iNews Review

New iPad Design Apple's Second Choice?, Updated iPad 2 Improves Battery Life, and More

This Week's iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Apple TV News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.05.11

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review, and general Mac news is in Mac News Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

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News, Reviews, & Opinion

Was the 'New iPad' Design Apple's Second Choice?

Cnet's Brooke Crothers suggests that Apple may have really have preferred to release a thinner tablet than what eventually materialized as the New iPad - if it had been possible to implement the display technology that it really wanted.

Crothers allows that he's always wondered whether the New iPad design was compromised, hastening to add that he likes his gen 3 iPad, which has pretty much supplanted his older iPad 2 to backup duty.

However, he says fact that the newer version is thicker and heavier than the older one strikes him as being at odds with Jobsian philosophy and has given him newfound appreciation for his 10" Motorola Xyboard tablet, which he finds easier to hold for long periods of time than the New iPad, and he reports that some analysts are saying that the gen 3 iPad design was actually Apple's Plan B, Plan A having been a design that wouldn't have added the additional heft - at least according to Raymond Soneira, the founder, president and CEO of DisplayMate Technologies, who tells Crothers that Apple really wanted to use a new, more advanced technology from Sharp called IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide), which would have allowed a more svelte form factor.

Publisher's note: Last April, The Mac Observer reported, "Analysts believe that Sharp's new displays are a 'prime candidate' for use in upcoming Apple products, including the much-rumored Apple television.

"Sharp claims that the new technology allows twice the resolution of existing displays but at the same transparency, meaning that high-resolution displays will not require brighter backlights, saving both energy and space. Sharp said these advantages result in up to a 90 percent reduction in power consumption compared to displays currently in use." dk

Who Cares That the New iPad Is a Bit Thicker and Heavier Than the iPad 2?

ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes wonders that while the new iPad is 0.03" (0.6 mm) thicker and 0.12 lb. (49 grams) heavier than the iPad 2, apart from a small faction of users that obsesses over technical specifications, does anyone really care?

He suggests that the changes are so small that they're barely perceptible and mechanically irrelevant, since most cases designed to fit the iPad 2 will comfortably fit the iPad 3 as well. He contends that if your reason for not wanting a New iPad is the fact that it's 0.03" thicker and 2 oz. heavier, you really need to find a hobby.

Editor's note: While the increased bulk or weight are unwelcome, I agree that neither is substantial enough to be a deal-breaker. The reason I'm cool toward the third-generation iPad is the prodigious increase in required bandwidth and the greater demand on computing power and memory capacity to support the new Retina Display's 4x greater pixel count and the iPad's new LTE connectivity.

Count on this becoming a major issue in the near future and ongoing. This week The Globe and Mail's Paul Taylor reported that US mobile operators are scrambling to keep pace with a smartphone and tablet PC-driven mobile data tsunami that threatens to overwhelm their networks, with the twin issues of data overload and spectrum crunch being key themes at the wireless industry's CTIA conference in New Orleans this week. cm

Hack Brings Decent Text Editing to the iPad

iDownloadBlog's Jeff Benjamin reports that an iPad text editing concept comes to life thanks to a jailbreak tweak, and the public has spoken out against how terrible the iPad's text editing is.

He notes that while Apple may not be in a mood to listen, someone else did - and the jailbreak community has responded in a big way.

Introducing SwipeSelection as a usable realization of an original iPad concept video that went viral.

Developer Kyle Howells has created a jailbreak tweak for jailbroken iPads that imitates the original demo video, with precision one-finger editing, faster two finger editing, and selection capability by means of tapping the shift key prior to dragging a finger - in short, just what Apple needs to implement in iOS 6. Benjamin says SwipeSelection works extremely well, feeling incredibly native and perfectly natural, and will be offered free of charge to the jailbroken masses.

Benjamin contends that if you do any sort of writing on your iPad, you need SwipeSelection, and that after using it, your hatred for Apple's gimped editing functionality will mutate into complete and utter disdain.

iPad Keyboard Prototype to Make Editing Text Easier but Misses the Point

OS News' Thom Holwerda observes that while Daniel Hooper has come up with tweaks to the iPad keyboard to make text entry better (see YouTube video), he suggests that a better fix would be to just implement a few arrow keys - default on many Android keyboards - and be done with it. Holwerda notes that Hooper uses gestures to perform arrow key functions, but that they are non-discoverable and most likely error-prone - thus more complex.

Updated iPad 2 Improves Battery Life

AnandTech's Anand Lal Shimpi observes that when Apple launched the 3rd generation iPad, it also dropped the price of the entry-level 16 GB WiFi-only iPad 2 to $399. However, he reports that the $399 iPad 2 is is not just a carryover, but is being used as a vehicle to introduce a new hardware platform, more specifically, a new 32nm A5 processor.

Lal Shimpi notes that prior to the new iPad announcement there had been three versions of the iPad 2 - the 2,1 being WiFi-only, the 2,2 supporting GSM, and the 2,3 supporting CDMA. The $399 unit is the iPad 2,4, which he says delivers more battery life than the older 45nm chipped versions: 1.6 hours surfing), 1.78-2.05 hours gaming, and 2.4 hours watching 720p video. However, he cautions that there's no known way to tell whether you're getting an iPad 2,4 vs. the older iPad 2,1 without opening the box.

52% Would Consider an iPad Mini Purchase

PR: With rumors afoot about Apple potentially releasing an iPad Mini by the end of this year, PriceGrabber, a part of Experian, has released the results of its iPad Mini survey. Conducted April 23 - April 30, 2012, the survey includes responses from 2,603 US online shopping consumers.

52% of Consumers Would Consider a iPad Mini Purchase This Year

When asked if they would consider purchasing the rumored 7" iPad Mini for approximately $249 to $300 if it was released this year:

  • 52% said Yes
  • 48% said No
  • Only 22% of survey respondents currently own a tablet computer, and 68% of those tablet owners have an iPad or iPad 2, while 10% have the Amazon Kindle Fire

Lower Price Point: Top Reason for Consumers Considering an iPad Mini Purchase

When the 52% of survey respondents that said they would consider an iPad Mini purchase, were asked to select all of the reasons why they would consider buying the rumored product:

  • 64% - the lower price point compared to an iPad or iPad 2
  • 54% - smaller size, more portable
  • 24% - it would make a great gift
  • 20% - it would be for work purchases
  • 20% - said they love Apple products and always purchase the latest and greatest

51% of Shoppers Would Consider Buying the iPad Mini as a Holiday Gift

When survey respondents were asked if they would consider purchasing the rumored 7" iPad Mini as a gift for the holiday season this year if it is released in time:

  • 51% said Yes
  • 49% said No

iPad Mini Features Most Important to Consumers: Lower Price Point and Smaller Size

When survey respondents were asked to select all of the features they hope to be included in the rumored iPad Mini, the top choices included:

  • 84% - reduced price
  • 65% - at least 3G connectivity
  • 60% - reduced size
  • 60% - ultra thin body
  • 43% - retina display
  • 37% - full Siri integration
  • 31% - unique and new design
  • 30% - that it be launched with iOS 6

Increasing Diversity to Improve Growth in Tablet PC Market

PR: Shipments of tablet PCs are expected to grow from 81.6 million units in 2011 to 424.9 million units by 2017, according to the latest NPD DisplaySearch Tablet Quarterly report. The forecast for 2013 shipments has increased from 168.9 million to 184.2 million. This forecast estimates that in 2016 more tablet PCs will be shipped than notebook PCs. A growing diversity of operating systems is driving the increase in demand for tablets, as well as rapidly evolving features. At the same time, the capacity of component manufacturing is being increased to meet new market demand.

"So far in this relatively young product category, the tablet PC market has been dominated by Apple and has tended to include a number of competing products that are similarly configured to the iPad," says Richard Shim, NPD DisplaySearch Senior Analyst. "However, as the market matures and competitors become better attuned to consumer preferences and find opportunities to break new ground, we expect the landscape to change dramatically, giving consumers more choices, which will drive demand for more devices."

Tablet PC market forecast

The industry has already witnessed some diversification in the market with the early success of Amazon's Kindle Fire, with its razor/razor blade model of low-priced device predicated on content purchases. NPD DisplaySearch also expects increased investments in the tablet supply chain - amidst a lull in the growth of other device categories - to lead to more opportunities for new technologies to challenge incumbents.

NPD DisplaySearch expects an increase in investments to boost shipment growth in mature markets as retailers, brands, and consumers experiment with emerging tablet opportunities.

A key area where there is room for differentiation is operating systems. NPD DisplaySearch expects three operating systems to establish significant share in the market: Apple iOS, Google Android, and Microsoft Windows RT (a.k.a. Windows 8 for ARM). The iOS operating system has been dominant in tablet PCs, but it is expected to lose share, from 72.1% in 2012 to 50.9% in 2017, as Android increases from 22.5% 2012 to 40.5% over the same period. Meanwhile, share for Windows RT is also expected to grow, but from a very small base of 1.5% in 2012 to 7.5% in 2017.

Tablet PC operating system forecast

NPD DisplaySearch's Tablet Quarterly report tracks quarterly changes in tablet PC products and strategies, and forecasts the impact of those changes on the market. It covers the changing landscape of screen sizes, features that are expected to be included and excluded in future tablets, and operating systems.

Publisher's note: NPD DisplaySearch is making a lot of guesses here. How would an iPad Mini impact things? Is webOS gone for good? And will Microsoft be able to gain any traction at all with Windows RT?

Microsoft's mobile OS began as Windows CE in late 1996, was renamed Pocket PC in 2000, and rebranded as Windows Mobile in 2003. It became a dominant player in 2006/07 but lost 2/3 of its market share in 2008, the first full year the iPhone was available. Today it's called Windows Phone and is estimated to have 3% market share. Projecting 1.5% for 2012 seems a safe bet, but Microsoft's presence in the emerging tablet market (not counting x86 Tablet PCs, which run a tweaked version of Windows 7) is nothing but vapor until Windows 8 and RT are available to manufacturers in "late 2012".

While most versions of Windows have been more popular than their predecessors, notable exceptions were Windows Me (a Y2K compliant stopgap between Windows 98 SE and XP and one of the worst tech products of all time) and Vista (the biggest tech disappointment of 2007 and the second-worst flop in tech history, it never overtook XP in popularity and it was so unpopular that Microsoft was forced to offer Windows XP downgrades). The success of Windows RT is not assured. dk

Apps & Services

Free Netgear Genie App Makes any Printer AirPrint-Compatible

PR: Netgear Inc. has announced the release of a new Netgear Genie App that enables printing from an Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to any networked or USB printer. With the Netgear Genie App upgrade, iOS device users are no longer restricted to a narrow range of AirPrint-compatible printers. The Netgear Genie App dramatically overcomes previous AirPrint compatibility limitations to give users the freedom to print to any USB or networked printer.

The Netgear Genie, available for PCs and Macs, provides a home network dashboard that enables consumers to monitor, connect, and control their home networks and also diagnose and automatically fix network connectivity issues. Now, with this upgrade, the Netgear Genie App also renders any printer AirPrint-compatible, whether connected wirelessly to the home network, USB-connected to a PC, or connected through a USB port to a Netgear ReadySHARE print-capable router. While a PC or a Mac is on, the Netgear Genie App enables printing from iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch devices on the same network.

"Before today, to print from an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch the user needs to buy a new AirPrint-compatible printer," says Sandeep Harpalani, senior product line manager at Netgear. "Now, with the Netgear Genie App upgrade, you can simply print to your current printer at home from your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch as you do from your PC and Mac."

The Windows OS and Mac OS Netgear Genie App upgrade is now available for download at no charge on http://netgear.com/genie

Netgear Genie is also available to download for iPad, iPhone, Android Smartphones and tablets from the Apple store and Google Play store.

App with a Cause: Rebel Magazine Launches iPad App Focused on Men and Social Causes

PR: Rebel Magazine has launched a new iPad app that offers a digitally immersive experience for readers interested in living the story, rather than just reading about it. The award-winning magazine, now in its second year, focuses on social causes, and on providing a forum for men to redefine success.

Living The Story, Rather Than Just Reading About It

The March/April edition of Rebel Magazine is the first to be featured in an iPad compatible format. The issue's cover story is titled, "Bad Sex, Mens' Role in Buying and Selling Women," and raises important issues regarding the commoditization and dehumanization of women. The iPad edition of the article includes a link to an ongoing blog by Amira Birger, whose harrowing story of life as a child prostitute in Phoenix is detailed in the story.

Rebel's Plugged-in column looks at nonprofit technology startup Ushahidi, which means testimony, or witness in Swahili. Ushahidi provides open-sourced mapping software for crowdsourcing and sharing stories of human rights issues, and the iPad version of Rebels coverage features a video detailing the technologies use in Kenya, the Congo, and India, among other hotspots.

Rebel's Small Screen column profiles comedian Louis C.K. and features a hilarious audio clip from an appearance with Conan O'Brien, while a feature on Michael Uslan, the co-executive producer of the Batman franchise of movies includes a trailer for the upcoming film (summer 2012) The Dark Knight Rises.

The magazine's Rebel With A Cause feature highlights innovative entrepreneur Shaun King, who has used social platforms to launch nearly a dozen successful startups, from Twitchange to 500 toys, and whose latest project, Hopemob.org, blazes a new path towards social good. The iPad edition features an expanded high definition photo gallery that looks stunning with the new iPad's Retina display and brings the beneficiaries of King's projects to life.

Rebel donates a minimum of 20% of its ad space to deserving nonprofit organizations and has insured that even the issues advertising is interactive and immersive. An ad for StandUp2Cancer includes a video featuring Sydney Poitier, Jodie Foster, and Ed Norton, among others, while an ad for Virgin Unite, the nonprofit foundation created by Sir Richard Branson, includes an iBooks link to a download of Branson's new book, Screw Business as Usual.

The Rebel Magazine iPad app is available on the iTunes App Store.

Rebel inspires men to redefine and reprioritize their values, relationships and responsibility to society. It gives a voice to those who think and act differently for the greater good and invites readers to join Rebel's own movement to impact important causes. The magazine debuted in August 2010 and donates 20% of advertising space to charitable organizations worldwide. It dedicates several features in each issue to cause-related initiatives and owns a bus that travels, filled with volunteers, to communities in need.

The app is free. Subscriptions are $9.99. Single issues are 99¢.

GraphOn Delivers Windows Apps to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in One App

GO-Global iOS ClientPR: GraphOn Corporation has announced its new GO-Global iOS Client. Available immediately as a free downloadable app from Apple's App Store, the new GO-Global iOS Client is used in conjunction with GraphOn's GO-Global Windows Host solution to seamlessly deliver Windows applications to Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users.

The new GO-Global iOS Client replaces GraphOn's GO-Global iPad Client. New and improved features include support for iPhone and iPad Touch platforms in addition to existing iPad support, enhanced navigation, voice-to-text input, auto-resizing on device rotation, increased performance, plus iPhone and iPad 3 Retina Display screen optimization.

"iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users can now interact with their favorite Windows programs using just their fingers," says Christoph Berlin, GraphOn's vice president of product GO-Global iOS Clientmanagement and marketing. "Our GO-Global iOS Client uses intuitive, multitouch gestures to achieve popular mouse and keyboard operations. Windows applications appear on the iOS device just as though they were running locally, retaining all features, functions, and branding."

GO-Global Windows Host securely delivers server-resident Windows applications to virtually any location, platform, and operating system. Current GO-Global Windows Host customers can gain immediate access to their remoted Windows programs from their iOS device by simply downloading the free GO-Global iOS Client from the App Store.

iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users who are not currently using GO-Global Windows Host, but who would like to evaluate its remote access capabilities, can download the free GO-Global iOS Client and then immediately connect to GraphOn's online demonstration server running several popular Windows programs. No sign-up or registration is required.

System Requirements: GraphOn's GO-Global iOS Client is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and requires iOS 5.0 or later

Free Boeing Milestones App

PR: With archival imagery and engaging videos, "Milestones in Innovation" brings to life Boeing's long string of breakthrough innovations from 1916 to modern day. This digital coffee table book should appeal to anyone interested in aviation, aerospace, technology, innovation or manufacturing.

Boeing Milestones App Boeing Milestones App

Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.

Free

Accessories

Tabü Dual Tip iPad Stylus: One End Draws, the Other Erases - Just Like a Pencil

PR: The Tabü Duo is the first passive, capacitive iPad stylus to truly mimic a traditional pencil, complete with a small tip for writing or drawing and a larger tip for erasing. The Tabü Duo stylus and Tabü Paper, a free iPad note taking app, were developed with the cooperation of Scott Hasbrouck, Tabü Duoindie developer of PaperDesk, Matthew Paprocki, product designer at Boombang, Inc., and Kevin So, product development engineer at AV Concept Holdings, LTD, the company behind the popular headphone line, SOULy Ludacris. Tabü Paper is specifically designed to accompany the Tabü Duo stylus, and they will be released in conjunction this summer.

Over the past year, WebSpinner, LLC has worked with Kevin So, product development engineer at AV Concept Holdings, LTD., to develop the Tabü Duo stylus and the Tabü Paper iPad app. This hardware - software combo allows users an intuitive approach to writing and drawing. When used together, the small end of the stylus draws and the blunt end erases. There is no Bluetooth to connect or batteries to install, since the Tabü Duo is a completely passive, capacitive stylus - simply open Tabü Paper and start drawing and erasing. The inspiration was a simple pencil, and the motivation was the lack of a good parallel to the traditional pencil and paper model. "You can write and erase with just one simple flip, without having any unnecessary distractions," said Kevin So, product engineer of the Tabü product line. Scott Hasbrouck, indie developer of the Tabü Paper app and PaperDesk, the iPad note taking app, remarked "This [development] has the potential to revolutionize the way people write and draw on their iPad."

The Tabü Duo's solid machined aluminum body is triangularly shaped for comfort and ergonomics. It will come anodized in black, silver, and blue, and the interchangeable, magnetic capacitive tips will also be in assorted colors. After its release this summer, the Duo, as well as the rest of the Tabü product line, will be available through various retailers. Tabü DuoStarting today, the dual tip stylus may also be pre-ordered on Kickstarter by pledging $20, a $5 discount off the normal retail price. The design team of the Tabü product line announced this plan on Kickstarter in an effort to raise public awareness and interest.

Tabü Paper will be available as a free iPad note taking app when the Tabü Duo stylus is released. For those looking for a more robust note taking platform, PaperDesk users will also have the option of using the Tabü Duo's dual functionality while taking handwritten notes or drawing.

PaperDesk was one of the first full-featured note-taking apps on the iPad, and has been frequently featured in the App Store, as well as spotlighted in TUAW and PadGadget. Most recently, the app has been headlined by ZDNet and Gizmodo, and it remains a high-ranking app in the App Store's Productivity section. PaperDesk was also recently made available for free on FreeMyApps.com. Both PaperDesk and Tabü Paper are optimized for the new iPad Retina screen.

Custom Flexible Gooseneck Table Mount for iPad

PR: It is a pleasure of having our iPads right in front of our noses for easy reading without the need to actually hold them. This mount deserves serious consideration from anyone looking for a table mount, clamp model holder.

Features:

  • 100% Specific for iPad
  • Gooseneck, allow you to adjust tilt and swivel in all directions
  • Keep you iPad at sight!
  • Keep your desk neat and Tidy.
  • East to insert and remove iPad from Plastic holder
  • Easy to assemble, easy to store

This accessory is suitable for iPad 1, 2, and 3.

Specifications: Device weight (Loading): <=1 Kg

Colors Available: Black

Notes:

  • Only ships to USA, Canada, Australia, West and North Europe (Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, UK, Ireland), Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan ROC, Korea, Japan). For other countries, USB Fever reserve the right not to ship or you may need to pay extra shipping costs for that.
  • only ships to PayPal address
  • Ships in 3-5 days.
  • All items will be checked before shipping out.

$64.99

Touchtype iPad Case Uses Apple Wireless Keyboard

PR: Touchtype is a Kickstarter Product Design project by Washington, DC-based Salman Sajid, who notes that among the spectrum of iPad typists, there's a zealous bunch that swear by the Apple Wireless Keyboard, whose full-size width, familiar key-spacing and responsive tactile feel are all packed into a svelte form-factor that could only come out of Cupertino.

Touchtype iPad CaseHowever, a shortcoming with the Apple Wireless Keyboard is that you have to lug it around separately from your iPad.

The Solution? Enter the Touchtype case - an iPad case that can also hold the Apple Wireless Keyboard.

Hide-away, Slide-away Storage: The Touchtype case stores the Apple Wireless Keyboard underneath the iPad - not on top (like most other keyboard cases). This means you have direct access to your iPad as soon as you open the cover. To use the keyboard, you move aside the elastic restraining loops and slide the 'board out from its pocket.

It's a Stand, Too: The Touchtype case doubles as an iPad stand. Simply fold the cover back and slide it into the tab on the back (similar to Apple's iPad 1 Case) and enjoy your favorite typing angle. Works with the keyboard in or out.

Fit One, Fit All: The Touchtype case uses tense elastic to keep the iPad firmly in place. This allows it to easily adjust itself to any iPad (including the New iPad 3). Since all the straps are symmetrically placed, you can put in your iPad with the Home button on the left or the right. The Touchtype case even has built-in magnets on either side to wake and sleep your iPad in whatever orientation you choose. There's no such thing as wrong way round or upside down.

Touchtype iPad CaseThe Portrait Trick: Some people really like to orient the iPad in portrait mode when they want to do some heavy typing. If you're one of those people, then the Touchtype case has a trick to show you. Laying flat, hidden underneath the iPad lies a second set of elastic straps. Simply rotate the iPad and slide it into these straps and revel in your vertical typing bliss.

Thin Will Always Be In: Why should Apple struggle to make the iPad thinner only to have it imprisoned in chunky keyboard cases? The Touchtype case understands the iPad's pain. Every design decision when making the case was in pursuit of thinness.

Now the Hard Part: The Touchtype case comes in either a smooth gray polyurethane, a "wild espresso" leather, or a luxurious black leather. And the leather is not the tough, plasticky, "just so we can say it's leather" type of leather, but real deal - made from top layer buffalo hide, with characteristic natural grains and that unmistakable genuine leather smell.

The Plan: So far Sajid says he's successfully submitted a patent application and had some prototypes made, and also managed to front some of the money to get a small shipment of gray and espresso cases produced (this is why some early-bird rewards ship earlier than others). The next step is to select the manufacturer for the black leather version.

For details on becoming a backer of this project (the minimum pledge is $1, and $47 or more qualifies you for the Gray Early Backer Special - a Touchtype case made from gray polyurethane at a limited-time 25% retail discount - US Priority Mail shipping included

This project will be funded on Thursday, June 7 at 1:37 p.m. EDT.

Logitech Light-Powered Keyboard and Protection for New iPad and iPad 2

PR: Logitech has announced the new Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio for the third-generation New iPad and the iPad 2. The Solar Keyboard Folio is a protective case with a built-in keyboard that pairs through Bluetooth, and similar to Logitech's solar keyboards for Mac and PC, is powered by light - low light or lamp light, indoors or out. Fully powered, Logitech claims you can type on it for up to two years even in complete darkness. The Solar Keyboard Folio is designed and engineered to be slim, stylish and add minimal bulk to your iPad.

Similar to Logitech's previous solar keyboard products, the Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio includes onboard solar cells that charge the built-in Bluetooth keyboard in any light - indoors or outdoors. When fully charged, the battery lasts for up to two years, even in complete darkness (based on a average use of two hours per day).

"Now that people are seemingly inseparable from their tablets, using them for everything from sending emails to watching videos, they want accessories powered to meet their needs," says Alexis Richard, director of product marketing at Logitech. "The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio is a smart partner for your iPad. Its sleek built-in keyboard uses light to charge and it provides hassle-free protection for your iPad both for the front and back. It gives you an ideal way to use and protect your tablet without adding bulk."

The Solar Keyboard Folio has two stand positions, so you can choose a viewing angle best suited for your needs and circumstances. Open the folio and set your iPad in the first, closer to vertical angle position for typing. In the second, more horizontal position, the first keyboard row acts as a one-touch toggle for media playback and volume controls, so you can play, pause and change volume instantly - ideal for watching a video or listening to music.

The folio also has an instant On/Off function, which means your iPad automatically wakes when you open the folio and goes on standby when you close it.

System requirements: Works with iPad 2 and New iPad (3rd generation)

The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio is expected to be available in the US and Europe beginning this month for a suggested retail price of $129.99.

Case-Mate Promotes Environmental Responsibility with Recyclable iPhone 4/4S Case Collection

PR: iPhone lovers can now protect their phones while also helping the environment. Case-Mate, an international design company specializing in mobile accessories that protect, adorn, and enhance mobile technology, has announced a special rPET (recyclable PET) case collection for the iPhone 4/4S, the cases made from 100% recycled post-consumer PET bottles.

"As part of our greater effort to encourage more sustainable practices, we've introduced a line of fashionable, functional, and environmentally responsible cases," says Shashi Reddy, Case-Mate's Chief Executive Officer. "By creating Case-Mate products using recycled materials, we're helping millennials stay stylish and environmentally conscious."

In order to demonstrate that one doesn't have to sacrifice style and functionality to be environmentally responsible, Case-Mate will highlight this new collection as part of the Dasani Designed to Make a Difference experiential tour, which kicked off on April 17th at Saint Catherine University in Minnesota. The tour consists of approximately 50 event days spanning college campuses, amusement parks, and music festivals from April through October. The Dasani "Designed to Make a Difference" tour provides a refreshing look at recycling through two interactive activations: the Designed to Make a Difference Gallery and Xtreme Recycling game.

The Designed to Make a Difference Gallery will display products made using recycled plastic bottles, such as the Case-Mate rPET case collection. In addition, more than five thousand rPET cases will be given away as prizes in the Xtreme Recycling game, during which people will use air guns to launch empty Dasani bottles at a recycling-themed facade. More information about the "Designed to Make a Difference" tour can be found at http://www.facebook.com/Dasani

The Case-Mate rPET case collection is available for purchase at case-mate.com (links below for each color) - cases are $30 each and come in Lipstick Pink, Tangerine Tango, Lime, Turquoise, Black, and White. One recycled water bottle is used to produce each case (based on approximate average per case).

Enki Genius Case for New iPad Made in the USA

PR: Enki USA, Inc. have announced their new Genius Case for the New iPad and iPad 2, compatible with the Apple Smart Cover and 100% designed and manufactured in the USA. The Atlanta based smartphone and tablet accessory manufacturer boasts the largest inventory of cases and accessories designed and Made in America.

Attending the International CTIA Wireless 2012 in New Orleans, Enki USA, Inc. (Enki) a manufacturer of accessories for smartphones, tablets and smart devices announced their new Genius Case for New iPad (3rd Gen). Enki's Genius Case for New iPad also fits the iPad 2 and provides full access to all ports and buttons while using the Apple Smart Cover. It is available in clear, clear smoke, clear blue and clear pink. The Genius Case gained notoriety for providing clear protection while allowing the backside of the iPad to show through a translucent protective case. Enki is celebrating the anniversary of the Genius Case launch by offering free ground shipping at enkigear.com on all orders through May 17, 2012.

"Our new Genius Case for New iPad and iPad 2 is another great product 100% designed and manufactured in the US," says Edward Cates, Chief Operating Officer of Enki. "No one in the world manufactures as many cases for New iPad, iPad 2 and iPod in the USA as Enki. I challenge our competitors to fully manufacture more cases in the USA than we do. Americans love the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, yet 99% of the accessories and cases bought and sold in retail and online are made overseas supporting a foreign economy. At Enki we manufacture great products at competitive prices in Atlanta, Detroit and North American communities and were going to make even more."

Enki launched a year ago at the International CTIA Wireless 2011 convention in Orlando with the announcement of their first Genius Case for iPad 2 as one of the first Apple Smart Cover compatible case solutions in the accessories industry designed and manufactured in America. In less than a year Enki has increased their number of products Made in America from five to thirteen cases and accessories for New iPad, iPad 2 and iPod touch (4th Gen). Enki will expand their product line in 2012 to include cases for the new iPhone and also select phone and tablet cases for Android devices.

"The new Genius Case is improved significantly over the first Genius Case. Composed of a new custom polymer the new Genius Case is lighter with improved fit and durability over the previous polycarbonate material," says Richard Jones, Vice President of Product and Business Development. "Our focus on innovation of materials and continuous improvement in manufacturing processes embodies our commitment to quality US based manufacturing."

Luvvitt Releases New Line of Colorful, Sophisticated iPad Cases and Covers

PR: Luvvitt has released a new line of iPad cases and covers to keep your expensive mobile equipment safe from damage, while providing options to create a personalized look with multi-functionality.

Luvvitt iPad caseFounder Eli Altaras says: "Luvvitt combines sophistication with protection, keeping that iPad free from dings and scratches . . . I love technology and gadgets and I'm a fan of Apple products so I thought I'd offer something to accessorize those products. The Luvvitt line of iPad cases and covers are not just good looking, they are also incredibly durable with convenient multifunction capabilities."

The new line of Luvvitt includes products like the Luvvitt Aluminum Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard Case, which Luvvitt claims at 11mm thickness is the world's thinnest Luvvitt iPad caseBluetooth keyboard case. The iPad Case allows an iPad to rest on the soft rubber stoppers that are located on the base of each corner to ensure the screen doesn't come into contact with the keycaps. Multifunction options in these iPad cases and covers allow viewing in portrait and landscape modes.

To prove iPad cases and covers don't have to be all-business, there's the Luvvitt DOLCE Slim-fit Smart Luvvitt iPad caseCover Companion/Compatible TPU Case. These covers make a great companion for the official Apple Smart Cover. DOLCE provides an elegant look while still offering protection from scratches and falls, and comes in a variety of contemporary colors.

For a sleek option in iPad cases and covers there's the Luvvitt 3D SuperSlim iPad Case with built in stand and automatic screen sleep/awake function. It provides extra protection with covered edges and is a custom fit for the iPad yet it offers a sleek design and access to keys and buttons. Alternately, there's the The Luvvitt 3D iPad Case - a leather folio with 3-in-1 built in stand.

Luvvitt iPad caseFor other options for iPad cases and covers check out the Luvvitt Perfetto - Full Grain Genuine Leather iPad Case in full-grain, certified leather. The case is handmade with detailed craftsmanship and super-soft cushioned microfiber interior lining that cleans and protects the screen.

UNIEA Launches New iPad 3 Cases Design & Sixth Anniversary Sale

PR: May is a special month for UNIEA: it marks the 6th anniversary of our beginning as a leading designer of iPhone, iPad, and laptop cases.

UNIEA is also beginning to design and carry a wider range of products, including electronics and peripherals. In celebration of their 6th anniversary, they are launching a major promotion in the middle on the month to thank customers and supporters.

UNIEA will also have a couple more New iPad cases coming online including a version of the popular CajPad to be offered for the New iPad.

They also will have a completely new iPad case design coming out for the New iPad - Colorama - combining rich PU leather with vibrant colors, combining a youthful look with a professional feel. Most interestingly, the Colorama will come with a high-quality stylus pen and secret stylus compartment as well.

From May 14th to the 20th, UNIEA will be offering a 40% off promotion for all orders at uniea.com, plus $5.95 flat rate shipping worldwide. Just use promo code UNIANI for the 40% off reduction at checkout.

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