The iPhone 6 Plus As An iPad Alternative

iPhone 6 Plus

Right now my iPhone is charging on my dock, and my iPad Air is beside it, charging on the desk. That’s two devices, two chargers, two Lightning cables, and two AC slots taken up. I also tend to upgrade my iPhone and iPad every two years, so I’ll likely be making two large purchases in the Fall of ’15.

It’s this kind of setup that could be simplified by a single mobile device, and that’s why I think the iPhone 6 Plus comes at an interesting time. Despite my initial reaction to the very first Galaxy Note, Phablets are a thing, and there actually might be some great use cases around them.

The 5.5” screen on the 6 Plus isn’t terribly far off from the iPad Mini’s 7.9” screen. For users, like my sister, who really just want to be able to browse enough of the web while away from home, a single device with a very large screen will likely do the trick and keep her happy. I also find it interesting how Apple is blending elements of the iPad and iPhone in the 6 Plus, as shown in the split-screen Mail and iMessage apps. Then there’s the financial fact that one device keeps you on a single easy upgrade cycle: one new phone every two years, and nothing more.

iPhone 6 Plus Mail split screen

As for me, I still like the idea of a larger iPad screen and a more portable and pocketable iPhone. The iPhone is easier and safer to use on public transport, and the iPad is far more fun to write on at cafes. Comics are just legible enough on an iPad mini’s screen, but they’re awesome on an iPad Air. I’m happily going to keep my current combo until next year, but I’m really interested to see how many potential iPad buyers — or even current iPad owners — decide on an iPhone 6 Plus over owning a smartphone and iPad.

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iOS 8 *Does* Allow Paypal as a Payment Method, Even If the App Store Says It Doesn’t

iOS 8 App Store

Last Wednesday night I installed the iOS 8 GM (gold master) build on my testing iPad mini. The GM should be identical or very near identical to the public release of iOS 8 coming this Wednesday. It took a while to get installed due to some issues with iTunes on my iMac, and then once I did I immediatley hit an awkward problem.

When I tried to download a new app in the App Store I was greeted by a message telling me that Paypal was not an accepted payment method on this version of iOS, and recommending that I go to iTunes on a PC in order to rectify the situation.

That sounded like nonsense to me, largely because I’ve seen similar messages stating that Paypal won’t be accepted on the App Store over the years, and they have always turned out to be untrue. So I chose to ignore this one and see what happened after a restart of the iPad and just leaving it alone for a while. I had installed the GM late one evening anyway, so I figured I’d just reboot and see what was up the next day.

And sure enough, the next day everything was fine and back to normal in the App Store on this iPad. I could buy new apps, make In-App purchases, and use the App Store just as I always have – without making any adjustment to Paypal as my payment method.

I don’t know whether this will turn out to be just a little glitch in the GM or whether it’s just Apple continuing to press people to add to the hundreds of millions of credit cards numbers it can throw up on screen in presentations.

In any case, I hope this may help some of you out if you happen to get a warning about Paypal not being accepted on iOS 8.

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iPad Art: Godzilla

Godzilla iPad painting

Another wonderful iPad painting by Rafael Co is our featured iPad artwork today. This one is titled simply ‘Godzilla’ and it’s a great side profile take on the big fella.

I’d even go so far as to say it’s a monstrously good portrait.  I’m a huge fan of Raffy’s always striking and often funny images – and I especially like when he features monsters in his work.

You can see lots more great iPad artwork from Raffy (and monsters galore) at his Rafael Co Flickr stream.

And of course you can enjoy the work of many superb iPad artists at our own iPad Art section.

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Deals: LithiumCard: The Wallet Sized HyperCharging Power Bank

LithiumCard

On this fine fall Saturday, our featured iPad Insight deal is LithiumCard: The Wallet Sized Hyper-Charging Power Bank – on offer at $39.99, which is 27% off its standard price of $55.

This is a credit-card sized and super-slim hyper-charger that’s a far less bulky option for always having some spare battery juicing power around for our iOS devices.

Here’s a little intro to the LithiumCard and some of its top features:

THE THINNEST HYPERCHARGER AROUND

The LithiumCard Portable HyperCharger has all the cables you need, generates the power of a wall charger, and at only 5 credit cards thick it will fit in most wallets with a luxurious billet aluminum housing.

With its HyperCharging technology, the LithiumCard pumps up to 2 amps of power to charge your device FAST, at up to 1% of battery life per minute. 15 minutes of charging equals a 15% increase in battery life. It’s that quick and easy!

The design is beautiful and fits in nearly any wallet, so you can carry it on the go no matter where you are. Plus, the intuitive design features all-inclusive cables which flip out when you need them, giving you a smooth feeling power unit that can be stored and used at a moments notice.

TOP FEATURES
  • HyperCharging capabilities. Up to 2 amps of charging power
  • All inclusive cable design, Flip out the USB charging and lightning cable
  • Simultaneous charging capabilities to charge the LithiumCard and your device if necessary
  • Comes with NanoStik pad to keep the charger stuck to your device if your wallet doesn’t work
  • 1200mAh of capacity
  • Ultra-thin credit card design

You can see lots more detail on it (including a demo video) and place an order at this iPad Insight Deals page.

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Hiding Purchased Music On Your iPad

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John Gruber linked to this awesome MacWorld article that details how to use iTunes to hide the free U2 album on your iOS music app. I actually want to listen to this latest U2 album, but I do want to hide the crappy singles I’ve gotten from Starbucks, so this really came in handy for me. I thought it came to actually deleting the music from my iTunes Match library, but the real trick is heading to the music section of the iTunes Store and then hiding purchased music from there.

I think this also points out how iTunes-reliant music management still is within the Apple ecosystem. If you just want to buy and listen to music or make playlists, it’s definitely easy to use an iPad for all of your music needs. However, there are still quite a number of things that require iTunes on a Mac or PC:

  • setting the volume of an individual song (great for older recordings)
  • adding lyrics to songs
  • telling iOS to skip a song during Shuffle
  • add or change album artwork
  • change any part of the song’s metadata

That said, I don’t really mind having to manage these things from my Mac right now. My laptop still strikes me as the easiest place to manage a large collection of albums, but I wouldn’t mind having the option in future versions of iOS.

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iPads in Education: Why iPad?

There have been lots of interesting stories in the news recently about various iPad deployments in education, some good, some bad. Earlier this year our school made a carefully considered decision to deploy iPads to each student on a one to one basis and we are currently in the second phase of our roll out. This […]

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iPad Art: Don’t Let Go

Today’s featured iPad painting is from a new iPad artist that I hadn’t been aware of before – Indy Sidhu. The painting is titled ‘Don’t Let Go’, and here are the artist’s brief notes on it: Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone in Gravity. Finger/stylus drawing done on the Apple App Store iPad application ‘ProCreate.’ […]

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