April 14, 2018

Link: #OpenWeb ☍

I didn’t get a chance to share this yesterday, but Michael Rockwell (of Initial Charge fame) has a new project:

I spent a few days over the past week working on a little project that’s been bouncing around in my head lately. I’ve wanted something like this to exist for years and with the skills I’ve obtained from Treehouse over the past several months, I thought it was finally time to build it myself. Today, I’d like to announce #OpenWeb.

The site aggregates headlines from independent publishers that focus on Apple products and software. It also serves as a directory of single-person weblogs within our community. Over the past few years, social networks have become less and less exciting to use and there have been some subtle indications that the open web is poised for a comeback. With Micro.blog, JSON Feed, the meteoric rise in podcasting, and the frustration that many of us have had with Twitter and Facebook — I think weblogs could be the next big thing.[…]

But discovery is still a major problem. Why would you put the effort into buying a domain, setting up a site, and writing if no one is going to read it? And if you do manage to jump through all the hoops to start publishing, how do you find others in the community that have done so as well?

I was asked about bringing this site on board, and I like that the goal is to focus on non-linked-list items (aka Snippets on here). After just a day or two, I’ve already found some new content that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and it reminds me of the best goals of the “blogroll” from years’ past. Also, worth noting—it’s done on an iPad.

April 11, 2018

Link: If iPads Were Meant for Kids ☍

Dave DeLong:

I bought my kids their own iPads last fall. I’m nice, and I’m fortunate to be able to afford it. However, I’ve come to realize that despite my attempts to spoil my kids, these iPads (and all iOS devices in general) are not meant for kids.

Now, I realize this might be a controversial statement, especially because it seems counter to a lot of Apple’s advertising. But hear me out.[…]

If iPads were meant for kids, then there would be a way to limit how long they can use an iPad. They’d get reminders when they have 15 … 10 … 5 … 1 minute left of usage time, and then the device would lock and they wouldn’t be able to get back in without the parental passcode.

If iPads were meant for kids, then there would be a way to make the iPad turn off when it’s bed time and not turn on again until morning. Because my son likes to sneak in to our room and take his iPad back from wherever we’ve stashed it, and then stay up until nearly midnight playing Angry Birds.

There’s a part of me that appreciates his point, as there could be more simple management for home use (no one is setting up an MDM solution for home). On the other hand, this argument feels like it could apply to computers and even video games going back to the 1980s. Although we had a “family” computer when I was growing up, I also had a stash of old Macs in my room that were eventually connected to the Internet, too. There were some rules and structure for usage and I certainly tried to stretch those as far as I could. Somehow, because the devices are smaller, that makes the argument different.

November 21, 2017

Article: Back to the iPad (Again)

Well, that didn’t last long. Since I wrote about using an iPhone as my primary device back in September, I have found the iPhone 8 Plus to feel “normal” in comparison to the iPhone 8 or SE, and really like the additional features. However, I have also found out how I much I missed having an iPad for around my apartment, writing, and just in instances where the iPhone screen is a bit too small…

November 19, 2017

Link: The Increasingly Rare iPad Deal Killers ☍

David Sparks:

Jason Snell wrote an excellent piece today about how he uses his iPad for a lot of his work. The post references a recent quote from Microsoft’s Satya Nadella that implies the iPad is not a real computer and a recent iPad ad that makes its point nicely.

I’ve spent a lot of time writing and podcasting about the iPad as a potential laptop replacement. In the early days, I went iPad only while writing the book, iPad at Work. Back then it was rough. The hardware, operating system, and software were all in need of improvement. Things did, however, get better. iPad hardware these days benchmarks alongside currently shipping Macs very respectively.

This is a pretty fascinating analysis, especially when you consider that the little things where an iPad does fall flat are often nitpick niche cases. In my experience, PC users are quick to point out Microsoft Office, but for the day-to-day stuff I do, Word and Excel on the iPad are sufficient (Pages and Numbers probably would, if I wasn’t going to mess with importing and exporting files I’d share). Other than that, there’s a few Flash-based sites and some other fussy legacy things that I would love to see go away anyway.

Link: What’s a Computer? ☍

Apple’s new ad for the iPad Pro is pretty good, but I think those hoping for a new Mac Pro or non-crappy MacBook Pro keyboards are probably cringing a bit.

Update: As the URL slug was already used, I did some digging and forgot that Apple used this tagline a little over a year ago.