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Easy hardware hack turns iPad into piano

Photo: Adam Kumpf

This simple hardware hack adds a piano-style keyboard made of clothespins to your iPad. Photo: Adam Kumpf

The iPad is great for making music, but the lack of physical keys can be a drag for keyboardists. That shortcoming prompted Adam Kumpf to hack together a miniature piano attachment for the tablet using nothing more than wooden clothespins, aluminum foil, a few pieces of stiff cardboard and some rubber bands

Total cost? Less than $5.

Despite his creation’s humble DIY origins, Kumpf thinks the idea of iPad add-ons has the potential to take touchscreens to the next level.

“There’s an innate desire that users have to go beyond what the screen can usually do,” the 31-year-old MIT graduate tells Cult of Mac. “I strongly believe that there’s a world of accessories relating to capacitive touchscreens that’s just waiting to be explored.”

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Review: The iPad Air 2 is so good, it almost disappears

iPad Air 2 Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s iPad Air 2 is so good, it almost disappears. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Pity Jony Ive. The poor bastard just can’t catch a break.

Ive and his design team at Apple have just released a pair of exquisite iPads — the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 — and yet are getting grief because the iPads offer nothing “new.”

“New” being things like face-tracking cameras, heart-rate monitors or — god forbid — a stylus. These are the kinds of things that get called “innovation.”

Instead, the new iPads look a lot like last year’s models, and those from every year before. This makes many tech reviewers yawn.

Largely unnecessary,” says The New York Times’ lukewarm review. “More of the same,” writes Business Insider. “You might think I’d be pretty excited about them — but I’m not,” says Walt Mossberg at Re/Code.

Indeed, instead of adding new hardware features, Ive’s team has even removed them. The mute/lock button is gone on the iPad Air 2. Who removes features?

Well, Jony Ive does.

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Why Apple’s heading toward a ‘zombie iPad’ apocalypse

This is the source of the iPad's zombie problem. Photo: Apple

This is the source of the iPad’s zombie problem. Photo: Apple

Yesterday, Apple unveiled the iPad mini 3, a slightly updated version of the second-gen iPad mini with Retina display. But even though it’s two generations old at this point, Apple still sells the original iPad mini for $249. That makes it the cheapest iPad yet, albeit for good reason: It packs the same A5 chip and other silicon guts that the iPad 2 did way back in March 2011.

That might actually seem like a good deal for consumers, but it’s turning out to be a nightmare for developers who will likely have to support the iPad mini until 2017.

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Why the iPad mini 3 is a gigantic ripoff

iPadmini3

The iPad Air 2 is the best tablet Apple’s ever made. The iPad mini 3 is good, but it’s also a gigantic ripoff.

Phil Schiller gushed over all the new iPad Air 2 upgrades during today’s keynote, reveling in its improved camera, powerful A8X chip, anti-reflective coating and Touch ID. But when it came to the iPad mini 3, Apple tried to slide quickly past it, and for good reason – there weren’t any upgrades to brag about.

Here are the new iPad mini 3 features:

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An iPad filled with apps weighs more than one with nothing installed

An iPad filled with apps weighs more.

An iPad filled with apps weighs more.

Which weighs more? An iPad filled with media and apps, or an iPad with no media or apps installed?

It sounds like a trick question — the digital age equivalent of “What weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of rocks?”

But surprisingly, an iPad without anything installed on it does weigh less than an iPad that is full.

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How to start enjoying third-party keyboards in iOS 8

How to start enjoying third-party keyboards in iOS 8

iOS 8 finally gives iPhone users a feature Android owners have long loved: third-party keyboards.

It’s a pretty familiar feature, but unleashing developers so they can create new keyboards for the iPhone (and iPad) is huge — and users being able to enjoy them all is even better.

In today’s Cult of Mac video, we show you how to install third-party keyboards in iOS 8 and introduce you to some of our favorite available custom keyboards. You’ll find out how to wipe to type your messages, give your keyboards themes and much more with this instructional video.

Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV on YouTube to catch all our latest videos.

Celebrity nudes, iPhone 6 event details and the rest of this week’s hottest Apple news

Celebrity nudes, iPhone 6 event details and the rest of this week’s hottest Apple news

Trusting the Internet can be one of the silliest things you can do, especially when it comes to private matters. While what you do within the comfort of your own circle deserves to stay within its parameters, sometimes things don’t play that way.

Some celebrities found that out the hard way this week when their “personal” photos were hacked from their iCloud accounts and leaked online. With the world frantically sharing the photos left and right, this has turned all eyes toward Apple and the security of its cloud operation.

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5 iOS tips that will help maximize your storage space

5 iOS tips that will help maximize your storage space

We all enjoy stuffing our iOS devices with enough movies, music, photos, and other content to keep your iPhone entertainment system pumping for decades, but overtime your device can get too full.

New games, songs and even an iOS update can put users in quite the dilemma about where to trim some gigs of fat. Luckily when not wanting to part ways with your favorite iOS content there’s other convenient ways to free up more storage space.

Today’s video takes a look at 5 tidying tips that can free up more storage on your iOS device for when you need it most. Uncover how to manage your storage, address the dreaded “other” space on your device and find even more by simply using these tips.

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Rumor Report: What to expect from the iPad Air 2

Rumor Report: What to expect from the iPad Air 2

It’s hard to believe it’s only been four years since the reveal of the original iPad. Over the years the iPad has gone from “just a big iPhone” to becoming a common staple in the household, the office and everywhere in between. With four years behind us, four different iPad models and a new mini generation, this fall calls for yet another addition.

Take a look at today’s video where we rundown all the latest leaks, rumors, and other iPad Air 2 tidbits, to give you an early glimpse at the design, possible specs, and more.

Watch our full report above and subscribe to Cult of Mac TV on YouTube to ensure you don’t miss any of our newest videos.

These hidden iOS tricks will turn you into a speed demon

These hidden iOS tricks will turn you into a speed demon

When using your iOS device, you can get used to doing things the same way, day after day. But sometimes there are more efficient ways of getting things done with your iPhone or iPad.

In today’s video, we show you five hidden iOS tricks that can transform the way you use your device. Speed up your typing, browse your music in new ways and so much more by using these speedy tricks.

Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV on YouTube to catch all our latest videos.