How to use a Smart Cover on a First Gen iPad without Ruining it

Still rocking the Original iPad? Wish you could use one of those cool Smart Covers like your iPad 2 or New iPad toting friends? There are workarounds to get your Original iPad to be compatible with Smart Covers but they all require you to glue or tape magnets directly onto your iPad which, in my opinion, takes away from the smooth style and polish of owning an iPad. Plus, this could just get messy leaving you with blotches of crazy glue on your iPad. Even if you use any kind of tape you could be left with visible air bubbles. Some of you may have been provided an iPad through your job whether it be in the education field, business field, or whatever else and you may not even be allowed to glue things onto it since it’s not actually yours. By combining two products into one I’ve finally figured out a great solution to using a Smart Cover on your Original iPad.

The first thing is to buy a hard-case. Hard-cases are meant to protect the back and sides of the iPad which the Smart Cover doesn’t protect. I bought the thinnest one I could find. Made by Incipio and called Ultra Light Feather Case for iPad, it is only $9.95 plus $4 for shipping here at iMore’s store site. It comes in black, purple, or frost. This case in its own right is excellent. It is thin as the name suggests and it has a similar grip feel as the polyurethane Smart Covers.

The next product to buy is called SmartSnap which is made by SmartFix. This is a thin magnet specifically made to tape onto your Original iPad so that it can become compatible with Smart Covers. The tape is the same type of material used for screen protectors so it is strong and will not peel off on its own. Now, like I said, I don’t like the idea of taping or gluing magnets directly onto the iPad as it kills the sleek look of it. Examples:

Glued

Taped

Check out the video to see how the SmartSnap magnet is installed on the iPad and how it works. You can skip to 53 seconds as the first part is for another product SmartFix sells.

The video shows that the SmartSnap magnet is to be taped onto the iPad itself. As mentioned already, this post is meant to show you how you can use a Smart Cover without actually taping or gluing anything onto your Original iPad. Instead, you can actually just tape the SmartSnap magnet directly onto the hard-case. The magnet will already be placed in the center of the adhesive when you receive it. Use the black tape that is included the same way it is used in the above video to measure exactly where the magnet should be placed. The difference is that you’re not going to put it on your iPad but on the hard-case itself so once the black tape is on the iPad you’ll have to align it with the hard-case and determine where on the left side of the hard-case the magnet will go on. Then apply the magnet. The front flap of the adhesive will fold over the side of the hard-case:

   

The back adhesive flap will stick onto the back of the hard-case:

   

Now your Smart Cover will fit snug right onto your iPad =)

   

All the possible standing positions for a Smart Cover work just fine:

      

The magnet is very strong. I held the Smart Cover just like this with the iPad hanging at least 3 ft in the air for about 10 seconds before I took this picture:

Because the magnet and the hard-case are as thin as they are, the Smart Cover falls just short of covering the entire front of the iPad. You can see from this image how much of the black border of the screen is still revealed. It is so small it is barely worth mentioning. I don’t even consider this a caveat. I don’t mind this at all and I doubt anyone else would if they gave this a shot also.

The only real caveat is that the screen will not turn off when the Smart Cover is closed over the screen like it does on the newer models. That is because the newer models have magnets that detect when the Smart Cover is closed. The Original iPad does not. This, however, is something that does not bother me at all.

Hope this helps any fellow Original iPad owners who want to take advantage of Smart Covers also!

-Mr. Mendo

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