The Bindery Blog

  • iOS 7 Review: Love It or Not?

    by Esther P., Pad & Quill Techster
    The new iOS 7 is almost here, and there's been plenty of talk from those who love it and those who don't. If you were hoping for a major overhaul to the functionality of Apple's iOS system, prepare to be disappointed. If you were hoping for a fresh design, new functionality, and an intuitive platform, get ready to party.

    Design Facelift

    Although the new iOS 7 looks significantly different from Apple's older operating systems, how it operates is largely the same. With the new iOS, you'll feel like you have a brand new phone, yet at the same time, it should feel intuitively familiar—like meeting a stranger who reminds you of a long-lost friend.
    Probably the first thing you'll notice about iOS 7 is the flat design. Unlike the skeumorphic design Apple held on to for so long, the new iOS 7 is sleek, modern, and flat. The translucent layering of apps and the parallax effect are the most noticeable upgrades in the design department.

    What's New? What's Not?

    The familiar apps on the home screen, folders, and dock with shortcuts are still there, although now you can swipe anywhere on the screen to unlock the device. One of the new features you'll notice on the home screen is the Control Center. Swipe from the bottom of the screen, and you'll get options for Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, volume control, AirDrop, and other shortcuts. Although you can't customize the Control Center for now, at least it's easily accessible and includes most of the shortcuts you need.
    While some features simply got a new redesign (like Messages and Mail), with others you'll notice improvements that go further. The revamped Photos app makes it easier to edit, organize, and share photos. Photo filters are now available, along with multiple ways to organize photos and built-in sharing functionality with AirDrop.

    iTunes Radio

    iTunes Radio is new for the iOS 7 music player. It's Apple's new streaming music service that makes it easy to buy songs you love in iTunes with one click. If you're using iTunes Match, you can listen without any ad interruptions. Otherwise, expect a quick ad commercial every 7 to 10 songs.

    iOS in the Car

    One more thing to look forward to? Starting in 2014, iOS in the car will be available for select vehicles. That means you'll be able to connect your iPhone to the car display so that you can view and navigate your iPhone right from the car controls. Siri will integrate with your car's audio system, along with navigation, text messaging, phone calls, music, iTunes radio, and more.

    The Missing Elements

    So what's not to love? The lack of an open file system, for one. And if you're a social networking addict, the limited 3rd party social media integration is a bummer. But for the most part, we'd say the iOS 7 is a big step in the right direction, with the opportunity for even more revolution in future iOS versions.

    Case for iPhone and iPad

    Need a case for your iPhone, iPad, or iOS device? Pad & Quill's iPhone cases and iPad cases keep your device looking and working like new, with access to all ports and functions. Style, function, and theft protection all in one case! Get free shipping when you purchase any other case or accessory.

    Photo Credit:

  • iPad Mini Surpasses iPad in Sales

    by Esther P., Resident Techster
    With the iPad all the rage as few as 3 years ago, when it was first introduced, the fact that it's now being overshadowed by the iPad Mini shows just how fast technology—and consumer preferences—are changing.

    iPad Use Drives Demand

    For most of us, time spent on a tablet like the iPad consists largely of surfing the web, checking email, and using apps. Since none of these require a lot of typing or screen space, the smaller the better. iPad Minis are popular mainly because of their size. The size difference between the iPad and the iPad Mini is only a few inches and a fraction of a pound, but it's enough to tip the balances in favor of the iPad Mini when it comes to popularity. A 7.9" screen is just easier to slip in a purse or backpack than a 9.7" screen. The Mini is also lighter and slimmer, which makes it pretty convenient for travel or just carrying with you wherever you go.

    The Surge of the iPad Mini

    According to Apple's second quarter report (January to March), 64% of iPads sold were iPad Minis. Projected sales were much lower than actual sales. Apple expected to sell 6 million iPad Minis in 2012, but the actual numbers showed much higher. Apple sold over 12 million more iPad Minis in their first quarter (at the end of 2012) than expected, according to DisplaySearch.

    Why the iPad Mini?

    Analysts see two big reasons why the iPad Mini is doing so well. One is the lower price (starting at $329) compared to the full-size iPad and its smaller, lightweight design. The lower resolution display doesn't seem to be slowing down demand for the first-gen Mini, even though the iPad 4 is available with Retina display.
    The second reason is that iPad Mini sales are tracking with the overall market trend when it comes to tablet size. Smaller, cheaper tablets, like the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, and 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab, are part of a growing market trend toward tablets in the 7 to 8 inch range.
    With a new iPad Mini expected in the fall, there will be even more reason to choose the smaller version over the full-size iPad!

    Case for iPad Mini

    The more you carry around your iPad Mini, the more important it is to protect it from scratches, dents, and dings. The case for iPad Mini by Pad and Quill is stylish enough for high-class taste and sneaky enough to thwart thieves with its book-like design. Get free shipping when you purchase any other case or accessory!

  • Crafted

    That's a word I really love.  Crafted.  It lends to what Kari and I are all about. When your really thinking about what drives you, motivates you to get up and look through new designs and products I'm finding I can't get this awesome word out of my head!


    Terms like 'handmade', 'designed', 'curated' are all great descriptions that we both have used in the past to describe our products.  But c'mon!  Crafted.  I mean, that says it all about what drives us and where we want Pad & Quill to go.  We love crafting the old with the new and we think when you do, something really amazing comes out on the other side.


    Some examples you ask?  Sure!


    We love crafting old with new regarding materials.  When we pick a material, we really think it through and drive our vendors crazy.  I assure you I've had some serious eye rolling because I don't pick the standard material, it has to be just right.  Recently I looked far and wide for a very tough buckram cloth that goes on the outside of our  Cartella Linen for Macbook Air. YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE HOW UGLY BUCKRAM CAN BE. Oh my word.


    We wanted an old linen look and feel to the material that would last as well as it was lovely to hold. Tying old and new.  Not easy, but we found a gorgeous version of this material that feels like holding an old library volume.  I like it so much that some of our new iPad 5 cases will be covered with this buckram as well this fall.  (Yes, I'm assuming a new iPad 5 is coming)





    Another example of 'Crafted' would be the new leathers that we are coming out with in a few months, but I'll get to that on the next post. :)  The images are amazing.



    Mr. PQ




  • How to Make iPhone Battery Last Longer

    by Esther P.
    Funny how easy it is to take electricity for granted until you lose it. Don’t get me wrong. I love storms. Heart-attack thunder cracks and drenching rain give me an adrenaline rush. In fact, I’m not even opposed to having the power go out for a few hours. But after 3 days without power and no electricity in sight for a few more days, it’s got me thinking about how I can make the battery power on my smartphone last as long as possible. At a time when everything else feels disconnected, a phone that works feels like my one connection with the outside world.
    The one thing you’ll hear people complain about most when it comes to the iPhone is battery life. If you’re a smartphone-aholic, you might not even be able to go 12 hours without recharging. Fortunately, there are ways you can save power and make your iPhone battery last longer between charges--especially when you know you won’t be able to get to an outlet or a car charger for awhile.

    1. Turn down the screen brightness.

    The iPhone screen display is a beauty--but it’s also a battery zapper. If you can recharge your battery easily, no problem. But if you need the iPhone to last as long as possible, turning down the screen brightness is one of the first things you should do.You’ll find the settings under Brightness & Wallpaper on the Settings app.
    Another trick to reduce battery wear from screen brightness is to turn off the screen as soon as you’re done with the phone for a few minutes. Just tap the power button instead of holding it down, and the screen will go black.

    2. Disable wireless.

    Your wi-fi, bluetooth, and mobile connections all use up battery power, especially if you’re out and about and your phone is constantly searching for wi-fi connections. If you don’t need a wireless connection all the time, only turn it on when you need it. Then turn it off to conserve battery power on your iPhone.

    3. Watch your apps.

    Not every app runs in the background, but some do. Google maps and streaming music services like Pandora can easily run down your battery before you know it. Other apps, like Twitter and Facebook, check for notifications every 15 minutes or less.
    To shut down apps you don’t need, click the HOME button twice to see which apps are running. Then turn off any apps you don’t need right now.

    4. Turn off push email.

    If you have your iPhone set up to check for new emails on a regular basis, consider turning off the ‘push email’ setting. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data and switch the settings to check email Manually rather than automatically. Your iPhone will only check for new email messages when you actually open the email app.

    5. Get off the grid.

    Apps with location-based services are constantly checking for your location--unless you turn this feature off. To find out which apps are the culprit, go to Settings > General > Location Services. Then turn off the apps you don’t need.

    Case for iPhone

    Did you know you can charge your iPhone without taking it out of Pad & Quill’s Little Pocket Book Case for iPhone? And that’s not all. Get free shipping when you purchase any other case or accessory!

  • 6 Tips & Tricks for Kindle Paperwhite

    Got a new Kindle Paperwhite? It's packed with features and options to help you personalize the device, but some of them are not as obvious. Here are a few tips and tricks for you to get the most out of your Kindle.

    1. Save the battery.

    Is the battery draining too fast on your Kindle Paperwhite? Turn off the wireless by switching it to Airplane mode when you don't need it. Just go to Settings and turn on Airplane Mode.

    2. Remove recommended content.

    Don't need suggestions from Amazon for books you might like? Remove it from your home screen by going to Menu > Settings > Device Options > Personalize Your Kindle > Recommended Content.

    3. Take screenshots.

    Wish you could save a page or image on your Kindle? You can. Just tap opposite corners of the Kindle screen at the same time. Either top left / bottom right or top right / bottom left combinations will work for taking screenshots. Connect your Kindle to a computer using a USB cable to download the screenshots.

    4. Keep it private.

    Don't want anyone snooping through the content on your Kindle to see what you're reading? Set a passcode by navigating to Settings > Device Options > Device Passcode: Enter Passcode. Then confirm the passcode and select OK. Now what you read is your business and only your business.

    5. Choose your own font size.

    There's no need to squint when you're reading on a Kindle. Just increase the font size by making a "spread" gesture with your fingers. To make the font smaller and fit more words on a single page, "pinch" the screen with your fingers to decrease the font size by one.

    6. Free up more space.

    Done with an ebook and want to remove it from your Kindle? You can free up space for new ebooks by navigating to Device, tapping on the ebook you want to remove, and selecting Remove from Device.

    Case for Kindle Paperwhite

    Get a case for your Kindle Paperwhite from Pad & Quill. Our Kindle case is built with a slim wood frame that fits your Paperwhite just right and makes you feel like you're reading a traditional hardback book. Get free shipping when you purchase any other case or accessory!

  • Using the Camera on an iPhone

    Why haul around a bulky DSLR when you can get photos just as fancy-looking with your iPhone 4S or iPhone 5? Although the camera features on older iPhone models are lacking in quality, the newer iPhone models are making up for lost time with image quality that no one will guess came from your iPhone. Here are a few quick tips we picked up on using the camera on your iPhone.

    1. Think camera, not iPhone.

    Hold the phone like a camera. That means two hands, not one. Two hands make for a steady shot. The most important thing to remember if you want to take good photos with your iPhone is to hold it still. You shake the phone, you'll end up with a blurry picture every time. If possible, steady your arm, hand, or camera on something solid for an even steadier shot.

    2. Zoom with your body.

    Yes, there's a zoom feature on your iPhone. But if you want a higher quality image, we recommend "zooming" with your feet. Get closer to the subject, if possible. Obviously, if you're taking a picture of the Grand Canyon at the edge of a cliff and want it closer, use the zoom—not your body.

    3. Take two. Or fifty.

    Why settle for one mediocre shot when you can take 50 and keep the best one or two shots? The only way you'll get better at taking pictures with your iPhone is to practice. So take 50 shots of the sunset. Try different angles. Use a filter. Get closer. Back up. Just remember to delete the shots you don't want later on. We recommend viewing the photos on a computer screen to see the true quality before deciding which shots to keep and which to delete.


    4. See the light.

    Light makes a big difference in the quality of images you take with your iPhone. Dim indoor light equals grainy images. Natural light outdoors equals sharp, professional-quality images. The more you play with lighting, the better you will understand which light conditions (time of day, indoor/outdoors, shadows, etc.) are optimal for shooting high quality photos. Don't hesitate to shoot at night or dusk—just know that you may need to fiddle with the camera settings or take multiple shots in order to get what you want.

    5. Check the settings.

    Can't figure out why your friends can take better pictures on their iPhones than you can? You might want to double check the settings on your camera. For the best images, set the resolution and picture quality as high as possible. Just know that higher quality images require more storage space, which means you'll want to download those images onto your computer to free up more space.

    6. Clean the lens.

    Cleaning the lens is one of those no-brainer things that you only think of after you've tried everything else. A clean lens makes all the difference between grubby photos (think oily fingerprints) and sharp shots. Just be careful not to scratch the lens when you clean it.

    Case for iPhone

    Get protection for your phone with a case for iPhone from Pad & Quill. Our iPhone cases allow access to all features, including the camera. Get free shipping when you purchase any other case or accessory!

  • We Give - Mrs. PQ

    Summer is officially underway, and sadly, I am already underwater.  I’ve typically hit my summer groove a few days before the urchins take their last exam, but this year the final exams were more herculean then usual and we were sprinting and stumbling right up to the final day.


    I plotted math education and reeducation with a friend over coffee and deduced that with a little effort my one child might actually graduate from high school and therefore from my basement after all.


    Rowing season began with a two-hour practice and ended with the consumption of a large pizza, half a pound of grapes and a pint of chocolate milk.  Hence, Feed My Starving Children takes on a whole new meaning.


    In the Pad and Quill household, after we pay the employees and Uncle Sam, the vendors and the merchants, the mortgage broker and the guy who keeps the lights on, but before we buy clothes or dinner out, we give.  I swallow my food easier when I know we’ve taken food from our plates and placed it on another’s.  We play more joyfully knowing we’ve afforded a reprieve from the streets for a kid to go to camp.  We learn more completely when our learning includes teaching others.


    So, we give.  And that is one of the most exciting things about watching our company grow.  As you our customers invest in our products, we in turn can feed hearts, minds, tummies and spirits.





  • Apple Unveils iOS 7 at Worldwide Developers Conference

    Rumors about a brand new operating system for Apple devices were confirmed yesterday when Apple unveiled the new iOS 7 at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The new software upgrade will make older Apple devices seem like new and put Apple back in the running with its competitors. Apple fans have long complained that the iOS needed a refresh in order to keep up with the rapid advance in technology and design.

    iOS 7 Design Upgrade

    As Tim Cook announced it, "The iOS 7 is the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of iPhone." The new iOS 7 interface is simple and clean, with an elegant design and flat icons, rather than the skeumorphic design that Apple is known for currently.
    The iPhone 4 and newer models, iPad 2 and newer, iPad Mini, and 5th generation iPod Touch will all be available with the new iOS 7 starting in the fall of 2013. A beta version is available for developers to experiment with and work on developing new apps for the software.

    iOS 7 Features

    New features on the iOS 7 include a notification center, Safari updates, upgrades to Siri, and the introduction of iTunes Radio. Similar to streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, iTunes Radio will allow listeners to stream music on-demand for free across all Apple products. For a small fee, users can opt out of ads. iTunes Radio will guide users to purchase their favorite songs on iTunes, with highly personalized recommendations for new songs and artists based on the user's listening preferences on iTunes Radio.
    Airdrop is another new feature for iOS 7, which will allow users to swap files between Apple devices.
    With more efficient multitasking for apps, longer battery life, and a control center that allows you to easily adjust the screen brightness or switch to Airplane mode, the new iOS 7 is expected to reignite the passion for Apple products and keep up with new software releases for Android, Windows, and other competitors.

    Cases for iPhone

    Keep your iPhone protected with an iPhone case from Pad & Quill. Access to all features and ports, plus theft protection with an unassuming notebook-like appearance. Get free shipping when you order any other case or accessory!
    Image Credit: Video screenshot courtesy of

  • How to Find the Best iPad Mini Case

    A naked iPad Mini is a beauty, but it's also asking for trouble somewhere down the line. Coffee spills, scratches from your pet's claws, and accidental drops can easily turn your pristine iPad Mini into a not-so-pristine tablet. Before that happens, we recommend protecting your new device with an iPad Mini case. Here are some tips on how to find the best iPad Mini case for you.

    Lightweight, Not Bulky

    The biggest reason most people love the iPad Mini is that it's so light and thin. The smaller tablet size makes it easy to carry around and use almost anywhere. Your iPad Mini case should be lightweight and slim for everyday use. If you need more protection than that, consider getting a bag as well as a case. Then tuck the iPad with its case inside the bag for heavy-duty protection.

    iPad Mini cases


    The iPad Mini is designed to be aesthetically appealing. Your case should be too. Think of an iPad Mini case an opportunity to express your style—whether that's suave, bold, fun, or one-of-a-kind.

    Full Protection

    Your iPad Mini case should protect the front and back of the tablet. Both the screen and the body are vulnerable to scratches and damage. The trick is to find a case that still allows full access to the screen, ports, and camera without removing the case every time you want to use it. Pad & Quill's iPad Mini cases provide access to all ports and functions on the iPad Mini.

    Full Screen Access

    Make sure the iPad Mini case doesn't come too close to the edges of the screen. This can make it harder for you to swipe all the way to the edge of the screen. Cases that hold the iPad Mini firmly in place at the very edges leave full access to the screen without getting in the way.

    iPad Mini Cases

    By itself, the iPad Mini is a beauty. With a Pad & Quill iPad Mini case, even more so! Choose from the Graduate Artist series designed by local artists, the new Aria full grain leather case, or one of our classic cases. Free shipping with purchase of any two cases or accessories.

  • New MacBook Air on the Way?

    With Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference coming up next week, rumor has it that one of the product launches announced at the conference will be a new MacBook Air model.
    Signs like dwindling stock often point to an imminent product refresh of an Apple product, and the MacBook Air is no exception to this trend. Retail stock for the 13.3-inch MacBook Air with 1.8GHz processor is scarce, although Best Buy is reported to have available inventory still in stock.

    Improved Processor

    Although Apple never reveals too many details before the actual launch, insiders believe that the new MacBook Air will feature the next-generation Haswell processor from Intel.
    Unveiled for the first time in late May, Intel's Haswell processor boasts a 50 percent power savings over previous generation processors. The improved efficiency allows for slimmer profiling and longer battery life—especially as improved graphics such as retina display make their debut.

    Better Microphone

    With users making calls via Skype, Gmail, and other online phone services, the improved microphone technology on the new MacBook Air is also something to get pumped about.
    The dual built-in microphone design is rumored to be the same as what's currently available on the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Long distance and overseas phone calls will get clearer reception with better microphone technology.

    Retina or No Retina?

    What's not so certain is whether or not Apple will include a Retina display for the next generation MacBook Air. Maintaining the MacBook's sleek profile while incorporating a Retina display is a challenge because of the added power demands, hardware space, and extra cost. With the rapid advance of Retina technology, however, a high-resolution display is still a possibility.

    MacBook Air Cases

    You can bet there'll be a new case for MacBook Air 2013 when it arrives. In the meantime, however, trust your MacBook to the protection of PQ's MacBook Air cases. Free shipping when you purchase any other case or accessory.

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