Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

Writing on my iOS devices

The last couple of blog posts have been written on my iPhone. Before that (and this) was composed on my iPad.

Sure, adding links seems to be quite difficult. Alt/Mac+Tab is generally quite handy when it comes to sitting by my laptop.

The new workflow feels very much like writing on Facebook. I just write. Let the words flow. It doesn’t matter where I am, I take it all like it’s being a status update. And then when I hit publish, I come back to it later on my laptop (the reality is that I sync it with MarsEdit and edit on the desktop client) to add relevant links.

This kind of method probably works well when I’m not doing a technical blog post, but something that resembles a status update or a story.

I still have to work out how to automatically post the posts to Twitter, and if possible post to Facebook as a status update (I recall that we could sync Notes back in the day, but that feature was removed). I’m thinking either the body makes it, or the first 2 paragraphs or I make use of excerpts wisely.

It’s not that writing on a laptop is a bad idea. It’s just that when I’m on my laptop, I’m usually online and have other work to do: emails, terminal, etc. I’ve used my iOS devices mainly for consumption of content (WSJ, NYT, FT, New Yorker, The Economist, Instapaper, Kindle, NewsBlur) — but with a lot of dead time, it’s not a bad device to also be a device to create, to some extent.

The WordPress apps are pretty good. They don’t handle images well, i.e. They don’t resize them to be sensible for web. Plus I very much like my images to also be on Flickr (I can live without that though). But posting 3MB photos in the main body just seems silly.

I’m sure I can eventually improve this workflow by posting items as a draft first, so they don’t reach the public till the links are added. It’s all an experiment, but I’m already liking the new additional ways to push content to this site.

Ditched the iPad… for a Nexus 7

About two weeks ago, I ditched my iPad. I backed it up, did a clean reset, and gave the iPad to my mother. My primary tablet now is the Google Nexus 7. 

I like the 7″ form factor better. It is also much lighter. The battery life compared to the iPad isn’t nearly as great, but I’ll just have to make do.

Why not an iPad Mini? Quite simply because I bought the Nexus 7 first and cannot justify carrying 2 7″-like tablets. I realized I didn’t use that much software, regularly, on my iPad so the migration process wasn’t too difficult.

My mother is enjoying playing tonnes of games on it. The only game she’s purchased is PvZ HD which is on sale now for $0.99. Everything else is free.

Me? I’m getting used to the Nexus 7 as my primary device. What do I use on it mostly? Web browser (Chrome). Kindle to read books. NYTimes application, though I hate that I have to see ads even though I’m a paying user. Evernote for little snippets of notes here & there.

Beyond that, I’m now on a trip and have no inclination to miss my iPad. Weird feeling, huh?

Tablet strategy thoughts

In my continuing quest to see how my tablet strategy is going to be going forward, I walked into an Apple reseller yesterday, in Singapore. I typed on the retina iPad, and realised that I was using only about four-fingers. This tells you that even before in landscape mode, I was never typing like I do with a keyboard. Or maybe I never really type that way, who knows? :)

I then tried typing on the iPad Mini. I found that I could reliably, in landscape mode add text, without much ado. It goes back to dimensions. The iPad Mini isn’t really a 7″ tablet, its almost an 8″ tablet.

Typing is not a good idea on the Nexus 7. I’ve tried to do so in Evernote today, and the keyboard takes up about half the screen. Its error prone, and I end up always going back to portrait mode for typing.

Asking the retail assistant if they had the iPad Mini in stock, they said they did. But it was only the 64GB version. This is how I bought my first iPad on the day/second day after it was released in the USA – it was the only available sized model. Never again will I make such a decision. 16GB or 32GB is all I’m after at best (probably the former).

All in, I decided to go home, and give the Nexus 7 a fighting chance. I’m going to load up all the software I use regularly or find equivalents. This means paying for an equivalent of Instapaper. This means finding an alternative to GoodReader whom have no plans to make an Android version. But what about those travel apps that I use infrequently, but are invaluable when I visit a place? 

Its these “what if” applications that make iOS popular. Most people are happy with a small number of apps, but there are scenarios where you need more.

Typing on tablets – 7″ vs 10″

I wrote this post entirely using my Nexus 7 (a 7″ tablet). I found that I couldn’t type well using it. I had to use it in portrait mode, and use my thumbs to type, which meant that it was utterly slow to generate a post.

On my 10″ iPad, I can comfortably type using the virtual/on-screen keyboard in landscape mode. In portrait mode it is nigh impossible.

In either situation, I’m naturally faster using a regular keyboard, and I do have an Apple Wireless Bluetooth keyboard for this purpose.

I’m now toying with the idea of getting a new iPad (retina display, 4th gen) or an iPad Mini. I’m enjoying consuming content on my Nexus 7. I wonder if I can justify creating more content on the iPad retina? Or do I just satisfy myself with a low-res iPad Mini, which will get updated to a retina display in a year or so?

Others have written about the typing situation: typing on iPad mini, John Gruber hunts & pecks.

Didn’t take long for iOS6-only apps

It didn’t take long for my prediction on 24 September to come true on 11 October. My suspiscion was also correct, it would be led by Marco Arment, but it had nothing to do with Instapaper, it was the launch of a new product titled The Magazine.

The reason to make it iOS 6 only?

It uses some iOS 6-only features and fonts, and it’s architected for iOS 6’s gesture handling. Setting this high baseline also greatly simplifies testing, maintenance, and future updates.

Wow. Fonts & gestures. Amazing.

Greed or tradeoff from Apple? 

Why the mini iPad?

Edwin Yapp thinks about why Apple would introduce a mini iPad. The thinking for me is simple:

  1. I almost exclusively use my Nexus 7 tablet now for everything. This includes surfing the Internet, reading books on the Kindle app, and more.
  2. The only thing it isn’t so good for at the moment is watching movies which I do on the plane (which I tend to be on a lot). And consuming video podcasts is definitely an issue since there is no iTunes syncing.
  3. The storage size isn’t so hot either – at 16GB I cannot load it up with a lot of movies like I can on my 64GB iPad.
  4. It is cheap. Replacing a USD$250+ device is much easier after 2 years than replacing a USD$700+ device when the software on it becomes obsolete.

Resolution size probably plays a huge role. I lug a 15″ MacBook Pro around now, because I’ve always been using 15″ laptops since the days of the PowerBook. Its simply because of the resolution: 1440×900. Today I’m thinking about a 13″ MacBook Air because its lighter and it also supports the 1440×900 resolution. Going from 15″ -> 13″ is a smaller screen size with the same screen real estate. 

I expect that with all these HD/retina displays, you can just fit more onto a smaller screen size.

Many have assumed that iOS developers only focus on developing for 2 sizes which is untrue. 480×320, 960×640, and now 1136×640 just for the iPhones/iPod Touches. Then there’s the iPad’s at 1024×768 & 2048×1536. Why not get a third? :-)

A 7″ iPad that syncs with iTunes, has more space than 16GB (maybe 32GB is the middle ground that I should probably grab), with a good resolution – its something I could definitely consider. Have to figure out how to watch movies on a smaller screen though…