Posts Tagged ‘iPad Mini’

iPad or Android tablet?

Monday, September 1st, 2014

If you’re looking to get a tablet, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is choosing an iPad or an Android tablet. While the iPad was the only real choice several years ago, nowadays both the iPad and Android tablets have evolved considerably. In this article, we’ll show you the strengths and weaknesses of each platform – as well as a few recommendations on the best iPads or Android tablets to buy. Let’s get started!

iPad: Strengths

  • Largest range of accessories and apps
  • Easy to use
  • Well designed, inside and out

So – the iPad. It’s the quintessential tablet, and its popularity is one of its greatest strengths. It means you’ll find a wide range of iPad accessories, from iPad cases and covers to chargers, screen protectors and stands. You can find accessories to fit pretty much every need and every style. With only two models – iPad Mini and iPad Air – to be released recently, an entire industry can work easily to support them.

The same popularity also makes the iPad the biggest target for app developers, allowing them to finetune their apps to suit the iPad and make the very best use of its screen and capabilities. That translates into better apps, and more of them.

Apple have always tried to make their products easy to use, and that continues with the iPad. The Apple tablet is simple in places, but that ensures that there’s little that you quickly won’t learn how to do. Even complex tasks like cloud printing are presented well, making it easy to get things set up properly.

Finally, the iPad is well designed, with powerful hardware and a stylish look. The tablet’s processor and GPU are regularly listed among the best in the business, and the battery life of the tablet is considerable too. The iPad is also good looking, with a slim metal design that feels solid and dependable in your hands. The most important strength of the iPad is its display though, which is generally pixel-dense, bright and well-calibrated. 

iPad: Weaknesses

  • Little customisation
  • More expensive

Of course, there are downsides to Apple’s approach. The simplicity they have wrought means that more advanced controls are hidden or not present at all, leaving the operating system far less customisable than its peers. Apple’s tight control of their app store also allows them to remove apps they find objectionable, particularly those on questionable moral or legal ground.

The iPad’s premium materials and hardware command a premium price, making the iPad more expensive than similarly equipped Android tablets. Additional storage is also costly, with a 32GB model costing £80 more than the 16GB option – and there’s no option to add more storage with a microSD card later.

iPad: Recommended tablets

If you’re looking to pick up an iPad, there are only two real models to choose between: the iPad Mini with Retina Display and the iPad Air. The iPad Mini has a gorgeous 7.9-inch display, while the Air moves to 10.1-inches. Both tablets are well crafted out of aluminium, and boast good battery lives in addition to their well-tuned screens. The iPad Mini is the better choice for portable use (with one hand), while the iPad Air makes a better tablet for keeping at home (with two hands).

Android: Strengths

  • Wide range of tablets to suit any need (including low price)
  • Deep customisation possible

The strength of the Android operating system for tablets is breadth and depth. In almost any attribute you can name – dimensions, speed, capabilities, camera, price - there will be tablets that hit every point on the range. Sony produce a range of powerful, waterproof tablets with good cameras. Samsung opt for slim workhorses, many with styluses built in. Amazon have a range of high-performance tablets, tied into their own ecosystem, for a low price. These are just the tip of the iceberg; with sufficient time you should be able to find an Android tablet to fit any requirements.

You also have a lot of choice with an Android tablet after you’ve purchased it. It’s possible to buy microSD cards which will extend your available storage cheaply, and there are a decent range of other tablet accessories available too. While there aren’t as many third-party accessories available as there are for the iPad, that means tablet makers like Samsung and Motorola often produce an excellent first-party range.

Customisability is another advantage with Android. It’s often possible to make deeper changes than on iOS, and there’s also the option to install a new variant of the Android operating system (like CyanogenMod) that will allow you even greater control. There are very few questions you can ask that start “Can I…” that end “No.”

The final advantage to Android is often price. Google and Amazon are well known for their low-cost tablets that still deliver an excellent experience with good hardware; their content-first strategies mean that they’re willing to sell tablets at a loss so you use their stores for apps, music, videos and books.

Android: Weaknesses

  • Some Android tablets are poorly designed inside and out
  • Less apps truly optimised for tablets

As we saw with the iPad, there’s a definite trade-off between simplicity and customisability. The average Android tablet errs towards customisability, which can be overwhelming.

There’s also a high amount of variability when it comes to the design of Android tablets, in terms of both software and hardware. Many Android tablets – including barebones Android found on the Nexus series – are well designed and look good, but there are also many tablets saddled with confusing interfaces, poor designs and underpowered hardware.

The final bugbear for Android is that of apps. You’ll find some great tablet apps, but lazily designed, stretched out mobile phone apps are still relatively common. The large range of Android devices also makes it harder for developers to optimise their apps, so you may find you’re arbitrarily unable to install apps if you aren’t using a well-known device.

Android: Recommended tablets

Google make some of the best Android tablets, which come with a clean version of Android, good hardware and an aggressive point. The most recent release, the Nexus 7, is a great choice with a sharp 7-inch display, good battery life and a simple, durable outward design.

Samsung are the biggest sellers of Android tablets, thanks to a massive range of models, a host of software additions to stock Android and slim designs. The Tab S 10.5-inch tablet is the most recent, and offers a good battery life, a bright and beautiful screen, and a slim chassis.

Sony operate at the highest end of the Android market, with top-notch screens and cameras and stylish waterproof bodies. The Xperia Z2 Tablet is a good example of their approach, with a squared-off waterproof body, good screen and relatively untouched version of Android on board.

Signing off

Thanks for checking out the article – we hope it made it easier for you to choose an Android or iOS tablet! If you have any questions or comments, then please leave them below or speak to us on Twitter @mobilefun.

Case-Mate introduce beautiful functional jewellery

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Case-Mate is most well known for their popular lines of protective phone cases, but that’s hardly the only thing that they’re producing right now. The company has also developed a couple of innovative wearable phone accessories. Today, we’d like to introduce the Case-Mate Page and Case-Mate Pair.

 

Case-Mate Page iOS & Android Notification Bracelet - 14k GoldLet’s have a look at the Case-Mate Page first. The Page is a stylish bracelet, made with 14 karat gold and mother of pearl. It’s a glitzy look, and it doesn’t look like a gadget at all. But of course, this is Case-Mate – so underneath the classy outward apearance, you’ll find a very useful function indeed. The Page vibrates subtly, clueing you into notifications on your paired smartphone. These subtle vibrations won’t be noticed by anyone else, so you’re free to ignore them or attend to them without distracting from the conversation at hand.

Despite its inner circuitry, the Page remains quite hardy. It is water-resistant, fits comfortably and lasts for four weeks at a time, thanks to its use of Bluetooth Low Energy technology. If you’re looking for a way to get notifications from your phone but a smartwatch is too far, this is a nice way of getting that essential functionality without sacrificing style or comfort.

 

 

 

Case-Mate Pair Lightning Cable Bracelet - Brilliance

Next up is the Case-Mate Pair. Again, to a casual observer the Pair looks like a stylish bracelet – but inside, you’ll find another burst of hidden utility. The Pair conceals a flexible Lightning charging cable, ensuring you’re always able to charge your phone if you need to.

The cable is MiFi certified by Apple as well, a distinction that means full compatibility with the full Apple device ecosystem that uses Lightning connectors. The Pair is ideal for use with the iPhone 5S and other Lightning-enabled Apple devices like the iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPod Touch.

 

So there we have it – two stylish iPhone accessories from Case-Mate. Let us know what you think of the Pair and the Page in the comments below or on Twitter @mobilefun. Thanks for checking out the article and have a great weekend ahead of you!

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Add case-compatiblity to any iPhone 5S Lightning dock

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

CableJive dockStubz Case Compatible Lightning Dock Adapter    CableJive dockStubz Case Compatible Lightning Dock Adapter

The CableJive dockStubz is an interesting product; an adapter that lets you use your Lightning-enabled iPhone, iPad or iPod in any dock whilst keeping your case on – even if the dock wasn’t designed to be case-compatible. The adapter provides the extra space you need to keep your case on, ensuring that you don’t need to buy a whole new case-compatible dock. Instead, keep the one that you have and buy the dockStubz instead.

Case-compatibility means you’re able to keep your phone in its case while placing it in the dock, saving time and preventing the hassle of installing and removing cases constantly. The dockStubz even includes a height adjuster in the box, allowing the dock to be better fit slimmer bumper-style cases. No matter what your case, the dockStubz will be ready.

CableJive dockStubz Case Compatible Lightning Dock Adapter    CableJive dockStubz Case Compatible Lightning Dock Adapter

The dockStubz is the ultimate add-on for your iPhone 5S dock, adding full case-compatibility to docks that lack it.

For more information and additional product photos, please visit the product page linked below. You can also place your pre-order here, and see live pricing and availability information.

The CableJive dockStubz will be available soon from Mobile Fun. For more information on this useful accessory, visit the product page linked below. You can also reach us on Twitter @mobilefun and the comments below to ask questions or leave your comment.

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Top 10 Lightning accessories for iPhone, iPad and iPod

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

The Lightning connector divided opinion upon its release with the iPhone 5. On the one hand, it was a smaller, more convenient connector that was reversible. On the other, it meant that Apple’s long-standing 30 Pin connector was obsolete, a move that sent millions of accessories to the grave – from cheap charging cables to expensive speaker systems. Whatever your opinion on the matter, Lightning is here to stay so you may as well make the most of it! In that spirit, let’s take a look at ten of the best accessories for the now ubiquitous Apple connector.

1. Dexim Universal Dock Station (iPhone & iPad with Lightning Connector)

Official Apple iPhone 5C Lightning Charge and Sync Dock - White    Official Apple iPhone 5C Lightning Charge and Sync Dock - White

Our first Lightning accessory is this dock from Dexim. The dock is rare in being outfitted for both iPad and iPhone, allowing you to connect either device as required. The 2.1A output ensures all devices will charge rapidly, and the adjustable connector allows for cases to be kept on while charging.

2. Qi iPhone 5S / 5C / 5 Wireless Charging Receiver

Qi iPhone 5S / 5C / 5 Wireless Charging Receiver    Qi iPhone 5S / 5C / 5 Wireless Charging Receiver

Qi is a popular wireless charging standard in Android world, but don’t expect it to appear on an iPhone any time soon. Thankfully you can get this wireless charging receiver which plugs into your phone’s lightning port, then can be tucked into a case of your choice. Then you’ll have the convenience of wireless charging when you want it, in a package that’s compatible with all Lightning iPhones and a wide range of cases.

3. Griffin Wired Keyboard for Apple Lightning Devices

Griffin Wired Keyboard for Apple Lightning Devices    Griffin Wired Keyboard for Apple Lightning Devices

If you want to get some work done on an iPad or iPhone, then a full-size keyboard is quite helpful. One option is a Bluetooth keyboard, but these are expensive and require recharging. A good alternative then, is this Griffin Wired Keyboard, which plugs directly into the Lightning port and works immediately.

4. Genuine Lightning Digital AV Adapter

Genuine Lightning Digital AV Adapter   Genuine Lightning Digital AV Adapter

Want to show your iPhone, iPod or iPad content on the biggest screen in the room? This Digital AV adapter lets you easily connect your Lightning device to HDTVs, monitors and projectors. Again, everything is plug-and-play; just connect up the relevant cables and away you go. Perfect for screening HD movies, showing off photos and playing music. Definitely one of the most helpful Lightning adapters for the iPhone 5.

5. KitSound X-Dock 2 Lightning Clock Radio Dock for iPhone 5S / 5C /5

KitSound X-Dock 2 Lightning Connector Clock Radio Dock for iPhone 5    KitSound X-Dock 2 Lightning Connector Clock Radio Dock for iPhone 5

This clock radio dock is a powerful piece of kit, with room for an iPhone 5S, 5C or 5 next to a digital display. This is the ideal accessory for your bedside table or desk, allowing you to keep an eye on the time, charge your iPhone, set alarms and listen to the radio. You can wake up to your favourite FM station, your favourite iTunes songs or even the standard ‘bzzz’ alarm clock sound.

6. Kit: Lightning to Micro USB Adapter – White

Kit: Lightning to Micro USB Adapter - White

This simple adapter ensures that you don’t always need a Lightning cable around all the time. Instead, you can use the rather more numerous microUSB cables and accessories to charge and sync. And since the adapter is so small, there’s no excuse not to bring it with you!

7. High Power Lightning Car Charger with USB Port – Black

High Power Lightning Car Charger with Extra USB Port - Black    High Power Lightning Car Charger with Extra USB Port - Black

Car chargers are brilliant, particularly if you’re trying to entertain your kids in the back seat with an iPad or navigate with an iPhone. This one offers 2.4A of charging power, allowing an iPad – or two iPhones – to be charged at full speed. That means even if you’re draining a lot of power from playing movies or using GPS navigation, you’ll still end up with way more battery life than you started with. An integrated USB port allows other devices to be charged too.

8. Kit 4-in-1 Connection Kit

Kit 4 in 1 Connection Kit for iPad Air / iPad 4 / iPad Mini 2 / Mini    Kit 4 in 1 Connection Kit for iPad Air / iPad 4 / iPad Mini 2 / Mini

This tiny box is one of the most useful accessories you can own for the iPhone or iPad. Plug the Lightning connector into your device, and then you can plug in a USB device (like a keyboard or flash drive) as well as SD cards. That makes it really easy to get stuff on or off your iPad, or plug in a full-size keyboard for a better typing experience. There’s even a Lightning port, so you can keep charging your device while everything else is connected.

9. Kit Magnetic Battery Case for iPhone 5S

Boostcase Hybrid Snap Case with 1500Mah Battery for iPhone 5 - Purple    Boostcase Hybrid Snap Case with 1500Mah Battery for iPhone 5 - Purple

This clever case includes an battery pack which allows you to recharge your phone on the go. The battery is magnetically attached to the rest of the case, and can be used in situ or removed from the case as necessary. With 2800 mAh you’ll have three times the battery life, and that makes a  big difference.

10. iMee Sync and Charge Lightning to USB Cable – Gold

iMee Sync and Charge Lightning to USB Cable - Gold    iMee Sync and Charge Lightning to USB Cable - Gold

Our final Lightning accessory is also the simplest: a stylish Lightning cable in Gold. This is a great fit with the Champagne Gold iPhone 5S, but looks great with other colours as well. Otherwise, this is just the same as your Apple Lightning cable, offering charging and syncing at full speeds.

Conclusion

OK, so these are our selections! We hope you’ve found this blog helpful, and be sure to let us know if you have any questions or comments below!

Top 5 iPad Mini 2 Cases – March 2014

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Today we’re turning our attention to the more diminuitive iPads, the Mini released in 2012 and the Mini 2 released in 2013. We’re going to recommend five recent or upcoming covers for the Mini 2. Let’s get started.

5. DODOcase Elemental for iPad Mini 2 – Coral Fire

DODOcase Elemental for iPad Mini 2 / Mini - Coral / Fire    DODOcase Elemental for iPad Mini 2 / Mini - Coral / Fire

We begin with a rather artistic edition of the well-received DODOcase, featuring a hand-applied “coral fire” finish. The look is consistent outside, but look inside and you’ll see a unique pattern of application that really sells the hand-made credentials. The case is definitely different from the majority of iPad Mini 2 cases on the market, and for that reason alone it’s worth a look.

4. Covert Suki Leather Style Purse Case for iPad Mini 2

Covert Suki Leather Style Purse Case for iPad Mini 2 / Mini - Black    Covert Suki Leather Style Purse Case for iPad Mini 2 / Mini - Black

Here’s another case which offers uncommon style, in a unique envelope purse form factor. The Covert Suki is made of a fashionable leather-look synthetic, which comes in black and maroon. Your iPad Mini or Mini 2 is kept carefully inside, with the screen and body fully protected at all times. It’s a nice way to travel with the iPad Mini 2 for sure.

3. Skech Flipper Case for iPad Mini 2

Smart Cover for iPad Air - Red   Smart Cover for iPad Air - Red

Our next case is a rather more common design, but here the execution is really the focus. The Skech Flipper combines a hard backshell with a front flip cover, allowing 100% coverage of the iPad Mini. The look is clean and simple, with an extremely thin signature. This allows your choice of colour – red, blue or black – to really stand out. Functionality is impressive too, with the flip cover folding to serve as a media stand, sleek/wake magnets and a soft microfibre lining.

2. Belkin LEGO Builder Case for iPad Mini 2 

Belkin F8W039 Grip Sheer Case for iPhone 5 - Translucent Black    Belkin F8W039 Grip Sheer Case for iPhone 5 - Translucent Black

With the LEGO movie in theatres, there’s no better time to indulge your inner builder with a LEGO case for the iPad Mini. The case has a LEGO base plate, so you can add your own LEGO pieces as you like for form or function. You customise the case with anything you like, from a whole LEGO scene to perhaps just your favourite figures. With a flip cover that works as a stand and screen protector, it’s functional too. The Belkin LEGO Builder is a cool playful case for kids and adults alike.

1. LifeProof Fre Case for iPad Mini 2

LifeProof Indestructible Case For iPhone 4S / 4 - Black    LifeProof Indestructible Case For iPhone 4S / 4 - Black

Our lead case this time around it the LifeProof Fre Case, one of the most impressive protective cases you can get for the iPad Mini 2. The case is designed to meet military standards for shocks and drops, and has an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance as well. Given its protective powers, it’s quite extraordinary that the case adds only 1.5mm of thickness and 28 grams of weight. This premium light and protective case is a great choice for anyone that wants to keep their iPad Mini 2 safe.

Conclusion 

OK folks, that’s all for now! Thanks for checking out the article and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below. You can also reach us on Twitter @mobilefun and on Facebook at Love Your Mobile.

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