NomadPlus - Apple Charger accessory

Here goes nothin'! FatBoy-at-Large's first review..

The product I've been testing out for the past two weeks is the NomadPlus chargeable, portable battery - made for Apple products specifically by Nomad, a relative newcomer to the consumer electronics world.

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Review: iPad Air

Ok, after six day of waiting for the iPad that I was supposed to have on launch day it is finally in my hands.  The first thing that strikes you when it comes out of the box is how light it is in compared to the previous model.  The Air weighs in at just 1 pound, and the previous generation was 1.35 pounds.  That 5.5 ounces doesn't sound like much, but the reality of it losing almost a quarter of it's weight is astounding.  I ran PerformanceTest on both the iPad Mini and iPad Air, and here are the results:

Benchmark Results for iPad Mini

Benchmark results for the iPad Air

As you can see, the new A7 processor blows the A5X of the iPad Mini out of the water.  Not a surprise, but this just shows how far performance has gained in the year since the Mini was released.  The display is crisp and clear, and so much more responsive than I ever could have believed with the number of pixels it is pushing.

In all this is an amazing upgrade to anyoe with a previous iPad, and one that really has to be held and sued to be appreciated.  If it had not been such a long struggle to get my order processed I would be comepletely thrilled with everything involved in this process, but even with the troubles getting the device I can't see myself letting this thing out of my hands...at least until the next one arrives.

Apple Store Problems

As anyone who knows me can attest, I have for more than 12 years been a very Large Apple fan. Going to work for AppleCare in 2007 was a dream come true, and leaving to launch this site and Fatboyheaven.com was a very hard decision.

I set the stage thus to let you know that in this light the fact that my experience with Apple today has me re-thinking my love of this company. I placed an order for in-store pickup of the new iPad Air last night, and was given a guaranteed pickup of today. I have been in the Apple Store since receiving an alert almost 2 hours ago informing me that my order was ready for pickup. The iPad with a crisp white label and my name is here in the store managers hands, but I am leaving without an iPad today. Something has gone wrong in the system that transmits online orders to the store, and my order is stuck in a limbo state to the point that no one in the company can even cancel it.

For a company that is renowned (and often heralded by myself and this website) to have a failure of this magnitude is ludicrous.

I was hoping to have a hands on review up for you all to read today, but I am not likely to have an iPad in my hands before the store closes tonight.

For this I apologize deeply, and hope that I have something to review at some later time.

Product Review: ANKI Drive

The Anki Drive Starter KitI have had the privilege for the last several weeks to be a Beta tester for one of the most eagerly awaited iOS games in a long time, Anki Drive.  For those of you who missed the great demo at WWDC in June, Anki Drive is a racing game brought to the real world in the form of the cars and racetrack included in the $199 Starter Pack, along with two additional cars available at an additional charge of $59.99 each.

Game play is fast paced and a TON of fun for the whole family.  Whether playing against the computer AI characters of the cars or family members, this was a huge hit in our house.  Most of our testing was done by my son and myself, but even my daughter who isn't really into games LOVED her time playing Drive.

Basic game play involves a dog-fight between you and the other cars in your race.  As you win races with other players or the computer you gain points which can then be used to upgrade your cars.  Better weapons, higher gear ratios, and faster engines all reward your success by increasing the abilities of your car.  What makes this better than most racing games on iOS is that these upgrades stay with the cars no matter who is controlling them, so if I upgrade Boson (one of the car characters), then start playing as another car, Boson still has his upgrades when controlled by another player or the AI, making my game play all the more challenging.

Replay is very high, especially when playing against other human players, and changes based on the number of cars in the race.  What this means is even if you get your strategy down against one AI opponent, adding another optional car to the set changes game play radically even if only competing versus the AI.

At $199 the Anki Drive set is a bit spendy, but well worth the time and money if you enjoy racing and friendly competition.  I can't wait to let my friends play now that the NDA is lifted and see how much fun they have.  I'm guessing Anki will sell a few more sets just from those matches.

Special Event: Apple October 2013 Event

Big news on tap from Apple today, and after a "State of the Apple" rundown, OS X was first up

MAC

Apple started of the day with OS X Mavericks, the 10th update to the OS X operating system.  After a rundown of all the features, Craig Federighi made an amazing announcement, Mavericks is free for EVERYONE.  Upgrading from as far back as Lion to Mavericks is free, and available today.

Phil Schiller then hits the stage to announce new 13" and 15" MacBook Pros, with the 13" Starting at $1299, 15" Starting at $1999....each down $200 from last years prices and shipping TODAY.

MacPro was up next, and it is insane!  Intel Xeon E5, 4,6,8, or 12 cores. 1866Mhz DDR3 ECC Ram, up to 64 GB of RAM.  Dual worstation grade GPUs with up to 7 teraflops of processing power.  PCIe Flash storage.  Thunderbolt 2 expansion, and can power up to three 4K displays.  Dual audio out, 4 USB3, 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports. Priced starting at $2999 with 3.7GHz Quad-Core Xeon, 12GB RAM and available in December.  This new MacPro will be the first Mac designed and BUILT in the USA for quite some time.

Next up was Eddy Cue, to talk about applications.  iLife on stage first, with new versions of Garage Band, iPhoto, and iMovie.  Bringing the design cues from the recently released iOS 7.  Photo books now possible from iPad.  iMovie now re-designed to be identical on iOS and Mac.  Garageband now supports up to 32 tracks on iOS devices with 64Bit processors.  Using iCloud integration songs you start working on while on the go with your iPhone or iPad are now available from where you left off on your Mac.  Huge focus here on seamless movement from iPad and iPhone to your Mac when you get home or to the office.  Once again, all FREE with a new iOS or Mac, and available today.

iLife was next, showing of re-designs for Mavericks and iOS.  Full file compatability across iWork, now 64Bit so it's faster than ever.  Context sensitive control panel on the Mac to make changes faster and easier.  Shared editing and live colaboration across all platforms.  Again, all FREE with purchase of a new Mac or iOS device, and available today.  As Eddy said, "today is the biggest day ever for Apps" at Apple.

iPad

In three years iPad has changed the computing world.  Tim showing quotes saying it would not change NetBooks, and one saying "Anyone who thinks this is a game changer is a tool".  More than 475,000 iPad applications in the app store.  Customers using iPads in hundreds of ways the designers never envisioned.

Phil Schiller back to talk about new iPads.  The biggest step yet....iPad Air!  Thinner, Lighter than any iPad yet.  Still 9.7" screen, bezel 34% smaller.  7.5mm thin, 20% thinner than last iPad.  Down to 1lb, was 1.4 last year.  Apple claiming it is the "Lightest full sized tablet in the world".  A7 chip from 5S, full 64Bit computing now on iPad.  Also will have M7 Motion Co-Processor.  Now 8x faster than the original iPad, 72x graphics performance versus original iPad.  Available in Space Grey and White, starting at $499 for 16GB Wi-Fi, shipping November 1st.

iPad Mini was next.  Retina display is finally here.  2048x1536, same pixel dimensions as new iPad Air.  Also running the new A7 chip with M7 motion co-processor.  Also available in Silver and Space Grey.  Starting at $399 for 16GB with Wi-Fi.  Current mini will still be available at $299.  New Mini with Retina Display will ship in November.  

Only real surprises were that the Mini would get the A7 instead of an older processor like the previous generation, and that TouchID was nowhere to be found on iPad, which pundits thought would appear on the full sized device.

In all a big day.  All new software being FREE is an amazing announcement, new Macs to go with the new OS were important to keep momentum moving forward on the desktop, and new iPads in time for the holidays.

 

Review: Apple iPad mini

When Apple finally announced the iPad mini two weeks ago, the only question most people in the tech industry had was where they would set the price. The device had been rumored for years, and was expected long ago. We received our answer, and many thought it was far too high. At $329 it is $130 more than the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, and more than $70 more than Google's Nexus 7.

What the analysts failed to anticipate was the impact that Apple has on the public. Just as they did with MP3 players when the iPod was released, Apple has not just released another device in a crowded market, they have released THE iconic device in a market that many didn't know really existed.

Many people in my family would never have heard of the Kindle Fire without my telling them (and showing them mine). I'm sure many of you could say the same. However when Apple announces a product people hear about it, and more importantly for Apple, they run down to buy it. They stay up past midnight for preorders to make sure they have it before the people they work with. Apple announced that they sold more than 3 million new iPads over the first weekend, more than twice what the analysts expected. Here's how they did it.

Apple knows tablets. With more than 80% of the market in the US they know tablets better than anyone. Apple didn't need to change anything but size. They didn't need to design a new interface or operating system the way the other companies I've mentioned needed to. They didn't need to wait for developer support, because they used the same specifications developers were already writing for from the iPad 2. If you have used an iPad or iPhone before, you already know how to use an iPad mini. Since there are more than 200 million iOS devices already sold, that is a huge group of potential users to draw from, and a group with more brand loyalty than any other in the consumer electronics market.

As Phil Schiller said during the announcement, this is "every inch an iPad". From the familiar grid of icons to the 4:3 aspect ratio in a world of widescreen tablets, the iPad stands out, and in the minds of many above the rest of the market.

It has replaced both my Kindle Paperwhite and my iPad 3 in my daily life, and I expect I'm not alone.

Apple Special Event - "A little something to share"

For the first time in a while, Apple surprised us by pushing out a press release that they would be streaming today's event and adding a special events channel to AppleTV's.

iPhone 5 has sold faster than any other smartphone in history, selling more than (insert number her) in just a month, bringing the total number of iOS devices in use to more than 200 Million.  There are more than 700k apps in the app store, 275k made for iPad specifically.  More than 35 Billion application downloads since the launch of iOS, equalling more than $6.5 Billion paid to developers since it's launch.

First announcement for the day is a new version of iBooks, which is now going to be better integrated with iCloud, and includes a new auto-scroll feature to help you read without interaction (great when reading on the machines at the gym).

We have new Mac announcements!  First, the 13" MacBook Pro now has a Retina display.  20% Thinner, and weighing in a pound lighter at 3.75lbs.  Shipping Today with a 2.53GHz Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB HDD for $1699.  

Next, Mac Mini is upgraded to the Ivy Bridge chipset with both i5 and i7 processors, expanding maximum RAM to 16GB and starting at $599 and shipping Today.

 

Finally, iMac is completely redesigned.  Just 5mm thick at the edges, this thing is insanely thin.  They have laminated the display to the glass, eliminating a 2mm air gap from prefious models.  They have removed the optical drive.  Available in 21.5" and 27" models, the new displays provide 75% less reflection, and are shipping color calibrated individually from the production line, a hug deal for folks in print and video industries.  Up to 32GB of RAM now available in the iMac, with the same processor upgrades to IVY Bridge chipsets as the other Macs announced today.

Huge change is the new "Fusion Drive" announced for the Mini and the iMac.  Drives include 128GB of RAM and any ammount of physical storage.  The entire OS and all pre-configured apps run in FLASH.  The software will re-configure storage, moving your more common apps and files to the faster flash storage.

21.5-inch: 2.7GHz

  • 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
  • 8GB (two 4GB) memory
  • 1TB hard drive1
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M with 512MB

  • Available in November
  • Free Shipping
  • $1,299.00

27-inch: 2.9GHz

  • 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
  • 8GB (two 4GB) memory
  • 1TB hard drive1
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M with 512MB

  • Available in December
  • Free Shipping
  • $1,799.00

 

 New iPad! 100 Millionth iPad sold a few weeks ago.  4th Gen iPad is announced today.  Featuring the A6X processor from the iPhone 5.  Lightning Connector, with new adapters for VGA, HDMI, SD Card and USB.  Same prices as the previous models, starting at $499.  Also we now see the iPad Mini!  23% thinner than the iPad, weighing in at .68lbs.  Black and White with the same look as the iPhone 5 on the back.  7.9" Display, 1024x768 resolution.  All software for the iPad will be compatible since resolution is the same.  iPad mini will use the A5 processor from the iPad 2 and iPhone 4.  16GB starts at $329 with pre-orders on Friday the 26th and wi-fi versions shipping Nov. 2nd.  LTE version of the Mini will follow 2 weeks later on Nov. 16th

Review: iLuv iPad workstation

I got this in a few weeks ago, and have been using it to see how it works. I love the form factor. It reminds me of an old PC, Jr. - desktop form factors amazingly have a retro feel even though they are really not old enough for that label.
First, the sound quality is great, and volume is easily loud enough for any office or family room. The remote control gives great flexibility, and the keyboard locks into the base to save space when not needed. Since the iPad (it's compatible with all 3 models) docks with the workstation, no pairing is needed and interference is not a concern.
I have been using it with my original iPad as a home entertainment control for about a week, and am very happy with it in that roll. I can send video via AirPlay to my apple tv to share sound and video with the whole family, and it serves well as a tuner for my eyeTV that is served by a Mac mini.
While I had concerns over its ability to hold a place in my life, don't see myself giving it up soon.

iPad (3rd Generation) - the Fallout

For many of us, getting a new iPad means a trickle-down effect.  What to do with the old iPad it is replacing!  In my house, my old one goes to Carrie.  So not only do I go through getting it backed up to restore data onto the new one, but I need to back her old one up to restore the data onto MY old one.  Once all of that is done, we go through the process of making sure that everything is in working order for her to get back to work on Monday.

TJ Luoma over at TUAW.com has posted a great article on the basics of getting the old iPad ready for the next person.  What that means is going to be different for everyone, but it is a great start for you to make things easier on yourselves.  You can find the article here.

iPad (3rd Generation) - First impressions

WOW.  I was prepared based on what I had heard from others that the screen would be amazing, but it didn't prepare me for how good this thing is.  Better color, better brightness, and amazingly clear graphics.  The only bad thing I can say about this screen is that web photos really need to improve, because they look like crap a lot of the time on this screen.

The speed is the other thing that suprised me.  Having been in the tech business for a lot of years, I know that increased video processing can make a huge difference in games, but I wasn't prepared for how much it would improve every part of the experience.  Even opening and playing video from the web was amazingly improved.  Whether this is all due to the improved processor, or is also impacted by the increased RAM, it is really a sight to behold.

I haven't tried any really intense games yet, because most of the last two days has been using the things I always use everyday to see how they are improved.  I also have been repourposing my iPad 2 64GB 3G for the wife to replace her iPad 1.  Since she uses her iPad for work, getting it dialed in and making sure everything is working the way she wants it to in preperation for work on Monday has been a priority.

I will spend time this week really putting the NEW iPad through it's paces and reporting back here.

iPad release week - Must have accessories

OK, I know some of you have pre-ordered the NEW iPad.  Since I'm as anxious as everyone else, I thought I'd do some posts this week on things you can buy to get ready for it's arrival.  Most accessories for the iPad 2 will work fine for the NEW iPad, so most of my reviews will still be helpful to you all.  I won't know until it comes on Friday whether the extra .03 inches thickness will affect case fit, but I think my favorite cases should work fine (at least I hope I don't need to add even more to my collection!).  Even if the ones I have don't fit, all of the companies below either have announced or are already shipping cases that WILL.

First, let's talk about cases and covers.  There have been thousands of cases released since the original iPad was announced, and with all things some are definitely better than others.  The biggest thing to decide on is what TYPE of case or cover you are looking for.  If you want an integrated keyboard to turn your new tablet into a net book, ClamCase makes the the best on the market.  It will double the weight and more than double the thickness, but when you have a lot of text to enter (like writing a post for your blog or a long email), you'll appreciate having it along. I have the Storm Trooper limited edition, and it is the only keyboard case I use regularly.

If you prefer a case that looks like a book, DODOcase is my favorite. The folks at DODOcase have taken the best of traditional book making and brought it to the iPad in dramatic fashion.  I really am hoping that my DODO works for the new iPad, because I would hate to have to get another one (I have three already, and I don't know that the wife would understand the need for another).  They have several special editions, and just started offering several foil-stamping options to personalize them to your needs.

For those of you looking for something that looks great on your desk or the coffee table, but adds even less size and weight, a local Portland company makes my favorite case. Grove makes a beautiful bamboo case with your choice of felt or leather cover.  The Grove cases are not made to be ultra-durable, and I wouldn't throw one into a bag full of other loose gear, but they are awesome for what they are.  They can burn any design you want (including family crests, company logos etc.) into the leather, have several designs from local artists, and the build quality is top notch.  You need to check these things out.  They are handmade, so delivery times can take a while.  Get in line now if you want one.

For full coverage protection without adding much for size, my choice is the Marware MicroShell Folio.  Nice and slim case, stays on well and uses the SmartCover feature to wake your iPad like all good cases.  It is well made, and Marware has been in the accessory business long enough to have quality in every item they make every time.

It's going to be a great week for Apple fans. 

Apple Special Announcement - The NEW iPad

Well, the event is over, and new products have been announced.

The new AppleTV came first.  Not a huge update, but good news none the less.  The AppleTV has been a long running hobby for Apple, and they are making some improvements.  1080P video (up from the 720P maximum before), a new interface that looks more like the home screen of an iOS device.  I was hoping for FaceTime with an integrated camera, but it did not come yet.  Once it does, Apple has reinvented the set-top box.  Apple just posted an update for the current AppleTV, so I will update you and let you know if the new interface comes to the "old" device.

The big news is the new iPad.  Same price, 4x graphics with the new A5x processor.  Full 1080P HD video with the new retina display, better cameras, 4G LTE internet with speeds up to 72 MB/sec.  They improved everything that has made the iPad stay ahead of the tablet game so far.

Also announced was iPhoto for iOS (no word on whether this will work with other devices), updates to iWork and iLife applications like garage band and iMovie.

Apple has now put the video up for you to watch here, and updates for all of your iDevices are available for update as well.

Apple Special Announcement - Education

Apple has just posted the video from this mornings event, and I'm watching it now.  I think the barrier for entry for a lot of people is going to make it hard for iPads to get traction in schools, but certainly starting with the collegiate market can help speed that.  Apple launched itself to the forfront of computing in the late 70's by getting their Apple II into schools, where it was a mainstay even through the 80's when I was in elementary and junior high school.  If they can do the same with the iPad, they could really make a difference.

Making the tools available to educators to build course work into .epub files that can organize assignments and link to text books could be huge.  I know my Son loves his iPad, and could probably be much more interested in reading and homework if everything could be done on his iPad.

The other great part of this is the fact that textbooks becoming digital will relieve so many students of the hulking backpacks they need to carry every day.  In addition, allowing textbooks to become interactive in this way I think can really appeal to the internet generation.

I'll be playing around with the new applications released today, and will have a review of them up tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

The video of the event can be found here.

Hiding in plain sight - The best in bookbinding meets technology

There are two companies that have set a new standard in merging ancient techniques with modern technology.  Pad & Quill and DODOcase.  They first came to my attention with the iPad, but have since expanded their lines to include the Kindle Fire, and now even the MacBook Air.

I have always loved my DODOcase for my iPad, but have also been impressed with the quility of Pad & Quill's iPad and iPhone 4 cases.  So when I had the opportunity to put multiple products from each company head to head, I couldn't pass it up.

DODOcase sent me their "Morris Lessmore DODOcase", and the "DODOcase for Kindle Fire".  Both have amazing quality, and perfect attention to detail.  From the well chosen colors to the detailed embossing and foil stamping on the Morris Lessmore, to the well done wood burning of a campfire inside the Kindle Fire case, DODOcase has brought the craft of book binding to a new audience that is quickly replacing well-crafted first edition books with eBooks.

DODOcase's Morris Lessmore cover for iPad2DODOcase's Kindle Fire offering

Pad & Quill sent me the "Octavo Case For iPad2®", "The Cartella Case For Macbook Air 11 inch", and the "Fire Keeper".  Pad & Quill allow for more color choices for end papers, and also allow for an optional inside pocket (options not as cusotmizable from DODOcase).  Like DODOcase they have great crafters making the binding shine, and their attention to detail is amazing.

The Octavo cover for iPad2 from Pad & QuillPad & Quill's "Fire Keeper"

I really have a hard time calling one better than the other, as they both are making some amazing products.  DODOcase has done some very nice things with special editions, incorporating some beautiful artwork from local artists, and using classic embossing and foil stamping techniques sets them a little bit above Pad & Quill from a looks standpoint.  On the other end, Pad & Quill have a solidly built product that offers a bit more protection.  The wood tray that holds the device (regardless of model) from Pad & Quill is more solidly built, and shows more polish than DODOcase's offerings.  

Over the last two weeks I have switched back and forth on my iPad 2 and still cannot decide which I like more. Our house is divided when it comes to the Kindle Fire products.  I love the DODOcase, my teen daughter prefers the offering from Pad & Quill.  Both are well built, and I think for her it came down to the cute little ribbon bookmark that comes out at the bottom and functions as a nice way to remove the device from the case when wanted. Since DODOcase hasn't made a product for the MacBook Air yet, my Air hasn't left the Pad & Quill case since it arrived. I haven't had any heat issues, the cutouts allow for use of all ports quite nicely, and the polish makes it comfortable even with my hands resting on the wood while I type.

Corner detail on Pad & Quill's The Cartella Case For Macbook Air 11 inch

No matter which company you go with, you are sure to be pleased.  Both companies are bringing old fashioned technology to a new audience, and doing it with amazing levels of style.

Leave The Laptop Behind

I recently traveled back east for work and was determined to leave my laptop at the office, yet still have the flexibility of staying connected to deal with time sensitive work issues while I was away.  The only technology I carried on my trip was my iPhone and my iPad.  My iPhone and iPad are set up with work and personal email accounts, calendars, and contacts.  I also have the convenience of Documents To Go on both devices.

Currently, I am not able to use my iPad to connect through a work VPN.  However, we recently set up a Box.net corporate account and I have the application downloaded on both my iPhone and iPad.  Before I left town I uploaded a few of my current project documents and other documents I may have needed for reference while I was on the road.  I also had the ability to have my staff email me a document if it was not already in my Box.net account, but I wanted to avoid having to ask people to take their time to send me information.

I am a typical business traveler that is glued to my technology.  I am always checking email, both business and personal, and wanting to stay connected to my family (often through texting).  I was very happy to have in flight internet on my flight between west coast and east coast.  I paid for the internet connection, which was $12.95 for the duration of the flight, and my iPad kept me occupied for hours. 

What I discovered on my trip is that the iPad allowed me to be efficient and stay connected to the office through email (while I was in the air).  I was also able to connect to Box.net, Netflix, Hulu+, listen to music, read my Kindle, and stay current on Facebook and headline news.  The best part…my iPad battery lasted the full flight with power left over when I arrived on the ground.  I was content during my flight and felt productive and entertained.  My 5 ½ hour flight felt about 3 hours long.  Even if I did not have the convenience of the in flight internet, I feel I would still have been equally productive.  I simply would have sent my emails as soon as we landed and rather than Netflix and Hulu+ I would have read more on my Kindle and relaxed with a little more music.

If I had relied on my laptop to get me through the flight, which I have done many times before, I would have been frustrated with loss of battery power and maneuvering in a tight space with a piece of equipment that is cumbersome on an airplane.  Having the iPad also made getting up and down for other passengers (I was in an aisle seat) much easier.

I can remember when we all started using laptops on planes and thought it was the best way to travel.  However, now that I have had a chance to fly with my iPad, I will never use a laptop on the plane again.  There really is no need.  Any work project I wanted to spend time with was easily accomplished with the iPad, even Excel spreadsheets.  My briefcase was much lighter this trip, and my shoulder was much happier when I got home. 

How-To: Managing AppleID with iCloud

One of the most confusing things with the arrival of iCloud is managing your AppleID.  This gets even harder when you realize that your entire family might be using the same AppleID for iTunes, iCloud, and the other services Apple has tied to this login.

The first thing to remember, is that you can have separate AppleIDs specified in your settings for the different services.  If your family has been using a single AppleID for everything, this can cause problems:

1) The arrival of iCloud means your devices can be backed up to the cloud (internet server), which is great.  However, if your family is like mine, space can run out quickly if you have 4-10 iOS products all using the same account.

2) Now that iMessage makes sending SMS type messages free over Wi-Fi, using the same AppleId on every device in your house can lead to some embarrassing conversations with your kids.  Imagine your wife sending you a love note that pops up on your Son or Daughter's iPod touch, and it shows up coming from your email address.  Trust me when I tell you this is the first thing that generates a call to AppleCare when people update to iOS 5.

3) While you want the entire family to have the same iTunes account (trust me, buying Justin Beiber's christmas album once will break your heart, once for each kid will test your will to live), you want everyone to have their own online identity for other services.

The easiest way to solve these problems is right when you get a new iOS device.  If the person that the device is for does not already have an AppleID, tap on the button to get one.  Once you have it, it will sign you in to all of the services.  Then simply go into Settings -> Store and sign out of the AppleID you just created and sign into the families iTunes account.  You are all set.

If, however, you are working with any of the problems I mentioned above, it gets more complicated.  You need to go into the settings for EVERY service that uses the AppleID and change it to a newly created one (with the exception of store, which we want everyone to use).  

Here is a list of the settings that use the AppleID:

Settings - iCloud - Account

Settings - FaceTime - Use eMail address to receive calls

Settings - Messages - Recieve at - AppleID

GameCenter - Set through the gamecenter application, not in settings

FindMyFriends - Set through the application, not through settings

I hope that helped clear things up for some of you.  It is one of the most difficult calls for AppleCare when you call for support, because you often don't even know what the source of the problem is, and many of the people you are talking to have never used an iOS device.

Last iPad case reviews of the year - I think

 

OK, it's time for my final case reviews of 2011.  I have had the luxury of using about 25 iPad 2 cases this year, and they have run the table.  From overpriced and truly un-functional, to great values that my friends have willingly taken off my hands over the high-priced name brands.

Here are the last 3.  I like them overall, but one has become my day-to-day case.

Marware MicroShell Folio for iPad 2 Black

This case really suprised me.  A solid ABS plastic back with a smart cover attached.  Nice detail, magnets on the cover are strong enough to prevent the case from opening in my bag on the way to work.  Adds a solid comforting feel to the iPad without being obtrusive.  I have started using this every day when I want to be able to just throw my iPad into my bag to head out the door.  Marware has been making cases and accessories for a long time, and they got this one right.  There are very few cases or sleeves that have come alng that I decide to hold onto.  This will be one of them.

 

JAVOedge Austin Commuter Case for the Apple iPad 2 (Gray) - Latest Generation

I had never heard of JAVOedge before receiving this case, but I can tell you I will be on the lookout for other products if this is an indication of what they produce.  This is a great case to take along if you don't have a bag full of gear going with you.  It is a little bulky to throw into my gear bag, but on those occasions when I just want to take my iPad without taking the kitchen sink, this performed well.  It is well padded and has a secure hold on the iPad when opened.  When zipped shut, I had no fear of impact damage at all.  Stiching was well done, and quality control seems to be excellent.  If this is the type of case you are looking for, you can't go wrong giving this a try.

Incase Magazine Jacket for iPad 2

 

Incase has been in the accessory business for a long time, and the construction on this case shows off all that they have learned.  It is sturdy, has a secure elastic strap to hold it closed.  Solid ABS plastic provides a good feel of protection and firmly grips the iPad when it's open.  The reason it won't see regular use in my day is a curious choice.  They elected not to make the cover a 'Smart Cover', which is to say that it doesn't turn the iPad on when it gets opened.  For the price and with the other cases on the market, what could have been a home run has become a nice also ran in the case game.