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24
Oct

Brydge 12.9 Keyboard

I have been using iPad Pro (12.9″) as my Primary Work and Home device for close to an year now. Although, there are some things I cannot do in iPad – this post is not about that :-). I have tried 3 different Keyboards for the iPad over last 12 months.

Initially, I was disappointed with Apple Keyboard on its layout and usage and never bought it. The First one I tried was Logitech Create – Gold Color, to complement the Gold iPad Pro. It was great for typing and loved that it connected to the iPad with the Smart Connector and did not rely on Bluetooth. But the problem with that was it can only be used in one viewing position and cannot be adjusted and the second one was, taking it out of the case to use just the iPad was not easy at all.

Then moved to Zagg Keyboard case for iPad Pro. It had backlight keyboard that connected to the iPad through Bluetooth. It had a case for the iPad and Keyboard was sturdy. Certainly was very bulky and heavy. It was great to try out and use, but overtime, the keyboard would not stand on the hinge and would keep falling down after long use.

Before buying Zagg, when I was researching for Keyboards, that is when I came across BRYDGE PRO keyboard for iPad Pro big size. Have seen great review comments for Brydge Air and Mini. That time, Brydge was in Pre-order and would not ship until over 5 months later. Did the Pre-order for Gold Brydge Pro. As I was waiting to get my hands on the Keyboard, iPad Pro small size was launched and to make sure they dont get confused with the name, this was now called BRYDGE 12.9 to be in line with the size of the iPad. They started shipping may be about 2 months ago but Gold was the last color they started shipping.

Its been close to a month that I am using BRYDGE keyboards and certainly can say, this is THE BEST I have used for typing with my iPad. Makes the whole experience so seemless, just like a Laptop. The hinges was something I was not fully confident till trying it out. I have always used cases for all my iDevices and this one cannot go in the hinge with any case. But I am loving how the keyboard case now compliments the iPad color. Not had any issue with iPad falling off the hinges or going down when using. Oh, yes, when I use it close to 180 degrees, it went down couple of times, but that is not bad at all. It has been a great experience and support for the iPad. Feels like it should have been made by Apple in first place to make the iPad much easier and better to user. Love the Backlight and the ability to control basic iPad operations from the Keyboard including Music track. The only thing that could have been great is to use Smart Connector instead of the Bluetooth.

Here are some pictures of iPad pro with the Keyboard case (pictures taken using Portrait mode in iOS 10.1)

5
Oct

2 Weeks with new iPhone 7 Plus

I woke up around 4 AM (thanks to Adhruth) on the day Pre-order opened and when I was trying to book, I was already looking at 2-4 weeks for delivery. Placed an order for iPhone 7 Plus Gold (similar to the 6 Plus Gold) as that was faster delivery scheduled between September 24-26. I was skeptical about Jet Black for scratches especially when Apple recommended case for that. Then thought may be after 2 years of Gold, I want a different color and changed my mind to Black and that pushed my delivery date to October first / second week.

On the launch day and next couple of days, checked with any Apple store, AT&T or Target have any phone for me to immediately pick it up. Nothing was available (as expected, since noone received Plus models).

After a week of new Phone launch, randomly checked at Target.com and found store in Maple Grove had iPhone 7 plus 256 GB (the storage I wanted) but in Jet Black color. I thought I looked at it wrong because Jet Black was always 2 months of wait with Apple. I called up the Store and went there to pick it up and the Store Mobile Engineer did a great job of explaining iPhone 7 plus and how Jet Black one single phone is all they got and noone was there to buy it. I grabbed it and between the time of me getting it from the Store to the Zagg shop for putting screen protector, my finger print was all over the back side of the phone.

It looked gorgeous and certainly much better than the pictures that Apple showed. I always use Phone with a case (thanks to Adhruth, again) and hence did not mind Jet Black. I added a layer of screen protection on the back side of the phone and was not happy with any case I saw at Zagg. Walked into the Apple store in Ridgedale and like the Tech21 case I saw there.

iPhone for 2 weeks, here is how it is

  • 256 GB space is excellent for my 26,000+ photos (I recently moved all pictures in my hard disk / external storage to iCloud and still not gone over my 200 GB iCloud backup)
  • Installed it as a New Phone, so that settings doesnot get confused with multiple phone jumps. Took long time to download all my Music library into my phone (may be it took one full overnight for download)
  • Raise to wake functionality certainly annoyed me (though I tried iOS 10 beta but it was on 6 Plus which does not have that ability). So, turned it off after day 2
  • Love the Camera. Clarity is excellent. Seeing some big difference from 6 Plus. Zooming fully doesnot distort image. With the case, camera bump is not a big deal. Randomnly, when taking a picture from the iMessage window, phone acted as if it was rebooting
  • Home button vibrating, seemed moving fluid button. Still getting used to that feel for every touch of the home button
  • Between 6 Plus and 7 Plus (missing 6S), there is better performance especially with iOS

iOS 10

  • Siri understands me much better. Yes, Siri is excellent upgrade from previous versions. Integrations with other apps, makes it much more easier. Great job here.
  • Love the new Music app. Makes it easy to sort and browse
  • iMessage has lots of additional effects when sending message and is cool. Only thing is, I am not sure how many times I will use that. May be just a couple of times each week
  • Editing pictures and adding notes is a great improvement in Photos app

Overall, between Public beta 1 and now got used to lot of functionalities to an effect I dont really think anything was new with iOS10 🙂

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