We discuss the iPad: how it can replace a computer for some people, how the new iPad mini is a great little device, and how there are some elements of iOS that could be improved to make the iPad even better.
I became a freelancer back in 1996 to work as a French-English translator. I translated lots of documents, generally working with a printout of the original document on a stand next to my display, and typing my translation on my computer. After finishing draft translations, it was time to edit my documents. To do this, I would generally print them out, sit in a comfortable chair, and read through them making changes with a pencil. You quickly learn that there is a big difference between reading a document on the screen and on paper; when doing the latter, you see lots of mistakes that you gloss over on screen, and you think of different formulations. That process of composing and editing in different contexts allows you to see your work in a different way.
For many years, as a freelance writer, I mostly worked on screen. Occasionally, I would print out articles and edit them on paper, but I have reached a stage where I have enough experience to be able to do all my work on screen. However, that process of editing in a different context can make a difference in my work.
A few weeks ago, I bought a new 11-inch iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil. My goal was to attempt to re-create this writing/editing process using the iPad for the second step. I have found that the combination of the iPad and Apple Pencil allows me to edit in a different context. These two devices together function as a sort of analog/digital hybrid; I get the advantages of working on a digital device and manipulating text more efficiently, together with the analog feel of the Apple Pencil, which I use to select and edit text. I had tried doing this in the past with the iPad’s touch interface, but text selection on iOS is so abysmal that it was too frustrating. The pencil, however, makes this process much smoother.
In addition, I have found that it is actually quite agreeable to control the iPad using the Apple Pencil. Not when I need to type a lot, but even when I do the New York Times crossword puzzle, working with the pencil is much more relaxing than using my fingers.
Apple’s new iPad Pro is an amazing tablet, but as our review points out, it comes at a price. Apple has priced this device at close to the cost of a laptop–aka a “real computer”–which means that for most people, buying an iPad Pro means making a commitment to using it as their main computing device.
But the iPad Pro runs iOS, the same operating system that runs on the iPhone. While Apple says, “And it works like your iPhone, so it’s familiar to use,” this isn’t really a good thing. Some people may be able to replace their laptop with an iPad Pro, but for the iPad Pro to really serve as a computer, it needs a pro version of iOS.
Steve Jobs famously said, about tablets, “If you need a stylus, you’ve already failed.” But he was talking about using a stylus as the main input device for a tablet. When Apple released the Apple Pencil three years ago, this quote was revived to remind people that a) things have changed, and b) Steve Jobs wasn’t always right.
Apple recently released a second version of the Apple Pencil. While this can be used as an input device, it is not required for the iPad Pro. In this article I’m going to tell you everything you can do with the new Apple Pencil.
I remember when I started using Apple’s first iPad in 2010; I realized that this was the future of computing. It was a small, thin, (relatively) light device that allowed me to perform many of the tasks that I performed. No more mouse or trackpad, and no more keyboard; the keyboard was on the display itself, but only when I needed it. I could use it anywhere, in any position, even lying down in bed. But could a tablet replace a laptop?
When you’re on the road, you need to bring one or several computing devices with you. Your smartphone may not be sufficient for the work you need to accomplish, so you probably also bring a laptop on your journeys. But, with the power and flexibility of today’s tablets, do you really need a laptop? Can you do all or most of the work you need with a tablet? In this article, we look at the pros and cons of replacing a laptop with a tablet.
We use our iOS devices to keep us up to date on important information. With notifications that can display on your iPhone lock screen, you can see who’s emailed you, important messages, and much more. But with the default iOS settings, sometimes private data that you don’t want others to see can display on your lock screen, and anyone who can see your iPhone or iPad can potentially access personal information on your iPhone, even if it’s locked.
This means if your iPhone is lost or stolen, whoever has your iOS device will not need your passcode to look at the information that displays on the iOS lock screen. Even someone who randomly walks by your phone when you’re not there could potentially see sensitive information displayed on it while it’s locked.
Fortunately, Apple’s iOS contains a number of privacy settings to control what data can display on your lock screen, but many people ignore these options. Want to keep your sensitive information private? In this guide, we’ll show you what you can control and how to change these settings to keep private data off your iPhone lock screen.
To access this setting, go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health. You’ll see the battery’s maximum capacity – the amount of power it can hold when fully charged – and its peak performance capability; this latter will be reduced if the battery is old.
This information shows up on my iPhone 8+, but not on my 10″ iPad Pro, or my iPad mini 4. My guess is that it only displays on those iPhones whose processors can be throttled if their battery is below nominal capacity. (iPhone 6 or later, and iPhone SE.) It would be useful, however, if it displayed on all iOS devices; I think users of old iPads might like to know what the maximum capacity of their batteries is, and potentially replace the battery when it gets low.
Apple’s iOS 11 is out today, and you’ll find tons of new and improved features for your iPhone or iPad. But it’s still a big job trying to find out what’s new and what’s changed, and how to do what you want quickly and easily.
Take a spin through the newest features of iOS 11 with Take Control of iOS 11 by TidBITS Managing Editor Josh Centers. Whether you use an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, you’ll find lots to explore in this book, from major changes to Control Center, to new Instant Markup features, to the Files app, which offers access to files stored in iCloud and on your device. Learn how iOS 11 is a game-changer for the iPad, with new multi-tasking capabilities that take it one step closer to being a peer to the Mac.
Other aspects of iOS that have seen changes in this new version are: the Lock Screen, Control Center, the Home Screen, Files, Siri, Keyboard, HomeKit, the App Store, the Camera, Maps, Messages, Photos, Notes, and Settings. As you dive into the details, Josh also shows you how to customize iOS 11 to fit your needs, helping you decide which settings and apps would be most useful to you.
If you need a refresher on everything that iOS can do, you’ll also find that in this book. Josh provides extensive guidance about the ins and outs of using iOS, including how to:
Manage the Lock Screen, Home Screen, and Control Center
Search with Spotlight
Switch between apps and use Handoff to transfer your work
Apple’s latest quarterly earnings show an increase in iPad sales. This follows the release of new iPad Pro models, which were widely praised in the tech press. However, it’s not these new iPads that have led to an increase in sales.
As Jason Snell highlights in his article on SixColors, year-over-year sales of the iPad have increased 15%. However, iPad revenue only increased 2%. In addition, the average selling price of the iPad decreased to $435. What this means is that, in spite of two new higher-priced iPad models, what has led to the increase in sales is Apple’s low-end model. In March of this year, Apple replaced the iPad Air 2 with a cheaper version starting at $329. Compare that to the starting price for the 10.5 inch iPad Pro which is twice as expensive at $649.
Yesterday’s numbers were interesting because they show that sales of the new, more expensive iPads are not necessarily stellar, but that Apple made a savvy decision by releasing a less expensive model. It’s likely that people with older iPads finally decided to upgrade at this more affordable price.
Apple does not have a history of competing by price. Their products are generally premium products at premium prices. There have been exceptions over the years, with low-and laptops, and cheaper versions of the iMac, and maintaining an older model in the product line as a teaser, but in general Apple’s prices generally do not compromise. But the company has seen that offering a low-price model of the iPad is extremely effective. It probably doesn’t bite into their high profit margin very much, and it keeps users in the Apple ecosystem. It’s worth noting that this iPad is not an older model, but an update to an older model with a new, faster processor; it’s not like when they still sell the iPhone 6 when the iPhone 7 is the current device.
Apple also saw this when they released the iPhone SE last year. The company was clearly unprepared for the success of this phone, which has proven popular both because of its low price and its diminutive size.
With two such low-priced successes, will Apple continue to offer some of its products at lower prices? It clearly makes sense for the bottom line.
First introduced in 2012, Apple’s iPad mini was a welcome alternative to the much larger, thicker, and heavier 9.7-inch iPad. There was no 5.5-inch iPhone Plus, so the iPad mini made a great choice for light reading and effortless web browsing, email, and gaming. The market doesn’t stand still, however, and we’re now looking at a redesigned iPad Pro to be launched this summer that should offer everything the current 9.7-inch iPad features, but in a smaller footprint with a larger 10.5-inch display.
On the other side, there’s the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, which is large enough to negate the need for a tablet for many users. The device you take everywhere, that’s always with you, that has the best camera, and that has everything else you need. The device that you already own. Therein lies the problem, and that’s why we have heard from a source close to Apple that the iPad mini is being phased out.
That’s a shame. I love my iPad mini. I use it to read ebooks in bed, because the larger iPad is much too heavy. The iPad mini is the paperback to the iPad Pro’s hardcover. It’s a bit bigger than a Kindle, but the typography is so much better…
It’s also used a lot in education with small children for whom the full-sized iPad is too large. And I’ve seen stores where people use it as a point-of-sale device.
I understand that it’s a niche device, but it would be a shame if they kill it off.