Posts tagged ipad

Close-up image of woman texting and using an iPhone with iOS 11.

Apple’s iOS 11 and More Updates Coming

Close-up image of woman texting and using an iPhone with iOS 11.

What’s new with iOS 11?

Apple announced several updates are coming to their iOS devices this Fall. The company is giving iPhone and iPad users access to new features with iOS 11.

“iOS 11 gives iPad users the powerful app functionality they need to take advantage of everything iPad is capable of, and brings hundreds of new features and incredible updates to the iOS apps iPhone and iPad users enjoy every day,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.

Apple praises iOS 11 as “A giant step for iPhone. A monumental leap for iPad.” It’s hard not to see why. These long-awaited features are set to give users more options. Let’s walk through what Apple users can expect this Fall.

New iOS 11 Features

  • Customizable Dock – On iPad, iOS 11 gives users more customization options, making it even more powerful. The new customizable dock grants access to frequently used apps and documents. Furthermore, you can customize the dock with your favorite apps. The dock even suggests apps that you have used recently or on other iOS devices.
  • Multitasking Features – Switching between apps is now easier thanks to Split View and Slide Over. The new updates allow you have two apps open at the same time. You simply drag an app from your dock to your main screen.
  • Files – This app is perhaps the biggest feature coming with iOS 11. You can control the file storage on your devices. Not much is known about this feature. However, we do know that the Files app will give users access to stuff stored on iCloud and other storage services.
  • Apple Pencil Support – The update will allow the Apple Pencil more functionality on the iPad. Users are now able to markup PDFs and screenshots, take notes on the lock screen and draw in the notes app.
  • AR Functionality – With the ARKit, developers can easily build new and exciting AR experiences. Using the built-in camera of iOS devices, users can experience what Apple calls “detailed and compelling virtual content on top of real-world scenes for interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences, industrial design and more.”
  • Updated Siri – Apple’s premier personal assistant Siri is set to become a whole lot smarter. By adding new AI technology, Siri will sound more realistic than ever. Siri can also offer suggestions based on what apps you use, learning about your interest and curating the content you see in apps like News and Safari.
  • Enhanced Do Not Disturb – The updated Do Not Disturb feature can determine when you are driving and prevent calls, text messages, and notifications from reaching you during that time. People who are trying to get in touch with you automatically receive a message that you are on the road.

More Updates

Apple announced a ton of other announcements at their conference. They revealed new products and features like the HomePod, iMac Pro, and updated App Store on iOS devices. In addition to these products, the company also detailed their new macOS operating system. You can check out everything the company has to offer by visiting their website. Keep visiting the Geek Aid blog for more on the future of mobile technology.

The Current iPad Market – Comparing the Available Devices

The iPad may not dominate the tablet market the way it did early on, but it is still the popular choice for many mobile users. Now take a look at the five tablets that you can buy brand new from Apple. They come in three sizes:

  • Small tablets – iPad mini 2, iPad mini 4 with a 7.9 inch screen
  • Large tablets – iPad Air, iPad Air 2 with 9.7 inch screen
  • Enormous tablets – iPad Pro (there’s actually a bigger-size jump from the Air to the Pro than from the mini to the Air) with 12.9 inch screen—practically a laptop

The Difference Between Each iPad

Let’s start with what sets the iPad Pro apart, besides being gigantic. It’s the only tablet for which Apple makes its own keyboard. You have to get a third-party keyboard for the others. It is also the only device compatible with Apple Pencil. You’ll need a third-party stylus for the other tablets. The Pro is also the only model with four speakers, compared to the usual two.

Differences in appearance primarily come down to size and color since they are all aluminum. While the three newest devices are available in a gold color, the iPad Air and the mini 2 are only available in space gray and silver.

All of the devices have the same screen resolution (2048 by 1536) except the Pro, which is 2732 by 2048. Even at that astounding resolution, the mini still has a higher ppi. The newest devices have a coating to reduce reflection that is not available on the mini 2 or the Air. The same is true of the touch ID feature.

Processor speed increases by device generation. The mini 2 and Air use the A7. The Air 2 and mini 4 use the A8. The Pro uses the A9 chip and clocks in at 2.3 GHz. It’s also the only device with 4 GB of RAM. The Air 2 and mini 4 have 2 GB,r and the Air and mini 2 also have 2 GB.

How much can you expect to pay? Occasionally you’ll find deals, with the starting rretail price for the mini 2 at $269, the Air and mini 4 are $399, the Air 3 is $499, and the Pro is $799. That is the base model of each, which is Wi-Fi only, and has 16 GB of storage (except the Pro which starts at 32 GB).

Tablet Review: iPad Pro vs. Surface Book

Wondering about which tablet to get between the iPad Pro or Surface Book? Here’s our tablet review to help you decide.

First, why compare a tablet and a laptop? Well, the iPad Pro is a tablet apparently wanting to be a laptop, and the Surface Book is a laptop attempting a crossover into the tablet universe. The best way to see if either accomplishes the task is to analyze them side by side.

Dimension and weight: When you take the Surface Book’s tablet off the keyboard attachment, it’s only slightly taller, wider, and thicker than the Pro. It also only weighs a few grams more. Of course, that’s only without the keyboard.

Appearance: the Surface sports a beautiful magnesium exterior and the Pro has the sleek aluminum we expect from Apple. So far, things are pretty even.

Display: The Surface Book is slightly smaller, with a screen size of 12.3″ (if that’s what you are looking for), whereas the Pro is 12.9″. Both are huge compared to 10” tablets. The Surface also has a minute advantage in resolution with 267 ppi to the 264 ppi of the Pro. Both screens allow you to multi-task by splitting the screen and using two apps alongside each other.

Microsoft Advantages

So what does the Surface have that the Pro doesn’t? Here are a few things:

  • A Trackpad – Apple still won’t commit to making the iPad a “2-in-1” by adding a mouse or trackpad.
  • Desktop Apps – The Surface book can run the same apps as your PC. The iPad Pro still requires that you shop in the App Store.
  • Facial Recognition – When you sit down in front of your device, it unlocks. A simple and elegant solution.
  • More RAM – While the Pro comes with 4 GB, the Surface has 8 and 16 GB options.
  • USB – Two USB ports allow you to easily connect other devices to your Surface.
  • More Storage – Let’s face it. The Surface Book is a laptop. That means storage ranging from 128 GB to a full terabyte vs. just 32 GB and 128 GB options for the Pro.
  • SD Slot – Not enough storage or data transfer options for you yet? Use an SD card.

So is the Surface Book a clear winner? Not so fast.

Apple Advantages

Here are a few things the iPad Pro has that you won’t get from the Surface Book:

  • Touch ID – It’s not just for unlocking your device. Many apps will let you log in with your fingerprint.
  • Cellular Options – The iPad Pro has an LTE version, so you can use it to get connected anywhere you have cell service.
  • Lower Price – Apple rarely wins the price war, but you can get a Pro with the keyboard and stylus for over $400 less than the Surface Book base model (although you lose a little bit of that if you choose the 128 GB model).

The bottom line: Our tablet review just lays out the specs. It’s a matter which is right for you. Between these two, it comes down to size and resolution. The Pro is larger but with less ppi, where as the Surface is slightly smaller but has better ppi.

Which Display Is Better: IPS or AMOLED?

Usually when this question is asked, a person wants to know whether the mobile digital display is better on a Samsung device or an Apple device. That is because Samsung has become well known for using AMOLED technology while Apple uses IPS. Let us consider the pros and cons of each type of mobile display.

IPS Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD)


Sharpness is a major benefit of IPS screens. The clarity of an IPS screen results in truer colors. IPS displays also perform much better in bright light situations than AMOLED screens do.

Ultimately, IPS is more of a photographer’hs screen because you get a more accurate picture of what the image genuinely looks like. Unfortunately, it may suffer in quality when you try to read or watch a movie in a dimly lit situation.


Backlighting can actually be a negative factor when you need darker blacks in your images. For example, if you are watching a movie like “Interstellar” where much of the action takes place in space, the dark colors can suffer a little. This also affects contrast when you are reading since a little light will always be filtered through the letters.

Viewing angles are not as good on an LCD display too. This can be a negative when you are trying to show a video to a bunch of your friends. It can be a positive when you are trying to send a private text in a crowded room.

NOTE: Apple is not the only brand that favors IPS. LG and HTC make Android devices with IPS displays as well.

AMOLED Displays


Theoretically, AMOLED displays are better for battery life (although battery life comparison on iPhones and Galaxy phones would make a stark opposing argument). AMOLED screens also produce darker blacks because every pixel can be turned on and off rather than having the whole screen backlit. Super AMOLED screens provide the brightest colors.


AMOLED screens do not always render the truest colors because they have a tendency to oversaturate everything. That may be a negative factor when you take a picture and post it on a social media site thinking it is perfect only to discover that it was dull and undersaturated. Burn in is another issue, although not a very common one.

The Verdict

Both IPS and AMOLED have their strong and weak points. Which one is better for you will likely depend on how you use your mobile device the most. In the end, there will likely be other factors that will determine which phone or other mobile digital display device you decide to get since the battle between IPS and AMOLED is too close to call.

New Tablet, Phone, iOS, and More, Coming from Apple

Some of the highlights of the apple news event for 2015 are updated iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus and the much anticipated iPad Pro with its stylus. Fans wait all year for such news. Let’s consider some of the highlights from this year’s big event.

The New iPad

iPad sales have been down six quarters in a row. The iPad Pro is Apple’s solution. It definitely competes with the Surface Pro, and it can challenge most laptops on the market.

It is far bigger than the iPad Air, and the design is intentional (we’ll get to that with the new iOS 9). The display has more pixels than most laptops, and the processor is more powerful too.

Perhaps the biggest news, however, is that Apple has finally developed a Smart Keyboard with a revolutionary Smart Connector system for exchanging power and data. No more searching for a decent third party keyboard… or a stylus! The Apple Pencil has also arrived to fine tune the digital art side of the iPad.

In short, the iPad Pro is a revolution in the tablet market. The price tag starts at $799 for the 32GB model.

The New iOS

You won’t have to wait until November to upgrade to iOS 9. In fact, the upgrade is supposed to be available on September 25th. What new features can Apple users look forward to?

One of the most exciting will only be available for the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Pro. That is the ability to run two apps side by side (hence the need for tablet that is as tall as the Air is wide). Any tablet newer than the iPad Mini 2 can run two apps side by side, but only one will be active at a time.

One more great new addition is the picture-in-picture feature for FaceTime. Now you can continue to use your tablet, even on a video call. When you press the home key, your call goes into the corner box, allowing you to continue using your apps.

And So Much More

Other releases include the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. There’s also a new color being added to the lineup, Rose Gold. Apple TV and the Apple Watch are both getting makeovers as well. Let’s just say Apple continues to show why they are at the forefront of mobile technology.


The i-FlashDrive: Perfect for Apple Data Transfers

When you think about portable devices, what are two of the most important attributes that you associate with such gadgets? For most of us, the answer will be quick and small. Of course, the device also needs to be functional. The i-FlashDrive from PhotoFast meets all of these expectations in a way that many Apple device users have been searching for as a supplement to their devices.

This flash drive is designed specifically for use with recent generation iPhones and iPads that use the lightning connector for charging and data transfer. On the other side of the device is a USB 3.0 connector for use with your Windows, iOS, or Linux computer system. Extremely efficient, the drive is small enough to tuck into your jean’s 5th pocket and keep on you at all times.

The fact is that many Apple fans struggle with storage space. There is no slot for external memory and few options for fast transferring data on and off the device. While more internal storage is available for purchase time, this comes at great cost on devices that are already not cheap to start with. The i-FlashDrive gives you the opportunity to bridge that gap at an affordable price.

How does it work? First of all, you can use it as an ordinary flash drive, but if that is what you wanted, you would have bought a regular flash drive. However, a free app, available in the Apple App Store, allows you to manage your device’s files, create a backup, transfer data, encrypt files, playback media without using iTunes, and more.

If you want to save a few dollars and are not as concerned with transfer speeds, there is a USB 2.0 flash drive version available for about $20 less. The USB 3.0 version starts at $79.99 for the 16 GB model. Drive sizes go up to 128 GB.

Give Your Older Printer WiFi Capabilities

Just about every modern printer comes equipped with WiFi. After all, no one wants to have to plug in to print anymore. Plus, what are all of those tablets and smartphones to do with no way to connect to a printer. That has led to the age of WiFi printers. So do you have to upgrade your printer at the home or office if it doesn’t have WiFi capabilities? Not necessarily. ImageTech has released a couple of devices to turn any printer into one that can handle mobile devices.

The devices are named printUSB and printWiFi. PrintUSB is more suitable for the home setting. It only allows one device to be connected to the printer at a time. Print USB isn’t wireless. It’s just a means for connecting mobile devices that wouldn’t normally have a place to plug in a printer. It is basically a USB hub that lets you attach the mobile device and a printer.

The wireless option, which is much better for an office setting, is called printUSB. An app named printView will let you connect mobile devices to a printer using a wireless connection. Of course, this is also good for a person who needs to work a lot on the go. These are portable devices, and you can quickly attach them to any printer, even one that you don’t have the software for. The only real issue is whether or not someone minds if you reach behind their printer to plug in your device.

We’re talking mere inches for each of these devices that will give your older printer WiFi capabilities, so there is no problem slipping them into the slimmest of laptop cases. Of course, if your home or office printer is old enough to not have a wireless setting, it’s probably time to upgrade anyway, but you can’t expect everyone on the planet to keep up-to-date. PrintUSB and printWiFi may really save you when you need to print something somewhere that has barely made it into the 21st century.

Using a Tablet as Your Laptop

Using a Tablet as Your Laptop: Are You Ready to Trade Your Laptop for a Tablet and Keyboard?

2-in-1 laptops are becoming more common, integrating aspects of tablets (e.g., the touchscreen), with what we expect from laptops (desktop computer programs, a CD drive, etc.). But, now that all tablets seem to have available keyboards, are you ready to begin using a tablet as your laptop? The second question to consider, if tablets are poised to double as a laptop, is which tablet is right for you? Let’s compare the Surface with the iPad and decide which tablet is the better “laptop” option.

Microsoft is advertising the Surface as a powerful business tool, and it is. However, that doesn’t mean the iPad is only for use at the local coffee shop. Microsoft did develop their own keyboard, while Apple was content to let third party manufacturers handle theirs. However, this fact doesn’t make an iPad second tier in quality or usefulness. 

One advantage the Surface does have are digital connectors. These allow the keyboard direct access. The iPad wasn’t designed this way, which makes Bluetooth a requirement for iPad keyboards. This is another drain on your iPad battery and it can affect the iPad’s usefulness. Surface keyboards also have a trackpad, which makes for more of a laptop feel.

However, once everything is connected, the iPad reminds us why Apple products have such a following. The iPad is lighter and better suited for travel. If you will be carrying the device for long periods, you’ll definitely appreciate the iPad’s lighter weight. The Surface, however, has a better aspect ratio for video. Ironically this makes it the better ‘toy.’ Of course, in no way does this make it less of a business machine.

Microsoft Office is a big selling point in regards to productivity. However, the Surface Pro 2 doesn’t come with a free version of Office. This flagship Microsoft program does come with the non-pro Surface 2. This factor alone may make the Surface 2 the best of the Microsoft tablets to use as a laptop. On the other hand, iPad now has free Office apps. There is a catch. The Office apps are read-only, unless you get a $7/month subscription to Office 365.

In the end, two of the most important factors are price and the amount of storage space needed. The Surface Pro 2 provides greater processing power, while sacrificing a little portability. The Surface 2 is the least expensive choice. Apple’s iPad’s are lighter, feature better displays, and have a longer battery life. The final factor might be App selection. Apple clearly has the lead here, as their product has been around much longer.

If you are ready to begin using your tablet as your laptop, there are several choices. None of the choices are perfect for everyone, but as tablets have matured they have become more versatile. It is possible to make this step, as long as you choose based on your own specific needs.

iPad Mini vs. Nexus 7: Battle of the Tablets

Apple Versus Google: 7-Inch Tablet Edition

Let’s compare some of the features of the latest 7-inch tablets from Apple™ and Google™. How does the new Google Nexus™ 7 (2013 edition) compare to the iPad mini™ with Retina Display? It’s time to take a closer look.

Let’s begin with size. Both devices are the exact same height, but the Nexus, however, is not as wide, creating a very different look. In fact, one may immediately appeal to you more than the other upon seeing them side-by-side depending on your personal preference.

As for width, while both devices are thin, the iPad mini is more than a millimeter thinner. How does this translate to weight? The Nexus is lighter, coming in at under two-thirds of a pound. The iPad is only slightly heavier, but the real surprise is that it weighs a little more than previous models; if you’re looking to upgrade from an earlier iPad mini, you may notice a slight difference.

Of course, when it comes to appearance and aesthetics, Apple always maintains an advantage, and the aluminum case on the iPad mini continues that trend. The black plastic on the Nexus isn’t bad to look at, though; it’s just that the iPad is prettier and has a nice feel to it. While both devices are easy to hold with one hand, the iPad has the advantage of not registering your thumb when it sits on the edge of the device.

Now, let’s talk display. While the resolution is higher on the iPad, the pixels per inch on both devices are just about equal since the display is slightly smaller on the Nexus. If storage is your thing, you’ll be happy with the larger storage versions of the iPad that are available. Google has only released 16 and 32 GB versions on the Nexus 7.

A faster processor and more RAM make the Nexus a powerhouse and give it a distinct advantage over the iPad. However, if battery life is a concern, the difference will be far more noticeable. The iPad can go through 10 hours of use on one full charge. The Nexus will only last a little over half of that.

In the end, if price is what is most important to you, you’ll end up with a Nexus, since you can’t beat the $230 starting price tag for the 16 GB base model. The 16 GB iPad mini, on the other hand, starts at $400.

The iPad Mini

Amazon ruled the holiday season last year with the affordable Kindle Fire. This year the Kindle Fire HD is their new product, but it faces tough competition from the Google Nexus 7 and the Nook HD. Another wild card thrown into the mix is the iPad Mini. At $329 (US), it clocks in with a far greater price tag than the competition—but it’s an iPad. Will that make it steal the season? Read on to see how its specs match up against the Kindle Fire HD.

Starting with the dimensions and feel of the device, iPad gets the edge. The height and width are similar, but the iPad is significantly slimmer. Also, while the plastic and rubber Kindle is easy to grip, the black and white versions of the iPad are much more stylish. The iPad is also the lighter device, but both weigh so little, it makes the difference negligible.

Just going straight up by the numbers, the Kindle shockingly beats out the iPad in the display category. Apple is used to being on top here, but when Amazon says HD, they mean it. You get nearly an extra inch of display from the iPad—216 (Kindle) verses 164 (iPad) pixels per inch puts Amazon on top.

In processing power, the Kindle wins again with a 1.2GHz chip versus the 1.0 in the iPad. It’s a small difference and both tablets should be fine, but the Nexus beats them both soundly here since both are dual core. The Kindle Fire HD, however, has a likely edge in RAM over the iPad with 1 GB versus an expect 512 MB (which explains why Apple is being quiet on this topic).

Memory gives the advantage to iPad with a 64 GB model available, but you will definitely pay for it. The same is true about the 3G/LTE model iPad. Kindle is only wifi right now, but an 8.9 inch 4G Kindle Fire is due out soon.

Battery life is comparable on the two. iPad gives you the edge in cameras since the Kindle doesn’t have a front facing camera (believe it or not, that is probably the biggest advantage of the iPad overall). The other big victory for the iPad is that it has a huge app store, but the Kindle app store isn’t bad either.

The verdict: If you want a sleeker looking device with somewhat better software, the iPad is for you. If you want the nicer display with a far smaller price tag then the Kindle Fire HD wins out hands down. Sorry Apple, maybe next year.

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