Jason Snell’s iPad Pro Wish List

After reviewing the iPad Pro for a few weeks, Jason Snell put together a wish list that includes his frustration, which I share, about the lack of third party keyboards available:

With the iPad Pro, there was a single accessory that didn’t come from Apple: Logitech’s Create keyboard, which uses the Smart Connector port and provides a more traditional laptop keyboard experience than Apple’s own Smart Keyboard.

Logitech Create lacks any real viewing angle adjustment, but the iPad Pro can be lowered for writing or drawing in addition to the upright position for typing.

That’s fine, but neither the Create nor the Smart Keyboard really do it for me. The Create is more of a case, requiring you to attach it to the iPad–a commitment I’m usually loath to make, because I constantly switch back and forth between using the iPad Pro with a keyboard and using it as a free-floating tablet. And the Smart Keyboard doesn’t really work for me because it’s too bulky to be a cover and doesn’t offer the key travel (or additional row of keys) that traditional keyboards do.

Thumbs Up for Duet Display

Here is a great article by David Sparks about using his iPad Pro with one of my favorite and most useful apps, Duet:

I’m going to write more about my iPad Pro in the coming weeks but one thing that was worth sharing immediately was the way I’ve been using it as a spare monitor. There is a wonderful little application called Duet, made by some former Apple engineers, that lets you connect your iPad to your Mac and turn the iPad into a second screen. I’m now doing this often.

If you need a second monitor for either your Mac or PC, I suggest giving Duet a serious look, especially if you have an iPad Pro.

Why the iPad Pro is Ready to Replace Your Laptop

Sorry Microsoft, but the Surface Pro still hasn’t managed to catch on and for the first time an iPad had a screen size that competes with a normal laptop.

I’ve read a bunch of iPad Pro reviews that suggest it is a major niche product. I’ve heard that it’s going to be a fantastic device for artist and graphic designers but not for every day consumers, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more and more consumers purchase an iPad Pro as time goes by and here’s why.

Everyone still has a laptop these days but tablets are now capable of handling 99% of the tasks that the average consumer performs. The only problem has been screen size and input. Even though an iPad Air 2 is plenty powerful for a consumer, most are not willing to have a 9.7″ screen as their primary device. Also, typing on a touch screen is fine in a pinch but a majority of people prefer typing on a keyboard. The iPad Pro addresses these two problems and makes the iPad Pro a real competitor to any laptop.
 

Sorry Microsoft, but the Surface Pro still hasn’t managed to catch on and for the first time an iPad had a screen size that competes with a normal laptop.

I’ve read a bunch of iPad Pro reviews that suggest it is a major niche product. I’ve heard that it’s going to be a fantastic device for artist and graphic designers but not for every day consumers, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more and more consumers purchase an iPad Pro as time goes by and here’s why.

Everyone still has a laptop these days but tablets are now capable of handling 99% of the tasks that the average consumer performs. The only problem has been screen size and input. Even though an iPad Air 2 is plenty powerful for a consumer, most are not willing to have a 9.7″ screen as their primary device. Also, typing on a touch screen is fine in a pinch but a majority of people prefer typing on a keyboard. The iPad Pro addresses these two problems and makes the iPad Pro a real competitor to any laptop.

Apple has done an excellent job of separating the use cases of a Mac, iPad and iPhone. An iPhone isn’t a hard pitch since everyone needs a phone. Apple created the simplest and most luxurious product in the category and that is that. But Apple has done an excellent job at keeping the Mac and iPad separate. The Mac is for those who need to get work done and the iPad is for relaxing and consuming. But times change and Apple is always on the cutting edge in that regard. We all know what happened, or didn’t happen, with Microsoft in the mobile space.

More and more people, myself included, really like the idea of being able to consolidate their devices. The newness of the iPad has worn off and people are realizing that they really don’t need a Mac and an iPad. With the massive amount of products that have been released as two in ones in the PC industry, it was only a matter of time before Apple released their competitor. Microsoft has been throwing everything it has at the two in one category, but the Surface never took off. But where Microsoft made yet another fatal mistake, Apple has positioned the iPad Pro to succeed.

It’s simple really. Microsoft took a complicated operating system and tried to make it work on a tablet whereas Apple started with its simple, minimal and familiar mobile first operating system and developed it to be perfect on a tablet. Microsoft Windows is an operating system that has lost its appeal in the consumer market over the years. Don’t believe me? Go to any local Starbucks, Barnes & Noble or college classroom and tell me what you see. MacBooks are everywhere but still most of those consumers use them for tasks that an iPad could handle with ease. Now that an iPad has a larger screen and a first party keyboard accessory don’t be surprised to see more and more consumers switching to an iPad Pro.

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Review

Is 3D Touch Enough to Make You Upgrade?

That’s the first and most important question I’ve been asking myself ever since Apple took the wraps off the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. This marquee feature is what your focus ought to be on when you decide whether or not an upgrade is worth it.

So, what is 3D Touch? It is Apple’s next iteration of their force touch technology that was introduced with the Apple Watch. As the name suggests, it supports three dimensions of touch. On the Apple Watch you can either touch or force touch. With the new iPhone, you can touch, press and deep press. Apple’s official name for the actions are peak and pop, which aren’t exactly great representations of what they do since when you “peak” at something it “pops” up…but I digress.

I thought Apple did a great job during their presentation showing the usefulness of the technology, which they don’t always do. The purpose is to make life on the iPhone simpler, quicker and more enjoyable. Yes, I realize that’s always the point of new technology but for many people new technology equals misery. Apple has made a living at being the exception to that rule. And in my opinion, 3D Touch is another winner.

Is 3D Touch Enough to Make You Upgrade?

That’s the first and most important question I’ve been asking myself ever since Apple took the wraps off the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. This marquee feature is what your focus ought to be on when you decide whether or not an upgrade is worth it.

So, what is 3D Touch? It is Apple’s next iteration of their force touch technology that was introduced with the Apple Watch. As the name suggests, it supports three dimensions of touch. On the Apple Watch you can either touch or force touch. With the new iPhone, you can touch, press and deep press. Apple’s official name for the actions are peak and pop, which aren’t exactly great representations of what they do since when you “peak” at something it “pops” up…but I digress.

I thought Apple did a great job during their presentation showing the usefulness of the technology, which they don’t always do. The purpose is to make life on the iPhone simpler, quicker and more enjoyable. Yes, I realize that’s always the point of new technology but for many people new technology equals misery. Apple has made a living at being the exception to that rule. And in my opinion, 3D Touch is another winner.

Instead of having to fully go into a text message, email, photo and so on the new actions let you “peak” into something by force touching and then, if you do want to fully open the item, you can push a little deeper and “pop” the item open on the full screen.

That simple action probably wouldn’t persuade me to upgrade, but when Apple began to show how links can be “peaked” into, I was sold. Say you get a text message from a friend that asks if you are available for dinner on Friday night. What you used to do is click out of the message, find your calendar app, open it up, see if you had anything on Friday night, switch back over to the text message and then type your response. With 3D Touch, you can force touch the words Friday night in your message and it will let you “peak” at your calendar without opening the Calendar app and see if you’re available that Friday night. That saves a ton of time.

If you got excited reading that hypothetical, you should upgrade to an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus. If not, you will probably be more than fine with an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.

What About the Camera?

If 3D Touch doesn’t quite get you going, the new cameras in the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus might bring out the photophile in you. As expected, they are by far the best cameras Apple has ever put in an iPhone, or any of their products for that matter.

So what’s better? Ultimately, Apple bumped the new iPhones up to 12 megapixels from the previous 8. But if you know a decent amount about photography you know that megapixels aren’t everything. The iPhone has maintained its place as the best camera in a smartphone for years with only an 8 megapixels shooter. That’s because Apple does everything else right with their cameras. Even though some smartphones are pushing over 40 megapixels these days, photos taken on the new iPhones still look better.

These new cameras are no exception. If your first requirement of a smartphone is that it have an awesome camera, the new iPhones won’t steer you wrong.

Along with the updated cameras Apple introduced a, dare I say, magical new feature. The Harry Potter like photos, dubbed Live Photos by Apple, received some prime real estate in the keynote.

The new feature takes photo clips from one second before and after your photo and using the 3D Touch technology presents a moving image when you press down. I’ll admit, it is pretty cool, although it naturally takes up about twice the space of normal photos.

Battery Life

Low power mode has finally come to the iPhone!!! Enough said. For years this was a feature that I wished the iPhone had. There is now an option in the new iOS9 operating system that allows users to manually switch to low power mode. Also, the iPhone will prompt you at 20% battery to switch to low power mode.

The great thing about this feature is that it is built into the operating system which means it is available on all devices that can run iOS9.

Besides that the battery life on the new iPhones is very good. Because of the larger size, the 6s Plus does outperform its little brother pretty significantly. So, if you have a job that allows you to check Twitter every 5 minutes and you take full advantage of it, I would recommend going for the 6s Plus.

Final Word

There are plenty of other new features in the new iPhones. Touch ID is twice as fast according to Apple, the new phones use a stronger alloy of aluminum to prevent any bendgate fiasco again this year and they are significantly faster than last years model.

The new iPhones are fantastic upgrades for anyone looking to do so but if you can’t live without some of these new features, you are probably fine waiting to see what Apple has in store for the iPhone 7 next year.

An Apple Car…Really?

Over the last few months it has been all but confirmed that Apple is planning to make its own electric car.

Dubbed “project titan” this is easily Apple’s most ambitious project to date. Although their products have the reputation of being priced at a premium, that’s relative to the consumer electronics market. Before the gold Apple Watch was released earlier this year the most expensive product Apple had ever sold was a few thousand dollars. God only knows how expensive an Apple Car would be.

It seems like they have made up their mind to dive in but I wonder what made them want to get into this market in the first place? It’s very competitive with high manufacturing costs and it would require a ton of retail space to sell them. So unless Apple is planning to quadruple the size of its typical Apple store just to house a model, I would imagine they will strike a deal with another manufacturer at least to carry the car on their lots. The current rumor is that Apple has been talking with BMW about different aspects of the project. 

Over the last few months it has been all but confirmed that Apple is planning to make its own electric car.

Dubbed “project titan” this is easily Apple’s most ambitious project to date. Although their products have the reputation of being priced at a premium, that’s relative to the consumer electronics market. Before the gold Apple Watch was released earlier this year the most expensive product Apple had ever sold was a few thousand dollars. God only knows how expensive an Apple Car would be.

It seems like they have made up their mind to dive in but I wonder what made them want to get into this market in the first place? It’s very competitive with high manufacturing costs and it would require a ton of retail space to sell them. So unless Apple is planning to quadruple the size of its typical Apple store just to house a model, I would imagine they will strike a deal with another manufacturer at least to carry the car on their lots. The current rumor is that Apple has been talking with BMW about different aspects of the project.

So why go all in? Larger profit margins is the first thing that comes to mind. Apple has always sold its products at a premium and it’s no doubt they would do the same for a car. Considering the relatively low profit margins Apple makes on electronics, the margin on a car would be in the thousands to ten thousands range. Of course I can’t imagine they would sell near as many cars as they do products like the iPhone and iPad, but who knows. Apple has a history of selling millions of a device many predicted would flop.

Maybe Jony Ive’s obsession with cars had something to do with the decision. We already know that he is a lover of time pieces and I’m sure that heavily influenced the creation of the Apple Watch. After so many years of designing consumer electronics I’m sure Ive is itching to get his hands on something bigger, badder and more challenging.

I have read some articles suggesting that Apple is giving this project a shot just because it can but I don’t buy that. Apple has more money than many small countries but unlike other companies they don’t subscribe to the “thrown it at the wall and see if it sticks” philosophy; eye on you Google. Apple execs have no doubt had some serious meetings and done some intense number crunching and determined that it is a business that will be profitable for them in the long term.

The Apple Car will be one interesting product should Apple follow through, but since it isn’t rumored to be released until 2019 we have quite a while to wait.