The upcoming Phorm iPad case is touting the ability to add tactile typing to the iPad on-screen keyboard experience – as shown in the video above. It’s said to take typing on the on-screen keyboard to another level, and it does look quite impressive.
It’s got a few notable limitations though – it will only fit the iPad mini initially, and it’s only designed to support the built-in Apple keyboard (not the new 3rd party keyboards allowed in iOS 8).
The company behind Phorm is Tactus. They’re set to release the product this summer and pre-orders are available now at GetPhorm.com
Remember that ZAGG InvisibleShield Glass protector I wrote about in December? Well, I finally decided to take it off my iPad Air 2 yesterday. I initially bought the shield for the extra scratch protection it could provide — the idea being that ZAGG’s tempered glass might be harder than the glass that Apple uses. This certainly seemed true for scratches, because after a month of abuse, the face of the shield still seemed flawless. However, the same couldn’t be said of the side, which looked like it had been chipped a bit; that part surprised me because I have never dropped this Air 2.
But it wasn’t this minor cosmetic damage that sealed the deal for me. It was the way the shield seemed to work against the design of the Air 2. The extra glass definitely increased the amount of glare, which took away from the crisp right-at-the-surface effect of the iPad’s laminated display. Then there was the negative effect the thicker glass had on TouchID. My theory is that the slight increase in distance between my thumb and the TouchID sensor decreased reading accuracy, so I was getting a lot more failures with the ZAGG shield on than I did without it. Taking it off has been a breath of fresh air, and the sensor is now back to being extremely reliable (much more so than on my iPhone 5S). I had a few commenters back in my December post that called me out on this issue, but after a month of use, I know that this protector did affect TouchID experience.
I plan to keep the Glass around in a drawer in case I send it in for replacement, but I likely won’t install it again; I now know definitively that I prefer the naked iPad screen.
Apple Store in San Francisco, via Harry McCracken.
This is a very nice move by Apple Retail – showcasing laptop style keyboards for the iPad. As Apple Insider reports, tech journalist Harry McCracken spotted this display at a San Francisco Apple store recently, and I think it looks great. And it’s an excellent idea to show off what’s available for the iPad in this area.
Also, it’s particularly good to see this now, while we’re bombarded with TV ads for the Microsoft Surface Pro line of ‘tablets that can replace your laptop’. I’m so, so sick of those ads – and their way overblown claims about the Surface and the bashing of either the iPad or MacBooks in most of them.
Those ads pitch the Surface’s keyboard as some sort of miraculous new innovation for tablets, when the fact is there’s been a huge range of high quality 3rd party keyboard options for the iPad for years now – including some stellar ones that attach as a case. Nearly all of them costs less than the $130 Surface keyboard, which does not come free with the $1,000+ Surface devices.
It’s also good to see this in Apple stores just to raise general user awareness of these keyboard options for the iPad. I need to go take a look at my local Apple store and see which manufacturers’ keyboards are being featured. I hope and expect to see Logitech and ZAGG among them.
After several posts discussing my continued curiousity in the Pencil stylus, I decided to just put my money where my mouth was and buy the darn thing for $50 USD during the Black Friday sale. I bought the Walnut version so that it sticks to my iPad’s Smart Cover, and also because I find it a little smarter looking.
I’ll definitely be testing it out over the next week or two, so stay tuned for a review. I’m a really big fan of the Paper app and I can’t wait to combine it with Pencil for a more natural drawing (and erasing) experience. After my recent disappointing experience with Penultimate and the Jot Script, I’m hoping the Pencil has what it takes to make drawing and sketching on my iPad more fun.
Given that software keyboards are still buggy as hell, I’ve really had the chance to put the Logitech Ultrathin to use full time, and the conclusion in my iPad Ultrathin review still holds true for me.
The battery has never died on me, and I only remember having charged it once in the last eight weeks. The rubber feet are still sticking nicely to the bottom of the case, which is a good sign of overall durability. There’s really no downside to using this particular case with my Air 2, even though it’s technically designed for the original iPad Air. Most of all, the keys are still a delight to use. They’re springy, responsive, and very comfortable in continued use.
The only thing I still want changed at this point would be a sort of auto-wake switch in the form of a pressure sensor or a magnet. Credit really goes to Belkin for inclusion of that feature in many of their keyboard cases, and it has me hooked. Undocking the iPad from the keyboard and having Bluetooth automatically disconnect just feels like magic. It’s a great piece of smart design that makes the keyboard work for me, instead of forcing me to conform to the keyboard. If Logitech could add that feature to the next version of the Ultrathin, I think this would be a real 10/10 design.