A round-up of iPad products
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

A round-up of iPad products

By Greg Mills

Over the last month, a number of companies have sent me sample products for testing and review. All relate to iPad, so here's a round-up of reviews.

There are various solutions for protecting iPad from the inevitable scratches and damage from mobile use. We carry our iPads around, lay them down, drop them occasionally and the screen and back can get scratched and worn looking. The aluminum back can also get scuffed up.  Well, I paid nearly US$800. for my iPad with 3G and extra memory, so I want to keep it nice.  

My experience began with a silicone cover alone, to cover the back and provide some protection from shock if the case is dropped. I have seen some silicone soft covers that are much beefier around the edges to really protect the iPad from damage, but those are bulky and a lot more money. The Hand Held Items iPad silicone cover, now only $8.99 plus shipping at  http://www.handhelditems.com, which I considered a great value. However, at the time, front covers were just coming out, so I used the back cover for a while without any thing over the screen.  That was a mistake.  

If you use a back cover to protect your iPad,  you need a clear film screen saver as well. While I really like the Apple oil resistant screen surface, it is vulnerable to scratches if there is no  protection for it.  For a few bucks more, Hand Held Items now offers a screen saver for the front as well as a back cover for only $12.99 (plus shipping). Not a bad price for a package of one hard polycarbonate case with a free screen saver. 

The slick, oil repelling surface Apple applies is not as scratch resistant as glass. Despite care to prevent damage, I got some fine scratches within two weeks of use without protection. That protection could be in the form of a film covering the surface or a padded envelope type device.  There are pros and cons for all solutions.  

The padded slip covers, such as the Kensington K62911 Netbook Sleeve $9.99, offer the potential of using the iPad "bareback" as it was designed by Apple, while keeping it clean and protected while not in use.  Personally, while the Kensington Sleeve is nice, it has a closure that stretches over the iPad and is somewhat awkward at first.  It might stretch out over time, but it was a bit hard to get the iPad in and out of a new one.  

Kensington (http://us.kensington.com) also makes a really nice shoulder bag the right size to carry an iPad the charger, cords and the like -- with plenty of room for a small laptop as well. They call it the Sling Bag ($19.99) due to the shoulder strap. It's overkill for casual use, but great for a trip or for someone wanting to carry a lot of extra stuff with them.  The Sling Bag is nicely made and full of thoughtful pockets and zippered slots for the iPad and more.

I also had the chance to test drive a nice padded fabric envelope solution for iPad that snuggly covers the device, which slides in. The Fabrix Sleeves are $32.90 with discounts available on-line. They come in a bunch of colors and designs. The sleeves are so tight you can't get am iPad into the sleeve if it has a silicone cover on. So you are pretty much going to go "bareback" if you go this route.  See http://www.fabrixcases.com  .

We have all seen the screen protector film products advertised. At the end of the day, the screen is much more of an issue for damage than the back of the device.  The well advertised "Invisible SHIELD" product from ZAGG (http://www.zagg.com) is pretty much the top-of-the-line solution. The film does as advertised and really protects the screen surface from damage.  here are two downsides, however.  
 
First: i the installation of the film will be a problem for a lot of people. The film is an adhesive -- and very sticky -- film. It's floppy and tends to stick where you don't want it to grab anything.  The kit contains a little bottle of solution you wet your finger tips with and also the surface of the screen before removing the backing. You then position the film and squeegee it down to remove air pockets and wrinkles.  

That's easer said than done. My wife could probably have done it better than I did, but klutzes have iPhones too. It worked out OK, however. 

I practiced on the iPhone first and noticed I got a bit of dandruff or something in between the film and the screen that showed. Darn it. I pulled the film back, picked the speck off and reattached it. That worked out pretty well. Also, the iPhone screen saver works as advertised.  

I have had the problem of accidentally putting the iPhone in the same pocket as my keys -- which is a recipe for disaster. Having experimented on the iPhone, I graduated to iPad and that went a bit better.  Some small scratches on the iPad screen were mostly hidden by the film.

One other consideration in going to film screen savers is that the film top surface is not as good as the Apple oil repelling finish you cover up. I noticed the screen saver film attracts dust and dirt more than the factory coating.  

If ZAGG could get the slick oil repellant surface of the Apple manufacturing process on the outer surface of the InvisibleSHIELD they would really have the category aced. Their existing film solution is good, but not excellent due to this issue.  

Also, the ZAGG surface is not as slick for touching and collects dust much more than the bare iPad screen. And the $29.95 is quite a bit of money for a little bit of film. Still, the ZAGG InvisibleSHIELD is a good solution, if you want to go that route. 

If you intend to use a back cover you need to either keep the iPad in a case when not in use or use a folding cover such as the Apple black cover sold at the Apple Store online or at the local Apple store.  I am using both the InvisibleSHIELD and the Apple cover, at this time. With the flap, which covers the iPad when not in use, I may remove the InvisibleSHIELD. That way I can see how it comes off and compare the surfaces again. The Apple iPad Cover is pricey at $39 and can be found at http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC361ZM/A .

My conclusion is that some sort of protection for iPad backs and screen is important, as it is hard to imagine a mobile device that won't get trashed, in time. There are three basic solutions. One: a back cover/screen protector film. Two: a soft sleeve "bare back." Three: the folding cover, as in the Apple cover. There is no one solution for everyone, and there are pros and cons to all of them.  I think I am tending to go with the Apple folding cover solution as it allows me to use the special finish Apple applied at the factory and it allows iPad a built-in, inclined position for use that the other approaches don't offer.  

I will keep my eye on this area of product and update readers on further innovation in this area.

(Greg Mills is currently a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Married, with one daughter still at home, Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's web sites at http://www.gregmills.info . He can be emailed at gregmills@mac.com)

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Paragraphs 1.0.1 - Writing tool just for...
Paragraphs is an app just for writers. It was built for one thing and one thing only: writing. It gives you everything you need to create brilliant prose and does away with the rest. Everything in... Read more
BlueStacks App Player 0.9.21 - Run Andro...
BlueStacks App Player lets you run your Android apps fast and fullscreen on your Mac. Version 0.9.21: Note: Now requires OS X 10.8 or later running on a 64-bit Intel processor. Initial stable... Read more
Apple iTunes 12.2 - Play Apple Music...
Apple iTunes lets you organize and stream Apple Music, download and watch video and listen to Podcasts. It can automatically download new music, app, and book purchases across all your devices and... Read more
Apple Security Update 2015-005 - For OS...
Apple Security Update 2015-005 is recommended for all users and improves the security of OS X. For detailed information about the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.... Read more
Apple HP Printer Drivers 3.1 - For OS X...
Apple HP Printer Drivers includes the latest HP printing and scanning software for OS X Lion or later. For information about supported printer models, see this page. Version 3.1: The latest printing... Read more
Epson Printer Drivers 3.1 - For OS X 10....
Epson Printer Drivers installs the latest software for your EPSON printer or scanner for OS X Yosemite, OS X Mavericks, OS X Mountain Lion, and OS X Lion. For more information about printing and... Read more
Xcode 6.4 - Integrated development envir...
Xcode provides everything developers need to create great applications for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Xcode brings user interface design, coding, testing, and debugging into a united workflow. The Xcode... Read more
OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 - Apple's lat...
OS X Yosemite is Apple's newest operating system for Mac. An elegant design that feels entirely fresh, yet inherently familiar. The apps you use every day, enhanced with new features. And a... Read more
Dash 3.0.2 - Instant search and offline...
Dash is an API Documentation Browser and Code Snippet Manager. Dash helps you store snippets of code, as well as instantly search and browse documentation for almost any API you might use (for a full... Read more
FontExplorer X Pro 5.0 - Font management...
FontExplorer X Pro is optimized for professional use; it's the solution that gives you the power you need to manage all your fonts. Now you can more easily manage, activate and organize your... Read more

Heroki (Games)
Heroki 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: CLEAR THE SKIES FOR A NEW HERO!The peaceful sky village of Levantia is in danger! The dastardly Dr. N. Forchin and his accomplice,... | Read more »
Hands-On With Raceline CC
Set for release soon, Rebellion’s motorbike racing game, Raceline CC certainly looks stylish. But how does it play? I got my hands on a preview build to answer exactly that. | Read more »
Siegefall - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies...
So, you fancy establishing a base and ruling the world again. Siegefall is a convenient place to do that, but how about some great tips and tricks on how best to go about it? Here are a few ideas on how to get ahead as a beginner to this medieval... | Read more »
The WWE Comes to Racing Rivals - Because...
Racing Rivals is a racing game that's all about, well, rivalry. And who knows rivalry better than WWE superstars (shhhh, that was rhetorical)? [Read more] | Read more »
Hey, Who Put Apple Music in My SoundHoun...
One of the App Store's popular music discovery sources - SoundHound - has already been updated to include Apple's own music discovery source - Apple Music. That was fast! [Read more] | Read more »
Arcane Legends has a New Expansion Calle...
Arcane Legends has been going strong since it debuted at the tail end of 2012. So well, in fact, that it's already up to its sixth expansion. [Read more] | Read more »
Vector 2 is Officially a Thing and it...
Vector is a pretty cool parkour-driven runner that's gotten a pretty decent following since it first came out - although personally I think more people could stand to show it some love. Anyway, Nekki has announced that a sequel isofficially on its... | Read more »
Get Ready to Trucksform and Roll Out (an...
It looks like NuOxygen is bringing the truck-transforming racer Trucksform (get it?) to iOS in a couple of weeks. Although really it's more of an auto-driver than a racer. But still, transforming trucks! [Read more] | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps:June 22-26, 2015
June's Summer Journey Continues With 148Apps How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice,... | Read more »
LEGO® Minifigures Online (Games)
LEGO® Minifigures Online 1.0.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Logo Pop Free Vector Logo Design App For OS X...
128bit Technologies has released of Logo Pop Free 1.2 for Mac OS X, a vector based, full-fledged, logo design app available exclusively on the Mac App Store for the agreeable price of absolutely free... Read more
21-inch 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $999, save $1...
B&H Photo has new 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Best Buy has the 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $999.99 on their... Read more
16GB iPad mini 3 on sale for $339, save $60
B&H Photo has the 16GB iPad mini 3 WiFi on sale for $339 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $60 off MSRP. Read more
Save up to $40 on iPad Air 2, NY tax only, fr...
B&H Photo has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $40 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $489 $10 off - 64GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $559 $40 off - 128GB iPad Air... Read more
Apple Releases OS X 10.10.4 With WIFi Fix, iO...
On Tuesday, Apple released final versions of OS X 10.10.4 and iOS 8.4, as well as updates for the Safari browser for OS X Yosemite, Mavericks, and Mountain Lion. The OS X 10.10.4 update focuses on... Read more
Dual-Band High-Gain Antennas for Home Wi-Fi N...
Linksys has announced what it claims are the first dual-band, omni-directional high-gain antennas for the consumer market. The new Linksys high-gain antennas available in a 2- and 4-pack (WRT004ANT... Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 15-inch Retina MacBook...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1609, $390 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. They have... Read more
Clearance 2014 MacBook Airs available for up...
Adorama has 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $301 off original MSRP including NY + NJ sales tax and free shipping: - 11″ 256GB MacBook Air: $798 $301 off original MSRP - 13″ 128GB MacBook Air: $... Read more
5K iMacs on sale for $100 off MSRP, free ship...
B&H Photo has the new 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. They have the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2199, also $100... Read more
27-inch 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1679, save $...
B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1679.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

Senior Payments Security Manager - *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple , Inc. is looking for a highly motivated, innovative and hands-on senior payments security manager to join the Apple Pay security team. You will Read more
Project Manager - *Apple* Pay Security - Ap...
**Job Summary** The Apple Pay Security team is seeking a highly organized, results-driven Project Manager to drive the development of Apple Pay Security. If you are Read more
Web Developer, *Apple* Online Store Innovat...
**Job Summary** The Apple Online Store Innovation Lab team is seeking a talented individual with strong web development and design skills to prototype future Apple Read more
*Apple* TV Live Streaming Frameworks Test En...
**Job Summary** Work and contribute towards the engineering of Apple 's state-of-the-art products involving video, audio, and graphics in Interactive Media Group (IMG) at Read more
Project Manager, WW *Apple* Fulfillment Ope...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.