Category Archives: iPad 2

My New iPad 2 Smart Cover


That’s my lovely new iPad 2 Smart Cover up above. It’s one of the newly added dark gray polyurethane models.

I’d been wanting to try out one of the polyurethane models for quite a while, as I’ve only ever used the leather one I bought on iPad 2 launch day.

I took the new smart cover out of its box two minutes ago, and figured I should grab a photo of it while it as clean as it will ever be. So far I quite like the dark gray – though it’s too soon to make any comparisons on using the polyurethane as opposed to the leather one of course.

If I spot any interesting differences in using this new model I’ll be sure to share some thoughts on them here.

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iPad 2 Has Smart Cover Passcode Bypass Vulnerability


A new security vulnerability on the iPad 2 allows anyone with a Smart Cover to bypass passcode lock security on an iPad 2 running iOS 5 (and possibly on older firmware as well).

My colleague Joe over at iSource reported on this last night and I have tested it out and confirmed the hack works just as described – like so:

  • Take a locked, passcode-protected iPad, and wake it up, but do not enter a passcode
  • Hold the power button until the “Swipe to turn off” button appears.
  • Close the Smart Cover (or use a magnet)
  • Open the Smart Cover
  • Hit “Cancel” at the bottom of the screen (to cancel the shutdown)

This will leave you wherever the iPad 2 was prior to being locked. So if you were last in the Mail app, someone using this hack would be left staring at your Inbox and able to use it (though they will not be able to switch to any other apps).  If you were last at the home screen, an attacker would be able to see your installed apps but not launch them.

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Griffin Offers TechSafe iPad 2 Case with Cable Lock System


Griffin has released their new TechSafe Case for the iPad 2 this week. It’s actually a case plus a lock-down system intended to keep your iPad 2 secure while you’re on the go.

The case itself is said to be a good, protective one and also offers this handy extra functionality:

… the TechSafe Case locks around your iPad and provides a secure anchor point for the included 4-digit combination-lock security cable. Key in the code, press the lock’s plunger, and it instantly releases tablet and case for carrying; it’s the perfect balance of security and convenience. Griffin provides online storage for your unique 4-digit combination-lock code. Store your code, accessible only by you, at, and retrieve it anytime.

The TechSafe goes for $79 and is available to order now at Griffin’s product page for it

I’m not sure a lot of home users are going to want or need this level of protection, but it may have good potential with companies deploying iPads. What do you all think? Does your iPad need this sort of protection?

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New Gelaskin Companion for My iPad 2 Smart Cover


So my iPad 2 and its lovely smart cover have a new companion. A new ultra-light Gelaskin for the back of the iPad 2. It’s called Cable Cranes and the artwork is by Nanami Cowdroy.

It’s funny – my writing colleague and friend Thomas Wong got this gelaskin months ago and I thought it looked a bit too busy for my taste when I first saw it. But it has grown on me, so after my recent removal of a ZAGG leatherskin from the iPad 2 and an attempt at re-applying my first Gelaskin (Vintage Dr. Gonzo) I decided to order it. My re-application went pretty well by the way, but it had a couple little bits at the top that just wouldn’t stay on firmly anymore.

I received the new Gelaskin today and took about 15 minutes removing the previous one (which left the iPad 2 spotless and unscathed) and putting the new one on. I’m not at all sure why, but my best ever application of a Gelaskin was my first ever time doing it. After that, I’ve been a bit of a one-hit wonder, never quite churning out another pop hit near-perfect install.

Today’s effort was OK – it hugs all the ports and buttons very nicely, but I got some little creases in a few places. They’re all totally my fault from moving just a bit too quick, but I’m content with the result for now. Oh, and I love the way this skin looks and of course the way it keeps the iPad 2’s wonderful lightness.

You can check out the Cable Cranes iPad 2 Gelaskin ($29.95) and all their other groovy designs here:

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ClamCase The Trooper iPad 2 Keyboard Case – First Impressions

ClamCase The Trooper iPad 2 keyboard case

The Trooper – the latest limited edition iPad 2 Keyboard Case from ClamCase – has got some rave reviews  as one of the iPad keyboard cases on the market.

I just got mine a few days ago, but I thought I’d share some early notes and impressions on it. Here they are in no particular order, sort of a stream of consciousness while getting to know it:

— It feels much lighter than I expected this type of accessory to feel. That’s mostly a good thing, although it also makes it feel a little less solid than I expected, including at times when typing (it feels a little wobbly).

— It doesn’t feel terribly ‘Apple-like’ to me initially – not elegant at all in its look and feel.

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Review: mophie workbook iPad 2 Case

mophie workbook iPad 2 case

The mophie workbook is a ‘protective smartcase’ for the iPad 2. Made by mophie – who I’ve known best for their excellent line of Juice Pack Air rechargeable battery cases for the iPhone.

Although my favorite ‘outfit’ for the iPad 2 is the Apple smart cover and a slim skin on the back, I also like to have at least a couple of good options around for a full-protection case for my iPad 2.

This mophie case seemed a good candidate for the full-protection case role, and I’ve been trying one out for the past several weeks.

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Carbon Fiber iPad 2 Skins Look Good


As I’ve talked about a lot here recently, my favorite ‘outfit’ for the iPad 2 is the Apple Smart Cover and a skin for the back. My favorites so far have been a gelaskin and the ZAGG LEATHERskin for iPad 2.

I have to say these Carbon Fiber Skins for the iPad 2 from BelchCo (shown above) look very good to me too.

Here’s the brief intro on them from their BelchCo page:

BelchCo Carbon Fiber Skins for the iPad 2 are a perfect compliment to the New Apple iPad 2. These carbon fiber skins are beautiful, durable and ultrathin. Made out of the highest quality carbon fiber 3M DI-NOC vinyl and cut entirely in the USA, your Belch Co carbon fiber skins will not disappoint.

They come in black and white, and with or without the Apple logo cutout – and they’re priced at an attractive $18.99 for the back skin only. I’ve got a review sample on the way, so I’ll have more thoughts soon.

In the meantime, you can see more details and place an order at their product page here:

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Removing Photos on iPad To Gain Back Some Free Space


I’ve got a 64GB iPad 2. That’s tons of storage space for a tablet device – but for a number of reasons, I’ve been filling that space up more quickly than I had imagined I would. Earlier this weekend I was down to 15GB free on the iPad 2.

So I decided to make a start on some iPad ‘housekeeping’ to free up a bit more space. My first target was Photos on the iPad 2. Yesterday I had over 5,500 photos on the iPad 2, occupying 5.5GB of space. Although it’s lovely having lots of family photos on the iPad to enjoy via the digital picture frame on the iPad’s lock screen, 5,000 is just too many to have on the device – especially when a lot of them are screenshots and photos from past reviews.

My plan is to look through the photos properly at some point, weed out the tons of old review shots, and return some slimmed down family photo albums to the iPad 2. Here’s how I went about reducing the number of photos on the iPad 2 from 5,500 to just 62 last night:

— First I selected a small number of photos I wanted to be able to put right back on the iPad 2 – a few funny pics of my big Labrador, some wallpapers I like, and mostly screenshots for upcoming reviews. I uploaded these to a Dropbox folder, and then copied them to a new folder  in the /Pictures folder on my MacBook Pro. The reason for creating the folder there is that I absolutely hate iPhoto – so I will instead sync photos in iTunes via the /Pictures folder (which is located under your user folder on the Mac).

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Latest iPad 2 TV Ad – ‘We’ll Always’

Another very good iPad 2 TV ad, the third in the excellent new series with Peter Coyote providing the voiceover.

As ever, the ad shows off the iPad 2, and some great apps for it, beautifully.

You can check out all three iPad 2 ads at Apple’s page for it here:

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Review: Zagg LEATHERskins for the iPad 2


As I’ve mentioned many times here, I’m a huge fan of the iPad 2 Smart Cover. It’s nearly never off my iPad 2. So I’ve been trying out a number of back cover cases that are compatible with the iPad, and screen protectors and gelaskins for the iPad 2’s back cover

Until recently I found the gelaskin to be my ideal partner for the iPad 2 and its smart cover; and that is certainly still an excellent option for me – but ZAGG LEATHERskins for iPad 2 have proved to be another top favorite for me.  I’ve been using a ZAGG LEATHERskin for iPad 2 for a couple of weeks now and I’m impressed and happy with the skin.

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Review: ReAuthored iPad Book Case


I’ve seen and used a number of good iPad and iPad 2 cases. Some are slim and sleek, some are a little less so but offer strong, full protection. What I hadn’t yet seen prior to this week is an iPad case that is 100% unique, a one of a kind like the iPad Book Case I received from the kind folks at ReAuthored.

It’s called a Book Case, and is a real one-of-a-kind case, because it is actually a genuine recycled book. Mine is portfolio of cartoons from the Wall Street Journal published in 1972. These cases are also custom, handcrafted efforts made here in the USA – another nice attribute right off the bat. I’ve been using mine with my iPad 2 all week and of course I’ve got some thoughts and photos to share …

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