With the elegant addition of a magnet, any case becomes iPad 2-compatible. Photo Charlie Sorrel
Problem: I still have a bunch of iPad 1 cases laying around, but I now longer use my fugly, fat, slow old iPad 1. Of course, the iPad 2 fits in fine, but unless you use a dedicated case, you’ll have to use that tiresome slide-to-unlock control every damn time you take the iPad out of the case.
The case in question is the Dicota PadCover, a herringbone-tweed sleeve with leather trim, a clever iPad-extraction strap and the annoying habit of toggling the screen-lock switch every time you pull the tablet from the bag. It’s a pretty cool case, but I wanted it to lock and unlock my iPad 2 automatically.
So I added a magnet. Pretty much any magnet will do. I picked up a four-pack of plain, round fridge magnets from the dime store. They cost around €0.70 ($1) for the pack. I then pulled off the plastic cover (or more accurately used the magnet that had already shed its poorly-glued shell) and started to wave it over the iPad.
If you try hard, your version may be as professional-looking as mine
The Smart Cover works because it has magnets which engage with one inside the top right bezel of the iPad. All you need to do to roll your own is to place your magnet in the same place. You’ll need to line it up just so, but aim for the right bezel, level with the second row of icons.
Once you have found the spot, tape the magnet to the outside of the case (unless your case is really thick, in which case you should ditch it and buy a thinner one). Slide the iPad in and out and watch to see if it sleeps and wakes reliably. If not, adjust the position. You may need a more powerful magnet.
Or you may not. While I am sticking with the ghetto version — gaffer tape on the outside — you may choose to put the magnet inside, or to open up the case and stick the magnet into its lining, thus placing it closer to the iPad’s own detector magnet. You might also consider thinner magnets. As you can see in the picture, mine’s fat, but it’s all they had at the store.
This trick also works great with folio-style cases, like the DodoCase or the Pad & Quill, although in these cases you’ll also have to hack the case to actually hold the thinner iPad 2.
A final note for those who already own the Dicota case above. The iPad 2 fits inside perfectly well with the Smart Cover in place, if that’s how you want to play it. I find the double cover too tiresome to bother with, hence this beautiful, elegant hack.