I discovered something interesting today in trying to resolve a problem with using Siri Voice Dictation on the iPad mini: it looks like my beloved Gelaskins do not play nicely with the Voice Dictation feature.
Recently I’ve been getting exceptionally poor results when using Voice Dictation. It has been taking far longer than it used to for text to appear once I finish speaking and, far more importantly, the accuracy level had dropped off a cliff. Dictation went from being not that far off 100% accurate to being not that far off insane or 0% accurate. It was outputting pure gibberish more often than not. Just as one quick example, I could speak two full sentences very slowly and clearly and get back a single word that wasn’t even part of my sentences.
At first I wrote this off (stupidly) as just a Siri / server glitch of some kind, and didn’t give it too much thought. Then I tested and noticed that Dictation was working just fine on my iPad 3 and my iPhone 4S. Then I tried a reboot and a hard reboot of my iPad mini and saw no change at all – and I started thinking about what differences there were between my iPad 3 and my iPad mini. One that sprung to mind quickly: the iPad mini had a Gelaskin on the back of it; the iPad 3 did not.
I’m a huge fan of Gelaskins for the iPad. I’ve written in the past about how a Gelaskin for the back combined with the Apple Smart Cover is my favorite ‘outfit’ for the iPad 2.
So I’m very happy to see that Gelaskins are already taking pre-orders for their lovely covers for the new iPad. I just ordered my favorite, Dr. Gonzo by Ralph Steadman.
Gelaskins for the new iPad go for $29.95 plus shipping, and are due to start shipping on March 19th.
Those of you who are buying the new iPad, what are your plans for cases and covers for it?
I tried liking another Gelaskin. I really did. But I missed Dr. Gonzo – it didn’t feel the same seeing the back of my iPad 2 without seeing Gonzo making trouble back there.
I had tried re-applying my original Gonzo gelaskin a while back – and though it went mostly well there were a few sections that just refused to stay on properly. So I ordered another one recently and got it re-applied just a couple days ago. At $30 a pop these are not a throw-away expense, but I still haven’t found one I like as much so it was worth it to me.
As usual, my install of the gelaskin is far from perfect but it feels good enough to live with quite happily. Plus, hey, Gonzo is back. Fear and Loathing on the iPad 2 once again.
Oh, and here’s the Gelaskin product page for these in case you need a little Gonzo on your iPad:
As I’ve mentioned here a lot lately, Apple’s iPad 2 Smart Cover has become my new best pal and my favorite iPad 2 case by a landslide margin. I’ve found a few full-protection sort of cases for the iPad 2 that are quite good, but I always find myself returning to the smart cover as my most-used option.
Recently I’ve also been trying out a handful of cases that are ‘iPad 2 smart cover compatible’ – i.e. cases that are back covers designed specifically to work as companions to the iPad 2 smart cover. I’m gradually discovering that even the lightest of these (that I’ve tried so far) make the iPad 2 feel quite a bit heavier.
This discovery has lead me to start thinking about more minimalist alternatives for use with the smart cover. I already use Ghost Armor screen protectors on the front and back of the iPad 2, so one option is to just stick with the smart cover and these. Another is to look at skins for the iPad 2. My friend and writing colleague Thomas (@ragart) has been singing the praises of Gelaskins – and this weekend I took a look and ordered a couple.