Here’s a really cool accessory I read about on Tools and Toys: the Kingston MobileLite Wireless Flash Reader. The iPad lacks any sort of expandable storage, but the MobileLite allows you to work around this by pairing with over Wi-Fi. Once paired, you can use the MobileLite’s USB port or card reader to access files on your SD cards, USB sticks, or external USB hard drives. I like the choice of going with Wi-Fi over Bluetooth, since the connection speeds are much faster over Wi-Fi.
Not only is this a great way to shunt extra movies or pictures from the iPad to an SD card, but it’s also an interesting way to get local files from a USB drive onto the iPad itself (where you can then open them in an app like Word for iPad). I also really like that this is an accessory that works with the storage devices you likely already own, instead of being a locked-in, proprietary storage unit + case.
The MobileLite accessory also features a little battery for extra charging, but that feature is probably really meant for iPhones. If you’re interested, you can find the MobileLite for $40 on Amazon.com (or NCIX.com for Canucks).
I’ve written about the Pencil stylus before, and it still seems really, really cool. Not only is it custom-built for one of my favourite drawing apps, Paper, but it recently expanded its support with a FiftyThree SDK. That means you can now use the Pencil with other awesome apps, like Noteshelf (for notes and diagrams) and Procreate (for sketches and paintings, with layer support),
The only thing keeping me from buying a Walnut Pencil (which will stick to my Smart Cover) are tales of the rubber tips breaking within the first weeks of use. There are enough negative Amazon reviews centered around the rubber tips that it does seem like a real product flaw, as opposed to a few outliers who happened to get bad Pencils. I realize that you can purchase more rubber tips for the stylus, but I’d prefer not to have to do that. I’ve tried to reach FiftyThree to get some answers, but I haven’t heard anything back from them thus far.
If any iPad Insight readers have any feedback to share, please do hit us up in the comments. I’m really eager to see if this is an actual issue, or whether I should take my chances and hope FiftyThree honour their 30-day guarantee.
I’ve taken to tying my Lightning cable up before putting it in my bag, but what I really should invest in is a retractable Lightning cable like this one from Scosche (which I read about on Tools and Toys).
I’ve purchased a few retractable 30-pin cables for myself from various sources over the years, and paying for quality in a cable does seem to make a difference. The cheap $3–5 cables I’ve bought from places like Monoprice or USBFever.com do work, but they just don’t have nearly the same level of click and polish. The default price is $25, but you can get it for as little as $15 on Amazon depending on the sale.
I’d also note that I think these retractable cables are plain superior to having a long Lightning cable in your bag. You save space, save any hassle of tangles, and the cables usually extend far enough for me to use wall chargers and laptop USB ports without any issue.
My boss recently got our entire team a set of Evernote Moleskine notebooks to enhance our note-taking and info sharing practices. I’m not usually one for carrying paper around because I prefer to keep my notes digital (and therefore searchable), but now that I’m handling larger projects, I’m finding a hybrid system of typed notes and handwritten diagrams also works really well. After years and years of using exclusively digital notes, I’m ready to give analog tech a try.
That’s why I find the Booqpad for iPad Air, a folio hybrid that includes a 50-page pad of paper, such an interesting product. I reviewed the first version of the Booqpad years ago, but I didn’t really like it because it was missing any ability to position the iPad in different viewing modes. The Booqpad for iPad Air takes a much more modular approach. The Air is placed in a plastic back cover, which adds protection and a set of magnets that can cling to the rest of the case. The folio portion of the case is completely detachable, right down to the 50-page pad of paper. This gives you the flexibility of being able to carry around an iPad and paper pad around in one package, while still allowing you to lift the iPad right off the table, as if it were a standalone device.
The Booqpad for iPad Air looks like a really sleek and clever take on an iPad folio, and it doesn’t break the bank either. It’s $60 up front, and $10 for a 3-pack of paper refills.
This week ZAGG has announced the new ZAGG Rugged Folio – a rugged and durable iPad keyboard case. ZAGG are a leading maker of iPad keyboard cases and a number of other popular iOS and mobile accessories. Their iPad keyboard cases are among the best I’ve ever used and the keyboards on those cases are always especially good.
The new Rugged Folio looks and sounds quite promising for those who need this sort of durable keyboard case in their work environment. Here’s a little of ZAGG’s intro for the Rugged Folio:
The ZAGG Rugged Folio wireless Bluetooth® keyboard features a tough polycarbonate shell and soft silicone interior that deliver unmatched protection. A unique, magnetic hinge secures the iPad at virtually any angle and converts into multi-function modes, while a lithium polymer battery provides up to two years of typing between charges.
[click to continue reading…]