9to5 Guide: The best iPad stands, docks, and cases with built-in stands

 

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iPads need stands. Whether you’re watching videos, long-form typing, or making FaceTime calls, it’s a chore to hold the iPad upright for extended blocks of time. To address that need, Apple launched the first iPad with regular and keyboard docks, but quickly gave up on them in favor of simpler folding lids called Smart Covers.

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If you’re looking for an iPad stand or dock, you can do better than that. We know because we’ve tested lots of options for Apple’s tablets. Following up on our guide to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus docks, we’re looking today at the very best of what’s out there for every iPad, covering four broad categories: simple portable stands, simple desktop stands, cases with integrated stands, and charging docks. Read more

Apple charting in Google’s 2014 trending searches, for both the right and wrong reasons

Google has put together its annual inspirational Year in Search video, and shared some of the trending searches across the year – with Apple making the charts for both the right and wrong reasons.

On the plus side, Apple took the #1 slot in consumer electronics searches, with the iPhone 6 ahead of rival smartphones from Samsung, Google, Motorola, LG and Nokia. Apple was also the only company to make three of the top-ten searches, with the Apple Watch at #8 and iPad Air at #10 …  Read more

Review: ScreenGuardz Pure protects the iPad Air / 2 with beautiful glass, but is it worth $60?

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If your iPad isn’t inside a case, one accidental drop is enough to shatter its screen or dent its body. That’s why roughly 80% of iPhone users use cases, and one of two good reasons (besides adding a stand) that many iPad users do the same. But the iPad Air 2 is changing things — it’s so thin that even Apple’s own Smart Case feels overly bulky, making more minimalist protective solutions highly appealing. If you could shave millimeters off of your encased iPad’s thickness, would you pay $60 just for a screen protector? That’s the question presented by BodyGuardz’ ScreenGuardz Pure, which invisibly covers the iPad Air or iPad Air 2 screen with a thin but strong layer of glass. Carrying a $60 MSRP through BodyGuardz, it’s currently on sale for only $50 through Amazon. Read more

Roundup: The best iPad, iPhone, Mac, iTunes, Beats, and other tech Black Friday deals

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Black Friday can be absolutely overwhelming. Every retailer is vying for your attention and money. That’s why we’ve vetted each and every major Black Friday ad to find only the very best deals.

Remember, this master list was curated from pre-announced deals. We fully expect many retailers to hit us with surprise deals throughout the next week. That’s why it’s important you follow 9to5Toys on Twitter/Facebook, and sign-up for our email newsletter. The 9to5Toys team is going to be working around the clock to bring you the Black Friday deals you can’t afford to miss.

Continue on for the definitive Black Friday 2014 ‘Best Of’ list… Read more

Review: Pixelmator for iPad out now, a desktop-class photo editor for a mobile device

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Note: The app is still rolling out worldwide. Check back soon if the links don’t work for you!

Announced during Apple’s October event, Pixelmator for iPad ($4.99) is an important stepping stone in the iPad’s history. The Mac app is regularly featured by Apple as an exemplar app in the Mac App Store and it is clear Apple wants to use Pixelmator as a ‘trophy’ app in the same way. No doubt this app (aside from games) is one of a handful that will directly benefit from the A8X performance gains.

I tested the app on an iPad Air, although the app technically supports all the way back to iPad 3, even some operations on the Air felt slow. I would be a bit cautious if you intend to install it on one of Apple’s older tablets.

As a 1.0 release, the depth and breadth of this app is staggering. There are a myriad of effects, painting brushes, color adjustments and other features to help edit and create images. The vast majority of the Mac app’s functionality have been ported across to the iPad with a touch-friendly interface, including advanced editing options like layer styles. There are also some template options that aren’t currently included in the Mac app to appease the ‘Photo Booth’ selfie crowd.

Read on for 9to5Mac’s full review of Pixelmator for iPad …

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Apple iPad Air 2 first look: Unboxing, benchmarks, and camera performance (Video)

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Today we’re taking a look at Apple’s fastest and thinnest tablet to date. The iPad Air 2 is more than just a pretty shell. This tablet packs some decent performance over its predecessor. While we haven’t had enough time with it to put together a full review, there are some main points we wanted to go over.

First up, this thing is crazy thin. Apple wasn’t exaggerating when claiming that it was thinner than a pencil. It’s 18 percent thinner than the iPad Air measuring a mere 6.1mm in thickness. This may not be a good thing for everyone, but for the most part it was comfortable to hold while playing games, watching movies, or any other tablet-based task. I’d hate to sound redundant, but damn this iPad is thin. Anyway, let’s jump in and take a look…

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Latest iPad Air 2 component leak shows A8X chip & 2GB RAM

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Following component leaks over the weekend purporting to show an A8X chip and Touch ID button destined for new iPads, additional photos re-published by blog apple.club.tw point to a closer look at the modified system-on-a-chip as well as what appears to be 2GB of RAM for application memory. The purported increase in RAM on the updated tablet would double that of the current generation iPad Air (and iPhone 6 for that matter) and make more more powerful multitasking on the device. Read more

Leaked A8X chip teases more powerful iPad Air 2 as Touch ID button appears

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Ahead of next Thursday’s Apple event, new images purportedly showing parts for the new, full-sized iPad have emerged. Photos re-published by blog apple.club.tw show a full logic board for the new iPad Air as well as parts for the new Home button, glass screen cover, and audio control components. At first glance, the new iPad Air logic board does not reveal too much new, but adjusting the colors of the image shows a fairly unexpected addition: an A8X system-on-a-chip:

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Vietnamese blog leaks iPad Air 2 pictures showing thinner chassis, Touch ID, missing mute switch

Vietnamese blog Tinhte.vn has pictures claiming to show the design of the new iPad Air, likely a dummy unit which acts as a reasonable portrayal of the device’s characteristics. Shown in white, the device is reportedley only 7 mm thin. This is almost the same depth as Apple’s latest iPhones, which measure 6.9 mm and 7.1 mm thin. As such, it also features the same recessed volume button style as the iPhone 6.

The leaks show the next generation iPad to be mostly identical to the current iPad Air, but with some notable changes. Aside from thinness, the iPad now features a ‘glass’ (likely sapphire) Touch ID home button to match previous rumors. Interestingly, the side shots of the device appear to lack a mute switch.

The blog speculates this was for space-saving reasons, meaning the mute switch (which can also be a rotation lock) was sacrificed in order for Apple to attain the desired thinness. Video below.

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Logitech introduces new Type+ Bluetooth keyboard/case for iPad Air

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Logitech today announced its latest case/Bluetooth keyboard combo with the new Type+ for iPad Air. Like many of its past products that we’ve reviewed, Logitech’s new keyboard puts a Bluetooth keyboard inside of a light protective case that provides protection on both sides of an iPad. It also said it’s made some big improvements to the keyboard over previous generations: Read more