PadGadget’s DIY Project Spotlight: Magnetic Macro Lens

DIY Macro Lens 4

Finding wide-angle or macro lenses for the iPad are about as rare as seeing an albino tiger in the wild. It seems like most accessory makers want to steer clear of anything relating to photography on the iPad. There is some kind of stigma against using an iPad to take pictures. What these companies are slowly starting to realize is that people do use the iPad to take pictures.

Although I have yet to see a macro lens specifically designed for the iPad, I’ve always wanted one. Macro lenses zoom in super close to a subject, making it possible for you to see the smallest details on objects. Not only does it magnify the subject, it narrows the focus of the picture, creating a crisp, clear close up that makes the image appear to have either been taken by a tiny person, or the subject to have been gigantic.

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iOS Lessons I’ve Learned Traveling in Beijing

Beijing

Traveling internationally this summer? I’ve been in Beijing for almost 3 weeks and I thought some of the lessons I’ve learned here might help inspire you to be prepared for your own travels. I decided to bring all of my iOS devices with me and have found them to be valuable assets along the way. Here are 5 things you need to know.

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Apple Camp for Kids is Back Again this Summer, Creative Creatures Wanted

Apple Camp

Last summer, a friend of mine sent their kids to “Apple Camp.” At this three-day workshop, the eight and 10-year-old girls learned how to make and edit a movie. They also came home with a bunch of Apple Camp swag, which I tried to coax out of them in exchange for some cookies. They weren’t buying my pitch.

This year, Apple is opening up the camp to more content options. In addition to learning how to use iMovie, kids ages eight to 12 will be able to learn how to create their own digital book in iBooks. Campers will be using iPad tablets to draw illustrations for books and edit soundtrack music for movies.

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FiftyThree Updating Pencil and Paper to allow more Expressive Control with iOS 8 Update

Pencil by FiftyThree 1

Art hardware and software maker FiftyThree recently announced an upcoming update to its popular stylus, Pencil, which will make it more like a real artist’s tool than anything on the market. Coming in iOS 8, Pencil will feature Surface Pressure, which will allow the user to control the lines created on a digital canvas based on how much of the stylus’ tip is touching the iPad screen.

From the company’s blog, Pencil will receive a software update this fall in conjunction with iOS 8 that will make it possible for users to draw thick or thin lines, shade, smudge, and erase in varying widths on the iPad without having to select a tool from the settings menu.

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Apple Reaches Settlement over iPad e-Book Price Fixing Claims

iBooks

The long drawn out e-book price fixing lawsuit is reaching the end of its life as Apple has agreed to settle out of court for damages. U.S. attorney Steve Berman, who represented the plaintiffs, maintained that Apple should pay an estimated $840 million, which is triple the amount the company gained from the price fixing collusion between Apple and a number of e-book publishers.

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PadGadget’s iPad Tips: More Help from Siri, Connect with Twitter

How To Siri Twitter 2

Siri used to be somewhat useless as a personal assistant. When she first arrived on the iPhone, she was able to make appointments, call friends, and set reminders, but it has taken a few years for her to get good at her job. Now, Siri can be male or female, can open Google Maps for you, can direct you to buy movie tickets, and has access to your emails messages and can even dictate responses for you.

Siri also has access to Twitter so you can see what is trending or check your friends’ feed without having to open the app. We’ve got a short tutorial for how to access Twitter from your virtual personal assistant.

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Facebook Begins Testing Game Discovery Features in Updated iPad App

Facebook for iPad

When you are using the desktop version of Facebook, you’ve probably noticed some interesting content in your sidebar. Most of the content is related to advertisements, but there are also some suggestions for pages you may like or trending stories. Today, the social networking company announced that game discovery and trending videos would soon be added to the iPad app’s sidebar for our convenience.

According to TechCrunch, more than 70 percent of people who use Facebook on their iPad played a Facebook-connected game in the past 90 days. So, the company is looking to make the two more integrated with the new homepage sidebar, only available on iPad.

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Rovio Teams up with Hasbro to Bring Angry Birds Transformers to iPhone and iPad

Angry Birds Transformers 1

The Autobots and Decepticons are about to get a facelift that will put the robotic races in a fowl mood. No, I didn’t misspell the word. Today, Rovio announced that it is teaming up with Hasbro to bring a bit of birdie fun to the Transformer line. Coming soon, Angry Birds Transformers will flood our lives with games, toys, and all manner of related merchandise.

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Steve Jobs Didn’t Believe there was a Market for iPad Mini, Thank Goodness for Tim Cook

Tim Cook by Minh Uong, courtesy of the New York Times

Tim Cook by Minh Uong, courtesy of the New York Times

On Sunday, the New York Times published a profile piece about Apple CEO Tim Cook. In it, the author describes Cook as an environmentalist and humanitarian who has been building Apple into a well-rounded tech company with a team of leaders, instead of the one-man-at-the-helm company it was under former CEO Steve Jobs. Both methods have proven successful, but investors and analysts are still comparing Cook’s methods to Jobs’ methods and coming out disappointed.

One thing Cook did differently than Jobs was to recognize the market desire for a smaller, low-cost tablet. Without Cook, the iPad mini would never have existed.

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First Round of Approved Bitcoin Apps are Arriving on the App Store

250 Coin Pocket Image

Apple recently changed their policy on virtual currency and the resulting impact is already being felt with the release of the first new Bitcoin enabled app called Coin Pocket. You can use this app to transfer currency and accomplish several other basic tasks related to Bitcoin.

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