iPad Mini 6 Controller Mount

During the long wait for my Steam Deck to arrive and searching around for an affordable portable solution to play PC, Xbox and Playstation games on the go, I turned to the 2020 Apple iPad Mini 6 that I have been using as my tablet of choice since earlier this year. It offers a good 8.3″ IPS display with access to all the popular game streaming apps and offers support for both Xbox and Playstation controllers. In years gone by, you could pick up mounts for the older iPad models to attach them to controllers but they were quite niche and due to this there hasn’t been any models released for the newer iPad mini.

Not to be deterred, scouring eBay resulted in finding sellers who sell bespoke 3D printed modified clips to hold your device regardless of size, these however are a bit rough around the edges but an affordable option for most.

The search continues and I eventually came across the OtterBox Mobile Gaming Clip for MagSafe, as the name suggests this is aimed at Apple devices supporting MagSafe which unfortunately the iPad line does not as of yet, but the new iPad Pro models are rumoured to support the MagSafe accessories so maybe it will trickle down to the non-pro models in years to come. This mount appeared to offer the best solution, but with no MagSafe support on the iPad the device would not attach and so to solve this issue I ordered a cheap third party folio case from Amazon, it would allow me to easily attach and remove the iPad without needing to clip it into place and would all be attached using magnets to a point where it would be secure enough to use.

The front of the case wasn’t really needed anymore so after carefully removing the front cover I decided to use some strong velcro to attach the two parts. This is more of a temporary solution as really a strong adhesive would be better to make the whole thing permanent but wanted some flexibility in testing the device out in terms of weight and balance first. With the two circles of strong velcro attached the cover and mount were left for a number of hours to allow for the adhesive to bond.

Once the device is attached to the Xbox One controller and iPad mounted it functions as expected, it is quite heavy with the iPad coming in at 293 grams for the WiFi model, but for shorter sessions the weight shouldn’t be too much of an issue. A lot of other mounts on the market mount the device to the back of the controller, which itself causes more strain on the wrists and likely wouldn’t work with the iPad mini but as this mounts the device above the controller it doesn’t throw off the balance as much and brings the screen closer to you making it that bit more immersive.

The iPad itself makes for a great gaming device, with Apple Arcade offering a bunch of great titles, the ability to stream from your own PC, Xbox, Playstation and the countless game streaming platforms it really is a device that can play almost anything. To cover that retro itch, I also installed DolphiniOS and Delta from the AltStore, so now it’s possible to play most Nintendo titles up to through to the Nintendo Wii titles.

In terms of cost, the clip, case and other materials cost around £28 which was much cheaper than the £300+ cost of the Odin Pro I was looking at getting to fill the void until the Steam Deck.


Older Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro’s Confirmed to work with 5th Generation Models

With the Spring Apple Event kicking off this years Apple release cycle, one of the big releases to be announced was the 5th generation of the iPad Pro. With this release of the iPad Pro 12.9″ comes the new Liquid Retina XDR display, whilst not altering the physical design of the device it does add a very slight 0.5mm depth increase to the device leading many to worry about their old accessories and their compatibility with the new devices.

The new Magic Keyboard comes in at a lower price of £329, compared to the previous model that came in at £349 when not on sale. The listing on the Apple website confirms that the new keyboard in both black and white will work with previous iPad Pro models, but does not confirm if the 2020 Magic Keyboard will work with the 5th Generation models.

Speaking to an Apple representative following the spring event, they have confirmed that the older Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio will work with the newer models without issue. This makes a lot of sense as the accessories are expensive and this allows Apple to reduce the number of accessories they need to sell as the newer models are compatible with all previously supported iPads.

Update 29/04/2021 – Apple have now confirmed that the the first generation model is functionally compatible with the new 5th generation iiPad Pro 12.9″. Due to the slightly thicker dimensions of this new iPad Pro, it’s possible that the Magic Keyboard may not precisely fit when closed, especially when screen protectors are applied. Many current owners of the current model have used screen protectors much thicker than .5mm and had no issues so this appears to be more of a case of Apple covering themselves should there be any issues.

Apple Causing iPhone Performance Slowdown

As an avid Apple user, I run an iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro as part of my daily workflow. It always seems widely reported with every new iteration of the operating system, especially for mobile devices, that battery life suffers. In a sense this makes perfect sense, new features are added with every major iOS release milestone and these are aimed at the latest hardware and so cause performance degradation on older supported iOS devices as the new features aren’t always aimed at the hardware of older devices.

However, after upgrading to iOS 11 after much hesitation, I noticed that on my iPhone 6s that the battery life suffered from it’s usual 10% per hour usage to closer to 20% per hour. The bigger issue seemed to be performance, opening apps, taking photos and doing usual everyday tasks took seconds longer than usual. I didn’t feel that the iOS 11 update should cause such a huge performance degradation on a 2 year old device, so I looked into Geekbench results and found similar issues to those pointed out by John Poole. The following Geekbench results are from the same iPhone 6s, about 2 years apart.

As you can see there is a 1072 score drop in single core and 2019 score drop in multi core results for the same device. The reason for this, according to other reports, is that Apple is throttling the CPU cores within the iPhone due to battery life degradation. This is the results of a device at 74% of it’s original battery capacity and 517 cycle counts. Due to the throttling introduced by Apple, the performance of a £630 device has halved in the space of a year as this device was already replaced due to the random shutdown issue. In order to fix the performance degradation introduced by Apple it costs the user £79 to get the battery replaced by Apple directly, which seems unreasonable for a device that was only manufactured a year ago.

Update: Apple has responded to the issue by offering an iOS update in early 2018 that will offer users more visibility into battery life and see how it’s affecting performance. Apple has also lowered the price of out-of-warranty battery replacement for iPhone to $29/£25 respectively for anyone with an iPhone 6 onwards.

How To: Get Netflix Picture in Picture Mode on Pre-iOS 9.3.2 Devices

After Apple announced Picture in Picture mode for iOS in iOS 9, it has become a extremely useful feature for those who like to multitask as they work on their iOS device. Most entertainment apps finally caught up over the following months by adding PiP support to their apps, however Netflix still didn’t offer this feature, albeit more difficult as they weren’t using the stock iOS video player. This all changed today when Netflix announced their latest app update with the addition of PiP but only for devices running the latest 9.3.2 firmware. Knowing that the PiP APIs were introduced back in 9.0, I decided to take a look and see if this version restriction can be bypassed and it can for anyone running a jailbroken device.
Netflix iOS

If you are running a jailbroken device then following these instructions should enable the feature for you without any issues, however as always follow the instructions carefully and any damage caused is entirely your responsibility. This has only been tested on iOS 9.1, but should work on any 9.x firmware.

  1. Install OpenSSH or MTerminal
  2. Log in or SSH into your iOS device as root (default password is alpine)
  3. If you are planning to keep OpenSSH installed on your device then please change your root password, instructions on how to do so can be found here.
  4. Navigate to the following directory: /System/Library/CoreServices/
  5. If you are using SSH then use your preferred editor to open SystemVersion.plist, I used nano to edit the file.
  6. If you are using MTerminal then you will need to install your preferred editor on Cydia.
  7. Open the file and navigate down to the ProductBuildVersion key and change the string value to 13F72.
  8. Go down to the Product Version key and change the string value to 9.3.2, as shown below.
    Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 20.08.12
  9. Now save and exit out of the editor, uninstall OpenSSH if you don’t plan on using it again. (Note: if you are using Pangu 9.0.x Untether then it will try to uninstall this when using Cydia as it thinks the system version is in fact 9.3.2 and therefore unsupported)
  10. Reboot your device, it will appear as if you have upgraded your device and ask you to log into iCloud, however everything is still in tact and you are still running the original version of the OS.
  11. Ensure you are on the latest version of the Netflix app and choose a title to watch, press the home button and now you should have a PiP view of the title.

PiP Mode on iOS 9.1



Could The iPhone 5S Support 4K Video Recording?


With Apple’s unveiling of the much rumored iPhone 5S and budget 5C model coming in less than an hour, an interesting point was brought about by developer Steve Troughton-Smith, that the current iPhone 5 model is capable of 4K at a low fps. There have been a few handsets unveiled over the last week that support 4K video capture so it’s not impossible but just because it’s 4K doesn’t particularly mean that it will be good video, it’s all dependent on the sensor itself and if the iPhone 5S does in fact offer 4K recording then I can only imagine that it will be up to a good standard for Apple to include such a feature.

It’s been heavily rumoured that the sensor in the 5S would be an upgrade from the 5, as with part S models the camera always gets an upgrade. However I believe that if they don’t include this feature on the 5S then it’ll be potentially enabled by the jailbreak community and that Apple may keep it for the iPhone 6.

Why the iPad mini isn’t retina

After the official Apple event announcing the new iPad mini on the 23rd, a lot of people have been slightly disappointed by the fact that the iPad mini doesn’t come with a retina display. This doesn’t mean that in future there won’t be a retina iPad mini in future but here’s a few reasons as to why Apple may not have decided on a retina ready iPad mini.

First of all and perhaps the biggest issue would have been price, the mini retails at £269 in the UK ($329 in the US) which although is higher than some of the competing tablets in the market, it’s at a low enough price that it appeals to a much wider audience sporting it’s lower price tag. If Apple would have included a retina display this itself would have pushed the price up considerably, making it less accesible to people due to the higher price tag. In a years time, the screens themselves and process of making a retina iPad mini will be cheaper and therefore a much more viable option for Apple.

Due to the screen size being 7.9″, rather than the bigger 9.7″ the resolution of the screen could be lower to have the same DPI (Dots Per Inch) as the current retina iPad and therefore qualify as a retina display. The retina iPad comes with a resolution of 264 DPI compared to that of the mini at 163 DPI. However although it has the same resolution as the iPad 2, it’s actually got a higher DPI due to the smaller screen size; therefore text and images will look sharper on the smaller screen. With the resolution being the same as iPad 2 this means that there is no wait for apps to be made ready for iPad mini, all the apps that work on the iPad and iPad 2 will work out of the box with the iPad mini, making it easier for both developers and consumers.

One of the things that come with the smaller form factor, is a smaller battery. The iPad mini comes with a 16.3W battery, in a single cell design which itself takes up most of the device. If the device were to ship with a retina display it would need a much bigger battery which would mean the device would have to be either thicker, or bigger; which would affect the idea of it being ‘mini’. The mini still manages a 10-hour battery life, which the retina iPad manages with a 42.5W battery. The CPU in the mini is a dual-core, the same as the iPad 2 however the retina iPad comes with a A6X CPU, which is powerful enough to drive the retina screen, the A5 however wouldn’t be able to offer the same experience.

As with all Apple tech, each revision of a product line brings improved specs and I have no doubt that perhaps next year we will see a retina ready iPad mini, the components and technology behind the device will come down in price and hopefully there won’t be too much of a price increase next cycle.

How To: Recalibrate iOS Device Home Button

One of the most notable issues over time with iOS device users is that after months of use the home button becomes un-responsive, it affects all iOS devices over time and can affect some more than others, generally based upon the use of the device. One way to fix it would simply to return it to Apple and get a replacement, if your device is still in warranty and they allow you to exchange it. However as it’s a mechanical part they may not replace the device itself.

A simple way that fixes the issue for most people, is something you can do yourself and all you need is your device itself. Following these simple steps will in most cases fix the problem and makes your home button a lot more responsive.

  1. Launch one of the stock iOS applications on your device, for example the settings app.
  2. When the app is open, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button at the top of the device until the ‘Slide To Power Off’ slider appears.
  3. Press and hold the iOS home button. Keep the button pressed until the slider disappears and the application quiet back to the Springboard.
  4. The home button is now re-calibrated and should be a lot more responsive.

Major Flaw Found Within Remote Wipe Feature

After iTunes not wanting to restore my iPhone, I decided to use the now free, Find My iPhone service to remotely wipe my phone ready for my appointment at the Apple Store. After initiating the wipe I received an email saying it could take up to 2 hours to complete, my appointment being within the next hour didn’t help. Unfortunately I arrived late to the appointment, but my phone still hadn’t wiped. After not being seen I needed to use my phone again and it states in the email that you cannot cancel the wipe, however a hard reboot stopped the process and nothing had been deleted, within the hour that it was apparently wiping. So this displayed a massive flaw with the service to me, if a person was to steal a iOS device that was then remotely wiped, the theif could simply hard reboot the iOS device and have access to everything.

White iPhone 4 Finally On Sale

The news has been floating around the internet for a few days now that the white iPhone 4, would finally go on sale and it’s now official. Vodafone UK among others are set to release the white iPhone 4 along with Apple themselves. The official Apple site got updated just after midnight to reflect the arrival of the white iPhone 4 model. Hopefully this also means that there will be no delay in the upcoming next generation white iPhone.

Possible Pictures of Next Gen iPhone Leaked in China

What we have here are said to be pictures of the upcoming next generation of iPhone, known to be either the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5.

These pictures have been posed by Chris Chang on the M.I.C Gadget website, the photo appears to be the next generation iPhone which will no doubt be powered by the same A5 CPU that is in the iPad 2. This may not actually be the final design for the next generation iPhone, which is rumored to hit stores in September, but could of be one of the many prototypes that will have been made. There was talk a few weeks back of a edge-to-edge display, so this seems to back up those rumors.