Author: Thord Hedengren

Author, designer, developer, and editor of Switch to iPad, among other things.

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Writing on glass – a reading tip from Switch to iPad

Hi all!

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? I hope you’ve been well. Me, I’m still using the iPad a lot. I’m writing this on one (the latest 11” iPad Pro, if you’re curious), using the beta version of iPadOS 17 and a 27” screen with Stage Manager. No, it’s not quite there yet, but Stage Manager is improving, and I’m going to do final edits on a manuscript later today or tomorrow using this very setup, so it’s getting dangerously close to good enough.

Anyway, I wanted to email you about a piece I wrote and sent to the Bored Horse newsletter subscribers. It’s called Writing on glass, and it’s obviously about using the iPad as a note-taking device. I think you’ll like it.

→ Read Writing on glass on the Bored Horse

Oh, and if you’re interested, do consider subscribing to the Bored Horse too. It’s not iPad-centric, or even just about tech, but you might enjoy it nonetheless. It’s free, too.

That’s it for now. I’ve got some things cooking so you might hear from me sooner than you’d think. If you’d rather not, just use the unsubscribe link below.

Okay. Take care!

— Thord D. Hedengren ⚡

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Switch to iPad: The final issue 🥂

Hi friends!

This will be the last issue of Switch to iPad. It’s bitter-sweet because I think we had a good run, and I wish I could continue and develop Switch to iPad according to plan, but alas, it’s just not possible. Better to wrap it up, then.

I do have one more thing left: The iPad Office Toolkit. I’ll get back to you on a launch date for that when I have it, but it’ll be a couple of months at least. The iPad Office Toolkit will be released as an ebook with a one-time purchase. Paying subscribers will get the iPad Office Toolkit for free.

Speaking of paying subscribers, all subscriptions have been canceled as of Monday. I am grateful for your support, it’s been such a boon to be able to write these newsletters, and it has all been possible because of you. I will get in touch with you regarding the iPad Office Toolkit closer to launch so that you can claim your copy.

Furthermore, I’d like to thank all readers, paying or no, for these years with Switch to iPad. I’ve had a blast, and while it’s frustrating that I couldn’t make it grow enough to focus on it more, I’m still glad I ventured on this project. I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words about using the iPad, and I could’ve gone on to write even more, had things gone differently. As a thank you, I’ve unlocked all member posts so that everyone can read them.

Thank you, all.

Switch to iPad
July 2020 – February 2023

— Thord D. Hedengren ⚡

iPadOS 16.2 brings Stage Manager to the big screen

Apple has released iPadOS 16.2, and with that, Stage Manager support for external monitors. At least if you use an M1 or M2 equipped iPad, older iPads are stuck with screen mirroring, as before.

So, is it any good, Stage Manager on an external monitor?

No, not really. Everything I’ve written about it still stands, it’s buggy and confusing. It does make more sense on larger screens, and definitely on my XDR Display, but it’s also so very limited in the way you can arrange app windows. Not to mention that it crashes from time to time, still. It’s more stable than before, though, so there’s that. More on this at a later date, as well as the new Freeform app, which I’ve been using for some time. I’m looking forward to seeing how well it works for collaborations, now that it’s available for all.

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Issue #118: A few notes on moving to Proton as an iPad user

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I’ve been wanting to leave Google behind for some time now, at least when it comes to email. There’s something inherently evil about a corporation built on advertising reading your email, after all. I’ve tried multiple other email services in the past, and self-hosted my email as well, but Google’s been the best one when it comes to managing the obscene amount of spam I used to get. They’ve been a necessary evil if you will. Well, the past year or two, I’ve found a bit too many non-spam emails in the Spam folder, several of which were business opportunities for Divide & Conquer. That’s obviously not good, so it’s been on my to-do list to finally move elsewhere for some time.

I took the plunge last week, for everything but the agency work email, a reason for which I’ll get to. My choice of email provider is Proton, a Swiss security-focused alternative that’s been around for a long time. You can get good deal for both private and business accounts, including VPN and their Calendar and Drive services.

So, everything but the agency email is on Proton now, and has been for about a week. I have thoughts.

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Issue #117: Can an iPhone replace an iPad?

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There’s a really short answer to that particular question: It depends on what you’re doing on your device. (Well, duh.)

The slightly longer one needs a bit of background. Why, after all, would I be thinking about things like this, as a dedicated iPad user? And why should you? Read on, as they say.

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Issue #116: A note from the PowerPoint mines

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I meant to write about the upcoming Freeform app in this issue, but I’m afraid the workload has been, well, terrible. While I enjoy doing some print design occasionally, fixing another agency’s crap isn’t my favorite pastime. Add to that some interesting adventures in PowerPoint (!), and you have my past 72 hours. The latter, at least, provides me more information for the iPad office toolkit I’m working on, so that’s intriguing.

As a side-note, while I understand plenty of people swear by PowerPoint, I can’t begin to tell you how horrible it is in comparison to Keynote. This is a user’s nightmare, which is why it landed on my table in the first place. I generally don’t do this sort of thing, but you don’t say no to some clients (for the right reasons, don’t worry), so here we are. Everything I remembered about PowerPoint has, somehow, gotten worse. It’s like a snapshot of the past, with a new interface, and yet, it’s still horrible.

No, I don’t like PowerPoint. Go figure?

Anyway, said print design would’ve been great for the new Affinity Publisher iPad app. Alas, I started it before it was announced (on a Mac, obviously, as there was no Publisher app for iPad back then) and the deadline is too tight for any potential compatibility issues, or otherwise. So, I’ve yet to launch Publisher for iPad, which is a shame. I’m excited about a closer look at these V2 Affinity apps, and intend to write something about them before Switch to iPad closes shop.

Yeah, that’s the elephant in the room, isn’t it? I’m glad you’re still here, especially since this is one of those more informal member posts. You know, when I ramble on about things that I’m struggling with, and end up with something insightful (maybe) on iPad usage.

This time, I’ve got nothing.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I wrote about my love of plain text files some time ago, and that still stands. I’ve also written about the joys (well…) of starting from scratch when you get a new iPad, and I’m using an M1 11″ iPad Pro as my primary device currently, so I’m in that position right now.

I’ve also talked about why Switch to iPad is getting sunsetted, which, of course, is due to my renewed focus on writing fiction.

This is where it comes together, I hope. You see, I’m a big fan of outlining app Zavala (reviewed here). It’s pretty much plain text, in outline, or hierarchical bullet list, form. I’ve been working on the outline for my follow-up to Automatonen, the fantasy novel (in Swedish, sorry) that comes out in the New Year, and Zavala is my starting point.

Except, due to previously mentioned PowerPoint woes, I’ve been spending some time using a Windows PC. I’ve had downtime, and rather than writing on my iPhone (no iPad in sight), I reverted to plain text. Writing in Markdown, it all transitioned just fine to iA Writer on my iPad, as expected.

There’s really something to be said about open file formats. It just works, as opposed to so many other things in today’s world.

— Thord D. Hedengren ⚡

Sunsetting Switch to iPad 🌅

Hi!

I hope this message finds you well. I’m afraid I have bad news: Switch to iPad will cease to get regular updates about a month from now, mid-December. The site will remain online for the foreseeable future, but don’t expect any updates beyond this point. There are some member features that’ll go online after this, though, but no regular updates.

I don’t take this lightly, and this decision wasn’t my first course of action, either. Discussions and variations hasn’t yielded any sustainable way for me to carry on with Switch to iPad. I just don’t have the time anymore, with a book coming out next year and writing the sequel. That’s the gist of it, something had to give, and since I still need to, you know, pay bills and buy food, that means Switch to iPad has to go.

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iPadOS 16.1.1 released

Apple has released iPadOS 16.1.1, which is a security release fixing, well, it’s not entirely clear to me. Either way, you should install this one as soon as possible. You’ll find the update in the Settings app as usual.

No news on iPadOS 16.2 yet. The rumormill says we’ll see a December release, and since we’re just on beta 2, that seems reasonable.