13th January 2018

Apple today, launched two more videos focussed on the iPad Pro to their YouTube channel.

Augement Reality

With iPad Pro + iOS 11, you can use augmented reality to literally transform the world around you. Your next computer might not be a computer.

Take Notes

With iPad Pro + iOS 11, you can use Apple Pencil to create multimedia notes. Draw, type, or drag and drop your favorite photos from Files. Your next computer might not be a computer.

I’m really enjoying their latest series of iOS 11 videos. It’s not a simple, an iPad is better than a Mac argument. Instead, they tend to focus on a younger user that has no concept of ”a computer”, but treat an iPad as the device.

It’s starting to become even more apparent, that younger generations are the ones that are truly adapting to new technology. Mainly because they haven’t got the burden of really knowing what it was like before these new devices, such as the iPad Pro.

20th December 2017

In a recent article by Mark Gurman over at Bloomberg, he wrote over 600 words on the supposed plan that Apple have, which would converge apps from iOS and macOS. Meaning that developers would be able to design just one app, and have it work on both platforms.

I personally dont think this is going to happen.

And if you read the whole piece, you’ll find that only 48 words out of the total 672 are relevant:

Apple currently plans to begin rolling out the change as part of next fall’s major iOS and macOS updates, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter. The secret project, codenamed “Marzipan,” is one of the tentpole additions for next year’s Apple software road map.

I’ve been hearing Mark’s name for a few years, and people always seem to make him sound like a very top Apple reporter, which I guess is why he now writes for Bloomberg. But his latest rumours, have been a bit lower in quality in my opinion.

Read the “full” article on Bloomberg.

07th December 2017
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Downloading files from the web on iOS has always been a prickly issue, but Michael Rockwell, writer at Initial Charge, has come up with a rather simple solution:

One aspect of the iOS-first lifestyle that has been a bit of an issue, for many users, is dealing with files. Apple has done a lot to try and fix that with the Files app in iOS 11, but it isn’t fool-proof. One common pain-point for me has been trying to download MP3 files that exist behind a paywall. Luckily, a few must-have iOS apps are available to smooth out the rough edges.

I subscribe to Wrestling Observer to gain access to their premium podcast content — because I’m a nerd who likes pro wrestling. I prefer to listen to these shows in Overcast so I can use the app’s Smart Speed feature and play it back at about 1.2x, but Overcast doesn’t have support for password protected RSS feeds. I’m holding out hope that this will be added in the future, but until then, I’ve been using iCab Mobile to download the audio files, which I can then upload to Overcast’s servers with my Premium subscription. And of course, Workflow is there to facility the process.

Michael seems to always have nifty solutions to things on iOS, so it’s worth reading the full article, and maybe even subscribing to the blog in your RSS reader of choice.

Continue Reading

24th November 2017
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Here’s something interesting – The guys over at iA (devleopers of the iA Writer app), have made their own font. Prevously the apps used a font called Nitti, which kind of became part of the iA brand, but they took it upon themselves to develop a more writing focussed option.

Hell just froze over. After seven years of offering no font options to write, iA Writer now comes with a choice. Next to the monospace Nitti you will now find a brand new duospace font. Duospace?

[…]

For an app that was designed as the digital equivalent of a typewriter, a monospace font is not a far fetch. But, if font choice were just a matter of style, there are better and less expensive ways to impress than leasing a high end monospaced typeface that many take for a silly Courier.

There was clearly a lot of investigastion that went into it, and I’m a fan of the results!

Read the full article on the iA Blog, and download iA Writer for iOS and macOS.

 

Continue Reading

29th October 2017

Just over a week ago, I really wanted to set a plain colour background to my iPad. I had a quick look on the App Store, but nothing just did the feature I wanted. So I ended up starting my own mini project.

It took a few hours to make, and I had to make it support iPhone, iPad, and all the sizes they both come in. In the end it was probably as simple as the implementation could be, but that’s what I wanted myself.

The app can be broken down into 5 elements – three sliders for the hue, saturation, and brightness, followed by a save/share button so you can save the image or do whatever you want with it. Then there’s the background of the app, which shows the currently selected colour. So you literally get to see a live preview of the wallpaper.

Shortly after making this app, I thought back to my post on clearing out my current selection of apps on the App Store. But like I said in that post, some apps don’t require much maintenance, and I this app will fit in to that category. So although I do plan on keeping it up to date, you can see yourself how simple that will be.

Of course, I couldn’t charge for an app this simple. So it is available for free on the App Store!

28th October 2017
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Jannis Hermanns took on a rather interesting challenge recently, and it was all about working from an iPad Pro.

But unlike most people that make the switch, he’s not a writer, manager, or a designer. Jannis is a backend engineer, that uses some terminal in some hardcore ways!

In the summer of 2017, I wanted to know what it would be like to use an iPad Pro as my main computer. I found out that it can actually work, thanks to an iOS app called Blink, an SSH replacement called Mosh, iOS 11 and running stuff on a server.

His perspective/experience I find, is different than most other macOS to iOS switching articles, as there was a lot more technical issues that had to be solved.

But nonetheless, he managed it in the end.

Sadly for myself though, this switch isn’t something that I could do myself any time soon, as I develop 99% of the time using Xcode. Sure, I could probably run that on a Mac, and use a iPad to operate it. But what’s the point in that.

Read the full post.

07th October 2017

How do you get the general public to update to the lates version of iOS?

Easy:

Hundreds of new emoji, including more emotive smiley faces, gender-neutral characters, clothing options, food types, animals, mythical creatures and more, are coming to iPhone and iPad with iOS 11.1. – Apple Newsroom

So in the next update to iOS, you’ll find mermaids, wizards, hedgehogs, giraffes, vampires, brocolli, and some more!

08th September 2017
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Brad Moon, writing for Forbes:

With Apple’s September iPhone event –and the official release of its latest operating systems– just days away, Apple continues pushing out public betas of iOS 11. A lot of people are downloading this software and loading it on their iPhones. But why?

When you install the iOS 11 public beta, you are essentially testing the software for Apple. Using your own hardware, apps and data. For free.

You don’t even get a tee shirt. Apple spikes this point out on the website for its Beta Software Program: “This program is voluntary, and there is no compensation for your participation.”

Because getting early access to upcoming software can only be a bad thing?

Heck, even by the time the company puts out the official annual iOS release in September, there are usually significant bugs still remaining. That’s why I wait for the first revision to be released before installing it on my devices.

It simply sounds like he’s had a bad experience, and that should apparently affect you too.

He goes on to point out a few sections of the beta agreement, which he has to expand on further that they “even use all caps”. The agreement states that the devices may not be able to be restored after using beta software, Apple will not be liable to any problems with using the software, and general stuff that you’d expect.

It’s not a final piece of software, and like all their public betas (which come after the more buggy developer betas), they are to be used at your own risk. And completely optional!

I just don’t see the issue. But I think his trust issues go further than the stability of the actual software:

If you have a spare iPhone or iPad lying around and you’re curious about the direction Apple is going, that’s also fair game, although not risk-free (and you’re still working for free for a company that made a profit in excess of $45 billion in 2016).

Contributing to beta testing, to help make the software and overall experience better can only be a bad thing. Especially when you don’t even get a t-shirt.

07th September 2017

iA Writer 5 is scheduled to be released at the end of September, and there’s one feature that they’ve already announced, and I love it.

It’s a configurable keyboard!

Above the iOS keyboard on an iPhone, you usually get the little keyboard row where apps can add shortcuts to functionality, and also for basic things like undo and redo. But iA have gone a step further, and not only added some cool features like the ability to search through actions, files, and text in a document, but a customisable keyboard that opens up when you tap the ⌘ key.

You get the standard markdown syntax for things like headers, links, footnotes, lists, etc. But also the ability to swap and rearrange them.

You can see for yourself some of the available keys in their video, but I imagine there will be a load more when it’s released.

11th August 2017

There’s a lot of occasions where I’m checking the specific iOS icon sizes, and I remember I made a document a few years ago with some references. However, there’s been a huge amount of changes since then. So I decided to create a new reference document from the Xcode 9.0 beta.

It’s hosted as a Gist on Github, or you can view it below:

I’m going to make an effort to keep this updated, and I’ll probably create one for the other platforms as well. Anyway, I hope people find this useful!