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Old Feb 7, 2011, 01:58 PM   #1
vrDrew
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The Ten iPad Accessories you NEED. And two you don't.

I'm coming up on eight months of happy iPad ownership, which I guess qualifies me as a "veteran". So based on many months of day-to-day life with Apple's magical tablet - here are my recommendations for those things you need to get the most out of your experience.

1) Microfiber cloths. In order to save money, Apple wisely chose not to include any kind of cleaning cloth in the iPad packaging. But the fact of the matter, after a few hours of swiping and poking - your gorgeous screen starts looking a little dingy. Buy a stack of "fleecy" microfiber cloths at Wal-Mart or Target. Don't use kitchen towels, handkerchiefs (do they still sell them?), or the tail of your t-shirt. Also - don't use the "smooth" type of microfiber cloths. They aren't as good as the fleecy kind

2) A carrying case/bag. If you ever plan on taking your iPad out into the wild, you need some sort of bag to protect it from the slings and arrows of daily life. And you need some way of holding so it doesn't slip out of your hands onto the unforgiving pavement. Buy whatever fits your aesthetic and budgetary style. A backpack, messenger back, briefcase or "murse" - doesn't matter.

3) A "protective" sleeve. If you carry your iPad in a bag with other items - metal pens, rulers, etc. - you need something to prevent your iPad from getting scratched. I bought an inexpensive silicon case from Monoprice - about $6, I think. Best of all, it slips on and off the iPad for those many instances when I want to enjoy my iPad in all its naked glory.

4) A stand. If you plan on doing extended reading, web browsing, video watching - you'll need some way of propping the iPad up at a comfortable reading angle. There's a host of different devices at a range of prices - including a bunch of home-made "free" ones. I like the TwelveSouth Compass. But get one that works for you.

5) A Stylus. Yeah - I know Steve Jobs railed against styli. And for most things they aren't really necessary. But there's one exception to this rule: Like a lot of people I a) read my iPad while I'm eating and b) often eat greasy food with my fingers. Tapping on your iPad screen with fingers coated into barbecue sauce or peanut butter will leave smear thats not easily removed with those microfiber cloths. I keep a nifty little Pogo stylus handy just for those instances.

6) Apple Camera Connection Kit. If you like to take pictures with a digital camera, this is one item you've gotta have. There are workarounds - but these usually involve e-mailing pictures to yourself, which adds a whole lot of intermediate steps - including using a computer of some kind. The way pictures pop up when you plug in that little SD card is just magical.

7) A decent digital camera. Lots of people think the iPad needs a camera built in. I don't. Having travelled extensively with my iPad, I can think of few things more ridiculous than holding up an iPad to snap a picture of the Mona Lisa or Machu Pichu. Use a proper camera instead. They have proper flash attachments, decent size lenses, and controls that no on-board camera can possibly match.

8) A Keyboard. Its possible to type using the iPad's on-screen keyboard. But anything more than a page is a pain. Instead, get yourself an external keyboard. Either a Bluetooth one (which also needs a stand) - or the Apple keyboard dock. There are pluses and minuses for either. But a keyboard makes the iPad into a real productivity machine.

9) Apple TV V2. Playing your iTunes library on your HD television, while using your iPad as the biggest, baddest, bestest graphical remote control is simply amazing. Cover art and song data is displayed on screen - which adds another level of fun to a cocktail party or dance jam. The iPad/Apple TV combo is also amazing for displaying YouTube content and Flickr photos on your home's biggest screen.

10) Decent headphones. Strangely enough, the iPad comes with no included earbuds. And while the built-in speakers provide OK sound - its always going to be a little tinny. To enjoy top quality sound, while not annoying your neighbors or roommates, get yourself some decent cans. There is a $275 set of Bose Noise-Reducing headphones I've been lusting over. But in the meantime, some $75 relics from my college days make do.

Lastly, there are couple of items that IMHO you really don't need.

1) Video-Out cable. I bought one of these, and while it works fine, about six weeks after I purchased it, Apple introduced the AirPlay technology - making it "almost" redundant. Simply put, its a hassle to have to plug in the five (or six) connectors in the back of the TV set. AirPlay doesn't extend to all Apps, YET. Expect this to be fixed very soon. When it does, the combination of Apple TV V2 (see above) will make video out cables almost totally unnecessary.

2) An iPad dock. There is a whole ecosystem built around these things. Usuaully they include some combination of charging station and speakers. But if you can handle a mini-din audio cable - there are much cheaper and better ways of getting iPad music to play on big speakers. And with the iPad's phenomenal battery life, you really don't need to charge the iPad every day.
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Old Feb 7, 2011, 02:00 PM   #2
MacDawg
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The only accessory I use is the Apple case
Works for me
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Old Feb 7, 2011, 02:25 PM   #3
Scuby
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An alternative / addition to the stand...

I have a stand which i use on the table, but more often just prop my iPad up against a wall - like in the kitchen or on my desk. For those situations, the best accessory is probably just some rubber non-slip matting (designed for car dashboards, boots, or to go underneath a rug on a wood/tiled floor). I just have a few bits of that rubber matting dotted around where i usually use my iPad, and takes up much less space than a stand, is much cheaper, and means I don't have to carry my stand around with the iPad.

David
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Old Feb 7, 2011, 05:16 PM   #4
cicihost
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Can Apple TV works without a router?

Can i use it outside home for presentations from directly ipad?
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 11:03 PM   #5
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There's a VGA iPad connector available for $29 plus tax...(keynote or email presentation)
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