Wednesday, March 8, 2017

✔️ A complete list of iPad apps that let me be #iPadOnly

This post will be really geeky, but you'll love it - an updated list of my productivity iPad Apps! Here's the backstory: a few years back I co-wrote a book iPadOnly - How to use only your iPad to work, play and everything in between where I recommended a set of apps that help me get everything done on the iPad. In the meantime I got my iPad Pro and I kept updating this blog with my impressions of iPad Pros and iPadOnly work and I've also posted a list of apps I use on my iPhone but as lots of people keep asking me about this, here's a list of the iPad apps I use now to get things done and make it my main productivity workhorse.

A complete list of iPad apps that let me be #iPadOnly

Bonus: experiment with app layout

Before we move on to the list of apps, as you can see on the screenshot of my iPad above, I've decided to experiment a little with my app layout recently. I just hated it that I had apps on different screens and was very often tempted to get distracted when I wanted to write something but opened the Twitter app as it was just "on the way" to my writing app... so I started using folders as my "focused environments" and group my apps together. These groups give me a few benefits, like:

  • groups are focused on "jobs to be done" so I can concentrate on what I need to do, like writing, reading, etc.
  • groups create order so I don't install too many apps on my iPad and don't bloat it
  • groups fit on one screen, so at a glance I basically see all the apps I've got
  • groups leave some empty space so I can use a nice inspiring background - a photo of San Sebastián I took when I was on vacation with my family :-)

OK, here's the list of all of my apps from these groups:

Monday, November 28, 2016

✔ How “baby” iPad Pro became my computer of the year 2016

I’m writing this article just before Apple’s MacBook Pro event. It’s about time. Many of my colleagues can’t wait to replace their old MacBook Pros with the new models. I’m not that impatient, since I already picked my computer of the year. It's my 10-inch iPad Pro, which I call “baby Pro.” About a month ago I wrote about my hesitation about which iPad I should continue to use. I started having doubts about whether the large, 13-inch iPad Pro is doing a good job as my main computer. After more than three months of tests, I finally chose the winner. It’s the smaller iPad Pro, and in this article I’d like to tell you why. As a bonus, I’ll tell you how my #iPadOnly workflow looks right now with the example of writing this article... on my favorite iPad.

baby iPad

Note: The following article appeared first in the 6/2016 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

★ Using a software keyboard on an iPad Pro in a vertical mode. With Smart Cover!

When I heard about the iPad Pro's size I was wondering how it'll be to write on the iPad in vertical mode, as the onscreen keyboard is of a pretty big size. It's actually as large as the keyboard of the iPad Air 2 in horizontal mode! Now that just today I received my Smart Cover I decided to test it by putting my iPad in a vertical position and supporting it with my new iPad cover:

Using a software keyboard on an iPad Pro

Built-in iOS 9 keyboard is too smalll as Apple decided to shrink the horizontal keyboard in vertical view. This makes the keys really smalll and I can't comfortably type on it without looking at the keyboard or making lots of mistakes!

I also don't like the onscreen keyboard by Apple as it has this new quick edit enhancements which should help but they don't! Very often I'd just type too fast and by putting two fingers at once on the keyboard I'd cause a text selection instead of writing something.

So I went with the Swype keyboard which should be actually used for "swyping" and not for typing text but it works pretty OK also for just writing texts. Just like this one. I still have to get used to it but so far so good! Plus language swithing with this keyboard is pretty easy. I just have to get used to the a little non-standard keyboard layout that's all, but the keys are good enough!

Question: Have you ever used 3rd party keyboards? Which ones do you recommend?

Sent from my iPad Pro

Monday, November 23, 2015

✔ Can the iPad Pro substitute a laptop? Well... Yes. And No.

Now that the iPad Pro is out and I've been using it for the last week or so, many people have been asking if it can finally be a laptop replacement. If people can now finally ditch their Macbooks and embrace the new era of touch-devices for most of their computing needs. Well, it depends who you ask:

My iPad Pro

iPad Pro can surely substitute any other iPad

It has for me at least. I already see the benefits of the bigger screen. I already "get" the "split view" apps and I enjoy working like I used to in the era of "Norton Commander" (OK, many people who are younger than me won't get the joke - basically it was a two-pane file manager in the era of DOS... long time ago).

More screen estate, more power, two vertical iPad-size apps at once in the "split view" mode... and yes - this iPad has already replaced my iPad Air 2. But can it replace a Mac?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

★ Using my age-old Zagg keyboard with my iPad Pro

Sometimes things just have to run a full circle. Before I wrote the #iPadOnly book with my friend Augusto, I started a series on this blog... And it all began with me getting an iPad 3 and a ZaggKeys Flex Keyboard and a decision to make the iPad my main computing device. Now, today when I was working in a cafe, my setup looked like this:

ipad pro and zagg keys

I bought this keyboard 3,5 years ago for my iPad 3. I've gone through iPad 4, iPad Air and iPad Air2... up until I got my iPad pro.

I've had different keyboard throughout this time: Logitech Ultrathin for iPad4, Ultrathin for iPad Air... And I've given away my Zagg to my mom when I gave her my trusty iPad 3 (she still loves it!).

Last Christmas I noticed she wasn't using the external keyboard so I decided to get my Zagg back and try it again. It is very compact, very light and its cover transforms to an iPad stand that can even support the huge iPad pro (see above). And as I don't intend to buy this new Smart Cover with keyboard, my trusty Zagg keyboard will find its use once again. The very same keyboard that converted me to the #iPadOnly life...

A full circle...

Question: are you using a Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad? Which one?

Sent from my iPhone 6S Plus

Saturday, November 14, 2015

★ After unboxing the iPad Pro - first impressions: it's huge (duh!)

As a guy who co-wrote the #iPadOnly book I was naturally curious to see Apple launch a bigger iPad. After all, I switched to performing most of my computing tasks on an iPad years ago. Actually back in 2012 when I got my iPad 3. Now that the bigger brother is out I couldn't help but order it on day one. And here's what I think:

ipad pro size

It's HUGE

That's the very first impression I got. Wow. It's like a tv screen. I didn't manage to buy any accessories for it as they're not available here in Europe so quickly yet, so I have a bare bones iPad without even a Smart Cover.

And the thing is huge. And heavy. Or maybe it's just strange to hold. I don't know. It's just strange to have a huge touch screen like this. It's of a size of my wife's 13 inch MacBook Pro.

It's weird

I feel a little more discomfort today having my iPad Air 2 compared to this thing, then when I switched from iPhone 5 to iPhone 6 Plus. I haven't regretted that change so I hope I won't regret this one. Today, on day 1 this thing feels too big for me.

I don't like the keyboard in the vertical orientation. It has a traditional computer layout rather than the iPad layout so the keys are small and I'm not writing as fast as I thought I would.

It's a new thing.... so it's a challenge!

Anyway, I'll give this big boy a go this next week. I'm setting up it from scratch and will start using it as my main computer this coming week. Let's see if it feels as weird later as it does today.

I just hope to fall in love with this just like Federico did. Need to get some sleep and let this big boy grow on me. I'll report back in a week or so.

Question: have you seen the iPad pro? Ordered one?

Sent from my iPad Pro