How to fix the issue with iPad 4 being unreadable with polarized sunglasses.
The iPad 4 is a great device, I love mine. But like all good devices the have downsides too. One such downside that I have found is a troubling one with a simple solution. Have you ever been outside, in your car, or airplane and tried to use your iPad only to have the glare make the screen unreadable. What do you do? You do what most people do, put on your sunglasses and all is better. What if you have polarized sunglasses? Then the displays turn completely black. It happens on LCD monitors as well as all tablet and other devices. This issue happens from the extinction rate of the display as set by the manufacturer. iPhones don’t have this issue only the iPad do and only in portrait mode. In landscape the image is viewable. Here is a short article that explains the effect. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/ipads-go-black-in-portrait-mode-with-polarized-sunglasses/12706. This issue is a problem for me and others in specific instances. I am a pilot and I love to fly, I am working on my IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) rating and I like to use my iPad as a EFB or Electronic Flight Bag with ForeFlight. Just this weekend I finally got all my maps and plates in ForeFlight I practiced by linking it to my flight simulator X-plane 10 (http://ipadpilotnews.com/2012/11/how-to-use-the-foreflight-mobile-app-with-x-plane-flight-simulator/) and FSX (http://ipadpilotnews.com/2012/12/how-to-use-foreflight-on-your-ipad-with-microsoft-flight-sim-x/) and flew some approaches. ForeFlight connected to a flight simulator is just another tool to get the most out of your training. Everything worked great I got familiar with it and was ready to fly with it in real world training with my instructor Mike from Tropicbird Flight Service (http://tropicbirdflightservice.com/). Friday afternoon I get into the DA-20-C1 ready to work on holding patterns and VOR approaches with my ForeFlight. I am getting all the radios tuned in, VOR is dialed in heading set, I am ready to get my ATIS and I think this will be a perfect time to try the scratch pad feature to take down the information before Taxiing. I look down and the display is black. I know it is fully charged, I check that it’s on and it is. I tilt my head a little and I can make out a few icons so I know it’s working. I lift my glasses and I can see the screen clearly. I recognized this issue right away. The polarizing of my glasses is preventing my from viewing the screen. I have this issue on other displays as well. Unfortunately I only have polarized sunglasses. now what can I do? I think that my iPad and ForeFlight (which is awesome by the way) is going to be useless. I just happened to order an iVisor XT http://store.moshimonde.com/ivisor-screen-protector-ipad-3-and-4-white.html protective cover for my iPad. All my devices have one because I hate finger prints on my displays, and I really hate scratches. I have found the Moshi iVisor series to be the best, they go on very easy no bubbles and you can clean them and reapply them like new. These cheap simple protectors also have another feature, they fix the polarizing effect of my glasses. I can use my nice comfortable glasses as usual and I will still be able to fly with my iPad and ForeFlight as I was hoping. It also reduces the glare in direct sunlight so that makes it even more visible in the cockpit. So in conclusion a complex problem can be easily solved by getting a protective cover. It not only protects your expensive device but it also fixed the polarizing effects of the display. ForeFlight is a great app and the iPad is a great device that is very close to the features of a G1000 glass cockpit without the complexity. This is the future of GA and something as simple as polarized sunglasses shouldn’t make it unusable. These devices aid pilots and give them much needed information when they need it, quickly. Ultimately until the manufacturers get rid of the extinction rate on displays this will be an issue. I have read articles that the G1000’s in cockpits have the same issues. I don’t know how well any of the protective covers work to prevent the glare and polarizing effects. If you have used one I would like to hear your experiences.