The Smart Cover is undoubtedly one of the reasons why people will consider upgrading to the iPad 2: it’s lightweight, it’s got magnets, it automatically attaches to the device to cover its screen and also happens to have a microfiber cloth for cleaning purposes. It doubles as a stand to prop your iPad for typing or movie watching, and thanks to the hardware implemented by Apple it can wake or put the iPad’s display to sleep. It’s genius.
Those people who don’t want to upgrade to the iPad 2 just yet, however, might be out of luck when trying to “retrofit” the Smart Cover for the iPad 1. The original iPad doesn’t have magnets, nor does it come with a system to automatically recognize whether or not a cover is lifted off the screen. Plus, it’s slightly heavier and it’s got a different design lacking tapered edges. Many thought it would be impossible to use a Smart Cover with the iPad 1.
It turns out though, with a bit of hacking and custom magnets it is possible to “install” the Smart Cover on the iPad 1. By placing a series of magnets on the iPad 1′s flat side so the Smart Cover’s hinge can fit, the guys at The Russians Used A Pencil managed to make it all work together. Sure, the iPad doesn’t automatically wake from sleep and the stand functionality is a little bit off because of the old design, but it works.
To place the magnets, I stuck them first to the magnetized hinge of the Smart Cover. I slid them around until they became locked into a position. This ended being asymmetrical, but I didn’t mind. I then lined up the cover with the iPad and used masking tape to mark where the magnets should be placed. I wanted this to be a somewhat permanent solution, so I used super glue to affix the magnets to the iPad. If you are not so daring, or want to test it out to make sure you like it, just use transparent tape. Even though the super glue keeps the magnets secure and in place, they are actually pretty easy to remove by just “chipping” them off with a flathead screwdriver and a very light tap of the hammer.
You’ll need glue to attach the magnets to the iPad, and I’m pretty sure the whole “automatic aligning process” isn’t as magical as Apple’s implementation in the iPad 2. Still, check out the video below if you, too, want to have a Smart Cover on your original 2010 iPad.