Going Pro

Going Pro

Only in Oct 2015 did I make the move to the new iPad Air 2. After much commentary about the benefits of split view I couldn’t help myself and had to upgrade from the iPad Air. While the slide over feature was good it only teased at what was possible and what was to come.

Blissfully happy with my decision I followed closely the latest news on the iPad Pro quite content that I did not need a new larger iPad that was in my opinion just too big. The commentary from those at the launch and the preceeeding media onslaught left me comfortatble that I made the right choice.

Then came this final paragraph in a detailed review on Macstories [1]

A week after I started using the iPad Pro, I picked up my old iPad Air 2, and it felt like an iPad mini.

The device I’ve used every day for a year to get my work done for this site now seems tiny and limited, with small apps, less content shown on screen, and a constrained multitasking interface. I know that it’s only been a week, and I do believe that the Air 2 is a great device for lots of people, but I feel like all the work I’ve done on the iPad and iOS has led me to this point. I’m ready to take my iPad setup to the next level, and I think my workflow can benefit from improved hardware and a more capable version of iOS.

I’m going to switch to the iPad Pro.

This papragraph sealed my fate. Perhaps it wasn’t too big after all. Mid November my local Apple store finally recieved and set their display models and I was there and had my first look and feel. The pencil was just superb but the iPad itself was rather a hefty beast. Over the course of a month I went back 2 or 3 times a week. Come Christmas I was an owner of a new iPad Pro, Keyboard and pencil.

Now three months on I can look back and reflect on the decison I made. Was it right for me and has it improved the way in which I operate.

Anyway you look at it the iPad Pro is a big iPad however that fundimental difference along with the improved hardware specs makes this device a clear winner. The larger screen improves the split screen experience. Working from this device is a pleasure and the iOS operating system is familiar and straight forward to use. All of which made the switch from iPhone to iPad all the easier.

This fantastic bit of hardware is with me all day, from the start of the day at work through to late night reading, twitting and sometimes games. The split view allows me to be more productive and the simplicity of not lugging around a larger laptop keeps me mobile all day.

This iPad works for me and my circumstances. I’m an administrator and people manager, I attend meetings, create and write reports all on this device. It’s personal opinion and it doesn’t fit everyone.

But it’s right for me…


  1. Federico Vittici is something of a iPad hero of mine I too work from my iPad and his writing and worklfows are inspiration to continue moving my own workflow to the iPad.  ↩

My use of Social Media

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About me…I’m 44 years of age, tech savvy and father of a horde of teenagers

I keep up to date with the latest in tech and even dabble with some coding from time to time (self taught). The kids treat me like I’m some tech imbecile yet I have set up their iPhones, iPads, Laptops and their MacBooks along with providing them with ongoing tech support. [1]

Why is it that they then think Im not up with it? Well it comes down to social media use with your tech abilities being determined by how and what social media services you use.

Let’s get a few things out of the way firstly I’m not against any social media. People can you use whatever they like and whatever works for them. I just find little use in some social media services. [2]

Any service I don’t mention I don’t use and have no experience with there are a few that I don’t use that I have tried and that were I’ll start.

DislikesSnapchat: This is a seriously odd product. Take poor quality photos of yourself and post them to friends to quickly view. Watching the teenagers at home it appears you take the dumbest photo and send 100 times for the greatest social impact. In addition I understand that dickpics and titpics are quite popular.

Instagram: I admit I was heavily into Instagram posting almost 2–3 photos a week adding numberous tags to garner more and more follower and the elusive likes. It was a drug like addiction waking up to the latest number of likes. After a while it began to sink in; there is no community unless you belong and you are only as good as your last photo. Gaining more followers and likes did little more than disappoint and in the end no one really cared.

LinkedIn: The corporate FaceBook…apparently. I have an account and I maintain my resume here however I do little with the service. I have found little value in it and I really dont see the point. Networking is appraprently the thing here but I havent seen it. Why do I continue you ask? I hope it gets better in the future.

Ok next up the services I do use and why…

Likes

Facebook: Ok eye rollers yes Facebook is so old school now and full of crappy cat videos. That being said its and easy was to keep up with family and friends that are overseas or long distances away. If you can get past all crap on there its not a bad way to stay in touch. Personally all I post are holidays photo’s, event photo’s and comments and birthday wishes. Unlike some I probably only go to it and look through my timeline once or twice a week.

Twitter: I love twitter!! It is basically my personal news feed of all the things I like, the people and organisations I follow. Every morning my routuine includes working through my feed, saving articles for future reading in Instapaper and sending any worthwhile tweets out to the world[3]. Twitter is unintrusive and I dont feel the need to be favourited[4]. Its just there as a summary of the world in my Twittershpere. Making the experience all the better is one of the best iOS apps Tweetbot so much more than the official Twitter client Tweetbot offers a UX unsurpassed across both iPad, iPhone and Mac.

Social media is a very personal thing different age groups, sex and interests will determine the type and use patterns. To determine a persons level of technical competance and savvy based on their choices is wrong. Try telling that to a teenager…


  1. I know nothing!!  ↩
  2. ok I do take issue with the way in which its used  ↩
  3. I dont care if no one reads them it just feels good to get it out. I also promote this blog as well.  ↩
  4. Just recently Twitter changed to hearts moving away from the favourite star  ↩

 

Link

Why iOS is Compelling

Ben Brooks really sums up how I feel about iOS at the moment. Simplicity is key…yes it doesn’t do everything but damn it good. More on this later from me. For now read Ben’s article.

Poor reporting

Its always frustrating the crappy media coverage Apple gets from mainstream media. The local newspaper The Advertiser in Adelaide posted this headline ‘Tech experts create concept video for the iPhone 7 based on rumours circulating design features’ contrary to the quoted source Steven at iPhone-Tricks stating;

“This is not to be taken as an iPhone 7 leak, but rather as a design study that allows for fantasy and creativity to take over,” he said.

“It is purely hypothetical and aims to please your inner Apple geek.”

My First…

For some time I have been wanting to write for my own blog (and for others). The problem was finding the right time, the right subject and clearing the decks to do some writing all of which were getting in the way. After many starts and failed attempts today is the day.

This first post explores my start up process, what I will be writing on and the tools to get it up and out there.

What’s it all about

Technology plays an important part in my life both at home and in the office this intersection is where I will spend my time writing. Looking at both hardware and software that makes a difference to the time I spend working and playing.

I’ll admit upfront I’m an Apple fanboy but that won’t stop me discussing interesting tech that crosses my path. Camera’s and watches are also passions of mine (and no I don’t own an watch).[1]

Tools

Getting this post up required decisions to be made about the hardware and software I’d be using. Fortunately most of the software tools I had already purchased, although barely used. The hardware was a given…

The iPad Pro is one mean device and perfect for writing it is just the right size, the software keyboard is servicable and the pencil is just magic! What brings all this together is iOS9 and split view which in conjuction with the iPad Pro brings a new level of multitasking to my workflow.

I’ll not write too much on these topics as better people than I have already. Federico Vittici of Macstories wrote the following articles which more than adequately cover iOS9 and the iPad Pro.

iPad Pro Review: A New Canvas

iOS 9: Our Complete Overview and First Impressions

As for the software I was lucky enough to have all the suggested apps already installed (yes I impulse buy) on my iPad. Taking some time to play with what I had I determined what was best for me by selecting the more basic apps rather than the more powerful alternatives.[2]

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Omnioutliner by The Omni Group

At some point my thoughts need to be organised into a cohesive post and this is where OmniOutliner comes in. I can create a list of headings for my chosen subject and then add bullets point under each of those heading. The Omni products are fantastic and for work I have the whole suite.

Drafts by Agile Tortoise

Drafts is my go to for all little snippets of written ‘stuff’. I can write a quick paragraph on the bus and send it to my writing app of choice for formatting and publishing. Drafts is like a Swiss Army knife for moving little pieces of writing to all manner of services and apps in simple stripped down interface. The automation is where the power lies and this can be as simple or complex as you can create

Byword by Metaclassy

Byword is a Markdown writing app that allows you to simply write distraction free in Markdown. From Byword you can then publish to a number of mediums you use for blogging. The interface for Byword like Drafts is simple and stripped down with a easy on the eye UI for continuous use in all lighting situations.

From thought to publish the process for me was as follows;

  • OmniOutliner for idea creation
  • Drafts for rough drafts/passages
  • Byword for formatting and final publication

Getting it out there

Choosing a medium to publish to is no easy task there are many options;in the end it came down to convenience, ease of use and what I knew of.

WordPress is the main place for blogs and for no setup costs other than time you can have your own site. As a starting point you can’t go past this service especially if you want to eventually pay for a site. My goal will be to do this but first I’ll need a following.

As an alternative driver of traffic each post will be published on Medium. It’s an interesting service that I know little of. The payoff here is that it’s easy to use, there is no site to maintain and the content uploads nicely from Byword.[3]

Rounding this out I have Twitter account @YouSaidWhatBlog for the site where I’ll post regular updates to those (if any) who follow.

Coming next

I will look to post every two weeks. I beleive setting schedule that is achievable will ensure I can maintain a steady stream of updates.From time to time I’ll link to other news that I find interesting and want to comment on. In the mean time here is my list of articles waiting to be written

  • How I use social meadia
  • Thoughts on moving to an iPad Pro
  • App reviews
  • Workflows for the office

  1. I love watches and I like the freedom to choose a watch based on the day and my wardrobe. I feel the watch needs to be worn all the time for maximum benefit I would do that therefore I’m not buying one.  ↩
  2. There is great power in simplicity!  ↩
  3. As an IAP you can purchase the premium publishing package for Byword, this allows publishing to other services including WordPress and Byword  ↩