Beefy iPad Pro case is worth its weight in protection [Reviews]

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As a working iPad, the Pro needs protection like Gumdrop's DropTech Case for iPad Pro.
As a working iPad, the Pro needs protection like Gumdrop's DropTech Case for iPad Pro.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Best List: DropTech protective case for Apple iPad Pro by Gumdrop

Apple charges a whopping $599 to repair a broken screen on an iPad Pro. With its 13-inch screen, yeah, the Pro has a lot of glass, but 600 bucks is nearly as much as it costs to buy a new one. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either.

So I’m grateful that my iPad Pro is safely ensconced in the equivalent of a big, rubbery safety blanket. Gumdrop’s DropTech Case looks like a flattened tractor tire, with big ridges on the back for maintaining a grip. It’s not elegant by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m confident it’ll save me a trip to the Genius Bar.

6 must-have iPhone and iPad accessories for musicians [Reviews]

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The iPhone and iPad are great companions on and off the stage with the help of these amazing accessories.
The iPhone and iPad are great companions on and off the stage with the help of these amazing accessories.
Photo: Austin Prock/Unsplash

Best iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch accessories for frequent travelers

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7 must-have accessories for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch owner on the go.
7 must-have accessories for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch owner on the go.
Photo: Unsplash

iPad Air 3 case on Alibaba hints at Smart Connector

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If this picture is accurate, the iPad Air 3 could come with a Smart Connector.
If this picture is accurate, the iPad Air 3 could come with a Smart Connector.
Photo: Shenzhen Hong Technology Co./Alibaba

It’s a product with some holes in it and it’s the holes that could be of interest to Apple fans excited about the upcoming iPad Air 3.

A photo allegedly showing an Air 3 case has cutouts for a Smart Connector and four speakers. The Japanese Apple blog Macotakara raised the possibility of a beefed up iPad after seeing a case available for pre-order on Alibaba.

This attaché is ready to serve your iPad Pro

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Creative types will find the Staad Attaché a good fit for the iPad Pro and all its accessories.
Creative types will find the Staad Attaché a good fit for the iPad Pro and all its accessories.
Photo: WaterField Designs

Companies have designed shoulder bags exclusively for iPads, but let’s face it — most of us just toss them in whatever bag we have. Sure, we’ll spend on a hard cover or even a protective sleeve, but the iPad’s size and sleekness don’t demand that we dedicate a separate bag.

But the iPad Pro changes things a bit. It’s larger, is best utilized with an attachable keyboard and, if you live the creative life, you need a place to stow that Apple Pencil.

Want USB on your iPhone? There’s an adapter for that

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You can now use this to connect USB peripherals to your iPhone.
You can now use this to connect USB peripherals to your iPhone.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s Lightning to USB connector has ostensibly been about connecting your iPad to a camera to import images directly to your tablet.

Now, with iOS 9.2, it looks like the same adapter can be used on your iPhone to get photos onto your smaller-screened device.

There’s even some evidence that the Lightning to USB adapter works to connect other USB peripherals, like MIDI keyboards or USB-powered microphones. If you’re a musician on the road without access to your iPad, this might be your new best solution.

Toasty touchscreen gloves keep you warm and fully connected

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Baby it's cold outside; use these gloves.
Baby it's cold outside; use these gloves.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Best List: Double Layered Knit Touchscreen Gloves by Mujjo

It’s almost winter, and if you reside in an area with a climate like mine, you know you’ll be carrying gloves with you no matter where you go. When you live someplace like Anchorage, Alaska, even a quick trip outside to the trash bin requires that you cover up.

And yet, we live in a touchscreen world. I have my iPhone with me all the time, and I use it to stay connected to my kids and family members as I move around the winter wonderland. Pulling off a glove every time I want to play a song or answer a text is time-consuming and sometimes dangerous.

If that’s something you worry about, Mujjo’s got you covered, quite literally, with these new double-layered touchscreen gloves.

Wacom’s Bamboo Fineline stylus delivers precision on the cheap

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Bamboo Fineline Stylus 1
Wacom is phasing this model out, but it's still a great product.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Best List: Bamboo Fineline 1 stylus by Wacom

Wacom is to graphics tablets what Kleenex is to facial tissues, so it’s no surprise that the company knows its way around a stylus. And the original version of the Bamboo Fineline is a great entry point for those looking to start drawing, sketching, and taking notes on their iPads.

Make your technology a force for musical expression with this digital guitar [Deals]

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The Jamstik is a versatile and super portable MIDI controller that plays just like a normal guitar.
The Jamstik is a versatile and super portable MIDI controller that plays just like a normal guitar.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Computers, tablets, even iPhones have grown into powerful tools for music making, but for many who play guitar the bridge from analog instrument to digital devices can be an intimidating one. The Jamstik Wireless Smart Guitar is a great way to cross the digital divide, a MIDI controlling guitar with frets and strings that feel familiar to any guitarist’s fingers. It’s also cheaper than most keyboard controllers (and certainly guitars), available right now for just $149.99.

Top tools and tips for mastering the modern design landscape [Deals]

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Macaw's Web Design Tool makes coding an simple matter of moving visual elements around on the screen.
Macaw's Web Design Tool makes coding an simple matter of moving visual elements around on the screen.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The way we use technology to communicate is transforming, and design is changing right along with it. Being caught up with the tools and techniques of web, visual and interactive design is key to being effective in the field of technology, which makes these deals especially exciting and useful.