I’m still using the iPad Mini 5

And I’m still enjoying it. Bigger screen than my iPhone, TouchID, portable, great for reading, two handed typing and more. I genuinely think that if you’re in the market for a tablet or want an ebook reader that does other stuff the Mini is the way to go. I see no downsides to using one as my only iPad right now. I’d recommend the Logitech crayon too if you think you’ll want to write or draw with it. Just a small post to show my continued appreciation for this form factor.

The next iPad Mini Wish List

If you’ve been following along with my setup you’ll know that I’ve dropped the iPad Pro and switched to using my 12″ MacBook and an iPad Mini. I’m still getting to grips with it all but enjoying the more streamlined setup. Now I’m using the Mini as my iPad I do have some wants though as I move forward with using it.

FaceID or a new TouchID

I do like having the home button back but I can’t get over how much space those bezels take up on the Mini form factor. I imagine a full screen iPad Mini with a TouchID on the side button, like what Apple has implemented on the iPad Air. I have to think that if the Mini is currently an acceptable seller then this has to be in the works and I would totally be up for that one.

Squared off sides

I do miss the squared off sides of the 2020 iPad Pro. It looks fantastic and I prefer the grip is gives me over the rounded on the iPad Mini. First off it would look amazing but could also make for a thinner or maybe narrower iPad Mini, what a product that would be.

Colours

Getting more colours across the Apple range of products is something of a bugbear anyway but let’s see an iPad Mini with the same colour range of the iPhone 12 (red, blue, green especially).

USB-C

I have to think that it’s on the cards if we get an update. Nowadays only my iPad Mini and iPhone use Lightning, everything else I plug in daily is using USB-C.

Magic Keyboard

Who knows if it would work but it would be cool, I’d even be ok with it extending out a little to allow more room to type on. I can’t see this happening AT ALL, this is an out there suggestion but nothing wrong with me wanting it.

New Camera setup

Just copied from the iPad Air, no need to take it from the Pro. Just something better in lower light conditions so that scanning documents looks a little better. I use it for the occasional photo but it’s not recommended.

So, here’s my little wish list – any other Mini fans out there with wants?

Getting work done on an iPad Pro

Source: Birchtree

Another great video from Matt Birchler, this time he goes through how he uses his iPad Pro to get work done. It’s gotten me to install Things again, especially because of the widget possibilities the app offers. I would do something similar once I’m setup but my video making chops aren’t great, maybe I’ll do a response post once I’m all setup.

Great work Matt.

The 2019 iPad Mini is still great

I’ve been doing a lot of reading, learning and job hunting and I’ve rediscovered how great the latest iPad Mini is. I’m on the phone or making notes on my CV and I’m finding that moving back to the Mini has been a great experience. For quickly looking at a job specification or making some notes whilst on a call to a recruiter it’s small form factor combined with the Logitech Crayon really does turn it into a little notebook.

I’m in the process of creating a journaling system using Notability and the iPad Mini actually, I’ll share once I’m done. I’m thinking it’s time to walk away from actual pen and paper and use the Mini as my replacement.

My iPad Pro iPadOS 14 Home Screen

Not posted an iPad Home Screen in a while so thought I would update you all on what my iPadOS 14 Home Screen looks like.

Few of my current key apps

  • Standard Apple Calendar, been my go to now for a little while. I like the widget on iOS and to be honest I don’t really launch the app that much
  • Todoist, been using this for a month or so now and it’s been a solid To Do app for me. I like the widget and the app is a very clean experience
  • Reeder 4, for my RSS feeds
  • Amazon Music, can’t beat 99p for 4 months and it’s been great. Even quicker than Apple Music at downloading music too, can see me sticking even outside of the offer window
  • WordPress for my writing, like this very post

Everything else gets used now and then but these are the key apps I use my iPad for.

Does the iPad Air signal the end of the 11” iPad Pro?

I really love my 2020 11″ iPad Pro, combined with the Pencil and magic keyboard it’s the best computer I’ve ever owned. But with the introduction of the iPad Air it’s got me thinking that we may not see an updated version of the 11″ iPad Pro going forward.

Spec wise they aren’t too far apart, which has me thinking that Apple could draw a line between the iPad Air and the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro is currently 12.9″ on the top end but imagine that the new iPad Pro starts at the 12.9″ and goes to 16″. If you want something smaller you go iPad Air or standard iPad. If you want to push the iPad and use it for video and photography then your default will be the larger more powerful Pro.

Then imagine a better docked experience with a screen and you have a Pro that is large when on the go and even better if you want to edit at the desk.

What do you think?

2020 iPad Pro, four months later

I picked up the 2020 iPad Pro (11″, 256GB) back in June and thought I’d write up an update with how I’m getting on with it.

As my main computer it’s been great, I’ve got both the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard and I now have the ultimate setup in terms of flexibility. If I want to use it as a traditional laptop I just use the keyboard and trackpad. If I need to take some notes or want to doodle, I just undock and use the pencil. If I want to lie back I just use it as a tablet.

I also invested in a good matte screen protector this time around and that’s been really nice to use. I went for the Moshi iVisor.

In terms of day to day use

  • Watching video
  • Making notes with Apple Pencil
  • Job hunting using browser and apps
  • General web use
  • Listening to music
  • My writing here on the blog via the WordPress app

I’m not really pushing it in terms of CPU as I’m not doing any creative projects right now as I’m focusing on getting a new job. But, when I have done some it’s been easy to do.

I’m planning on some music recording via my guitar interface and on testing it’s been good. USB-C straight from the interface into the iPad and use of GarageBand. (I really want Logic Pro on iPad).

I’ve also used a dock and plugged it into a big monitor via USB-C. This works ok but the borders on either side of the content just stops me from using it.

Overall I’m really pleased with the 2020 iPad Pro. My gripe of FaceID on iPhone has become a love of it on the iPad and it seems seem suited to the tablet then the iPhone at this point. The iPad Air might be a better fit depending on your use case, for me I don’t regret having a pro at all the high refresh screen is worth it alone in my opinion.

The magic keyboard material is bad, that’s my only negative on this setup. It picks up everything and is already looking frayed in places. I’m not sure of the long term life of that product, I’ll write up a separate post on this one.

Proper Widgets on the iPad

Link

Matt’s doing such a great job with his YouTube channel and wanted to share how he’s imagining widgets existing on the iPad as per the iPhone. I really hope Apple is paying attention to this and give it to us sooner rather than later but I don’t think we’ll ever see it personally. It seems a philosophical decision by Apple and unless there’s a designer change I’m not optimistic.

Great work Matt!

Will Apple embrace custom home screens?

I’m loving all of the creativity I’m seeing with people customising their iPhone’s now with iOS 14. Between widgets and icon customisation it’s inspiring to see the positivity that is around at the moment when you look for it. To be honest, it’s been a nice distraction from everything happening in the world and my personal life.

Two things stand out to me.

Custom icons/fonts

I’ve got a Samsung as an Android phone in work and it lets you change the system font everywhere, I feel this is a step too far for me but could see people loving it on iOS. The other place is app icons, yes you can do it now but it’s via shortcuts so the apps take longer to load. The fact people put up with this shows the interest. I’d love a way to be able to easily change your app icons on iOS. I’m not sure Apple will do it as part of iOS but could make shortcuts a bit friendlier with them.

The sad looking iPad Home Screen

When I go back to my iPad it just seems old and sad now. I’m looking at all of that space and wondering why Apple decided not to embrace the same customisation on it. Widgets are locked away in a little box on the left and seem less useful. I’m hoping Apple realises this and give us an iPadOS 14.3 with this option enabled but knowing Apple I don’t see the iPad getting these for a few years if ever.