Deals: The 10 Ft. Apple-Certified MFi Lightning Cable at More than 50% Off

Apple Certified Lightning Cable

Today’s featured deal is the 10 Ft. Apple-Certified MFi Lightning Cable – the handy charging cable that will help you keep your iPad charged even from across the room. It’s on offer for $18.99 – a full 52% off its standard $40 price tag.

Few things are more annoying than having a charge cable for the iPad or another favorite mobile device not reach comfortably to where your device is. So having a 10 foot lightning cable around for those occasions where you need a little extra stretch is a very good thing.

Here’s a little of the intro for this handy iPad accessory and its compatibility details:

With this handy Apple MFi-certified 10-foot cable in your tech arsenal, you’ll never have to compromise your chillaxing multi-tasking again. It can easily stretch across the room to conveniently give you power wherever you decide to be.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT

Let’s face it, the stock Lightning cable that comes with your iPhone is just too short. This 10 ft. (3M) cable is just downright more convenient, and who doesn’t appreciate that?

COMPATIBILITY
  • iPhone Models: iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, & iPhone 5s
  • iPad Models: iPad w/Retina display, iPad mini, iPad mini w/Retina display, & iPad Air
  • iPod Models: iPod nano 7th Generation, iPod touch 5th Generation, & iPod touch 5th Generation

You can see more details and place an order for the 10 Ft. Apple-Certified MFi Lightning Cable at this iPad Insight Deals page.

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Osmo for iPad Review: Magical and Educational

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We are all used to interfacing with a computer through mouse, keyboard, and in more recent times, touchscreen. Osmo has created an educational game system that allows you to interface with the iPad through physical objects. It’s a new way of using the iPad to engage children in learning and it is as close to a magical experience as I have come using an iPad.

Firstly, the Osmo package comes with a stand, a mirror clip for the camera, a set of blocks and a set of letters. Setup is extremely simple indeed and you are directed to download the three Osmo apps which go with the device; Tangram, Newton and Words. All you need to do is put the iPad in the stand (making sure you have used the correct attachment for your type of iPad), clip the mirror on to the front iPad camera and fire up your chosen game. The mirror points to a space in front of the iPad, as if it was sitting on a table in front of you and the software uses the camera to detect what is in front of it. It’s a similar idea to Kinect, although clearly the iPad camera is not quite as advanced as this.

I set Osmo up in my kitchen, which to be fair isn’t the brightest room in the house and with my 5 year old daughter as guinea pig, tested out the different apps. I must say that she had done a full day at school, including after school care and is normally pretty tired, but it is fair to say that playing Osmo certainly perked her up a bit, even though the games required quite a bit of thought on her part.

We started with ‘Words’ in 1 player mode. The Words app brings up a very nice HD picture of an object and asks the player either to put the starting letter of the word in front of the iPad, or complete the whole word with the physical letters provided. The letter recognition was great and picked up the letters almost instantaneously as my daughter picked them out, with a satisfying ‘ping’ if she got it right. There is another mode as well where you can race an opposing player with the two sets of letters provided to spell out the word correctly.

We then moved on to Tangram which my daughter loved. Tangram is a really good educational concept as it is normally a good marker for good levels of mathematical skill. It involves the Tangram app displaying a picture made of different coloured shapes. The player then has to copy the the picture using the wooden blocks provided before moving onto the next one. Again, the recognition of each block was extremely impressive. It even picked up if a block was the wrong way up, prompting the player to ‘flip’ the block if they were struggling to make the shape.

The final game included is ‘Newton’. We struggled with this a bit as my daughter couldn’t quite make the connection between what was being displayed on the screen was actually what she was drawing and the fact that it was all part of a game. The idea of this is balls drop from the top of the screen, you have to draw lines or shapes on a bit of paper in front of Osmo to ‘direct’ the balls to a target zone. It’s a really cleaver concept on the iPad, but it does burn through paper like there is no tomorrow. I would recommend getting a wipe on, wipe off board and pen for this. You could even use your hand to direct the balls, which is probably a little more environmentally sound, and work on those fine motor skills.

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Playing Words

Osmo certainly brings something new to the iPad table and they have stuck to the iPad tradition of making a product with the “it just works” mantra. There is no messing about with the set up, you can literally be up and running in seconds. I think Osmo is definitely worth a go if you have an iPad and children under the age of 11 in your house. It gives them something tangible and educational to play with (which of course is always gratifying for us parents), but it is also compelling and interesting for them. I’m quite keen to see how Osmo take this concept further as there is definitely scope for adding to the games collections. I could see some sort of game involving packs of cards and adding and matching being quite an interesting concept for example.

I always like iPad developers trying something a bit different and also having a very polished product. Osmo does both of these things and also gives you back that ‘wow’ factor that the iPad over the years has made us accustomed to.

Osmo is available at $79.99 from www.playosmo.com 

Disclosure: Osmo sent me a review unit.

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iPad Art: Cottage

Cottage iPad Painting

‘Cottage’ is the title of today’s featured iPad painting.

It’s the work of Rafeal Co, aka Raffy or Cheeky Raffy, created using the Procreate app.

I always love how so much seems to be going on in Raffy’s paintings, although this one is  little less hectic than many others of his. The colors are what have me fascinated with this one. They’re powerful and create a bit of a feeling of foreboding as well.

You can check out more of Raffy’s excellent work at his Rafael Co Flickr stream.

If you’d like to explore lots more beautiful iPad paintings from a number of great iPad artists, take a look at our own iPad Art section here at iPad Insight.

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Penultimate 6.0.1 for iPad

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Penultimate 6 has had a pretty rough start. I like the cleaner look of the app, which matches iOS 8 a lot more. It’s also a good step to represent each notebook as a giant scrolling list of pages, which makes more sense in a digital format.

Unfortunately, the praise ends there.

Penultimate is marketed as this tech-laced love letter to the art and form of handwriting, but there are other apps that do a much better job of simulating the feeling of putting pen to paper. The writing experience in Penultimate just isn’t smooth on my Air 2, and the Jot Script can often miss strokes as I try to write in Drift Mode.

I really want to love Penultimate, but have always been disappointed with, even back before Evernote bought it. It’s a great concept and could do wonderfully with Evernote’s handwriting recognition, but their inking engine just seems nowhere near as good as some other apps. Paper and Noteshelf, for example, do a much better job of quickly drawing smooth lines.

It’s good that Evernote is acknowledging what a bungle the initial 6.0 update was and I’m glad to see them responding so quickly, but until the engine itself is overhauled, I just don’t see any use for Penultimate on my iPad. I’ll be sticking solely with Paper until something better comes along.

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iPad App of the Week: Healthy Recipes by SparkRecipes

Healthy Recipes by SparkRecipes for iPad

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 picks below and you’ll soon have a collection of stellar apps for your favorite tablet.

This week’s pick is Healthy Recipes by SparkRecipes for iPad, which I’m going to shorten to Healthy Recipes in the rest of this post to try to keep my wrists healthy. The app’s name lets you know what’s on offer – a great collection of healthy recipes – over 500,000 in fact – from SparkRecipes.com, which is touted as the world’s largest healthy recipes site.

I’m just about the perfect target audience for this app, because I’m continually trying to eat healthier but my cooking skills are pretty much non-existent. There are a huge number of cooking and cookbook apps for the iPad and I’ve looked at and installed quite a few of them. Healthy Recipes has been the one that gave me a good comfort level quickly and didn’t scare me off.

[click to continue reading…]

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The Sad State of Third Party Keyboards On iOS 8

One of the absolute most exciting things about iOS 8 was its announced support for third-party keyboards in almost all areas of the OS. There are some limitations. Every time you reach a password field, the default Apple keyboard pops up just to make sure users enjoy maximum privacy. Voice dictation through Siri, which got […]

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