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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.