Posted in Accessories

Magic Keyboard PreOrder Available

Magic Keyboard © Apple Inc.Today, Apple is allowing pre-orders for the new Magic Keyboard for the 4th generation iPad Pro 12.9″ and 2nd generation 11″ iPad Pro models.

The prices start at $349 for the 12.9 and $299 for 11″ model.

Make sure you order the correct keyboard for your device and in the correct language/layout. Right now, expected delivery times are between April 24 and May 1, 2020.


Posted in Accessories, App

Sidecar (Extended Desktop and More) Details

Apple Sidecar

Earlier this year, Apple announced the Sidecar feature available with the installation of MacOS Catalina and iPadOS 13. Essentially, this allows your compatible Mac and iPad to work together using the iPad as an external touch monitor and more.

The “features” include: Extending or mirroring the desktop via wired or wireless connection, Multi-Touch gestures on the iPad, Touch Bar support even if your Mac does not have it, use of Apple Pencil for Mac apps that support drawing tablets and more.

Apple has published a Sidecar White Paper PDF available for viewing and download. You can also read more about set up and the system and hardware requirements here.

Sidebar Preferences

You can modify Sidecar functionality from the Mac System Preferences > Sidecar. These allow you to choose where to show the sidebar and Touch Bar on your iPad screen, and allows certain supported features when you double-tap on the side of your Apple Pencil (2nd generation).

A requirement that is sometimes overlooked is that both compatible devices to be signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID. Also, if using the feature wirelessly, both devices need to have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Handoff turned on, be within 10 meters of each other and neither the iPad is sharing its cellular connection nor the Mac is sharing its Internet connection.

Posted in Accessories

AirPods Pro Announced

(credit Apple Inc.)

Apple has announced Active Noice Cancellation wireless AirPods. They are available starting October 30, 2019. The new in-ear wireless headphones “internally tapered tips conform to your ear shape, keeping AirPods Pro secure.”

There are two microphones to help with noise cancellation. The outward facing microphone detects external sound and then cancel it before you hear it. There is also an inward facing microphone that listens inside your ear for unwanted sound to eliminate. The noise cancellation is continuously adjusted at 200 tines per second. The H1 chip enables real time noise cancellation.

(credit Apple Inc.)

There is an Adaptive EQ to automatically tune music to the shape of your ear.

The Wireless charging case is compatible with Qi-certified chargers.

Posted in Accessories

Wireless AirPods and Charging Case

Credit Apple Inc.

Apple has announced the much anticipated AirPods with Wireless Charging Case for $199. According to Apple, “Now with more talk time, voice-activated Siri access — and a new wireless charging case — AirPods deliver an unparalleled wireless headphone experience. Simply take them out and they’re ready to use with all your devices. Put them in your ears and they connect immediately, immersing you in rich, high-quality sound. Just like magic.”

Based on Apple’s web page, the AirPods are second generation with 5 hours of listening time and up to 3 hours of talk time on one charge. If you put the AirPods in the case for 15 minutes, you get up to 3 hours of listening time and 2 hours of talk time.

credit Apple Inc.

What you may not have noticed is that if you already own AirPods, you can buy just the Wireless Charging Case for $79 that should be compatible with existing AirPods.

Posted in Accessories, Specs

New iPad 9.7 Supports Pencil

credit Apple Inc.

Apple has released a new 9.7-inch iPad with Pencil support and a Retina display. The new device has an A10 Fusion chip, so you can mutlitask, an 8MP rear camera with 1080p HD video and support for augmented reality. The screen resolution is 2048 x 1536.

With the recently released updates to the iWork suite than now support Apple Pencil, the device can be an all in one capture, editing and collaboration tool.

The iPad models now come in the following sizes: 12.9″, 10.5″, 9.7″ and 7.9″ with varying power, displays and with the exception of the 7.9″ all support the Apple Pencil. You can compare models, prices, and features here.

Posted in Accessories

Setting up your new  Watch from the old one

Credit Apple Inc.

So, you got a new watch for the holidays and want to make sure to transfer your information to you new watch from your old watch.

In the end, the process takes a while and you should take the time needed to accomplish it. Don’t plan on cracking open your new watch, transferring the data and be ready in 10 minutes or less.

Apple has put together several different pages which do not make the process very clear.

According to Apple, “Apple Watch content backs up automatically to your companion iPhone, so you can restore your Apple Watch from a backup. When you back up your iPhone to iCloud or iTunes, your iPhone backup will also include your Apple Watch data.”

You can read these different Apple pages to get a sense of the process. However, plan on spending at least an hour to make sure it is right.

If your watch uses cellular data, the directions may be slightly different.

Make sure you have your iCloud password, your iPhone near, your watch and phone charger and have made a back up of your iPhone in case something goes wrong.

The Apple pages describe the process as follows:

  1. Update the iOS on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
  2. Backup Your Apple Watch
  3. Unpair Watch – Backs Up (cellular choose to keep your plan)
  4. Back up your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
  5. Switch your Apple Watch to a new iPhone
  6. Set up your Apple Watch

In English, on your iPhone,

  1. tap Watch app
  2. Tap your Watch Name
  3. Tap on the “I” next to the watch
  4. Tap Unpair Apple Watch – The process is supposed to make a back up to your iPhone.
  5. You may need to type in your iCloud Password.
  6. The unpair process begins – it may take a while.

When its finished, you can Start Pairing with your new watch.

  1. Start pairing process
  2. You should be presented with choice of Restore from Backup or Set up as New Apple Watch.
  3. Choose Restore from Backup
  4. Choose the Backup you want from the choices presented
  5. Type in your iCloud password if needed.

You may need to transfer additional content like music and some apps to your watch even after the initial re-pairing.

Indeed, I found that some apps needed to be uninstalled from the iPhone and then reinstalled to work properly. e.g. Nike+ Run Club. Make sure to save the data if requested.


Posted in Accessories, App

Bamboo Paper Adds Spark

Bamboo Paper icon

Bamboo Paper, an iOS app that allows you to draw and write out ideas and thoughts on your iOS device, has added Bamboo Spark synchronization.

Spark is a physical notepad that you can use to draw with pen, ink and paper. The device resembles a folder and contains a paper notepad and special pen. The folder contains the electronics that allow this device to work.

You can pair the Spark device with your iOS device using the Bamboo Spark app. Once the device is paired, you can draw on the paper pad and then sync the notes or drawings to your iOS device. Once they are there, you can then sync them with the Wacom Cloud.

Bamboo Spark Screenshot

The updated Bamboo Paper app cannot talk directly to your Spark device. Rather, it can sync your notes with the Wacom Cloud. It’s not as complicated as it sounds.

This Bamboo app and device is just one more way to enter and share your notes if you have both feet in the analog world and digital world.

Posted in Accessories

iPad Pro Smart Keyboard Support


Credit Apple Inc.
Credit Apple Inc.

Apple has posted a support page related to using the Smart Keyboard with iPad Pro.

The page describes how to connect your iPad Pro to the Smart Keyboard, various positions for the keyboard (Typing, Watching) and describes some keyboard shortcuts.


The one downside to those who like to envelope their iPad is that the Keyboard smart cover does not protect the back of the iPad.

iPad Pro Silicone Case

You will want to get the iPad Pro Silicone Case to protect the back. It comes in two colors, white and charcoal gray.

Posted in Accessories

Apple Pencil – Worth the Wait

Pencil Box Opening

When the Apple Pencil came, there were a couple of questions, How good does it work with the iPad Pro, How long does the charge last, How can you check the charge?

First, the Pencil works great with the iPad Pro. Using the built in Notes app, the ability to smoothly draw, sketch and write is abundantly clear.

Battery Pencil Level

The charge seems to last for a very long time. In order to check the battery charge, you swipe down from the top of your iPad, tap widgets and you will see the paired pencil with the battery charge percentage remaining.

Pencil Adapter Lightening Adapter

In order to charge the pencil, you can insert it into your iPad and watch the charge go up to 100% or using an adaptor, plug in the lightening cable, attach the adapter and then plug in your pen with the cap removed to charge the pencil.

The pencil comes with an extra tip and the above adapter. To replace the tip, you unscrew the old one.

Using apps like Notes Plus, Paper, or Procreate with the Pencil will make you want to take notes, draw and explore your inner artist. When you get the Pencil, start using it like you would with paper and pen and you will not be disappointed.