I make films. I'm also a nerd.

Posts Tagged ‘ipad’:

Wondering Why TextExpander Touch Needs To Access Your Reminders?

This has been a real head-scratcher for me over the past week as apps have been updating in advance of tomorrow's iOS 7 launch—why would TextExpander need permission to access my Reminders? Smile's blog explains that there's a very good reason:

When you update to iOS 7, you may find that TextExpander doesn't work in some apps which did work on iOS 6. Due to a change in iOS 7, those apps no longer have access to shared snippets. We have communicated with developers whose apps support TextExpander, and we've provided them an updated SDK with a new way to share snippet data.

In short, Apple has decided to break the way your snippets used to be shared between apps. Smile's solution is to store the data in your Reminders—because they're accessible even in the highly sandboxed environment of iOS. In a way, it's sad that developers have to figure out inelegant hacks like this one in order to provide basic functionality, but at the same time it does demonstrate the ingenuity of the developer community.

I wonder how many users will be refusing to give the app Reminders permissions and then writing support emails to Smile, complaining that the app doesn't work. What an (unavoidable) support nightmare.

Editorial Workflow: Cut the Current Line

I often find, while reading my notes, that I need to make a small change here or there—or else that I need to move a to-do item into an archive section, or to remove an entire item in an unordered list…basically, I often need to remove an entire line from whatever document I'm looking at. As often as not, it's nice to have that line in my system clipboard, because a lot of times I need to paste it in somewhere else.

This sort of thing is easy on a Mac, but it's often a huge pain in the something-or-other on a mobile device; you have to hold a touch until a selection loupe pops up, you have to slide both ends of it into the desired places, you have to copy, you have to scroll, you have to paste…it's really not very fun, and it often leaves me wishing I were sitting at my Mac.

Since Ole Zorn's very excellent iOS text editor Editorial was released, I've been trying to find ways to reduce this sort of friction on my iPad. One such trick is this little workflow I cooked up: it selects the entire line on which the cursor currently sits, “cuts” it to the clipboard (meaning it is removed and also placed on the clipboard), and moves the cursor to the end of the preceding line. It's triggered by a quickly-typed text snippet: xxx. Place the cursor at the end of the line, type the shortcut, and zing–line gone and copied. It's a simple little thing, but it gets rid of a really common task which is a huge pain to complete on iOS.

Here's a little companion workflow which does something similar: it selects the current line and copies it to the clipboard, but does not remove the line. Also pretty useful, this workflow is triggered with the command ccc.

Is the Retina iPad Mini Delayed Due to Issues With iOS 7?

Sam Oliver for Apple Insider :

China’s Economic Daily News […] said that though Apple originally planned to launch a Retina iPad mini this fall, it may be delayed until the first quarter of 2014. As such, the rumor suggests that a second-generation iPad mini will not launch this year.

I don’t normally like to bother with discussing Apple rumors, but this bit about the next-gen iPad Mini seems suggestive of a couple of things:

  • There’s really no hardware problem I can think of that might cause a delay like this; Apple has already shipped multiple retina displays at sizes / resolutions both smaller and larger than that needed for an iPad mini–so maybe there’s some kind of software problem at issue.
  • The whole reason the first iPad mini shipped without retina was the fact that iOS apps would need to be re-written for a new resolution—so they gave the screens the same resolution as the first two full-size iPads. However, now, the coming resolution independence in iOS 7 will mean that apps can be built without targeting a specific resolution, therefore paving the way for a retina iPad mini.

The above taken as givens (which may or may not be a stretch), maybe we can conclude that iOS 7, itself, will not be ready until early in 2014. What other reason would Apple have to delay the iPad mini and miss the holiday sales spike? It all just sort of adds up.

Are tablets PC’s?

Any device which is A) personal and B) computes is a PC, to my mind. The argument that phones and tablets aren’t PC’s because they’re less capable than desktops is more than a little specious. Our phones and tablets are arguably more powerful and capable than our desktops and laptops were ten years ago–with a few exceptions given for things like video editing, but even that task was pretty primitive back then compared to now. If tablets aren’t PC’s because they’re less capable than a full-blown modern Mac Pro, should we also retroactively decide that 1995’s computers aren’t PC’s?

The idea of “what a computer is” isn’t changing, per se, it’s just that we have this arbitrary distinction between mobile and not-so-mobile. That distinction will continue to erode. I have no doubt about it. We’re talking about form factor here less than we’re talking about essential functionality.

Back to the oft-repeated notion that one “can’t get anything done” on these mobile devices: I personally own a Windows desktop, a Windows netbook, a CR-48 (chromebook), an iPad and an iPhone. Any computing task I undertake–anything, except for video editing–can be done on any of these devices (nota bene: I’m a professional filmmaker, so the editing I do is of a different sort than that which Joe Blow is going to do…and that can be done on an iPad, pretty much). The idea that “real work” can only be done on a desktop or a laptop is incredibly fallacious, and I think the people who say that sort of thing are probably most often people who don’t (yet) own tablets.