Apple Patent Details Enhanced iPad Smart Cover With Flexible Secondary Display, Surface-Like Keyboard

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Aww, he's drawing an Apple!
Aww, he's drawing an Apple!

While some may consider the iPad’s Smart Cover to be too expensive and flimsy, Apple is obviously investing time and effort into the accessory. A recent patent has been uncovered that details an enhanced Smart Cover with a secondary touch display. Like Microsoft’s Surface tablet, the unreleased accessory would also have a keyboard embedded in the cover with virtual keys for typing.

By drawing power from the tablet inside, this patented Smart Cover design could extend the iPad’s screen with extra room for drawing, notifications, and icons around the device’s bezel. The patent also highlights using embedded solar cells and RF antennas to power the secondary display and keyboard. Sounds futuristic.

Why Microsoft Will Be Cooler Post-Ballmer On An All-New CultCast

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There’s no way to be nice about it: Microsoft is not cool. Their products aren’t cool (sans Xbox!). Their logo isn’t cool. And then there’s their dancing, prancing, screaming, bear of a man slash CEO: Steve Ballmer. And on our brand new CultCast, we have to ask: could Microsoft bring their sexy back with a CEO who isn’t the official jester of the tech community?

And then, don’t miss our discussion on how one simple hardware upgrade can transform your aged Macbook Pro into an unholy speed demon! That’s right, you don’t need a Retina Macbook, just $200 and ten minutes can bring you a renewed computing power that would make even Tim Cook’s glasses start to fog!

Subscribe to The CultCast now on iTunes, or easily stream new episodes right on your iPhone or iPad with Apple’s brand new Podcasts App.

Full show notes coming up next!

The PixelSkin HD Wrap: An iPad Case That Ticks All The Right Boxes [Review]

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Pretty.
Pretty.

The PixelSkin HD Wrap ($50) is an iPad (third-generation) case from Speck that promises to be “the perfect iPad folio case for anyone looking for lightweight protection, secure grip and pixelicious style.” It’s made from a flexible TPU that’s impressively robust, and provides full-body protection to your iPad with a number of nifty features.

Smarter Stand Makes Your Smart Cover Even More Useful

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The Smarter Stand locks the Smart Cover's hinges.

 

The Smarter Stand is just the kind of gadget that we like here at Cult of Mac: cheap, simple and ingenious. And it seems that we’re not the only ones that appreciate these qualities: the stand blew through its $10,000 Kickstarter goal in just 24 hours, and is currently pushing $80,000 in pledges.

Miniot’s Mk2 iPad Cover Evokes Mid-Century Chic, But Not Without Some Drawbacks [Review]

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Wood is the perfect complement to tech. As mere consumers, wood calms us whilst surrounding more complicated hardware. It provides warmth. It is accessible. And it looks brilliant.

I was an early adopter. The television I grew up with was a wood-blocked behemoth that took both parents to move across our jungle of shag carpet; a task embarked upon only once a year, when we needed to make room for a Christmas tree. Wood has received a wonderful resurgence in the design community of late, with some covet-worthy examples in this desk set and the Monolith iPhone back, lovingly reviewed in April on this very site.

You can imagine my delight, then, when Charlie Sorrel posted about the Miniot Cover Mark Two, or Mk2, this spring. Dissatisfied with most covers I’ve tried for the new iPad, I had to get my hands on the Mk2. And what a dapper little devil it turned out to be.

The Best iPad Cases [Best Of]

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best of ipad cases

Some say that the iPad is almost unusable without a case. I actually love the feel of using mine bareback, but The Lady literally refuses to pick up an iPad if it isn’t protected in some way (she has a history of dropping the things).

But whatever your view, one thing is certain: a case can add all sorts of functionality to your iPad, or keep it safe in more dangerous situations. Here’s our pick of the best cases out there.

The Best Keyboard Case

Logitech ipad2 case cover 2

Logitech Zagg Keyboard Case for iPad 2$100

Now also available for the iPad 3, the Zagg wins for its compact size, light weight and clever design which allows it to double as a case (complete with sleep/wake magnets). It also has a great-feeling keyboard which is as good as Apple’s own.

The Best Hard Case

Pad and quill contega octavo 5

Pad&Quill Contega$100

The new Sure-Lock bumper system keeps Pad&Quill’s Contega ahead of the competition, and keeps the iPad safely inside the tough baltic birch and leather Moleskine-Style case, while the sleep/wake magnet and clever articulated rear cover (which turns the case into a stand) mean it’s anything but old-fashioned.

The Best Slip Case

Padcover

Dicota PadCover$20-$50

I have had this slipcase since the iPad 1, and it’s still going strong. The PadCover is made from leather and wool, with a soft lining and handy pull-tab which ejects the iPad from within. If you’re using the iPad 2 or 3, you can fit in a smart cover, too. Discontinued by the manufacturer, but still available to buy in various places.

The Best Rugged Case

Rugged 1

G-Form Extreme Portfolio$90

The impact-absorbing material of G-Form’s cases is also used to make padding for professional athletes. The Extreme Portfolio will soak up the power of a bowling ball dropped onto its face, and yet remains flexible and comfortable to use. It’s the case we turn to when we really need to protect our iPads.

The Best Folio Case

Skech 7

Skech Porter$60

The Skech Porter offers all the protection of a fat folio case in a slim, great-looking package. A clever crease in the rear panel lets it work as a multi-position stand without adding extra bulk, an elastic handle is surprisingly handy and it packs a full compliment of magnets and camera holes.

The Best Rear Shell

Speckshell 3

Speck Smart Shell$30

This thin shell adds bulk at the corners where it’s needed, and has cutouts for everything from the camera through the speaker to the Smart Cover that it is designed to compliment. The plastic is smooth but grippy, and the little lozenge-shaped metal panel holds the Smart Cover in place when it is open.

The Best Minimal Case

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Apple Smart Cover$39

The original, and in many ways still the best. Apple’s Smart Cover works in concert with the iPads 2 and 3, offering protection and a stand with minimal materials. It set the standard for every iPad case since, and is still the one to buy if you can’t bear to hide your beautiful iPad inside a heavy folio.

The Best Case To Use At Home

Dont panic

Don’t Panic$99

Our full review is waiting until we see a newly tweaked version of Thomas Fulton’s felt and leather case, but the Don’t Panic is already my favorite iPad case to use around the home. It’s light, offers some protection, and a clever arrangement of straps and magnets lets you prop it up on your bed, type, wrap it around your thigh, or just about anything you like. I think of it as my iPad’s favorite pair of slippers. It would be great out of the house, too, but the magnet in my prototype likes to zap my credit cards.

The Best Travel Case

Lacambra 1

Lacambra iPad Case€115 ($150)

If you’re traveling around the world or to-and-from work, the Lacambra case has your iPad covered. Made to order in Spain from leather, the case zips closed and keeps the iPad safe inside. There’s a cut-out for the volume switch, pockets for business cards and boarding passes, and some extra tabs and straps to make typing or movie-watching easy. Don’t leave home without it.

Logitech’s Ultrathin Keyboard Cover Is Your iPad’s Perfect Partner

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Isn't that the prettiest iPad keyboard you've ever seen?
Isn't that the prettiest iPad keyboard you've ever seen?

Logitech already makes one of the best keyboard cases available for the iPad, but its latest solution looks even more incredible. The Ultrathin Keyboard Cover is, as its name suggests, is a super thin wireless keyboard that takes advantage of your iPad’s Smart Cover magnets to double up as protective aluminum cover. It’s the perfect partner for your iPad.

Why Your Smart Cover Or Magnetic Case Doesn’t Work With The New iPad

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It might not be an issue for you, but some users who have purchased new iPads have found that the magnets of their existing cases won’t turn the display on and off. This doesn’t just go for third-parties, either: even some old Smart Covers won’t turn the screen off.

What the heck’s going on? As it turns out, there’s a small change in the way the new iPad that only applies to magnetic cases: polarity now counts.

Apple Planning New Smart Cover For iPad 3, Sticking With Glass Back For iPhone 5 [Rumor]

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Incase's Convertible Magazine Jacket for iPad
Incase's Convertible Magazine Jacket for iPad

Alleged iPad 3 part leaks have revealed that the magnetized Smart Cover will work on the upcoming tablet, but Apple is still set to introduce an enhanced cover for the iPad 3, according to a new report. Citing a “repeatedly reliable source,” iLounge says that a new Smart Cover with a fiberglass back is coming.

On top of that, the report contradicts previous rumors saying the sixth-gen iPhone will feature an aluminum casing. Instead, Apple is said to be implementing Gorilla Glass 2 material for the next iPhone’s exterior design.