203: I Have Felt the Power of the Snell Zone


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:10   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade Episode 203 being posted in July 2018, but it was recorded June 20th, 2018.

00:00:19   And it's brought to you by MailRoute, Boom3D, and Anker.

00:00:24   This is the Upgrade Summer of Fun Working on the iPad Special.

00:00:30   My name is Myke Hurley and I am joined by Jason Snell.

00:00:33   Hi, Jason Snell.

00:00:34   Myke Hurley, summer continues to be fun on Upgrade.

00:00:37   And it rolls on.

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.

00:00:51   So we have of us, Serenity Caldwell. Hi, Serenity.

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,

00:01:04   I know it can be pretty difficult to get him on planes. Hi, Federico.

00:01:07   Hi. This is already so much fun. I can feel the fun. I can feel the summer of fun.

00:01:12   It's summer, right? Everything's more fun in the summer.

00:01:15   Yeah, you say to yourself, "Oh, is that heat radiating out of there?"

00:01:18   No, it's fun. Fun. I'm feeling fun radiating.

00:01:22   Yeah, even the hundred degrees is all fun. It's a hundred degrees of fun.

00:01:25   In fact, we're going to start out with a hashtag Snell Talk question.

00:01:29   Oh boy. For the first time, this Snell Talk question will be addressed to three people.

00:01:33   The question, it actually comes from me.

00:01:36   And I want to know. The listener and creator Myke.

00:01:42   Wants to know what the first iPad you all owned was.

00:01:45   So Jason, what was your first iPad? Were you in from the beginning?

00:01:49   The one you personally owned? Yeah, I mean, I bought one.

00:01:52   I bought one. I think because of the vagaries of it.

00:01:56   I think I bought one and got one as a review unit,

00:02:01   like the day they came out or the day before they came out.

00:02:04   So I ended up with one that I had bought and I still have.

00:02:07   It's actually within a couple of feet of me right now.

00:02:10   And I kept that. And so yeah,

00:02:13   I was I was in from day one or day minus one.

00:02:16   I think maybe technically. What about you,

00:02:18   Ran? I also had the very first iPad because immediately I thought to myself,

00:02:23   it's a Wacom tablet replacement, which it wasn't quite yet.

00:02:28   No, it was not in 2010, but I wanted to dream and I wanted to dream big.

00:02:35   And yeah, I bought the originally I bought the Wi-Fi only one

00:02:39   and I started taking it to the work that I was doing at the time

00:02:43   where I was working for a friend's web comics t shirt company.

00:02:47   And so I started using it in lieu.

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.

00:02:57   So I'm like, you know, it might be fun. I'm just going to bring the iPad.

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.

00:03:12   And I'm like at this point, I think, you know, why don't I sell you mine?

00:03:16   And then I'll use that to get the one with 3G access.

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

00:03:25   until I realized that it would be much more fun if I had a portable cellular network.

00:03:30   And so I basically fobbed it off for a slightly nicer one. Federico.

00:03:34   Now I know because I am a European that the original iPad it came out in April in the US,

00:03:42   but I think was kind of like middle of May 2010 in Europe.

00:03:47   We did you have the original iPad? What do you think I did back then?

00:03:51   I'm going to say I don't think you did. Oh really?

00:03:55   I wanted to say that one of the first things I did I actually bought two iPads

00:03:59   because I was instructed by the editors of Macworld UK to literally just buy them an iPad

00:04:05   and re-ship it to them. And that was what I did on day one when those iPads arrived.

00:04:10   One of the very first things I did was get an iPad take it out of the box,

00:04:14   put it in a different box and send it to Europe

00:04:16   because everybody was desperate to see it and they couldn't buy it yet.

00:04:20   I had one of my old writers for Mac stories buy one in the US and ship it to me.

00:04:26   See your tendencies they run far back right?

00:04:32   Yes, you still do this now all of this stuff like with the home part.

00:04:37   I know you've had you've had a couple smuggled into you.

00:04:40   I had the original one. I ordered it.

00:04:45   I was I was really excited about the original iPad

00:04:48   and I was I was pretty lucky in that it was coming out on like the Friday or whatever.

00:04:52   Mine got delivered to me on the Thursday night.

00:04:54   So whilst it may have been late I had a nice surprise

00:04:58   as I was probably one of the first people in the UK to have an iPad

00:05:02   because for whatever reason this was back when like I don't think Apple were as restrictive

00:05:07   on the delivery companies as they are now that like mistakes like that could get made.

00:05:11   I expect now mistakes like that do not get made as much if at all,

00:05:16   but I ended up with an original iPad then too.

00:05:19   But if we fast forward eight years

00:05:22   and I'm sure across this time we've all I think spoken about the fact

00:05:26   that our love affair with the iPad has kind of has died off in places

00:05:31   and come back in other places.

00:05:33   I know that's been the way for me up until the iPad Pro was released,

00:05:36   which I think changed a lot of the way we all work.

00:05:39   So now I kind of wanted to get an idea as to where we all are now with our iPads.

00:05:44   So I know that me and Jason obviously we have spoken about this a bunch.

00:05:47   But what iPad do you use right now?

00:05:50   I want to get a little take an inventory amongst everyone.

00:05:53   How many which ones do they have LTE?

00:05:56   What are their storage size?

00:05:57   What iPads do you use?

00:05:59   So I've got the iPad Pro 12.9 first generation.

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.

00:06:15   And since I run my own business,

00:06:16   like I do all of my like big expenses at the end of the year.

00:06:19   That's like the perfect time to do it.

00:06:20   So I was like, yeah, and so I maxed it out.

00:06:22   I think it's 128 is a 256 is a 512.

00:06:26   I don't even know it is the biggest one.

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.

00:06:43   And then for the first year or so,

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.

00:06:52   And only about a year ago,

00:06:54   maybe a year and a half ago.

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.

00:07:14   T.J. you live in the multi-pad lifestyle.

00:07:18   Not anymore.

00:07:19   So for the past year,

00:07:22   I use two iPads because you convinced me to use the big iPad Pro and the small one.

00:07:27   So I had the 10.5 and the 12.9.

00:07:30   But few weeks ago,

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.

00:07:42   So too many iPads too many.

00:07:46   I was convinced to sell one of them and because I wasn't using the 10.5 much anymore.

00:07:55   I gave the 10.5 to Sylvia.

00:07:57   So now she's using that and my main iPad is the 12.9 second generation 256 LTE.

00:08:06   It's the one that I've been using since June last year.

00:08:09   I guess it launched.

00:08:11   Yeah, it's also the iPad that bent last summer and I got a replacement.

00:08:17   You mysteriously me seriously.

00:08:19   I still don't know how it happened, but it happened.

00:08:21   Right which which iPads you use them right now.

00:08:24   So I am all in on the 10.5.

00:08:28   It is beautiful beautiful rose gold and it's 512 and it's Wi-Fi and cellular.

00:08:34   I basically I went like full full on top of the line fancy pants.

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.

00:09:15   I feel like I once after that for very first iPad I bought with cellular.

00:09:18   I've never gone back.

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.

00:09:43   I use my 10.5 inch iPad which has cellular but when I'm at 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.

00:09:54   That's that's kind of how I look at them now,

00:09:57   but the 12.9 it's currently in its current state.

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,

00:10:09   but it gives you just enough of everything,

00:10:12   you know,

00:10:12   just a big enough screen and it's powerful enough and all that and I really I really love it

00:10:16   and that's why I continue to use

00:10:18   and having constant use to iPads both sizes and I've been very happy with that for me.

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,

00:10:31   which we're all going to talk about this writing at home set up in a minute,

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?

00:10:41   Like do you use any specific cases other than just a smart keyboard for your iPads?

00:10:47   Yeah, I am I am insisted on using a case mostly

00:10:51   because I think I'm rougher with my iPad than I am maybe any other gadget except my iPhone

00:10:58   and that it just gets thrown into bags and like generally bumped around.

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.

00:11:12   Although it was a little bit heavy and now unfortunately,

00:11:17   I have Logitech's 10.5 inch version which is kind of like a Microsoft Surface wannabe

00:11:25   and that it has like kickstand and it has a very loose keyboard that kind of snaps in with a ribbon.

00:11:32   Oh, it's so bad.

00:11:33   And you know, so just to give you an example,

00:11:36   you know, we were at WWDC and the internet wasn't working.

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.

00:11:46   And here's me attempting to try and make this stupid thing balance on my lap

00:11:50   and I revert to using my 13 inch MacBook Pro as a stand on my lap

00:11:56   so that I can have a solid surface to type on for my iPad.

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,

00:12:06   I think I have to go the bridge lifestyle because the like God it was just so awful.

00:12:12   It's so awful or or just petition Logitech to bring back the create case.

00:12:16   So yeah, but I still use the darn case because I don't have a bridge

00:12:20   and there's nothing else that really protects it as well as the Logitech that I currently own.

00:12:27   And yeah, that's that's kind of where I'm at in my case world.

00:12:30   We're doing an episode, you know, as iPad lovers talking about the iPad.

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.

00:12:40   There will be no greater shade thrown than I used my MacBook as a stand

00:12:45   to give me a level surface for my iPad.

00:12:49   I think that's about about as much as you could get and Jason Ren mentioned the bridge keyboard,

00:12:54   which I know you're a big fan of.

00:12:56   Yeah, absolutely. That is my most common.

00:12:59   It's not not the only but it's the most common keyboard that I use

00:13:02   because I can put it in my lap and and write writing on a table some other kind of hard surface.

00:13:09   There are lots of different options that work pretty well.

00:13:11   I you know, I have a stand I have I have other keyboards.

00:13:15   I've got the canopy with a magic keyboard in it.

00:13:18   I've got you know, I've used the smart cover in some cases.

00:13:21   I've done that a smart cover is good too.

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,

00:13:31   my quality issues with their previous version.

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.

00:13:43   In fact in July and I hope that that it's good.

00:13:48   I can't wait to try it out. But the one that I've got is great.

00:13:50   It basically lets me drop it drop my iPad in and it turns into a laptop

00:13:54   and it doesn't need to be on a table to get stability.

00:13:58   It can just sit in my lap and works great and Federico use one too,

00:14:03   right? Yes.

00:14:04   I finally after two three attempts.

00:14:08   Maybe I got a working bridge keyboard for my 12.9.

00:14:12   That's the keyboard I've been using for the past five six months.

00:14:17   I used to have all kinds of keyboards before I used for last summer.

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.

00:14:39   And then I discovered the the bridge keyboard and I tried to buy one.

00:14:43   It didn't work. I send it back. I got another one.

00:14:45   It didn't work. I send it back and I got the third one and it worked.

00:14:48   So that was my trick the same thing Myke Myke I think gave up after two tries.

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,

00:15:01   including car seats and planes and coffee tables restaurant tables everywhere.

00:15:07   It's good for everywhere kind of like a laptop go figure.

00:15:10   So yeah, imagine imagine such a technology.

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.

00:15:36   But before we do I believe that the pioneer of iPad productivity Mr.

00:15:41   Federico Vittucci has an opening statement that he would like to share with the group an opening statement.

00:15:46   You make it sound so official.

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.

00:16:05   I was a Mac user. I had a 20 was the 2011 MacBook Air the 13 inch one.

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.

00:16:19   So instead I try to get work done on an iPad and in 2011.

00:16:24   So what was the iPad back then the iPad 2 probably?

00:16:28   Yeah, it was before the iPad 3 launched.

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

00:16:44   and get work done and publish articles on WordPress.

00:16:48   The situation on the iPad at the time was really sad and dire.

00:16:51   There was no split view no multitasking no drag and drop.

00:16:55   It was really it was really complicated.

00:16:58   But eventually I kind of got into the rhythm of trying to make the best out of the limitations of iOS

00:17:05   and enjoy what iOS offered which was a rich selection of apps.

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.

00:17:37   And so in the past over the past six years at this point I've kept using the iPad.

00:17:44   I still have a MacBook because that's where I need to do podcasts every week.

00:17:48   But otherwise the iPad fits my lifestyle and my habits and my routine better than a MacBook.

00:17:56   So I love the fact that there's more innovation happening on iOS on the iOS App Store.

00:18:01   And Apple kind of seems to think the same if you know iPad apps are coming to the Mac.

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.

00:18:31   Which is the theme of this episode. It's all about fun and working on the iPad.

00:18:36   So there you go. That's my opening statement Myke. Is that is that an okay statement?

00:18:40   Does it work? Okay. Awesome.

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.

00:19:26   And Jason, would you like to tell everyone about our first sponsor today?

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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.

00:22:01   And all of the other stuff is running my business.

00:22:05   And I think I want to give a brief outline of some of the applications that I use to do that.

00:22:11   And then we can talk in a bit more detail about some of the practicalities of stuff.

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.

00:22:58   But by and large, they do get there to as much as they ever will.

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.

00:23:19   And everybody's on it. Everybody uses it. And it always works really well.

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.

00:23:47   Like, Google Sheets isn't good.

00:23:50   No, it's not.

00:23:51   It's not good.

00:23:52   I use Numbers and Excel for local stuff, but for anything shared, Sheets is better.

00:23:58   It's true.

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.

00:24:29   But when it comes to collaboration, Google Docs and Google Sheets, they're number one.

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.

00:24:41   For task management, I use Todoist.

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.

00:25:58   Nobody ever knows about Pipedrive unless they've heard me talk about Pipedrive.

00:26:03   Pipedrive is a sales management and contact management database tool.

00:26:08   It is the most...

00:26:11   Sounds so professional.

00:26:12   It is the most professional sounding of any application that I use.

00:26:16   But my business is built upon deals being made, right?

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.

00:26:50   And that helps keep that all in one cohesive place, which is really important for us.

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.

00:27:19   And I love that.

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.

00:27:27   And we use Spark.

00:27:28   We use Spark too for its email sharing features.

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.

00:27:50   Of course, we use Slack like every business on the planet does these days.

00:27:54   But being able to talk about email inside of the email is really good.

00:27:58   Now I can come back into talking about apps that everybody else knows when I talk about FantasticOwl.

00:28:03   What calendar application do you use Federico right now?

00:28:08   This is a whole conversation.

00:28:10   I use on my iPad, I have the Apple one just because I use week calendar on my iPhone.

00:28:22   The iPad version of week calendar isn't that great.

00:28:27   Would you say it's week?

00:28:29   Yes, I would say that.

00:28:31   That's the terrible pun.

00:28:34   Come on!

00:28:35   So bad.

00:28:36   I use the Apple one. I don't love it.

00:28:38   I use the calendar more on my phone because the weekly view on my phone is excellent.

00:28:44   And I'm surprised that Apple still hasn't copied that feature.

00:28:47   So I don't do much calendaring on my iPad.

00:28:50   I do it on the phone because there's a client that I prefer.

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.

00:29:01   It gets the job done, barely.

00:29:04   At least it's got the date on the icon, which is nice.

00:29:07   Yeah, that is nice.

00:29:09   Jason, what do you use for calendaring?

00:29:11   It's a whole story, Myke.

00:29:14   Because on my iPhone I use FantasticOwl, but I don't think FantasticOwl is very good on iPad either.

00:29:19   It's funny that Rico and I are using different calendar apps but have the same thing.

00:29:24   So I'm using Apple's calendar on the iPad, even though I'm using FantasticOwl on my iPhone,

00:29:30   because I don't like FantasticOwl's view on iPad.

00:29:33   No, I typically just run FantasticOwl in the iPhone-sized view on my iPad.

00:29:39   No, that solves that problem.

00:29:41   That's how I do it too. That's how I solve it.

00:29:43   That's a way to do it.

00:29:45   I never use calendar apps in full screen.

00:29:48   I'm almost always having them split screen with something else.

00:29:51   So usually I actually have FantasticOwl in SlideOver.

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

00:30:05   how to effectively lay out a monthly calendar.

00:30:08   FantasticOwl basically tries to have three views at once, and it's like, "What am I looking at?"

00:30:13   But, Wren, you don't use anything else other than FantasticOwl like me, right?

00:30:19   Just in the split view, you don't have a magical month view calendar app that you're hiding from us?

00:30:23   No, no, I use FantasticOwl primarily.

00:30:27   I don't know. I'm also terrible in that I don't really use calendars.

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

00:30:42   and so I've actually gotten really into using Agenda in the last month or two.

00:30:47   Huh, really?

00:30:49   Every time I think I've heard you say that to someone, Wren, I hear someone go, "Huh, really?"

00:30:54   Because everyone that I know that's tried it, I can't get my head around Agenda.

00:30:58   Agenda is an application which is notes and calendar combined, right?

00:31:03   Yeah.

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,

00:31:30   and I can create notes that are specifically tagged to a time, right?

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.

00:33:58   Just that app for two weeks. Like you can't go running back to your old thing.

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.

00:34:34   I'm going to throw it away without looking at it.

00:34:36   My kind of working life would be lost without PDF pen.

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.

00:35:12   But I don't think I need to get into detail of it now.

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.

00:39:39   It's a way to batch, export, and prefill Ulysses documents using Trello and workflow.

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.

00:40:50   Whether you're a member, submit a question, it goes through a script.

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.

00:41:17   It's really funny. I showed it to Myke last year and Myke seemed impressed.

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.

00:46:13   And that's OK. You can just use your Mac. And it's it's cool. It's cool.

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.

00:46:33   Well, my my co-host and my two guest co-hosts today are more than well versed in.

00:46:38   But before we do, how about we take a second break? Great idea, Myke.

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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?

00:48:14   And there is a specific reason why I'm going to have you go first.

00:48:17   I, which one? I have all of them. I have so many different writing setups.

00:48:21   Let's talk about your home writing setup.

00:48:23   Okay. Alright. I mean, I mentioned the bridge keyboard.

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.

00:48:41   And that's all the bridge keyboard. So that's the most common one.

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.

00:49:01   So I will sometimes work at the counter, basically at the bar top in my kitchen.

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.

00:49:18   And eventually somebody on Twitter actually recommended this iPad Pro.

00:49:23   It's an iPad stand from a company called Viozon. I got it on Amazon.

00:49:27   It was literally somebody just said, I have this stand and it's pretty good.

00:49:29   And it's a, it looks kind of like the foot of an iMac.

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.

00:49:39   So it'll fit different sized iPads just fine.

00:49:42   In fact, I think it comes with two of those clamps and you can choose which one.

00:49:46   So there's one for smaller devices and one for larger devices.

00:49:48   And so now I'm using that so that that elevates it off of the countertop a little bit.

00:49:54   It's a little bit better angle for me.

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.

00:50:19   It just feels better. I like those keyboards and prefer them if I can manage it.

00:50:23   And one that is Bluetooth and is a Mac keyboard.

00:50:28   And the Mac keyboard thing is important because otherwise the command key and the option key are reversed.

00:50:35   And all of your muscle memory for keyboard shortcuts is broken.

00:50:40   And that's not fun.

00:50:42   So I prefer to have a keyboard that actually has the command key in the right place.

00:50:46   And getting that plus mechanical plus wireless is hard.

00:50:50   On the Mac you can remap those keys. On the iPad you can't.

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.

00:51:02   So right now, most of the time I'm using the Matias Laptop Pro keyboard.

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.

00:51:21   And then you've also got, now you've got cables kind of snaking everywhere.

00:51:24   And I can do that, but it's just easier for me to use the Matias.

00:51:31   I'm constantly on a search for another small Mac Bluetooth mechanical keyboards.

00:51:36   But there are few, if any, out there.

00:51:39   That Matias Laptop Pro is not much of a looker.

00:51:43   Yeah, I know. There are people who have insulted it elsewhere.

00:51:46   It is very old school Apple design in that it's a big puffy plastic silver keyboard with black keys.

00:51:57   So it's tall, it's thick or whatever you want to say. It is not super attractive.

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.

00:52:17   Why is it specifically that you chose this one?

00:52:20   It's mechanical and Bluetooth and Mac.

00:52:24   And that's it.

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.

00:52:42   And so that's what I prefer. That's what I'm using at my desk.

00:52:45   So it's also a little bit less of a transition to do it.

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...

00:53:02   What switches did you get on this?

00:53:04   It's Matias' switches.

00:53:06   Matias makes its own keyboard switches. So this is the Quiet.

00:53:10   I think it's their Quiet keyboard switch. So it's not super loud, but it's a little bit clicky.

00:53:15   And that's just kind of what I have to go for for now.

00:53:18   But the nice thing about the iPad is you can use any Bluetooth keyboard with it.

00:53:22   And so you can find one that works for you. And there are many options.

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.

00:53:48   But the iPad has no such feature. So you're kind of stuck.

00:53:52   If you use a Windows keyboard, the key, the modifiers will be wrong. And I don't like that.

00:53:57   And the reason that Jason went first, Federico, what is your home writing setup?

00:54:02   I have felt the power of the Snare Zone from afar.

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.

00:54:20   I have also adopted the Brydge keyboard and the Viosone. What's the name?

00:54:26   Viosone. Viosone. Viosone maybe.

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.

00:54:45   So the iPad goes into the stand and the Brydge keyboard I use in front of the stand.

00:54:51   Because it kind of fits, you know, there's enough space.

00:54:54   And I love working with the stand because I don't strain my neck.

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.

00:55:27   So I can work from there with the Brydge keyboard.

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.

00:55:58   Myke is really happy about this. So yeah, it's the Jason Snell setup plus stickers.

00:56:05   I should mention about that Vias on stand that it rotates, of course.

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.

00:56:26   But I have it in portrait in that vertical orientation a lot when I'm writing.

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.

00:56:39   I think it's kind of weird.

00:56:42   It's weird.

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.

00:56:57   And so, you know, the horizontal orientation makes me feel a little better.

00:57:02   But yeah, I see the benefit. I mean, you're a faster writer than I am.

00:57:07   So it's, I'm motivated by all that blank space down there. I need to fill that.

00:57:13   That's a life hack. Okay.

00:57:15   I too have adopted the Jason Snell lifestyle.

00:57:21   Have you?

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.

00:57:45   Um, and I use a, I use a, um, a magic keyboard right now.

00:57:50   The, the Apple magic keyboard.

00:57:53   I kind of like it.

00:57:54   Um, I would like something else, but I don't know what I want yet.

00:57:58   So like at my Mac, I use the Microsoft scope ergonomic keyboard.

00:58:02   Um, and I'm, I've got my eye out for something which might be similar.

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.

00:58:17   I have suffered of all of it.

00:58:19   So the, uh, using the ViasOn stand has been good for that.

00:58:22   I wished it was a little higher, honestly.

00:58:26   Yeah.

00:58:27   Um, I still find myself looking down a little bit more than I would want.

00:58:30   I wished it was, was taller than it, than, than it actually is, but it's still vastly better.

00:58:35   And I found that if I tilt it backwards a little bit, that can help me.

00:58:38   Um, but I do wish it was just a little bit higher.

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.

00:58:50   I would almost want one that was even taller.

00:58:52   And I realized that there was some that the foot would probably have to come forward and it might be bigger.

00:58:56   And I honestly, the ViasOn stand, I'm glad people like it.

00:59:00   I like it too.

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.

00:59:12   So I could just float an iPad, which I would probably buy.

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.

00:59:24   Um, but this was, this is like an alternative to that.

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.

00:59:33   Right.

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?

00:59:51   I'm in a completely different camp.

00:59:53   Completely.

00:59:54   I'm sorry, Jason.

00:59:56   That's fine.

00:59:57   I do like using stands for my iPad, but I have never used it for writing.

01:00:02   Um, usually, honestly, when I'm writing with my iPad, I'm doing it on the go.

01:00:07   I'm doing it in a coffee shop or kind of running around.

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.

01:00:31   And it had a really nice mechanical keyboard feel.

01:00:33   Uh, and the new Logitech case on my iPad just does not afford me the same flexibility.

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.

01:00:46   Um, I find myself bringing my MacBook Pro a lot more.

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.

01:01:10   Mm-hmm.

01:01:11   So as writers, you all use applications. Jason, can you tell me what writing apps you're gravitating towards right now?

01:01:18   Yeah, it changes all the time.

01:01:19   Federico mentioned that editorial seems to just kind of be dead.

01:01:23   It's a shame because I used it a lot.

01:01:25   I'm using one writer, which has some macros in it.

01:01:28   I don't love it, but it syncs with Dropbox and has Markdown support.

01:01:32   And those are the two most important things.

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.

01:01:49   So, because I write in Markdown.

01:01:51   So one writer is my primary tool for writing short stuff.

01:01:57   I also have Scrivener.

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.

01:02:22   But most of my writing in iOS is done in one writer at this point.

01:02:26   Which is, again, you know, there's opportunities for other apps.

01:02:29   I've tried Drafts, I've tried Ulysses.

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.

01:02:39   And those are the most important things when I'm just trying to get the words out.

01:02:42   What about you Federico?

01:02:44   So I've been using this sort of split setup.

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.

01:03:30   I've been interested in the new version of Drafts, especially because it's got this JavaScript automation that is really interesting to me.

01:03:39   I don't know JavaScript well enough.

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.

01:03:52   So I've been considering that, especially for the iOS review that I got this summer.

01:03:58   Maybe I could find a way to take my editorial workflows and make them work in JavaScript with the features that Drafts has.

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.

01:04:16   So like it's a custom view that shows you just the things you want to see.

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.

01:04:36   And also I want to mention Notes, Apple Notes and Devontink.

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.

01:05:09   But it gets the job done, and I love the way that it shows you links and attachments.

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.

01:05:24   Ulysses has its custom flavor called Markdown Excel, which initially it was okay.

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.

01:05:46   It's funny. I talked to Max at the Solman, the developer of Ulysses at WWDC.

01:05:53   And he's a really nice guy, and it's a really great app.

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,

01:07:28   or I can't really use it because it wants me to work the way it wants to work.

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,

01:07:39   and it'll just work.

01:07:40   I kind of come around on the idea of markdown over time.

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.

01:07:57   So I was super into 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,

01:08:13   "Yeah, maybe John Gruber had a point. It's just plain text."

01:08:16   And I see all the links and I see all the syntax.

01:08:19   This is actually kind of nice. I miss you so much.

01:08:22   So, yeah, I don't know. We'll see.

01:08:24   Rana, are you firmly in the markdown app camp?

01:08:28   I'm firmly in the markdown camp, but not so much in markdown apps.

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.

01:08:46   I actually have been writing solely in notes for the last year and a half, two years.

01:08:53   I know, I know. It's crazy.

01:08:56   I've been using notes with a text expander keyboard for shortcuts.

01:09:05   And then I also have a sticky, a pinned note with weird things that we need for iMore's various CMS.

01:09:14   I love that I'm not the only considered weird one on this episode.

01:09:18   Oh, for sure.

01:09:20   Congratulations, Myke.

01:09:21   I fully recognize that notes is a weird thing to write in.

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,

01:09:32   I had OneWriter on my iPad and I think it was the iOS 10 beta.

01:09:37   And I lost three articles and it wasn't OneWriter's fault at all.

01:09:41   I think it was just an iOS beta problem.

01:09:44   But after that, I was just like, nope, nope, I'm going to just rely on iCloud sinking now.

01:09:51   I can't, I can't, I can't think about that.

01:09:54   So I went to notes on a trial basis as a result of that.

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.

01:10:06   And it sinks so fast between the Mac and iOS.

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.

01:10:21   I can just, I can just make it work.

01:10:23   So you'll find yourself just, you're just writing raw markdown into notes and it's sinking via iCloud.

01:10:28   You get it everywhere.

01:10:29   Kind of that's how you run things.

01:10:30   Yeah, that's it.

01:10:31   Federica, what do you think are the main benefits for you?

01:10:34   Is there anything different when it comes to writing on the iPad as to writing on the Mac,

01:10:38   other than just the portability thing that we've mentioned?

01:10:41   One of the things is you get this rich selection of apps.

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.

01:10:59   In a way that maybe it's not necessarily possible on a Mac.

01:11:03   Or maybe I should say it would be possible on a Mac if you used a single more complex app.

01:11:12   Something like BB Edit, for example.

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

01:11:21   and take your text and move it somewhere else to do something different.

01:11:27   So in my case, it would be from Ulysses to editorial, but it would be even stuff like,

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

01:11:53   and each one of them can be a single-purpose utility that can process your text

01:12:00   and can work in conjunction with the text editor.

01:12:04   It could be about image uploads. It could be about turning the markdown to HTML.

01:12:10   You could use workflow. Soon to be shortcuts in the process.

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.

01:12:23   Apps that use the files APIs have become even more convenient

01:12:27   because now there's a unified way to share these documents and open them in place in different apps,

01:12:33   make changes and save them back to the original without creating copies.

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.

01:12:56   On the iPad, I think, and on iOS in general, but even more so on the iPad,

01:13:00   with split view and drag and drop and the share sheet and files,

01:13:04   it's all, at least from my perspective, it's all about the integration of different apps together.

01:13:09   Which is also why I like it more because it's more fun.

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

01:13:24   in a consistent and reliable way.

01:13:26   And it's why I enjoy working on the iPad.

01:13:29   It's because the communication between these different apps and it's visual and it's tactile.

01:13:34   You can literally move your, touch your documents and move them around.

01:13:38   Yeah, it's what I love the most about the iPad besides the portability.

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.

01:14:00   But the place that you're starting at is fundamentally different.

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.

01:14:08   It's like, where's the file systems? And then you're OK.

01:14:12   There is one now, but you still don't really need to think of it that way.

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?

01:14:23   Ha ha ha.

01:14:24   Take that as a no?

01:14:26   No, no. I will be I will use files.

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,

01:14:46   I will pop open files in a slide over and I'll navigate in my usually in my Dropbox.

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.

01:15:01   But that's an example where I'm retrieving something from a file store somewhere.

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,

01:15:16   I always go to the app and then bring in the files.

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.

01:15:51   If you're using an external keyboard, it's not great.

01:15:54   It's OK, but it's not great.

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,

01:16:26   because it doesn't feel quite natural to do that kind of text selection stuff.

01:16:31   I you know, I would like multiple windows at once.

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.

01:16:45   And so you can have sort of like multiple.

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.

01:16:59   And so I end up doing a lot of things that are cheating.

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.

01:17:10   And like that's kind of dumb.

01:17:12   I do this with web browsers. Sometimes I have Chrome and Safari.

01:17:15   Safari you can actually do side by side. That's the thing.

01:17:18   And I do use Safari side by side. But like I'd like all apps to be able to do that.

01:17:22   So that can be that can be a slowdown.

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.

01:17:32   That works great.

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.

01:17:44   And that's a place where it really stands in the way.

01:17:46   I think keyboard support needs to be better.

01:17:48   Apps are better at keyboard support than it used to be.

01:17:51   But there are lots of bugs there.

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.

01:18:00   Sometimes one of the modifier keys the system thinks is still active.

01:18:05   And so then you try to type something and it tries to do the keyboard shortcut.

01:18:09   Or you use the arrow key to go up one line and it takes you to the top of the document.

01:18:13   And that's just a bug.

01:18:14   I don't know if it'll be fixed in iOS 12 or not.

01:18:16   Everybody follow your radars.

01:18:18   But like that's one of those things that's like it's great that the keyboard is there.

01:18:21   It's not 100% there.

01:18:23   It's like 96% there and that 4% is really frustrating.

01:18:27   So there's a whole bunch of stuff going on that could be better.

01:18:32   And some of it doesn't require like major overhauls.

01:18:34   So there's still places where there are impediments.

01:18:39   I would say one of the things that I do love, even with split view and slide over,

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.

01:19:05   And that is a positive thing about it that I like.

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.

01:19:17   I agree completely. All right, we should move into art and creativity.

01:19:21   But before we do that, let's take a very quick break.

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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.

01:21:15   That's just a wonderful thing that was made all on iOS.

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.

01:22:02   You just kind of take your pencil or your third party stylus or your Logitech crayon.

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.

01:23:19   And I also like how everything's organized into kind of little miniature projects.

01:23:24   So and they're they're very easily flippable.

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.

01:24:21   It's worth noting as a side note, there is no proper animation software on the iPad.

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.

01:24:53   Because that's like animation, something that I've always wanted to learn.

01:24:56   And I feel like all of the programs are really frustrating.

01:25:00   Can I ask like about the idea of an animation app?

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.

01:26:42   Hype is an HTML5, you know, website designer, really.

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.

01:27:41   Pixelmator, which I use pretty much every day for my work.

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.

01:27:56   And it's that their repair tool is excellent.

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.

01:28:32   But oh, yeah, it's it's a great job, but someone has to do it.

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.

01:30:09   But I can't believe how powerful Pixelmator on iOS is.

01:30:14   Like, it really is surprising.

01:30:15   Yeah, it's they they went out of their way.

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.

01:30:53   And then I got it and it was great.

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.

01:32:47   And it also you can import all of these brushes, right?

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.

01:32:59   I must have bought like 50 bucks worth of lettering brushes for my for my wedding.

01:33:05   Like it's it's an amazing app.

01:33:06   And these all work on iOS to these brushes?

01:33:09   Yes.

01:33:10   That's really cool. I didn't know that's really critical.

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.

01:33:29   It's just, you know, if you take enough time, you can make it happen.

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.

01:36:19   You really like latency free drawing and and the shading and all of that.

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.

01:37:20   So I feel like, you know, from an artistic point of view, what she does is amazing.

01:37:27   Like the the iPad review that she did was just incredible.

01:37:32   Still, I mean, you and I, we put together podcasts on a weekly basis.

01:37:36   So that's also a creative task that we need to get done on the iPad.

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.

01:37:53   I think it's important to be able to save these ideas and to give them structure.

01:37:58   And honestly, I've tried so many note taking apps on iOS over the years.

01:38:05   We started with the Markdown note taking apps from a few years ago.

01:38:09   And then, you know, these days we have stuff like Bear, for example.

01:38:14   But honestly, I just love Apple Notes.

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.

01:38:31   But it works so well and it works with the keyboard on the iPad.

01:38:35   So you got keyboard shortcuts if you want to have sections in a note.

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.

01:38:58   Links that I can save with the Notes extension.

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.

01:39:32   You don't actually need to share a note with anybody.

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.

01:39:44   And you will get an iCloud.com link for the note.

01:39:46   And what I do is I copy this link and I use it as a launcher.

01:39:50   So in my task manager I have a task that says prepare connected show notes.

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.

01:40:01   And like I said, the ability to have multiple types of data items in a note.

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.

01:40:35   But if you save a tweet you'll just get this Twitter.com bubble in a note.

01:40:39   Whereas I would love to add the messages style tweet expansion within notes.

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.

01:41:00   I think it works really well from that point of view.

01:41:02   Yeah, I agree. I do all these same things, right?

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.

01:41:18   The iPad is a screen. Like that's what it is.

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.

01:41:42   I love it more because of just that. It's wonderful.

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.

01:41:55   But when you think about the iPad.

01:41:57   It's easily forgotten.

01:41:58   Yeah, especially the 10.5 inch and ProMotion.

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?

01:42:45   Right? You've ever you've all seen that.

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.

01:43:08   So it just makes it feel like when you're drawing, it's crazy fast.

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.

01:43:28   And it's a it's it's a really cool thing.

01:43:31   Like it's a really cool technical demo.

01:43:33   Most people, they just see it and they're like, Oh, yeah, why wouldn't you be able to do that?

01:43:36   And the answer is because if you do it on anything else, it looks wrong.

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?

01:43:52   This is a blockbuster episode that I think gets it across.

01:43:56   I feel like at points we talked a lot about what we do at points.

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.

01:44:35   And I would want to do them somewhere else.

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.

01:46:16   Arrivederci.

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