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Saturday
Mar172012

iPad 3 Smart Cover Sleep/Wake Feature Not Working

Apple released the new iPad ("iPad 3") on Friday, March 16, 2012.  Unfortunately, new iPad buyers quickly discovered that their iPad's Smart Cover sleep/wake feature is not working properly with some third-party cases.  More perplexing, the problem isn't always consistent from case to case within the same model line.

On Smart Cover compatible cases, the iPad's sleep/wake feature is triggered by a small magnet embedded in the case's cover.  Most of the speculation regarding the possible cause of the sleep/wake problem has centered around the placement or location of the little magnet within the lid of the case.  Apple is rumored to have moved the location of the magnetic sensor in the iPad 3 and, thus, the magnet in some cases doesn't line up properly. While that might be the problem with some case designs, that's certainly not the problem with the Maroo Moko II case that I purchased for one of our new iPads!

It's all About Polarity!

It appears Apple is using a new design of sleep/wake sensor in the new iPad.  A sleep/wake sensor that is sensitive to polarity.  I shot some video to demonstrate.

(For the best viewing experience, click in the lower right corner to expand the video and then click on "HD".) 

By the way, the most recent genuine Apple Smart Covers are compatible with the new iPad 3!

Update

A case manufacturer in the UK has tested my discovery.  The magnetically-activated sleep/wake function on one of his case designs was working with the iPad 2 but not working with the iPad 3.  He disassembling the first panel of the case's smart cover and reversed the entire panel—thus reversing the polarity of the magnet embedded in the panel—and held the panel in place with clear packaging tape.

Then he tested the modified case cover on both the iPad 2 and the iPad 3.  Success!  With the reversed panel, the case cover works perfectly with both the iPad 2 and iPad 3!

This manufactuer's test proves that the magnetic sensor switch in the iPad 2 is not sensitive to polarity!  Apple has switched to a different type of sensor switch for use in the iPad 3.

Update 2

I've learned why Apple decided to use a polarity sensitive switch in the new iPad 3.  Some iPad 2 customers were having issues with their iPads entering sleep mode when they flipped Apple's Smart Cover around flat behind their iPad 2.  Since the iPad 2's sleep/wake sensor wasn't polarity specific, it could sometimes be triggered from the magnet being positioned at the rear of the iPad.  By changing to a sensor that requires the correct polarity, the problem is eliminated.

Update 3

I've learned that some of the original genuine Apple Smart Covers do not work properly with the iPad 3.  Sometime in 2011, Apple apparently modified the design specifications of the Smart Covers in preparation for the release of the iPad 3.  According to reports on Apple's support forums, the model numbers for the Smart Covers changed at the same time.  Apple is reportedly exchanging these older Apple Smart Covers for the newer models at your favorite Apple Store.

 

Wednesday
Apr202011

PureGear Shell and Holster for iPhone 4

I don't like to carry my iPhone 4 in my pocket.  I prefer to use a case or holster that clips to my belt.  Until recently, I was using a Marware CEO Sleeve.  Last week, while attaching the CEO Sleeve to my belt, the clip broke.  (Thankfully, the CEO Sleeve -with iPhone 4 in it- came off in my hand instead of hitting the floor.)  I contacted Marware and they were happy to replace the CEO Sleeve under warranty.  Only problem: they no longer offer it in black.  They sent me a 'vanilla' one instead.  Not my cup of tea.

Thus began the search to find a replacement gadget to carry and protect my iPhone 4.  During this search, a friend suggested a case and holster that another (mutual) friend had found at a Verizon store.  I visited a Verizon store the next day and ended up purchasing a PureGear Shell and Holster with Kickstand for iPhone 4 model number AIP4HOC.

The Holster and Shell

PureGear put some thought into this design.  There are two separate parts, the Holster and the Shell.

Holster & Shell, Front (click image to expand)

Holster & Shell, Back (click image to expand)

The Holster and Shell are constructed of rubberized plastic.  The material has a nice tactile feel and it is quite strong.  There are other cases/shells on the market that could offer more protection, but they all seem to be bulkier and, frankly, not nearly as attractive.

Nesting the Two Parts

The iPhone 4 slides into the Shell and then the Shell/iPhone combo slides (iPhone face first) into the Holster.

The Two Parts, Nested (click image to expand)

Clipped to my belt, the package is nice and compact.  There's no fumbling to remove the iPhone from the Holster, it slides right out.  Putting the iPhone back is just as easy.  It snicks into place and all seems very secure.

The Kickstand

The long rectangular section on the back of the Shell is the nifty Kickstand.  It slides open and locks in place behind a little tab.

Kickstand in Portrait Orientation (click image to expand)

I didn't think I'd use the Kickstand feature very often.  I have to admit, it's a nice feature to have.  It can also be used in landscape orientation.

Kickstand in Landscape Orientation (click image to expand)

The Kickstand is perfect for propping up the iPhone 4 while you browse the web or watch a movie.

Enjoy your Favorite Movie (click image to expand)

Adjustable Belt Clip

The Holster features a ratcheting belt clip with 12 positions over a 180-degree arc.  The belt clip will accommodate fairly thick belts and belts up to about 1.5-inches wide.

Ratcheting Belt Clip (click image to expand)

Generous Opening for Camera

PureGear also got it right with the opening in the Shell for the iPhone's camera and flash.  Some other cases are known to create glare in photos due to the flash reflecting off of the case's plastic edges.  PureGear made the opening a bit more generous and that eliminates the glare problem.

Opening for Camera (click image to expand)

If you look closely at the camera and flash opening, you'll notice a millimeter or so of air gap between the inside back of the Shell and the back of the iPhone 4.  This air gap should help prevent damage to the back of the iPhone 4 from small bits of sand or grit.

Fits Both Models

The PureGear Shell fits both the Verizon iPhone 4 and the AT&T iPhone 4 (AT&T model pictured).

Summary

PureGear has created a nice balance between protection, bulk, appearance and function.  The rubberized texture helps you avoid accidentally dropping your iPhone 4, and the Kickstand feature is a very nice bonus.  The PureGear Shell and Holster with Kickstand for iPhone 4 earns my highest recommendation.

Where to Buy

The PureGear AIP4HOC is available at Verizon stores for about $30.  However, the AIP4HOC is available through Amazon at a significant savings (link below).