Entries in Smart Cover (4)

Imagining the Smart Paper Cover

I've long assumed that the iPad would eventually replace paper for the majority of day-to-day tasks. While that hasn't happened yet, and faltering sells figures might suggest that it will never happen, I'm still confident that it's almost inevitable.
Larger and smaller iPads have increased the usefulness of the platform. The iPad mini is a near perfect web and social media browsing device and the iPad Pro has expanded the range of content that can easily be created with iOS to near Mac levels.
However, to replace paper the iPad might have to possess a few more paper-like qualities.
Glass is not an easy surface to write on
Even after an entire year of using the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro, I struggle to write with the precision of pen and paper. I need friction, not excessive friction, but just enough to stop the small slides that annoy me. I'm genuinely surprised that Apple didn't give the larger iPad Pro a textured glass surface, or at least, provide it as an option.
How to you compete with the battery life of a sheet of paper?
E-ink displays, such as those featured in the recently announced reMarkable tablet, offer almost limitless battery life, but with massive caveats. The refresh rate isn't fast enough for anything other than static content and current E-ink displays are black and white only. Clearly, an iPad with an E-ink display just wouldn't be an iPad as we know it.
One solution might be to embed the E-ink display into a new Smart Cover, one that would connect to the Smart Connector. The entire surface of the Smart Cover (let's call it the Smart Paper Cover) would be a responsive, high contrast, E-ink display. The cover would be entirely reversible so as to allow the E-ink display to be used as a secondary display, when open, or a (limited) primary display, when closed.
This solution would solve two important problems currently facing the iPad. It would dramatically increase the notetaking capability of the iPad, plus give it Kindle-like battery life for reading content.
Would this solution be handy to you? Let me know in a comment below. 

Get Smart with your Art

You can now get a customised iPad smart cover printed with your own artwork or photo(s) to show the world how much you love creating art on your iPad, or maybe even just how much you love your kids, pets, bike, car, etc.

Photobox here in the UK are one such company producing these smart covers with all the usual features you find in Apple's Smart Cover such as magnetic snap-on hinges, sleep when closed and the Toblerone style stand action.

At £34.99 for a custom vinyl smart cover it is actually a penny cheaper than the Apple's Smart Cover, although, without seeing one in the flesh we can't say if the quality is anywhere near as good. Photobox has always been fairly impressive in the past though in our experience.

Do you fancy getting your own customised smart cover? Let us know if you do, and what you decide to put on it.

When the Smart Cover is Not Enough Marware Has You Covered

We like Apple's Smart Cover a lot, but for many the fact that it leaves the back of your iPad 2 completely exposed is not so great. For those that want the Smart Cover functionality but more protection Marware is soon to release their Microshell Folio for iPad 2.

This Microshell case includes magnets in the front cover so that it puts your iPad 2 to sleep and wakes it again as does the Smart Cover. It also emulates the foldable design of the Smart Cover so that you can prop up your iPad in horizontal or vertical format.

But it also includes a rubberised polycarbonate shell to protect the back of your iPad in an attempt to keep it free from scratches and knocks, thus preserving its resell value (let's be honest, that's probably what you are concerned about too).

The back cover obviously has a cut out for the camera and allows access to the top and side buttons plus the dock so it can be charged/synced without removing the cover.  

From what we can tell, it looks like you have to use both parts together, so this only good for people who want to permanently cover their iPad 2 completely whilst using this case but you can always pop the iPad out when you need to. The disadvantage to this is that you can't then stand your iPad 2 up to watch video or type on a flat surface, but for hand holding the iPad this would be fine, until the kids get hold of it.

It is currently advertised in Black only, but one of the UK suppliers also has it in Silver or Pink for pre-order on their site, so we think new colours will be released soon.

What do you think? Would this sway you from getting one of Apple's Smart Covers? Or are you regretting your Smart Cover purchase? Let us know in the comments.

The Magnetic Attraction of the iPad 2 Smart Cover

Ahead of tomorrow's iPad 2 official launch we take a quick look at one of the most touted innovations from the Announcement, Apple's Smart Cover, plus we note some of our observations and concerns about it.

You've seen Apple's new Smart Cover and you're thinking to yourself, "Yeah that's cool, but it is a lot of money for a few magnets and a bit of plastic, even if it is the stuff they make space suits out of." [or more expensive leather]. To be honest, it is a lot of money. We think that $10-$15 could reasonably be knocked off of each version of Smart Cover and they would sell a lot more of them, although maybe with marginal profit.

Ipad2 smartcoverflowBut we found it interesting that Apple seems to be going to great lengths to ensure you don't cover up the back of your iPad 2. Surely this is why we love our Apple products isn't it? They appeal to our aesthetic senses? Here's what occurred to us after the Smart Cover announcement:

  • Apple did what no-one else was able to do with iPad 2, they changed the internal structure by adding perfectly placed magnets. Despite this iPad 2 is lighter and thinner than its predecessor.
  • Apple really want their customers to benefit from the aesthetics of their devices, whether this is about their love of their design as seen in the final product or showing off their logo, we don't know.
  • Their attention to detail in design goes as far as how the Smart Cover sounds when it is being attached, watch the video again and turn the sound up, notice how much emphasis is put on the VW-door-style clunk as the hinge attaches and the cover is laid down. What does that solid VW clunk indicate to the customer? Quality!

  • As innovative as the cover is, the roll-up stand design is strikingly similar to the Incase Convertible Magazine Jacket. The difference, of course, is that the Incase original iPad design needs and uses an external case, covering the back of the iPad.
  • We are curious to know how strong the magnetic attraction is on the far right edge, i.e. if you turn the iPad 2 face down and give it a shake, does it flap open? And if it is in your bag as it is, will it be easy to inadvertently lift the Smart Cover, turning the iPad screen on (this being one of the touted features)?

We really want to see one of these in the flesh before deciding on a purchase, but being in the UK, we won't be able to do this for a few weeks yet.

So, if you are in the US and are planning to get a Smart Cover with your iPad 2, be sure to let us know. We would also like to hear what you think of the Smart Cover whether you intend to buy or not, good or bad, just leave your comment below.