iPad Working

This morning I gave something a try for the first time. I left my MacBook Pro at home and took my iPad and Bluetooth keyboard out to do a bit of work. Since the release of iOS 9 last September I’ve heard many people talking about it has enabled them to use their iPad to do a lot of work. Being a designer I just pushed them aside, no software is able to produce artwork to the that the Creative Cloud apps can on my Mac, and so I just marked it as not yet for me. I have noticed recently that I’ve been naturally reaching for my iPad to do certain bits of work, largely emails and admin. I decided it was time to give it a try. Interestingly I’ve really enjoyed it and I think with a little thinking through, I could switch some of my web site maintenance tasks to the iPad.

App Store 2.0 ➔

News broke last night of some changes to the App Store. Chief among them was the availability of subscription pricing to all types of apps. Many people seem to see it as a positive for developers, and I agree to some extent, but it all depends how those subscriptions will be used.

This quote from The Verge’s coverage of the news is exactly what I’m concerned about.

Tsiddon says his company makes around $10 million a year from its premium apps, which are sold for a one-time purchase fee of $3.99 or $4.99. Lightricks has sold 8 million app downloads to date. Tsiddon hasn’t fully committed to a subscription model yet, only saying that he’s “excited to experiment with the business model,” but based on back-of-the-envelope math he believes if his company saw 4 million downloads while charging a $4 monthly subscription fee, he could make 10 times his current annual revenue.

If developers start to shift to pricing like this, I and many others, will stop using their apps. I simply can not afford, and even if I could I would not be able to justify, paying $4 a month to use an app. Especially when it’s multiplied by the 12 independent apps on my iPhone homescreen. That’s not sustainable.

The Sweet Setups Best Bible App ➔

The Sweet Setup has spent some time looking for the best bible app on iOS. I’ve had a hot and cold relationship with bible apps, sometimes I find time incredibly useful, other times they seem cold and disconnecting. I’m by no means an expert, but I’ve tried s number of the apps on this list and couldn’t agree more with the conclusion, in fact the two apps that I have installed on my iPhone and iPad are the top two from this article.

Ulysses 2.5 for iPad and, Now, iPhone Review ➔

A glowing review which I couldn’t agree with more. Ever since I downloaded it for my iPad I’ve been using the app, now it’s on my iPhone as well everything I write for this site goes through the app. Paired with the Mac app, it’s great for writing sermons in as well.

Ulysses Mobile ➔

I started using Ulysses on my iPad just before Christmas. Just after Christmas I started using it on my Mac because I liked it so much. Now I can use it on my iPhone thanks to today’s new release.

Working on the iPad, One Year On ➔

An extensive particle from Viticci of MacStories about working on the iPad. I can speak from experience as well. I upgraded my iPad 2 to an iPad Air 2 in November last year and its becoming my go to device for any computing other than the design work I need to use my Mac for.

I’m Done With MacBooks ➔

When I read this post from Khoi Vinh I found myself nodding along in agreement. This part in particular struck a chord,

When I think about where I’m most productive with OS X, it’s always at my desk, where I have a huge monitor (on my iMac, at home) or even two Cinema Displays (at work)

I upgraded my Mac nearly a year ago and had a long debate about whether to get an iMac or a MacBook Pro. The iMac was appealing for so many reasons, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to give up the flexibility my MacBook offers. However there’s no denying that I’m most productive at my desk with a larger screen, and since upgrading my iPad 2 to an iPad Air 2 I’m using that for more work leaving me more focused when I’m on my Mac as well.

In the future I can certainly see myself moving to an iMac over the MacBook Pro and maybe, if budget affords it, and iPad Pro. Especially as it’s capabilities grow and allow for more and more work to be accomplished on it.

Introducing Day One 2 ➔

I’ve been a Day One user over the last few years, having spells of using it more than others.the release of Day One 2 brings a slew of new features and a visual overhaul, I’ve already picked up the iOS version, but I’m debating the need to pick up the Mac one.

Why iOS Is Compelling ➔

Interesting comments from Ben Brooks on Why iOS is compelling. Since iOS 9 the iPad has become so capable I now do all my non-design work on it. It’s also the first computer I recommend to people when they ask me what’s worth considering these days. I think for most people it’s a case of conquering the fear of something being different that’s the biggest stumbling block.

Doing Real Design Work on an iPad ➔

Khoi Vinh on using the iPad to do real design work. I agree with much of what he says, I’m imcreasingly using the iPad in my design work these days, but I do wish the Adobe apps were more capable and able to produce more fully finished files that I would be comfortable proofing to a client.

Using iPad Pro as a Laptop Replacement ➔

Really interesting post from Ben Brooks about using his new iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. what struck me most was this quote

You can’t break iOS.

I leave that on its own line because you really need to think about that for a moment.

You can’t break iOS.

it’s the reason I constantly recommend people get iPad’s and ihadn’t  even realised it.

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 May 2015


The Rest


iPad My 2015


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.