Tag Archives: iPad

Apple’s HomePod Details Now Clearly in Focus as Preorders Begin at 12AM Pacific [Or Not]

[Update: The HomePod did NOT go on sale at 12 AM PST as most Apple news outlets and I expected, breaking the usual iOS-based device release mold. Apple didn’t shut down the online Apple Store last night and the HomePod still isn’t available for preorder. Apple has not made any official statement, but it has been mentioned by several people on Twitter that Apple does an automatic refresh of their website at 6:01 AM PST every day. It is now expected that the link to preorder the device will show up then, but who knows? It’s also possible that Apple is running a massive social engineering experiment to see how well it has conditioned its fans to get up at odd hours to preorder devices. If so, then based on the number of comments I saw on Twitter early this morning, I say well played, Apple. Well played.]

[Update 2: I was able to order the HomePod with launch day delivery. I’m not sure when exactly it hit the Apple Online Store for preorder, but I know it was before 8 AM CST because I checked while stopped in rush hour traffic on the way to work, and there it was. I completed my order around 8 AM CST, but it was released between 10 to 30 minutes before that  I hope Apple avoids being this random with future preorders, but it is what it is.]

HomePod preorders begin in a little over four hours [nope], so if you live in the Eastern or Central Time Zones and are planning to get up super early, it might be a good idea to turn in early, or at least catch a nap if you can [a nap sounds somewhere between good and necessary today]. With this new hardware finally coming into clearer focus, now is a good time to recap some of the additional information that has come to light since the countdown to release started ticking earlier this week.

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Tips and Tricks: Creating and Marking Up PDFs in iOS 11

As a contractor, I can tell you that PDF documents are the industry standard in my world. You don’t have to fuss with security settings or worry about them being altered the same way that you do with a Word doc, or other editable document style. If I am sending a customer a quote, it’s going to be saved as a PDF. If I’m sending a scan of a hard copy of something- PDF. When I get blueprints and specifications for a job to look at for bidding- PFD. If I am sending out a final copy of a project submittal or owner’s manual- PDF. These documents were all created using something else, such as Word, Excel, AutoCAD, etc, but they all end up as PFDs in the end. As the full file name suggests, PDF is all about portability.

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Reports of the Coming HomePod Release Are Starting to Trickle In

Last week, there was a report from tech analysts GBH that the HomePod would be released in the next 4 to 6 weeks. While I saw this news as potentially encouraging, I don’t usually jump on board with rumors until more than one source reports the same or similar news. Today we have a little corroboration that lines up with this timeframe

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2018 Predictions and Resolutions: Odds and Ends

We are halfway through the month of January, so the time for 2018 predictions and resolutions is at an end. This is a grab bag of items I’ve been thinking about that aren’t as critical as what I’ve already covered, but could still be in play over the course of the year.

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Apple’s 2017 Hardware in Review: It Was the Year Of…

As we close out 2017 and look forward to a new year just a handful of hours ahead, now is a great time to look back at the year that was. This was a VERY busy year for Apple, so rather than a completely exhaustive review, I’m just going to hit a few of the highlights with Apple’s hardware in 2017.

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Apple’s Hour of Code Classes Are a Fun Intro to the World of Programming

I wrote about Apple’s Hour of Code events a few weeks ago when they announced their expanded slate of classes in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. While coding class classes dominated the schedule during that week, including a couple geared specifically toward teachers, the Hour of Code How to Get Started with Coding and a couple of Kids Hour classes are still part of the running agenda at the Apple Store in Germantown, TN.

While I intended to take my kids to a couple of classes the weekend after I wrote that original article, the timing just didn’t work out. However, my daughter and I were able to finally able to make one yesterday. She had a friend staying over with us thanks to school being out for Christmas Break, so she came with us as well. Thanks to a heavy downpour, we ended up being the only ones in the class, which actually turned out great. I brought my current iPad Pro and my old one that my family now uses along with Swift Playgrounds loaded up in advance so the girls would be able to use them. Since there wasn’t anyone else, I was able to join in the class exercises using one of the store’s iPads.

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Review: ElevationLab’s DraftTable for the iPad Pro

If there is one accessory that the world has no shortage of, it is tablet stands. They come in all shapes and sizes, and range from cheap and generic to fairly expensive and iPad-specific. They exploded onto the scene right after the release of the original iPad, and are still readily available pretty much anywhere you look for mobile electronic accessories.

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Review: ElevationLab’s BatteryPro

A few weeks ago, I took a look at a couple of battery packs from Griffin and Belkin for the Apple Watch. My interest in Belkin’s Valet Charger and Griffin’s Travel Power Bank was related to the increased battery demands that LTE and Apple Music streaming can place on the Watch’s battery life. Using these new features extensively will require topping off the battery during the day at times, and what better way than with compatible portable battery pack. With watchOS 4.2 now released, everyone with an LTE-enabled Watch can use Apple Music streaming and it wouldn’t surprise me if these battery packs suddenly become a lot more popular because of it.

Another Watch-compatible battery pack caught my eye when I was researching for the original review, and I was fortunate that the manufacturer was kind enough to send me one to take a look at this week. This is the BatteryPro from ElevationLab, which is also has an MFi-certified magnetic Watch charging pad built-in. This manufacturer is well-known for their high quality accessories, most notably the DraftTable for the iPad Pro (which I will also be testing over the next week for a coming review). After spending a few days using the BatteryPro, I can assure you that it is no exception, but another high-quality and very useful accessory in the ElevationLab lineup.

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Is Siri Finally Starting to Improve?

When you live with something for a while, it can be difficult to detect little changes that occur over time. The subtle differences and small tweaks can slip by without notice. I am definitely having this experience with Siri in my daily use over the last few months. I can’t tell you when both Siri and the on-board Voice Dictation started replacing and correcting words after the fact based on grammar rules, but I see that it’s happening on a regular basis now. One direct example I noticed recently would be Dictation replacing “there” with “their” based on the context of the sentence after I had dictated a few more words. I’ve seen the same with “your” and “you’re,” as well. This makes voice dictation far more flexible and usable, since I don’t have to go back and edit as often.

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Is a New Budget-Priced iPad on the Way?


According to a DigiTimes article on Friday, Apple is planning to release a new 9.7″ iPad that will cost even less than last year’s new 9.7″ model. The target price that they give is $259, which is a full $70 below the current iPad’s price. While it may seem natural to assume that this article is talking about a simple price reduction, DigiTimes hammers home the fact that this device is “new” and aimed at the value tablet market.

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Giveaway: PaperLike iPad Screen Cover 2-Pack

I’ve written about the PaperLike screen cover for the iPad on a few occasions now, from its beginnings as a success on Kickstarter, to its release, and then my use of it over the course of the last four months. Now it’s time to give you, our readers, a chance to get your hands on two of these high-quality textured screen covers for free. If you want to see mote details on the PaperLike, go check out Sapper Products’ Site here.

Just follow the instructions below to enter this giveaway contest. All you have to do is share our contest via Twitter and then Comment on this post, telling us what you think of the PaperLike, and about your favorite note taking app. Continue reading

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