My Homescreen: May 2015

With this week completely focused on finishing phase one of a client project, I completely missed that it was the 1st of the month yesterday. So now that the working week is over and I’m sat back relaxing it’s time to sort out this month’s edition of my homescreens. I’ll tackle both iPhone and iPad at the same time, since the changes to both are identical and for the same reason.

iPhone

iPhone May 2015

Dock

The Rest

iPad

iPad My 2015

Dock

The Rest

What’s New?

  • OmniFocus — Since the start of the year I’ve been using Things to manage my tasks, in the last month I’ve ended up switching back to OmniFocus. Partly because one of the porjects I’m working on has needed breaking down further than Things can cope with, and partly because of OmniFocus MailDrop.
  • Outlook, Gmail, Inbox by Gmail and Mailbox — Recently I’ve been having some issues with the provider of my email, lots of servers down and unreliable delivery. As a self-employed person I need to be able to rely on my email never failing, and so my work email has now switched to Google Apps. I’m still deciding on my personal email setup.

One of the advantages of moving to Google Apps for Work has allowed me to test out a few email apps I couldn’t use previously, and also to combine my email with IFTTT so that it works harder for me. Part of that IFTTT integration has been to combine the Gmail channel with the email channel and my OmniFocus MailDrop address. I’m still refining things and trying to decide which apps to use, but I hope to be able to explain further how I’m making my email work for me rather than having to work to keep on top of it.

NeuBible. A Bible App Designed for You

This post is a bit of a rarity, it’s the first link post I’ve posted since the reboot of this blog and I think it’s a fitting one.

I’m a big fan of my bible being a paper one, it’s great to be cut off and focused from the world while I’m reading it. I do however, like the utility of having the Bible on my phone and this new app called NeuBible looks absolutely stunning. It doesn’t yet include my preferred translation (ESV for those interested) but I will be certainly giving it a try. If you’ve never read the bible, this seems like a beautiful place to start.

Google Finds Its Design Voice on iOS

Fascinating look at the way Google are developing the design language for their iOS apps. I have to say I’ve been impressed recently, the new search app and the new maps app are now residents on the home screen of my iPhone 4. Of course it probably helps that they provide me with some features that Apple have held back from the iPhone 4, mainly Siri and turn by turn navigation.

Two Weeks With iPad Mini

That’s when it clicked. When I realised I had — without really thinking — done all the things I need an iPad to do for a whole week without being forced back to a full-size iPad, I saw that the iPad mini is just that: an iPad.

When it comes to iPad, Fraser is one of those people whom I make sure to take note and listen to what he’s saying. He uses iPad a lot more than most people, so I believe his judgement on the device is one to be taken note of. I’ve played with iPad mini for about 30 mins in total over a couple of visits to the Apple store here in Cheltenham. The weight of the device and how easy it’s been to hold in one hand has me considering selling my iPad 2 to upgrade to a mini, my only reservation being could I continue to use it in my work the way I’m finding I use my iPad 2?

I have not found the mini to be unusably small, even with iOS being scaled down to fit. There have been occasional apps where certain operations have been fiddly, and I found drawing precisely with a stylus was difficult because of the relative size of the stylus tip. This might be something that can be overcome with a bit of practice but I’m not there yet.

This is now my only reservation. I use a stylus and the Paper app to scamp ideas, it beats my Moleskine because I can use subtle colours to guide my thinking. I can see a trip to the Apple Store armed with my stylus coming to maybe confirm or deny that nagging that the reduction in weight is worth me seriously considering upgrading (and curing the pain I get in my wrists after reading for extended periods).

Autumn Desktops

Autumn is my favourite time of year. I live the colours and the chance to layer up. Around this time I always find myself trying to find some nice shots for my various wallpapers. My iPhone and iPad are now rocking a couple of these shots.

iPad Mini: Good Things Come in Small Packages

The iPad mini doesn’t add anything to the iOS experience feature-wise, but it does make using iPad apps out in the real world far more likely. I never felt comfortable using my iPad outside the office or house, but I think I’ll be taking this smaller, lighter iPad with me more often.

I had a brief play with an iPad mini at the weekend. Unlike with the iPhone or the original iPad, I didn’t get a big wow moment, instead a more relaxed and confirming this feels right. Seems to be the general theme from the reviews I’m reading online.