The iPad Air is faster, lighter, and thinner, but I’m not getting one yet

iPad Air from Apple.com

When Tim Cook and company unveiled the new iPad Air a few weeks ago, I wanted one. The new A7 chip and the processing boost the Air was getting made it a very tempting device. Who wouldn’t want a faster iPad? I currently have the third generation iPad, so I figured this new model would leave mine in the dust. Imagine how great it would be in the art programs I have on the iPad (that I never use). I would be able to do so much more with it.

Not only is the iPad Air faster, but it is light and smaller too. Two more tempting features. While my iPad is light when compared to a laptop, lighter would really be nicer.

As much as I wanted the iPad Air I did not order one on launch day. If I had the extra money to get one, I might have made the purchase. However, the extra money is not lying around right now, and I am actually glad I didn’t order one after making a trip to the Apple Store earlier today and having the opportunity to try one out.

Was it thinner and lighter? Definitely. I could not believe how light it felt. It was almost as light a an iPad mini. It reminded me of how amazed I was at picking up the original iPad for the first time. The difference in size and weight is huge.

Next came the real question – how much faster is the new iPad? I was expecting to be blown away. To be honest, I wasn’t. Was it faster? Definitely, but it was not so much faster that I had to have it. Apps did not launch much faster than they do on my iPad. In fact, for basic use like email, browsing the Internet, typing notes, and even playing games I did not see much of a difference. I would have liked to have been able to test those art programs I mentioned, but they were not installed. Even if they were, I don’t know how much faster they would have been. I suspect they would have been more responsive, but I don’t know.

Part of my observations on the speed of the device are most likely due to many applications not being built to take advantage of the new processor. The other part has to do with the fact that email can only go so fast. By next year I suspect there will be plenty of apps made to run faster on the iPad Air, but by then it will be time for a new iPad that is even faster!

So, for me it is the third generation iPad for now. Will I get a new iPad in the future? Most likely. When? I don’t know. As long as my iPad does what I need it to I’ll probably stick with it.

Should you upgrade your iPad? That depends: If you have an original iPad, it probably would not be a bad idea. If you have an iPad 2 or later I would suggest doing what I did. Go out and try one. See if you notice a difference and if it is worth the money to upgrade for you.

Review: My first week with the iPad Mini

Even though I’m an “IT guy,” I’ve never been a believer in “technology for the sake of technology.” Before I buy a device, I have to understand how it’s going to fit in with my life and be sure I’m going to use it. I’ve seen far too many clients become hooked on buying shiny gadgets that never get properly exploited.

As such, it’s taken a very long time to convince myself that I really need an iPad. There’s been one in the house before, as my wife had one as part of her job, so I’ve hardly been blind to their desirability, but with an iPhone and MacBook Pro already in my possession, I needed some strong justification.

It came in the form of my signing up to do a degree course via distance learning. The course requires me to read a lot of online content, which is ergonomically awkward on a laptop and impractical on a smartphone. So I finally had the excuse I needed, and went out and purchased a 32GB iPad Mini.

The White iPad Mini

First Impressions

Let’s face it, nobody’s ever disappointed when they take home a box containing new Apple hardware, and the iPad Mini is no different. However, I didn’t fawn over the sleek silver back for long, as I placed it straight into a protective rear cover and clipped on Apple’s own magnetic cover and stand combo.

How the device worked was obviously no surprise either; we’re essentially talking about a big iPhone that’s not a phone, but I was pleased that I didn’t feel myself badly missing a retina display. However, I did notice (and continue to notice) that the touch control isn’t quite as precise as that on my iPhone. It’s not bad at all, but I do sometimes find it hard to tap small “x” icons, especially when they’re near the top right corner of the screen.

Daily Use

As I said above, I was far more interested to find how the iPad slotted into my life than in investigating every feature available to me. After all, most of the functionality is already available on my iPhone.

The first point to make is that it’s given me a greater sense of separation between my working day and my evening. As I work from home, it’s easy to find myself still on my MacBook as darkness falls, in a strange kind of half work / half play limbo. Now I have the iPad, I’m more likely to close the laptop when the work is done, and switch to the iPad. This is a good thing, as it’s a far more sociable way to use technology.

As part of this, I took the decision not to sync my email accounts and calendars with the iPad, supporting its role as a leisure and study device and not a business device.

Despite the separation, the iPad is such a pleasure to use, it’s kept me up long into the night on a couple of occasions: once simply playing around with apps, including DJ software, games and music tools, and the other reading a recommended text for my university course that I found instantly available to me via iBooks.

I’ve also enjoyed being able to take the Traktor DJ app to a house party, resulting in a usable casual DJ setup, all in a package weighing 308 grams.

Conclusion

I’ll be honest: I really should have splashed out on an iPad sooner. There really is room for another gadget between laptop and smartphone, even if both of the other gadgets can technically fulfill every purpose.

The beauty of the iPad Mini is in its form factor. When we had a full size iPad in the house, I rarely used it for prolonged Web browsing as it simply wasn’t that comfortable. The iPad Mini is perfect in this respect and very pleasing to use, even with just one hand.

If you’re struggling to justify buying an iPad, it’s time to give in. I promise you won’t regret it.

Reading magazines on the iPad: A great, but confusing experience

I love printed magazines, and I have since I was a teenager, when my magazines of choice included hip-hop journal The Source, and lots of geeky Atari ST mags, which always came with a demo-filled 3.5-inch “cover disk.”

Much has changed since then, obviously. Easy software downloads have obliterated the last of the cover disks, and the printed magazine industry itself is struggling as a result of people consuming information on their PCs and tablets rather than in printed form. Many long-standing magazines have folded (pardon the pun), and many more have switched from monthly to quarterly production.

For me, however, the lure of printed magazines has remained strong. As I now live in Portugal, English-language magazines are hard to come by and are rather expensive, but every trip to the UK has me visiting the airport newsagent for a stack of magazines to bring home, including titles such as BBC Good Food, Wired, and Mac Format.

Reading Magazines on the iPad with Zinio
Reading Magazines on the iPad with Zinio

Enter the iPad

Earlier this week, everything changed, as I finally gave into temptation and purchased an iPad. The ability to read my favorite titles on a sensibly-sized screen was one of the main attractions.

One of the first things I did was download the Zinio magazine app. I had used this before on both my Mac and iPhone, but found the experience far from pleasurable on those platforms. It’s not comfortable or relaxing to read from a laptop screen, and magazine reading on an iPhone involves far too much pinching, zooming, and squinting. Furthermore, I don’t particularly fancy leaving the fate of either of these expensive gadgets to the bath or the beach.

Zinio on the iPad was everything I had hoped for. I could comfortably read a whole page without zooming, and the ability to switch to a pure-text display for long articles was very convenient. Within hours of unpacking my iPad, I had devoured the latest issue of Mac Life, as well as several other digital magazines that I purchased impulsively.

Still yearning for print editions

I then switched to Apple’s Newsstand app and downloaded Wired, another title I greatly enjoy in its paper form, but it’s not really quite right to describe the electronic version of Wired as a magazine; it’s more of an interactive experience, with embedded video clips, animations and mixed-media advertising. I was impressed, but before too long, I found myself wishing I was curled up with the paper copy instead.

The simple fact was that the overuse of clever features made the experience more like playing a game than reading a periodical. It wasn’t instantly clear how I was meant to use all of the gestures and such, and as a result I found the experience more tiring than relaxing, especially when I reached a page which appeared to have a glitch that interrupted my reading.

Conclusion

I’m truly glad that I have instant access to all of my favorite magazines, but I’m not at all convinced that I want magazines presented to me in a newfangled interactive way. While I’ve no doubt that this works wonderfully for interactive textbooks, I simply like to sit and read my magazines from cover to cover, without having to work out how and where to press the screen of my iPad.

So, while magazine reading will surely be something my iPad is used for much of the time, I’ll still be visiting the newsagents and leaving with a carrier bag full of magazines when I get the opportunity, and I won’t have to worry about dropping them in the bathtub.

Review: Traktor DJ, a professional music mixing app for iPhone and iPad

I would never claim to be a bona fide DJ. At best, I am a hobby DJ who’s been given the occasional opportunity to do his thing at some bars and parties. Even so, I am passionate about playing and mixing music, and over the years I’ve invested in various software packages and items of equipment.

I started, as every DJ should, with vinyl decks, and then progressed via CDs to Virtual DJ software. I then added a cheap mixing console which, it’s fair to say, served me well for a few bar gigs.

Then, a couple of years ago, I found myself with a bit of spare cash and invested in a Traktor Kontrol S4, Native Instruments’ flagship hardware controller. I had a lot of fun with it, but lately I’ve became painfully aware of the expensive piece of equipment’s confinement in the cupboard in our spare room, getting (at best) a quarterly airing at an impromptu house party. I made the vague decision to sell it, especially when Native Instruments dropped the price of the Kontrol S4, which resulted in a corresponding drop in the value of my “asset.”

Meanwhile, things have yet again moved on for the digital DJ, and there’s been no development more exciting than the release of Traktor DJ for the iPad and iPhone. Recently, I decided to finally give the iPhone version a go, and I’ll be up-front from the start: I was extremely impressed.

traktor-ipadmini

Usage

Traktor DJ for iPhoneTraktor DJ’s interface is clear and slick and the beat-matching engine is spot-on. What’s more, all the key features are present and correct, and all reimagined for touch control – which, as it turns out, is actually a really tactile and natural-feeling way to mix.

In terms of the basics, there are EQs, filters, hot cue points, loops, and a basic range of effects including delay, reverb, beatmash and gater.

Then, there are a couple of things unique to the iOS version of Traktor. One is “freeze mode,” which allows you to freeze a section of the track (usually a four beat loop), and manually trigger the beats by tapping the screen, effectively allowing you to remix “on the fly.”

There’s also a track recommendation engine that suggests your next track based on its key as well as its BPM. This kind of harmonic mixing isn’t even available in the Traktor Pro software at the time of writing, so to see it in an app that costs $19.99 on the iPad or just $4.99 on the iPhone is truly impressive.

Conclusion

Features aside, however, could Traktor DJ really replace my existing digital setup? Well, on the iPhone alone, probably not. There’s simply too much functionality to cram onto such a tiny screen. Even though the way that Native Instruments has designed the UI is very clever, with the ability to “slide” between decks, I still keep managing to accidentally stop a track when I’m intending to come out of a loop.

The difference in price between the iPhone and iPad versions (which are essentially identical in terms of functionality) seems to indicate that Native Instruments is aware that the iPhone version will be used more as a “toy.” But this brings us to the most important point: On the iPad, Traktor DJ is more than I could ever need for my occasional DJing. In fact, I am already coming close to hitting the “buy now” button on a new iPad Mini specifically for this purpose.

With the addition of Native Instruments’ new Kontrol Z1 mixer and soundcard, I can also have physical faders, headphone cueing and professional sound output – all in a setup that would fit in the glove compartment of the car.

While I’ve no doubt that plenty of DJ purists will object to the ease-of-use of Traktor DJ, for people like me who just want to mix some tunes and play the occasional bar set, it is absolutely perfect. My bulky old equipment just got one step closer to the eBay pile.

How to use iOS folders to keep your apps organized

apple folderWhen there are apps, apps, and more apps, keeping all of those programs organized and clutter free becomes increasingly difficult. Angry Birds intermingles next to voice memos, while Sound Hound and Pinterest become next-door neighbors. The rhyme and reason to mobile apps often only make sense to the person who put them there.

For the make-the-bed-every-day types, the thought of a cluttered device may even keep you from holding onto certain apps. If it hasn’t been used in the past month, it just may be ditched for something more cohesive. Others let the apps fall where they may, throwing all caution to any sort of mobile organization.

Why Folders?

No matter your thoughts on clutter, iOS folders can be a great way to clear up a device. Whether on an iPhone or iPad, these folders allow users to group similar items without taking up pages on the home screen. Group games, business apps, rewards systems, or any other category of apps. It’s a task that can be done in only a few seconds, while providing endless amounts of saved time and frustration.

Folders are also great for family devices, using a different section for each person’s apps. Create a folder for the whole family, one for mom, dad, and each respective child. This will cut back on searching time and allow everyone management access to their own apps. The use of folder organization can be more efficient than Users (especially for young children), allowing parents to monitor kids’ mobile steps and cutting out log in/out time.

Added Bonuses

For the organizationally challenged, folders allow apps to be quickly and easily navigated, no matter how many programs are downloaded to a single device. Just tap the folder and gain access to an underground layer of apps. It’s also a great storage space for those icons Apple won’t let you delete, like Passbook or Stocks. Just file them under “Stuff I Never Use,” and hide all the icons you’ve yet to open in a single slot.

To folder or not to folder – it’s a question many Apple enthusiasts ask themselves daily. But whether you’re the proud owner of 5 apps or 50, iOS’s folders are a great way to keep them in easy access form, no matter your location. After all, you never know when Tweets need updated or when an impromptu game of Fruit Ninja may be a necessity. To be ready for anything, with any app, consider the use of folders for your Apple device.

Improve your writing productivity with a physical iPad keyboard

revue-keyboard

Do you need a physical keyboard for your iPad? That is the question I have been debating for myself for a while now. I write for this site and a few others, and I am often writing the articles for all of these sites on my iPad. I have always typed directly on the iPad screen and never used a physical keyboard. However, when I type a lot on the iPad keyboard I find I frequently make typographical errors. I was hoping a keyboard might fix that.

I recently discovered the new trend of thin keyboards that double as an iPad cover, like the Logitech Ultrathin iPad keyboard that many people are raving about. The Logitech keyboard is pretty pricey ($100 retail) and I did not want to spend that much money on something I may or may not like and use.

I started shopping for similar keyboards and found many that started at $20 and up. I then decided to search eBay and found similar pricing results – generic keyboards for about $20, and the price went up from there. I searched for keyboards and found a Luvitt like-new keyboard at auction for less than $20. I researched the keyboard and found it retailed for over $100, although it sells for about $80, so I put in a bid and ended up winning it. I was thrilled; I got a decent keyboard that got great reviews for under $20. In fact, I am typing this article with it right now.

This particular style of keyboard is a lot smaller than a standard keyboard, but I prefer its portability. I’ve found myself making typos because I am still to getting used to the smaller keyboard and having certain keys (like the right shift key) in a different spot. However, I really do like typing on the keyboard versus the screen for something like an article. The keyboard also has arrow keys for moving around the text easily. It has other function like volume control, cut and paste, a home button, and more. It really does change typing on the iPad when you have a “real” keyboard.

luvvit

Should every iPad owner get a keyboard? No.

The keyboard is not for everyone, especially if you use the iPad on your lap. The type of keyboard I am using does not work on your lap. The iPad would fall out because it has to be used on a table top surface to stay balance in the system it uses. For the casual user, I’d say stick to the on-screen keyboard. That is what I plan on doing 90% of the time when I am not typing something like an article. However, if you do a lot of typing on the iPad I would say a keyboard will significantly improve your productivity. This can be a small keyboard or a full size keyboard – the choice depends on your preferences and how you plan on transporting it.

The iPad with a physical keyboard is a nice combination, but not for everyone. It can help with productivity for some and be a waste of money for others.

How to rip DVDs to your iPad

Watching movies or TV episodes is probably one of the top things most people do with the iPad. You can rent or purchase movies through iTunes, but what if you want to watch a DVD on your iPad that you already own? You can convert your existing movies into a file format that is iPad friendly.There are plenty of sites offering free DVD converter software, a good number of which attempt to up sell you into a paid product.

The program I chose for importing DVDs is Handbrake. This software works the same way on both the Mac and the PC, however, for this how-to, I used a Mac.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to rip movies from DVD.

Step 1: Download and install required software

First you’ll want to download Handbrake. This software is free for both Mac and PC. You’ll also need to install the equally free VLC media player.

Step 2: Insert the DVD

You will need to insert your DVD into the computer that you are using.  This may cause your computer’s DVD player to launch and begin to play your DVD.  If that occurs, press stop on the DVD player and be sure to completely exit the program.

Step 3: Open Handbrake

Upon opening Handbrake, it will bring up a window that looks like the one below.  Handbrake is asking you what source that you would like it to scan for files that it can convert.  In this case, you will direct Handbrake to the DVD that you have inserted into your computer.  In the example above, the DVD is entitled, “PS_I_LOVE_YOU”. Select the contents and click Open.

Image 1

Step 4: Allow Handbrake to scan the DVD

Handbrake will scan the DVD for the movie file to convert. It will automatically select the file with the longest time duration to convert, which is almost always the movie that you want on your iPad. As you can see in the picture below, while there are many other files on the DVD, the longest file is selected is the movie.

Image 2

Step 5: Choose a location on your computer to save the movie

Click on the “Browse” button in the Destination section of the window.  This will allow you to choose the destination where Handbrake will save the file. You may want to save the file to your desktop so that it will be easy to find later.

Image 3

Step 6: Rip the movie to your computer

Click on the “Start” button at the top of the window and allow Handbrake to do its magic!  Your movie is now being saved to the location you selected in a file format that the iPad can use.  This process can take a while, depending on the speed of your computer.

Tip: Do not let your computer go into sleep mode during this process, the movie will stop ripping and you will not get a complete file.

Step 7: Move the converted movie into iTunes

Image 4

Now it is time to move the movie file (that you decided where to save in Step 5) into iTunes.  In order for this to happen, simply select the movie file and drag it into the movie section of the library on the left-hand side of the iTunes window and drop it there.  iTunes will begin to import the movie into its files at this point.  The movie will show up in the “Movies” section of your library with the original title of the file.

Image 5

Step 8: Sync the movie to your iPad

Select your iPad from the menu on the left-hand column of iTunes and select “Movies” at the top of the iTunes window.  Be sure that the box next to “Sync Movies” is checked and the box next to “Automatically sync all” (in the drop-down menu) movies is NOT checked.  Browse to the movie that you just imported into iTunes and check the box next to it.  Select the “Apply” button in the lower right-hand corner of the iTunes window and your movie is happily being synced to your iPad.

Step 9: Open the movie on your iPad

Open up the Videos app on your iPad and verify your movie is there.  Select it and you can now watch your movie without needing Wi-Fi.

This may take you longer the first few times you do it, but before you know it you will be a pro.

Game review: Bastion comes to iOS, and brings style with it

I’m always worried when developers port their games from the original platform to a new one. Console to PC, PC to Mac, console to mobile; whatever the case, the results usually suck (especially Mac ports). The new platform rarely gets the same support or attention as the original, and the ported game usually runs much slower because it’s running through some sort of emulator like Wine or DOSbox.

That being said, I hope other developers are paying attention to Supergiant Games’ release of Bastion on iOS.  This is the rare case where the ported game may be better than the original.

Gameplay

Bastion is an action RPG in which you are put in control of a character named “The Kid”. An apocalyptic event has occurred in the near past and it’s your job to “make things right” by collecting various items throughout the game world. There are several mini-game challenges that help build proficiency with the different weapon types that are introduced, but you’ll spend most of your time running through the levels, killing monsters.

Gameplay is straight-forward and seems to be a mix of equal parts Zelda and Fallout; it’s hack, and slash, and shoot. Weapons, skills, and even the buildings at your home-base can be upgraded as your character levels up.

Variety can be added to combat by mixing up different sets of weapons to match the fighting style you prefer. My preferred kit was the machine gun and a blow torch, whereas one of my friends liked using the pole-arm and a sniper rifle.

Bastion originally debuted on Xbox Live Arcade and was built around the Xbox controller. The crew at Supergiant have done an excellent job in revamping the control scheme for a touch device. The controls are intuitive, frustration-free, and fun.

Fightin' off a giant scumbag.
Fightin’ off a giant scumbag.
Image credit: Supergiant Games

If I were to choose one word to describe the game, it would be “polished”. The art design, music (seriously, this is one of the best game soundtracks… ever.), narration, and controls are all top-notch and draw you into the game. Played on the iPad with a set of good head phones, the gaming experience is more intimate than on a TV screen or computer monitor, more akin to reading a good book. This is where I think the iOS port improves upon the original. It’s a more personal experience.

Pricing & availability

Bastion is available through the App Store for $4.99. It’s also available on Xbox Live Arcade, Chrome Web Store, Steam (for Mac & PC), and on the Ubuntu Software Center. Sorry, Android users!

Final Thoughts

The one area of the game that falls short of the rest is the story, which is oddly something that many critics have praised. Compared to a game like Braid (or literally any decent book), the narrative is a tad generic and falls apart toward the end of game. If you come away from the game thinking “that was profound”, I recommend reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s The Black Swan as a comparison of something that’s truly thought-provoking.

None of this stopped me from pulling out my guitar and learning all the songs from the soundtrack though.

The last missing iPad feature: pressure sensitivity

Every time a new iPad (or any Apple device) is released, people ask, “What can Apple do better?” This often happens within 30 seconds of the new product announcement. With the iPad people are usually expecting a thinner and lighter device, a better camera, a faster processor, and possibly better speakers. Nothing too spectacular or unusual.

However, there is one feature that would take the iPad to the next level: Pressure sensitivity.

That’s right, I said pressure sensitivity. This feature that would sell more iPads than ever before. Why? Many artists, like myself, would love a pressure-sensitive iPad. Imagine being able to use your finger or a stylus while painting just like you would a pencil or paint brush. The mark charges based on how hard, or how soft, you press down. I would preorder an iPad with pressure sensitivity even if I had just bought the last model (I usually skip a revision or two).

Sure, there are a number of styluses that try to bring pressure sensitivity to the iPad, but I have yet to try one that really works. There are also many fantastic art programs like Paper that are great without pressure sensitivity. However, imagine how much better a painting could be if you could have true pressure sensitivity. I’ve seen some incredible artwork created with the iPad, and I can only imagine how pressure sensitivity would improve the results.

madewithpaper
Art created by Brian Taylor using the Paper app for iPad

Artists would not be the only users to benefit from adding pressure sensitivity. I’m sure there could be incredible elements of pressure sensitivity added to games. Perhaps the speed of a car is based on how hard your press the gas pedal, or the strength of a laser beam is determined by how hard you press. The possibilities are endless for games and other apps. What about a children’s app that teaches writing and the written result is based on the pressure the child pushes down? A music or sound app could have tempo controlled by pressure. I could go on and on.

There is a reason Wacom sells so many tablets. Artists love them and the best part is pressure sensitivity when drawing – it is the closest thing to drawing or painting on paper that you can get while working on the computer.

Many people think 3D would be a great feature in a future iPad. Forget 3D, it is overrated in my opinion. Bring on the pressure sensitivity!

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: iOS Edition

Some  of the most popular gifts this holiday season will be the iPad, iPad mini, iPod Touch, and the iPhone 5. What if you want to get a cool accessory to go with that iOS device you are giving? Or what if you are giving a gift to someone who already has one of these devices? Sure, you can get them a case, or a screen protector, but what about something different?

Here are a few items you might want to consider ranging from the inexpensive to the not-so-inexpensive.

Toddy Gear Smart Cloth

The Toddy Gear Smart Cloth is one of the best – no, scratch that – the best screen wipe for an iOS device I have tried. I have two of them. iOS screens are constantly being covered in fingerprints and other “gunk” and these cloths are great for cleaning that off the screen.

They are basically a wipe that has one side for cleaning and one side for polishing. No cleaners are needed (I will occasionally dampen mine for a better cleaning). If they get dirty you can throw them in the wash. They start at $9.99 and come in various patterns and sizes. These are well worth the money.

IPEVO PadPillow

Another great gift for the iPad user is the IPEVO PadPillow. What is a Pad Pillow? It is a wedge shape pillow that lets you prop up your iPad like an easel. It can be used on your lap, on the floor, or on a table. I love this pillow and it has changes the way I use my iPad. It comes in a variety of colors and at well worth the $34 it retails for.

Gelaskins

If you are like me you are not a fan of cases unless they have a purpose (for example a case that doubles as an easel). I hate the bulk and weight they add to a device, especially my iPad. As a result my current iPad and iPhone do not have cases. Instead of a case they have a Gelaskin on the back to protect it from scratches and give it some decoration at the same time.

Gelaskins are heavy-duty adhesive skins that go on the back of your device (and front in the case of the iPhone, although I only covered the back). You can choose from numerous designs on the website or you can upload a photo and really personalize your skin. The phone version is $14.95 and the price goes up from their as the device gets larger. The iPad version is $29.95. Non-Apple devices are supported also. You even get a wallpaper file emailed to you for your device.

AirStash

Do you know someone who has a full iPad or iPod and can’t afford to upgrade to the next sized device? You might want to consider getting that person the AirStash (starts at $149.99) by Maxell. The AirStash looks like a USB flash drive and comes with an 8 or 16GB memory card. On the memory card you can store movies, photos, documents, etc that can stream to your iOS device and back through its own wireless network. This works great for streaming video. You use the free AirStash app, and it is compatible with other apps also. It can also stream to multiple devices (think road trip with kids in the back seat and multiple iPods!).

Griffin Cinemaseat

Speaking of road trips, if you know someone who travels with kids in the backseat the Griffin Cinemaseat is a must. It works with the iPad and an iPad mini model is also available now too. It is simply a case with a velcro strap that straps around the headrest of the car seat letting the person behind it watch video on the iPad. This system is less permanent than other headrest systems, is easier to install, and costs less money at $39.99 ($24.99 on Griffin’s website as of this writing).

So there you have it. Five gifts for the iOS user that aren’t something you may have thought of (like that new iPhone case). Happy Holidays!