Shortcut to turn bluetooth on/off on iPad and iPhone [update: pulled]

Bluetooth OnOffIf you are using an external keyboard, a bluetooth loudspeaker, or any other BT device with your iPad or iPhone, you might be familiar with the routine of frequently switching bluetooth on and off (e.g., to preserve battery). Unfortunately, the settings for doing this are a little bit tucked away under “General Settings”, which makes the whole routine more complicated than it should be. If you think there should be an easier way, Bluetooth OnOff ($1, universal app, iTunes link) might be a good app for you. [Read more…]

Sente vs. Papers: What is the best PDF management system? (part 2)

Sente vs Papers (part 2)This article is the second part of the big showdown between Sente and Papers. With a price tag of around $100 for the complete package (Mac and iPad app) and a similar (but not identical!) set of features, the decision of what system is the best fit for your PDF management needs is not easy. And it is more than money that is at stake, as you will spend a considerable amount of time building your library once you have taken the plunge. [Read more…]

Magical screen cleaner? Don’t waste your money to clean iPad!

iKlearBrowsing through the Apple accessories aisle of some stores is sometimes like entering a strange, medieval-times bazaar: you can find everything from bare necessities to magical potions. Screen cleaner fall under the second category.

One of my most favorite, ridiculous “must-have” accessory you should not buy are screen cleaner solutions. For the bargain price of $20, iKlear (and many others) will sell you a cleaning kit that “contains everything you need to clean, protect, and preserve your iPad” and all your other Apple gadgets. [Read more…]

Sente vs. Papers: What is the best PDF management system?

Do you remember the first thing that crossed your mind when you first saw an iPad? In my case, I was thinking how great it would be to read and annotate PDFs on it!

Serious academic readers are wise to invest some time and money into a dedicated PDF management system for their read-cite-write workflow. With Mendeley and Bookends not supporting annotations on the iPad, there are only two contenders in the race for the best PDF management system:  Sente and Papers. If you are on the fence between these two, you have to read this article. [Read more…]

The new iPad: Gorgeous Retina Display, but disturbing heat issue

How bad are the heat issues of the new iPad?Boy was I excited about the new iPad! Judging from its specs, it seemed to me the best iPad yet for academics, and so I went ahead and ordered one. However, the heat issue cooled of my excitement considerably. The Retina Display and the new camera perform well, pretty much as expected. What I didn’t expect, and what nobody really saw coming until the first units arrived at people’s doorsteps, was that the new iPad runs considerably warmer than its predecessors.

At least for me, the heat is an issue, and this is why I am returning my new iPad. In the rest of this post, I am discussing the pros and cons of the new iPad in more detail. Hopefully this helps you to decide whether buying one now is worth it for you, or whether you want to sit this one out. [Read more…]

Byword has finally arrived on the iPad!

ByWord for iPadByword, my maybe favorite distraction-free writing app on the Mac, has finally arrived on the iPad. I have written about similar apps, such as OmmWriter and iA Writer, before, but except for hinting at ByWord as a good alternative, I haven’t talked about it in much detail.

What held me back? Byword was slow to enter the iCloud game. But now that Byword has caught up with iA Writer, I can tell you more about what makes Byword a great (maybe my favorite?) distraction-free writing solution. [Read more…]

Why buying a Smart Cover (or Smart Case) is a stupid idea

Apple Smart Cover Stupid IdeaFor some time, I thought Apple’s Smart Cover was one of the coolest features of the iPad. But then I saw it in action and changed my mind. In fact, the Smart Cover is a stupid idea, because it is a disappointing compromise between screen protection, a stand, and the desire to show off the iPad’s slim design. For this reason, the Smart Cover lands on my list of “must-have” iPad accessories you should not buy. Read on for more details on what is wrong with the Smart Cover and what might be better alternatives.

UPDATE: Someone at Apple must read my blog, because they introduced the Smart Case ($49). While the Smart Case addresses the first point of my Smart Cover critique below, the other points still seem to be relevant, and I still think that there are better alternatives for a case out there. A few are listed in this post, and I have written an update on stylish iPad cases here. If you are more about function than form: I have also written a post about keyboard covers that not only protect your iPad but also turn it into the ultimate writing machine.

[Read more…]

The new iPad: What size and model should you buy?

The new iPadAre you thinking of buying an iPad? That is great, what size and model is it going to be? Right now, you can spend anywhere in between $399 and $829 (US prices) on a brand new iPad, and you can shave off some additional dollars if you buy refurbished or previously enjoyed. Picking wisely what you need can therefore save you some great deal of money.

So here is what you do: Go get yourself a third-generation iPad WiFi 32 GB White without any extras. Just kidding, this is what I am getting. Only you know what iPad configuration is best for you; however, in this post I will discuss the merits of 4G, reflect on storage size, and tell you about my “Apps and Music Diet” that allows me to drop from a 64 GB to a 32 GB iPad.

[Read more…]

The new iPad: A perfect fit for research, teaching and learning?

new iPadApple announced the new iPad today, and it might be the best iPad ever for research, teaching and learning. Especially two features will make the iPad even more useful and popular among researchers and college students: the Retina Display and the 5-megapixel iSight camera. Read on for more details on how these two features will improve your academic workflow. [Read more…]

“Must-have” iPad accessories you should NOT buy: Screen Protectors

Don't buy these must-have iPad accessoriesEspecially if you are buying your very first iPad, you might be very excited to complete your new gadget with some “must-have” iPad accessories that are touted all around the web. But lets stop and breathe a little bit: do you really need to spend almost half of the price of your iPad again on accessories? You can if you like, but please don’t spend your money on these four “must-have” iPad accessories that are absolute bogus! Read on to learn how you can save almost $200… [Read more…]