For a long time now, I have lamented the absence of a solution for converting HDMI to VGA, so I could project from my Apple TV or from an iPad using Apple's HDMI cable instead of their VGA cable. Why? Primarily because the VGA cable does not allow a way to charge the iPad when in use, whereas the HDMI version has a 30 pin female connector so you can plug in a syncing cable.
Additionally, since most office projectors accept VGA, not HDMI, this has been the missing link for many professionals.
As they say, when it rains, it pours. In recent weeks, I've received two such devices that convert HDMI to VGA and they each have their pros and cons.
Whenever I see a demonstration like the embedded video (see above) on the GoSmart Stylus--a massively cool piece showing really talented folks using the iPad like a real sketchpad--I am reminded what an iPad neanderthal I am in comparison; "Me use iPad to check weather...iPad good, iPad good...!" Sheesh! Well one of the secrets here is the amazing drawnig tech that is part of how they are doing it (but only a part). I'm not saying this stylus will make you an artist, but if you are an artist you probably want this stylus. Read on for full PR info about GoSmart coming August 8 2012 (available now for pre-order), or go here.
My brother-in-law is constantly dropping his phone in lakes, ponds, pools, etc. Fortunately, he only uses cheap, easily replaceable 'feature phones' but for those of us who care about keeping our smartphones dry, there's LOKSAK.
AppGear has thrown the gaming industry a loop, by combining the increasingly popular touchscreen interface with real world, physical elements for a whole new form of hands-on gameplay. This shouldn't be a surprise, as AppGear is part of WowWee, the people who brought robotics to the toy box.
There are a lot of external battery packs for the iPhone, fewer still for the power hungry iPad, and even fewer for laptops because of the non-standard plugs. So I was very excited to see the PowerSlate from Nexiom at CE Week in New York City last month.
Not only does this one device offer over 13,000mAh of power (almost ten times that of iPhone battery cases) it can provide power for an iPad, and even most laptops!
Making music has been a part-time practice for me for decades now and I've dabbled in everything from guitar and piano to drums and didgeridoo. One thing that I've particularly enjoyed over the past several years is the way programs like Garage Band have made composing and recording great original tracks easy for everyone from amateurs like myself, to professionals like Trent Reznor, composer of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo soundtrack and Nine Inch Nails frontman. And if Garage Band made things convenient before iOS, then since the arrival of Garage Band on iOS, recording whatever we are inspired to compose has truly become a graceful, portable and trouble-free affair.
So I was excited when I got the opportunity to try out the new Carbon 49 keyboard by Samson. The Carbon 49 is an economical and portable solution to MIDI music performance and it boasts a number of unique and valuable features to make the process of playing and capturing music an intuitive one, with high quality results. I got to spend hours jamming on this little instrument this week and here are some of my findings and feedback.
For several years, I've been showing movies on the garage for the neighborhood kids. When the iPad came out, with the optional VGA cable, it enhanced the portability of my setup. I no longer needed to lug a laptop to connect to my projector. But Apple, while they usually do things right, didn't do a great job with their VGA connector dongle. It uses the 30 pin connector but doesn't provide a way to power an iOS device, so you're limited to the battery life of the iPad or iPhone. Apple also offers composite, component, and HDMI connectors, which fixed this, but most projectors are wired for VGA not HDMI and Apple's VGA dongle is easy to keep in your bag.
Before you drop $300 on a fancy celebrity endorsed set of headphones, you might be better served trying the iWOW-U from SRS Labs and your existing headphones. That's what I did, with a $20 pair of Sony headphones and the sound quality was significantly better. The iWOW-U is a 3.5mm extension cord but with a twist. It includes a powered amplifier that enhances the sound quality and does a great job of stereo separation... I was skeptical, but the improvement was immediately noticeable and I am a tough cookie to please.
Best iPad accessories: there's lots to choose from and cases, stands and car mounts are just the beginning. We have the reviews that you need and let's face it; the iPad isn't a bargain item. It is expensive, and it requires protection if you want it to last a while. To get more value out of your device, however, sometimes you need to cough up a few more dollars and invest in some awesome gear. That's where we come in. We don't want you spending your precious money on worthless items. Here are our picks and reviews of the best iPad accessories for 2011. Read on to find the absolute best gear and best ipad accessories.
Most iPad owners purchase a case to protect their device. The type of case you choose depends on how you'll be using your iPad and how much you want to spend. In this section we look at a variety of the best protective iPad accessories: cases, bags, shells, and sleeves, as well as stands. The descriptions not only include the list price but also the price on Amazon, so that you can get a sense for how much they're selling for through other online retailers.
New audio accessories are constantly evolving for all iOS devices, and starting earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), there were some great ones in action. Most prefer something compact, with good quality sound, and affordability. An integrated app is nice, but not crucial.
The Bose MIE2i wired mobile headset are perfect examples of earbuds that are compact, have great sound quailty and are affordable. They are highly rated for both sound quality and comfort. They come with three sizes of StayHear silicon tips and an answer/end button on the inline microphone. The reviews say the quality of sound is tops. Note that these are standard earbuds - no noise-isolating to block unwanted sound. A comparison of these earbuds and other great accessories are in the 2011 Best Gear article.