Loving The New Music App in iOS 8.4 for iPad

iOS 8.4 music app

With the release iOS 8.4 today, this is the perfect time to talk about the new Music app, which I’ve been playing with in iOS 9. I can’t talk about the new Apple Music features yet, but I can run through a quick tour of changes for those who manage music libraries on the iPad.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the app has gotten a complete visual overhaul, with many parts having taken inspiration from Apple’s own “Remote” app. There are a lot of frosted panels that take on the main colour of the album artwork, and a side panel navigation bar to help you scrub through whatever section you’re looking at (e.g. Artists, Albums, etc.).

A “Recently Added” section is pinned to the top of most sections, allowing you to see the most recent songs, albums, or artists you’ve added to your library. This should prove much more useful with an Apple Music subscription, as it’s very easy for a music library to snowball out of control when unlimited streaming and listening are introduced.

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Deals: Twist Plus World Charging Station at 33% off

Twist Plus World Charging Station-iPad Deals

Today’s featured deal is a very useful replacement for your plethora of device charging cords – the Twist Plus World Charging Station– at 33% off.  It’s on offer for $34.99 – instead of its standard price of $53.

Here’s some info about the Twist Plus and how you can charge as many as five separate devices all at once:

Tired of lugging around innumerable power cords, international converters, and chargers? With the Twist Plus World Charging Station, you’ll always be an outlet away from charging up to five devices at once anywhere in the world. Simply attach the Twist Plus to any Apple MacBook power adapter by replacing its attached plug or extended power cord, and you’re in business. Finally you can live your jetsetting lifestyle worry-free, unencumbered by a tangle of charging accessories.

  • Does away w/ the need to carry many chargers & converters on the road
  • Includes 4 USB ports to charge additional devices w/ your Mac
  • Eliminates the need for multiple wall outlets to charge multiple devices
  • Features a universal AC power outlet ideal for international travel
  • Works seamlessly w/ electric outlets in over 150 countries
  • Comes w/ built-in fuse protection to ensure your devices charge safely
  • Allows for maximum portability w/ light & compact design
  • Easily twist to access the charging port of your choice

To see more details – including a product demo video – and place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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iPad App of the week: Jurassic World™: The Game

JW-iPad-app3

Who doesn’t like great iPad apps? At iPad Insight we definitely do. With that in mind, we offer up a quick review of an excellent iPad app, or a few great iPad apps, here each week.

Our picks for Best iPad App of the Week are published here every week. Check out all out picks below and you’ll soon have a collection of stellar apps for your favorite tablet.

This week’s pick is Jurassic World™: The Gameby Ludia.  This popular free to-play game is running a sale that’s good toward 50% off some in app purchases–including cases of cash.  With the huge success of the recent movie release of Jurassic World, the iPad app was destined to become just as popular among iPad owners who enjoy this genre of games.  From the developer…

Return to Isla Nublar with the creators of the smash hit Jurassic Park™ Builder for your next adventure: Jurassic World™: The Game, the official mobile game based on this summer’s epic action-adventure. Bring to life more than 50 colossal dinosaurs from the new film and challenge your opponents in earth-shaking battles. Construct the theme park of tomorrow in this unrivaled build-and-battle dinosaur experience.

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How to downgrade your iPad from iOS 9 beta, and restore it to iOS 8.x

iOS_9

During the World Wide Developer Conference a little over two weeks ago, Apple released the first beta version of iOS 9 to developers.  Many tech bloggers expect the public release of iOS 9 later this summer to be a “minor” upgrade from iOS 8 in terms of “new” features.  However,  it is widely believed that a concentrated effort made to focus primarily on stability and performance would be a welcomed deviation with an operating system as mature as iOS.  The lack of a “laundry list” of new features is unlikely to deter the die-hard iOS faithful, and probably won’t play a big role in discouraging users from wanting to test out the beta.

There is always a electric buzz in the air this time of year for Apple and iOS.  WWDC serves as the kindling for the summer excitement that continues to catch fire and build until new iPhones and iPads are released alongside a refreshed version of  iOS in late September/early October.  With this excitement, comes a desire by many to acquire access to an iOS developer account which grants them certain “privileges” the average consumer must wait for–specifically, the ability to download the latest beta version of iOS ahead of the public launch.

With great power, comes great responsability

I know what you’re thinking–I _really_ want to try out iOS 9 NOW–I don’t care that it’s still in beta.  Well, truth-be-told, beta is beta.  Pre-released versions of iOS software are released exclusively for those who develop for Apple, and iOS.  Access to beta software aids developers in making their apps the best they can be so that when the newest iPads and iPhones are released to the public their apps work from the start.  From Apple…

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Email Attachments on iOS 9

  
Emailing on the iPad on iOS 9 has become so much easier thanks to the new Attachments option. Previous versions of iOS required me to copy and paste pictures into emails, or using third party apps (like Dropbox or Outlook) to add files to my emails for me. However, as of iOS 9, the Mail app has really grown up.

Attachments can come from a number of Locations: iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. iCloud Drive works by default as long as you have that service turned on, and Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive become available once you install those apps.

Actually adding an attachment in Mail is accomplished by using the paper clip icon on the Shortcut Bar, or by tapping and holding, then swiping over to the “Add Attachment” option on the pop-up menu.

One thing I was worried about was whether or not iOS would actually append an attachment to the email. Some services choose to include links to the cloud files, which isn’t quite as convenient for certain things (like pictures or PDFs). Luckily, iOS 9 works as expected: adding an attachment actually adds that file directly to your e-mail.

The caveat is that you first have to have that file on one of your storage locations, and if that location is the cloud, the file will need to be downloaded before you can add it as an attachment. Certain other apps like Notes and Reminders have options to store files locally (“On My iPad”), but no such area seems to exist for Mail. The closest equivalent is to use an app like Readdle’s Documents, and store your important local files in there (so you can send those attachments without having to download them first).

The only other thing I might want in this system is the ability to select multiple files for attachment, but iOS’ document picker can currently only handle a single file at a time. However, I usually only send a handful of files in a single email, so this hasn’t been a real issue so far. Right now it’s just liberating to be able to attach files on my iPad just like I can on my Mac.

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Got a new iPad for Father’s Day? Here are the first (5) things you need to do to set it up

iPad-Air-2.jpg

So this year your family said enough is enough–it’s time Dad got caught up with the times and started using an iPad like the rest of the world!  Great!  Awesome!  Exciting!  Now what?  I know there are plenty of tech savvy Dad’s out there that know what they’re doing with regard to their favorite gadgets.  I’d like to think I’m one of them–at least most of the time.  However, maybe for you it’s been a while since you’ve been pushed out of your comfort zone and tried something new.  Regardless of your level of expertise, there is a basic set of steps every one should take after purchasing/receiving a new iPad, and we’re going to highlight a few of the most important ones to get you on your way to enjoying your new device ASAP.

Back-up you data

iCloud_backup

I know this doesn’t necessarily pertain to those who are getting a new iPad for the first time, but I felt it was important enough that it should be the first thing we talk about.  First and foremost, and this can never be overstated enough–anytime you are upgrading to a new device, you need to back-up your data–preferably in more than one place.  I generally back-up my devices in iCloud as well as in iTunes.  It might seem excessive until that one time when you don’t have it.  Backing up your data should also continue _after_ you go through the initial process.  I highly recommend you turn on automatic iCloud back-ups.  It’s easy, convenient, and it happens in the background while you sleep at night as long as you are connected to Wi-Fi.

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Using a Hardware Keyboard on iOS 9

    
Now that I’ve had a few weeks to use a hardware keyboard alongside my iPad Air 2 on the iOS 9 beta, I have to say I’m quite impressed with how much Apple has addressed. There are many little areas they’ve added keyboard shortcuts to, and these tiny changes have really added up. If you’re the kind who wants to learn more shortcuts, but can’t quite remember them all, holding on the Command key in any compatible app will show you a list of shortcuts (as shown above).

I can now browse Mail messages by using the keyboard alone. Cmd + Up and Cmd + Down switch between emails, and it’s easy to Reply or Replay All with a quick keystroke as well.

iMessage has gotten a very modest set of keyboard shortcuts, but it really only needed the one. Pressing enter *finally* (finally!) sends messages, eliminating the need to tap the “Send” button on the screen. It wasn’t a big deal to do that a few times over the course of a day, but if you’re actively chatting with people, it got very old very quickly.

  
Surfing in Safari has also improved. There are shortcuts to switch tabs, close tabs, copy the URL, and even find text on the page. I can also use the arrow keys to scroll through the various search suggestions, which is a good touch (I wish the same applied to the Spotlight search, but that isn’t keyboard friendly yet).

It’s early days yet, but Apple is already setting a very good example of what great keyboard shortcuts can do for iOS power users with their first party apps. Combining these keyboard shortcuts with the system-wide Command + Tab (for switching apps) has made work a lot snappier on the iPad.

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Fathers’ Day iPad Wallpapers

Fathers Day iPad Wallpaper

Happy Fathers’ Day to all of you fathers out there. Hope you’re all enjoying the heck out of the day, and thought it might be a good time to share some iPad wallpapers themed for the day.

Hit he break for a couple more …

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Mobile Cloth – Keep Dad’s iPad, iPhone, Camera Clean

Mobile Cloth

My thanks to Mobile Cloth for being our site sponsor again this week.  They’re our longest running sponsor and one of my all-time favorite iPad accessories. One I’ve used daily ever since I first tried them out.

They’re still the quickest, easiest way to clean up nasty germ-ridden, smudged up iPad screens. And the same goes for iPhones, cameras, and assorted other ouch screen devices.

And they’ve got a sweet Father’s Day offer for our lovely readers:

enter promo code: ipadinsight

at check out and receive 25% Off any order …( Also for any order over $25 you will receive Free Shipping)
limited time offer, cannot be used for custom product, free shipping USA only

Shop here: mobilecloth.com

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Deals: 30% Off the Lazy Couch Laptop & Tablet Stand


 
Our highlighted deal today is for the Lazy Couch Laptop & Tablet Stand.  This tiny, lightweight (1.8 ounces!) stand looks very promising. It’s made by Just Mobile, makers of some of our favorite ever iPad stands.   It’s on offer for $13.95 – 30% off the standard price of $20.

Here’s the Deals store intro and features list for the Lazy Couch Laptop & Tablet Stand:

Laptops and tablets have us constantly hunched and bent in positions that are bad for our health, and plain uncomfortable. Place these lightweight, portable stands under your laptop to raise it to the ideal ergonomic typing level, while also allowing airflow to prevent overheating. Kind of a Netflix addict? Use your Lazy Couch stands to get the ideal viewing angle of your tablet before you dive into your next series marathon.

  • Constructed w/ high-quality aluminum

  • Fit most laptops & tablets

  • Designed specially for MacBooks & iPads

  • Snap together as one unit for easy storage & traveling

  • Provide ventilation for laptops & tablets for cooler, quieter operation

  • Improve viewing & typing angles

Check out this iPad Insight Deals page to see more detail and place an order.

 

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How to turn your iPad into a MacBook

IMG_0566After the recent WWDC, Apple made it much easier to teach its programming language, Swift, in schools. In iOS9, you can run apps created in Swift on an iPad without the need for a virtual machine which means students can test, change a bit and test again with ease. They’ve also released some great looking iTunes U courses to help you learn. I look after the 1:1 iPad program in my school and I’d really like to take advantage of this for my students. The problem is I need to learn how to program in Swift and to do this I need a MacBook. Unfortunately I don’t have a MacBook. Everywhere I look, other teachers, students, everyone seems to have one of those sleek looking MacBooks, but I don’t. As I wipe my tears away at the prospect of all of my money going on nappies for the newest member of the Potter family and not a new MacBook, I turn my attention to making one from what I already have. Here is what I came up with. Continue reading

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