The Flipboard iPad app got a major update yesterday – adding a much deeper range of topics to follow and a new curated daily news section called The Daily Edition.
The update takes the app to Version 3.0 and also includes a design refresh for one of the long-standing flagship iPad apps. The new deeper approach to topics, with over 30,000 available to follow, is a very welcome addition – and one that Flipboard has adopted after buying Zite, which pioneered this approach.
Now when you browse articles in Flipboard you’ll see a topic tag on each one – fitness, gadgets, iPad, beer, Google are just a few examples. Tap on the topic button and then with one more tap you can choose to follow that topic. I always enjoyed this feature in Zite and it’s great to see it come to Flipboard. Gadgets was the first new topic added to my first home screen in Flipboard.
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I’ve had one week with the iPad Air 2 at this point, and because I use my tablet day in and day out, I can say it definitely feels like an upgrade over last year’s Air.
I honestly never felt that the initial Air needed to get thinner, but the Air 2 does set a new standard. Going from one device to the other is noticeable, but not shockingly so. It’s just something you get used to gradually. Another takeaway for me is the balance. There’s a 7% difference in weight between the old iPad Air and the new model, but I think the internals were likely re-balanced as well. The Air 2 feels just a little more comfortable and balanced in hand. However, if you’re looking for the drastic difference you’d felt going from an iPad 2 to an iPad mini, then you’ll have to look elsewhere.
The mute/lock switch was a casualty to the thinner form factor, and I used that switch quite a lot on my iPad Air. However, I’ve found myself already used to the change by now. I’m used to using Control Center on my iPhone for locking the device orientation, and it has quickly become second nature to do it on the iPad Air 2.
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The Logitech Ultrathin series of keyboards has been around a while now, and they’re probably some of the most-used iPad keyboards. The appeal of the Ultrathin is fairly evident once you see one: the aluminum and plastic keyboard fits over the iPad Air, just like a Smart Cover. However, take it off, plant the iPad in the built-in rest, and you’ve suddenly got a fully functional typing station that’s stable enough to use on your lap, or at a proper desk. The 2014 Ultrathin redesign brought two new tricks to the table: a very clever foldaway iPad hinge, and a tilting iPad stand.
The new hinge was really the major reason that I approached Logitech for a review sample of this keyboard. I’d bought a few of the previous versions of the Ultrathin, but the cleanliness of this year’s iPad hinge really takes the cake. By default, the hinge will just fold flat and stay nearly invisible along the rear edge of the keyboard. In this form, the Ultrathin just looks like a Bluetooth keyboard with a built-in stand.
Once you’re ready to go, you’ll pick up the iPad, slide the left side of the tablet towards the rear of the keyboard, and the hinge will simply pop right out of the casing and latch onto the iPad. The only caveat is that you’ve got to be more precise with an Ultrathin than with a Smart Cover, and the magnets won’t necessarily auto-align perfectly with the iPad. In nine out of ten instances, this isn’t a problem, but every once in a while the iPad doesn’t align quite properly.
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This has been the strangest year yet for me when it comes to the launch of new iPad models. I’ve been under the weather for the last week is my only excuse. I didn’t manage to keep track of exactly when the new iPad Air 2 would be available in Apple retail stores – I kept only seeing details for pre-orders online and store pickup for those who went that rote.
I’ve never been a fan of doing the pre-order routine. I’m lucky enough to have a very nice Apple Store a 10 minute drive from my house, so I have always chosen to go line up (in the years when you needed to) or just get to that store early on launch day morning. It seems less stressful to me that way – no constantly checking package tracking status or watching out the window for Fedex or UPS.
Well, this week I was apparently off kilter enough to not even take notice when the new iPads became available in stores – and didn’t realize they were until I got a promo email from Apple. Then I ordered one for local store pickup right away with the Apple Store app.
Anyway, long story short, I acquired the new iPad Air 2 last night – a 64GB Space Gray WiFi + Cellular model.
Even though I’m still not feeling all the way back to normal, I’ve had time to get the new iPad Air 2 setup and give it a bit of use. It’s the first time I’ve used a full-size iPad in a few years – and I’m enjoying it.
Hope you’re all enjoying your new (and old) iPads this weekend too.
Nexstar, iPad, Apple TV and Coaches Eye used to coach swimming.
We use iPads a lot in the school I teach in. In fact, we have issued one to each member of staff and each student. iPads are amazingly useful in the classroom in a variety of different ways, and certainly one of the best features is the camera. Back in the day, you’d have to book a video camera, film what you wanted, download the file, and hope that it was compatible with your creaky PC video editing software. Now, students can just shoot, edit and they are done all on one device. We use iPad in sports coaching in school and while it works great, it relies on either a student holding the iPad still, or the coach filming, rather than coaching. The Nexstar Training system offers a custom made solution to this issue, and it has certainly been thought about with sports training specifically in mind. [click to continue reading…]