iPadOS Beta 3.

After hearing Apple had released Public Beta 3 of their latest version of iOS/iPadOS, and doing some reading on the stability of this beta, I’ve gone ahead and installed it on my iPad Pro.

I’m really liking what Apple is offering in iOS 13 and iPadOS.

Cosmetically, Dark Mode is gorgeous. This is dark mode done right, and it is a welcome relief to my eyes. One of the reasons I prefer to use a Mac at work is because of Dark Mode offered in Mac OS. It’s a lot easier on my eyes while staring at the screen for too many hours in the day. Windows 10 offers a Dark Mode but it is uneven at best and many of the apps just turn gray; Mac OS and now iOS/iPadOS turn much darker.

Performance of Beta 3 seems to be great, though I’ve been messing with it for only an hour or so. I briefly had Beta 2 on an older iPad and that was an unmitigated mess, this is much better and it feels like Apple Developers are making great progress on getting iOS 13 ready and stable for the assumed release in September.

I’m still trying to get into using my iPad Pro as my primary computer; I believe computing needs to be taken to the next level and tablets are going to be the way of the future. I’m eager to see where development from all players in the game take this next step. Maybe Apple will be the leader, maybe they won’t. Only time will tell.

Right now, I’d say they’re headed in the right direction.

Creativity.

So I started this blog entry, writing about today’s Apple keynote event at the Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple Headquarters (“the Spaceship”). I was going to list each of the services Apple announced today and my associated thoughts. It was all to be positive, because I really enjoyed the keynote today.

But I couldn’t bring myself to sound like a tech pundit, because that’s not what I am. I’m one of the Crazy Ones. My LinkedIn Profile starts with two words: “What box?”. I don’t think outside of the box, I can’t even find a box. I don’t see the big picture because I’m not looking in the same direction and I’m probably not even in the same room. It’s amazing that I have worked for several Fortune 500 companies during my career because I really subscribe to the whole “Think Different” philosophy. And this is something I’m proud of.

What struck me about the Apple keynote today was the genuine feeling of passion. The artists, the creative ones, even the ones presenting today, all seemed so very passionate about what Apple was showing the world today. A new way for a credit card to work. A new way to read your favorite magazine. New ways to find your favorite online games and new ways to find your TV shows, all on your own terms. Apple’s huge push of privacy is a welcomed change of pace in this ever growing economy where the user is the product, not the consumer. Apple doesn’t want your information, Apple doesn’t need your information, and Apple has no way of sharing your information. That is awesome. We need more of that in this digital age.

Am I going to sign up for an AppleCard? As a guy that uses ApplePay everywhere he can, you bet your sweet bippy I am. I’ve already asked the CTA when I’ll be able to add my Ventra (transit) card to my Apple Wallet. I’m already reading my favorite magazines in Apple News+ and I’m really looking forward to the original content Apple will bring to the world in Apple TV+. I was moved when I saw Tim Cook tear up when he hugged Oprah after her speech during the keynote today.

Such passion. In the speech, in the reaction, in the creativity.

We need more passion for creativity in the world. Be a Crazy One.

I’ve started editing videos on my iPad Pro today. Ten years ago I never thought I’d be using an iPad Pro to shoot, edit, and share video, but here we are. Technology isn’t only about spreadsheets and word documents and slides. It’s about what we want it to be about.

Let your creativity flow.

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iPad!

Apple announced some changes to their iPad lineup today and I’m just thrilled! I’m still reading up on the announcement, but the iPad Air and the iPad Mini have both been refreshed with the latest Apple processor and Apple Pencil support. What wonderful news!

I truly believe the tablet will be the computing device of choice in the future, so seeing the “lower end” iPads get refreshed by Apple helps build that momentum to the future I’m envisioning.

I’m especially excited about the new iPad Mini with Apple Pencil support. Before my iPad Pro 10 (with Pencil support), the iPad Mini was always my tablet of choice for when I was flying. It ran my preferred Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) ForeFlight beautifully, even though the iPad Mini 4 was starting to fall behind in horsepower for that particular use. Using the iPad Pro 10 and an Apple Pencil in the cockpit has been wonderful, as ForeFlight has grown in leaps and bounds over the past couple of years and features beautiful functionality with the Apple Pencil, but the iPad Pro 10 is slightly too big for the airplanes I fly (primarily the Piper Cherokee series, Cessna 172s, and now the Diamond Sky DA-40). It works and works well, it just feels like it takes up a little too much space. Having an option to go back to the smaller iPad Mini is wonderful news.

I’m happy to see that Apple made this iPad announcement today, so they can focus on their new services offerings and their big announcement next Monday on 3/25.

You know I’ll be watching the keynote.

Camera Test.

I’ve always found the idea of taking a photo with an iPad to be odd. The camera is very capable, but it’s like holding up a frying pan to try to capture the moment.

Truman is hanging out on his cat perch. I’ve just woken up and am positioned on the living room couch seeing what’s going on in the world today. I’m not afraid to share my “just woke up” face. At least I don’t have bed head. The portrait mode on the user facing camera is impressive.

Fan Boy.

So I’ve been trying to decide on my next computing device. Would I jump ship and leave the Apple ecosystem? Would I buy another refurbished laptop? Would I become a Linux evangelist again, intending on sticking to the platform but invariably leaving after a month or so?

After my research and thought, I decided to settle on a new iPad Pro. This is the full sized version. I opted for WiFi only. We don’t need another monthly charge with AT&T.

My original generation iPad Pro 10 is a wonderful little machine and it will continue to serve me for my Electronic Flight Back. The smaller screen, coupled with an Apple Pencil, is perfect for me and using ForeFlight in the cockpit. It works well in that regard, however, I found the screen to be slightly small for everyday use.

On the other hand, my beautiful mid-2015 15-inch MacBook Pro works brilliantly but it feels a little bulky to haul around in a backpack. Other than editing music, putting together flight videos, or working on graphics for web sites, it’s a little overpowered for when I’m on the go.

The iPad Pro 12-inch fits exactly what I’m looking for.

It wasn’t an easy decision for me to make. I looked at the new Google Pixel. I thought about buying a smaller MacBook or MacBook Air to carry on the go. Ultimately I decided that what iOS 12 offers, especially when coupled with the new Apple Pencil and a Smart Keyboard Folio, fits my needs in this “channel” perfectly.

I’m looking forward to embracing this new facet of my the Apple Ecosystem in my daily computing endeavors.

Maybe it’ll provide even more inspiration for me to be creative.

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Sense of Direction.

I’m finding it more and more difficult to remain exclusively on the Apple ecosystem with my computing needs. Today I went for a drive between Chicago and Rockford, Illinois. I purposely took some backroads, made quite a few random turns to get a sense of the area and decided to head home after an hour or so of meandering. I asked Siri for directions home in Chicago.

She complied. Sort of.

She had me turning left and right through the farmland, trying to get me to a main road. I was watching the compass indicator in the Jeep all the while. I have a great sense of direction and I usually know what direction I’m headed in at any given time.

When I got to the intersection at the first numbered route, Siri said “Turn left onto Illinois Route 176 West.” At the time I was facing south. The compass in the Jeep confirmed that I was facing south. I know Chicago was to my east, or at the very least southeast, so heading west on a route wouldn’t have made sense. I turned left and saw a sign that said Illinois 176 East, even though Siri said turning left would have taken me west.

I figured she was just having a day and carried on.

“Turn right onto US Route 12 North”. Wait a minute. Heading east on Illinois 176, as confirmed by the signs I was passing, meant that if I turned right onto US 12 (no cloverleaf or anything) I would be turning south, or at the very least, southeast. I turned right onto US 12 and that it was signed East US 12, South Illinois 59. Nowhere was there a sign that said north, even though Siri said to turn right to turn north. Looking at the map, to get onto US 12 North (which was actually US 12 West and Illinois 59 North), I would have had to turn left.

This sort of frivolity continued for three more turns, where Siri told me to turn left or right in the proper direction but she didn’t know what the direction was, she was 180 degrees turned around. She was insisting that I basically head west to get to Chicago, even though she was pointing me eastward. I decided to play it safe and I turned off Apple Maps, moved it to my “unused” folder and fired up Google Maps in her place. Google Maps knew which way was what and successfully got me home in less time than predicted by Siri.

For all the premium money one pays for the “Apple experience”, I’m concerned with the rash of bugs that have been present in seemingly the majority of Apple’s software lately. Apple Maps has had a bad rap for several years, and I keep hoping that it’ll get up to speed with the rest of the world, but it just doesn’t make the grade.

Disappointing.