Resisting the temptation of a new M1 Mac

I’m starting my 7th month of being iPad only. It is working out amazingly well. But with all the new M1 Macs, I’m being severally tempted to trade in my 2015 MacBook Pro for one of the new M1 Macs of undetermined configuration. If I do this, I’ll want to switch back to a Mac as my main computing device.

Not helping this situation is all the Apple influencers talking about their M1 Macs on their podcasts over the last several months. Especially when you hear some die hard iPad folks getting them.

Of course, the right thing to do is to wait for the rumored 2022 MacBook Air refresh, since a MacBook Air is what I would likely get. As I wrote the other day, the Pros are to damned expensive for my use case.

2022 MacBook Air Rumors: Non-Tapered Design With Notched Mini-LED Display, MagSafe, ‘M2’ Chip, and More – MacRumors

2022 MacBook Air: Specs, colors, design, price | Macworld

Most importantly I shouldn’t forget why I left a Mac for an iPad in the first place.

👎 Nope

Apple intros 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros with display notches, M1 Pro, and M1 Max

Nearly a year after announcing the first, low-end M1 Macs last November, Apple has finally unveiled its higher-end Macs. New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will include the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, faster successors that build upon the foundation of the original M1, as well as more ports, and a slight redesign. This marks the most significant change to the MacBook Pro since the Touch Bar was introduced back in 2016.

These things are to fucking expensive for a non-pro user. The 14” starts at $1999 and the 16” starts at $2499. Sorry Apple, these things are not in my wheelhouse. I’m happy with my current technology stack. iPhone 11 and iPad Air with Magic Keyboard. That’s all I need.

Where the hell is the Escape key on the iPad Magic Keyboard?

Change the behavior of the modifier keys on iPad

If, like me, you rarely use the caps lock key, you might be interested to learn that you can remap it on a hardware keyboard in iPadOS. I mapped mine to Escape.

How to Remap Modifier Keys on iPad When Using a Keyboard

  • Launch the Settings app on your ‌iPad‌
  • Select General -> Keyboard
  • Select Hardware Keyboard
  • Select Modifier Keys
  • Select the key that you’d like to modify …
  • Select the action that you’d like to perform when tapping the chosen key

That’s it.

iPadOS 15 multitasking and keyboard shortcuts

If you are a regular reader, then you are aware that I switched my entire workflow to my 11” iPad Air. It does everything I need to do from writing, handling email, texting, messaging, reading, watching videos and more. I still have my 2015 13” MacBook Pro because I use it to run Hazel rules, which is something that I can’t do on my iPad.

iPadOS 15 has made the iPad even better. The new multitasking features and Globe key keyboard shortcuts have made working on the iPad even more Mac like. It’s fucking wonderful!

If, like me, you use an iPad as your main computing device, check out Chris Lawley’s video for getting your arms around all the new features in iPadOS 15.

iPadOS 15 Walkthrough: EVERYTHING You Need To Know! – YouTube

iPad

Jack Baty writing at Coping Mechanism:

Trying to live on the iPad for a while

I’m drawn to the idea of being forced to do only thing at a time. iOS does that. I’d probably do more than one thing at once if I could, but “multi-tasking” on iOS remains an unusable mystery, so I’m better off leaving it alone. Anyway, you get the idea.

Basically, I’d like a break from tinkering with my system(s) on macOS (hi Emacs!), so I’m going to spend some time living on this 12.9″ (aka “Thirteen-inch”?) iPad with Magic Keyboard.

Challenges:

I’ll be forced to use the baby version of Lightroom. How will I handle exports, sharing, resizing, etc? And I hate that I don’t have control over where files go and what they’re named, but here we are.

Where does one take notes if there’s no Emacs and Org mode? Notes app? Drafts? Craft? Ulysses? Do I really want to venture into that rabbit hole again?

How do I get things from one place to another without easy access to multiple clipboards and my Mac’s desktop? How do I save things for later without Zotero? How do I do nearly anything without Alfred?

And so on.

But, iOS is calmer than macOS, and right now I need a little calm.

Greg Morris at GR36 writing in response to Jack Baty’s post.

Greg Morris – Force Some iPad Into My Life

To use the word that tech commentators hate to hear — when I am ‘working’ on an iPad (e.g. writing a blog post or editing a photo), it feels different. As Jack puts it, using iPad OS is calmer, it never feels like work. Granted sometimes it’s a full time job trying to work out how you do somethings that are simple on a Mac but the simplicity is so refreshing. The iPad feels computerish without feeling like the rest of my waking life.

So, here’s the ‘forcing’ part. I am going all in again. Apart from my work day, which I can do nothing about, I am using an iPad for everything else. I haven’t spent anything, it’s a 2018 12.9” iPad Pro with a Magic Keyboard I have had for a long time so I have nothing much to lose. I am actually quite excited.

I enjoyed reading these two posts because they reminded me of my recent transition from a Mac to an iPad. My iPad is a 2021 11″ iPad Air 4th Generation with 256 GB SSD, Magic Keyboard, Apple Pencil 2, and Magic Mouse 2. It has been my computing device for the last several months.

For the record, rebuilding my workflows has been a time-consuming pain in the ass. That said, the time spent doing that resulted in my learning about the many great features of the iPad. For my use case, the iPad is all In need. I do miss not having apps like Alfred, Keyboard Maestro, and Hazel on the iPad but I’m getting over it.

🔗 Link Post: An Apt Analogy

Tim Nahumck, writing for nahumck.me:

When people start to complain about computing devices, they often turn to their favorite car analogy. But most of them get the wrong vehicle type when it comes to the iPad Pro. It’s not a V8 sports car. It’s not a motorcycle. It’s not a bike. It’s a modular computer which can do a lot of things well, makes trade-offs in certain areas to maintain flexibility and portability anywhere you want to go. So if you are going to target the iPad in this way, use an apt vehicle analogy:

The iPad is a Wrangler.

It does a lot of things well. It has different configurations to give you different experiences. It’s not the smoothest on-road vehicle, but it’s unmatched in the places you can take it anywhere in the world. The iPad Pro is not a powerful laptop, but it’s a powerful, capable modular computer. It can be more than a laptop, but there are also trade-offs that Apple is currently making to keep it modular. A great example on a Wrangler is that they don’t have power seats. There’s an assessment of trade-offs as to why this isn’t done, but I’m sure it’s something assessed for future incorporation. It’s not as easy as people would think: the Wrangler has other requirements to keep, and every change made requires an assessment of what it takes to implement the change. The engineers are forced to think differently when approaching these problems.

What a great analogy of the iPad. Since March, I’ve been using an iPad I exclusively. In May, I purchased a new 2021 11” iPad Air 4th generation with 256 GB SSD, Magic Keyboard, Apple Pencil, and Magic Mouse 2, and I’m loving it. The new multitasking features coming in iPadOS 15 are going to make the iPad even better.

Desktop vs Mobile vs Tablet

Are you ditching the third device?

I often wonder how many people actually own an iPad and if they do how often they actually use it. I know there are iPad enthusiasts like Federico Viticci and Christopher Lawley. But what about you and me?

According to my blog’s Google Search Console visitor statistics the distribution of device type used to visit my blog puts the tablet (which includes iPad) far behind the desktop (which includes laptop), and the smartphone.

  • Desktop 63%
  • Smartphone 34%
  • Tablet 3%

These percentages are fairly consistent month after month.

I have an iPad, but I haven’t used it for a few months. A few weeks ago I figured I should be using it so the other day I turned it into a read-only device. You know what? I still don’t use it because I would rather read on my iPhone.

With a laptop and today’s larger screen phones is a tablet necessary?

MacBook Butterfly keyboard suit gets class action status

“Apple customers unhappy with the butterfly keyboards used in MacBook models from 2015 on will be able to proceed with a lawsuit against the Cupertino company, as the judge overseeing the case has given it class action status. The suit covers anyone who purchased a MacBook with a butterfly keyboard in California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan.” Juli Clover for MacRumors

This lawsuit will include those who bought a MacBook between 2015 and 2017, a MacBook Pro between 2016 and 2019, or a MacBook Air between 2018 and 2019. We have a 2019 MacBook Air but so far have not had a problem with the keyboard. We also live in New Jersey so it sounds like if we do have an issue at a later date we will be included in the suit.

What’s coming to the MacBook line in 2021

I recently wrote that I was thinking about holding off on buying an M1/8GB MacBook Air.

This week we got more information about what we might expect in 2021. According to a 9to5 Mac article, it sounds like we’ll be getting MacBook Pros with no Touch Bar, more ports, and the return of MagSafe. There’s also mention of a redesigned MacBook Air late in the year.

That said, I would love to get in on all the excitement around the M1 MacBook Air but I think it’s worth waiting to see what’s to come.

2021 MacBook Pro to charge faster via MagSafe – 9to5Mac

Following a report from Ming-Chi Kuo offering a variety of new details on the 2021 MacBook Pro refresh, Bloomberg is out with its own report on the changes. The report adds additional details on the return of MagSafe, and teases a redesign for the MacBook Air.

In case you missed it overnight, Kuo reported that Apple has some major changes in store for the 2021 MacBook Pro, which will be available in 14-inch and 16-inch variations. The new MacBook Pro is rumored to adopt a flat-edged design similar to the Phone 12 and iPad Pro, add more IO ports on the side, bring back MagSafe charging, and ditch the controversial Touch Bar.

Finally, the Bloomberg report teases that Apple is also “planning a redesigned MacBook Air,” but that it will not be released until “long after the next MacBook Pros.”

Notably, we’d previously heard that Apple would release a more affordable MacBook Air in 2022. It’s unclear if this is the same machine, or if Apple could be planning a redesigned version and keeping the current MacBook Air around at a lower price.

Back to a MacBook

I wrote a while back about going iPad first when iPadOS 13 was released with keyboard and trackpad support. I had turned my 2015 MacBook Pro (MBP) off and put in a drawer to never be turned on again hoping this would work out.

Well, it lasted about 60 days and then I got my MBP out of the drawer it had been sitting in, turned it back on and slowly started transitioning back to my it.

The trouble with iPad was that I spent more time fighting it than loving. It was just too hard to get things done as fast and efficiently as I can on my MBP. I have so many automations with Alfred, PopClip, Keyboard Maestro, and Hazel that make doing things on the Mac so fast and easy that just can’t be duplicated on the iPad. So, I gave it up.

In fact, I’m not sure that I even need or want an iPad. A couple of weeks ago I put it in the same drawer that I had put my MBP in and didn’t even miss it. I found that between my MBP and iPhone 11 I can do all that I need or want to do.

All that said, I just finished watching Apple’s One More Thing event where they introduced the new Apple Silicon 13” MacBook Air, 13” MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini with the new M1 chip. These devices are incredible and what I’ve been waiting for. I’ll be ordering a new MacBook Air as soon as I decided whether to get 8 or 16 GB of unified memory.

How to get the trackpad to ignore touches while typing

Do you get frustrated with how the slightest touch of the palm of your hand or thumb on the trackpad causes the text cursor to jump to a different position when you’re typing? I have and it’s been bothering me for some time.

Here’s how I solved this problem. I turned off “Tap to click” in the Trackpad Settings. Now when I’m typing and my palm or thumb accidentally touches the trackpad the text cursor doesn’t jump to a different position. I’m guessing this setting is on by default because I don’t recall having ever turned it on.

When I’m not typing, I like having “Tap to click” turned on. Since it’s not convenient to go into Trackpad Setting to turn it on and off all the time I looked for an AppleScript that I could use to toggle it on and off.

I found this one and it works fine.

Credit: Wojtek Witkowski on Github

tell application "System Preferences"
	activate
end tell
tell application "System Events"
	tell process "System Preferences"
		delay 1
		click the menu item "Trackpad" of the menu "View" of menu bar 1
		delay 1
		click the radio button "Point & Click" of the first tab group of window "Trackpad"
		click checkbox 3 of tab group 1 of window "Trackpad"
	end tell
end tell
tell application "System Preferences"
	quit
end tell

I’m using this script in Keyboard Maestro with the hotkey ⌘+⌥+9 to toggle the setting on and off. This will also work with an Alfred Workflow.

I shattered my iPhone screen

I go for a 2-mile walk with my dog Charlotte every morning. I always record my walks with my Apple Watch and listen to a podcast in Overcast. A few days ago I was walking up the driveway with my phone in my hand queueing up a podcast to listen to and while doing that Charlotte decided to lunge after a rabbit and knocked my phone out of my hand. Our driveway is gravel and the phone landed screen down. Shattered!

I love my iPhone 7 Plus but it’s getting old and I was looking forward to getting a new iPhone 12 when they’re out this fall. I initially thought about a screen repair but decided against it. Instead, I purchased and new Product Red iPhone 11 with 64gb memory. I also got the Apple 11 Clear Case and Belkin InvisiGlass Ultra Screen Protector. I’m happy with my purchase but was really hoping to hold out for the iPhone 12. I’ll get over it.

I like most everything about the iPhone 11. Face ID is wonderful and swipe in place of a Home button is the coolest. The keyboard on the 11 is a bit smaller than I’m used to on the 7 Plus but I wasn’t going to spend another $300 to get the iPhone 11 Pro ($699 vs $999) to have a minimally bigger keyboard.

No charging brick? You’ve got to be kidding!

There’s a rumor going around that Apple won’t be including a charging brick with the new iPhone 12. That means when I buy a new iPhone I’m going to have to buy a charger as an add-on purchase to be able to use it. I don’t know about you but this is just wrong and it feels like Apple nickel-and-diming us to improve their margins. The thought of this just pisses me off. Apple this is stupid!

You have to ask yourself why would Apple do this? M.G. Siegler wrote about this subject over on his blog 500ish.com.

None of those points are false, but let’s be honest here, that’s not why Apple is doing this. Here’s the breakdown in terms of order of importance as I see it:

1) Margins. The next iPhone’s margins are going to be under assault due to the ‘5G’ components, amongst other new technology. And COVID has altered the supply chain immensely. The charger may not seem like a huge margin savings, but it adds up in aggregate. Also, there’s up-sell opportunities galore with the new faster charging bricks — or, even better, Apple’s inevitably still-forthcoming wireless charging solution.

2) Shipping. You know what else adds up in aggregate? Shipping these units from China. If Apple can make these boxes more svelte, they’ll pack more in. This helps the environment, in a way, but it helps the bottom line even more.

3) Transitions. The next iPhone — the one after this one — is already rumored to forgo wired charging entirely. If that’s the case, it may make some sense to move people beyond the notion of including a wired charger in the iPhone box now. Force more customers to get ready for the wireless charging revolution.

4) Environment. This is on the list. But it’s the last item on the list. Not the first item on the list.

I know that all sounds cynical, but come on, that is clearly what is happening here. It’s not all point number one, but it’s a combination of all four points with the first one being the most important in terms of deciding what to do here. They could have made this change at any point over the past few years with the same rationale. Yet they’re doing it this year.

Again, I’m sitting here shitting on a decision that is a rumor. But the source (which is a second source, no less) would seem to be credible enough that this is likely going to happen. And so maybe there’s still a chance to affect the outcome. Not within the boxes themselves — that ship has undoubtedly already sailed, even if the shipping containers haven’t yet — but perhaps there’s an opportunity to offer a power brick as a free add-on for those who want/need one at the time of an iPhone purchase.

Again this is just stupid to sell a product without being able to fully use it out of the box. And that’s exactly what Apple appears to be doing if the rumor is true.

Going iPad first

For the past few weeks, I’ve been using my iPad as my main computing device. This has been possible thanks to iPadOS 13.4 advanced mouse and trackpad support. I’m using my 9.7” 5th generation iPad, Magic Trackpad 2, and Logi Slim Folio keyboard. For the most part, this setup has worked out great.

I like the way M.G. Siegler wrote about using the iPad in a recent post on 500ish. It describes exactly how I’m feeling about the iPad now.

For some people, depending on their workflows, they will absolutely need a desktop OS to be as productive as possible. I am not one of those people. For me, it’s more just getting used to doing everything that I used to do on macOS on iOS. And with the new keyboard + trackpad, I think I can now get there. Again, it will just take some time and retraining my brain on certain things. If I can do that, I actually think the iPad will be far preferable for me to do everything I do right now on a Mac.

With that in mind, I’m looking forward to getting a new iPad. Interestingly, a few days ago, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple will introduce a new cheaper iPad at the end of the year with a 10.8-inch screen, larger than the 10.2-inch iPad and 10.5-inch iPad Air we know today. I’m guessing that this iPad would work out nicely for me.

Apple is concerned over the COVID-19 situation and the possibility of lower consumer demand to upgrade their iPhones

This Business Insider story from a couple of days ago got my interest. It suggests that Apple is reportedly worried about the financial impact of COVID-19 and that people won’t have the money to buy new iPhones this year. That would seem to be a legitimate concern given the current state of the economy and the number of people out of work.

But, beyond people’s financial ability to buy Apple products I think there are other reasons as well. I’ll give you an example. As I mentioned in a previous story I’m interested in a new iPad. As much as I would like to order one I’m pressing the pause button for now.

Here’s why. No one knows how their body will respond to COVD-19? If I were to get it I might be one of the unfortunate ones to not survive. Since that is a possibility I don’t want to have just spent a bunch of money on a new iPad and accessories. I’m sure I’m not the only one holding off on a new Apple device purchase for the very same reason.

Quick thoughts on using a Trackpad with iPadOS 13.4

Yesterday Apple released iPadOS 13.4 with advanced cursor support. I immediately downloaded 13.4 to my iPad and paired my Magic Keyboard, Trackpad and Mouse.

I’ve been using my iPad with the Trackpad for a few hours now and can say this will change how I use my iPad. One thing I will mention is that my original Magic Mouse didn’t scroll. A Magic Mouse 2 is required for full mouse support.

Now I can see an iPad replacing my MacBook Pro as my main computing device. That said, I’ll be considering a new iPad. I’m not sure which one at this point but I’ll decide after I’ve used my existing iPad with the Trackpad for awhile.

All that said, I’m going to have to make some adjustments to my workflows since a lot of what I do on my MacBook Pro involves using Alfred, Keyboard Maestro, and Hazel. A lot of what I do with those apps can’t be replicated on the iPad. I’m sure I’ll find ways to work around it though.

To get started, I found this 9to5 Mac YouTube video very helpful.

I’m looking forward to Tuesday

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, iPadOS 13.4 will be released. Why am I so looking forward to this? Well, 13.4 will have advanced cursor support which means a mouse and trackpad will now work with my iPad. I’ll be trying this out and that will be a welcome diversion from worrying about COVID-19.

We have seen that with iPadOS 13, which was the first version to introduce mouse support to the iPad, but the implementation was extremely limited. This will change with iPadOS 13.4, which brings a new way to use a mouse or trackpad on the iPad.

The cursor will be a small semi-transparent circle instead of a regular pointer, which will come up only when you need it. That means once the user stops moving the cursor, it will disappear from the screen so that the focus continues on the content.

It also disappears when it is over certain interface elements, such as buttons and icons of the Dock. These elements will be highlighted with a different shape so you know the cursor is there, and you can just slide to access other options.

I think that at some point I would like to be iOS only? This may get one step closer to doing it.

An iPad with a mouse and trackpad?

9to5 Mac is reporting that sophisticated mouse cursor support is coming to iOS 14 and that new iPad Smart Keyboard models will have a trackpad.

According to code seen by 9to5Mac, Apple is set to roll out rich system-wide support for mouse cursors with iOS 14. Apple added rudimentary compatibility with external mice in iOS 13 Accessibility settings, but iOS 14 (iPadOS 14) will make it mainstream.

The iOS 14 build also referenced two new Smart Keyboard models in development.

The changes coming to the software will bring most of the cursor features you recognize from a Mac desktop experience to iOS.

I love it and I’m looking forward to it. This seems like something that could get me closer to making an iPad my main computing device.

Some thoughts on Apple’s Event – September 10, 2019

This week Apple announced the new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, Apple Watch Series 5, and iPad. With all the rumors floating around over the last few months the announcements weren’t surprising.

Here are my thoughts.

iPhone
I’ll be trading in my iPhone 7 Plus for a new iPhone 11. My 7 Plus is starting to show its age and I’m getting bored with it. I plan on getting the 64GB model for $499 after my 7 Plus trade-in. Colors? Now that’s a hard one. I’ll have to see the actual phones to decide on that one.

iPad
I might also consider the new iPad or iPad Air with a larger display, pencil, and keyboard to replace my 5th generation iPad. I’m finding myself using my iPad more these days so it would be nice to upgrade.

Watch
I just bought my series 4 Watch this last April so no new Watch for me this year.

Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 DNS server issue

I thought I was having intermittent WiFi dropouts with my MacBook Pro. It started all of a sudden a couple of days ago. The odd thing is, it wasn’t happening on any other devices or my wife’s new MacBook Air.

It was getting frustrating. Websites would take forever to load. Sometimes they would time out. I rebooted my MacBook and turned WiFi on and off. I rebooted my modem and Eero. I ran a speedtest and that also checked good. And after all that the issue persisted.

At a loss for what to do next, I finally remembered that I’m using Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS servers. Could that be it?

Yes! I switched back to my ISP’s DNS servers. After doing that everything was working as it should work. I then switched to OpenDNS servers and they worked fine as well.

I’m guessing Cloudflare is having some sort of an unresolved issue with there 1.1.1.1 servers.