How to pair your iPad with a Bluetooth Keyboard

Pairing-iPad_with-BT_Keyboard

Among the most successfully argued benefits of owning an iPad–mobility has always been near the top.  The ability to use your iPad as a replacement device for desktop or bulkier laptop computer definitely has it merits–as Federico Viticci illustrated quite effectively. Unfortunately, though, for this theory to work to it’s fullest potential you undoubtedly need to pair your iPad with your favorite Bluetooth keyboard.  Luckily there are no shortages of keyboards to choose from.  In fact, your toughest challenge for using your iPad as your primary productivity device might actually be in choosing the keyboard to use.

Enter-code_to-Pair-BT_Keyboard

No matter what you end up going with, the process of pairing your iPad with a wireless keyboard remains the same.  Start by opening the Settings App, then select Bluetooth.  Turn the feature on so that your iPad is discoverable by other compatible devices.  One your Bluetooth Keyboard is turned on and is impairing mode, (follow instructions for your device) it will become visible in the “Devices” list on your iPad.  When this happens, select your device.  You will now be prompted with a pairing code that needs to be entered on the Bluetooth Keyboard.  Key in the code, and press enter.

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Elegant and powerful journaling app: Day One for iPad

IMG_0563I’ve been keeping a journal since 1990, all digital, all stored in date-named .txt or .rtf files, one file per date. Much has been written about the benefits of journaling, in many places, over many years. Because this is an iPad-centric blog I’ll only say a couple of words about journaling as a life practice, then get to the app review. When you write about what you’ve been doing, and how you’re feeling, revelations appear on the page that never would have surfaced in a year of ruminating. Some people say it’s like free therapy. And really, who do you know that couldn’t do with a good dose of therapy? It’s also fun and informative to go back several years and see what you were doing on today’s day, say, 10 years ago. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ve grown in some cases, and how much you haven’t in others. For most folks, the benefits of journaling are pretty clear. Finding the motivation to do so, however, is just really hard sometimes. When you add up the hours for working, sleeping, exercising, interacting with loved ones, and the day’s mundane chores, being motivated to spend a few minutes in your journal as opposed to playing the latest cool iPad game or watching the new episode of Mad Men can be a tough sell.

So how does Day One help? It reduces the behavioral friction from journaling. Using a text or pen-and-paper techniques, you’re presented each day with a blank page, and start filling it up. Sure, you can say where you happen to be, like vacation in Rome. Or you could write about the weather. In a digital journal you could paste in a photo. In a hardcopy journal you can make a little drawing. But you have to do all entry manually. You also have to have your paper journal with you when the inspiration hits, or for us .txt-journal types, you need to be by your computer. This all adds to the effort of making a journal entry, and therefore the behavior friction, or what those of us with a psychology background call response cost. To reduce this friction you need to make journaling as effortless as possible, and this is where Day One shines.

 

Day One works beautifully on your iPad, as if it was made for it. There are also Mac and iPhone versions of the software, so they all sync, but Day One really looks best on the iPad. If you’re like me you almost always have your iPad with you (and probably an iPhone as a backup), so when the inspiration to write something in your journal hits, you can just tap once and Day One is ready. I’ll cover the basics of using Day One below, but the interface is very well thought out specifically to reduce the response cost I described above. When you open Day One, the first thing you see is a prominent plus sign (+). Tap it and the day entry pane opens, labeled with today’s date. Your iPad fills in your location and the weather automatically. If you use healthkit, Day One can also automatically import your activity data. If you’re listening to iTunes, Day One can import the info and add it to your entry. You can override this info if you want, but I never have. You can add a photo from your iPhoto library or take one from within the app. This level of automation makes journaling basics so easy: all you have to do is open an entry pane, wait a second or two for the automatic information to populate, and save the entry, and you’ve got a lot of info about your day.

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Another Look at InvisibleShield GLASS for iPad

ZAGG Glass

I removed my previous ZAGG Glass Screen Protector from my iPad Air 2 for two reasons: increased screen glare and lowered TouchID efficiency. In response, ZAGG sent over another set of their screen protectors: another Glass with a different “Omega” Home button cut-out, and their HDX protector, which claims to add great impact protection.

I haven’t yet installed the HDX, but I have spent the last few weeks with this newer Glass protector. The button cut-out on my previous Glass was circular, which made the Home button harder to press and I suspect it kept my finger just far enough from the TouchID sensor to affect accuracy. I’m happy to say that the new cut-out, which leaves the lower portion of the Home button exposed, no longer affects TouchID performance. I can reliably unlock my iPad Air 2 with my thumb, and I think that has everything to do with my finger sitting closer to the sensor.

As for the glare, I do think it’s still present, but it’s not a showstopper. The naked Air 2 screen still has glare, but reflections simply don’t look as bright as they do with a ZAGG Glass installed. I tend to run my iPad at about 30% brightness most of the time, and I find that’s enough to outdo any of the ill effects of an extra layer of glass over my screen.

So does this altered version of the Glass change my recommendation? Actually, yes. I do think there’s a tradeoff in glare for installing a ZAGG Glass, but it’s a fair one if you want an added layer of scratch protection that doesn’t affect the clarity of your screen (in the way that matted screen protectors can). There doesn’t seem to be a way to check whether or not the Glass will have the Omega cut-out, but their support seems good enough that you could contact them afterwards if you end up with the previous circular version.

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Wunderlist for iPad receiving big overhaul in 2015

Wunderlist-for-iPad

I love To-Do lists and Productivity apps in general.  Some may say I love them to a fault.  See if this sounds familiar–you want to find the perfect To-Do / Productivity list app.  You try so hard, and you invest so much time in researching your needs against what is available that you never can decide on just the right one.  This has been a problem form me for years–and I’m sure part of the problem is me and my indecisiveness with regard to this issue.  However, there has to come a time when you decide to either sh@t or get off the pot.

I always enjoyed using Wunderlist, but it never quite fit my needs with regard to how I _wanted_ to use it, and the support and integration it had with other apps was lacking for me.  So, a few month ago I started using Evernote as a task manager/To-Do list/repository of all things important from my work, my writing and my personal life.  Thomas has already written extensively on the merits of such a move.

Now, again, I’m reconsidering my choice.  Wunderlist CEO Christian Reber announced major changes coming to the Wunderlist platform this year–and they all sound great!

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iPad Art: Johnny English

Johnny English iPad painting

Our featured iPad painting today is titled ‘Johnny English’ – based on the secret agent spoof movie character played by Rowan Atkinson.

This is the work of Álvaro Tajada Portalo, shared to our iPad Insight Flickr group.

I think this paining captures that deer in the headlights look that Atkinson is so good at.

You can see more of Álvaro Tajada Portalo’s work at his altapor Flickr stream.

And of course you can find plenty more great iPad paintings from a number of excellent iPad artists in our own iPad Art section.

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iPad App of the Week: Vesper

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 weekly picks for Best iPad App of the Week are published here every Saturday. Check out all out […]

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Game review: Space Marshals for iPad

Space Marshals for iPad is a top-down shooter that pulls you in quickly and will have you surprised when you next look up at the clock. It has great arcade graphics, easy-to-learn controls, and plentiful levels for you to explore while you accomplish missions and avoid the bad guys. In Space Marshals you play a […]

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How to configure your Location Services on your iPad

Privacy is a big deal–especially these days.  Luckily with iOS 8 you’ve got options when it comes to personalizing your privacy settings.  One of  the more configureable settings within Privacy is Location Services.  Location based services are a hot topic these days, especially as we become more and more dependent on our mobile devices to navigate through […]

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WordPress 4.8 for iPad: The WYSIWYG Editor Saves The Day!

After suffering through years and years of an incredibly shoddy interface, I’m really happy to announce that the iOS WordPress app is now fun to use. Not only does the app now have a great what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) post editor, but image uploads and previews are now usable as well! Previous versions of the app required you […]

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