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Entries in iPad 2 (44)

Alesis iO Dock Video Overview

Still no joy here on a review copy of Alesis' iO Dock, but we found a nice overview video from B&H. Look out for the interesting little tip about latency and the direct monitor switch when using GarageBand.

Win a HandStand iPad 2 Case

Regular readers may remember that a few months ago we reviewed the HandStand Case for iPad 2. We thought it was a great idea for keeping hold of the iPad and at the same time providing a reasonable amount of protection. 

Here's our video from that review just to remind you what the case is like.

We have one HandStand iPad 2 case to give away. Here's how you can enter the giveway:

On Twitter:   

  1. Follow iPad Creative (if you already follow us on Twitter then you can skip this one)
  2. Tweet the exact text below once only please (multiple entries will not be disqualified but we would rather you did not spam your followers): 

Win a Handstand Case for iPad 2 courtesy of iPad Creative. Find out how to enter here: http://bit.ly/winwithipc3  @ipadcreative #winwithiPC

On Facebook: 

  1. Like our iPad Creative page 
    (you can skip this step if you have already 'Liked' our page - but we don't mind if you want to let your friends know about the giveaway by posting a link to this post on your wall)
  2. Come back here and leave a comment below with your name as it appears on Facebook
    (so we can verify that you have entered the giveaway - if you enter via Facebook and do not leave a comment on this page we cannot include you in the giveaway)

Of course you can enter on both Twitter and Facebook if you wish to improve your chances.

Giveaway Terms and Conditions

We have to set a few rules due to the International nature of our audience, so here they are:

  1. The winner will receive 1 x HandStand Case for iPad 2 in Black
  2. Entry is free of charge and no purchase is necessary
  3. Entrants must be 18 years of age or over at the time of entering - please ensure you meet this criteria
  4. If this type of giveaway or similar promotion is not permitted by law in your State, Province or Country, please do not enter
  5. This giveaway ends at 1900 GMT on Wednesday 14th September 2011
  6. The winner will be selected at random from all qualifying entries using random.org
  7. The winner will be notified via either Direct Message on Twitter or Private message on Facebook and we will request the winner's postal details at that time so we can send you the Cover
  8. The winner's name (and if relevant Twitter username) will be made public after notification for transparency - so if you don't want people to know, please don't enter.

Giveaway: iPad 2 Smart Back Cover from iLuv

The iLuv Smart Back Cover has been designed specifically for the iPad 2. It provides hardshell protection for the back and sides of your iPad, with cutouts for camera, buttons, speaker, headphone jack and dock connector.

The Smart Back Cover also has a cutout specifically for the hinge of Apple's Smart Cover, so if you have one of these it is an ideal complement.

We have one of these Smart Back Covers in Black to give away.

Here's how you can enter:

On Twitter:  

  1. Follow iPad Creative (if you already follow us on Twitter then you can skip this one)
  2. Tweet the exact text below once only please (multiple entries will not be disqualified but we would rather you did not spam your followers): 

Win a free iPad 2 Smart Back Cover courtesy of iPad Creative. Find out how to enter here: http://bit.ly/winwithipc1  @ipadcreative #winwithiPC

On Facebook: 

  1. Like our iPad Creative page (you can skip this step if you have already Liked our page)
  2. Come back here and leave a comment below with your name as it appears on Facebook (so we can verify that you have entered the giveaway - if you enter via Facebook and do not leave a comment on this page we cannot include you in the giveaway)

Of course you can enter both on Twitter and Facebook if you wish to improve your chances.

Giveaway Terms and Conditions

We have to set a few rules due to the International nature of our audience, so here they are:

  1. The winner will receive 1 x iLuv Smart Back Cover in Black
  2. Entry is free of charge and no purchase is necessary
  3. Entrants must be 18 years of age or over at the time of entering - please ensure you meet this criteria
  4. If this type of giveaway or similar promotion is not permitted by law in your State, Province or Country, please do not enter
  5. This giveaway ends at 1800 GMT on Monday 5th September 2011
  6. The winner will be selected at random from all qualifying entries using random.org
  7. The winner will be notified via either Direct Message on Twitter or Private message on Facebook and we will request the winner's postal details at that time so we can send you the Cover
  8. The winner's name (and if relevant Twitter username) will be made public after notification for transparency - so if you don't want people to know, please don't enter.

We Love the Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg for iPad 2

We recently received a 'Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg for iPad 2' as a free gift after taking out a subscription to the NY Times. So we thought we would let you know what you can expect from this mini-bluetooth-keyboard-in-a-case when partnered with your iPad. Hopefully it will help you if you are thinking about getting one of these cases yourself.

About the Case

Described as "the perfect companion for your iPad 2", this second generation Zaggmate is now known as the 'Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG' and it features the Logitech logo prominently displayed.

Our special edition seems to be a half-way step towards the new, currently available, model. We say this because this is what ours looks like:

And this is what the latest version from Zagg looks like:

The primary difference is the iPad stand. On our version we still have the fold out bit of plastic found on the original Zaggmate which is very flimsy and, in our opinion, the weakest design feature. We nearly broke it in the first 5 minutes before learning the correct amount of force to use in folding it out. It is the only thing about this case that doesn't inspire much confidence.

The new design is quite different, using some sort of rubber track to hold the iPad in place more securely, as you can see from the demo video below. You certainly would not shake your iPad with the original design, as they do in this video:

This design update means we would recommend the newest version of the Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg even more highly than the version we have as this seems a vast improvement.

You will also see that the on/off and connect button plus status lights are now behind the iPad when it is in use which we are not entirely sure is better but it certainly looks cleaner. 

The Keyboard

The keyboard is, of course, the main feature of this iPad case and it is actually a pleasant surprise. Zagg have kept the 'island keys' of the original Zaggmate and this makes for a near-laptop typing experience. The keys are springy and responsive, unlike the cheaper moulded rubber keys on the iPad folio cases that are also popular.

Although the keyboard is very much a shrunk-down version, all the keys you need are there, such as Tab, Caps Lock a large left and right Shift button a Cmd, Alt and Ctrl button plus at the bottom left a Keyboard Language select button, which may or may not be of interest.

Responsive of the keys is never an issue even over Bluetooth. Once your brain and fingers have made the adjustment in spacing, we think you will be reaching speeds equivalent to those achieved on a full size keyboard.

Special Keys

What sets this apart from your normal PC keyboard is the top row of iPad specific function keys. These are also found on most other Bluetooth keyboards so not totally original but they are still very useful.

Here you find the Home, Search, Slideshow, Display Keyboard, Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo & Redo, iPod (Audio) transport controls, Volume and Lock/Unlock keys.

The iPod controls are especially useful using this keyboard case. You can be typing away and at once start playing audio, or start up the iPod app first then control tracks, skip backwards and forwards and adjust volume or mute the audio, all from the keyboard and without touching the screen or using app switching. Ideal for those writing sessions in your local coffee house with a pair of sound isolating earphones.

The Case

The casing itself is robust and made from "Aircraft-grade aluminum with a bead-blasted, anodized finish that matches the iPad 2" and it offers good protection for the screen when the iPad is stowed away. The main issue for us, as we have mentioned already, is the fragility of the plastic fold-out iPad stand.

This flip stand does support the iPad well when in the proper position but we found that using this case on our lap the iPad felt a little unsecure and top heavy, as though it could tip back, away from us. As we have said though, the new version of the case which you will receive if ordered now, seems to have solved that issue and looks like a very good improvement.

Using the case on a firm surface such as a desk or table we had no such worries. We did install the four little rubber feet on the underside of the case and these hold it very firmly in place on a table top. With the case set up like that we were able to bang away on the keys and get caught up in the writing instead.

When the iPad is stowed away in the case the whole thing is very slim. We could easily slip it into the iPad pocket of a messenger back we are currently testing and, as Zagg say on their website, it "only adds about ⅛" to the iPad 2". 

You have access to the ports and buttons when it is stowed, so you could charge your iPad without removing it from the case. Putting the iPad face down into the case also sleeps it using the magnets.

Long Lasting Battery

We have had this case for two weeks now and used it most days. We have yet to charge it! It is still running on the charge that was in the battery when we received it.

When it does become time to charge the battery the Status light starts to flash when about 20% of battery is left, but this will keep you going for a day or two more anyway, so plenty of warning.

A USB 2 cable is included with the case which you can plug into your laptop/PC or even one of the Apple wall plugs like the one that came with your iPad.

Watch Your Back

This case provides no protection at all for the back of your iPad. This may seem like a sinister ploy to sell more Zagg shields or it might just be a design choice but those of us who are concerned about scratching the back of our iPad may want to consider using some sort of skin or shield protection.

We have decided to get a custom printed Gelaskin, which was a nightmare to fit, but we will talk more about that in an upcoming post. There is just enough clearance for one of these skins to be fitted without the foam padding interfering or lifting the edge of the skin.

Final Thoughts

It is probably no surprise that we are going to highly recommend the Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg for iPad 2.

If you don't get on with the iPad's onscreen keyboard, or find it slow to use, we think you'll love it. We would recommend it too for those who intend to do a lot of typing on their iPad, such as bloggers, writers, students, in business at meetings and anyone else with similar needs.

The portable nature of this case, combined with good shock, and great screen, protection when stowed away will be welcome if your iPad finds itself in amongst other items in a bag or rucksack. You may just want to consider protecting the back though if you do carry it this way.

You can pick the case up for $99.99 for both the iPad 2 version and the original iPad with keyboard included.

We are always keen to hear what you think. If you have one of these cases, how do you find it? Are you regretting your purchase or do you love it? If you are thinking about getting one let us know.

Jot: Is the Stylus Search Over?

Adonit, the people who brought us the Writer iPad Case as a Kickstarter project last year, have a new Kickstarter project that they think will end your search for the perfect iPad stylus. They call it Jot.

The USP of Jot?

Adonit's Jot has a ball pen like nib, with a clear plastic disc attached, that lets you draw and select more precisely whilst seeing what you are doing. This design aims to address the main problem iPad users have with other stylus nibs and even your own built-in stylus, your finger.

Most of the time you can't see exactly where you are drawing, marking, selecting or writing as the tip of your stylus will generally cover the area directly below it, making precision a much sought after 'Holy Grail'.

Design Touches

Adonit have also given the design of Jot a lot of thought and of course it is still not finalised yet. They have tried to include some heft by making Jot similar to a luxury ballpoint pen, using aluminium and steel in its construction.

Jot will also include a protective cap for that little disc on the end which will fit on the opposite end like a pen cap does.

To add a bit of interest and style, there will be a range of colours available in the standard Jot model, but the 'Pro' version will be available in more muted, classier, metal colouring contrasted with a rubber grip.

Another key benefit for us in the Pro version is clever use of the iPad 2's built in magnets to hold your Jot on the iPad to help prevent misplacing your stylus, an expensive problem as we know from experience.

The project is already funded, but you can save a few dollars on the retail price and contribute to the development of the project by backing it on Kickstarter now. No definite idea yet on a release date although it should be available soon after the funding period ends for Jot.

You can see a brief introduction video below and if you go to the Updates tab on their Kickstarter page they have a video of the Jot prototype in action.

What do you think? Is this the stylus you have been waiting for? Let us know in the comments. 

This Week on iPad Creative: 9th to 14th May 2011

This week's posts all in one place for your weekend browsing pleasure:

Adobe Photoshop iPad Apps Released - At the start of the week Adobe's companion apps were finally released. We ask you what you think, show you the videos and get some interesting comments. Feel free to add your own thoughts.

Caricatures Made Easy by The Flaming Stylus - We let you know about a very useful tutorial from one of our readers and his great tutorial site.

Pix and Stix: Hit your iPad with Real Drumsticks? - Drummers and guitarists get their own special input devices. Pre-order now!

Video Review: 100 Cameras in 1 for iPad - Our review and video demo of Trey Ratcliff's inspiring and creative photo editing app. Well worth a look.

Video Find: Casio Pro Keyboard, iPad 2 and GarageBand MIDI demo - A very nice video demo of GarageBand for iPad being controlled by a MIDI keyboard.

iCab Mobile: Fullscreen Video and Browsing From iPad HDMI - Having problems with iPad 2 mirroring, specifically getting fullscreen browsing or video display from websites? iCab has a solution for you.

iCab Mobile: Fullscreen Video and Browsing From iPad HDMI

iCab Mobile has been out for a few years on iOS, initially released for the iPhone, it is now a Universal app. This uber-browser has so many additional features that recommend it over the default iOS browser, Safari.

Extra features

These features include tabbed browsing, file download manager (including video saving direct to iPad Photo app), Evernote / Instapaper / Read it Later / Dropbox integration via Modules, Fullscreen mode, Import/Export of bookmarks to and from a computer, Filters for ads, highly configurable options and lots more.

But the option that we especially love is the VGA output. Especially when used in conjuction with Apple's new Digital AV Adapter. Why?

It's a matter of scale

Well, the iPad's 1024 by 768 display looks great on the 9.7" device, but tiny on a normal HDTV as it displays in it's native 4:3 format with big black borders left and right. Apps that are not VGA output enabled display their output inside that little window, which is to be expected of course.

(Other apps and websites like YouTube and the Videos app do play at full width on an HDTV, making the video far more watchable.)

Here in the UK, BBC iPlayer is a big deal for TV catchup and importantly on-demand TV, but both the iPlayer app (link may only work in UK) and website play video inside the native resolution, which doesn't cut it when you are sat 16 feet away on the other side of the room.

iCab saves the day

iCab though enables fullscreen web browsing (very useful for demos and browsing Flickr for example), pages are shown at the full width of your HDTV screen and importantly the video output by these sites also fills the screen when you play them.

The kids are very happy!

We think this entirely justifies the very reasonable $1.99 (£1.19) price tag for iCab Mobile [iTunes link] and we hope this will help those of you hoping to have fullscreen display out of your iPad 2 via the Digital AV Adapter, for web content at least.

Video Find: Casio Pro Keyboard, iPad 2 and GarageBand MIDI demo

Ever wondered what GarageBand for iPad sounds like in the hands of a pro?

Here's a video demo from B's Music Shop in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. In the video Jeff Dunmire from Casio demonstrates just how good the $4.99 GarageBand app sounds on the iPad.

It made us smile!

Video Review: 100 Cameras in 1 for iPad

We tried the iPhone version of 100 Cameras in 1 when it was released last year, but for some reason it didn't really impress us that much, so we weren't sure about buying the iPad version.

After taking the plunge though (it's only £1.79) we found it seems to make more sense on the larger screen of the iPad and we really liked it and thought you might too.

It's not HDR

The app comes from Trey Ratcliff, a well known photographer, world traveller and HDR proponent who generously gives away a lot of his work (including a daily photo) plus lots of photography resources at his site Stuck in Customs and via his very good email newsletter.

But, this is not an HDR app.

The idea behind 100 Cameras in 1 is to produce something unique from any image through a combination of fully adjustable effects - and to have fun doing it!

Poetic licence

Each effect/filter has a 'poetic' phrase or description to try and get you in the creative frame of mind and to provide some idea of the overall result on your image. It is better if you try not to be too cynical here and just go with it, a few of them even make sense.

100 Cameras screenshot

Not for everything

It is certainly not an app you would use for every photo, but 100 Cameras in 1 is a wonderful app for those quiet moments when you can take some time out, sit back with your iPad and let the creative juices flow.

We would suggest it is definitely worth taking that time to really dig into the effects and filters available and experiment by generating a new series of effects based on your result (see what we mean in the video below).

iPad 2 adds another element

On the iPad 2 of course, in addition to editing photos already in your library, you can also take photos in-app and start getting creative with the image right away. We could be cruel and say it is probably the only way the iPad 2 photos are useable, but we won't.

See 100 Cameras in action

It is easier to show you how this app works than describe it any futher, so here is our video overview of the main features of the app (shot on iPhone 4 and edited wholly in iMovie for iPad). See below for more features and buying info.:

 

(The fantastic 'Chiptune' music used in this video is Arpanauts (Eric Skiff) / CC BY 3.0) from freemusicarchive.org)

Feature list and purchasing info

  • Fast, simple, and light. Designed for speed and ease-of-use
  • Use your existing library to give existing photos 100 new magical looks 
  • or… take new photos (iPad 2+ only) 
  • 100 different effects that use mixes of hardlight, overlay, and more with beautiful textures from around the world. 
  • A “new” kind of app that takes the editing process in a whole new, beautiful directions 
  • Share your photos on email, Twitter, Facebook, SmugMug and Flickr! 
  • iPad version has many many additional features, including hi-res effects at 2000×2000 pixels. 
  • Poetic names so that you get a general feel of the effect to put you in a creative mood 
  • A new “Explore” area with helpful hints, good links, and even more 
  • Uses a predictive algorithm to guess which way you will “swipe” the image next so that the upcoming effects load instantly

100 Cameras in 1 is available now in the App Store at $2.99 (£1.79).

This Week on iPad Creative: 2nd to 6th May 2011

We know how hard it is to keep up with all the stuff thrown at you on the Net, so here are all our posts from this week in one place for your browsing pleasure:

iSpy Cameras. The Best Public Webcam Viewer on any Platform - Not as creepy as it sounds! Browse the world from your sofa for free.

Jorno - An iPad Keyboard in your Pocket - This foldable, pocketable Bluetooth keyboard and iPad stand is out soon, we're curious, what do you think?

Penultimate 3.0 - New Custom Templates, Sharing, Paper Shop - A quick look and promo video of a key update to one of our favourite iPad note taking/handwriting apps.

Real Racing and Flight Control Creator Firemint give us their thoughts on iPad 2 - As the title says, thoughts straight from one of the most well known Developers out there (and who have recently been acquired by game giants EA).

App Store Essentials: Painting & Drawing - Some of our favourite Creative apps featured on Apple's app store.

Superstash Enhanced Web Browser with Annotation and Intelligent Tagging - A web browser with a difference, you'll like this one we think.

Meteor Multitrack Recorder Video Preview - A video preview from 4Pockets of their ery promising new iPad DAW with a few unique features.

A Dozen Styli Reviewed by Macworld - Macworld have posted a video overview and more detailed look at 12 different styluses that are available for u with your iPad. There have been a few comments on this one too.