I was waiting in line at the Irvine Spectrum Apple Store on iPad release day when I noticed some commotion behind us in line with a camera man and some people clearly handing out something. It turns out that is was Targus handing out free leather iPad 2 covers! So I got in there and picked one up with short little talk to their camera. It's a really nice case, but it lacks one cool feature. It cannot turn off and on the iPad 2 automatically as it closes and opens. After a quick investigation with some small magnets it was easy to find the magnetic mechanism the device uses for this detection as well as several internal magnets that are used to hold their magic cover down.
While there are a few magnetic locations all around the iPad frame, there are three primary ones on the middle outside edge. Just above those three locations, and just below the volume control, is a location which causes the pad to sleep and wake when a magnet is brought near and removed.
Note: The hold-down magnets inside the iPad alternate in polarity, so you will definitely need to place the magnets like I show in images 3 and 4, then relocate them to the holes you make in the cover, being careful to maintain polarity, or your cover will want to magnetically hover rather than attract and hold shut.
So I set about inserting those magnet into the cover to make it sleep and wake the device when the cover is closed and opened. Since it's made out a nice suede leather there is no worry about the magnet marring the device in any way.
What you will need:
- Small strong 1/4" diameter magnets.
- A hobby knife.
- A iPad 2 cover that can support having magnets inserted into it.
- A pencil for marking the locations
Step 1: Mark the Locations and Make the Cuts
I opted for three magnets so far. Two to hold the cover, they hold much more lightly than the Apple cover, and one to trigger the device sleep. The two holding magnets are very much optional as the Targus cover has a stretchy strap to hold it very closed. I think it I had paid for this cover I might consider not even bothering with the holding magnets.
1) Place the magnets on the device as shown in the previous step.
2) Close the cover and mark the three locations on the inside cover using a pencil. Pencil wipes off the leather quite easily.
3) Make three small incisions in the cover with a hobby knife.
4) Use the knife to clear out a pocket for a single magnet.
5) Carefully insert the magnet using the knife as a guide, and to gently lift the leather pocket open.
Step 2: All Done! Test It Out
That's it! Give it a go and make sure your magnet is positioned nicely. You can move them around under the leather for a bit, but don't do it too much as the leather will stretch. I've found that the any stretched areas settle out after a few minutes and it looks fine.