After the thing overheats then it won't charge properly and now it is nearly two weeks since the new iPad released, smart covers doesn't work., how unlucky iPad products are. And how unlucky the iPad users are!
It appears that some iPad Smart Covers aren't working properly with the new iPad, including older Apple Smart Covers. The new iPad has a slight change in how its magnets work. Apple has reversed the polarity of one set of magnets related to the sleep/wake sensor that turns the iPad off when the Smart Cover is closed. As a result, older Smart Covers, that weren't designed with this change in mind, fail to turn the new iPad off when they're closed.
Why some work and some don't: The original iPads didn't have a polarity sensing magnetic switch. So it didn't matter if the magnetic field was N-S or S-N. As a result it didn't matter what direction the magnet was built into the case.
Now with the new sensors the magnet can only be oriented in one direction for the cover to work properly. In the older covers it was random which way the magnet was oriented - kind of like flipping a coin. Sometimes it will be N-S and the rest of the time it will be S-N.
This also means that any new covers will also work with all iPads using the older sensor.
I've learned why Apple decided to use a polarity sensitive switch in the new iPad 3. Some iPad 2 customers were having issues with their iPads entering sleep mode when they flipped Apple's Smart Cover around flat behind their iPad 2. Since the iPad 2's sleep/wake sensor wasn't polarity specific, it could sometimes be triggered from the magnet being positioned at the rear of the iPad. By changing to a sensor that requires the correct polarity, the problem is eliminated.
Booth also notes that Apple is replacing older Apple Smart Covers at Apple Stores for customers who ask. New iPad owners having difficulties with third-party smart cover-compatible cases should contact their case-makers for possible resolutions.
With regard to older genuine Apple Smart Covers that still work correctly with the new iPad... count yourself lucky. A lot of people on multiple forums are reporting that they weren't so lucky. It all depends whether those early Smart Covers were made with the one magnet in question facing the "right" way or the "wrong" way. It appears to be luck of the draw.
As for any third-party cases that are sleeping the new iPad correctly but also sleeping it when the cover is flipped around to the back, please contact your case manufacturer. Something is going on with that case due to the size and/or position and/or strength of that magnet.
I think if is 100% likely that Apple Smart Covers will be hit and miss until Apple notified the supplier that they had to 100% orienting the magnets in a certain way. The good thing here about Apple is you can bring the nonfunctional cover to a store and they will likely replace it (as reported by a number of customers).
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