Size range of human fingertips, from baby to basketball player, from Microsoft Windows 8 UX guidelines. Eleven mm is average.
I’ve been thinking a lot about cases lately, mostly because I think every one I’ve tried on various iPhones and iPads has hindered my enjoyment of that device. And recently someone sent me this awesome Japanese iPad case that converts an iPad into a MacBook Pro.
I want it, but can’t figure out how to order it. But that’s not the reason I’m posting it here. I think the 30 pin connector — you know, that Apple device-only charger you use — is one impediment to great device accessories.
It’s (obviously) not that I won’t trade weight or bulk for security — that MacBook Pro clone is large. But if it is going to be that big, charging needs to be integrated. My inference — and its truly only a guess — is that building the smallest possible 30-pin connector into the case would create an awkward imbalance or off-centering of the iPad relative to the keyboard and the rest of the case. And that this is a problem for other accessory manufacturers.
I don’t know how others use their iDevices, but I use mine a lot. And so iCharge them (sorry). A lot. At work. At home. Via expensive external batteries on trips. Via snap-in cases. I’ve spent half an iPhone on these at least. (Alternatively, Apple could increase the battery life by increasing the thickness, but that’s not appealing to me.)
And so all the great iPad accessories make the same trade off — to charge (or pass-through) or not to charge, and if to charge, how awkwardly to attach the 30 pin connector.
Consider design prodigy Andrew Kim’s otherwise great Polyply, where chargers would be awkwardly protrude, added by the user upon setup:
Consider my beloved Nest, which can’t charge in portrait mode:
And this — probably the least offensive iPad battery case. It has the additional feature of making your iPad look like one of those also-ran carrier-subsidized tablets:
Between this and my love of holding the device’s form factor, I can’t say I’ve liked any case yet. Apple has made a mind-blowing, futuristic media and gaming device. But they haven’t made a good case for it. And neither has anyone else. This of course might be due in part to Apple disrupting their own accessory market every year — or at least threatening to — that’s another blog post…
In the interim, maybe iPad 4 would be a good time for inductive charging? Or maybe Apple should make more (and more innovative) cases, chargers and stands? I admit those don’t sound likely … I don’t know how to fix this, but it needs fixed.
Am I missing great iPad cases?
Bluelounge Nest & Kicks review
Nest absolutely, Kicks no
I got a new iPad. It’s amazing and I use it all the time. More about that some other day.
But with a new device, I needed something for my desk so my iPad would face me during the day — you know, so I could use it. While at the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue, I picked up a gray plastic Smart Cover. While it snaps nicely to the screen and to itself (to fold up), it isn’t confidence inspiring while holding the iPad upright. And as low as I sit, the lay-down angle was not enough.
So, not the smart cover. Of course there are plenty of cases out there that would solve this. But as you know I grow to hate all cases — because I like to hold the device. Fortunately, I had heard of Bluelounge’s Kicks as an alternative way of protecting the back of my iPad. And on their site is the great, versatile Nest stand.
Nest is great. it holds the iPad securely in multiple angles. It fits the Smart Cover, or without, perfectly. Because it doesn’t snap in, you can be imprecise in setting it down. Really a good solution.
While buying my Nest, I decided to get some Kicks — I will probably get the 4th Gen iPad when it comes out and sell my current 3rd Gen, so I want it to look nice. The Kicks are less impressive.
First, they don’t solve my problem — not Kick’s fault, but they just don’t protect the device the way that I use it, at least not that I’ve noticed. The iPad’s corners are getting worn. A more minor problem is that they come off when pulling the iPad out of my bag. And the icing on the cake? Though I worked hard to straighten them, its not possible to lay them straight & parallel. They should be more rigid. And, though it would increase the packaging, I would include a plastic layout guide that snaps to the iPad and, when pressed down, glued the Kick’s in place.
However, the Kicks stick well when not being dragged out of a laptop carrier pocket with a magazine and they re-stick perfectly, which continues to surprise me.