From Federico Viticci at MacStories:

The new MacBook Pro with M1 Max is an incredible machine that takes pride in being a computer built for people who want versatility. This computer has a clear identity; you can tell it was designed by people who love the Mac for people who had grown dissatisfied with the Mac over the past few years. This machine is a love letter to win back those users. Everything about the new MacBook Pro – from the screen and battery life to the keyboard and ports and its raw performance – is a testament to how fundamental Apple silicon is and will be for the future of Apple’s computers. If you’re a longtime Mac user, there’s never been a better time to fall in love with the Mac all over again than right now. Apple silicon is the perfect comeback story for Apple’s Mac lineup.

This is a great article, written by someone who has been “the iPad guy” for the past few years. I appreciate the way he walked through what he loves about the iPad and iPadOS and how the Mac gives him options to do things the way he wants to. There’s a lot of good links to tools he’s using and wishes for what the iPad could be if it adopted some of the things that make a Mac great so I recommend giving it a look even if you’re already a seasoned Mac user.

I recently upgraded from a 2018 Macbook Pro with it’s hot, battery sucking CPU, sub-par keyboard, lack of ports and touchbar to a new 16″ Macbook Pro and it has really rekindled my appreciation of the Mac as well. I have an iPad Pro that I use a lot around the house and like Viticci wish I could do even more with it. But at a certain point I think we have to accept the fact that letting each device class be true to itself is actually the best way to work in the Apple ecosystem.

Rediscovering the Mac

From Federico Viticci at MacStories:

The new MacBook Pro with M1 Max is an incredible machine that takes pride in being a computer built for people who want versatility. This computer has a clear identity; you can tell it was designed by people who love the Mac for people who had grown dissatisfied with the Mac over the past few years. This machine is a love letter to win back those users. Everything about the new MacBook Pro – from the screen and battery life to the keyboard and ports and its raw performance – is a testament to how fundamental Apple silicon is and will be for the future of Apple’s computers. If you’re a longtime Mac user, there’s never been a better time to fall in love with the Mac all over again than right now. Apple silicon is the perfect comeback story for Apple’s Mac lineup.

This is a great article, written by someone who has been “the iPad guy” for the past few years. I appreciate the way he walked through what he loves about the iPad and iPadOS and how the Mac gives him options to do things the way he wants to. There’s a lot of good links to tools he’s using and wishes for what the iPad could be if it adopted some of the things that make a Mac great so I recommend giving it a look even if you’re already a seasoned Mac user.

I recently upgraded from a 2018 Macbook Pro with it’s hot, battery sucking CPU, sub-par keyboard, lack of ports and touchbar to a new 16″ Macbook Pro and it has really rekindled my appreciation of the Mac as well. I have an iPad Pro that I use a lot around the house and like Viticci wish I could do even more with it. But at a certain point I think we have to accept the fact that letting each device class be true to itself is actually the best way to work in the Apple ecosystem.

From Federico Viticci at MacStories:

Let me cut to the chase: I don’t think iOS and iPadOS 15 are massive updates like iOS and iPadOS 13 or 14 were. There are dozens of interesting new features in both updates, but none of them feels “obvious” to demonstrate to average users like, say, dark mode and iPad multiwindow in iOS and iPadOS 13 or Home Screen widgets in last year’s iOS 14. And, for the most part, I think that’s fine. The wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented every year, and the pandemic happened for everyone – Apple engineers included.

In many ways, iOS and iPadOS 15 remind me of iOS 10 and 12: they’re updates that build upon the foundation set by their predecessors, bringing welcome consumer additions that, while not earth-shattering, contribute to making iOS more mature, intelligent, and deeply integrated with Apple’s ecosystem.

As always, a great overview from Viticci. The thing that stuck out to me the most is his detailed breakdown of Safari on iOS and iPadOS. I’m still looking for a review that speaks in glowing terms about the UX tradeoffs made for these releases. As Federico says in the article:

So I have to ask: is it worth sacrificing everything else in the name of an address bar at the bottom?

I’ve been a Firefox user on the desktop for a while now, but have used Safari on iOS up to now. I’ve tried out Safari 15 on my Mac (you can download the Safari Technology Preview to check it our for yourself), and I can’t get into the changes on the nav bar. It’s a constant hunt to find the tabs you want because they’re always moving around and many of the things I use from the toolbar are now hidden behind an extra click. The past couple of years Apple has been on a quest to banish as much UI behind 3 dot menus, and it makes using their software more difficult to use. This seems to be in service of better aesthics over user experience. The idea of “elevating the content” is all well and good, but not if the rest of the UX suffers as a result. It doesn’t need to be an either/or proposition.

This release might push me to using a 3rd party browser on all of my devices. It looks that bad. I really hope they see the feedback and learn from it, becuase it’s overwhelmingly bad. I was really excited about the idea of true browser extensions on iOS/iPadOS but I’m not sure it’s worth the tradeoffs.

Three Weeks with iOS and iPadOS 15: Foundational Updates

From Federico Viticci at MacStories:

Let me cut to the chase: I don’t think iOS and iPadOS 15 are massive updates like iOS and iPadOS 13 or 14 were. There are dozens of interesting new features in both updates, but none of them feels “obvious” to demonstrate to average users like, say, dark mode and iPad multiwindow in iOS and iPadOS 13 or Home Screen widgets in last year’s iOS 14. And, for the most part, I think that’s fine. The wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented every year, and the pandemic happened for everyone – Apple engineers included.

In many ways, iOS and iPadOS 15 remind me of iOS 10 and 12: they’re updates that build upon the foundation set by their predecessors, bringing welcome consumer additions that, while not earth-shattering, contribute to making iOS more mature, intelligent, and deeply integrated with Apple’s ecosystem.

As always, a great overview from Viticci. The thing that stuck out to me the most is his detailed breakdown of Safari on iOS and iPadOS. I’m still looking for a review that speaks in glowing terms about the UX tradeoffs made for these releases. As Federico says in the article:

So I have to ask: is it worth sacrificing everything else in the name of an address bar at the bottom?

I’ve been a Firefox user on the desktop for a while now, but have used Safari on iOS up to now. I’ve tried out Safari 15 on my Mac (you can download the Safari Technology Preview to check it our for yourself), and I can’t get into the changes on the nav bar. It’s a constant hunt to find the tabs you want because they’re always moving around and many of the things I use from the toolbar are now hidden behind an extra click. The past couple of years Apple has been on a quest to banish as much UI behind 3 dot menus, and it makes using their software more difficult to use. This seems to be in service of better aesthics over user experience. The idea of “elevating the content” is all well and good, but not if the rest of the UX suffers as a result. It doesn’t need to be an either/or proposition.

This release might push me to using a 3rd party browser on all of my devices. It looks that bad. I really hope they see the feedback and learn from it, becuase it’s overwhelmingly bad. I was really excited about the idea of true browser extensions on iOS/iPadOS but I’m not sure it’s worth the tradeoffs.

It’s that time again! Thought I’d throw a quick list together of the top things I wish Apple would do in next software versions at this year’s WWDC. Kind of a grab bag, but thought I’d put a flag in the ground now.

  1. Make entire play history available in Apple Music, not just library tracks. I want to leverage Last.fm or PlayTally but it can be a challenge to get an inclusive list of all of the songs I’ve played across the devices I use.
  2. Allow users to have more control over blocking images in email. For example, people in my contacts should be exempt.
  3. Allow 3rd party rendering engines. I want to see Chrome and Firefox push Apple to make Safari better.
  4. Allow content blockers to work across any webview.
  5. Improve notifications by adding a notification history, easier actions and smarter prioritization. Clearing a notification should clear the badge.
  6. Find a way to “fix” spam texts and calls. It’s become really bad in the past year and I feel like Apple isn’t even trying here.
  7. Always on Lock Screen like the Google Pixel phones. This should be possible, right?
  8. Allow widgets to do some simple actions like play/pause of audio.
  9. Allow apps to integrate with control center. Could you imagine all of the amazing Shortcuts and app actions you could see there if Apple provided an API for it?
  10. “Tracker blocker” API similar to content blockers. We should have something like little snitch for iOS.
  11. Better tab persistence on iPadOS. So much RAM, and tabs just feel flimsy.
  12. Better multitasking on iPadOS. Video + other apps is a mess and so is the current “buddy system” of multiple iPadOS apps.
  13. External monitor support on iPadOS. Like, REAL external support.
  14. Make use of the “status bar” on iPadOS. Notification icons? Menubar options?
  15. Global keyboard shortcuts – preferably user-configurable. I’d love to wire up Shortcuts to keyboard commands.
  16. More control over widgets – I want to use them in the Lock Screen, all over the place in iPadOS, etc.
  17. Make a better Lock Screen that rolls in notification updates as well as possibly widgets. See above.
  18. Siri should handle commands without an internet connection when possible (timers, audio playback, etc). This is so obnoxious when in low-connectivity areas.
  19. More robust Shortcuts actions for media playback at home. I’d love a shortcut that could adjust my home speakers volume to a set level and play a playlist on all of the speakers.
  20. Timers set on one HomePod should be controllable from any HomePod as well as notify all HomePods if the timer isn’t turned off at the source.
  21. Have some standards around Catalyst apps that make them feel like Mac apps. Keyboard shortcuts, basic Mac conventions. I might as well use an Electron app if the current crop of apps is the best we can expect.
  22. Allow users to allow any trigger to start any Shortcut. No more notifications or prompts for “power users”.
  23. Siri needs “continued conversations” on all platforms like Alexa and Assistant.
  24. Similarly, Siri needs to be able to combine commands “turn on the lights AND set a timer for 30 minutes”.
  25. Allow users to hide the tabs for Apple services they aren’t interested in. I don’t begrudge them for pushing the stuff but if I don’t want it, they should respect that and allow me to hide the tabs.
  26. PIP for all tvOS apps.
  27. A fully liberated from iOS Apple Watch (even if some functions wouldn’t work as well).
  28. A redesigned Home app that’s a bit more useful. Better automations, easier to navigate and more information dense.
  29. Overall, can we move away from 3-dot menus for everything?
  30. Key repeat settings for iPadOS. I hate how long it takes to backspace through things.

WWDC 2021 Wishlist

It’s that time again! Thought I’d throw a quick list together of the top things I wish Apple would do in next software versions at this year’s WWDC. Kind of a grab bag, but thought I’d put a flag in the ground now. Make entire play history available in Apple Music, not just library tracks. […]

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If you’ve been under a technology rock, you might have missed the kerfuffle Apple’s been in for the past few months. We’ve seen a few high-profile dust ups over Apple’s control of what goes on the App Store (HEY, Microsoft’s xCloud, Fortnite). The arguments vary for each of these but the common issue is that Apple seeks to control how developers build their apps, wants to take a cut of all revenue coming into their apps regardless of how much value the store provides, and restrict many types of apps based on what tend to be arbitrary standards.

There’s a good read in Stratechery about this same issue but from an economic / antitrust angle that I recommend you check out for more detail.

If Apple isn’t careful, they’re going to wade into antitrust regulation that could potentially strip the company of a lot of control over their store. If they get ahead of it, they can set the terms. Here’s what I wish they’d do:

Reduce App Store Commission

Reduce the cut for iOS purchases. You would see fewer complaints about other problems with the App Store if the cut Apple took was closer to 10-15%. I doubt that will happen without government intervention, but one can dream.

Sideload apps

Apple should allow users to sideload apps like on a Mac. Here’s what a user sees in the security panel on MacOS:

Apple could require all apps to be signed to maintain a level of “break in case of emergency” control. Even if iOS required users to plug into a computer and load an .apk rather than a more seamless TestFlight-like experience, that’d solve for apps that are categorically not allowed (xCloud), apps that want to do their own thing payment wise (Fortnite), and fringe jailbreak-like apps.

Clearer Rules

Next up, Apple should revamp their rules to reflect the world of 2020, not 2007. Clearer rules for developers with an escape hatch to side load if push comes to shove would make most folks happy. As it currently stands, many developers are fearful of investing time and money into app development that may be rejected on a technicality.

In-app Links

Apple should allow apps like Netflix, Kindle and Fortnite to send users to an in-app webview that would allow you to purchase in-app content or sign up for the service. Apple would not get a cut of these purchases. Let the better experience and safety of Apple’s IAP compete to win out over a popover web view.

Will Any of This Happen?

I don’t anticipate they’ll do any of these unfortunately, especially the commission cut. I do worry that Apple is stifling innovation on their platform and if they do it enough times you could see a situation where entire categories of users start to choose Android over iOS because there are important things they just can’t do on iOS. Most of the things Apple has gotten into hot water for lately are not policies that put customers first. Instead, they are things that solidify Apple’s ability to make money, protect their interests or keep things “simple”. Given the push to present the iPad Pro as a computer, their limitations on the types of things that are allowed on iOS make me reconsider how much I’d like to invest in iPads or iPhones.

Even Apple’s privacy push could have an unintended outcome. A lot of apps rely on advertising to make their money and if Apple makes it prohibitively difficult for developers to monetize their apps, they may choose to slow or stop development on the platform. It is a difficult tightrope to walk but I trust that Apple can do it. Whether they will is another story.

Apple’s App Store Issues

If you’ve been under a technology rock, you might have missed the kerfuffle Apple’s been in for the past few months. We’ve seen a few high-profile dust ups over Apple’s control of what goes on the App Store (HEY, Microsoft’s xCloud, Fortnite). The arguments vary for each of these but the common issue is that […]

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The WWDC 2020 “pandemic edition” is now behind us, and it was one of the better ones I’ve seen in quite some time. Apple announced a lot in the 2 hour presentation, with iOS and MacOS getting the bulk of the attention this year. What follows is a quick rundown of my thoughts after watching the keynote last night. If you want to dive deep, you should follow MacStories this week. They have a ton of content already.

Overall

  • The presentation style was great – it was tight, dense and well paced. Some of the zooming around campus stuff was kinda cheesy, but I approve of most of the dad humor they use these days. Hopefully this is the future of the keynote, although I doubt it.
  • The Music app seems to be getting way better search, filtering within lists and a redesigned start view that will replace “For You”.

iOS

iOS got a TON of attention this year. I was very impressed with this part of the presentation.

  • The App Library looks fantastic. I’ll be hiding everything but my first screen when iOS 14 is out.
  • The “Smart Stack” suggested widgets on your home screen could be neat … but so could the Siri watch face on the Apple Watch.
  • I hope App Clips catch on. Can’t wait to delete a lot of the parking & other one-off apps from my phone. The restaurant specific pages within an app like Yelp is interesting.
  • Based on the screenshots I saw during the presentation, it appears that the Apple notes texture background is gone!
  • The Siri redesign looks fantastic. I’m interested to see if the Siri enhancements are only skin deep, however. The on-device changes to dictation will hopefully speed things up so my voice command to turn off the lights don’t need to go to space and back.
  • Maps got cycling directions! I hope a basic version works everywhere at launch as I don’t live in a big city. I’m more interested in time/elevation data for when planning a bike ride.
  • Tons of Messages group chat enhancements, pinning convos, threading and mentions. And all on the Mac.
  • Emoji search!
  • 3rd party email and browser support should spur more innovation in those areas.
  • The minimal incoming call UI is much-welcomed.
  • In iOS 14, when apps ask for access to your Photos app, you can give them access only to select photos rather than the entire Photo Library.
  • Dictation is now on-device. I hope this is also for Siri commands in general.

iPadOS

iPadOS got some updates, but nothing like last year. That said, if we can even seen incremental additions yearly that are very iPad-focused, I’m okay with that.

  • Apple Pencil features – shape detection and copy/paste from written text will increase my pencil use by a lot.
  • FaceTime eye correction
  • Doesn’t appear that iPadOS will allow the app library or widgets along with the grid. Why?
  • Adding sidebars and context menus alone will help those in the “desktop replacement” crowd.
  • The search changes look fantastic.

MacOS

The highlights of this part of the presentation was the iPadification of the UI/UX, and the announcement of the ARM … err “Apple Silicon” … transition.

  • The new macOS UI looks really nice. Appreciate Apple brining things together but allowing each platform to do its own thing.
  • Catalyst updates are appreciated, but it still has so far to go. I feel like some developers might just skip the whole thing and put their iPad apps in the Mac App Store once the ARM transition is in flight.
  • Some of the Big Sur Dock icons are … horrific.

WatchOS

  • Finally, you can add multiple complications from the same app.
  • The watch/iPhone wind down functionality integrated with sleep tracking and battery notifications seem to be exactly what I’m looking for. I think the market for sleep apps will probably need to evolve depending on how advanced the native functionality is, but apps that give more data ABOUT your sleep will probably surge. I love Autosleep, but if the built in stuff is better I’ll go with it.

Misc

  • tvOS got a lot of polish, especially around the Home integration. I’ve definitely tried to invest in HomeKit stuff around the house and am tempted to get a few cameras now that they’re more integrated with HomeKit.
  • The AirPods features look amazing. I’ll be curious to see how clever it tries to be, however. The accelerometer work to keep the surround sound in sync are mind-blowing. I have gen 1 AirPods Pro but I’m looking forward to getting some pros next year.
  • HomePod 3rd party music support! I hope they allow folks to set a 3rd party as default.
  • For time based shortcut automations a new toggle has been added. Now these kind of automations can be executed automatically without tapping on a notification first.
  • Did anyone else notice the small HomePod icon on one of the slides?
  • iOS 14 adds a new Accessibility feature that allows you to perform different actions by tapping on the back of your iPhone. For instance, you can make it such that when you double tap the back of your iPhone, you are taken to the home screen, or open the camera or even run a shortcut!
  • I heard the word “private” about a million times. I love that privacy has really become ingrained in every decision the company makes. Using ‘approximate location’ for weather apps that only need your zip code should help kneecap a lot of the tracking apps out there.
  • Speaking of privacy, it looks like tracker blocking support for app analytics and things like Google analytics is coming to iOS and MacOS.

How’d my wishlist fare?

About a month ago, I posted a wishlist for WWDC. How’d Apple nerd Christmas work out for me?

On first read, I think I got 5 iOS of the updates, 1 of the iPadOS updates, and 2 of the miscellaneous ones. Some will reveal themselves over time, but I’m still pretty happy with the first glance from yesterday’s keynote.

WWDC 2020 Initial Thoughts

The WWDC 2020 “pandemic edition” is now behind us, and it was one of the better ones I’ve seen in quite some time. Apple announced a lot in the 2 hour presentation, with iOS and MacOS getting the bulk of the attention this year. What follows is a quick rundown of my thoughts after watching […]

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I recently bought an 11″ iPad Pro to “replace” my aging 2015 MacBook Pro. My work has provided me with a 15” MacBook Pro that’s only about a year old, so there’s no reason for me to buy a new laptop for myself right now – especially when I’m working from home every day anyway. Given that I spend all day at my desk at home, the last thing I want to be doing is working with a traditional computer in my off hours. The iPad Pro is powerful enough for me to do most of my non-work tasks, and I can use it in a way that allows me to use it in different contexts (sitting, propped up at a table while drinking coffee, etc).

I’ve been super happy with the device and find myself using it way more than I did with my previous 9.7” iPad 6th generation. The screen and sound quality quality alone make a lot of media consumption like games and videos way more compelling, and it’s a best-in-class device for reading news, Instapaper and ebooks. I also really enjoy writing on it – whether it’s email for work or IA Writer for blog posts, the immersive writing environment helps me focus on the task at hand way better than I can on a desktop.

The area that the iPad still struggles a bit is the full-on laptop replacement. The recently-released Magic Keyboard is a fantastic companion that folks are raving about, and it seems to solve for about 90% of the things folks were asking for. There’s lots of little rough edges still to be worked out, though. None of it is really surprising as trackpad support is only about 3 months old and the idea of using an iPad as a full desktop replacement is still rather new. Heck, iPadOS is only a year old itself.

With WWDC approaching (you can see my wishlist here, which is somewhat duplicated here), I got to thinking about what Apple could do to make it easier for folks like me to treat the iPad Pro like my primary desktop machine, and not just a really amazing tablet.

External display support

The 11″ size of the iPad Pro is about perfect. It’s portable enough for me to use around the house and travel with (if traveling were a thing people still did!), and yet still big enough to be passable as a screen for most work tasks I have. To take things to the next level though, I’d love to be able to plug it into an external monitor and do more than simply mirror the content. I’d be smitten if I could have 2 apps open on my 24″ external display in split view with something else open on the actual iPad. Even if it’s a little limited in the first round (maybe the screen on the iPad is mirrored, but in the correct aspect ratio), I’d love to see some investment here.

Enhanced global keyboard support

Before I go all-in and buy Apple’s Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro, I want to see how they plan on investing in global keyboard shortcuts for media playback, brightness, homescreen etc. In a perfect world, I’d love to also be able to launch apps or shortcuts from key combos I define. Looks like there’s already some smoke on this rumor, so fingers crossed!

Better keyboard support

Related to the above point, I’d like to see more consistent keyboard support across the platform. Some of this falls to individual app developers, but I’d also like to see more tools for users to tab between split views and invoke (and close) the slideover view. In the same vein, I’d like to be able to switch between apps in slideover with the keyboard.

Key repeat rates are also not customizable currently, and that makes backspacing through sentences difficult. I hope we see some additional customization options for the trackpad & keyboard settings now that those input devices are first class citizens.

Better Safari tab persistence

This is a big one. When I’m typically working I’ll have multiple Safari tabs open as I switch between tasks. It seems like more often than not Safari will try its best to prioritize keeping web apps open even when the user switches to another application, but it doesn’t happen consistently. There are a lot of times where I come back to a form that I was working to add some data to and it refreshes. I’d love some sort of “pro mode” I could opt into if Apple is worried about performance. Let me make use of the insane power & RAM the iPad Pro has!

Multitasking improvements

I’d like to see more options available when tabbing between apps. For one, I’d like more than 6 or 7 apps at a time. In addition, I’d like more options around searching for an app and opening it in split screen, slide over or as its own app. A situation I find myself in a lot is working in one app and wanting to change the music to something different. Rather than switching to the app, making the change and then switching back I’d like some sort of keyboard modifier that could open an app in an “active” slide overview instead. I could then make the song change with my document still open and visible, then dismiss the slideover and be on my way.

Apple should also introduce a picture-in-picture mode for videoconferencing. Just like the PIP videos, I should be able to move the video around the screen or even hide it (showing the ‘tab’ to indicate I’m on a video call). I’d love to use my iPad for video calls given how great the camera and screen is, but it’s fairly limiting given it takes over the screen – and can’t even do split screen!

Better Spotlight typing interface

Make it easier to do a lot of the things you can do with Spotlight on the Mac. Instead of the Spotlight search interface taking over the entire screen, emulate what we see on the Mac with an overlay panel that expands when options are available. Seems minor, but a lot of times I’ll be writing and need to do a quick calculation or search and would prefer the entire screen not be taken over.

Make the status bar more useful for iPad users

I should be able to make use of the status bar on the iPad more like what we can do on the Mac. I’d love a persistent calendar widget showing my next appointment, a music widget showing current playing song, or additional controls around Bluetooth, volume, brightness or more.

Multiple audio sources & control

Right now it’s not really possible to have 2 things playing like music and a video. Additionally, a use case from a few days ago really annoyed me that I hope we can see a fix to: I was playing music on my living room speakers via airplay and wanted to turn up the volume on my iPad to better hear the voice in Duolingo. Ideally, an advanced audio settings pane would allow me to adjust my output volume for multiple apps or destinations.

Conclusion

The iPad Pro is an amazing machine that helps me work or entertain myself in ways that work best for me. On top of that, last year’s iPadOS 13 is a really fantastic step in the direction of making iPads true laptop replacements for most folks. If Apple could focus on a number of the refinements that I’ve listed here as part of an iPadOS 14 release, I think I’d be smitten.

Sanding the Rough Edges of iPadOS

I recently bought an 11″ iPad Pro to “replace” my aging 2015 MacBook Pro. My work has provided me with a 15” MacBook Pro that’s only about a year old, so there’s no reason for me to buy a new laptop for myself right now – especially when I’m working from home every day anyway. […]

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I really enjoyed this article, as it captures a lot of my feelings regarding using the iPad as your primary computer. As my personal laptop begins to age, I find myself using my work issued MacBook Pro for most of my “computer” tasks, and an iPad for nearly everything else. The iPad Pro + Magic Keyboard combo is a very versatile (albeit expensive) solution for almost anyone now. If you’re going to go that route, the biggest decision is how much you want to use it as a traditional tablet.

11-inch iPad Pro Experiment

From Ryan Christoffel at MacStories:

This is probably too general of advice, but I’d recommend that if you expect to regularly use your iPad Pro as a tablet, the 11-inch will likely be your best option. If, however, you expect to use it almost entirely with a Magic Keyboard attached, the 12.9-inch is a good bet. Both devices can work in both modes, but the 11-inch is a better tablet, and the 12.9-inch is a better laptop.

I really enjoyed this article, as it captures a lot of my feelings regarding using the iPad as your primary computer. As my personal laptop begins to age, I find myself using my work issued MacBook Pro for most of my “computer” tasks, and an iPad for nearly everything else. The iPad Pro + Magic Keyboard combo is a very versatile (albeit expensive) solution for almost anyone now. If you’re going to go that route, the biggest decision is how much you want to use it as a traditional tablet.

This was a really neat deep dive into the process around developing the new cursor UI/UX for iPadOS. I’ve given a spin on my 9.7″ iPad and a Magic Trackpad and left very impressed … at least, when it was in an app that was using native controls. The cursor changing shape and magnetically attracting to targets is a magical feeling the first few times you see it. Especially give its Apple’s first attempt at bolting a new interaction model to the iPad I’m very hopeful about their ability to make their most versatile computer even more so.

I also really dig these types of articles and wish I’d see more of them. I feel nowadays everything is either a 10k word review or clickbait hot takes. Techno-optimism is something that has died in the past few years, and I appreciate authors who still can still write as if they’re excited about tech, not permanently skeptical of it.

How Apple reinvented the cursor for iPad

From Matthew Panzarino, at TechCrunch:

The new iPad cursor is a product of what came before, but it’s blending, rather than layering, that makes it successful in practice. The blending of the product team’s learnings across Apple TV, Mac and iPad. The blending of touch, mouse and touchpad modalities. And, of course, the blending of a desire to make something new and creative and the constraint that it also had to feel familiar and useful right out of the box. It’s a speciality that Apple, when it is at its best, continues to hold central to its development philosophy.

This was a really neat deep dive into the process around developing the new cursor UI/UX for iPadOS. I’ve given a spin on my 9.7″ iPad and a Magic Trackpad and left very impressed … at least, when it was in an app that was using native controls. The cursor changing shape and magnetically attracting to targets is a magical feeling the first few times you see it. Especially give its Apple’s first attempt at bolting a new interaction model to the iPad I’m very hopeful about their ability to make their most versatile computer even more so.

I also really dig these types of articles and wish I’d see more of them. I feel nowadays everything is either a 10k word review or clickbait hot takes. Techno-optimism is something that has died in the past few years, and I appreciate authors who still can still write as if they’re excited about tech, not permanently skeptical of it.

From Alexander Käßner:

This concept brings the main menu we know and love from Mac to iPad. It keeps the numerous advantages of a written menu, redesigned with touch devices in mind.

I love these concept pages. This one in particular is super thoughtful and answers for a lot of the issues that I run into (keyboard inconsistencies, lack of discoverable features) when using an iPad. Definitely worth watching the video at the end.

iPad Main Menu — iPadOS 14 Concept

From Alexander Käßner:

This concept brings the main menu we know and love from Mac to iPad. It keeps the numerous advantages of a written menu, redesigned with touch devices in mind.

I love these concept pages. This one in particular is super thoughtful and answers for a lot of the issues that I run into (keyboard inconsistencies, lack of discoverable features) when using an iPad. Definitely worth watching the video at the end.