00:00:10 ◼ ► From Relay FM, this is Upgrade Episode 203 being posted in July 2018, but it was recorded June 20th, 2018.
00:00:38 ◼ ► And we thought to ourselves, we wanted to do a check-in about what it's like to work on the iPad.
00:00:43 ◼ ► And we thought, if we're going to do this, we need to assemble the team, like the almost like the A-team of working on the iPad.
00:00:54 ◼ ► Hi. I thought you were going to go Avengers there, but I actually like the A-team reference better.
00:00:59 ◼ ► Yeah, I thought four people, you know, and also having traveled with Federico Vittucci,
00:01:29 ◼ ► Oh boy. For the first time, this Snell Talk question will be addressed to three people.
00:02:49 ◼ ► We had this like little little laptop that we were like carting to do inventory and carting down like the rows of things.
00:02:59 ◼ ► I'm going to try to do the use the iPad for inventory and then also make it play Netflix while folding t shirts.
00:03:06 ◼ ► And my boss liked it so much that he's like, oh man, I think I'm going to get one of those for inventory.
00:03:20 ◼ ► So I like the reason why I tell the story is that I really only had that original iPad for about a month
00:03:34 ◼ ► Now I know because I am a European that the original iPad it came out in April in the US,
00:03:59 ◼ ► because I was instructed by the editors of Macworld UK to literally just buy them an iPad
00:05:02 ◼ ► because for whatever reason this was back when like I don't think Apple were as restrictive
00:06:05 ◼ ► I'm still using that's the one I bought when the iPad Pro was announced the 12.9 was of course,
00:06:10 ◼ ► the first iPad Pro and I said that's it plus it was it helped that it was at the end of the year.
00:06:28 ◼ ► So I never have to want for space and it is it is LTE which was a big I wrote a thing about it.
00:06:35 ◼ ► And I think we talked about it an upgrade I decided to go for that because I thought that having that flexibility would be helpful.
00:06:44 ◼ ► I didn't use the LTE basically at all. I had one of those T-Mobile Sims that had a very small amount of data every month for free.
00:06:55 ◼ ► Did I decide finally to just order a SIM from AT&T my cell provider add it to my plan pay the extra monthly fee and just have it use the data from my family cellular plan and best decision I could have possibly made because I use it all the time now with with cellular and I'm so happy that I that I did that.
00:07:33 ◼ ► we had to sell the iPad that Sylvia was using because we came to an agreement that we had too many iPads in our in our house.
00:08:40 ◼ ► 10.5 inch and I was kind of like Jason and that I used the 12.9 for a long time, but I mean, it was my only computer for about a year.
00:08:52 ◼ ► But when I decided to get my MacBook Pro and I went for that I decided that I didn't want to give up the iPad lifestyle, but I also didn't want to carry around a 13 inch MacBook Pro and a 12 inch iPad.
00:09:06 ◼ ► So the 10.5 inch I swapped to and I feel like it's the it's the nice intermediary style and also yeah cellular all the way.
00:09:20 ◼ ► I said this pretty soon on and I stand by I think that the 10.5 is is the closest to be in the perfect iPad that there has ever been.
00:09:30 ◼ ► I use a 12.9 at home because I kind of use it like it's my desktop computer or like it's my big computer,
00:09:37 ◼ ► but that 10.5 it's just close enough that whenever I travel whenever I'm outside of the home.
00:09:48 ◼ ► I use my 12.9 which just has Wi-Fi and I kind of treat them as like my two computers my desktop on my laptop.
00:10:01 ◼ ► It's too big and too heavy in my opinion for easy travel when the 10.5 exists and it's wonderful and it's nice and compact,
00:10:12 ◼ ► just a big enough screen and it's powerful enough and all that and I really I really love it
00:10:23 ◼ ► I use the smart keyboard for both of them when I'm out and about I have a slightly different set up for writing at home,
00:10:34 ◼ ► but I wanted to know if like Ren do you use any cases you use like the sleeve or do you use like just a smart cover?
00:10:51 ◼ ► because I think I'm rougher with my iPad than I am maybe any other gadget except my iPhone
00:11:02 ◼ ► So I have a full back case and front case on it for a long time when I was using the 9.7
00:11:07 ◼ ► and the 12.9 I had the Logitech create which in my opinion was one of the best keyboard cases out there.
00:11:25 ◼ ► and that it has like kickstand and it has a very loose keyboard that kind of snaps in with a ribbon.
00:11:39 ◼ ► So I was switching to the LTE on my iPad to write and here's Jason with his beautiful bridge keyboard case.
00:11:59 ◼ ► And it was just I'm like at this point I'm realizing to myself as much as I love the smart connector,
00:12:20 ◼ ► and there's nothing else that really protects it as well as the Logitech that I currently own.
00:12:33 ◼ ► So you would expect there to be an element in some places of shade being thrown at the Mac from here to there.
00:12:49 ◼ ► I think that's about about as much as you could get and Jason Ren mentioned the bridge keyboard,
00:13:02 ◼ ► because I can put it in my lap and and write writing on a table some other kind of hard surface.
00:13:24 ◼ ► But if I had to pick one it would probably be the bridge which they're doing a new version of which they had some as you know,
00:13:34 ◼ ► I got a good one, but they had a lot of bad ones where the Bluetooth connectivity was bad.
00:13:38 ◼ ► They've got a new version with apparently new Bluetooth connectivity that's coming out this month.
00:14:22 ◼ ► I believe I wrote my iOS 11 review using the canopy by studio need with the magic keyboard.
00:14:28 ◼ ► Then I moved to the razor keyboard for the iPad Pro which I kind of liked but the case was terrible and eventually broke the keyboard was pretty decent though.
00:14:52 ◼ ► It's that third time was the charm, but I hope this is fixed this month with the new version.
00:14:55 ◼ ► Yeah, so I I really like it because it lets me get work done in a bunch of different places,
00:15:15 ◼ ► So for the rest of this episode, we're going to talk about three main subject areas about working on the iPad like running a business from an iPad writing from an iPad and being creative.
00:15:27 ◼ ► So using art and video and other types of creative means on the iPad and what it what it what type of apps we use and kind of the benefits and challenges of each.
00:15:41 ◼ ► Federico Vittucci has an opening statement that he would like to share with the group an opening statement.
00:15:49 ◼ ► It's just the I think I've shared this story before and I think it's useful for context maybe and it's also it's kind of fun to think about now.
00:15:58 ◼ ► So a few years ago. I was stuck in a hospital going through cancer treatments and I couldn't use my MacBook Air at the time.
00:16:11 ◼ ► That was my main computer back then but I couldn't use it because there was no Wi-Fi in the hospital
00:16:15 ◼ ► and I needed to get work done to distract myself and also to keep running the business.
00:16:32 ◼ ► And from my iPad at the time I basically I spent the first couple of weeks just going crazy trying to find apps that would allow me to communicate with people
00:16:58 ◼ ► But eventually I kind of got into the rhythm of trying to make the best out of the limitations of iOS
00:17:11 ◼ ► And so over time I kept working on the iPad even when I was done with the hospital stuff and I was back home.
00:17:17 ◼ ► I kept using the iPad and over time I just realized that I enjoyed working on iOS more than I did on the Mac.
00:17:26 ◼ ► And the fact that I sort of had to work on the iPad initially eventually became I like working on the iPad more than using my MacBook.
00:17:48 ◼ ► But otherwise the iPad fits my lifestyle and my habits and my routine better than a MacBook.
00:18:07 ◼ ► But I think overall the the recurring theme of the iPad is that it has a it has allowed me to work
00:18:16 ◼ ► and to get work done and to be in touch with people in places where it wouldn't have been possible otherwise.
00:18:22 ◼ ► It's got apps that I cannot find anywhere else and it allows me to work faster, better and with more fun.
00:18:42 ◼ ► We've got to give you your time. You know, you've got to say a thing and I appreciate it.
00:18:46 ◼ ► It is a good way of framing it because I think there's a lot of criticism that is levied at people that choose to use iOS for work.
00:18:52 ◼ ► Right. And we're going to go through we will definitely address some of this stuff when we're talking about the challenges of these things.
00:18:58 ◼ ► But there is an element of the fun side of it, which I think is is abundant in iOS, you know,
00:19:04 ◼ ► about how it can be more fun to do some of these things in ways that aren't necessarily the fastest, you know,
00:19:11 ◼ ► they might not be the most efficient but in places, but it adds a level of fun and character and using iOS that can make a lot of these tasks more enjoyable.
00:19:21 ◼ ► So in the spirit of the Summer of Fun, we're going to turn everything on its head and we can take our first break.
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00:21:39 ◼ ► Okay, so let's talk about running a business from an iPad. And this is, I think, one that I think about the most. Most of my work is creative work.
00:21:51 ◼ ► But the actual creation, so the recording and editing of podcasts for me, always happens on a Mac.
00:21:57 ◼ ► So everything else for me is preparation for podcasts, which we'll talk about a little later on.
00:22:05 ◼ ► And I think I want to give a brief outline of some of the applications that I use to do that.
00:22:15 ◼ ► So I think that anybody these days that has any kind of collaborative business uses the Google Docs and Sheets ecosystem.
00:22:24 ◼ ► Like, it just feels like at this point they are so far and away the best for collaboration of this stuff that it's just what everybody uses.
00:22:34 ◼ ► And even though they can be very frustrating at Google in the way that they treat the iPad development in that every time, you know, they're going to add the new features.
00:22:44 ◼ ► But how long is it going to take them? And it feels like that time frame is stretching longer and longer as we go forward.
00:22:52 ◼ ► You know, it's like, oh, take three months for this feature. And then the next year later, it's five months for the new features.
00:23:02 ◼ ► I think we're still at the point, I think, right now where you can just drag in to Google Docs. You can't drag out of Google Docs.
00:23:10 ◼ ► But such is life. They work. And to be honest, the collaboration, the collaborative underpinnings of the Google Drive suite of applications cannot be denied.
00:23:23 ◼ ► There are other applications that exist, you know, bless them, Apple have collaboration features in Sheets and in Numbers and in Pages.
00:23:33 ◼ ► It may work OK, but they're just not as fast and not as full featured. So that's why I continue to keep using the Google stuff.
00:23:40 ◼ ► Although, you know, those Google apps are not like having used Numbers a bit and Excel also on iOS.
00:23:59 ◼ ► Right. It's not the quality of the application. It's the technology that's behind it all.
00:24:04 ◼ ► And every time I've tried to do any kind of sharing with basically anything else other than Google Sheets, some kind of problems arise, you know.
00:24:13 ◼ ► And Google Sheets is rock solid. And that's why all of our spreadsheets at Rela FM are shared that way.
00:24:19 ◼ ► But if it's local stuff, you know, if I'm working out a proposal for a sponsor or I'm doing stuff for my accountant, I always use either Numbers or Excel for that.
00:24:35 ◼ ► And I don't see it changing for a long time because it's a good part of Google's business, I think.
00:24:44 ◼ ► I've flirted with Federico's Beloved Things many times. And again, Things is a way more iPad-y app, you know.
00:24:54 ◼ ► But Todoist has a lot of features which are very specific to it that I really like and I've built my workflows around it.
00:25:03 ◼ ► You know, I am this kind of weird person in a way that I use some of my devices in the sense that I also use Chrome on iOS because I like the fact that I use Chrome on my Mac because I use Google Docs so much and Chrome works way better.
00:25:18 ◼ ► And I don't like to run multiple web browsers, so then I end up using Chrome on iOS to sync all of my history together.
00:25:24 ◼ ► So I kind of, you know, I love iOS, but I don't necessarily feel bound by just what Apple makes or even what is the most iOS-y of a thing.
00:25:35 ◼ ► You know, like Things, Things 3, it follows so many interesting conventions and it's such a really, really interesting app.
00:25:42 ◼ ► But there's just some stuff that it doesn't have or some things that it does in peculiar ways that kind of keeps me away from it.
00:25:48 ◼ ► Two tools that I use a lot for running the sales side of my business is Spark 2 and an app called Pipedrive.
00:26:21 ◼ ► Like we make deals with companies for sponsorship and we tried tracking it in Trello for a long time and Trello just ended up kind of breaking down on us.
00:26:30 ◼ ► Or like we could have the deals being tracked in Trello, but when we needed to start sharing contact information, there wasn't a good way to do that.
00:26:37 ◼ ► But a CRM tool like Pipedrive allows us to have all of our deals and we can track how they are in the progress and then also attach contact information for the people that we're working with at the companies.
00:26:54 ◼ ► When we were looking at a tool and I had our sales assistant look for it, I was like, the key thing that I care about is a good iOS app.
00:27:03 ◼ ► And it has a very good iOS app, including one of my favorite little tactic into like interactions on my iPhone.
00:27:11 ◼ ► When you win a deal, you press a little button that says one and it has this nice little tactic like, it's like there's a button going in and out.
00:27:20 ◼ ► I love that little feeling because it's a good feeling when you can say you've won a deal and it's even nicer when it's enforced with a little tactic.
00:27:31 ◼ ► That's really great for us because we can have conversations inside of the email that's just for us to see.
00:27:38 ◼ ► And that's really useful if like, so say, for example, our assistant is doing a deal and she wants my advice on something, she can share the email with me, ask me a question, I can answer it back and then she can take it on and go with it.
00:27:58 ◼ ► Now I can come back into talking about apps that everybody else knows when I talk about FantasticOwl.
00:28:53 ◼ ► But when I do it on my iPad, the month view in the Apple calendar one is, I would say on a teaching scale is decent.
00:29:14 ◼ ► Because on my iPhone I use FantasticOwl, but I don't think FantasticOwl is very good on iPad either.
00:29:24 ◼ ► So I'm using Apple's calendar on the iPad, even though I'm using FantasticOwl on my iPhone,
00:29:54 ◼ ► I don't even make it a full thing. It's just like it's always there so I can add new things.
00:29:58 ◼ ► Yeah, I don't know what it is, but there just doesn't seem to be that many applications that can understand
00:30:08 ◼ ► FantasticOwl basically tries to have three views at once, and it's like, "What am I looking at?"
00:30:19 ◼ ► Just in the split view, you don't have a magical month view calendar app that you're hiding from us?
00:30:34 ◼ ► I use calendars for the big things, but I'm much more into the to-do style list that has dates attached
00:30:49 ◼ ► Every time I think I've heard you say that to someone, Wren, I hear someone go, "Huh, really?"
00:31:04 ◼ ► What do you like about it? Because I feel like at least my way of thinking doesn't match with what the application is trying to do.
00:31:13 ◼ ► I think that's it. You really do have to kind of re-challenge your brain into how it all works.
00:31:19 ◼ ► What I've found that I really like about Agenda is that I can have all of these separate little folders that have their own separate timelines as to stuff that I'm doing,
00:31:36 ◼ ► So I'll create, for instance, taking this Google Doc that we've put together for our summer of fun working on the iPad,
00:31:43 ◼ ► I'll have a note that is scheduled on June 20th and then I make the note at the very top that it's like, "It's at this time and here's all the information that you need to know about it."
00:31:54 ◼ ► And then I also have like I do a weekly update for the higher ups who run iMore on like what we've done in iMore this week,
00:32:03 ◼ ► and I have just a reoccurring note that pops up and allows me to fill all of that stuff in.
00:32:09 ◼ ► I don't use Agenda for everything. Like I definitely I use I still use notes for a lot of my writing related stuff.
00:32:16 ◼ ► But when it comes to podcast episodes or derby practices or basically anything that I need to write something with in addition to an in addition to a date,
00:32:28 ◼ ► I use Agenda almost exclusively. And it's it definitely takes some getting used to though.
00:32:33 ◼ ► Like I, I was lucky enough that I was testing it for iMore. So I spent a good like two weeks really trying to dig into it and figure out how it works.
00:32:43 ◼ ► And that I think you really when you're talking about your productivity in general, let alone productivity on the iPad.
00:32:50 ◼ ► When you're trying to learn a whole new way of doing things, you really have to give yourself the time because there were moments where I was just like, "Oh, this is annoying."
00:32:59 ◼ ► And then as soon as I figured out how to kind of make it work with my workflow, it was fine.
00:33:03 ◼ ► It was just the it's the initial it's the initial like stubbing your toe being like, "Why is that rock there?"
00:33:10 ◼ ► Before you realize, "Oh, maybe I should step over the rock. Maybe the rock, maybe the rock is there for a good reason."
00:33:15 ◼ ► I think that's interesting because like I know for me and for a couple of people I spoke to, they basically just bounce straight off it.
00:33:21 ◼ ► But because you were testing it, you if you're writing or if you're reviewing it or you're testing it for the site,
00:33:27 ◼ ► and I'm sure you both actually can like all three of you can relate to this, you kind of have to dig in where like I am just like, "I'm done and I'm out of there."
00:33:36 ◼ ► Right? Because I don't write reviews or anything like that. So it just didn't work for me for whatever reason.
00:33:41 ◼ ► And I didn't bother sticking with it. But but yeah, it's interesting to hear that actually.
00:33:46 ◼ ► When it comes to apps in general that are very different than what you might be used to, I really like I'm a full proponent of you have to give it like two weeks and you have to force yourself to use it.
00:34:03 ◼ ► I mean, that's that's kind of how it comes with working on the iPad in general, because I feel like if all of us had just been like, you know, if if someone had been able to give you Federico a Mac that was perfectly usable in your hospital bed, you probably never would have taken the time to like actually play with the iPad and like get into it.
00:34:21 ◼ ► And that's kind of that's where I feel like on these apps in general where it's just like we really you need to give yourself the time to be mad at it and then work through it rather than just be like this doesn't immediately fill my workflow needs.
00:34:40 ◼ ► I create and send a lot of contracts. I have to amend contracts that people have given me or have to take a Word document and turn it into a PDF to sign it and send it to someone because who sends Word documents? Why do you do this?
00:34:53 ◼ ► But anyway, people do and PDF pen is what I use. I will be lost without it. And I guess the same goes for workflow.
00:35:00 ◼ ► I don't think we need to get into workflow on the show, especially because it's all changing anyway, but just assume that I use it. We all use it and love it and have so many little hacks for how we do things on workflow and it will come up.
00:35:15 ◼ ► Dropbox is my file system. I use the Dropbox app. Sometimes I use the files app as well.
00:35:20 ◼ ► They're both good in certain circumstances. If I'm ever writing anything long form in markdown, I use Bear because it's nice and easy to use. And I use Peacock on my iPad because one, there's no calendar on the iPad.
00:35:32 ◼ ► And two, I really love Peacock because it's very customizable and it has a video game inside of it. So like, what more could you want?
00:35:38 ◼ ► Now Federico, I see in our wonderful Google Docs here, you've entered in a couple of additional applications that you wanted to pull out to mention for how you run your business.
00:35:49 ◼ ► Yeah. So the, the, the club Maxories, the subscription part of the Maxories company and the business.
00:35:58 ◼ ► That's the one that I've been trying to automate as much as possible in terms of dealing with content, with questions that are submitted by members.
00:36:09 ◼ ► When we started the newsletter, which is part of club Maxories years ago, I, we had no system in place for people to submit questions or to say, I have a workflow request for you or to say, here's my home screen.
00:36:23 ◼ ► I think it's interesting. Maybe you want to feature my home screen. And over time I realized that there was no point in just having people send me a regular email.
00:36:31 ◼ ► I wanted to have a system in place where things would be categorized in different sections and people could go to a webpage and write the question on the web and send me.
00:36:43 ◼ ► And I would get an email, but I would never see the actual email. The email would be used as a way to basically extract information and put it somewhere else.
00:36:53 ◼ ► So the system that we, that I created is based on Trello, which we use a lot for both for Maxories, for the site, for the editorial side of things.
00:37:03 ◼ ► Like we can assign articles to each other. We can keep track of what's coming out in like a couple of weeks or next month.
00:37:10 ◼ ► But we especially use Trello for the club because every week, so we have this board and every week there's a new list for the next issue of the newsletter.
00:37:22 ◼ ► And that's on the left side of the board. On the right side are all these different lists for different sections of the club.
00:37:30 ◼ ► And these sections could be, you know, app updates, reader questions, workflow ideas, workflow requests by people, home screens submitted by people.
00:37:41 ◼ ► All of these member created questions are submitted using Google Forms. And Google Forms is this service that allows you to put together a form on the web and people can go to a link and fill in the response or send you a question.
00:37:56 ◼ ► Then automation comes into play. We use Zapier to extract the information from Google Forms and send it to Trello.
00:38:05 ◼ ► And that's where a couple of years ago I went crazy for a couple of weeks. I created this system that uses a bunch of Python on Zapier to format these questions in Markdown.
00:38:17 ◼ ► So it takes the data, reformats everything in Markdown, and along with the Markdown info, it also embeds in the Trello card that is generated by Zapier.
00:38:30 ◼ ► It embeds a workflow link that when tapped on the Trello app for iOS, launches workflow with the information prefilled so the workflow sees the input and it knows what to do.
00:38:44 ◼ ► But more than that, over time I realized, you know, I don't want to do this for every single individual card that I need to open in Trello and tap on a run workflow link. It's just too much work.
00:38:57 ◼ ► So I realized what I want to do is I want to move a bunch of cards for sections or people that I'm going to interview for things that will be featured in the next issue.
00:39:07 ◼ ► I want to move them into the next issue column and then I want to have a workflow that says, let me look into the next issue column and let me see what I can do for you.
00:39:16 ◼ ► And so there's this workflow that it's called export and depending on what I choose, it exports app debuts for app updates that we want to cover into a Ulysses sheet.
00:39:31 ◼ ► Or it does so with Q&A questions. It does the same with interesting links that we want to write up.
00:39:48 ◼ ► Also, and this is where I kind of want to be crazy again, I put together workflows which actually I needed to write documentation for my team.
00:40:00 ◼ ► Basically when you start working for Mac stories, there's a guide that you need to learn for all the workflows that you need to install and understand what you got to do.
00:40:09 ◼ ► We have workflows for the entire team to save data into Trello from the workflow extension on iOS, which I assume will keep working with shortcuts at least. That's a hope.
00:40:20 ◼ ► We have workflows that upload files to the MailChimp API for the newsletter so that we can save time in the MailChimp web app.
00:40:30 ◼ ► So all the technical parts, at least most of them that involve the newsletter are automated so that we can focus on just two things.
00:40:39 ◼ ► Writing the actual content and putting together the template on MailChimp, which is a terrible experience I don't recommend to anybody.
00:40:46 ◼ ► But we're stuck using MailChimp and that's what we got to do. Everything else is automated.
00:40:54 ◼ ► Whether it's us having to move information from Trello to Ulysses or any other text editor because the same system can be adapted to drafts or, I don't know, editorials not around anymore.
00:41:08 ◼ ► But it's flexible enough to work with anything else. And so that's how we organize all the questions and requests and ideas.
00:41:23 ◼ ► It blew my mind. It's quite a thing to see all these applications just spinning around on each other and opening lots of different files.
00:41:33 ◼ ► Federico has built a beautiful house of cards, which is underpinned by workflow, hopefully shortcuts in the future.
00:41:40 ◼ ► I think all of this stuff when it comes to this business type stuff, you know, when it comes to email and spreadsheets and stuff like that, this is one of the places where the iPad really shines, I think.
00:41:52 ◼ ► Because most of the applications and systems that you would need to use, all the popular ones, they all have presence and they're all pretty good.
00:42:01 ◼ ► And the great thing is once you get into understanding how these items work on iOS, you can truly work from anywhere.
00:42:10 ◼ ► But in a maybe a more interesting way than any other way with working on an iPad, because once you've understood how to work all of these iOS apps, you can do all of this stuff very easily on your iPhone as well.
00:42:22 ◼ ► And that is one of the great things that comes with being very well versed in productivity on iOS is that you then have all of this stuff, all of this knowledge unlocked to you when you're using your iPhone as well as your iPad.
00:42:35 ◼ ► The applications still stay in sync. You're used to how everything looks and works because by and large, the applications are pretty much the same. Would you agree with that, Jason?
00:42:43 ◼ ► I mean, I do. I try to bring my iPad with me wherever I go, that I'm anticipating any work being done. But yeah, there are times when you are not hollering around a big tablet somewhere and something happens and it is really wonderful to have that.
00:42:56 ◼ ► I have definitely had that happen in a few different scenarios. I remember having to open an SSH window into a Unix server at a bar on my iPhone because I had to fix a bug in one of my websites.
00:43:12 ◼ ► And that was super weird and not ideal. I would rather have more screen space and probably a keyboard. But I was able to do it. And I've done that with photos too where I've been taking photos in line for an Apple event, let's say, and I can use my workflow that uploads those photos to my FTP server and resizes them and watermarks them and use that on my phone just as easily as I could on my iPad.
00:43:36 ◼ ► And it's the same workflow I would use to take a picture with an SLR and load that image onto the iPad and then run that workflow there. So having that stuff available on the iPhone is great in context.
00:43:50 ◼ ► Usually, I'm using my iPhone for different things, but there are those moments where suddenly, I mean, like could I theoretically do my job entirely from an iPhone? I totally could. I would prefer not to, but I totally could.
00:44:02 ◼ ► And I think that the challenges in this respect is mostly the extra hoops that you jump through from time to time. And it's a thing that you kind of have to accept if you're going to be doing any type of work on an iPad.
00:44:17 ◼ ► Sometimes it takes things slightly longer to complete. Sometimes instead of an app having a feature, you maybe just need to get another little utility app, you know?
00:44:27 ◼ ► But once you lock into that mindset, it all opens up to you because the App Store ecosystem is so rich. You can basically do anything. You maybe just need to use two apps for it instead of one.
00:44:39 ◼ ► But that's a perfectly fine way of working. Like, Wren, do you find it to be that way as well? Like, sometimes you just have to get a little utility or something and it allows you to do the thing that you thought you couldn't do.
00:44:50 ◼ ► Oh, absolutely. And I think it goes back to my earlier statement where it just you have to experiment a little bit and you have to be willing to understand that, you know, an app may not work one to one, something that you expect a, for instance, a video editing app to do on Mac may not do the same thing on an iPad.
00:45:09 ◼ ► But instead, you might have a color correction app that is built separately that actually does stuff better than like the process that you use on, say, Final Cut in the Mac.
00:45:20 ◼ ► So it's really just about balancing and about being willing to kind of look out of your comfort zone and look for those utilities.
00:45:26 ◼ ► Some people might say that that is just trying to make the most of a bad situation. And I would firmly and strongly disagree.
00:45:35 ◼ ► I think there's a difference between finding the right tools and the right apps for the right device and saying like, oh, this absolutely has to work the exact same way that I expect it to.
00:45:45 ◼ ► You know, there are some there are some workflows, absolutely, where I do like 20 things to make one thing work.
00:45:53 ◼ ► And there's definitely that voice in the back of my head, which is like, this would be much easier on a Mac.
00:45:58 ◼ ► And usually that's about the time when I pull out my MacBook Pro and just use my MacBook Pro instead. Like I don't know, as I've used iPad over the years, I feel like there's a there's a distinctive line where you say, you know, some things the iPad is excellent for some things the iPad's not great for.
00:46:17 ◼ ► All right. So I've been you've all indulged me with the boring business stuff for long enough. We should probably talk about something a little bit more creative.
00:46:26 ◼ ► So I think we're going to move into what it's like to write, to be a writer using an iPad, which obviously my three.
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00:48:07 ◼ ► Alright, so let's talk about writing setups. Now, Jason, could you talk us through right now your current writing setup?
00:48:26 ◼ ► Generally, if I go somewhere else, whether I'm traveling or in fact, like just the other day I went to my Starbucks, that's that's a three minute walk from my house because I wanted to get out of the house.
00:48:36 ◼ ► And put in some headphones and be in a different environment and, and, and write an article on. I do that sometimes.
00:48:45 ◼ ► But at home, even though I've got a sit stand desk that I'm sitting at right now in my office, oftentimes, especially when it's not the summer of fun, but the other parts of the year when my children are in school, which is fun if you work at home, because then you have the house to yourself.
00:49:08 ◼ ► And I, in that scenario, I started out with, I've got a, I've got like a wood iPad stand that I used for a while and a Bluetooth keyboard.
00:49:32 ◼ ► And then it's got kind of this clampy top that you can kind of, you know, it just clamps onto the sides of the, of the iPad.
00:49:56 ◼ ► And then I still need an external keyboard and I, for a while I was using external USB keyboards because I've got, you know, my little clicky mechanical keyboards.
00:50:05 ◼ ► Now I'm using a Bluetooth keyboard, which is the Matias Laptop Pro, which is a mechanical keyboard that's Bluetooth.
00:50:13 ◼ ► The big problem is that it's very difficult to find a mechanical keyboard because I do prefer that.
00:50:28 ◼ ► And the Mac keyboard thing is important because otherwise the command key and the option key are reversed.
00:50:54 ◼ ► So they have to be settable, either set that way or have a switch somewhere that lets you set them in the Mac orientation.
00:51:06 ◼ ► Sometimes I'll try other USB keyboards there, but it's just more setup because I've got to get the USB adapter and a power plug.
00:51:13 ◼ ► And then I have to plug those because most of them require enough power that you have to use the external power adapter with lightning into the USB adapter.
00:51:46 ◼ ► It is very old school Apple design in that it's a big puffy plastic silver keyboard with black keys.
00:52:04 ◼ ► And what I would say is, first off, you're being very judgmental about the looks of my keyboard, Myke.
00:52:11 ◼ ► I am. Matias do make very good looking keyboards as well, though, like in the kind of the more modern style.
00:52:25 ◼ ► If I wanted a thin aluminum keyboard, I've got the Magic Keyboard and I've used the Magic Keyboard out in that same configuration.
00:52:34 ◼ ► And it's fine, but it's much more pleasant to type on the mechanical keyboard with the clicky keys.
00:52:48 ◼ ► But again, I've got a Magic Keyboard I could use. I've got a whole bunch of other keyboards I could use.
00:52:52 ◼ ► In the end, I would like a more attractive keyboard would be better, but that's not what I've got that fulfills all of my other needs in terms of...
00:53:10 ◼ ► I think it's their Quiet keyboard switch. So it's not super loud, but it's a little bit clicky.
00:53:26 ◼ ► The only problem is that if you want a weird keyboard that is made for PCs as well as Macs, like I said, you get this issue.
00:53:33 ◼ ► Where on the Mac you just click a couple of settings in the keyboard's System Preferences pane.
00:53:40 ◼ ► And, because Apple knows, Mac users sometimes use Windows keyboards and it'll flip the commanded option. It's fine.
00:53:52 ◼ ► If you use a Windows keyboard, the key, the modifiers will be wrong. And I don't like that.
00:54:08 ◼ ► It has reached Europe and Italy. And after many experiments and way too much money spent on cases and keyboards and just everything.
00:54:29 ◼ ► Viosone stand, which I bought from Amazon US. Shipment was kind of expensive, but it's very nice.
00:54:35 ◼ ► So the way that I work now is if I'm at my desk, by desk I mean kitchen table, I use the stand.
00:54:57 ◼ ► So it's been really good for my posture and it just makes me feel better when I'm sitting and writing.
00:55:04 ◼ ► If I don't want to use the stand, I can use the Brydge keyboard as it was supposed to be used as a laptop setup.
00:55:11 ◼ ► So this happens when I'm in, I spend a lot of time for various reasons working from my car, at least for a couple of hours each week.
00:55:20 ◼ ► And I find it useful to have a laptop that is actually an iPad because it's got a cellular connection.
00:55:30 ◼ ► Otherwise, if I don't want to use the physical keyboard or if I don't need to write, if I just want to use my iPad for like talking with my teammates
00:55:41 ◼ ► or just catching up on Twitter or the news or read something or watch HBO, which I can do with the VPN, EA technology,
00:55:50 ◼ ► I use a smart cover, just a plain regular smart cover, which I have covered in stickers.
00:56:09 ◼ ► And I do a lot of when I'm writing, I do a lot of it in vertical where I've got a very nice tall screen.
00:56:17 ◼ ► I can see all my article text. If I do need to have multiple apps open in split view, I'll turn it and have it be in landscape.
00:56:31 ◼ ► I tried the vertical thing. I don't know if it's because I use split view so much, or maybe it's something else.
00:56:43 ◼ ► Whenever I'm writing in split view, I feel bad because I see so much screen and it doesn't feel like I've written enough.
00:56:50 ◼ ► It's like, look at this long document. You've never been in, you haven't filled not even half of the page.
00:57:22 ◼ ► Yes. I own a ViasOn stand, which I've been using for a couple of months because I was getting some neck pain and I was concerned that it might be bad posture when using my iOS devices.
00:57:36 ◼ ► So now when I'm at home, I put my, uh, my 12.9 in the ViasOn stand and I sit either at the kitchen table or at my desk.
00:58:07 ◼ ► Um, because you know, I like to try and take care of, of my wrists cause I've struggled from ours.
00:58:12 ◼ ► I mean, just any type of strain, you know, neck strain, wrist strain, elbow, all of it.
00:58:30 ◼ ► I wished it was, was taller than it, than, than it actually is, but it's still vastly better.
00:58:41 ◼ ► I think that's one of the reasons why I use it vertically is that I can use it in vertical orientation.
00:58:45 ◼ ► I kind of push it up in the, in the holder and it gets a little bit higher, but I agree.
00:58:52 ◼ ► And I realized that there was some that the foot would probably have to come forward and it might be bigger.
00:59:01 ◼ ► I ended up there because I couldn't find like an arm, like a, like a, like a mounting arm thing that I could just put on my, the edge of my desk.
00:59:16 ◼ ► Um, and I could probably, I think they make VISA mounts and then you could buy an arm and that might be a little bit too much, a little abridged too far.
00:59:27 ◼ ► Yeah. What I like about the ViasOn stand is I don't have to put a case on my iPad to use it.
00:59:34 ◼ ► It just clips in and out of the stand, you know, and that works well for me, but I'm still kind of thinking about it.
00:59:40 ◼ ► Maybe I using a different keyboard, but, um, I'm, I'm fine with the magic keyboard for now.
00:59:45 ◼ ► Uh, Rana, I have you adopted Jason Snow lifestyle or are you in a completely different camp?
01:00:10 ◼ ► If I want to write at my home or in my office, I'm usually working on the MacBook Pro, uh, just because I have it, I have it there and it's an option.
01:00:19 ◼ ► Um, and yeah, when it's, when it's ergonomically questionable, uh, I used to use the iPad nonstop, especially with the create, because I felt like I could perch pretty much anywhere and type on it.
01:00:38 ◼ ► So by and large, I find, you know, I found that places where I normally would write with my iPad, which is, you know, for a long time on my couch or like outside.
01:00:50 ◼ ► Um, now I'm really curious to see if I add the bridge, if that will kind of bring me back to my former lifestyle, but I definitely don't think I'm going to get into the, you know, put your iPad on a desk and type with an external keyboard.
01:01:06 ◼ ► Unless you're talking about Astropad, which I feel like is a different discussion for later in this podcast.
01:01:11 ◼ ► So as writers, you all use applications. Jason, can you tell me what writing apps you're gravitating towards right now?
01:01:34 ◼ ► To be honest, I can get by with no other features if it will sync to a specific folder in Dropbox and support Markdown.
01:01:43 ◼ ► Maybe give me a little bit of, you know, conversion capabilities from Markdown to HTML, things like that.
01:01:59 ◼ ► Scrivener is what I use if I'm working on long-form stuff, especially I wrote all of the unpublished yet to be rewritten novels that I have written are all in Scrivener.
01:02:12 ◼ ► And that syncs now right across, so I can open those in Scrivener on the Mac and on iOS, and they all work together, which is very nice.
01:02:31 ◼ ► They are fine, but I kind of end up going back to one writer only because it's very simple and reliable for me.
01:02:48 ◼ ► I've been writing in Ulysses and using Ulysses also as my text editor for most of my articles.
01:02:56 ◼ ► But the bigger ones, so my long-form stories, I've been writing them in Ulysses and then moving them onto editorial.
01:03:05 ◼ ► So that I can use my old editorial and Python workflows for stuff like markdown syntax, stuff like footnotes, or the custom syntax that we use for certain things on the Mac Stories website.
01:03:18 ◼ ► But lately, I've been considering moving all my old workflows that I put together something like five or six years ago in editorial, moving them over to Drafts 5.
01:03:41 ◼ ► I know the basics and if I download someone's action, I know kind of my way around modifying the action to do what I need to do.
01:04:06 ◼ ► Also, it's really intriguing to me that Drafts has this concept of tagging notes and creating workspaces, which if you use OmniFocus, it would be like a custom perspective.
01:04:19 ◼ ► So I could have a bunch of different workspaces for whether it's Mac Stories or the iOS review or the club.
01:04:26 ◼ ► So yeah, I've been thinking about that, but otherwise I've been using Ulysses for over a year at this point, and I've been using editorial for the editing.
01:04:40 ◼ ► I've been using these two for research, for collecting material that I use for writing, stuff like screenshots or PDFs or web links or just notes.
01:04:49 ◼ ► But I've been gravitating towards Apple Notes more lately, just because every time I use Apple Notes it feels so much easier and so much faster than Devontink.
01:04:58 ◼ ► It's not as powerful as Devontink when it comes to indexing stuff or searching for that exact quote from a PDF using Boolean operators.
01:05:14 ◼ ► So yeah, that's what I use. I'm not completely satisfied with Ulysses, especially when it comes to markdown editing, because it does a bunch of weird things to markdown.
01:05:30 ◼ ► And then over time, every time I look at editorial or any other text editor, I'm like, "Yeah, I remember markdown, plain markdown. It looks kind of nice."
01:05:39 ◼ ► So, Just Five would enable me to have that back in addition to automation. So, we'll see how it goes.
01:05:57 ◼ ► But it's definitely like, I feel like I'm so used to having markdown be everywhere as markdown,
01:06:05 ◼ ► which is like the beauty of markdown is that it's just plain text. You can literally write it anywhere.
01:06:11 ◼ ► I was syncing the other day to an Apple Notes. I was writing an Apple Notes for various weird reasons.
01:06:18 ◼ ► And I just paste my text in there, and it's fine. It's markdown. Apple Notes doesn't know what it is. It doesn't matter.
01:06:24 ◼ ► And the issue that I have with Ulysses, and Max gets it, but Ulysses wants to be Ulysses.
01:06:31 ◼ ► And it'll support markdown, but it wants to present this kind of friendly, you know, styled,
01:06:40 ◼ ► and if you type links in markdown, it converts them into these link tokens that you have to tap on.
01:06:47 ◼ ► And I get why that's good from a kind of almost Microsoft Word perspective of wanting to keep it simple.
01:06:54 ◼ ► But as somebody who writes in markdown, it's incredibly frustrating because I wanted to just sort of be,
01:06:59 ◼ ► knowing it's a link is good, it taking my link and hiding it away in a little object is not as good.
01:07:07 ◼ ► And that's the thing, and I told him about it, and he seemed to totally get what I was saying,
01:07:11 ◼ ► and yet also say, "Well, but this is how Ulysses works, and we're not going to change how Ulysses works."
01:07:15 ◼ ► And I get that, but it means that I either need to just commit to being a Ulysses user for everything I write,
01:07:22 ◼ ► and just, which I'm probably not going to do because I'm probably not going to change from like BBEdit on my Mac,
01:07:34 ◼ ► And that's not, to me, that's not what the beauty of writing in markdown is, which is that I can use any tool,
01:07:43 ◼ ► So I used to be really into markdown to the point where I was taking notes in markdown and having markdown everywhere.
01:07:49 ◼ ► I was, at one point I even used, I think, on the Mac MailMate, which is this email client that allows you to write emails in markdown.
01:07:59 ◼ ► And then when Ulysses came around, I was like, "Yeah, this is so much simpler than markdown.
01:08:02 ◼ ► It removes all of the complexity of markdown and all these ugly syntax that I don't want to see."
01:08:07 ◼ ► And then after writing in Ulysses for like 18 months, I'm at the point where I look at markdown and I'm like,
01:08:32 ◼ ► And I'll tell you why. Because I think my hesitation goes with everything that we've been saying,
01:08:39 ◼ ► where I just, the sinking and the frustration of trying to use specific syntax and all of that.
01:09:05 ◼ ► And then I also have a sticky, a pinned note with weird things that we need for iMore's various CMS.
01:09:25 ◼ ► And I was actually, I used OneWriter for many, many years, except during a beta, I think two or three years ago,
01:09:44 ◼ ► But after that, I was just like, nope, nope, I'm going to just rely on iCloud sinking now.
01:09:58 ◼ ► And after using notes for two or three months during the beta, I realized, actually, this is, this is not bad at all.
01:10:10 ◼ ► And I know without a doubt that no matter what I'm testing, as long as I have my iCloud, like as long as I'm logged into with iCloud,
01:10:17 ◼ ► I don't have to worry that I don't have the app downloaded or that I need to do something else.
01:10:23 ◼ ► So you'll find yourself just, you're just writing raw markdown into notes and it's sinking via iCloud.
01:10:34 ◼ ► Is there anything different when it comes to writing on the iPad as to writing on the Mac,
01:10:45 ◼ ► So I think there's a benefit in having text being shared to a bunch of different places.
01:10:51 ◼ ► Like you mentioned, utilities that allow you to do different things in a native, in a visual way.
01:11:03 ◼ ► Or maybe I should say it would be possible on a Mac if you used a single more complex app.
01:11:14 ◼ ► It's a different mindset in that you can write in one app on the iPad and then you can use the share sheet
01:11:31 ◼ ► you could use utilities like Clean Text, which will allow you to reformat your plain text
01:11:37 ◼ ► and fix weird characters or change from straight quotes to curly quotes or stuff like that.
01:11:45 ◼ ► I think there's a benefit in the iOS ecosystem that you can move your data between different apps
01:12:14 ◼ ► I think, especially with iOS 11, that it's got the files access for apps and you can use the document browser.
01:12:27 ◼ ► because now there's a unified way to share these documents and open them in place in different apps,
01:12:36 ◼ ► So it's a very different way of getting work done from the Mac where you would probably have a single app
01:12:44 ◼ ► that allows you to write a markdown and you would have scripts, you would have the terminal,
01:12:50 ◼ ► you would have automator and all these different more complex and more professional apps.
01:13:04 ◼ ► it's all, at least from my perspective, it's all about the integration of different apps together.
01:13:15 ◼ ► It's like a mini puzzle every single time and it's part of the fun is being able to bring these pieces all together
01:13:29 ◼ ► It's because the communication between these different apps and it's visual and it's tactile.
01:13:43 ◼ ► I guess one of the biggest things is the idea of moving away from a document model to an app model.
01:13:49 ◼ ► That's one of the biggest differences from the Mac to iOS is instead of having a document that you open in applications,
01:13:55 ◼ ► you have an app that you open and then maybe you bring in an app document from somewhere else.
01:14:04 ◼ ► And I assume that this is one of the things that trips a lot of people up when they're trying to make that switch.
01:14:17 ◼ ► Right. Has that changed for any of you? Do any of you tend to start work in files and then go out to any apps?
01:14:29 ◼ ► There are times when files become really useful for me, but it's generally to grab a file that is existing in a store somewhere.
01:14:39 ◼ ► So like in Fairite, if I'm editing a podcast and I need to put in the logo of that podcast for the MP3 export,
01:14:54 ◼ ► But sometimes it's in iCloud drive to where that image is and then drag and drop it into the into the window in Fairite.
01:15:05 ◼ ► I'm not starting with the file as the as the launch point of like, oh, I need to open that file,
01:15:10 ◼ ► because I know if I've got a file in Excel or a file and, you know, anything that that is a file based app,
01:15:20 ◼ ► And Jason, I wanted to ask you, what do you consider some of the biggest challenges for the way that you do your writing work on iOS compared to on the Mac?
01:15:30 ◼ ► Well, you know, one of them is is text editing as as nice as it is that Apple added this text editing cursor.
01:15:39 ◼ ► In iOS 10, I think, where you can put two fingers down and and move on the screen and then move around and it actually moves the text selection around.
01:15:57 ◼ ► And I would I actually would be a more productive writer if I could, in addition to my Bluetooth keyboard,
01:16:02 ◼ ► have a Bluetooth pointing device that I could use to edit text, because it's nice to have a pointing device when you need to do text selection and not have to move your hand up.
01:16:14 ◼ ► And that's one of those cases where I I agree that having a having a device that's down where my hands are is going to be more natural than reaching out and touching the screen,
01:16:35 ◼ ► One of the things that I think comes up a lot when we're talking about iPad productivity is it would really be nice if Apple just had a way for all apps to say we support multiple windows.
01:16:48 ◼ ► It's not necessarily multiple instantiations of the same app, although it could be viewed that way.
01:16:52 ◼ ► But the idea that if I have a text editor and I want to have two windows side by side of that text editor, that I could do that.
01:17:02 ◼ ► And I'm sure Federico and Rene have both done this, too, where it's like I have one writer on one side and I have notes on the other side.
01:17:24 ◼ ► It's ironically like if I'm writing and I'm doing a lot of research and I've got a split view with Safari on one side and my text editor on the other.
01:17:33 ◼ ► But if I'm trying to look at two different documents, I often will have to copy and paste the text of a document into an alternative like notes just so that I can have them next to each other.
01:17:52 ◼ ► I have the one that is that happens really commonly, which is when I'm command tabbing between apps and I let go and I go into the new app.
01:18:09 ◼ ► Or you use the arrow key to go up one line and it takes you to the top of the document.
01:18:42 ◼ ► and one of the reasons I do like writing on my iPad is that it does feel very single purpose in a way that the Mac doesn't.
01:18:48 ◼ ► That I do like being able to focus in a way that I could do on my Mac, but for some reason I don't.
01:18:55 ◼ ► Like the Mac is meant to be super flexible and have a bunch of windows open and all of that.
01:18:59 ◼ ► And there is something nice about being able to say I'm just going to focus on writing my article when I'm writing on the iPad.
01:19:08 ◼ ► But yeah, I wish there was some more stuff in terms of windowing and fixing some of the keyboard bugs and things like that.
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01:20:22 ◼ ► It's got easy editing tools, multitasking support. You can drag audio in from other apps.
01:20:29 ◼ ► So go to anchor.fm/upgrade and find out much more about what Anchor can do for your new podcast.
01:20:48 ◼ ► Thank you to Anchor for supporting Upgrade and for giving aspiring podcasters an easy way to get started.
01:20:55 ◼ ► All right. So, Serenity, can you tell me about some of the applications that you use for art, creativity, drawing, video?
01:21:04 ◼ ► I know that you have made some incredible, I mean, you do some incredible illustrations.
01:21:09 ◼ ► Everyone I know that's listening to the show right now is thinking of your iPad review that you made.
01:21:18 ◼ ► So I would love to know about some of the applications that you've come across that allow you to express yourself creatively on the iPad.
01:21:23 ◼ ► Absolutely. Well, why don't we talk about drawing first? Because I feel like that's the that's kind of the genesis of why I started messing around on iPad.
01:21:32 ◼ ► So there are a ton of really great drawing apps for iPad and more kind of have evolved.
01:21:39 ◼ ► The one that I'm currently using right now is Linea by the Icon Factory, folks. And it is amazing.
01:21:46 ◼ ► Linea, what I really appreciate about Linea is that it's an app that really focuses first and foremost on just you expressing simple line work on.
01:21:56 ◼ ► And there's not like there. It's not a huge learning curve to kind of figure out how to make it work.
01:22:07 ◼ ► If that you just found one of those that just came out for students and you just put pen or stylus to to digital paper and just start drawing.
01:22:15 ◼ ► And Linea has some really good options for people who don't really know where to start to write because they have the preset color palettes.
01:22:22 ◼ ► So if you're not feeling so great about your color mixtures, you can kind of get an idea from designers who have thought very hard about how these four shades of blue should interact with each other.
01:22:33 ◼ ► And then as you get more comfortable, Linea also offers all of these advanced tools that, again, they don't really creep into the app itself.
01:22:42 ◼ ► But they really do offer a lot of like extra functionality includes things like Linea offers storyboarding things and and UI design.
01:22:54 ◼ ► So it has little miniature iPhones that you can draw two up and four up of UI screens on.
01:23:02 ◼ ► They have blueprint paper. They have black construction paper backgrounds, which just it just allows you to experiment with different things if you're a casual artist.
01:23:10 ◼ ► But if you actually do this kind of stuff for your work, it really does give you an additional an additional surface to kind of brainstorm, which I really love.
01:23:27 ◼ ► One of the reasons that the iPad review video that I did even existed is because when Linea first came out about six months prior or I guess close to a year at that point.
01:23:38 ◼ ► I wanted to figure out a good way to review it and really explain why it was better than like paper, which was kind of the current reigning champion of like simple note to error, simple drawing app.
01:23:49 ◼ ► And I did the iPad screen recording and I just screen recorded kind of a pseudo a pseudo like walk through with a cartoon version of me showing off all Linea's tools.
01:24:03 ◼ ► And that really not only did that really give me a sense of like how Linea worked, but it also gave me a really good idea and understanding of how I could put together a video and in a pseudo animated video on the iPad without necessarily proper animation software.
01:24:25 ◼ ► There are some things that like sort of work like Keynote and pages has some options and like there's stuff like animation desk, which is not terrible.
01:24:37 ◼ ► But I really like if there is one thing that I'm wishing for on the creativity side, it's that someone comes out with an amazing stop or not stop motion, but like animated animation app that really allows you to do key frames and and, you know, tweeners and all of the above.
01:25:04 ◼ ► What does that look like for you? Like what are the features that you're looking for from an application? It doesn't seem to exist right now.
01:25:10 ◼ ► Well, I think it's not so much like the features basically exist in animation desk, which might be called something else now because I know it got bought, but it's essentially I want a canvas with with good tools right now.
01:25:24 ◼ ► All of the animation apps really kind of require that you draw inside those apps and their tools are frequently not nearly as good as, say, the tools that you might find in procreate or even Linea or even the notes app has a better pencil app than some of these animation programs.
01:25:39 ◼ ► And then in addition to that, like a lot of these apps do have the technical functionality, but it's like what we've talked about with other, you know, with other writing apps, but also with other art related apps where it's sometimes an app can have all of the tools in the world and just be really difficult to use.
01:25:58 ◼ ► Like Affinity Photo for me is one of those apps where I feel like Affinity Photo is incredibly powerful.
01:26:04 ◼ ► It's kind of like Photoshop for your iPad, and it's an incredible program, but the UI just doesn't make sense to me.
01:26:11 ◼ ► It just doesn't. Like I've I have tried I've spent weeks trying to get myself comfortable with that app.
01:26:17 ◼ ► And I always go back to procreate, even though procreate is in some ways less, you know, less full featured in very specific areas than the Affinity Photo.
01:26:28 ◼ ► And that's kind of how I feel with the animation, the animation stuff, too, where there's, you know, Animation Desk allows you to do a whole bunch.
01:26:36 ◼ ► But I think about, you know, I think about Hype on the Mac, which Hype isn't even really an animation program.
01:26:47 ◼ ► But people have used it a lot for animated things on on the Mac for Safari and stuff like that.
01:26:55 ◼ ► And I was making constantly I was making animations and hype on my Mac because I thought it was just it was such a it was such a fun thing to do.
01:27:03 ◼ ► And I would draw you know, I would draw stuff either on my iPad or I draw stuff in Photoshop with my Wacom tablet, and then I'd import it into Hype and like move all of these pieces around and animate all of these things.
01:27:14 ◼ ► And that was really cool. So I don't know, maybe I'm like maybe just I'm secretly hoping that, you know, Hype decides to take up making an iPad app.
01:27:24 ◼ ► Because I'm sure someone would buy that for $100. I don't know. But I would. I certainly would.
01:27:31 ◼ ► Animation aside, I wanted to I do want to talk a little bit more about like the other art programs. I mentioned Affinity Photo, which again is great. It's just not my cup of tea.
01:27:46 ◼ ► Pixelmator, if you don't know, it is a photo editing program that has some some really great filter stuff. But primarily I use Pixelmator for one reason, one reason only.
01:27:59 ◼ ► So what I'll usually do is I'll take photos either on my iPhone 10 or on my camera and I'll just airdrop them to Pixelmator so that I can on my iPad so that I can fix like a blemish here and there or just like repair.
01:28:17 ◼ ► Oh, there's a lot of dust on that iPhone screen. I feel like half of the Photoshop touch up work that I do in in Pixelmator and just for the job in general is like cleaning up dust on an iPad screens that doesn't show up before you take the photo.
01:28:38 ◼ ► So that's a I do think there are a lot of other really awesome features that Pixelmator has and especially when it connected to Pixelmator Pro on the on the Mac, which is really nice.
01:28:47 ◼ ► I love the fact that it offers complete handoff functionality so you can start working on something on Pixelmator on iPad and just send it straight to the Mac if you want to do some more work after that.
01:28:57 ◼ ► You can also what I'll do sometimes is I'll start it on the mat on the iPad, and then I will pull it up on the Mac so that I can then save it on the Mac and then upload it directly to to our CMS.
01:29:11 ◼ ► Procreate is probably the like the heavyweight champion of the art world, at least on the iPad.
01:29:19 ◼ ► It's an incredibly full featured program that offers you know, you can I did most of my wedding prep inside Procreate and I had half of half of the people who I commissioned to make these, you know, we had these little space themed tourist postcards that were done for my wedding.
01:29:36 ◼ ► And over half of them were designed, drawn and finished in Procreate, which which is a pretty like a pretty great test of just how full featured the app can be.
01:29:46 ◼ ► I was going to say about Pixelmator actually, I've been using that a ton recently on my iPad and I like to make thumbnails for YouTube videos.
01:29:55 ◼ ► And once you kind of start looking into it, like the tools are so good, like, oh, yeah, selection tools and stuff like that.
01:30:02 ◼ ► Again, it's a little bit more cumbersome to use than on the Mac because you have to like tap a bunch of things to get the tools that you want sometimes.
01:30:17 ◼ ► They were one of the first apps that I really noticed, like pulling out the big guns on the iPad even before.
01:30:23 ◼ ► You know, I do remember the very first iPad Pro demonstration where they're like, and Pixelmators, come out with a new app here.
01:30:29 ◼ ► Let's show how you can make 3D waves and like completely repair a picture in milliseconds.
01:30:35 ◼ ► And I just remember looking at that and like having them disappear, I think, like a giraffe or something from a scene.
01:30:41 ◼ ► And it took, you know, two seconds for it to render and disappear where on my Mac it would spin and spin and spin.
01:30:48 ◼ ► And I just remember my jaw dropping being like, I need that. I need that in my life right now.
01:30:56 ◼ ► So going back to Procreate, like Pixelmator, Procreate is excellent, kind of top of its field for a long time.
01:31:04 ◼ ► And this is worth kind of a sidebar for a long time. It was very frustrating to do art on the iPad for as a professional,
01:31:12 ◼ ► as an as an amateur artist between the third party stylists and then later the pencil doing amateur art was great.
01:31:18 ◼ ► Doing starter art was great, but you would hit a wall at a certain point because of the way that Apple and iOS functioned with with these canvases for a while.
01:31:29 ◼ ► Procreate, because of RAM restrictions, was limited to only a certain size canvas and only a certain number of layers.
01:31:36 ◼ ► And if you've ever met a professional designer, they basically want unlimited layers. They always want unlimited layers.
01:31:41 ◼ ► And if you go to them and like, oh, yeah, you can only have 12 layers, they'll try and burn something.
01:31:46 ◼ ► So with with Pixelmator, you know, I think the biggest challenge that I ran into up until iOS 10 was that Pixelmator wouldn't let you import Photoshop files.
01:31:57 ◼ ► You could save things as Photoshop files, but it wouldn't let you pull in existing content.
01:32:02 ◼ ► So perhaps what I what I always thought of as the biggest use case for the iPad when when it comes to design work, which is, oh, I've been working on this crazy thing on my Mac and I want to do some tweaks, but I'm stuck in a car or like I have to run out and I'm not going to be next to my big, gigantic system.
01:32:20 ◼ ► Oh, I'll just throw it on my iPad and I'll open it there and I'll do some work on the train.
01:32:25 ◼ ► Until last year, that really wasn't an option. It just the there there was no import functionality.
01:32:32 ◼ ► And then iOS 10 was released and really changed the game in terms of what Pixelmator was able to offer. And you can now import Photoshop files.
01:32:41 ◼ ► And it just it makes the it makes it a lot more powerful of a tool for for professional illustrators.
01:32:50 ◼ ► You can create these brushes and there's now like basically and not even an official store, there's just there are tons of Etsy marketplaces that just sell all of these beautiful custom procreate brushes.
01:33:13 ◼ ► Oh, yeah. The procreate brush. Like that's the one thing that made procreate stand out from all the other apps very early on is they are essentially like, hey, you know, all of your millions of Photoshop brushes?
01:33:23 ◼ ► Well, we don't support the Photoshop brushes, but you can hand create any brush you like on procreate.
01:33:32 ◼ ► I know Jessie Char when when she was kind of first playing around with the iPad, she spent, I think, a couple days in procreate and she made makeup tutorial brushes.
01:33:44 ◼ ► So she made brushes that like imitated precisely the kind of lipstick that she used and the kind of eyeshadow, you know, that that would result from her using basic brushes.
01:33:55 ◼ ► And then she used it to like overlay on photos so that she could see, oh, this is how this makeup design might work. And this, you know, there's lots of cool stuff like that.
01:34:03 ◼ ► The app store recently had a really cool feature from I think the the woman who does the costumes for the Handmaid's Tale.
01:34:12 ◼ ► And she was talking about an app that she used for I can't remember the name of it right now, but she was using an app essentially to do costume design, which is, again, something that I never really even thought of.
01:34:23 ◼ ► But now that I'm now that I read about it, I was just like, yeah, of course, this is the perfect thing for costume design, especially with AR and the camera and everything else is just there are a lot of options there.
01:34:33 ◼ ► There are also vector related art. There's things like Bez, things like Vectornator, things like I think Affinity has Affinity Designer, which is a vector program.
01:34:44 ◼ ► There's just a lot of really cool stuff. But the all of that to say that I think when I talk about art on the iPad and why I think it's really special, Linea is the this is the thing that allows everybody to touch it.
01:34:58 ◼ ► But then there's another app that I feel like does not get enough credit in that it just completely it.
01:35:06 ◼ ► It does what I've been talking about for years, which is the thought of like the right device for the right space and you use your Mac when you need your Mac and you use your iPad when you need your iPad.
01:35:17 ◼ ► But sometimes wouldn't it be great if you used both? And that app is Astropad and they have both Astropad Standard and Astropad Studio.
01:35:26 ◼ ► And Astropad essentially mirrors or extends your display if you have their little Luna display toggle of your Mac and provides basically latency free drawing and interaction with any Mac app that you open.
01:35:42 ◼ ► Full pressure sensitivity on the pencil. So you can hook up and I would do this frequently.
01:35:48 ◼ ► You can hook up Astropad Studio to Photoshop or to your Mac processor of choice, and you don't even have to connect to the iPad to a computer.
01:35:58 ◼ ► You can do this wirelessly and you can sit and draw on the iPad and be working in a Photoshop document or be working in your animation software of choice.
01:36:09 ◼ ► And it really it takes the RAM limitations and everything else out of the iPad Pro equation and just says, hey, you really like how the pencil interacts with your iPad.
01:36:23 ◼ ► We have done the the background work to make all of that work so that you can just connect it to your Mac and go hog wild.
01:36:30 ◼ ► It's it's an amazing program. It's like I I get kind of blown away every time the guys behind Astropad show me the next iteration, just because I think like the stuff that they're doing is so smart.
01:36:43 ◼ ► And like, I don't know, I look at that and I'm like, when I'm debating between like, oh, I want to whack them Cintiq or I want an iPad Pro that I can turn into a whack them Cintiq at any time with this piece of software.
01:36:58 ◼ ► I think I'm always going to go with the latter because it's just the iPad is so much more flexible.
01:37:02 ◼ ► Federico, I know that you had some thoughts around the looking up podcasting on iOS, but not necessarily from the recording part, but everything else that goes into it.
01:37:14 ◼ ► You know, from a creative perspective, I cannot do any of the stuff that Serenity does.
01:37:41 ◼ ► And I think especially for, you know, thinking of ideas for topics to talk about or, you know, even just stupid jokes that we may share on various shows that we have.
01:38:17 ◼ ► It works so, so well for me in terms of giving me the tools to create an outline in rich text, which is something that I would have never imagined doing until a few years ago.
01:38:38 ◼ ► And the fact that you can save multiple types of media within the same note, it allows me to have these outlines for the shows that I'm working on.
01:38:48 ◼ ► The combined text and lists and images and screenshots that I take on the iPad and that I can drag and drop into a note.
01:39:01 ◼ ► You know, putting together the show notes for the podcasts that I'm on on a weekly basis.
01:39:08 ◼ ► I'm doing that with Notes and it works extremely well because it, like I said, it's a combination of multiple forms of media and text content in the same note.
01:39:18 ◼ ► And also what I like is that Notes has a sharing feature, but I share Notes with myself.
01:39:24 ◼ ► You can do so by hitting the collaborative icon in Notes and it'll bring up a share sheet.
01:39:35 ◼ ► You can just copy link and you can just hit the copy link button twice without even entering your own email address.
01:39:56 ◼ ► And there's a link to the note and I can open the note with it just by tapping on the link in my task manager.
01:40:11 ◼ ► I think it's amazing and it's something that it wouldn't be possible with Markdown because it's just plain text.
01:40:16 ◼ ► And I wish that actually Apple went a little bit further than that and allowed us to share, to save, for example, tweets from either the Twitter app or Twitter clients.
01:40:27 ◼ ► Right now if you save a tweet into a note, because we use tweets as sort of a listener feedback and all that.
01:40:46 ◼ ► So yeah, it's just a little thought about being able to use notes as a creative tool when putting together a show and having an outline and having content to talk about and different sections.
01:41:04 ◼ ► Like with all the notes stuff and I collect all of my links every week in Apple Notes and flush them out before dropping them into Google Docs where the collaboration begins.
01:41:13 ◼ ► I think as well, like one thing that we have kind of haven't really mentioned is, it was just kind of funny.
01:41:21 ◼ ► And especially when it comes to the creative stuff, the quality of the iPad screen, especially in the iPad Pro, is such an important part.
01:41:30 ◼ ► Like the color and the 120 hertz stuff, I find that to just make the screen that I'm tapping and interacting with every day just more and more of a joy to use.
01:41:47 ◼ ► Oh, for sure. I think that it's definitely, I hate to say it's underrated because I don't think it's underrated.
01:42:02 ◼ ► Like ProMotion from, for those who have already forgotten, and it's quite a few, is Apple's marketing term for the fact that they do a dynamic 120 hertz refresh, which to non techies out there.
01:42:15 ◼ ► What that essentially means is that Apple is dynamically and smartly speeding up or slowing down the screen refresh rate, depending on what you're looking at.
01:42:25 ◼ ► So the best way I can describe this is like, say you go into a movie theater, right, and you're watching a movie on a, you know, and it's, it's supposed to be displayed at a certain frame rate.
01:42:35 ◼ ► Occasionally, if you're watching like motion smoothing on a TV, you can see like, Oh, why does that movie look like it's suddenly in a sports program or like a reality TV show?
01:42:47 ◼ ► What ProMotion allows Apple to do is say, Okay, we have a screen that can refresh up to 120 hertz.
01:42:55 ◼ ► But we realize that like, not everything in our content is going to require up to 120 hertz refresh.
01:43:03 ◼ ► So we are going to dynamically say, Okay, we want the pencil movement to refresh 120 hertz.
01:43:12 ◼ ► But if you're playing a movie in picture in picture, or even in split screen, we're going to simultaneously take those pixels and slow those pixels down those the refresh on those pixels, so that you still get what looks like a normal movie while you're drawing.
01:43:33 ◼ ► Most people, they just see it and they're like, Oh, yeah, why wouldn't you be able to do that?
01:43:40 ◼ ► It looks so wrong and Apple like Apple being able to accomplish this is just it's such a cool thing.
01:43:45 ◼ ► So Jason, do you feel like we've done a good job today with expressing why we love to use the iPad for work?
01:44:01 ◼ ► We talked about why I think Federico did a good job there and serenity has talked about it.
01:44:06 ◼ ► The only other thing I would throw in is that the reason that I've kind of abandoned using a Mac laptop is because as a as a device, the iPad has become essential to me.
01:44:17 ◼ ► I can't imagine traveling without my iPad because I'm going to use my iPad as I do around the house most of the time to look at email, look at Twitter, look at Slack, browse the web, do you watch video, do all of these things that I really enjoy using on the doing on the iPad.
01:44:37 ◼ ► And so I'm always going to bring my iPad with me, which is why when it gets to the point where I'm traveling or I'm roaming around somewhere and I think about bringing my laptop with me, I think, well, I'm going to bring my iPad.
01:44:49 ◼ ► There's not a question. Do I also want to bring a laptop? And that was the thing that made me stop bringing my laptop and just wanting to use the iPad because the iPad can can do both of those things, but I can't tear the screen off my laptop if I hope to use it ever again.
01:45:04 ◼ ► And so I'm always going to bring the iPad. So I decided if I'm only going to bring one, it's going to be the iPad. So that's that's my last reason. But I think there are plenty of reasons. And there are quirks and it's not for everybody.
01:45:15 ◼ ► But I hope this episode is giving people a lot of detail about why why we do what we do and what we're doing when we're working and using our iPads.
01:45:24 ◼ ► And of course, we couldn't have done this episode today without our wonderful guests. I want to thank Srinath Kaulwaj. She is @Settin, S-E-T-T-E-R-N on Twitter and Federico Vitici. He is @vittici, V-I-T-I-C-C-I. Federico is at maxstories.net and appstories.net.
01:45:39 ◼ ► And he is the host of a lot of shows on relay FM, Canvas, Connected, Remaster. You can find his lovely, dulcet, beautiful Italian tones there too.
01:45:50 ◼ ► Jason is @jasenel, J-S-N-E-L-L. Jason is the host of even more relay FM shows. I can't even know just can't even. Lots of them. All the great shows.
01:45:59 ◼ ► And also over the incomparable dot com. And he is over at sixcolors.com as well. I am @imike.
01:46:06 ◼ ► Thank you so much for listening to another summer fun bonus episode for you. And we'll be back next time. Until then, say goodbye, everybody. Goodbye. Goodbye.