All posts tagged “iPad”

Jon Burgerman iPad case

Back in April I wrote a review of the Jon Burgerman Burgerdoodles iPhone case and included a hint tweet from the Burgerplex guys that an iPad case would be out in a couple of months. Well, last week the iPad case was released to the masses and mine arrived today.

This is the most happiest, colourful-est, bonkers-est sleeve for the iPad you will ever find. Just picking it up and looking at the silly looking Burgerdoodles gang will make you smile before you’ve even remembered that it has a purpose in life: protect the iPad. Here’s the wonderfully amusing technical bits from the back of the box…

- Designed to make your iPad or tablet cosy
- Made of neoprene with plush lining to keep it safe, secure and scratch free
- Big zipper along the top allowing for easy access and dual use as a hat
- Or hat and gloves if you buy three
- Actual size: 200x260mm/7.0×10.2″

Nobody does descriptions like Jon Burgerman does descriptions.

The case, as with everything designed by the Burgerplex gang, is great quality. The neoprene makes the iPad feel snug and protected. And it looks amazing, so let’s have a look at the best bit…

Jon Burgerman iPad case

Jon Burgerman iPad case

Jon Burgerman iPad case

Jon Burgerman iPad case

Make your iPad look good and feel great in the Jon Burgerman iPad case, available now @ Burgerplex for £22.50.

Apple’s London 2012 Olympic Fever

On Friday when the London 2012 Olympics kicked off, Apple delighted their British fans by handing out Olympic themed pin badges of their devices at the door of Apple Stores up and down the country.

iPhone Olympics Pin Badge

The pins which so far have come in the form of white iPad, black iPhone, black iPad and white iPhone, all sporting the Union Flag. If you have an Apple Store within reach of you then head along. Rumour is they will be giving them out every day of the Olympics. I’m not sure if they will come in any other variety other than iPad and iPhone – but wouldn’t an iMac and MacBook look cool too?

If you’re not lucky enough to be near an Apple Store or you’re in another country but would still like to get your hands on one of these little collectable pins then fear not, eBay has got you covered. However, they’re not going cheap so expect to pay £20 and beyond per pin.

iPad. It’s a Family Affair

Towards the end of last year my Dad showed an interest in a reasonably priced netbook or a tablet computer. It would have to have been something fairly easy to use right out of the box given my Dad, in his mid-sixties, has had very limited experience with computers. What sounds like it would be perfect for him? That’s right, the iPad.

Because the release of iPad 3/iPad HD … no, the new iPad, was just around the corner I managed to persuade him to hold off and he could have my iPad 2 for a special daughter-father deal. He has Multiple Sclerosis and as a result has dexterity problems, so I was a little concerned that the iPad would be a bit too slippy for him to hold. I ordered a very inexpensive silicone cover to slip it into, making it easier for him to grip.

So, when March 16th came around for my new iPad to be delivered, I handed my Mum and Dad their “new” iPad 2. I showed them the basics and straight away my Dad flew into Google Maps, pinching and zooming his way through streets around the country he hadn’t been to for years. It was an amazing sight to see him so easily get to grips with the gestures he needed to perform to make something bigger, or make something smaller. He had no other experience with the iPad before this – the ‘teaching’ process was almost non-existent.

It’s fair to say my Dad is completely addicted to his iPad now. He uses it for browsing the internet, using Google Maps, watching Netflix and playing a multitude of games, whereas my Mum loves it for access to her music. Some things can have a novelty effect and I thought after the first few days that it would spend its life as a mug coaster on the coffee table, but I rarely see my Dad without it in his hands these days.

The new iPad which I have been using since launch day, is a delight. The Retina Display quite simply is worth the upgrade alone and despite my concerns that it may not be enough of a reason to upgrade, the moment I switched it on and saw the crispness of the text and clarity of photos, I knew I’d made the right decision. If I look at my parents iPad 2, the text immediately looks fuzzy. Of course before the new iPad came along the screen looked fine to me. Amazing how overnight my great piece of tech became the second great piece of tech.

Here are some photos of the new iPad.

The new iPad / 32GB

The new iPad / 32GB

The new iPad / 32GB

Taking photos on the iPad’s 5MP camera is not something I thought I’d do often, but it begs to have photos taken with it and it’s extremely useful now that I don’t have a separate digital camera. This means that if I want to take a photo of an app on my iPhone for article purposes, I can do so without worry that the quality wouldn’t look great. In fact I took this photo using the new iPad camera.

The 1080p video recording on the new iPad is also a delight. I took this today in the blustery wind…

Make sure you select the HD quality – for some reason YouTube (and Vimeo) don’t allow HD video embedding as standard. You can also view nice and big on Vimeo, here!

So, now that my parents are iPad users and my brother and his wife have recently gone iPhone, it’s going to be much quieter when it comes to answering family tech support calls.

Nest by Bluelounge

In my last post I recommended the CableDrop by Bluelounge. Having discovered this clever little cable clip solution I decided to explore their other products and found they offer very simple but cool workspace management gadgets – just my kinda thing.

The next Bluelounge gadget on my list after the CableDrops was their Nest iPad stand. It seemed to do everything; iPad in portrait or landscape mode in the slide-out cradle or lie it down on the rubber lined cushions of the Nest for typing or drawing. Here’s some photos of how you can use it…

Nest by Bluelounge

Nest by Bluelounge

Nest by Bluelounge

Nest by Bluelounge

Such a nice simple design which looks great on your desk. I’ve had so many people on Twitter and Instagram ask me about it these past few days that I had to write a post about it.

Nest is €16.95 direct from Bluelounge or £14.99 at Amazon.co.uk and comes in a variety of colours.

Griffin Arrowhead iPad Stand

I was asked if I wanted to review the Griffin Arrowhead iPad stand on behalf of the large UK phone company Three a short time ago.

The Griffin Arrowhead is a very compact and portable solution for the iPad. The two weighted and rubberised feet have internal magnets so when not in use you can just snap them together and pop them into your bag which makes them perfect for travelling and accessing mobile internet from your iPad wherever you go!

My iPad feels totally secure when in the Griffin Arrowhead, either in landscape or portrait. I recently had a poor experience with another of Griffin’s stands where the iPad slipped and fell backwards out of it, crashing onto the desk. That left me feeling less confident about trusting my device in another stand. However I have put the Arrowhead through its paces and I am 100% confident it is entirely safe.

It’s has a perfect viewing angle to have on the desk to watch a movie or catch up on BBC iPlayer.

Here’s how it looks on my desk in action.



The Griffin Arrowhead costs just £15.00 from 3 Accessories Store. It’s not just designed for the iPad, the Arrowhead will also accommodate most tablets up to 10″. For the price of this stand I would highly recommend it.

AluPen for iPad

I took delivery of AluPen for iPad yesterday, having ordered from Amazon just a couple of days ago. I’d read some independent reviews recently of the best stylus to use with the iPad and AluPen came out on top of most of them. The reviews on Amazon also seemed largely positive, so for less than £15 I decided it couldn’t hurt to give it a go.

AluPen for iPad

Unlike the Pogo Sketch and another cheaper unbranded stylus that I tried on my first gen iPad, this actually feels like a proper writing instrument. It is chunky and is sculpted from aluminium, giving it a good weight to it. The nib is made of a super soft material that glides fluidly across the screen and barely any pressure needs applying to the iPad for this to register. It feels entirely natural and you will feel like you are writing with a real pen on a notepad. This is the biggest difference to the other stylus’ I used and all stylus’ should absolutely be as natural as using a regular pen.

AluPen for iPad

AluPen for iPad

AluPen for iPad

I downloaded Bamboo Paper, a free note taking app by Wacom, to try it out. I also shot a little video of me writing my name so you can see how fluid this is. It’s an absolute joy to use.

AluPen for iPad – £14.46 Amazon.co.uk

[rating: 5/5]

Simplenote for iPhone and iPad

For about 18 months now I’ve been using an app which I would be pretty lost without, it has to be said. There are times when I need to take a note of something, make a list or I’m lying in bed late at night and a great idea comes to me that I want to remember in the morning. That’s when I whip out my iPhone and open Simplenote.

Simplenote is very unique compared to the standard official Apple application, Notes, in that it syncs wirelessly between your iPhone, web app or any supported desktop app on your computer. No having to connect to iTunes to sync up notes taken in Notes.app. More than that, you can share notes between family and friends, restore backups of notes, apply tags, etc.

I’ve been using Simplenote in conjunction with JustNotes on both of my Macs, meaning I have my notes wherever I am and they sit neatly and quietly in my menubar, not asking for any space in my dock. There are several desktop applications which support Simplenote syncing, for Mac, Windows and aswell as extensions, scripts and plugins.

Simplenote for iPhone and iPad is free on the App Store [iTunes link]. You can also upgrade to a Simplenote Premium account which removes ads and gives you more added benefits including Dropbox sync, ability to edit notes in list view (iOS) and RSS feed. I’m currently subscribed as as Premium user, costing $19.99 per year.

[rating:5/5]

iDrops for your Mac

I’m a creature of habit when it comes to the wallpaper I use on my iMac, MacBook Air and iPhone. If I can have them all matching up, the better and once I find a clean wallpaper I very infrequently switch away from it.

Several months ago I found a very clean wallpaper which was inspired by the iOS 4 default wallpaper, called iDrops. This is the wallpaper I keep coming back to on my iPhone in particular. The package includes:

- For 16:9 ( 1280×720, 1920×1080 )
- For 16:10 ( 1280×800, 1440×900, 1680×1050, 1920×1200 )
- For iPhone 2g,3g,3gs and iPod Touch 1g,2g,3g ( in two variations )
- For iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4
- For iPad

Here it is in all it’s glory on my MacBook Air and iPhone 4:

iDropsWP.jpg

You can download the iDrops package from deviantART.

A Very Techy 2010

Compared to 2009, 2010 has been jam packed with gadget buying for me. I think one of the only gadgets I purchased last year was the Magic Mouse, so this year has been a real treat. Here’s a little look back over the past 12 months and my thoughts on the gadgets that found a home at Fruit Bytes HQ.

Apple TV 1st Gen, 140GB

For quite a while I’d to’d and fro’d on the idea of getting an Apple TV, then in February I finally gave in and bought one. I must be perfectly honest and say that it wasn’t a blow-away purchase in the beginning as my plans to copy my DVD’s to the hard drive didn’t materialise mostly due to the tedious process involved. I’d also planned on purchasing movies and TV shows digitally rather than physically, but the difference in price between the two formats is still a huge factor for me. iTunes still tends to be three times and more costly for TV shows compared to DVD. I am only now warming to my Apple TV and have purchased a couple of movies recently. One contributing factor for that has been the lack of delivery in the UK due to the snowfall we’ve had since the end of November, so it’s been very convenient to just sit back and hit BUY in iTunes. So easy…too easy ;)
[rating:3.5/5]

Apple iPad WiFi 32GB

As I wrote here, myself and the iPad just didn’t get on. I look back now, several weeks after selling it and feel no warmth or affection for this device at all. I’d even go so far as to say it’s the most disappointing Apple purchase I have ever made in the 5 years I have been ‘A Mac’. I’m sure iPad v2, reportedly coming very soon, will be more appealing to others but I cannot see myself ever wanting to purchase an iPad again.
[rating:2/5]

Apple iPhone 4, 32GB

From day one this has been one of the best purchases of 2010. iPhone truly is the gift that keeps on giving. I love the improved camera on this which has totally wiped out any need I have for a separate digital camera. I love the speed of it and that beautiful Retina Display which just knocks me out everytime I pick it up. It’s hard to see how Apple can improve on this next year, other than a better quality front camera and more storage for those who need it.
[rating:5/5]

Apple Magic Trackpad

This was very much an impulse buy and I didn’t expect to enjoy using it quite as much as I do. When using the trackpad of my PowerBook G4, I always used to get wrist pain and generally found it uncomfortable to use. So before the Trackpad arrived I was asking myself “Why did you buy this, then?”. I was most surprised to find that it felt completely natural and the gestures make it much more comfortable and easier to use than a standard mouse. Infact I don’t think I could go back to a mouse again after using this.
[rating:5/5]

Apple MacBook Air 11.6″, 64GB

After selling my iPad, I quickly ran out and bought one of these in early November. And I’m so glad I did. This along with my iPhone 4 are joint ‘best purchases of 2010′. It is the perfect machine for me and I find myself using it far more than my iMac thesedays. The battery life is pretty good, it’s a super fast and cool machine and I *still* have not heard the fans in this. I’m pretty sure mine was shipped without them! When the Mac App Store launches in January then the Air will probably become my primary machine even more. I love typing on it, it makes me more productive when writing and it’s just an all round pleasure in every way.
[rating:5/5]

Nintendo Wii (black) with Mario Kart Bundle

Just over a week ago I bought the Nintendo Wii with Mario Kart, steering wheel, Motion Plus controller and Wii Sports after months of “will I, won’t I?”. I’m so glad I did. For fun it’s amazing, for exercise it’s even more amazing-er! I loved playing Mario Kart on Nintendo DS, but playing on the Wii is even more enjoyable and can play online against my friends which is the most fun of all. Amazon had a great bundle price of just £149 recently so I took the opportunity to purchase then. Wii Sports is also a very fun packed game, especially Tennis and Bowling – and some laughs have been had when competing with friends and family – and that’s even before Christmas arrives.
[rating:4.5/5]

HP Photosmart Plus All-in-One Printer

I bought this from PC World for £79.99 around a month ago, just before iOS 4.2.1 with AirPrint was released, safe in the knowledge that this printer was going to be compatible with this new iOS feature. I did have a couple of teething troubles setting this up. After installing the cartridges it kept returning a print head error which was only resolved after several attempts at cleaning them. Wasn’t the ‘works straight outta the box’ that I’m so used to in gadgets I buy, so this will be reflected in my rating. However, aside from that I’m extremely pleased in the quality of the prints and the features this has, especially ePrint and AirPrint. I’ve had my iPhone photos on my phone for just too long, so it’s nice to be able to bring them to life by printing them out and sharing with people.
[rating: 3/5]

I think that concludes my Very Techy 2010 list. I hope 2011 is just as exciting and gadget-filled as this year has been!

iPad to MacBook Air

At the end of May I bought an iPad 32GB WiFi for £499. I’d been looking forward to having the perfect machine for web browsing, email, apps and games from the sofa and bed – filling the gap between my iMac and iPhone. After the repeated delays in the iPad being released in the UK, it just made my excitement and anticipation grow for when it finally did arrive in my hands, knowing it would be worth the wait.

I wanted to love the iPad. To feel like it was the one can’t-live-without-gadget. But I couldn’t love it no matter how hard I tried. And I tried, especially as I’d just spent my hard earned £500 on it. I just kept feeling that something was missing and it certainly didn’t feel like the magical device that Apple were touting it to be.

I had been asked by many people to write a review of the iPad shortly after I bought it. You may have noted the absence of an iPad review here, simply because I was still trying to figure out where this was fitting into my life and why. And somehow putting it all into words would have made me realise that the iPad just wasn’t for me. Quite hard to admit to for my own sake, believe me. But, I wanted to give it time. Time to see what apps would come along to improve it, to see whether UK magazines would finally start coming to it and the arrival of books I’m interested in, in iBooks. It deserved a chance to prove itself.

The iPad, sadly, was starting to feel like an oversized iPod touch, to me. It also felt extremely limited. I’d bought some iPad versions of apps that I already had on the iPhone, thinking that the larger screen estate would make them more enjoyable. Yet I found playing games much more comfortable on the iPhone, particularly driving games. Navigating twists and turns on the heavy iPad was not ideal infact it was awkward. One of the reasons I wanted the iPad was for full size games, so this was a heavy disappointment.

I gave it 6 months to see whether I would start to see it as a gadget I couldn’t do without. But there were just too many shortfalls – some websites automatically reverting to their mobile versions rather than standard with no way of changing it. I know this is down to the individual site developer rather than the iPad itself, but it still meant I was having to run to the iMac to view the site(s) as intended. The inability to log into some sites on the iPad was also a huge frustration and defeated the entire purpose of being able to browse the internet and buy things from my favourite online stores from my sofa and bed.

11" MacBook Air

Once the new MacBook Air was revealed at the October Apple Keynote, the future of my iPad was sealed; it had to find a new home. I was lucky enough to sell it very quickly for £429, meaning a loss of just £70 compared to what I paid for it. I couldn’t ask for more than that.

Today I headed to the Apple Store Metrocentre and walked away with the new 11″ MacBook Air 64GB, costing £849. I am absolutely thrilled with it. I have hardly been able to wipe the huge grin from my face eversince I opened the box. It’s fast – open the lid after sleeping and it’s there, good to go – no delay. It’s cool and absolutely silent. The screen size is perfect as is the clarity – and the keyboard feels so very comfortable to type on, infact this entire review has been typed on it. I can see this being much more comfortable when using it in bed, compared to the iPad.

Do I regret buying the iPad? No, not one bit. I feel fully qualified to give my own honest and unbiased opinion on it after using it for 6 months, not just a five minute fumble with it in the Apple Store only to instantly declare it a piece of rubbish or the best thing since sliced bread. It’s not a piece of rubbish, it’s just not for me.

It’s far too early to cover everything and give a full intensive review after such a short period of time with it, but I will say I am absolutely blown away by the Air – it was definitely love at first touch! If you have any questions then fire away in the comments and I’m sure I’ll be writing more on the MacBook Air soon :)