Deals: Executive Restt 6-in-1 Keyboard Desk Organizer at 27% off

Executive Restt

Today’s featured deal is great for any iPad user who is looking for a way to stay organized and get the most out of their iPad set-up . With the The Executive Restt keyboard Desk Workstation you’ll get just that, and right now it’s also 27% off! It’s a great deal that will run you only $39.99 – instead of its standard price of $55!  Here’s some info about The Executive Restt and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

This incredibly crafty tablet rest rolls up a Bluetooth keyboard, stand organizer, pen and stylus stand, business card holder, credit card slot, and hidden desktop organizer into the perfect place to get work done. The handy Bluetooth keyboard transforms your device into a computer, putting frustrating tablet typing struggles to rest for good. And the Executive Restt’s nifty, patented desktop organizer becomes a makeshift desk to store your office essentials when you’re on-the-go. Now, you can literally bring your office wherever you go.

As seen on the NBC’s Today Show!

  • Small Bluetooth keyboard w/ full-sized keys makes typing on your tablet or smartphone a breeze
  • Ultra-durable Flex Plus silicone is anti-slip & anti-scratch
  • Tablet can be viewed in landscape or portrait orientations
  • Dual pen holders provide easy writing-utensil access
  • Trays hide clutter on your desk & store paperclips, stationary, ear buds & more
  • Two business card holders deliver instant networking tools
  • Tablet slot orientates your tablet at the perfect viewing angle
  • Rest fits both a tablet & a phone

Also available in white!

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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Writing On iPad Pro Without A Hardware Keyboard

I’ve written before about the strange fascination I have with the concept of using just an iPad and a stand (usually a Smart Cover) for writing. The major problem for me is that my wrists really haven’t liked it in the past. I’ve tried all manner of wrist positions and chair heights. I’ve kept the iPad farther in on the desk so my elbows had support, and I’ve tried leaving the iPad near the edge of the desk, so my wrists didn’t have to bend so far up to hit the keys. None of that has really worked on previous iPads and I do think it has to do with the fact that I can’t rest my fingers on the keys. Without having somewhere to give my wrists a break, my fingers and palms can quickly start to sweat. That usually forecasts some wrist pain soon after.
What’s interesting to me is that some other writers on Twitter have been trying to use the iPad without a hardware keyboard. Ben Brooks at stated he typed 1800 words on the iPad Pro, and Josh Ginter told me he got more used to the iPad Pro after the first weekend. They don’t have any history of wrist pain or RSI, but they still piqued my interest in the device’s software keyboard. The iPad Pro may lack Force Touch, but its software keys very closely mimic the size of a full hardware keyboard. That’s a first for an iPad.

I’ve now written over 3000 words on this keyboard and my feelings are are still up and down. I’m still slower in writing on an iPad, and I still try to type far too quickly for my own good. I’m a pretty fast and accurate typist on hardware keyboards, and my finger as often fly too quickly for the software keyboard to register keystrokes or gestures properly. A big part of learning to use this iPad pro has been to slow down a little bit.

However, to my surprise, this experiment has been working out. I started out by just leaving the iPad flat on the table. It actually works quite well and makes the keys very easy to press. However, it’s definitely a recipe for a sore neck if you’re going to type more than a few hundred words in a sitting. I tried using the Compass stand from TwelveSouth, but the iPad Pro is just too large for it. The best stands for the iPad Pro are actually those designed for laptops. I pulled out my old AviiQ foldable laptop stand and it’s working wonderfully for the Pro. The entire tablet screen is supported, so there isn’t any shaking of the device as I type.

The full keyboard layout is definitely an asset. It’s easier to hit the keys because the spacing is a little more generous. It’s also far more convenient to reach numbers and symbols without ever having to dig into the specialized symbols menu. Writing in Markdown on the iPad Pro is awesome, especially with the trackpad mode added in iOS 9. I’m starting to prefer this trackpad style selection to using the arrow keys on a MacBook.

I still think that Force Touch could be an asset to the iPads that Apple releases next year, and I really hope they find a way to let us rest our hands on the screen. However, for the first time in the history of the iPad, I can actually write on this device without pain long enough to pump out 600-word posts like this one — which is something I haven’t been able to say of any previous generation iPad. A MacBook would still be the more sensible portable computer for me, but I have to admit that there’s some charm to an iPad-only writing setup.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is defining feature of the iPad Pro, but it’s definitely useful for other writers who have wanted to use “just the iPad” but always required a hardware keyboard for the previous models. 

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The Problem With Importing XAVC-S Video On The iPad Pro

iPad Pro video import

Read most any iPad Pro review and you’ll see the same line written in different ways: the iPad Pro is powerful enough to render three streams of 4K video simultaneously in iMovie. That’s quite a lot. It’s something my own 2013 Retina MacBook Pro would probably have issues handling. But nobody ever seems to talk about how the heck you’re supposed to get those high resolution files onto the iPad in the first place. I’ve tried asking around on Twitter but haven’t heard any responses from early access reviewers. I have a feeling that they either AirDropped 4K videos from an iPhone 6S, or simply transferred high resolution footage from a computer.

iPhone 4K video looks gorgeous, but I did buy a mirrorless camera and fast lens for a reason. I want to get shallow depth-of-field videos that the iPhone just can’t achieve right now, so simply relying on AirDrop of iPhone videos isn’t a great solution for me. Transferring files from a laptop works, but if you’re going to do that, why not just use the laptop? Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere are far more powerful than any current video editing app on iOS, and they make the cutting process so much faster to boot. Unless the portability of the iPad is of paramount importance, I will always do my video editing on a desktop machine with desktop-class software to achieve better and faster results.

One of my personal tests for the iPad Pro is to see if it can help me edit movies while out and about. Given its price — $1600 CAD for 128 GB Wi-Fi and a Smart Keyboard — and its positioning as pro-level tablet, I think it’s reasonable to expectation to import videos in XAVC-S format from my Sony A6000. I do not expect to create an elaborate movie — just preview and play a bit with what I’ve shot in a day.

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Deals: Touchfire iPad Case & Accessory Bundle at 35% off


Today’s featured deal is especially useful for those who like to type directly on their iPad, but prefer the natural feel of a physical keyboard. As a bonus, when you purchase this iPad Case, you also get a premium accessory bundle that includes a wall mount that turns any vertically flat surface into a viewing platform for your iPad. You can get your Touchfire iPad Case & Accessory Bundle at 35% off! It’s a great deal that will run you only $79.99 – instead of its standard price of $125!  Here’s some info about the Touchfire and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

This Touchfire Case Bundle is an absolute dream for any iPad owner. Touchfire fits your iPad like a glove – slim and lightweight, yet highly protective. A magnetic tab even keeps the cover securely closed while traveling. If you’re sick of the ordeal that is typing on a slippery tablet, snap the keyboard onto your screen and tap away, then place it in the storage case when not in use. And that’s not all. Stick the wall mounts wherever you’d like to magnetically hang your iPad, turning any vertical surface into a makeshift workstation or entertainment portal.

  • Guard your tablet from drops & scratches
  • Attach the case magnetically to your tablet
  • Use the snap-on keyboard to quickly & accurately type on your iPad
  • Rest your fingers on the home row without triggering the touchscreen
  • Securely store your keyboard when not using it
  • Avoid adding bulk or weight to your device
  • Take advantage of easy to use, intuitive designs
  • Enjoy the versatility of over a dozen typing & viewing positions
  • Magnetically hang your iPad on any vertical surface

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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So About That iPad Pro…

Hmm, I really didn’t except to be writing this any time soon, but I listened to so many darn podcasts about the iPad Pro that I wanted to give it a shot. However, it wasn’t the extra RAM, more powerful processor, or the larger screen that piqued my interest. It was all of the talk about the full-sized software keyboard.

I found it really intriguing to hear that people are writing longer form pieces on the software keyboard alone. I’ve written a little about the ergonomics of the iPad’s software keyboard and I thought it would be impossible to make the keyboard ergonomically viable without Force Touch. Typing with a software keyboard and Smart Cover for ten minutes is enough to give me wrist pain, and I thought the only solution would be to allow me to rest my hands on the glass without triggering keystrokes (hence the requirement for Force Touch). But maybe a full-sized keyboard is enough.

That got me thinking about what else I might want to test if I got an iPad Pro. The Smart Keyboard is interesting from a portability standpoint, but it doesn’t seem like anything special for the iPad itself. I really liked the keys when I tried them in-store, but I was disappointed by the single viewing angle afforded by the accessory. I’m far too spoiled by my Logitech Ultrathin. The Logitech Create looks cool, but adds far too much bulk and weight for me to consider it. The iPad Pro already weighs 1.5 pounds and I don’t want a keyboard that will double its weight.

That just left the Pencil, which is the killer accessory of the Pro, in my opinion. I see a lot of articles discussing the Pencil as if it’s a tool for Other People…as if only a subset of people are really qualified to discuss its merits. I disagree with that take on it, and although I think professional artists and designers will benefit the most from this accessory, I wanted to see how a heavy note taker might take advantage of the Pencil as well. I love using Paper and Evernote was recently updated with support for drawing within notes, so I have plenty to test in two of my most-used apps. If the Pencil is as good as Apple promises, it really will allow us to do something that we never have been able to before: to treat a metal and glass like a piece of paper.

So I went out today and nabbed a 128 GB Wi-Fi model + Pencil to write about a few very specific use cases:

  • multitasking on the Pro vs the Air
  • whether the software keyboard is actually more usable than on previous iPads
  • the Pencil in extended use for non-artists
  • using the iPad Pro at a desk for extended periods of time

There are plenty of overall reviews for this device, so I’ll plan to hit up just a few specific subjects and decide whether or not to keep the Pro. I still think it’s inordinately expensive for what iOS file limitations and the available storage ($1500 CAD for the Pro and Pencil), but I was too curious to dismiss the device without ever really trying it out.

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The iPad Pro is a glaring reminder of the need for an iOS Home Screen refresh

iOS 9-Homescreen

iOS is arguably the most sophisticated, seasoned mobile operating system available today.  Love it or hate it, we are currently running the ninth version iOS–and there are no signs of slowing down any time soon.  Apple has approached updates to iOS with the “slow and steady” mindset.  There has never been a silver bullet update to end all updates, and I’m ok with that–mostly.  It’s hard to be patient, especially when there are whispers each year of purported upgrades, and new features planned for iOS. One thing we can count on, though–Apple won’t release/introduce a new feature unless it’s ready for primetime.  This can be frustrating at times, especially when we crave the next big thing.  However, in the end, the user experience is king regardless of any features added to the latest version of iOS.

Over the years, one of the biggest enigmas with iOS has been the stale, unchanging home screen layout.  The first screen we see when we power on our iPad’s and iPhone’s, is in need of major upgrade.  The current layout has become boring and outdated.  It’s true that many new iOS users may find comfort in knowing that a quick press of the home button will always bring them to the same screen _every_ time.  But does this mean that this screen has to remain a boring grid of icons–even after 9 iterations of the OS?  I say no, and it has never been more clear than after the introduction of the iPad Pro.

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Deals: Titan Cable & Titan Loop Lightning Charger Bundle at 30% off


Today’s featured deal is for those times when you need a fast and convenient way to charge your iPad, but you don’t want to worry about tangled cords getting in the way. The Titan Cable & Loop Lightning Charger Bundle gives you a choice of either a short, or an extended charging solution for those times when you need a little extra.  The bundle is now on sale at 30% off! It’s a great deal that will run you only $44.95 – instead of its standard price of $65.  Here’s some info about the Titan Charger Bundle and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

Titan’s top-selling, MFi-certified, tangle-free charging cables now come in a pack, so you can conveniently charge anywhere life may take you. Titan’s original 3.25 foot cable is wrapped twice in industrial-grade, flexible steel and packs permanently-sealed USB and Lightning connectors that won’t be falling apart in this century, or the next. The Loop, its smaller sibling, features the same great strength, but also conveniently folds in half to attach to your keychain or belt loop. One for home, one for the road, it’s a match made in heaven.

  • Wrapped in two layers of flexible, high-strength steel
  • Includes sealed one-piece housing fused directly over the cable to keep the connectors in place
  • Certified w/ Apple’s MFi program for safe charging
  • Made to last for life
  • Backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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We’re Still Defining The Tablet

The iPad Pro has a ways to go in terms of software growth, but based on this past week of iPad Pro reviews, Apple is setting the stage here. I’m reminded that software updates came to the iPad to add multi-touch gestures, split-screen multitasking, split screen keyboards (which disappeared on the Pro) over a number of years. These were not release features, but software iterations that came about as the world learned how to adapt to tablets. it’s reasonable to think that the iPad Pro is really just the first decisive step for the iPad as a main computer. But that’s not quite the focus of this post.

This year of giant tablets has made me question what a tablet is supposed to be. The most basic definition to me is that it’s a slate computer where the only built-in input device is a touchscreen. But having seen the Surface Pro 4 and the iPad Pro this year, it occurs to me that we’re all still struggling to find a general definition. My dad uses his iPad mini as a second screen for movies. My mom uses her Air as a PDF reader and mobile newspaper. I use mine as a mobile writing machine, photo editor, and large web browser.

Horace Didieu’s video review really nailed what I was thinking when the iPad Pro was first announced: this isn’t really a tablet you’ll want to hold any more. It’s one that you bring from surface to surface, from a lap to a desk. I’m sure it can be cradled in the arm like a clipboard, but it’s not in the same class as an Air 2. It isn’t a one-handed reading device, or a 10-inch eBook for bedtime reading any more. Anything over one pound is just too heavy for me to use in those ways, and it wasn’t until the iPad Air that I really felt like the promise of the tablet was fulfilled.

But looking back at the use cases I cited above, and thinking on the way my friends use their tablets: people use tablets in a lot of different manners, so hinging the definition of a tablet upon weight and portability could be a mistake. My dad’s iPad doesn’t need to be particularly light if it’s mainly a repositionable screen. My mother’s iPad Air doesn’t need to be a certain weight to display PDFs on a stand — and it’ll do an even better job of it with a bigger screen.

Maybe the key to a tablet is its incredible flexibility. You buy a base iPad Pro and choose whether you want to buy an optional Pencil or Smart Keyboard. The thing works just fine on its own, and it’s actually optimized for use with taps of the finger. However, the existence of a first-party stylus and keyboard are statements from Apple that tablets can and should be used for more.

Apple seems to be saying that “tablet” can simply mean “lighter computer” in much the same way that “laptop” meant “portable desktop”. What I’m really curious to see is how Apple embraces other input methods for iOS over the coming months. I’d love to see them enable even more keyboard and Pencil integration to really bring the platform forward.

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Deals: Slim Universal Bluetooth Keyboard at 28% off


Today’s featured deal is especially useful for those who like to use their iPad as a productivity device, but dislike the typing experience the iPad offers. When there are dozens of BT keyboards out there to choose from, you need to stick out from the crowd.  This is where the Slim Universal Bluetooth Keyboard comes in, and now you can get yours at 28% off! It’s a great deal that will run you only $42.99 – instead of its standard price of $60!  Here’s some info about the Slim BT Keyboard and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

Nobody willingly types on a tablet – until this keyboard swings in for the rescue. Only five millimeters thin, Slim can easily go anywhere your tablet goes with barely an ounce of extra weight. It connects via Bluetooth to any device and doesn’t mind your coffee habit – being completely spill-proof and all. With a gorgeous wood surface, Slim is the key to typing in style.

  • Works w/ any Bluetooth-enabled device
  • Perfect for late-night working w/ 5 level backlighting
  • Easy-to-charge w/ any micro USB port
  • Spill proof
  • Made of premium materials
  • Contains a long battery life, lasting for up to a week on one charge

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.


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Given Current iPad Pro Pricing, I’d Rather Buy a 512 GB MacBook

iPad pro

Apple has finally let the cat out of the bag: the iPad Pro is available for pre-order this Wednesday and is hitting stores later this week.

Here’s a recap of US pricing:

  • $799 for 32GB Wi-Fi
  • $949 for 128FB Wi-Fi
  • $1079 for 128GB Wi-Fi + LTE

[If you’re a Canuck like me, you can check out Canadian iPad Pro pricing was detailed on iPhoneinCanada.]

When the iPad Pro was first announced, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. The larger screen and stereo speakers are great, but the 1.5 lbs. device weight worried me. I like that the Air 2 is less than a pound in the hand, and I think that’s what one of the integral parts of its design: that you can hold it and use it in most any position, unlike a laptop.

In the weeks since the announcement, I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of talk about the iPad Pro. The best coverage came from Fraser Speirs, who had some hands-on time with the new tablet and discussed it on Out Of School episode 155. He says that much of the focus in iPad Pro apps has been on a giant content canvas. On-screen controls are around the same size as they are on the iPad Air 2 — there’s just a ton more space for the content. The 13-inch screen on the Pro provides enough space that you can run full iPad apps side-by-side, without any compromises on space or layout. It’s apparently a lot like having two iPads working side by side and communicating with each other.

I do think there is a good point about how immersive full-screen multitasking can be, but I find the pricing to be prohibitively expensive. If I were to get an iPad Pro, I’d want the 128 GB Wi-Fi version to store all of my photos on, and I’d also want to try a Smart Keyboard out. Factoring the 13% tax in Ontario, I’d pay nearly $1700 CAD for that combo. There’s definitely a lot of power, but that’s a paltry amount of storage for that price range.

At $1700 CAD, the iPad budget starts to compete with my “new MacBook” budget. I could pick up a top-of-the-line 512 GB 12-inch MacBook for $1800 (taxes included). That two-pound MacBook would be just as light and portable as an iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard, and it would also run applications in split-screen beautifully. I mainly tote an iPad around as a writing machine, mobile photo editor, and browser. A 12-inch MacBook could fulfill all of those same needs, and provide me with more power and automation on OS X. This certainly isn’t a big issue to Apple because they’re always happy to cannibalize their own sales.

However, as an iPad fan, I’m almost disappointed to not want one this year. I’m definitely curious about the iPad Pro’s feature set, but it’s is currently priced and specced like a full-fledged laptop when it isn’t quite there yet. With the kind of work I like to do and the files that I deal with, any device above the $1500 price point is going to a device that runs a desktop-level operating system.

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Deals: Pay What You Want for this Incredible iOS 9 Developer Bundle


Today’s featured deal is a little different than the typical deals we run here on iPad Insight.  This is an incredible opportunity to acquire a loaded iOS 9 developer bundle that includes Swift, Xcode & tvOS with 96+ Hours of Training and 100+ App Templates, and you decide the cost.

With the Pay What You Want bundles, you can get something incredible for as little as you want to pay while making the world a better place. And if you beat the average price, you’ll receive the fully upgraded bundle!

10% of the profits from your purchase will go towards Project HOPE, who delivers essential medicines and supplies, health expertise and medical training to respond to disaster, prevent disease, promote wellness and save lives around the globe.

Make the Top of the Leaderboard at ANY point during the sale and gain 5 entries to our exclusive giveaway! Make it onto the leaderboard at ANY point during the sale and gain 1 entry to our exclusive giveaway!

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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