New iPad's smart cover problems may be due to magnets
Are magnets to blame for problems hounding owners of the latest iPad tablets who use the iPad 2's or third-party smart covers?
Tech site Mashable reported that, while the new iPad is physically the same as the iPad 2, changes may have been made to the polarity of its inbuit magnets.
"Smart covers, which attach to the iPad’s built-in magnets, are supposed to turn the tablet on automatically when you flip them open. But as dozens of iPad users in this Apple forum concurred, that was no longer the case with many smart covers on the new iPad," Mashable reporter Chris Taylor said.
Taylor, who said he was among the owners of the new iPad dismayed to find the smart covers for the iPad 2 did not quite work with the newer tablet, quoted photographer Mark Booth who said he discovered the issue with magnets.
Booth was quoted as saying the iPad 2's sleep-wake sensor was not polarity-specific, such that iPad 2 users who flipped their smart covers around so that they sat flush with the back of the tablet could cause the iPad 2 to accidentally switch off.
"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," Booth said in his blog.
But Booth theorized Apple may have quietly made the polarity change in their smart covers in 2011, since newer smart covers made by Apple appeared to work with the new iPad.
"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," Booth explained.
"So it seems the new iPad’s sleep/wake sensor does require a specific polarity. But in fixing one issue, Apple appears to have caused another for users who want to use their old smart covers with their new tablets," Mashable's Taylor said. — TJD, GMA News
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