Review: Pad & Quill Contega Thin

Pad & Quill Contega Thin_2

The $90 Pad & Quill Contega Thin is similar to the Contega Linen, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. It shares the same Moleskine-style elastic band for closing the cover, and the exterior is still wrapped in durable linen. It’s still a great case for adding scratch and drop protection, without sacrificing on class. Adding a Contega to your iPad Pro is like dressing it up in a sports jacket with cleverly hidden elbow pads beneath.

But the Contega Thin makes a different set of concessions in its design than the thicker Contega Linen. Instead of housing the iPad Pro in a gorgeous wooden frame, the Contega Thin uses a removable 3M adhesive to bind the iPad to the case. This makes the install a little tougher initially because you need to be more careful about how you line the iPad with the adhesive. Thankfully, the 3M sticker is both strong and forgiving — meaning that it can stand repeated installs. Once the iPad is set, you’ll completely forget your gigantic tablet is tethered to the case by a thin layer of adhesive. Your iPad Pro will not be falling out.

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9.7″ iPad Pro First Impressions

iPad Pro

This weekend I was finally able to update my iPad to a brand new 9.7″ iPad Pro.  I had been wanting to upgrade for a couple of years.  However, between my 15″ rMBP and my iPhone 6s Plus, I had been able to limp along using my iPad 3 since I acquired it in April of 2012. When the iPad 3 was first introduced along side iOS 5.1 it was the first version in the iPad family to utilize a retina screen.  Originally marketed as “the new iPad” owners like myself soon discovered that the new A5X chip was not adequate to move pixels around the screen without slowing the device down considerably.  In addition, this thicker iPad would run much hotter than its predecessor–an issue that was even harder to manage if you chose to put your iPad in a case.  Needless to say, this is a big jump for me, so keep that in mind when I seem extra excited about features that many iPad owners have had at their disposal for a couple of years.

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Deals: G Cloud Unlimited Backup: 5-Yr Subscription at 93% off

G Cloud Unlimited Backup

Today’s featured deal is especially useful for anyone looking for a safe, reliable and easy way to back-up all your devices.  Now with one account you can restore all your files from Amazon’s secure AWS Cloud.  Switching devices due to it being lost or stolen, or just simply restoring back to a previous state has never been easier.  Now, for a limited time you can purchase the G Cloud Unlimited Backup, 5-Yr Subscription at an incredible savings of 93% off! It’s a great deal that will run you only $29.99 – instead of its standard price of $480.  Here’s some info about the G Cloud Backup Subscription and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

With G Cloud, it only takes one tap to restore all of your phone’s data in the case that it’s lost or stolen. Use the intuitive Apple and Android apps to select what you wish to protect, and G Cloud will store all your files on the secure and reliable Amazon AWS Cloud. With one account to back up all your devices, your data will be safe across the board.

  • Back up anything you store on your phone
  • View all of your messages, photos, contacts, etc. online from your G Cloud account
  • Organize your photos & videos in the intuitive timeline interface
  • Locate your phone in case it’s lost or stolen
  • Keep your data safe w/ Amazon AWS Cloud’s military-grade 256-AES encryption
  • Easily switch to a new phone w/ one-tap restore

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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With macOS Sierra you can access your Mac desktop from your iPad


For some time now, we’ve been able to access our documents that were synced between all of our Apple devices over iCloud Drive. These documents included, but were not limited to, native Apple apps like Pages, Numbers & Keynote, as well as third party apps like iA Writer and PDF Expert. Now with macOS Sierra, currently only available in beta, you have access to your iCloud Desktop and Documents. This way, all of your iCloud sync files you save to specific directories will also be available.

With macOS Sierra you have access to the one area that we typically store files–especially those that we may be currently working on and would need the most. Sierra will keep all of the files that appear on your desktop synched across all your Macs, and by extension, your iPhone and iPad as well. This happens seamlessly in the background every time you save your file or image and leave it on the desktop. Files can be in folders, subfolders or out in the open–it doesn’t matter. This also extends to your documents folder which also falls under the iCloud tab in your Finder side-bar. You will have the same seamless synching, making your documents accessible form iCloud Drive,, and even on the iCloud app on Windows computers.

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Thoughts On The iPad & iOS 10 

It’s been over a week since the announcement of iOS 10, and I remember feeling a little disappointed in the lack of iPad-specific features they announced. The only obvious iPad-specific features we know of so far are:

  • Three-panel views in Mail and Notes (not bad…)
  • Side by side windows in Safari (yes!)
  • Music now works in Split View (about darn time)

Given that this is Apple’s major release for the year, that just doesn’t seem like a lot of iPad love when you compare it to last year’s iOS 9 announcement, where “iPad Experience” was one of the highlights of the release. This is especially true if iOS 9 encouraged you to invest in an iPad Pro, in the hopes that the specialized hardware was a sign that Apple would be taking the tablet even more seriously as a computing platform going forward.

When you think and write about this stuff on a weekly basis, it’s easy to set yourself up for disappointment. “If Apple doesn’t release X, I’m going to be disappointed” is an easy trap to fall into…and there are only so many times that you can use “there’s always next year” as a conclusion.

But after spending the last week on the beta and also reading a MacRumors forum posts about iOS 10-specific features, I find myself surprised at how capable the iPad Pro has become as a day-to-day computer. I’m still not totally happy with how it manages and edits photos, but iOS 10 has addressed so many small things that were bugging me about the iPad experience.
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Deals: Armour Charge Steel iOS Charging Cable at 28% off

Armour Charge Steel iOS Charging Cable

Today’s featured deal is especially useful for anyone looking for a durable, well-made charging cable that looks as good as the electronic devices its charging.  For a limited time you can purchase a Armour Charge Steel iOS Charging Cable at a savings of 28% off! It’s a great deal that will run you only $24.95 – instead of its standard price of $35.  Here’s some info about the Armour charging cable and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

How many iPhone chargers have you had to replace due to fraying or ripping? Think it might be worth it to invest in a tougher cord? We definitely do, which is why we’re offering a great deal on the MFi-certified Armour Charge stainless steel cord with USB and iOS Lightning hook-ups. Connect to your computer or a wall charger and never worry about ripping a cord again.

  • 100% stainless steel-woven cable
  • Detailed aluminum housings & stainless steel cabling make for a durable & tough cord
  • Equipped w/ USB 2.0 & Lightning hook-ups

This is for the 1 Meter Armour Charge Steel Charging Cable.  2 Meter cable available, too.

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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Photos on iOS 10

Photos on iOS 10 has taken a few big leaps in terms of the viewing experience. The big takeaway from the keynote is that we all take a lot of pictures, and now iOS 10 is doing more to help you automatically organize them into meaningful Memories and related events. As someone who has spent days organizing albums and tagging faces on my Mac, this is a pretty exciting prospect.

I previously used a number of workarounds to get Faces to be recognized on my iPad Pro. Photos on macOS has always been able to recognize faces and tag photos with keywords, and although it wasn’t made very obvious, those keywords do sync to iOS. So I spent a good long while making sure I had key people tagged on Photos so that I could search for them on iOS.

But with iOS 10, that extra tagging is no longer required. I left my iPad Pro on overnight so that it could search my 13,000 photos for faces, and they’re all organized in a special Faces album. iOS did a pretty good job of putting all the right faces together, but there doesn’t seem to be an easy way of rejecting a photo that isn’t that person. Syncing Faces between iPad and iPhone doesn’t seem to work quite yet. I know that Apple made a big deal about privacy and showing that the calculations are done on-device, but I’m assuming that these Faces will eventually sync over.
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How to back up your iPad using iCloud or iTunes


Backing up your iPad is the most important habit you should try to keep with regard to routine maintenance of your device.  It’s the first step in your line of defense before ever attempting any trouble-shooting measures.  Furthermore, it is a prudent operation you should take prior to updating to a different device. By backing up your iPad you instantly have a fail-safe to fall back on in the unlikely event that your iPad is lost, stolen, or has to be replaced for other various reasons.  With back-ups you have a snapshot of the information on your device that makes it possible for you to transfer your data to another iPad.

So this then begs the question–how do you back-up your iPad, and which method will work best for you?  Not all back-up are created equal, so it’s important to know the differences between the two methods.

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Thoughts on Budgeting for App Store Subscriptions

Wow. Some really big news about App Store changes dropped today. The best write ups are actually on The Verge and Daring Fireball. They’re great reads, but the super summarized news is this:

  • Subscriptions are opening up for all classes of apps
  • The App Store is getting paid search: only on the search page, and only for apps relevant to the search
  • App Store review times are down to two days or less 

All of these things are worth talking about, but it’s the subscription news that I’d like to focus on most. I’m of two minds about this: on the one hand, I’m really glad to see this move towards long-term sustainability on the App Store, but I’m also concerned about how I’ll account for these expenditures. I use and test a lot of apps: so in this new vision of the App Store, how many things will I end up subscribing to?

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Deals: Hotspot Shield Elite VPN: Lifetime Subscription at 59% off


Today’s featured deal is especially useful for anyone who is concerned with their data being vulnerable to cyber attacks. With encrypted data that is secured on a private network the Hotspot Shield Elite VPN will keep you safe from hackers–especially while browsing on public Wi-Fi. Now, for a limited time you can purchase a lifetime subscription for the Hotspot Shield Elite VPN at a savings of 59% off! It’s a awesome deal that will run you only $39.99 – instead of its standard price of $100.  Here’s some info about the Hotspot Shield and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

When you browse the Internet, you’re leaving behind a trail of personal data that can make you vulnerable to cyber attacks. With Hotspot Shield, you’ll dramatically reduce that probability as all of your data is encrypted and secured on a private network. With Hotspot Shield Elite, you’ll be able to hide your data from hackers and safely browse on public Wi-Fi, while still maintaining fast Internet speeds.

  • Browse anonymously w/ movile or desktop devices on public hotspots w/ just one-click
  • Bypass Internet censorship to access geographically blocked content
  • Connect to any of 20 virtual locations in the USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, China, India & Germany
  • Get complete Wi-Fi security to protect your identity, location & IP address
  • Avoid hackers, government agencies, identity thieves & more
  • Receive complete cloud-based malware protection
  • Know when you’ve landed on a known or suspected malicious or phishing website via AnchorFree’s database of more than 3.5 million malicious sites

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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How to manage accessibility features on your iPad


Accessibility features on iOS are available to any user from the moment you buy your iPad or iPhone.  Simply turn on your device and there are built in gestures that are immediately available to you.  These can be invoked by either (triple) clicking the home button (to turn on VoiceOver) or via simple swipe gestures (double-tap the screen with three fingers to turn zoom off and on).

You can manage a variety of accessibility features on your iPad.  To get started and see which features met you needs and are accessible to you, open the Settings App–> General–> Accessibility.  Here you will find numerous options separated out by feature set.

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