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.
I’m a long-time Reeder user for RSS. Not long after Reeder 5 was introduced I tried out the new iCloud feed sync feature. At the time I wrote that I wasn’t impressed.
I wanted to try iCloud feed sync thinking I could cancel my free Feedly account. I’ll share a couple of issues that I experienced and ultimately sent me back to using the free version of Feedly. First off I found iCloud feed sync to be much slower than Feedly. In addition to being much slower, often times feeds timed out and didn’t sync.
A few weeks ago I was having some sync issues with Feedly and while I was waiting for Feedly to fix them I decided to give iCloud feeds another go. And you know what? It’s now rock solid! It is so good that I’m leaving Feedly behind. I have had no issues with time-outs and in my opinion sync is just as fast as Feedly.
As a side note, David Sparks recently wrote about switching to Reeder 5 and using iCloud feeds for managing his RSS.
Looking at my toolset for managing RSS, it’s getting expensive. I currently use a Feed Wrangler account ($19 per year) to manage my feeds, Unread ($20 per year) to view my threads, and Instapaper ($30 per year) for read-it-later. In addition to being expensive, there is a certain amount of mental overhead that comes with managing data between three services that I would prefer to avoid.
This newest version of Reeder does a good job of managing your feeds, displaying your articles, and giving you the ability to set them aside to read later. It does all of this in one application, and in addition to the iPhone and iPad apps, there is also a Mac app. A nice bonus is that Reeder is a one-time purchase. There is no subscription involved. Instead, the developer releases a new version every few years that you buy over, but it is still far less expensive than what I paid for subscriptions. Reeder for iPhone and iPad is $5. On the Mac, it is $10.
I had only one wish for iPadOS 15, and it was that I wanted the Files app to become a true Finder equivalent and that didn’t happen. What we did get were some big improvements to multitasking that I’m looking forward to. Jason Snell and Myke Hurley in Episode 356 of the Upgrade podcast give a good review of how the new multitasking features will work.
Here’s something else that I’m excited about. Apple announced some major new privacy features that will make using iPhone, iPad, and Mac more private.
Sara Morrison writing for Vox
Apple announced on Monday at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that its upcoming iOS 15 update will give iPhone users even more insight and control over their own data. Among other updates, you’ll soon be able to see who your apps are sharing your data with; you’ll be able to stop trackers from detecting if and when you open emails; and you’ll be able to keep your internet activity more private.
Paul Horowitz writing for OSXDaily.com:
Some iPhone and iPad users have reported that battery life is suffering after updating to iOS 14.6 on their device.
My normal practice is to wait a few days before installing OS updates. I want to see if the update is presenting any new issues. I was alerted to a possible battery issue with iOS 14.6 in a May 26th blog post by Lee Peterson. Therefore, I did a some research and found that several folks were having problems with rapid battery drain. I’m going to hold off installing 14.6 and wait for a fix.
As a side note Apple has stopped signing iOS 14.5.1, blocking downgrades from iOS 14.6 according to 9to5Mac, so this is no longer a possible workaround.
WWDC is just around the corner. With the 2021 iPad Pro having a M1 chip there has been a lot of speculation about what might be coming to the iPad with iPadOS 15.
I’m not a pro user so a lot of what’s being speculated is lost on me. But I do have one wish. I would like to see the Files app become a true Finder equivalent. Files needs an Open In option so that I know which app is going to open when I tap a file. And I want the ability to view a file’s extension and to be able to change it.
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?
Secure one-to-one information sharing
Bitwarden has been my password manager since 1Password went subscription a few years ago. Don’t get me wrong I love 1Password but by comparison, it’s pricey. Bitwarden is free to use with Premium features for $10 a year. The free version will do everything most people need from a password manager.
This week Bitwarden introduced a cool new feature. Send for secure one-to-one information sharing. “Bitwarden Send is a lightweight utility used to share information with another person for a limited period of time. Bitwarden users can easily transmit a file or text, and rest easy knowing the sent information is protected with end-to-end encryption, and will not live forever. Users choose an expiration date for the Send link, after which it no longer works to access the information.”
“This new feature is available on all Bitwarden clients: Web Vault, mobile, browser extensions, and CLI, meaning users will always have a secure way to share sensitive information temporarily.”
About Send | Bitwarden Help & Support
Create a Send | Bitwarden Help & Support
This isn’t something that I will use all that often but it sure is good to know that Send is there for that rare occasion that I need it.
Over the past three years, security researchers and real-world attackers have found iMessage remote code execution (RCE) bugs and abused them to develop exploits that allowed them to take control over an iPhone just by sending a simple text, photo, or video to someone’s device.
As reported January 28, 2021 by ZDNet “With the release of iOS 14 last fall, Apple has added a new security system to iPhones and iPads to protect users against attacks carried out via the iMessage instant messaging client.”
“Named BlastDoor, this new iOS security feature was discovered by Samuel Groß, a security researcher with Project Zero, a Google security team tasked with finding vulnerabilities in commonly-used software.”
“Groß said the new BlastDoor service is a basic sandbox, a type of security service that executes code separately from the rest of the operating system.”
“While iOS ships with multiple sandbox mechanisms, BlastDoor is a new addition that operates only at the level of the iMessage app.”
“Its role is to take incoming messages and unpack and process their content inside a secure and isolated environment, where any malicious code hidden inside a message can’t interact or harm the underlying operating system or retrieve with user data.”
Updated June 9, 2021: Reeder 5 iCloud feeds sync revisited
It’s now rock solid! It is so good that I’m leaving Feedly behind. I have had no issues with time-outs and in my opinion sync is just as fast as Feedly.
– – – – – – – – –
With Reeder 5, the option to sync your RSS feed via iCloud instead of using a third-party sync service such as Feedly or Feedbin was added.
Sync all your feeds and articles with iCloud. Reeder 5 comes with a built-in RSS/Feeds service which will keep everything in sync on all your devices. Of course, this is optional. You can still just use one of the many third-party services supported by Reeder
I wanted to try iCloud feed sync thinking I could cancel my free Feedly account. I’ll share a couple of issues that I experienced and ultimately sent me back to using the free version of Feedly. First off I found iCloud feed sync to be much slower than Feedly. In addition to being much slower often times feeds timed out and didn’t sync.
Reeder 5 supported third-party services
Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, FeedHQ, NewsBlur, The Old Reader, Inoreader, BazQux Reader, and FreshRSS.
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.