Back in February I wrote a short post about a tiny change to Apple Books made in iOS 13.4. Well, 6 months later and I’m back with some further tiny changes to Apple Books that no one notices or cares about news for you. I love the Apple Books app, and I use it daily. Many of the book prices are comparable to the likes of Amazon / Kindle, and I just love the look and feel of the app, along with the tracking features introduced with iOS 13.
Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a completely different answer to the age old question of: ‘Can you get real work done on an iPad?’ I’m not here to answer that question for you, but I have moved my own use case for my beloved iPad Pro to the next level recently, and I wanted to share a few thoughts about the software, and hardware, that has helped me along the way.
I’ve been tweeting and posting quite a bit recently about my Apple based setups, so when an online friend of mine1 shared his [recent post](http://ipadguild.com/the-best-apple-setups-for-500-1000-2500-and-5000) about a setup challenge I was very intrigued.
The premise of his challenge is simple, you have to come up with your ultimate Apple product based setups at four different price points, namely $500, $1,000, $2,500 and, finally, $5,000. The rules, as defined by Chris are:
- You cannot use any other items, if you have a Mac Pro lying around your home, I don’t care.
- The prices are based off Apple’s website.
Sounds simple enough, right? For my purposes, just because I want to, I’m going to be using the U.K. site prices, because they’re inclusive of tax, which isn’t true for the U.S. one, as far as I know. The great British Pound doesn’t stretch quite as far as the dollar, so this could be interesting.
I should just mention that, so as not to tait my views, I’ve not read Chris’ post as yet, further than the ’rules’ section at least.
So, without further ado, here goes!
The 2020 iPads Pro were introduced on 24th March, but for many people, including myself, ‘new keyboard day’ came just under one month later, when Apple released the intriguing new iPad Pro Magic Keyboard.
As I’ve alluded to in the past, including in my recent piece about my current iPad Pro setup, I’ve long pined for a ‘docked’ iPad Pro experience and I’ve achieved that goal, to a certain extent. Obtaining a true laptop, experience, however has been a little lacking.
A year or so ago I bought the Brydge Pro keyboard, which I used with my 2018 iPad for some months, but the device never really stuck. While it looked fantastic, the keys were extremely sticky and I found it really killed a major USP of the iPad, namely it’s portability. While it wasn’t all that heavy, really, and it could be removed from the device fairly easily, it still wasn’t ideal. It was clear from the little connecting clips that there was a tangible, finite amount of times you could reliably add and remove the iPad from the keyboard. With the Brydge out of the picture, I relied on the truly excellent Apple Smart Keyboard Folio case, for my ‘iPad as a laptop’ needs. All in all it’s been performing an admiral job, and the Smart Keyboard Folio remained my favourite keyboard to use with my device. Until today that is.
I’ve explained previously that I’m a big iPad user and, until recently, I thought it impossible to fall in love with it even more. Then Apple released iPadOS 13.4 and everything changed, again … The full trackpad / mouse support added in this point release has added a feature I’ve wanted for many years now, and the implementation of it has really blown me away. This is not a simple re-hashing of the system currently in place on macOS.
If you read my Magic Keyboard for iPad first impressions post you’d know that I’m pretty smitten with it. While I did mention a few shortcomings after my first day, I’ve gone on to use it extensively, every day since, and I’m in love with it now more than ever. Over this short period of time, however, I’ve noticed, what I think, is one of the devices biggest failings. The material.
I’ve never been what you’d call a prolific writer on The Dent, but given the current events the world’s going through at the moment I’ve felt even less inclined to post than before. Who wants to hear about how much I love trackpad support in iPadOS 13.4, or what I think about that sweet new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro? Well, likely no more than has ever wanted to listen to me.
I’ve posted many times on Twitter about all of the various configurations I use my iPad in. Far too many times for many, I’m sure! When it comes to my iPad Pro, however, I may just have a new favourite setup … The latest developer beta of iOS 13.4 introduced full trackpad support, which will be available to everyone next week. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so a video has got to be worth at least 2,000.
I recently had my one year anniversary of being self-employed (I’m a contractor). Among the many things I had to learn as part of the transition from permenant employment to contracting was budgeting and setting limits on how much both I, and my family, spend on certain things. While, after a year, I feel I’m getting quite good at this now, I’ve recently come across a new app, released today, that would have made this transition far easier.
I’ve been a big fan of the AirPods since they launched and, being a self confessed Apple fan boy I could resist the AirPods Pro when they launched last year. I’d never tried headphones / earbuds with noise cancelling technology in them before, so I was really blown away with their performance, despite having a few reservations in relation to their overall comfort levels. Fast forward a few weeks, however, and I noticed the performance of the noise cancellation and Transparency starting to wane.
Apple released the first developer beta of iOS 13.4 a few days ago and Apple blogs were quick to share the usual in-depth deep dives into what changes it would bring. These changes are pretty small, but from what I can tell they’ve all missed some equally small changes to Apple Books also. Here’s a quick comparison between Apple Books in iOS 13.3 and iOS 13.4 developer beta 1: Can you spot the differences?
A few days ago, John Gruber and Matt Birchler had a bit of back and forth about the iPad and it’s intuitiveness as a device. Both sides of the argument had some valid points, but I knew which side of the fence I sat. One line in particular struck a cord with me, from Matt’s original post on the subject: As I have to say in every one of these pieces, I’m not arguing that macOS is trash, nor am I arguing that iPad software is perfect and needs no refinement.
Greg Morris, writing on his blog gr36.com: I don’t need an iPad to be a working machine any longer; I need it to fill a gap of reading blog posts, my pocket feed and watching videos when I want to relax. So the iPad returns to its starting position. Nestled in among other Apple devices, and one I use to consume. Waiting its turn amongst threes Macs and an iPhone.
I’ve been using the built in iOS Reading List feature for some time now, but only today I discovered a very useful feature that I wanted to share with you. After a quick Google search, it seems this isn’t a new feature so please indulge me if this is common knowledge. Once you’ve read, or at least navigated to the end of an article you’ve saved into Reading List, it will automatically jump to the next item in your reading list.
Back in February, I wrote a review for the, then new, iPhone Smart Battery Case for the iPhone XS. While I had mixed feelings about the case, I summarised my feelings thusly: All in all, I’d say if you really need an extra boost of life in your phone, you’d get no better quality and integration than Apple’s own case, though I wouldn’t recommend using it every day. Unless you like your phone feeling like a brick phone from the 80s that is.
Trying to eat the right thing, and improve my health has been a constant battle for me over the years. As with many things in my life, I often turn to technology to help me through. To this end, I’ve tried a lot of food tracking apps over the years, however none have ever stuck with me for more than a day or two. The issue with most food tracking apps is that you already have to be very familiar and au fait with the food you’re eating.
To you all U.S. sports fans out there, no I’m not refering to Adobe Photoshop for iPad the Most Valuable Player. I am, instead, refering to the term ‘Minimum Viable Product’. With Photoshop and many other hugely ambitious projects / releases from large companies, there seems to be a lack of basic understanding for how these kind of things work. It seems to be a growing trend recently, when a big new software release comes out, that people have extremely high and unrealistic expectations on what it may be.
Unbelievably, it’s November already, so I thought I’d do a quick Homescreen update post. First things first, here it is: My main Homescreen has remained pretty static for months now, with only a few tweaks here and there. I’ve recently moved from Overcast to the stock Podcasts app for my podcasting needs. While it is, of course, far more basic and sync can be a little flakey between devices, I’ve been enjoying a more integrated experience.
Before I get started with this post, allow me to set the scene a little bit. I am, by no means whatsoever, an audiophile. My experience with audio equipment, especially headphones is limited to the extreme. Since I started buying iPhones I’ve been using the supplied EarPods and then the AirPods, since their introduction in 2016. I’m mentioning this early doors so you can get a bit of perspective on what past experiences I will be bringing to bear when discussing the AirPods Pro.
One of the main things keeping me from posting more, I think, is that I have a bad habit of only ever writing a post / article in one sitting. I can’t remember a time I’ve ever just started writing a bit and then come back to add a bit over a few days. The fact I don’t come back to a piece is probably fairly evident in the quality of my posts, unfortunately.
It looks like Apple aren’t slowing down with their new Apple Arcade launches quite yet. Just 5 days since the last update Apple has released a further 5 titles onto their subscription service. Judging by the short introduction videos on the App Store, they look to have the same high quality of the previous additions and they bring the total up to 80. Image courtesy of the Apple Arcade Twitter account
For those keeping up, it looks like there are some new additions to Apple Arcade that have sprung up overnight, bringing the current total to 75. The new additions are: NIGHTMARE FARM - This looks like an interesting, if not a little strange title. After reading the App Store description it’s a little hard to even see what this ones about, but it’s labelled as a ‘simulation’. You apparently have to visit a farm and give the creatures there food and toys.
Since its introduction in iOS 11, Live Photo’s has truly been one of the core iOS features that keeps me in the eco-system. While this may sound a bit strange to some of you, I find it to be a truly invaluable feature of my everyday camera. I like to think of it as parent mode because, to be honest with you, I can’t imagine many people outside of this demographic that would find it as compelling feature as I do.
To me, a sign of a good review is how much reading / watching it makes me want to go and try out the product that’s being reviewed. Prolific YouTuber Christopher Lawley’s recent Brydge Keyboard review was not only fantastically presented, as always, it also really made me want to use the Brydge Keyboard. If you haven’t seen the video yet, stop what you’re doing and watch it below:
I’m not sure if anyone is interested in following Oprah’s Book Club on Apple TV+ when it launches in November, but for those of you that are, Apple are currently selling the Audiobook of the first book that will be covered, The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates for less than the eBook version. This is a completely non-staged photo of Oprah loving the heck out of this book. It’s currently £7.