SwitchEasy has unveiled its new CoverBuddy protective backing for the iPad 2. Made from hard polycarbonate, CoverBuddy is designed to work in conjunction with Apple’s iPad Smart Cover, and features either a durable, color-matched rubber coating (on the colored versions) or a scratch-resistant UV coating (on the clear version), and open access to the rear camera, speaker, microphone, and all other buttons and controls. SwitchEasy’s new CoverBuddy for the iPad 2 is available now in black, gray, blue, pink, or clear, and sells for $25.
Scosche has debuted its new freeKey flexible Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Made from silicone, the freeKey is water resistant, and offers a full QWERTY layout with arrow and function keys, Bluetooth 2.0, automatic repairing capabilities, and an included retractable USB to micro-USB charge cable. Scosche’s freeKey flexible Bluetooth keyboard is available now and sells for $60.
EOps Technology has outed its new Outercover P1, P2, and P3 cases for the first-generation iPad. Designed by Michael Young, the P-series is a collection of folio-style cases featuring integrated travel document pockets on the front, a polycarbonate hard shell rear, a front cover made from non-woven felt and genuine sheep leather that doubles as a typing and viewing stand, a hand strap, and an elastic band for secure closure. EOps’ Outercover P1, P2, and P3 cases for the first-generation iPad are listed as coming in “early 2011;” further release and pricing details have yet to be announced.
DODOcase has introduced its new BOOKback rear covers for the iPad 2 and iPhone 4. Made from the same Moroccan book fabric used in the company’s eponymous folio cases, the BOOKback covers attach to the devices using a reusable, peel-and-stick adhesive, and feature the DODOcase logo debossed in either black or red, as well as cutouts for access to the devices’ cameras, and, in the case of the iPad 2, the speaker; the iPad 2 version is also compatible with Apple’s iPad Smart Covers. DODOcase’s BOOKbacks for iPad 2 and iPhone 4 are available now and sell for $20 and $9, respectively.
JBL has announced that it is now shipping its OnBeat speaker for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. Announced in March, the OnBeat offers a dock capable of holding an iPad, iPhone, or iPod, dock rotation capabilities when holding an iPod or iPhone, side-mounted volume buttons, dual Phoenix full-range transducers, DSP equalization, the ability to charge the docked device, a USB for syncing, a 3.5mm auxiliary input, composite video output, an included remote control, and JBL’s Weave design. In addition, the company has announced that it is now shipping the system with a revised bracket designed to fit the iPad 2’s slimmer design; customers who’ve already purchased an OnBeat can request a replacement bracket by visiting www.jbl.com/OnBeatipad2 and using the promo code “BRACKET.” JBL’s OnBeat speaker system for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod is available now and sells for $150. For more information on the JBL OnBeat, see our full Review.
Knockoff iPod and iPhone products have been making their way across Asia for years, so perhaps it’s no surprise that counterfeiters are moving on to the latest low-hanging fruit: iPad accessories. Earlier today, a Chinese manufacturer sent out e-mails offering the “iPad Fling game controller”—the same Fling released in January as a transparent, flexible tactile screen add-on for the iPad by developer Ten One Design—on a wholesale basis. Ten One has confirmed that the accessories being offered by the Shenzhen-based manufacturer are counterfeits. “Sometimes I like to think of this as a disreputable compliment, but mostly it’s just a hassle to police on eBay,” Ten One’s Peter Skinner said in an e-mail to iLounge. Notably, the email from the manufacturer used not only the Fling name, but promotional images from Ten One showing the product in use. The original product sells for $20; the clone is offered with a seemingly duplicated carrying pouch for between $6 and $9.20, depending on quantity.
NewerTech has introduced its new GripStand case for the first-generation iPad. Made from hard plastic with a shock-absorbing inner rubber liner, the GripStand offers full access to all ports and controls, and features a removable, skid-resistant desktop stand that rotates 360º to support both landscape and portrait viewing modes, and doubles as a grip or as a wall hook. With the stand removed, GripStand also supports the GripBase, a “desktop workstation companion” base that offers full adjustability of viewing angles as well as 360º rotation. NewerTech’s GripStand for the first-generation iPad is available now by itself in white or black for $30 or in a bundle with the GripBase for $40; the GripBase is also available separately for $20.
Wacom, known for its pen-based drawing tablets for traditional PC operating systems, has unveiled its new Bamboo Stylus for the iPad. The Bamboo Stylus features a black and silver design, a satin-textured metal body, balanced weighting, and a stylus tip that’s 25 percent narrower—6mm vs. 8mm—than most competing solutions. Wacom’s Bamboo Stylus is expected to ship in mid-May and will sell for $30.
Elgato has introduced its new Tivizen mobile TV tuner for iOS, Mac, and Windows. Powered by a rechargeable battery, the Tivizen is a compact TV tuner than receives Freeview, or DVB-T signals, then transmits the signal to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch using its own local Wi-Fi network and a free companion app. Other features include the ability to timeshift and record shows, a built-in program guide, 3.5 hours of battery life, and the ability to transfer TV recordings from an iOS device to a computer for archiving or later viewing. Elgato’s Tivizen mobile TV tuner is available now and sells for £150/€150.
Bluetrek has unveiled its new MusiCall clip-on stereo Bluetooth headset. Vaguely resembling an iPod shuffle, the MusiCall offers Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, AVRCP, and multiple connections, letting users connect both their mobile phone and media player—if necessary—and also features on-board playback, track forward/back, and volume controls, a 3.5mm jack for connecting any stereo headphones, an integrated microphone with NoiseLock noise, wind, and echo cancellation, an included pair of earbuds, and voice dialing support. Bluetrek’s MusiCall clip-on stereo Bluetooth headset is available now and sells for $70.
Green Onions, Maclove, Mivizu, and Moshi have all introduced new products for the iPad 2. From Green Onions Supply comes a new range of screen protectors. Each of the Glossy Anti-Fingerprint, AG2 Anti-Glare, and Anti-Glare Screen Protectors offer precise fit and dry application with included dust isolation sheets and microfiber cleaning cloths; they sell for $25 each. Maclove has introduced its new Jumper case for iPad 2, which is designed to work with or without the Smart Cover. Features include push-through coverage for the volume and sleep/wake buttons, open access to the headphone port, cameras, and side switch, a hybrid soft case design, a removable hard shell piece for side coverage when the Smart Cover is not attached, and an integrated Dock Connector cover. Maclove’s Jumper case comes in a variety of colors to match Apple’s Smart Covers and sells for $39.
Mivizu has introduced its new Sense case for the iPad 2. Crafted from full grain leather, the folio-style case features the ability to fold the front cover for use as a keyboard/video stand, openings for access to all controls, ports, and cameras, and hermetically sealed magnets in the cover for compatibility with the iPad 2’s automatic sleep/wake function. It is available for Amazon and sells for $30. Finally, Moshi has introduced its iVisor AG screen protector for the iPad 2 (Pictured above). Available in white or black, this bordered screen protector offers “100% bubble free” installation, an anti-glare, anti-fingerprint surface, multi-layered construction to minimize speckling, and cutouts for unencumbered use of the Home button, front-facing camera, and ambient light sensor. It sells for $30.
II:XX Stands has debuted its new iWah Original and iWah 2 stands for the iPad 2. Designed to work in concert with iPad guitar amps that use the device’s accelerometer and gyroscope as means of controlling various guitar effects, both the iWah stands hold the iPad 2 securely alongside a foot pedal that allows the player to control the effect as they would with a traditional setup. Other features include T-6 aluminum construction, silicone tubing and bumpers on the iPad cradle to prevent scratches and dings, rubber bumpers on the bottom to protect flooring surfaces, non-slip grip tape on the foot pedal, and, on the iWah Original, the ability to lock the iPad cradle in either portrait or landscape position; the iWah 2 offers a cradle permanently fixed in the horizontal position. II:XX Stands’ iWah Original and iWah 2 stands for the iPad 2 are priced at $135 and $100, respectively; availability has yet to be announced.
Incase has debuted a new collection of cases, sleeves, and bags featuring the work of pop artist Andy Warhol. Officially licensed by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the collection includes the Snap Case for iPhone 4 ($50), Book Jacket for iPad ($80), Protective Sleeves for the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros, and a Shoulder Bag for the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Available styles include the Banana screen print, the 1964 Flowers print, Dollar Signs, a cow portrait taken from 1966’s Cow Wallpaper, and a late-era Camouflage. Incase’s Andy Warhol iPhone and iPad cases are available now.
Companies are continuing to announce a variety of new cases for the iPad 2, including Innopocket, NYC Subway Line, Killspencer, and Sena Cases. Innopocket has introduced its EliteFoilo Carbon Fiber iPad 2 Case, a form-fitting case comprised of two rear carbon fiber shells, one for the rear of the device, and one to cover the screen. The two pieces are joined by a unique hinge that rotates 360 degrees, allowing the top panel to fold completely under the bottom, and allows the two pieces to serve as a stand for video viewing or typing. It will ship next month, and is available for pre-order for $199.
NYC Subway Line has debuted its new case for the iPad and iPad 2. The neoprene case features a full color NYC Subway Map print on the exterior, a zippered closure, and a token zipper pull. It sells for $32. Killspencer has introduced its iPad 2 Leather Carrying Case, which offers an inner neoprene lining, RIRI Aquazip waterproof zippers, and external pockets for carrying an iPhone, notebook, business cards, and accessories. The leather version sells for $189; versions made from waxed twill or historical fabrics are available for $150.
Sena cases has unveiled an entire line of leather cases, including the Ultraslim pouch ($60) in two versions—one for a bare iPad 2, and one for the iPad 2 with a Smart Cover—the Folio case ($100) offering an integrated leather stand, the Florence ($80), a slim case with a book-like design and soft velvet lining, the Collega ($150) briefcase-style case, the slim Executive Sleeve ($100) portfolio-style case, and the Sacola ($120) tote-style case with a dual texture design. All of Sena’s cases are available for order or pre-order now.
JBL has rolled out its new OnBeat speaker for the iPad. The OnBeat offers a rotating dock capable of holding an iPad, iPhone, or iPod, side-mounted volume buttons, dual Phoenix full-range transducers, DSP equalization, the ability to charge the docked device, a USB for syncing, a 3.5mm auxiliary input, composite video output, an included remote control, and JBL’s Weave design. The JBL OnBeat speaker dock will be available in April and will sell for $150.
In reply to a customer email, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller has suggested that Apple won’t be making a Keyboard Dock for the iPad 2. 9to5Mac reports that the customer’s email read, “From what I’ve heard, the Apple keyboard dock is not made for the iPad 2. Is there an iPad 2 version that I can’t find on your online store – or is it coming soon?” While Schiller did not directly answer the question, he did suggest that most users prefer to use the device’s soft keyboard. “People prefer to use the iPad’s built in soft keyboard most all of the time, it works very well,” Schiller said in his response. “Those that do choose to use an external keyboard most often choose to use Apple’s bluetooth wireless keyboard for the convenience it provides.”
As noted in our comprehensive review of the iPad 2, Apple’s iPad Keyboard Dock works properly with the iPad 2, as does the original iPad Dock.
iSkin has introduced its new line of earTones earphones. The new earphones feature “FlexFit,” a flexible earbud neck allowing for easier insertion and greater comfort when worn, an in-line single-button remote and mic, and Microban anti-bacterial treatment on both the earbuds and microphone control surfaces. iSkin’s new earTones earphones are available in six color combinations—black/black, black/red, black/white, pink/black, blue/white, and purple/white—and sell for $40.
In the midst of researching new iPhone 4 cases that have recently arrived with noticeably different and larger rear camera holes than we’d seen in prior products, iLounge has received confirmation that Apple has recently published “Case Design Guidelines for Apple Devices,” a digital booklet laying out specifications for iPod, iPhone, and iPad cases, as well as an updated document suggesting a “keepout area” around the iPhone 4’s rear camera.
Notably, the documents now include specific recommendations for materials to be kept out of cases—such as various metals, plastics with carbon content or metallic painting—as well as guidelines for what should be specifically done for both the iPad 2 and iPhone 4, including a recommendation that iPhone 4 cases use an oversized hole to avoid flash and other interference with the distortion-sensitive rear camera. The documents also offer specific testing recommendations, such as device insertion and removal tests, colorfastness tests, call quality tests—conducted in handset, speakerphone, and headset mode—and control/port access tests to confirm that the cases will work with both headphones and dock connector cables with large plugs.
Also surprising: despite Apple’s own use of magnets in the iPad 2 and iPad Smart Covers, the Guidelines state that “case designs for Apple devices should avoid the use of magnets (for example, as closure devices) and magnetic materials.” Indeed, the company’s dimensional drawings for the iPad 2 make no mention of the magnets built into the device, leaving it up to case developers to discover the proper placement on their own. Though Apple has published dimensional drawings for its devices for years, these appear to be the first such documents released to developers since Apple created a new case-oriented lab and testing program last year.
Less than two weeks removed from the iPad 2’s launch in the U.S., companies are continuing to bring out new products for Apple’s second-generation tablet. CleverWraps has announced that its CleverWraps for iPad clear, disposable protective sleeve is compatible with the iPad 2. It sells for $15. MusicSkins has introduced its new line of vinyl Skins for the iPad 2 (pictured), which feature full coverage for the rear of the device save for openings to access the various ports, controls, and camera. MusicSkins’ new Skins for the iPad 2 are priced at $20.
Ozaki has introduced its iCoat Notebook and iCoat Versatile for the iPad 2. Both of these folio-style cases offer open access to all ports and controls and include free styluses; the iCoat Notebook can fold to become a dual-angle horizontal stand and comes in two different leathers with four color options each, while the iCoat Versatile functions as a multi-angle stand and features an elastic band hand grip as well as three included straps for holding, carrying, and mounting. It comes in four colors; pricing and availability information has yet to be announced for either case.
Finally, XO Skins has launched its line of film protectors for the iPad 2. Custom-designed to fit the device and requiring the use of application spray, these clear glossy protectors are available now for the screen ($25), back ($25), or as a full-body coverage set ($35).
Gumdrop Cases, iStyles, and Wrapsol have all unveiled new products for the iPad 2. Gumdrop’s new offerings include the Drop Series case, a ruggedized, multi-layer play-through case that sells for $60, and the Surf Convertible case, a faux-suede folio-style case that sells for $45. Both cases are available for pre-order now. Wrapsol’s new iPad 2 products include the Ultra glossy and Clean anti-glare, anti-fingerprint screen protectors, both of which utilize a new dry application process and sell for $30, as well as the company’s original screen and rear shell protection package, which uses a wet application process and sells for $40. All three are available for order now. Finally, iStyles has announced its new range of Skins for the iPad 2. Available in a range of designs, the glossy vinyl skins include both front and back covers and sell for $20; matte versions are available for an extra $5.