Bypass the iPad passcode lock by restoring to another iPad

Let’s say you want to see the contents of somebody’s iPad but there’s a passcode lock on their device. There’s an easy way around this if you have a second iPad with equal or larger space you don’t mind erasing.

You will need access to the computer they sync their iPad on and about 20 minutes.

First, on the iPad with a passcode lock, connect it to the computer it usually syncs to and let iTunes load it on the sidebar. When the iPad appears in iTunes, check to make sure the “Encrypt iPad backup” is not checked in the OPTIONS section, and then right click on the iPad and go to BACKUP. This will create a current image of the passcode locked device that we’re going to restore to the second iPad. (NOTE: You don’t need to know their iPad passcode for the backup to work.)

iPad Bypass 01

While the iPad with the passcode is backing up, take the second iPad and go to GENERAL / RESET and ERASE ALL CONTENT AND SETTINGS. This will ERASE EVERYTHING and you will be warned two times about this before the iPad starts to wipe everything. (You should back up the second iPad on its’ own computer so you can restore it to it’s original state later.)

iPad Bypass 03

The format will only take a moment, and then you will see the “connect to iTunes” icon on the second iPad’s main screen.

iPad Bypass 04

When the iPad with the passcode lock is done backing up, disconnect it from the computer it was syncing to and connect the second iPad that has the “connect to iTunes” icon on the main screen.

When you connect the second iPad, you will be prompted by iTunes if you want to restore from a previous image. Say YES and choose the iPad name with the passcode lock that was just backed up.

iPad Bypass 05

In a few minutes, the iPad will be restored and restart. iTunes will then restore a few programs to the iPad and then finish.

iPad Bypass 06

iPad Bypass 07

After the iPad is finished syncing, the iPad will ask “would you like to set a passcode now?”. Say LATER and you’re in! You will have full access to the formerly passcode locked iPad’s apps, settings and documents!

iPad Bypass 08

NOTE : Some apps don’t back up their files locally, but require you to re-download content from their servers. Fortunately, everything will be clearly marked inside each app for re-download, and usually under a “restore all purchased content” button.

I’ve found you can re-download everything (and even make brand new in-app purchases) without needing to re-enter any kind of login or password from the original passcode locked iPad.

This isn’t a hack of any kind. It’s just that passcode locks on iPads don’t to squat. The only way to keep your iPad (somewhat) secure is to encrypt your iPad backups at the main iTunes window under OPTIONS.

iPad Bypass 09

A password encrypted backup will prompt for a password before restoring to another iPad and keep this trick from working. (But if you have access to their iPad and computer, you can always de-select “Encrypt iPad backup” beforehand and make a new backup and this trick will work just fine.)

UPDATE : This trick works for iPhones as well.

UPDATE #2 : If you try and make a purchase direct from the iTunes store, you will be prompted for the password from the original locked iPad to confirm the credit card information on the iTunes store.

Apple’s iPad in Apple’s iPad case will not fit on Apple’s iPad keyboard dock

TIL : Apple’s iPad in Apple’s iPad case will not fit on Apple’s iPad keyboard dock.

Apple iPad Case-Keyboard Fit

How could the Q&A engineers at Apple have missed something so damn obvious?

The iPad in the case sits far enough down on the keyboard dock connector that the iPad is supported, but it’s not far enough down to make contact with the keyboard and allow a sync!

The solution? Either make the iPad dock connectors about 1/2″ higher or cut a slight groove on the base of the iPad dock so that the case of the iPad would “fall” into that groove.

As is, you have to take the iPad out of the Apple iPad case to use Apple’s iPad keyboard dock.

For a massively successful company, they sure make a lot of bonehead design mistakes like this.

iAd rant – AKA why I’m not updating my iPhone apps

It used to be the most aggravating aspect of the iPhone was AT&T’s craptacular service. But recently there’s a challenger to the title, and this one is coming up strong.

I’m talking about developers and their rotten implementation of iAds through software updates.

Let me start off with a “good” example of what an app update should be. The “Genius Scan” update for January has two pages of enhancements to what is already in place, assorted bug fixes, and extensive information on what exactly is being updated in the application.



Perfect. Very straightforward. I updated this app without a second thought. And no iAds? Excellent!

Some apps are adding iAds to their updates even though they were not initially in place. While I’m not a fan of this, I do understand it being a financial necessity for some developers. So long as the iAd addition is done in what I would consider “good faith” and something significant of the software is also value-enhanced, I think it’s OK.

As an example, Dragon Dictation’s recent update fixed some bugs, added some features, and inserted ads only for their own products.


To me, this is a good example of adding iAds to a product and adding value to the application update at the same time. I also appreciate the ads are focused on their own product line and not “carpet bombing” me with every product sold on the internet. Good job!

An update to the “Ministry of Sound Radio” app starts entering the “maybe” update category and strains the value-added premise for me.


While a one-button click to contact the studio is interesting, it’s not really enough added value for me to immediately apply the update and have ads all over the app’s interface. The app is working fine for me now, so I’m not going upgrade this app anytime soon.

The app “My Famous Portrait” is another example of this.


So far I haven’t crashed in the app, so until I start seeing getting kicked out, there’s no imperative for me to update and have ads clutter the applications’ interface either.

On the far end of “maybe” updates are apps like “Ruler+ CM”


The term “user opportunities” is just vague enough to make me skip the update. Yes the value added updates are there, but what does “user opportunities” mean? If I don’t know what an app update entails, and if my previous version is working fine, any new updates won’t get installed.

At the fringe of the “maybe” update category are app updates like “Rolling 5 Dice Poker”


Just saying “we’re putting ads in!” is the same as “bait and switch” to me. The app was free, but now it isn’t! And now the previously clean interface will be junked up with banner ads! No thanks.

Descending into the final “hell no” update category is the “Free/Not Free/Just Upgrade!” switch. Apps that were free at one point, but now have iAds in their updates. The only way to get rid of the iAds is to pay for a new update! Fun!

The app “I’m Right Here” is a perfect example of this.


No significant enhancements on the update. And in trade for my update it’s now “free”?

“Sudoku Solver App” is another example of this. Free at release, but now it’s not!


At the very bottom of the “hell no” pile are the app updates that combine the “Free/Not Free/Just Upgrade!” iAd addition with the removal of existing app features!

“At Once” is the most recent example of this.


Adding Google Buzz? Ok, that’s a nice addition. But taking away the landscape keyboard use? Removing a working feature in the app I already have installed on my iPhone in trade for a paid upgrade? That’s evil-twirly moustache kinds of heartless.


I’ll never ever update apps that take away features from previous versions, iAds or not.

TL;DR / summary version…

Developers! Add something of value to your app if you’re going to start with the iAds. Make it something fun or useful. Make me think the iAds are part of the upgrade “cost” and I’ll be OK with it.

Apple! Give us a “ignore this application’s update” option!

ZaggMate iPad case review

I finally got caught up at work! I can start making “real” blog posts now!

I often buy gadgets on impulse, and one of the new toys I purchased back in December is an iPad case designed by ZAGGmate.


Taking it out of its’ packaging was very easy, and the only other thing that came with the keyboard was a USB charger. No “million plugs of the Hydra” syndrome here. That’s a good sign already!


Setting up the ZAGGmate with the iPad was straightforward. I flipped on the power switch and pressed the recessed bluetooth button on the ZAGGmate. Then, on the iPad, I went to SETTINGS/GENERAL/BLUETOOTH, selected the ZAGGmate keyboard it detected, and typed in the confirmation code. That was it.


The keyboard layout and size was close enough to a “regular” full size keyboard that my fingers hardly noticed a difference.


The specialty keys on the ZAGGmate are there, but fortunately, the designers moved them to inconspicuous places.


What really surprised me was that the specialty keys actually were there to perform some very useful functions on the iPad! So far, so very good!



Setting the iPad to “stand up” in the ZAGGmate is ridiculously easy. Just pull up the bracket on the back of the keyboard…


…stand it up…


…pull it forward, tuck it under the front posts…


…and click it in. Done!


When I dropped the iPad into the groove and laid it back against the bracket, it felt secure. No matter how I jostled the iPad or the ZAGGmate, and no matter how I oriented the iPad, the iPad did not fall out of the ZAGGmate.



The best part of the ZAGGmate is when you close it down. After you take down the keyboard bracket, you can put the iPad flush into the ZAGGmate and use it as a case!


The docking port is still available, so you can still sync and charge the iPad while it is closed. (You can also see the USB charging port for the keyboard from this angle.)


The iPad screen doesn’t come in contact with the keyboard when it is closed, so the screen won’t get scratched. The case is a perfect machined fit, and even though the iPad doesn’t wiggle or move when it is in the case, you can separate the iPad and the ZAGGmate with a moderate pressure from your thumb. (Or you can gently pull them apart with one hand on each side of the case.)


The ZAGGmate isn’t much thicker than Apple’s own iPad case either. Since the iPad is completely flush with the keyboard, there’s not that much additional size or weight at all. Plus it looks like it is part of the iPad. The color and “feel” of the ZAGGmate match perfectly.


I think the ZAGGmate was brilliantly designed and engineered. My only real complaint with the ZAGGmate is that after using this keyboard for a month, I’ve noticed that even though the layout is nice and roomy…


…the edges! The edges!!!


The edges dig into my hands. Big time.

It’s not bad for limited use, but when I tried using the ZAGGmate to write for a few hours, I found my hands became very sore from resting on the edge of the case. Maybe if I adopted a different style of where my hands are when typing it wouldn’t be so bad, but for me, using the ZAGGmate for extended periods isn’t fun.

Second, even though the outer case is made out of “aircraft-grade aluminum”, it does get scratched.



Those scratches came was from what I would call “regular” use, too. ZAGGmate has an optional “invisible shield” outer protective film…


…but unfortunately I still have not been able to find any locally to see if it helps.

A related problem to the scratching is that the entire back of the iPad is exposed when in “case” mode.


Seeing how the bottom of the ZAGGmate got scratched so badly, I am hesitant to keep the iPad in the ZAGGmate without another external case for them both.

Finally, there is no “reverse” option, for when I want to just use the iPad’s touchscreen and have it flipped completely around so the back of the iPad is against the keyboard. It won’t fit flush like the “forward” option, but I blame Apple’s curved-back design for this one.


Overall, this is one of the most impressive keyboards I have used, and it is in my que for when I know I am going to certain corporate environments. Overall I give the ZAGGmate iPad case 4 1/4 out of 5 stars.

** EDIT 01/14/11 : changed rating from 4 to 4 1/4 stars. I originally intended to have the additional 1/4 but lost it in editing.

Opt out of “targeted” advertising on your iPhone/iPad

Have you noticed some of the ads on your iPhone are for things you are marginally interested in? That’s because the iPhone iAd system is passively targeting your “Demographic(s), Application preferences, Music passions, Movie, TV and audiobook genre interests, Location, Device (iPhone, iPod touch) and Network (WiFi, 3G)”

So Apple sees me when I’m reading? They know when I’m awake? They know… waitaminute, that’s Santa’s gig!

Fortunately, there is a way to opt out of targeted advertising on the iPhone.

While you are on your iPhone, go to…

Once you visit that site, the message “You have successfully opted out” will appear and you will be automatically opted out of interest-based ads”.

You will have to do this on every device you have, though. (It’s not account based, but hardware based.)

You will still see ads on the apps that push them, but they will only be “generic” ads and not anything based on what they know about you.

Apple doesn’t like me pointing out the obvious – early adapters got screwed on the iPad case

So there I was, setting up 12 more corporate iPads this week, when I made a discovery I thought I would share with Apple on their forums.



I just bought several Apple iPad cases for the company I work for, and I see they now come with a nice big cleaning cloth!

Apple iPad case now comes with a cleaning cloth

The first 12 I bought from Apple earlier this year had nothing but the case inside.

In the grand Apple tradition, early adopters got screwed again.

Thanks guys!


I received this response from Apple shortly afterward…


Your post was removed from Apple Discussions as it contained feedback or feature requests. These areas are intended to address technical issues about Apple products. Although your feedback is appreciated, unfortunately these forums are not designed for it and your thoughts/concerns will not get the attention they deserve.

If you would like to send feedback to Apple about a product, please use the appropriate selection at
As part of submitting feedback, please read the Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy linked to the feedback page.

Sometimes you have comments or concerns for which there is no technical response. If you need the kind of help that a troubleshooting expert can’t provide, you can call Apple’s Customer Relations group.

Apple Discussions Staff


Oh. I’m supposed to use the feedback page. Right. That will do it!

Gameloft’s advent calendar giveaway – iPhone and iPad freebies all December

Gameloft announced on their blog they are “offering a surprise gift every day in December until Christmas to all our fans and anyone who is in the festive spirit.”

“Every day we’ll announce our surprise on our Twitter account ( All you have to do is click on the link in the tweet to enjoy your present. What can you get? A free game to play on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android device, or on Facebook? Exclusive sneak peeks or cool goodies for our hottest upcoming Christmas games? Crazy game discounts?”

Free is always good. But free from a high-quality gaming company is even better!

The freebies expire every 24 hours, so grab the apps quick if you want them.

Today’s freebie is DRIVER for the iPhone/iPad.

I would bet on a “Top Speed Pro” app lawsuit pretty soon

So there’s really an app on the Apple/iTunes app store that...

“Allows you to monitor the location and speed of your device and other iOS devices on the internet at the same time and compete for the Top Speed!”


Soooo the point of the game is to get your device to move the fastest? And compare your speed with others in real-time through GPS? With a “google map view of your device and the player you’re connected to” and a “full screen speedometer view of your device or the player you are connected to.”?

Oh yeah. I seriously expect an ambulance-chaser “think of the children” caliber lawyer to pounce on this easy target within a few weeks.

Manually back up your important documents from your iPad or iPhone

I’ve always been more comfortable with manual device backups for my iPhone and iPad, mostly because I know I really have the data and I also know the specific location I’m backing it up to.

You can always have iTunes backup your iPad or iPhone by CONTROL-CLICKING (mac) or RIGHT-CLICKING (pc) the iPad or iPhone device icon when you’re in iTunes. When you do that, a pop-up window will appear with an option to BACKUP. Just choose that and iTunes will backup everything on your iPhone.


If you want to try a manual backup, a website called MACROPLANT is giving away a free copy of their PHONE DISK software through December 1st. PHONE DISK is a pretty nice cross-platform application that allows you to access your iPhone or iPad on your computer like you would a USB disk.

Once you have installed PHONE DISK, it will reside in the system tray (pc) or your menu bar (mac) until you plug in a iPhone or a iPad. Once you do, the iPhone or iPad will appear along with the rest of your hard drives.

The default mount path for the iPhone and iPad is the device’s MEDIA folder. From this mount path, you can see the following folders on the device…

  • Books (all the books you’ve purchased from the iBooks app)
  • DCIM (all the photos you’ve taken)
  • Recordings (all the speech and audio recordings you’ve made)

Grab all of these folders and copy them over to a safe location on your hard drive as backup!

Now to backup purchases you have made from inside other apps (such as the great COMICS app or DC or MARVEL apps) or even to save in-game progress (like Angry Birds or Galaxy on Fire games) you will need to do one more thing.

Go to the PHONE DISK icon on the system tray or menubar and go to your iPhone / iPad’s name.

From there, choose CHANGE CONNECTION ROOT.

Once you do that, you will see all the apps you have on your device.

Scroll to the app you want to backup and click on it.

Once you do that, the iPad / iPhone will disappear from your computer, and a drive with just that application you selected will appear in its’ place.

Grab everything you see and back it up!

For example, I have a lot of free comics from the COMICS app (which BTW is a very easy way to entertain nephews and little kids!)

Once I changed the CONNECTION ROOT to COMICS, I see a folder with…

  • Comics
  • Documents
  • iTunesArtwork
  • iTunesMetadata.plist
  • Library
  • tmp

…as the content.

The comics I’ve downloaded ad purchased are all in the LIBRARY / CACHES / COMICS / BOOKS folder. (I would hate to re-download all of those. Or worse, lose them all!)

Grabbing everything from the main directory (Comics, Documents, Library, etc), I now know that in case of a major catastrophe I really do have a backup of all my in-app purchases!

I usually CHANGE CONNECTION ROOT and go to all the APPS I have made significant app-specific purchases with (and in the case of some games, backup my saved progress!)

When you’re done, just CHANGE CONNECTION ROOT back to the MEDIA folder (at the end of the list of APPS you have) and you will go back to the default view you saw when we started.

Then just choose UNMOUNT DEVICE. Done!

Of course, if you have a jailbroken device, the PHONE DISK software will mount the device at its’ “true” root. (Hoo-Ah!)

A jailbroken device will have all of your the APPLICATIONS under the VAR / MOBILE / APPLICATIONS directory. (Under a cryptic naming system… I just grab them all.)

The BOOKS purchased from the iBooks app will be under the VAR / MOBILE / MEDIA / BOOKS directory on a jailbroken iPad / iPhone (I just grab the entire BOOKS directory too)

Hopefully I won’t have to deal with too many nuke-and-pave repairs on my iPad and iPhone this year, but with these manual backups, I at least know I’ve got a plan “C”.