Contest Winners Announced for (10) Acrylic Smartphone Coasters

smartphone-stand-stackable

Time’s up!  If you were one of the lucky ones to leave a comment in the original post by 10 PM EST Wednesday, 04/20/16, then you were entered for a chance to win one of (10) Acrylic Smartphone Coasters.  Our lucky winners are…

  • Matt S
  • Nikita
  • Marcia F
  • Tarek
  • Hindie
  • Nancy
  • Trent B
  • Tony
  • Dan B
  • Alyce

Winners, please make sure to keep your eyes on your inbox over the next couple of days for an email with subject header that reads, “iPad Insight Giveaway Winner” with information on your prize!

I want to extend a Thank-You to all of our readers who joined in on the fun this week.  In addition, I want to extend a special thanks to Michael at newPCgadgets for these awesome Acrylic Smartphone Coasters!

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iOS 10 Wishlist: More Keyboard Shortcuts and Improved Photos Support

  ‘Tis the season: it’s getting closer and closer to June so people are unwrapping their biggest wishlist items. The funny thing is that we’re really close enough to the beta of iOS 10 (usually released just after WWDC in June) that our wishlist items couldn’t actually have any effect on development at this point. They’re either in development now, or they won’t be in iOS 10. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to write up a wishlist anyway.

Better Photos Support

I’ve already talked about the lack of decent RAW support, so I won’t re-hash that. However, as I test Lightroom 2.2 on my iPad, I arm starting to realize what else is missing from the Photos app.

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How to control which apps and System Services have access to your personal information on your iPad

Privacy-Setting-on-iPad

One of the most important things we can do to keep us safer in this day and age is to actively take a responsible role in controlling the information we share on our  electronic devices.  Apple has made this somewhat easier for us by adjusting many of the iPad’s default settings to safer modes out of the box.  Safeguards like this force us to have to give permission to apps the first time they require information that would generally be considered private.

The category at the top of the list when it comes to privacy is the often debated, Location Services.  This is because apps that are compatible with Location Services can potentially gather and use your information as data points indicating your location. One way this information can be translated is via local Wi-Fi networks, when activated on your iPad.  However the data collected by Apple is completely anonymous and does not identify you or your location in a way that personally identifies you. Furthermore, you will always be able to tell when an app is currently using your location because there will be an icon of an arrow next to it in the Location Services portion of the Settings App.

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Giveaway: (10) Acrylic Smartphone Coasters

smartphone-coaster-stand

(10) Acrylic Smartphone Coasters To Be Won

Contest Deadline: Wednesday, April 20th – 10:00 PM US Eastern

Time for an awesome giveaway here on iPad Insight!  Starting today we’re running a contest for (10) Acrylic Smartphone Coasters.  We all have smartphones these days.  It doesn’t matter if it’s an iPhone, Android or some other brand you’re fond of–most owners typically want to keep their smartphone handy and within reach at all times.  Our phones are an extension of our lives, and as a result, we rely on them to help keep us more productive, informed and on task, as well as entertained.

So whether you’re working at home or at your desk at the office, it’s always handy to have your phone within reach, and viewable with a simple glance. With these recently released Acrylic Smartphone Coasters the folks at newPCgadgets have designed a simple, elegant  coaster, who’s sole purpose is to fulfill that feature–and do it well. The Smartphone Coasters are extremely durable and sturdy, and they even work with many cases, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of taking them off to display your smartphone.

How To Win:

*** Just add ONE comment to this post, making sure to fill out the ‘email address‘ field (don‘t worry, it won’t be displayed and we won‘t use it for any other reason than to contact you if you win) “ and you‘re in with ONE entry for our random drawing of (10) seperate Acrylic Smartphone Coasters on Wednesday.

This contest is open to residents of the continental United States and Canada.  Sorry, no international shipping. We’ll draw our winner on Wednesday (4/20/16) sometime after 10:00 pm US Eastern time.

Special thanks to the folks at newPCgadgets for their generosity!

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Reconsidering Lightroom Mobile 2.2

I spent a month last Fall trialling Lightroom Mobile as a suitable alternative to Apple’s iCloud Photo Library. Lightroom drew me in because of its advanced editing controls, options to quickly reject pictures I didn’t want to keep, and the synchronization of edits across all of my devices (which is a surprisingly rare feature even in 2016). However, there were two aspects that put a full stop to the whole Lightroom trial: the export resolution and the resolution of synced images.

It was disappointing to find out that, although I could edit my photos to a far great extent than with Apple’s Photos app, Lightroom would export those photos at a far lower resolution.

I thought that the resolution limit was probably caused by the size of the photos that Adobe allowed to sync to Lightroom Mobile. Even if I uploaded photos straight from my camera to the iPad, Lightroom would compress everything into their proprietary Smart Preview format, which has a maximum resolution of 2048 pixels on the long end. When I compared that to iCloud Photo Library, which can sync full resolution photos to all of my iOS devices (provided there’s enough storage), it quickly became clear which solution I should stick with. I killed my Lightroom install and moved everything back to iCloud Photo Library.

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Quick Look: Screens 4 for iPad 

  
It’s been a little less than a year since I last wrote about Screens. The purpose of the app hasn’t changed: it’s still a VNC app for remotely connecting to a Mac or PC from an iOS device. But there are a few specific features released in Screens 4, which is a free update to all existing users, that are so tasty that I just have to talk about them.

Curtains for you (well, for anyone really)

One of the coolest new features is Curtain mode. I really like this idea for providing a little bit of extra privacy when I’m remotely connecting to my own machine. I haven’t had the need for this feature very often, but I’m really impressed with the implementation. Sometimes you want to connect remotely to a machine, but have that session remain private. If you want to grab some files from your machine quickly without providing access to anyone who might be near the actual computer, Curtain mode is a great way to go about this. When activated, this pulls a curtain over the screen of the machine you’re connecting to, disabling all of the local controls and also blocking view of the monitor with a gigantic padlock. You can set specific remote sessions to always launch right into Curtain mode, so if you frequently need to VNC into a computer that’s in a very public location, this is a great way to go about it.

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Deals: LapPad Mobile Desk at 31% off

LapPad Mobile Desk

Today’s featured deal is great for anyone who loves to take their work station with them without having to lug around a heavy, unweildy full size desk.  That’s where the LapPad Mobile Desk comes in handy.  With the LapPad, you have a unique lap desk that provides a place to view any combination of your iPad, iPhone and laptop all in one place.  In addition, it also includes a convenient mouse pad that doubles as a writing station.  Today we’re offering you the opportunity to purchase this clever, tech-savvy work station at a 31% discount. That’s an awesome deal that will run you only $89. – instead of its standard price of $129!  Here’s some info about LapPad Mobile Desk and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

The LapPad V2 is a super sleek workstation designed to accommodate all your tech essentials: laptop, phone, mouse, and tablet. The integrated handle makes it easy to carry, so you can use it anywhere from a park to an airport. And when you’re near an outlet, you can plug in all of your devices via pass-through ports that keep your cables untangled.

  • LapPad fits a laptop up to 17”, a phone, a tablet & a mouse simultaneously
  • Canadian poplar looks great & absorbs heat from your laptop
  • Pass-through ports organize your cables
  • Integrated handle & light material makes it easy to carry
  • Strong design is extremely durable
  • High-quality, full-size mouse pad is built in
  • CNC-milled ventilation disperses heat

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

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How to sign up for cellular service on your iPad

Wi-fI + Cellular iPad Proimage: credit

From time to time, if you use your iPad away from home with enough regularity you will most likely come across more than one occasion when you might need to use cellular service to complete an important task.  Using your iPad in this manner can only happen if your iPad is LTE enabled.  In the last few years Wi-Fi Hot-Spots have proliferated through the places we frequent most often while away from our home base.  This has directly reduced the need to use  our iPads over a data connection.  Furthermore, the US cellular carriers have expanded Family Sharing plans to the extent that many of us, myself included, simply tether our iPad to our iPhones or other mobile devices to share data as needed.

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iPad App of the Week: TurboTax Tax Preparation

TurboTax-for-iPad

Who doesn’t like great iPad apps? At iPad Insight we definitely do. With that in mind, we offer up a quick review of an excellent iPad app, or a few great iPad apps, here each week.

Our picks for Best iPad App of the Week are published here every week.  Check out all out picks below and you’ll soon have a collection of stellar apps for your favorite tablet.

This week’s pick is TurboTax Tax Preparation by Intuit Inc.  What;’s the saying?  There are two certainties in this world–death and taxes.  It’s that time of year again and what better way to make sure you’re ready to file your taxes in time then to download the latest version of Turbo Tax today while you still have a week before the filing deadline of April 18th.

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Using a Coiled Horizontal Pen Clip for Storing the Apple Pencil

  
I was examining different ways to hold my Apple Pencil on the Smart Keyboard of my iPad Pro. It’s a difficult thing to pull off because the keyboard folds up in a lot of different ways, and finding the right spot to mount the Pencil has been challenging.

I was originally thinking of purchasing one of Moxiware’s magnet stickers for the Pencil, but was a little concerned with some of the videos and reviews I saw on Reddit. The Pencil Magnet is strong enough for temporary storage on the iPad itself, but it’s not strong enough to help with storage during transit (the Pencil will still just fall off). I may still get one down the line, but my first priority was to find something to keep the Pencil tethered to the iPad Pro while it’s in my bag.

During my recent trip to Japan I stumbled upon a metal pen clip in one of the many (many!) stationery stores. I was very careful to choose the orientation of the clip. Many are vertical-style clips like this one from Muji, but I ended up choosing one that mounts vertically on the Smart Keyboard (kind of like this one from Rakuten), but holds the Pencil horizontally along the top of the tablet. I inserted the clip on the middle panel of the Smart Keyboard, since that’s the one that rests away from the iPad, and also prevents the metal clip from ever touching my iPad’s screen (because the keyboard is folded under it during storage).

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How to control when apps refresh in the background on your iPad

Background-App-Refresh-on-iPad

One of the more convenient features of iOS is called background app refresh.  The process pretty much works like it sounds  Apps can refresh their content in the background when on Wi-Fi or cellular.  While this can be very helpful, because apps in this state will run for a short amount of time before they enter a suspended state in which they aren’t actively being used.  Turning on Background App Refresh will use additional battery capacity despite the fact that they aren’t open or running, because they can still update new content in the background.  While this might not be a deal breaker for the most part, there have been some apps that have been known to continue to run in the background and use more than their fair share of power.

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