Yes, You Do Need Apple’s USB-C to Lightning Cable to Fast Charge an iPad Pro


It was my birthday recently and I asked for one of the most exciting presents that an iPad geek could request: a $49 29-Watt charger. Riveting, I know! When I work with the iPad Pro at my desk for extended sessions, the 12W charger can barely keep up with the iPad as I use it, which means that when I’m low on battery, I just stay low on battery. Laptop and smartphone chargers usually outpace me and provide energy faster than I can use it up, but that hasn’t been the case with the iPad Pro.

This $49 charger was actually designed for the 12-inch MacBook, but Apple also released a USB-C to Lightning cable earlier this year, which allows the 29W charger to work its magic on the larger iPad Pro. Based on Federico Viticci’s intensive fast-charge testing of the iPad Pro, this combo of 29W charger and USB-C to Lightning cable are supposed to cut charging times in half.

However, in an attempt to save a bit of money, I first tried using Apple’s USB-C to USB adapter, which is meant for making the USB-C port on the MacBook available to standard USB accessories. I was hoping that this charger would be smart enough to let an attached Lightning cable send more electricity to my iPad Pro, while still allowing me the flexibility of using my existing set of Lightning cables.

I took two days to test the USB-C to USB adapter and found that it made no difference to charging speed, despite being used with the 29W charger. The staff at the Apple Store weren’t sure about this, but now I am. There might be an inhibitor in the adapter itself that keeps too much electricity from flowing through, or there might be something special about the actual USB-C to Lightning cable that Apple released earlier this year. Either way, in order to take full advantage of fast charging, you really will need to buy the 29W charger and Apple’s 1 m USB-C to Lightning cable, or the more expensive 2 metre version.

I opted for the 2 m version just because I’ll want this able for scenarios where I’m using the iPad Pro just like I would a laptop. I’m sitting and working for a long period of time, and I want the battery to be at 100% when I’m done.

In my tests thus far, it’s taken me about 2 hours to go from 14% to 93%; and that’s while writing on this iPad, uploading 400 pics to Lightroom in Split View, and watching a video in PiP mode for about 20 minutes. I would barely have charged at all if this were the standard 12W charger, and that’s pretty sad.

So on the one hand, I’m pretty happy to have finally bitten the bullet and gotten this 29W + cable combo for fast charging. However, I’ll also admit that Apple has once again suckered me into paying *far* too much for such a basic accessory. Luckily, I’ve been having a really good time working, reading, and surfing on the iPad Pro over the past few months, and so this does feel like a worthwhile investment for my own enjoyment.

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How to enable Safari Split View in iOS 10

Safari-Split-View-on-iPad

At WWDC last month we got our first glimpse of what Apple has planned  for iOS 10 on the iPad.  There will most likely be additional changes and unannounced features saved for when it’s released to the public.  Having said that, the most notable new addition to iOS 10 on the iPad has to be Safari Split View.  Just like its name suggests, Safari Split View lets you have two Safari windows open side-by-side.

It’s very similar to the regular Split View that can be used between two different apps.  However, Safari split-view only lets your open half of the screen.  Both windows have the same ratio that, at the moment, can’t be changed.

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Deals: TextExpander 1-Yr Life Hacker Plan at 60% off

TextExpander: 1-Yr Life Hacker Plan

Today’s featured deal is perfect for anyone who wants to save time, and avoid having to type common words or phrases over and over again.  Now you can take back that valuable time by creating custom shortcuts that are available to you across all your devices because they are synched to the cloud.  For a limited time you can purchase a TextExpander 1-Yr Life Hacker Plan at an amazing savings of 60% off! It’s a great deal that will run you only $19.98 – instead of its standard price of $50.  Here’s some info about Text Expander and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

The harsh reality is you waste time typing the same thing over and over, whether you notice it or not— but that’s where TextExpander comes in. This highly popular app allows you to create custom shortcuts that populate any set of text or images you want to save you the time and effort of typing. Whether it’s HTMLformatting, a salutation, or even a lengthy email, you’ll find minutes and hours freed up. Your powerful collection of snippets is now available everywhere; wherever you are, on any device, and instantly shareable with friends.

“The single best productivity tool for the Mac, right after Quicksilver.” Leo Laporte, host of MacBreak Weekly

  • Use the powerful fill-in-the-blank tool to add custom fields to frequent communications
  • Save snippets in the Cloud, where they’ll be updated across all your devices & accessible any time
  • Build an email signature library
  • Insert the current date & time in any format you prefer
  • Automatically fix the typos you make most
  • Quickly auto fill out forms by storing your address, email, phone, etc.

To purchase a team user license (great for companies!), see drop-down above.

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

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A Word Of Caution Before Moving To Apple Notes

Apple Notes

Evernote announced a price increase last week, and also told the free tier of users that they’d be limited to syncing a maximum of two devices. Plus subscriptions are $35 USD per year, and Premium subscriptions are $70 USD per year. This isn’t a ton of money per month, but it’s enough to make you think about what you could spend that money on instead.

These Evernote pricing changes also come at a time when people are thinking more about subscriptions in general. We don’t know how many apps will adopt it, but the way we pay for software could change a lot starting with iOS 10 and the expansion of subscriptions to a great number of app categories. The Pay-Once-And-Update-Forever model obviously isn’t working well for a lot of developers (surprise!), and I might have to start paying monthly or annual subscriptions for the apps I really love using.

So the “in thing” to do in tech spheres has been to warn users to jump ship to Apple Notes or OneNote, because they’re the closest options in terms of features…and they’re free.

I won’t try to dissuade anyone from moving to OneNote. I have been using the service for my work notes. However, the service just doesn’t jive with me because I dislike how OneNote organizes notebooks only by Date Created, and not by Date Modified. But OneNote is beloved by a lot of people, and really is a very solid contender in the note-taking space.

It’s actually Apple Notes that I think can be be a bit of a fly trap here. The service improved a lot in iOS 9 and improved a little more in iOS 10 with a three-panel interface on the iPad Pro and note collaboration. However, there is one aspect of Notes I am a little concerned about: export capability.

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Apple releases iOS 10 Beta 2 to developers

IMG_0006

Apple released the second version of the their developer beta this afternoon, with a slough of enhancements and improvements to iOS 10 previously announced at WWDC three weeks ago.  The public beta of iOS 10 is scheduled to be released later this month.  However, those with developer accounts who are already testing iOS 10 can download the (OTA) update when connected to Wi-Fi.

As with all developer betas, users are strongly discouraged from loading beta software on their daily driver devices, as they will most likely become unstable and unresponsive at times. Betas are for developers to test their new apps, and from my past experience, this can sometimes make your device unreliable.  However, with each new beta release, Apple continues to iterate additional enhancements and updates to iOS while at the same time making it more stable and reliable.

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How to Remotely Erase your iPad

Find My iPhone

It happens to the best of us.  Despite our best efforts, every once in a while our most prized Apple products either become lost or stolen.  Luckily, you already added your Mac, iPhone or iPad to find my iPhone–right?  If you did, then you have the ability to remotely erase   your device(s).  Before you consider wiping your device clean, make sure that you are unable to locate or track it on the Find My iPhone Map, and that playing the identifying sound does not reveal its location.  If it’s not already apparent, erasing your device(s) will remove these actions as available options for you.

How to Erase your Device

To erase your iPad, first sign into your iCloud account on another one of your iOS devices, or via any supported web-browser.  Next, view the list of your the available devices you have included in Find my iPhone, and select the name of the device that needs to be erased.  Then tap the Actions button and select Erase iPad.  You will next be prompted to enter your Apple ID and password.  In addition, all iOS devices running iOS 7 or later have the ability to add a call back phone number and a short message to be displayed on the screen after the erase has been completed.

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Deals: PRE-SALE, The Complete iOS 10 Developer Course at 98% off

The Complete iOS 10 Developer Course

Today’s featured deal is perfect for anyone who is interested in becoming a developer for the iOS platform–specifically iOS 10. Now you can get a head start on learning how to program with their massive 80 hour programming class.  For a limited time you can purchase the Complete iOS 10 Developer Course at an incredible savings of 98% off! It’s an amazing deal that will run you only $29 – instead of its standard price of $1498.  Here’s some info about the iOS 10 Developer Course and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

Limited Time Offer – Get It Now! The iOS 10 public beta is almost here, and now is the time to jump ahead of the coming tidal wave of iOS 10 developers. This massive, 80-hour course will immerse you in the basics of iOS programming, and get you up to speed with iOS 10 specifics, like the significantly improved artificial intelligence and Siri function. With John Bura’s massively popular iOS 9 course included free, you’ll have time to sharpen your development skills before diving into all the new features of iOS 10.

  • Master iOS 10 development w/ 80 hours of content
  • Learn the basics of coding in Swift & building apps in iOS 10
  • Work w/ iOS 10’s new facial recognition capability
  • Use SiriKit to build apps that function better w/ Siri
  • Optimize iOS 10’s significantly improved artificial intelligence
  • Build games w/ SpriteKit Games
  • Develop apps for TVOS, iPad, iPhone & Apple Watch

Customers will receive an email notification as soon as this course is ready for viewing! iOS 10 release is estimated for August or September 2016.

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

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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

iCloud-Drive-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, iCloud.com, and even on the iCloud app on Windows computers.

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