My iPad Pro (desktop) setup

Hopefully by now if you read my stuff or follow me on Twitter you will know I’m a huge fan of the iPad and use one as my main machine day to day. I recently upgraded to the 10.5” iPad Pro and had a 12.9” Smart Keyboard Cover lying around so I thought why not repurpose it. 

I plugged it into the iPad and although a lot wider it works great as a desktop keyboard for me, think of it as a docking station for when I’m at my desk. Personally I love the keys on the keyboard cover and having this extra space to use is nice. I just need to rig up power to my desk with lightning and I’m done on my desktop setup. 

When I’m out and about I’ll continue to use the Smart Keyboard cover for 10.5” but if I’m focussed on writing something at my desk this is what I’ll be using. 

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Apple drops the best feature of 3D Touch in iOS 11

I've been using iOS 11 on and off for a couple of weeks and I've reverted back on my iPhone because Apple has dropped 3D Touch's best feature. The feature that I'm missing is 3D Touch on the edge of the screen to invoke app switching. 

When Apple introduced this feature with the introduction of the iPhone 6S it's become a habit for me (especially on the Plus sized phones) and I'm left scratching my head on why they removed it.

There are a few schools of thought here for me. 

1. It's an error 

In the iOS 10 beta test phase Apple removed navigation with the Apple Pencil, which was reintroduced in the very next beta. This was either an error or the commentary from several outlets showed them it was a much used feature. 

I'm hopeful that as with this evidence we'll see 3D being reinstated in the next beta. I raised a radar with Apple on beta 1 so I'm keeping a close eye on feedback. At the moment it's left as open with no comments from Apple. 

 2. iOS 11

There could be a reason for it based on how app switching has changed on iPad in iOS 11. The app switching view has been completely redesigned on iPad and a cut down version could be headed to iPhone. 

 3. iPhone 8

There are a lot of rumours about the next iPhone but I think we can all agree it'll have a full screen on the front, removing bezels. This has me thinking about how removing this feature might play into that. I'd hate to see Apple sacrifice a great feature like this just to make app switching make more sense on their flagship model but you never know.   

If we have a larger screen we could potentially see a dock and some form of iPad like app switching.  

Are you a beta tester, do you miss this feature?

iPad Pro 10.5" after a week

It's a week on after putting in my order and picking up the new 10.5" iPad from my local store so I thought I'd share my thoughts on it so far.  

 In daily use

I'm using it for work mostly, writing posts like this and handwriting notes. ProMotion hasn't been the game changer for me as some reviewers but the increased screen size and CPU has been where I've noticed it the most. Everything flies and the smaller bezels really do make it feel roomier in day to day use.  

 Storage

I always get the biggest I can afford, typically this is 128GB. For the 10.5" I went for 256GB as there is no longer a 128GB option. I'll continue to download most of my music and a few films on my iPad's and not run out of space yet. I'd recommend 64GB unless you are really going to store everything locally.

 Portability

Dropping down to the 9.7" from 12.9" felt like I was freed up to take the ipad everywhere with me again so I'd gotten used to this. Going up a little to the 10.5" has made no difference to how portable I find it.  

Has it replaced my Mac?

For 90% of what I do, yes.  

I

still need my Mac for podcasting and updating the design of this blog.

Do I regret trading down from 12.9"? 

Nope, every now and again I'll think about the larger screen then remind myself how heavy and harder to carry around it was. It's a great device, just not for me.  

Accessory update 

The only additional accessory I picked up was the Smart Keyboard cover.  I had to take the first one back due to a manufacturing fault but the replacement is great. It's wide enough to type on comfortably and light enough to carry around with me.  

Happy with my purchase? 

Yes, the 10.5" iPad with it's amazing performance and improved Pencil latency might be the best product Apple has produced. It's up there with AirPods as my favourite product over the last few years. With the addition of iOS 11 it's turned the iPad into my go to device again and I'm excited to see what happens going forward.  

How to send your Watch in for repair to Apple

One of the great things about having a developer account is being able to test all the new software releases early. One of the downsides however is the ease of bricking a device or regretting updating. 

This happened to me with watchOS 4, the only way you can downgrade is to send it into Apple for servicing.  

Here's how I did it. 

First off this process isn't standard so be patient if the support representative needs to contact their manager. For me the offshore team redirected me to a manager within the Irish office. I explained that I needed to send my Watch in for restoring to watchOS 3 and once the process was found it was straight forward. So, stage 1 is call Apple Support.

Stage 2, once you have received your confirmation of contacting Apple Support via email expect a box from UPS in a couple of business days. 

Stage 3, packing up your Apple Watch is straightforward and you get everything you need in the package delivered by UPS. Remember not to post your watch band back, just take it off and put the watch in the white box. 

 

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Put it all in the supplied UPS bag and head off to your local UPS Center. Mine's only a few minutes walk away but if you don't have one locally you can simply get them to pick it up from your address.  

Now it's with UPS and on it's way to Apple expect a confirmation and status update the day after. This acknowledges receipt and that they are working on it.  

In my experience it's worked on and sent back the same day. You'll get it next working day. Pretty amazing service, from sending to getting it back might only take 3 days.  

What is Music Magpie good grading?

I recently purchased a couple of iPhones from Music Magpie and wanted to share some images of what the quality was like.

The first was an iPhone 6 in gold, rated at a good grade. Overall I'm pleased with the quality and price that I got here. No marks on the screen and only a few dings on the body.

Making a go at being independent

I've been writing on the internet since 2008, first off my guitar focussed blog and associated YouTube channel and then into tech when I got my first start with Future Publishing.

It stared with an app review that got printed in the UK Magazine Tap!. It was then that I realised that I loved writing rather than producing all of my YouTube content. I had built up a subscriber base of over 1000 but followed my passion for writing and started to concentrate on that.

I got into freelancing with posts for The Loop Magazine, RunAroundTech and later on The App Factor. Since then I also achieved one of my goals of writing for a big site by doing how to's for Cult of Mac.

Trying to balance a 9-5, being a writer and all the responsibilities of a family is a tricky one so I've decided to have a go at being an independent writer and dropping any freelance work. The more I thought of it the more I was a voice in a bigger echo chamber rather than building on what I already have here at LJPUK and serving my loyal readers and newsletter subscribers.

IT'S AN IMPORTANT TIME TO BE AN INDEPENDENT VOICE ON THE INTERNET.

I have over 15 years experience in Software, everything from development to management and also a wealth of experience with working with app developers and writing technical documents so I have a lot in me to share with everyone.

To this end I have decided to open up sponsorship and started a support page over at Patreon to help fund the site and allow me to focus on building great content here.

I have lots of ideas and knowledge to share.

Thanks in advance for everyone that supports me on this journey.

Lee