Web Finds for September 13, 2018

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique and informative news, apps and websites that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

Credit Freezes Will Soon Be Free
With the one-year anniversary of the Equifax breach just behind us, here’s a reminder that you will be able to freeze your credit reports and sign up for year-long fraud alerts for free starting Sept. 21 thanks to a federal law passed earlier this year.
Via Lifehacker

IPHONE XS AND XS MAX: HANDS-ON WITH APPLE’S GIANT NEW PHONE
Apple just announced the iPhone XS and XS Max. They’re iterations on last year’s iPhone X, but the XS Max at least stands out in one very notable way: it’s so much larger. The Max has a 6.5-inch screen, making it a bigger phone than even the latest model in Samsung’s famously large Galaxy Note line.
Via The Verge

Apple iPhone XR hands-on: the new default iPhone
The new iPhone XR, which feels like it will be the default iPhone for many people this season. Not only does it have a very similar design to the more expensive iPhone XS model, it has many of the same features for a considerably lower price.
Via The Verge

Hello eSIM: Apple moves the iPhone away from physical SIMs
On Wednesday, Apple announced that its new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will use an eSIM—a purely electronic SIM that allows users to maintain a secondary phone line in a single device. That line could be a secondary domestic line (say you’re a journalist and don’t want to have separate personal and work iPhones), or the phone could have an American and Canadian number (if you travel across the border frequently).
Via Ars Technica

Previous Web Finds are here.

Retiring some tech

I’m experimenting with retiring some of the tech that I’m using.

Our New Jersey house is smaller than the house we were living in in California. With the smaller space, I’ve come to the realization that I no longer need two Macs. All I need is my MacBook Pro and iPad. My iMac is 5 years old. It is stuck on Sierra so when Mojave releases it will be two OS’s behind. I wrote about the problems I had attempting to upgrade it to High Sierra here.

I also have a very old and ugly giant laser printer that I removed from my desk yesterday. The only reason I was keeping it on my desk was for scanning. I don’t do that much scanning anymore and I can use Scanner Pro on my iPhone or iPad in its place. If I need to print something, which I don’t do that often since going paperless, I can print to our wifi printer.

For now, my iMac is still on my desk. When I’ve determined that I no longer need it it will join my old printer in the closet. I’d sell it but it’s not worth much.

David Sparks announces the MacSparky – iPhone Field Guide

David Sparks also, known as MacSparky, has released the iPhone Field Guide.

I’m a big fan of MacSparky. I’ve gotten a lot of useful tips and learned many tricks reading his blog and listening to the Mac Power Users podcast that he hosts with Katie Floyd. I’ve also watched a number of screencasts that he has done for apps that I use. They are wonderful. A screencast series that comes to mind is the one he did for the iOS app Drafts.

Here are David’s own words:

With the iPhone Field Guide, you’ll learn to get the most from your iPhone with this media-rich book that is sometimes user guide, sometimes opinionated app recommendations, and sometimes iPhone sensei. This book was built entirely in iBooks Author and includes all of the multimedia goodness including screenshots, photo galleries, and video screencasts all engineered to make you an iPhone power user. There are over 50 screencasts adding up to over two hours of video instruction, 450 pages, 44 chapters, and over 65,000 words to help you learn how to squeeze every bit of awesomeness from your iPhone.

The material is accessible to beginners and power users alike with a thoughtful, fun, and systematic approach to iPhone mastery. Moreover, this book is beautifully designed and a joy to read. This is the seventh book in the MacSparky Field Guide series.

iPad – Can it replace my Mac update

I switched to Apple products about 4 years ago. My first device was an iPhone 6 that replaced an LG Android phone. Shortly thereafter I replaced my ailing Windows PC with a late 2013 21” iMac. Next came my early 2015 13” Retina MacBook Pro. And I recently upgraded my iPhone to a 7 Plus. With this setup, I never felt the need for an iPad. In fact, I recently wrote an article Can iPad replace my laptop.

So here’s how I’ve ended up with an iPad. Several months ago a friend gave me a B&H gift card that I had actually forgotten about. After rummaging through some stuff the other day I ran across it and realized it was going to expire on October 30 which was only a few days away. Not knowing what to get I decided on an iPad. So I placed an order for a 2017 iPad 9.7” with Retina display and 128 GB storage.

I’ve been using it now for a few of days. The setup was pretty straightforward. I installed all the apps that I want on it and purchased a Speck Slim Balance Folio case for it.

Now how does this iPad fit in with my iPhone and Macs? My computing needs are pretty simple. I write, read, browse the web and manage my finances. Knowing what I do, I am sure I wouldn’t want to completely switch to an iPad. So far I like the reading and web browsing experience on the iPad is. It’s lightweight making it easier to handle than my MacBook and easier to read on than my iPhone.

Writing is not so great. My writing workflows include apps like Keyboard Maestro, Alfred, PopClip, and Marked 2 that improve my productivity. There are no apps like this for iPad. I have to jump through too many hoops to do the same things (if at all) I can do on my Mac.

Here’s the bottom line. I like having an iPad but I certainly don’t need one.

Apple reportedly looking to price its next iPhone at $999

Price scoop, for the soon to he announced new iPhone, from Brian Chen of the New York times. Mixed in the middle of his article “Dear iPhone: Here’s Why We’re Still Together After 10 Years” is the starting price for the new iPhone.

​Brian X. Chen, writing for the New York Times

Chief among the changes for the new iPhones: refreshed versions, including a premium model priced at around $999, according to people briefed on the product, who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Apple made room for a bigger screen on that model by reducing the size of the bezel — or the forehead and the chin — on the face of the device. Other new features include facial recognition for unlocking the device, along with the ability to charge it with magnetic induction, the people said.

If this is true, the new iPhone carries a hefty price tag. This could be a breaking point for some folks. I think I’ll probably be sticking with my iPhone 7 Plus.

Can iPad replace my laptop?

Brett Terpstra recommended this article in Web Excursions for July 14, 2017.

An in-depth look at the current state of the question “Can iPad really replace my laptop?”

This is an excellent article that will help you decide whether an iPad or MacBook is better for you.

Can iPad replace my laptop? by Joshua Carpentier

In this post, we’ll have a look at the biggest changes to iPad with iOS 11, when an iPad is most suitable as a laptop replacement, and when a laptop is still the best choice. We’ll even look at a THIRD OPTION you’re probably not aware of that gives you the best of both worlds. But let’s start with taking a look at what you should think about (but aren’t) before making any purchase.

What to consider before buying a new computer

When looking for a new computer, many (I’d even argue, most) people claim they “need a laptop”—usually because that’s what they’ve always had. And so they naturally think that’s what they still need because they haven’t done these two things:

  1. Assess what they actually do on a computer
  1. Learn about the changes in technology since they last made a laptop purchase

I’ve always felt that an iPad couldn’t replace my laptop. I’m even more convinced after reading this article.

Productivity tools like Alfred and Keyboard Maestro are a major part of my daily workflow. These tools have no iOS counterpart. I use both many many times everyday and I’m not willing to work without them.

I prefer to do most of my writing on my iMac instead of 13″ MacBook Pro Retina because of the extra screen space. I’ll often have Ulysses, Marked, nvALT, DEVONthink, and Safari open at the same time. Safari may have up to 10 or 15 tabs open as well. I can’t imagine doing this on iPad.

After reading the article you’ll have a better idea on whether an iPad can replace your laptop.