid scratching your other electronic gear.

Limefuel Dual Port USB 4.8A Wall Charger

With 24W of power and 2.4A of current per port, your devices will charge quickly. You can use your existing charging cables with the device, which measures just 2 x 2 x 1.1 inches (50.8 x 50.8 x 27.9 mm) and weighs a featherweight 2.7 ounces (76.
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Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2: Review and giveaway


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Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2

The transformation of the iPad Air into the iPad Air 2 forced case manufacturers to go back to the drawing board, but that's not always a bad thing. With each iteration of case, the product usually gets better. That's the situation with Belkin's Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 (US$149.99), which has emerged from a redesign truly deserving of the name "Ultimate Pro". Let's take a look, then enter for an opportunity to win a Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for your iPad Air 2. Specifications
  • Dimensions: 9.72 x 7.09 x .71 inches(24.7 x 18 x 1.8 cm)
  • Weight: 17.28 ounces (490 grams)
  • Bluetooth Pairing: Bluetooth Smart pairing with up to 2 devices
  • Battery Life: Up to one year
Design The Qode Ultimate Pro looks like a pretty standard iPad keyboard case until you examine it closely. The iPad Air 2 is encased in a polycarbonate shell (white or black) for protection, and that shell can be removed from the keyboard by simply pulling the iPad away - magnets hold the two together. Bring the iPad Air 2 back in the vicinity of the "hinge" and they stick together, either in landscape or portrait orientation. The magnets that are built into the iPad Air 2 are used to keep the tablet in one of several positions. The keyboard/screen protector is made of aluminum, and there are rubber "feet" that keep the keys from touching the iPad screen. Inside the case is a battery that's designed to give you almost a year between charges in normal usage.

One thing that I was happy to see is that there is no power switch on the keyboard as it's designed to turn on and off automatically. This seems to be a feature that is becoming common with the better keyboard cases on the market. The keyboard has all of the keys in the traditional locations, but does not use a separate row for the iPad function keys - instead, those keys share space with the number key row. The caps lock and tab keys are rather small and may be an issue for some users. The keyboard is backlit, with three possible brightness settings. I found the feel of the keyboard to be acceptable, but a bit more "springy" than other keyboards with less of a positive feedback. As with all keyboards, you may wish to try out the Qode Ultimate Pro for yourself prior to purchase since everyone has their own take on what the "perfect" keyboard feels like. Functionality Unfortunately, I don't have an iPad Air 2 nor is my employer going to purchase one for me, so I had to do all of my testing with an ancient, fat and heavy iPad Air. The Qode Ultimate Pro Case can be used as a standalone Bluetooth keyboard simply by removing the device, then folding the "hinge" flap under the keyboard. That made it quite easy to try out the keyboard with my original iPad Air. One thing I find interesting is that if you decide you don't need to use the keyboard and you happen to have an Apple Smart Cover, you can pull the keyboard off and replace it with the Smart Cover.

I like the fact that the case can be used in either portrait or landscape orientation. I've often thought that writing in apps like Pages or Microsoft Word for iPad in portrait mode would be much more "natural looking". The Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case is a bit heavier than other keyboard cases for the iPad Air, so if carrying a few more ounces is an issue for you, it might be a good idea to look into some of our other keyboard case reviews to find a lighter model. The dual pairing feature is definitely a nifty idea - I found it fun to switch between iPad Air and iPhone 6 Plus with the push of the function key and one of two Bluetooth keys. Conclusion The Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 provides amazing battery life, dual device Bluetooth pairing, the ability to type in either landscape or portrait orientation, and backlit keys. It's a bit heavy, though, so those who are concerned about carrying extra ounces might want to peruse other keyboard cases before buying. Small caps lock and tab keys may also be an issue for some users. Rating: 3 stars out of 4 stars possible

 three star rating out of four stars possible

Giveaway

Have a nice new iPad Air 2 that you'd like to pair up with a Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case? TUAW and Belkin want you to have one. Here are the rules for the giveaway:
  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before December 12, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case valued at $149.99
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.

Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2: Review and giveaway originally appeared on TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004 on Mon, 08 Dec 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2: Review and giveaway originally appeared on TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004 on Mon, 08 Dec 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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XVIDA iPhone/iPad accessories have a magnetic personality


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XVIDA Boomerang for iPad Air
A little over a year ago I did a review of the XVIDA Boomerang, an iPad stand/mount project that graduated from Kickstarter and went into full production. Now the company that spawned the Boomerang has an entire family of accessories, all of which use strong magnets to mount your iPhone, iPad or just about anything else in your life wherever you need them. Today I'm looking at three of the XVIDA accessories: the iPad Air/iPad Air 2 version of the Boomerang (US$79.99, currently on sale for $59.99), the iPhone 5/5s version of the StickyCase ($24.99), and the accessory Air Vent Mount ($19.99).

Boomerang for iPad Air/iPad Air 2

While the Boomerang kit I tested for this review was designed for the iPad Air, XVIDA now includes a small converter that makes it fully compatible with the iPad Air 2. Note that the converter is not included in our giveaway prize kit. Like the original Boomerang, the new model is an X-shaped device that can be used to prop your iPad up at a 22°, 45° or 66° inclination. Lay that X-shape out flat and snap the two free ends around the corners of your iPad Air, and you'll notice a metal plate in the center - right over the Apple logo on the back of your device.

XVIDA Boomerang and Multi-Mount That metal plate attaches magnetically to the included Multi-Mount. The Multi-Mount itself can be mounted on metallic surfaces via magnetism, things like refrigerators and many whiteboards. It can also be attached to walls, glass, or ceramic with the included 3M VHB adhesive sticker. Or if you're looking for a more permanent installation, just use a screw to attach the Multi-Mount to a wall stud or furniture. That same plate also works with the other available mounting accessories, including the Air Vent Mount, a Suction Cup Mount, a Headrest Mount, and even the iMac-like Desk Stand. Installing the Boomerang is fast and easy. The iPad Air slides into a set of clips that is marked with a "1" sticker. To use the Boomerang with the magnetic mounts, you put the other corners of the iPad AIr into the two other clips marked "2". To use the Boomerang as a standalone stand, you pop the "2" corners out and then flip the free legs out to the pre-set angles. Use the Boomerang with the Air Vent or Suction Cup mounts, and you have a way of using an iPad Air as a really big navigation aid. I'm not sure I'd recommend putting a full-sized iPad into the windshield area of a car, though - that's an awfully large space to block in your field of view. Conclusion The Boomerang for iPad Air/iPad Air 2 looks good, is incredibly thin, very lightweight, and installs/removes quickly. It's easily adjustable, works with a number of mounts, and has a fairly decent price point (especially when on sale). On the negative side, the Boomerang doesn't offer any protection for your iPad. Rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible

three and one half star rating out of four stars possible

StickyCase for iPhone 5/5s

The StickyCase for iPhone 5/5s ($24.99) is what brings your iPhone into the XVIDA ecosystem. Before I go any further, please note that you can pre-order this case for the iPhone 6 for delivery next month. However, there's no word about one for the iPhone 6 Plus. That's really not an issue, since if you already have a case for your Plus, all you need to do is buy a $17.99 StickyPad for Smartphones and you're ready to rock and roll.

XVIDA StickyCase This case really isn't all that special in terms of looks. It's a matte black (or white) case with one very special feature - a covered metal plate in the back that serves to stick it to any of the magnetic mounts. If you have a Multi-Mount, the windshield-mounted Suction Mount for Smartphones ($19.99), or that ever-popular Air Vent mount I'll review next, you just slap the encased iPhone 5 or 5s up against the magnet and it sticks. Conclusion The StickyCase for iPhone 5/5s gets bonus points for mounting flexibility, but it's really kind of drab. If you already have a more colorful or more protective case that you've installed on your iPhone, just get one of those StickyPads and stick it to the back of the case. That way you get the best of both worlds. Rating: 2-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible

two and one half star rating out of four stars possible

Air Vent Mount

I've talked about this accessory several times already. For $20, you're getting a mount that installs into an air vent in your car, has a pivoting head, and features the XVIDA magnetic mount. Take any of the cases or stands - the StickyCase, the Boomerang, or even a regular case with a StickyPad on the back - and you have a way of mounting your iPhone or iPad so that it's clearly visible from the front seat of the car (don't look at it while driving!). The Air Vent Mount features a spring-loaded arm that goes through one of the vents and has a metal hook that grabs the back of the vent slat. On the front is a rounded piece that fits into a slot on the back of a piece that includes the mount, a lockable ball joint, and a few stabilizer arms. It's quite easy to install and feels sturdy.

XVIDA Air Vent Mount Of course, when you want to use either a StickyCase or a Boomerang with it, you just take their built-in metal plate and bring it near the mag mount, and magnetism takes care of the rest. The Air Vent Mount holds even a full-sized iPad Air in place with very little movement, and it works really well with an iPhone. Conclusion For mounting an iOS device in your car, the Air Vent Mount is an adjustable and versatile piece of equipment. The price is right, and it feels like it will last. Rating: 3 stars out of 4 stars possible

three star rating out of four stars possible

Giveaway

We at TUAW love our giveaways, which give our readers a chance to get some really great gear at no cost. Here are the rules for the giveaway: Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older. To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button. The entry must be made before November 24, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time. You may enter only once. One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a kit containing a Boomerang for iPad Air, a StickyCase for iPhone 5/5s, and an Air Vent Mount, valued altogether at $124.97 Click Here for complete Official Rules.

XVIDA iPhone/iPad accessories have a magnetic personality originally appeared on TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004 on Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004XVIDA iPhone/iPad accessories have a magnetic personality originally appeared on TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004 on Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nodus Access Cases for iPhone and iPad are stylish and useful


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Nodus Access Case for iPhone 6 Plus
Back in late 2013, one of our former UK bloggers (Richard Gaywood) wrote a review of an iPhone case from The Nodus Collection. At that time, the Access Case was part of a Kickstarter campaign; now the company is selling the cases through its website. Recently I received both an iPhone 6 Plus Access Case (pre-order for £49.99, price includes international shipping) and an iPad Air Access Case (£99.99, price includes international shipping) for review, so I thought it was a perfect time to take a look at these thin, light and stylish cases again. Check out the review, and then take a chance at winning one of these cases for yourself. Design As Richard pointed out in his earlier review, the Access Case uses micro-suction technology to both attach the device to the case and to keep the cover closed. The material used holds onto your iPhone or iPad tightly, but releases with a sharp pull if you need to take the case off.

Both cases are made of a nicely-finished leather in either ebony (black) or chestnut (brown). The two samples we received were both chestnut and really looked good with very fine stitching around the edges. As with most folio/wallet cases of this type, the Access Case can be used as a stand to hold your device in landscape orientation, as a wallet (it has a full-length pocket for cards or bills), and of course as a protective cover for your device.

The top, bottom, and right side of the iPhone and iPad are left open, making it easy to plug the devices in for recharging. There's also the requisite opening for the iPhone camera and flash on the iPhone case, and the smaller hole for the iPad camera on that case. Functionality The cases look great, but do they do their job? From my limited testing, the answer is an unqualified "yes". Both cases hold their respective devices in place firmly with the micro-suction material. Both protect the screen and back of the iPhone or iPad. Both work well as wallets. All in all, they do what they're supposed to do. Removing the devices from the micro-suction material was easy, and the material is easily cleanable if it collects dust or other debris. Conclusion The Access Cases for iPad Air and iPhone 6 Plus look good, although they're rather plain. If you want a nice leather case without frills, this is probably going to make you happy. However, both cases come with a price tag that seems unreasonably high considering that there are similar micro-suction leather cases for much less that the £49.99 (US$79.35 at current exchange rates) price for the iPhone 6 Plus case or the £99.99 ($158.71) iPad Air case. A good example is the recently-reviewed Twelve South SurfacePad, which sells for $49.99 for the iPhone 6 Plus version and $79.99 for the iPad Air edition. Rating: 3 stars out of 4 stars possible

 three star rating out of four stars possible

Giveaway

If the price tag on the Nodus Access Cases depresses you, cheer up -- you might win one in our giveaway. Here are the rules for the giveaway: Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older. To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button. The entry must be made before November 11, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time. You may enter only once. Two winners will be selected in a random drawing. One will receive a Nodus Access Case for iPad Air valued at US$158.71, while another winner will take home a Nodus Access Case for iPhone 6 Plus valued at US$79.35. Click Here for complete Official Rules.

Nodus Access Cases for iPhone and iPad are stylish and useful originally appeared on TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004 on Fri, 07 Nov 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004Nodus Access Cases for iPhone and iPad are stylish and useful originally appeared on TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004 on Fri, 07 Nov 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Your Guide to iPad Photography Etiquette


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Until now, shooting photos with your gigantic iPad was considered taboo. Not to mention, it looks ridiculous But now that Apple has armed its latest iPads with powerful cameras, many will begin to rely on the tablet to capture life's most memorable moments. So, how do you whip out your bulky tablet to take photos without being a jerk? Below, we've rounded up five smart tips to consider when you snap photos with your iPad.

1. Be prepared for questions when you bring it out in public.

The Emily Post Institute, an etiquette source, advises not to bring out your iPad unless you're ready to play show-and-tell. Get ready for people to stare and ask questions, like, "Can I see it?" and "Can I touch it?" Read more... More about Apple, Photography, Tips, Features, and Ipad

14 Things Thicker Than the iPad Air 2


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Apple's done it again The mammoth tech company unveiled the new iPad Air 2 on Oct. 16. At just 6.1 millimeters, or 0.24 of an inch, it's the thinnest tablet yet. Want to put that size in perspective? In Apple's demonstration, they laser-cut a pencil in half lengthways to illustrate iPad's insanely small dimensions We decided to kick that up a notch and see just how thin the new device is when compared to everyday objects. From slices of Kraft cheese to slender magazines to Big Mac burger patties, we sized up Apple's tiny tablet
ipad
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Where to Get the Most Money for Your Old iPad


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Out with the old, in with the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. Apple unveiled its shiny new iPads on Thursday, and for many people, that means it's time to get rid of the old models. Whether you're looking to trade in your old iPad or sell it, there are several options available to help you find the best deal for your device Below, we've detailed 10 of the best resale and trade-in options. Pre-orders for the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 start Oct. 17.

1Amazon's Trade-In Program

Amazon Trade-In Program
Image: Amazon

With Amazon's trade-in program, you can turn your iPad into an Amazon gift card. Simply answer a few questions about your tablet, get instant quotes and ship it off for free with a pre-paid UPS shipping label Read more... More about Iphone, Apple, Features, Ipad, and Trade Ins