Deals: Quirky Apple Accessory Bundle at 14% Off

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Highlighted today in our Deals section is the Quirky Apple Accessory Bundle, a great little collection of handy accessories to keep our Apple and iOS devices juiced up and well organized. It’s available for $36, 14% down from its standard price of $42.

The bundle includes a desktop cord manager, a charger cord wrap, a MacBook power cord wrap, a wrap for keeping your earphones untangled, and maybe our favorite in the bunch – the bendy Pivot Power Pop with 6 pivot outlets.

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You can see more details on each of the accessories in the bundle, and place an order at this iPad Insight Deals page.

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Keyboards Still Buggy as Heck in iOS8

iOS8 Keyboard Bugs

My colleague Thomas wrote a good post a couple months back, on the sad state of 3rd party keyboards in iOS8.

So I suppose it’s a little sad to report that iOS8 and its handling of keyboards – 3rd party or otherwise – is still buggy as heck, even months after release.

Check out the screenshot above for one basic ‘fail’ issue that I see fairly often on my iPad Air2. It’s the Spotlight Search bar, and I’ve already tapped the search bar to place the cursor there. That should instantly invoke the on-screen keyboard – but it doesn’t. And when this happens, I’ll tend to find that I get the same result in a notes app, or the App Store, or elsewhere.

It sometimes takes just a sleep and wake of the iPad to get past it, other times it needs a restart. But the fact is, I don’t recall ever seeing this prior to iOS 8.

I was looking forward to support for 3rd party keyboards and swipe typing in iOS8 as much as anyone possibly could (as I love using these on Android devices) – but so far the experience on iOS 8 has been nothing been disappointing.

Here’s hoping it will improve very soon.

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Notes on iCloud Disappointment And AirDrop Discoveries

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I’ve got an iPad Air 2 and an iPhone 5S with me on this vacation, and I’ve also signed up for a one-week travel pass that provides “unlimited” data (800MB per day). I wanted the data in order to keep in touch with family back home, but it was also supposed to be a way to get files synced between my iPhone and iPad. I’d go out for the day, take photos and notes on my iPhone, and then write up journals in the evening on the iPad. The problem I encountered, however, is that iCloud absolutely sucks when you’ve got spotty connections.

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The iPad Air 2 On Vacation

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I’ve written about the iPad as my sole computer before, but I think the story changes enough with each major OS upgrade that this really is a topic worth revisiting. I’m currently on vacation in Asia to visit family, and I’ve brought my iPad Air 2 and Logitech ultrathin keyboard to function as my main computer. I’ve loaded the iPad up with a few movies for the 10+ hour plane rides, podcasts for long car rides and traffic jams, and all of my photos.

Aside from making security checkpoints a breeze, I loved using the iPad for referencing my own travel itinerary while at the airport; and it really helped me cut down on the paper documentation I needed. All I ever really had was my passport, printed boarding pass, and the iPad took care of most everything else I needed to know or fill out.

There are a few downsides I’ve noticed along the way. I would have liked to write a little bit on the plane, but I realized that I couldn’t actually turn Bluetooth on during the plane ride, so my Ultrathin keyboard just stayed in my bag. [Edit Jan 15: Oh, I stand corrected by commenters and friends who have told me that you can, in fact, have Bluetooth on now. I’ll keep that in mind for the next trip!]

Now that I’ve landed and have some data with a traveller SIM on my iPhone, it would also be nice to tether with my iPhone over USB, but that just isn’t an option on iOS. The Personal Hotspot feature of iOS is unfortunately a little spotty at the moment, so it can be difficult to tether consistently.

I’be also had a errant thought about charging with the iPad. My dad is able to use his MacBook Pro to charge his iPhone, and I think it woul be an interesting platform mechanic to be able to charge an iPhone by plugging it into an iPad. This would require some sort of extra female Lightning port accessory, similar to the Camera Kit used by photographers, but I think it would be a handy option for charging an iPhone in a pinch. After all, the Air 2 has a huge 7340 MaH battery, which is more than enough to power an iPhone 5S (1560 MaH batt). I’m not sure how much extra tech would actually be required for an iPad to do this, but it would certainly empower the iPad’s status as a full fledged computer.

Pipe dreams aside, I have no regrets about the decision to leave my retina Macbook Pro at home. The trip feels a lot lighter for having a tablet instead of a full fledged computer, and yet this Air 2 is proving itself capable enough of doing whatever I need it to do so far.

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Deals: Panorama Bluetooth Speaker at Over 75% Off

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Today’s featured iPad Insight deal is for a Panorama Bluetooth Speaker – touted as the crisp & clear way to wirelessly stream calls and music – at a huge 77% 0ff. It’s on offer for $24.99, down from its normal $109.

Here are the key features for the Panorama speaker:

  • Clear Bluetooth transmission to stream calls and music
  • 30 ft wireless range
  • Up to 6 hours of playback per charge from its rechargeable battery
  • Speakerphone-ready with built-in mic
  • Tactile button controls to play/pause music, answer/end calls, and control volume
  • Compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

You can check out more details and place an order at this iPad Insight Deals page.

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iPad Art: Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Today’s featured iPad painting brings to mind scenes from a Hemingway novel, or even more so a passage from ‘A Moveable Feast’. It’s powerful and gripping, like any good Hemingway tale, and a little surreal and romantic too. It’s titled ‘Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder’, and is the work of Michael Seidman. Seidman has […]

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Best iPad Apps of 2014

(Apologies that this post is around a week later than usual. I had a bit of a health scare during Christmas week and very low energy for a fair few days. Feeling fine now.) This has been another year of notable milestones for the iPad – 225 million iPads sold, over 650,000 iPad apps in […]

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Happy New Year iPad Wallpaper

Happy 2015! Hope all of you are enjoying the holiday season and looking forward to a healthy and happy new year. Above is a fun Happy New Year iPad wallpaper, courtesy of the always excellent Pimp Your Screen app. I think it looks suitably festive on my iPad Air 2’s lock screen.

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