Category Archives: Cool Things

How to turn your iPad into a MacBook

IMG_0566After the recent WWDC, Apple made it much easier to teach its programming language, Swift, in schools. In iOS9, you can run apps created in Swift on an iPad without the need for a virtual machine which means students can test, change a bit and test again with ease. They’ve also released some great looking iTunes U courses to help you learn. I look after the 1:1 iPad program in my school and I’d really like to take advantage of this for my students. The problem is I need to learn how to program in Swift and to do this I need a MacBook. Unfortunately I don’t have a MacBook. Everywhere I look, other teachers, students, everyone seems to have one of those sleek looking MacBooks, but I don’t. As I wipe my tears away at the prospect of all of my money going on nappies for the newest member of the Potter family and not a new MacBook, I turn my attention to making one from what I already have. Here is what I came up with. Continue reading

Share This:

Will iOS 9 finally introduce split-screen multi-tasking on the iPad?

iPad-multi-tasking-split-screen

One of the most sought after “missing” features on the iPad platform has been the ability ti use split-screen multi-tasking.  Other competing tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and the Surface Pro 3 have already successfully offered this feature.  One could argue whether the implementation is on point–but nonetheless, it’s an option that the iPad doesn’t offer.  This summer, however, that may all finally change if you believe what M. Gurman from 9to5Mac is reporting.  Gurman says that Apple is set to debut a variation of multi-tasking as early as WWDC next month.  He goes on to report  that they were working toward a release last summer with iOS 8, but ended up putting it on the back-burner while they diverted resources to complete work on the Apple Watch, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Gurman also reports that multi-tasking should be available for iPads running iOS 9, but that the feature was ultimately intended for the new, larger sized iPad Pro.  It is believed that apps that support the feature will divide the screen real-estate into  variations of 1/2, 1/3 or 2/3 views depending on which apps you may be using at the time.  In addition, Apple has designed the screen-sharing to work with two separate apps or the same app displaying multiple views side by side.

Continue reading

Share This:

Learning with the iPad

Everything-changes-with-iPadimages: Apple

Last week Apple released a video highlighting the versatility of the iPad under the umbrella title; Everything Changes with iPad.

iPad can change the way you do things every day. Take on a new project, pick up a new skill, or start a new hobby. We put together some of our favorite apps and ideas to help you get started.

There were six sections in all, and they covered topics from cooking to small business–traveling to learning, and even redecorating.  Each section covered one main topic and explored how using apps, accessories and tips & tricks geared toward those topics can enhance the lives of those who use their iPads in these creative ways.  With bright, colorful images and recommended apps with links to download them directly from the App Store, Apple showcased what they do best–present solutions and suggestions to real problems and questions people ask everyday.

Cooking-with-iPad-apps

Continue reading

Share This:

iPad Magician Wows on the Ellen Show

iPad magician Simon Pierro managed to wow Ellen and her audience with a quick series of magic tricks involving the iPad.

I’m sure Penn and Teller and other magician types can probably explain how these are done, but they sure look impressive – and that last one with the audience selfie is amazing.

Share This:

iPad Smart Covers Doing Work in London Apple Store

iPad Smart Covers are grabbing attention at the flagship Regent Street Apple Store in London – as they’re automatically opening and closing in a prominent window display. I guess that’s as good a way as any to put an iPad accessory to work selling the tablet itself – and apparently it’s working well and drawing questions from curious passers by.

This also reminds me that I haven’t used a smart cover yet with my iPad Air 2; I might need to remedy that.

Share This:

(Very) Cool Things: Don’t Fear the Reaper Played All on an iPad

Now this is one hell of a great ‘iPad version’ of a classic rock track. It’s Blue Oyster Cult’s ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ and everything hear on the song was created entirely on an iPad.

Love the effort and love the short, sweet description of it by its creator, YouTube member samuraiguitarist:

Everything you hear was created on an iPad, I hope there’s enough cowbell for you!

Share This:

Cool iOS Detail: Swipe Right To Preview More While Searching Photos

iOS 8 search in photos app

Here’s a little Photos app detail that I hadn’t noticed until I’d loaded my iPad with enough photos that I actually *had* to use the search function to find what I was looking for. When you search for a set of photos — by describing an album name, place, or date — the Photos app will show a single thumbnail to represent each search result it displays. Tapping on a single set of search results will load up a filtered view that shows only the relevant pictures. However, if you swipe right on the search results, you’ll see that you can actually “peek” into more of the results without having to tap on any of them. It’s a nice easy way to quickly sample more of the results without having to reset your search.

This isn’t any sort of game-changing feature, and I actually think it’s more useful on the iPhone with its limited screen real estate, but it’s a great example of the delightful little details that Apple includes in iOS. I like that some things are included not because they add incredible utility, but simply because they’re plain fun to discover and use.

Share This:

New iPad TV Ad – Jason’s Verse

This is my favorite iPad ‘Your Verse’ ad so far.

Jason Hall inspires thousands of people to witness the revitalization of Detroit from two wheels. As the cofounder of the Slow Roll city bike ride, Hall taps into his community spirit and his iPad to turn an idea into a movement.

Cool idea, cool ad.

Share This:

Quick Look: Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

The Belkin WeMo Insight isn’t an iPad-specific accessory — its companion app is really designed for the iPhone — but I’ve been using it across both of my iOS devices anyway. The WeMo Insight is part of Belkin’s WeMo suite of home automation accessories, and the Insight works like an AC adapter that allows you to wirelessly switch an attached device on or off.

The Insight does this by logging onto my local Wi-Fi network and cutting or providing power based on incoming network signals. This allows me to control power to a single piece of equipment — be it a lamp, coffee maker, or space heater — with a single tap inside of the WeMo app. That’s already pretty cool, but Belkin went a step further and added support for IFTTT and a set of timed triggers.

Continue reading

Share This:

Cool Things: Evernote Business Notebook by Moleskine

This Evernote Business Notebook by Moleskine really looks impressive, from the concept through to the slick set of features. It’s not for me because after years of pounding away on mobile and full-sized keyboards my handwriting is shockingly terrible and all but unreadable. For anyone with even barely legible handwriting this might be well worth a look.

Share This:

Cool Things: ZEN 3-in-1 Stylus / Pen

Zen Three in One

I’ve tried out a good number of styluses for the iPad over the last few years – and they were good, bad, and mediocre. I’ve yet to find one that I continued using for more than just a brief tryout period and it’s been a long while since I felt excited about a stylus.

The ZEN 3 in 1 looks like it might be worth getting a little excited about. It’s a Kickstarter project that was successfully funded a couple days ago and more than doubled its funding target. It looks to be priced very competitively, starting at around $40 MSRP when it comes to market.

I’m far (far!) from an expert on the design and production of styluses, but the details on the ZEN 3 in 1’s Kickstarter page still strike me as impressive. The makers of it have been kind enough to offer me a review unit – so I’ll soon get a chance to see if it’s as good as it looks.

You can see check out all the technical details and watch a video demo at the ZEN 3 in 1 Kickstarter page.

Share This: