DIY – Make your own Ipad 2 smart cover

Spk-a0421_glam004 I just got a brand new Ipad 2 from my job. While it’s not something that I would have gone out and bought on my own, I have to admit I really like it and its become a very useful to scan incoming emails, IM’s, and Chatter posts while I’m more focused on coding on my Macbook. Having a second ‘screen’ has really helped reduce the interuptions those messages can cause.

Given how scratched up my Macbook Pro has become, I was determined to keep this new toy in pristine condition. So, the first order of business was a cover. I liked Apple’s smart covers but they cost quite a bit ($36 – $63) for something that only protects the front screen.

I wanted a portfolio style cover that was a thin as possible. (Why add bulk to something that’s biggest selling point is how slim it is?) I checked out a few options and finally selected Speck’s FitFolio for Ipad 2 at J&R ($40). It hit all my requirements and had a nice red leather texture that didn’t feel cheap. The only downside was that it didn’t have the smart cover feature; where the ipad turns on/off when the cover is opened/closed.

Now in researching these covers I learned that the smart covers just have a small magnet embedded in them to accomplish this functionality. So the diy’er in me though, “how hard could that be to add to my case?” Apparently, its so easy that it’s taking me longer to write this post.

IMG00041-20110711-2339 Thin magnet and my white ipad 2.

I grabbed a small fridge magnet; the thin kind that you can bend in your hand and could easily cut with a scissor. The thinner the better. The sensor on the Ipad’s bezel that turns the device on/off when a magnet covers it is about 2 inches down from the right hand corner (with the camera being the top). The easiest way to find it is to place the magnet on the bezel and move it around until you find the sweet spot.


IMG00042-20110711-2339
Placing the magnet on the sweet spot turns off the Ipad.

Now that you’ve found the effective area, move the magnet only slightly until its flush with the lip of the case. (You may want to cut the magnet to fit, but keep it as wide as the bezel. Place glue (or tape if you don’t care about asthetics) on top of the magnet and close the lid. Let it dry. Once that’s done, open/close the cover and you should see a working smart cover.

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