Nov 19 2012 - The iPad is the most popular of the tablets on the market right now so there is a good chance that you know people who have one. While the tablet is great on its own there are a number of accessories that help protect it, keep it clean or just make it more functional. Here are some ideas for gifts to give those who happen to have an Apple iPad table.
1. iPad Cover
The easiest way to protect the display on the iPad with Retina is with Apple's Smart Cover. This is a fairly simple design that attaches to the iPad through a series of magnets that attach on one side with a magnet on the other side of the flap to snap it to the display. The flap magnet is also used as a switch to sleep or wake the iPad. The cover does only protect the screen portion of the tablet and can be folded fully back or in one of two styles of base for propping up the tablet. The covers are available in a wide range of colors. Leather covers are more expensive at $69 while the Polyurethane ones are $39.
2. iPad Case
For many people, the iPad is a large investment and they want to protect more than just the display than the Smart Cover will. There are a huge number of full cases available for the tablet including the Smart Case from Apple which is sort of the same polyurethane cover but with the same plastic material that wraps around the rear of the tablet. Brookstone originally released their leather Clip Case for the iPad 2 but it does actually fit the iPad with Retina as well. The case is quite affordable at just $40 yet has a very nice feel to it and features an excellent cover that allows the iPad to be propped up at several different heights. Now,it does have the magnet it the cover but it may or may not work with the sleep features on the iPad as the orientation of the poles was not required until the iPad 3. They do make a rubberized Clip Case as well which is the same price but is made for the newer versions of the iPad.
3. Mini Cover
The iPad Mini is obviously smaller than the original iPad designs and as a result has a different set of cover accessories. Apple makes the polyurethane Smart Covers available for the iPad Mini with the same set of features using the snap on magnets. The only downside here is that they do not have leather versions of the cover currently and the pricing is the same $39 for the polyurethane cover as it is for the later iPads.
4. Mini Case
Think the iPad Mini needs a bit more protection than the smart cover offers? The Brookstone case may add a considerable bulk to the ultrathin iPad Mini but it provides it with some fabulous protection. The tablet slides into the book like cover that is constructed of leather and available in three colors. When the cover is folded back, there is an insert on the cover that can be used as a stand for the tablet in multiple positions and heights. The only real downside is that it does not have the magnet for the sleep functions. Priced at $45.
Touchscreens are incredibly easy to use but they do have their drawbacks. First, the screen can get dirty very quickly from the oils on our fingers that get placed on the glass. Second, people with larger hands may have difficulty getting precise placement on the screen. A stylus is a specialized sort of pen or pointing device that are used to mimic the capacitive nature of human skin for touchscreen displays on the iPad. The styles are quite diverse from standard looking pens to ones that look like paint brushes. Prices range from as little as $10 to over $100 but most tend to be around $30.
Even with its oleophobic coating on the touchscreen display of the iPad, it still will get fingerprints and smudges. This grease and grim will be most noticeable when the tablet is used in sunlight. Now, the iPad does come with a small cleaning cloth but it is small and easy to misplace. The 3M microfiber cloths do a superb job at getting a crystal clear smooth glass surface and are designed specifically for sensitive optical lenses in cameras meaning it won't scratch or damage the display. Prices vary due to a variety of different sizes but start at a few dollars and go up to around $15.
Typing is one of the big challenges on tablets. The virtual keyboards are just not well suited for fast typing or long periods of use. The best way to make a tablet more effective for writing is to add a Bluetooth wireless keyboard. Apple's wireless keyboard is a perfect accessory for any iPad user who wants to do more with the tablet. The keyboard design is essentially the same as their use for their laptops and iMac desktops. It provides a very comfortable and accurate typing experience. The best part is that it is very compact and made of durable aluminum so that it is easy to carry. Priced around $70.
With the release of the latest iPad and iPad Mini, Apple has moved away from the ubiquitous 30-pin dock connector to the new Lightning port. If the tablet owner has cables and peripherals from the previous iPhone, iPad or iPod devices that they want to use with the newer devices, they need to get a relatively expensive adapter. The $29 adapter will allow these older cables and peripherals that have the 30-pin connector to plug directly into the new Lightning based iPads.
One of the many uses for an iPad tablet is the ability to watch a TV show or movie from just about anywhere. Netflix is currently the market leader when it comes to streaming video services. It has one of the largest collections of videos available for streaming. The native iPad application makes it convenient and easy to use. It is a subscription service though but starts at a low price of just $7.99/month for streaming only. Gift subscriptions are available in lengths of one, two, three, six or twelve months. The best part is that the subscription can also be used for streaming on other devices or computers but limited to just one device at a given time.