Notes for iPad on iOS 9

iOS 9 notes app

I stopped using Notes on my iOS devices very early on. This was partly due to the hilarious Marker Felt fonts of previous iterations of the app, but mainly due to the lack of flexibility. It took a long time for Notes to mature as a modern note-taking app, but that time is here.

To start, there are a few big advantages to using the Notes app. you can create or append to existing notes using Siri. Holding the Home button and saying “note that I watched Pacific Rim and loved it” will create a note saying as much. “Add Spider-Man to my Movies note” will append that text to a note I have specifically for movies I’ve seen.  Given the most recent speed upgrades to Siri, this has become a really fast and reliable way to add new notes in a hands-free setting.

Notes are also fully searchable from within the app, and from the Search bar on the homescreen. Search is incredibly important for notetaking systems, and they’re one of the biggest differentiators between digital and handwritten notes. If you’re not keen on organizing notes into various folders, digital notes can be very forgiving by allowing you to search for key words or phrases to increase your chances of recalling that information.

However, these features were around before iOS 9. The real meat of iOS 9 notes improvements comes down to:

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Deals: Intocircuit 15000mAh Power Castle External Battery at 73% off

Intocircuit-External-Battery-Pack

Today’s featured deal is especially handy for those times when you want to charge your iPad but there’s no outlets or other typical charging options available to you– the Intocircuit 15000mAh Power Castle External Battery is on sale at 73% off!  It’s an amazing offer of $34.99 – instead of its standard price of $130.

Here’s some info about the Intocircuit External Battery and how you can benefit from having a dual USB battery pack as a mobile charging solution for your iPad:

This sleek battery is your ticket to avoiding a dead mobile device at the most inconvenient of times. The Intocircuit Power Castle features a brushed aluminum shell and LCD display, making it both hardy and stylish, and boasts enough capacity to charge a device several times over. Whether you’re navigating a long road trip or searching for a friend in a crowd, you can be certain you’ll never lose power when you need it most.

  • Charge two phones at once w/ dual USB ports without inhibiting charge speed
  • Ensure smart recognition of devices for optimized charging efficiency & speed
  • Utilize SmartID technology to charge depending on type of phone (iPhone 5S gets almost 7 charges!)
  • Use w/ almost any mobile device
  • Ensure maximum portability thanks to the battery’s compact size

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

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How to manage your Apple Music membership on your iPad

Apple-Music-icon

Last week Apple “officially” introduced Apple Music to the public with the release of iOS 8.4.  If/when you decide to activate the streaming music service on your iPad you will be able to use it for absolutely free for the next 3 months.  Thomas recently posted his thoughts on Apple Music–and by the title of his article, I’d say he’s rather happy with it thus far.  For some reason I’ve never really been a big fan of streaming music.  However, with nothing to lose but the opportunity to try the service for free, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to test the waters across all my iOS devices.

After the free-trial period has ended, you will have two membership options available for continuing your streaming service.  The first offering is a single user account that will cost $9.99/month.  The second option is a Family plan that can accommodate up to six members and costs a surprising $14.99.  Both versions will grant you access to the full Apple Music library, along with recommendations, and unlimited skips on each of the radio stations.

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iPad App of the Week: Star Walk™ 2 – Guide to the Night Sky to Watch Stars, Planets, Meteor Showers & Constellations

StarWalk_2-iPad-App-of-the-week

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 Star Walk™ 2 – Guide to the Night Sky to Watch Stars, Planets, Meteor Showers & Constellations by Vito Technology Inc. Star Walk 2 is a great tool for the every backyard astronomer who loves to gaze at the sky with wonder.  With the help of Star Walk 2, you will be able to identify and learn the position of all the planets, comets, stars and satellites in the sky.  Available as a universal app that works across all iOS devices, Star Walk 2 has many features that make it a joy to use…

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Deals: MFi-Certified 10-Ft iOS Lightning Cable at 52% off

https://deals.ipadinsight.com/sales/a-luxurious-10ft-cable-for-your-iphone?utm_source=ipadinsight.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=a-luxurious-10ft-cable-for-your-iphone

Today’s featured deal is especially handy for those times when you want to charge your iPad but still be able to comfortably use it at the same time – this MFi-Certified Lightning Cable is on sale at 52% off.  It’s on offer for $18.99 – instead of its standard price of $40.

Here’s some info about the MFi-Certified Lightning Cable and how you can benefit from a longer charging cable:

With this handy Apple MFi-certified 10-foot (3 meter) cable in your tech arsenal, you’ll never have to compromise your comfort again. It can easily stretch across the room to conveniently power your iOS device wherever you may find yourself.

  • 10-ft (3 meter) length to allow for comfortable charging and use
  • Resilient MFi-certified cable for safe charging
  • High-quality design for long-lasting use
  • No more slouching by the outlet while charging, sit back and relax

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

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AppleCare+ Now Covers iPad Batteries That Fall Below 80% Capacity

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 12.07.09 AM

I actually saw this news last week on MacRumors, but I think it’s still bears mentioning as it has to do with AppleCare+ becoming more worthwhile. I’ve only bought AppleCare once in the past five years, and it never actually helped me out because all of my device issues happened within the first year of ownership (and Apple devices get a one-year warranty by default). However, the recent change to the policy indicates that batteries that fall below the 80% of their original capacity are eligible for free replacements during the coverage period.

That’s a much lower and more realistic threshold than the previous 50% that the plan offered. Regular usage of my iPhones, for example, tends to get the battery below 80% of its original charge over the course of a 1.5 years, so I know the plan would prove useful to me for ensuring I have a “fresh” battery as it comes time to sell.

Apple devices are built well enough that their hardware usually lasts years, but batteries are consumables and will degrade over time. Having better battery coverage built into the AppleCare+ extended warranty really makes me consider it for my next purchase.

At $99, AppleCare+ costs exactly as much as a battery replacement for the iPad, but it also includes an extra year of warranty coverage, as well as a $49 optional iPad replacement if the tablet falls vicim to accidental damage (drops, spills, or worse). If you’re a heavy iPad user, this is liking buying the battery replacement up front and getting the extended warranty as a benefit. Just make sure you buy AppleCare+ within two months of your iPad purchase, as you won’t be able to buy it after that.

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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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