My iPad Wish List

My Wish List for future iPads

The iPad is without a doubt one of Apple’s greatest creations and it has come such a long way since its first incarnation. Since then Apple has put out thirteen iPad models and countless software updates. Despite all of these new changes and modifications there are definitely a few things that I think that Apple could have, and should think about, including in future models and I’ve compiled them all in a list below.

External Storage

One thing that I would enjoy on the iPad would be the option to use external storage with the device. I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve pretty much maxed out all of my free external storage services (Think GoogleDrive, DropBox, iCloud) and I’m really not looking to subscribe to any of those so if I had the option to take my external hard drive and hook it up (without the use of any dongles) to my iPad I would gladly take it.

Multiple Users

I have an iPad that my parents use and the one thing that bugs them, and me, the most is the fact that they can’t use it together but separately. I know that they have this function for education but it would be amazing if they gave that option to regular everyday users.

Lack of Desktop App Compatibilities

I’m a student designer and I currently lug around my laptop and my iPad which can be a bit of a bother sometimes. If the iPad/iOS and Adobe could somehow work something out to make their apps fully compatible on iPads without the need for any third party apps I think that the money would just start flowing in for both companies. Not only would it lessen the amount of steps needed to complete a project it would also cut out the need for several devices by having everything be able to be completed on the iPad.

Built-In Calculator

One thing that I never really understood was why the iPad didn’t have a built in calculator app. I know it’s a small feature but I would love to just swipe out and hit the calculator button just as I would on my iPhone.

A Larger Screen

Most people may think that the 12.9 screen size is large enough but I would love to see something larger than that! I think that it would be beneficial to designers and really anyone who would enjoy a larger screen. Of course I’m not saying that Apple should throw out a tv sized screen but something with enough real estate to really get deep down into your work. Maybe even large enough to sit on a desktop and hook up a keyboard and a mouse.

Conclusion

Despite the few things that the tablet cannot do I do have to give Apple their props. The iPad has come a long way from its first iteration. The ability to use split screens, drag and drop, and picture in picture have all been a huge help in my day to day use, especially on the 12.9 screen. Another killer addition would have to be the new file management system. I don’t really use it much but I have seen how useful it can be.

Turning Your iPad Into A Second Display

Dual monitors are all the rave now a days. They make working in the office a breeze and even help increase productivity. Clicking between tabs and dragging windows here and there are a thing of the past. The best part about technology now is that you can have your multiple screens at home and take them on the go provided you have the proper hardware, and software, for the job. My favorite thing to do is have my reference image or whatever YouTube video I’m watching to pass the time, on one screen and have my work on the other screen.  The iPad is great for this.

As long as you have an iPad that runs iOS 7.0 or later, you can have a portable second screen. The app that I find the best for this task is Duet Display. I’d like to start off by saying that the app is a paid application and comes in at $15.99 but I promise, it’s worth it. Plus, the accompanying Mac app is one hundred percent free.

The Duet app supports all iOS device that run 7.0 or later (Older versions of the app are compatible for devices that can only run iOS 7.0). As far as the Mac, Duet supports macOS 10.9 and later. However, the creators of Duet Display recommend that for the best experience with macOS Sierra that you upgrade to macOS 12.12.2. If you’re running any of the older macOS such as Mountain Lion or older you won’t be able to take advantage of what Duet Display has to offer.

This isn’t an application just for Apple products, PC users don’t turn away, there is support for PCs as long as they’re running Windows 7 or later.

The best features include the fact that there is basically no lag which is amazing especially if you’re doing intensive work such as coding or video editing. Also, if you happen to have one of the latest MacBook Pros with touchBar support then Duet also bring that feature over to whatever tablet you’re using. I personally haven’t found any use for that feature but I’m sure someone, somewhere will. You can also change the display and performance levels to create a more optimal and efficient experience.

If you do choose to use your iPad as a second display then there is this amazing device that the people over at Ten One Design created specifically for something like this. The Mountie give you the option of clipping your iPad or iPhone directly to your MacBook and as per their website it also let’s the user “enjoy eye-level FaceTime video chats, monitor your Twitter feed, iMessage with family, or even host a live recording session with friends from afar.” Because I have the larger 12.9′ iPad Pro I haven’t personally used the Mountie but I have seen it in action and it does seem to provide a seamless experience. (If you’re interested in purchasing and for more information on the Mountie, please visit Ten One Design’s website HERE.)

Alternatives to Duet Display

If you don’t particularly prefer to shell out that much cash on Duet Display there are other apps that do the same thing at a significantly cheaper cost. These apps include Air Display 3 ($9.99) and iDisplay ($14.99).

Why I Switched to the Apple Smart Keyboard

Writing on a keyboard is something many people take advantage of when they use their computer or laptop, but iPad users have the burden of shopping around for a keyboard as an accessory.

The reason this is more of a burden than many think is because no keyboard is perfect. With three different iPads out on sale from Apple today, to call the market divided would be an understatement.

When I first wrote for this blog I posted a story about how I used the Logitech Slim Combo for my 10.5” iPad Pro. I said that the key travel and features like backlighting and media buttons were the reason why I chose it over the Apple Smart Keyboard. I also took some shots at the keys on the Smart Keyboard and the material on it. I was wrong. The Logitech Keyboard has since lost its varnish and the Apple Smart Keyboard is growing on me.

I purchased the Apple Smart Keyboard again earlier this week because I found myself hating having to use the bulky Slim Combo. I also was using my keyboard more on my couch and less on a desk. Using Logitech’s keyboard on my lap was like balancing china plates to get that keyboard to work for me outside of a desk setting.

Finally, the keys never felt right for my hands. This is the most problematic issue for me because if I can’t write properly then my brain will just tell me not to write at all. After leaving my iPad after writing a few hundred words to make food or use the bathroom, I noticed my hands needed to have an adjustment period from using the Slim Combo. This was very concerning because I felt like I was in the midst of an RSI issue. If my hands hurt when using a tool specifically made for writing then I need a new tool.

The Apple Smart Keyboard was my only option because of what I deemed necessary on a keyboard. I wanted something that was attachable to the iPad, portable, and used the smart connectors to power the device. Once I realized the Apple Smart Keyboard was the next plausible option, I took the plunge and tried this keyboard out one last time. I’m glad I did.

Writing on this after spending months with the Slim Combo feels like my hands can breathe and I have never had more relaxed hands when typing for a long time. I was worried about the key travel and if I would be able to write with them, but that has been the easiest part about using this keyboard. The main keys on this device are where you would think they are and the chiclet style keys are a welcome change to the cramped keys Logitech put together.

The thing that I found to be the most difficult to get used to is that fact this stand only had 3 positions: the traditional keyboard setup, the keyboard folded over for watching videos, and the usual setup where the keyboard is resting on the tri-fold to be used for playing games. Going from pretty much any conceivable angle with he adjustable stand Logitech had to only three options, all with different uses felt constraining.

I really miss the adjustable hinge on the back of the Slim Combo, it was great for when I wanted to watch a YouTube video or an episode of television on Netflix. I could set it anywhere I wanted and find an angle that worked for me to view it.

I haven’t watched much on my iPad since buying this but the times I did for the purposed of this review it wasn’t the perfect viewing angle but I adjusted just fine with it. I often found myself just using it in the keyboard position because of how small the footprint this case provides when compared to the Logitech Slim Combo.

All in all this keyboard isn’t perfect, but no keyboard is. It seems to be the best option for my plethora of prerequisites. The Logitech Slim Combo is still a great option for many, just not for me.

If you are in the market for a keyboard and find yourself trying to figure out which of these two is best for you I would buy it from a store that offers at lease a 14 day return policy and try each out before you make your final purchase. I did this, but I didn’t give the Apple Smart Keyboard enough time as I probably should have. If I had, then I probably wouldn’t be in the position I am in now.

Video Editing on iOS

Who Am I?

I’ve spent the last few years writing about Apple and the iPad, but about a year ago I transitioned into making videos on YouTube instead. Making videos and films is something I have always enjoyed doing. When I came to the realization that I can make videos about Apple products and combine my two hobbies I got really excited. Last November I started making videos about apps I enjoyed using. I started with an intro video, and then published two videos about my favorite apps at the time Overcast and 1Writer.

Around the beginning of 2017 I found an app called LumaFusion which is a multi-track video editor. This was the last piece of the puzzle I was looking for before I was able to use my iPad full time, and not have to rely on a Mac. This was always my goal, ever since I started writing my blog I wanted to be a full time iPad user. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Mac and I still think it’s a great platform. For me though the iPad always felt like the future, and it’s a very exciting platform to be on these days.

Ever since I did my mini series about having the iPad Pro for one year I have made every script, recorded every second of audio, and every rendered video has been made 100% on my iPad Pro. This is something I take a lot of pride in. There are a lot of bloggers and YouTubers that have said something along the lines of “The iPad is neat, but you can’t get real work done on it”. I took it as my personal mission to prove that you don’t need a $2,000 Mac to do video production and run a business. I know I’m not the first to use the iPad as their full time computer but the more people show real work can be done, the better off we will be.

The Hardware I Use

The hardware I use isn’t as fancy as other YouTubers, but fancy hardware isn’t everything. Being able to tell the story you want is more important. I made a deal with myself that I would have to start making money from my videos before I started buying things. Now that I’m there I have a long list of things that I want to buy to improve my videos, but for today let’s talk about the stuff I’m already using.

12.9 inch iPad Pro

Like I said before, I use my iPad Pro for everything. Since it’s my main computer I wanted the biggest and best one so I use the 12.9 inch model. I really like this device, I understand why some say it’s too big, but I mostly work at a desk all day. This iPad has the power to playback and render 4K video in good time. I️ really love this device, and I look forward to using it and optimizing my workflows everyday.

Apple Pencil

I’m not much of an artist but I really enjoy using my Apple Pencil. I have RSI issues and using it as a pointing device really has helped me over the last couple of years. I also use it to mark up scripts and hand write notes. Finally, it’s really handy to use when editing videos and photos.

Apple Magic Keyboard and Canopy

These two are a pair for me, I’ve come to think of them as one device. Canopy has become my desktop stand for the iPad. It keeps my device at a comfortable viewing angle and the design is beautiful. I’m usually somebody that prefers function over fashion but when I can have both that’s the best, and The Canopy delivers on that. The Canopy was designed to work with the Apple Magic Keyboard in parallel.

What I like about the Magic Keyboard is the keys. It ticks every box I have: clicky but not too clicky, good key travel, and a full function row. It also has the bonus of having a battery that last for months. I never have to worry about charging this thing and that’s great. If you’re somebody that works at a desk a lot with the iPad I would definitely recommend this pair for your work.

 

Blue Yeti Microphone

I don’t have much to say about this microphone that others haven’t said already. It’s a great cheap microphone if you’re looking to get into some sort of spoken word field. It’s USB so it’s easy to set up and use. If you have the USB camera connection kit it’s just as easy to use with an iPad. This is the microphone I️ use for all of my voice overs and I️ enjoy it.

iPhone for Filming

For all of my live action/B-roll footage, I use an iPhone for that. I was, for a short period, using a DSLR camera but then I realized I wanted to make my videos on iOS be produced 100% by iOS. The camera on the iPhone gets better and better every year so it seemed like a natural fit. I bought the iPhone 7 only because of how good the camera was. Now that the iPhone X is out, the camera has been taken to a whole other level. I film everything in 4K so I can get the best possible image to edit with. The only trick is that means I have to use the back camera on the phone so I can’t see my shot when filming myself. To fix this, I have an old shaving mirror I stick to the wall now to allow myself to see what the camera sees. Now I can see the screen of the phone and use the best lens the phone offers. When I’m done filming I just use AirDrop to move the video files from my iPhone to my iPad.

The Software I Use

The most compiling area for me to keep using iOS as my primary computing platform is the software. Apple’s first party software is good, but the third party stuff is the best. There are amazing Productivity and Creativity apps on the platform. It seems like every day I am finding new apps to get excited about. So, lets take a look at the ones I use to make my videos.

Todoist

All of my ideas, task, and anything that needs to be completed by me lives in Todoist. I have a terrible memory so figuring out a system on using Todoist was really important to me. As far my videos go, I have a project I keep all of my ideas for videos in. When I feel one is worth pursuing, I assign a due date to it. I have been trying to get better about finishing the videos by the set due date but life seems to get in the way sometimes. One thing I have had to learn is it’s okay if I don’t make my due date as long as I keep working and keep a high standard of quality for my work.

Notes

Once I’m ready to produce a video on one of my ideas, I start a new note in the Apple Notes app. A handy feature that came with iOS 11 is the ability to pin notes to the top. What ever video I am currently working on is pinned to the top of the app. From here I build an outline for my video. This can be something as simple as a few points that I want to make, or something so detailed I don’t write a script and just make the video off the outline. Every video is unique and I build it on how I think it will turn out the best.

Ulysses

For script and blog post writing I turn to Ulysses. I have a lot of apps for this like 1Writer, Editorial, and iA Writer. Ulysses though, feels like a power app. The level of customization it offers is unmatched in my opinion. Though I wish that customization could all be done from the iOS app, things like customized themes and export settings need a Mac to be created. Still, this is a fantastic app to have if you do a lot of long form writing. I’ve been working off more outlines then scripts lately so I don’t use Ulysses as much as I would like, but when I do I’m always pleasantly surprised by how well it is.

Notability

When I do write a script I throw it over to Notability when I’m done. Here I read my script out loud, and use my Apple Pencil to markup any changes that I want to make. Ever since I started doing this my scripts got hundred times better.

Ferrite

Once my script or outline is ready I recored the voice overs for the video, I use Ferrite for this. I don’t do any of the editing here just the recording. I like the control it give you over your microphone. Plus, it’s really easy to adjust the input gain so I don’t clip when recording the audio.

LumaFusion

Once I have all of my videos recorded and voices overs ready I import everything into LumaFusion. Like I said before, LumaFusion was the app I was waiting for to go full time with the iPad. If you would have asked me a year ago about having a multitrack video editor on the iPad I wouldn’t be ready until 2019. For the most part I’m really happy with LumaFusion, it covers my needs for the kinds of videos I make. I could go on forever about it, but if you are interested in it check out the two videos I made about the app.

Transmit

If I upload a video through the YouTube app it’s limited to 1080p no matter what it’s native resolution is. I don’t really understand why this limitation is there, but because of this I have to use my own server to upload my videos. I use Transmit to move the files over, and then upload through YouTube’s website, and I also do this to store a copy of my video on my server as well. This is the one thing I use a non iOS device for. I hope the limitations of the native YouTube app get fixed soon, but I will still use Transmit to move a copy of my video to a server just for safekeeping.

Affinity Photo

This is one of those apps that seems like it shouldn’t be possible on iOS. I use Affinity Photo for to create the thumbnails for all of my videos. I know I’m not taking full advantage of it, I just started using it to edit some of my photos that I take. Affinity Photo is truly a desktop class app on the iPad. If you are into photography or photo editing in anyway I highly recommend that you check it out.

Wrap Up

To give the TL;DR, I love iOS, I love the ecosystem, I love the apps, and I love the hardware. Being able to figure out how to use it as my full time computing platform was one of the great joys for me. If you are somebody that wants to use iOS full time but something is holding you back, keep a watchful eye because there are big changes coming for this platform. I think with the next few revisions of iOS for the iPad are going to unlock a lot of really cool stuff.

For me, the iPad and iOS feel like my home when it comes to computing. The fact that I can run my business off of it too, just proves how mature the platform has gotten. If you’re interested in more information about how I work and cool iOS and iPad productivity tips check out my YouTube channel.

What’s a Computer?

Apple’s new ad, titled What’s a Computer?, has a message many iPad enthusiasts have been saying for years: The iPad changes our definition of a computer.

The 1 minute ad shows a young teen going out into the city using their iPad for things like writing, taking photos (and marking them up with the Apple Pencil), talking with friends on FaceTime, and making art. These things aren’t all that the iPad can do, but it certainly showcases that the ecosystem and the apps available aren’t the limitation it once was on iOS.

Also, as a quick side note the music in this (Go by Louis the Child) goes to show that the Apple marketing team knows how to pick the perfect music for their videos.

The whole reason I started this blog was because I wanted to share how the iPad is my main computer, and those interested in making their slabs of glass with the Apple logo on it their main computer can do so with little friction. When Apple makes the same message clear in their marketing and advertisements it just goes to show that they are embracing the iOS lifestyle head on.

The line the teen says at the end, “What’s a computer?” Really put me off at first because it seems as those this young person genuinely didn’t know what a computer was. However, after more thought on this it doesn’t seem that is the real question Apple is making.

In my opinion it seems to have two meanings outside of the obvious. The first being that there may be a day where computing on a desktop or a laptop is something only those in certain industries need. Things like video editing, high end graphic design, and anything else that requires a lot of power to get the job done will still need the Mac. For the rest of us, we will be able to do everything we need to on an iPad with ease and simplicity. The question here of “What’s a computer?” is more of a look into what the future could hold and not just a simple question a young girl asks.

The other meaning is more of a philosophical question Apple is asking us. Outside of the iPad enthusiasts like myself many people see the iPad as a giant iPhone. They say that the tablet is more of a media consumption hog instead of a powerful computing device that can handle a large majority of the work you throw at it. Apple asking this question of “What’s a computer?” is a question they are asking consumers to rethink and change their perspective on after nearly a decade of people saying tablets aren’t for “real work.”

Regardless of how you, or others, interpret this ad, Apple is sending a clear message that the iPad isn’t just for YouTube and Netflix. It is for creativity, communication, and a way to make the things you want to make and the iPad can be a great home for that.

How to Get 280 Characters on Your iPad

Twitter has made some big changes to its character limit recently, expanding its limit from 140 characters to now 280 characters.

If you are on you Twitter client and see this little circle where you once saw the 140 character count, that means you now have the 280 characters on your phone.

If you are using Tweetbot or Twitterrific you should have gotten an update recently indicating it is implementing the 280 character limit to everyone as well, so check with your app of choice and see if you do indeed have 280 characters now instead of the old 140.

Now, this change hasn’t come without its issues however. Many people are reporting that they are having issues seeing the new 280 character limit on their iPad but they are seeing it on their phones without a problem.

If you are in this group of people there are some fixes you can try to join the #280club on your iPad.

1. Force quit the app and restart it.

To do this just double-press the home button or enter the app-switcher and swipe up on the Twitter app you’re using and reopen it.

2. Uninstall the app and reinstall the app

Some people have still had issues seeing the 280 character limit even after quitting the app and reopening it. So if that doesn’t work the next thing you can try is to uninstall the app entirely and reinstall.

This may require you to login again so make sure you have your password on hand if you don’t know it off the top of your head.

3. Restart your iPad.

Even after reinstalling the app other have said the only fix that worked for them is completely restarting your phone.

So hopefully this fixes your problem with Twitter not allowing you to write with 280 characters, it seems to have helped everyone we have spoken with.

If this doesn’t work let us know in the comments, or mention us on Twitter and we would be happy to help!

The Apple “i” Bug fix

Over the past several days social media has exploded over the issue with the peculiar bug when you type in the letter “i” and you get a weird string of text showing as “A ⍰.”

The reason, according to Jeremy Burge at emojipedia, is this:

What’s really going on is that the letter “I” is being appended with an invisible character known as Variation Selector 16 when auto-correct kicks in to replace the lowercase “i”.

This VS-16 character is intended to be used to make the previous character have emoji appearance.[2] When used in conjunction with the letter “I” it displays in some apps as “A ⍰”.

The correct [behavior] should be to ignore the invisible variation selector if the previous character doesn’t have an emoji version.

There is a fix you can do today to stop your phone from doing this. According to Apple’s support page they want you to create a text replacement.

Here’s what you can do to work around the issue until it’s fixed in a future software update:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement
  2. Tap 
  3. For Phrase, type an upper-case “I”. For Shortcut, type a lower-case “i.”

This seems to be a temporary fix until the next iOS update, most likely 11.2. According to a number of sources like The Wall Street Journal, Complex, and AppleInsider Apple is working on a permanent fix for this in the 11.2 betas.

So there are options to fix this today but they are only temporary until iOS 11.2 is released. The 2nd beta came out today, so it is being worked on.

We can only hope it comes out soon.

3 Ways to Stay Focused on Your iPad

Many people, like myself, work on an iPad because they love iOS and prefer it over macOS or Windows. They also do it because it inherently makes you focus on one or two applications at a time, leaving distractions behind.

However, the human brain is great at finding things you can do to procrastinate from getting things done. If your main machine is an iPad, chances are you don’t just have apps for your work on it. You probably have streaming services, music, games, and more to occupy your free time; but what if you find yourself using those apps instead of doing your important work? Today we are going to look at that and see what options there are to limit this kind of behavior.

1. Delete Unnecessary Apps

The simplest solution could be to remove the distractions entirely. Delete the YouTube app, the games, music and anything else you catch yourself using instead using doing the work that matters.

This can be great for people who live by the mantra “out of sight, out of mind.” However, this can’t always be accomplished because we want to use these apps when we’re not doing work and downloading those apps over and over again when we want them is too much of a hassle. If this is the case for you the next option could be what you need.

2. Move Them to a Different Page on the Home Screen

If you do find yourself needing to keep apps like YouTube, VLC, Twitter, etc. for various reasons you can still keep them “out of sight” by having it on a separate home screen.

This not only allows you to keep the apps for luxury time, but it also puts that barrier up so you have to tell yourself that you are going to this page because you want to do something that is meant for free time.

I am a big on the idea of having different areas on your devices for different goals you want to accomplish, so this is one I recommend to many.

But what if you aren’t too keen on the idea of having a second page on the home screen? Then look not further than the next option you have.

3. Nest Them all in a Folder

If you are one of those types of people who hate a second page on their home screen (like me) you can still keep those distracting apps on the home screen but as its own folder tucked away for when you need those breaks from the hustle and bustle of work.

I suggest naming the folder something that reminds you what you’re doing to yourself if you decide to go rogue on your big plans of work for the day. This is why I have a folder called “Time Waste.”

The name can be anything you want but I recommend it be something that your brain will recognize as something you shouldn’t be doing when you have something on your to-do list that needs to be done.


So if you are like many and mix between work and play on your iPad these tricks can help you stay focused to the tasks at hand.

Let us know what you think, or share your own tips to stay focused on the iPad, in the comments below!

Apple Q4 2017 Results »

MacStories’ John Voorhees did a tremendous job breaking down the numbers in the recent financial results Apple put out today. There was a 10% increase in iPad sales year-over-year and some strong indications the iPhone 8 sales were better than expected.

This is all before the next quarter including the iPhone X launch and holiday sales which has been their biggest quarters regularly. Things are looking good for Apple.