Author: Thord D. Hedengren

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

Focus Mode, but for your kids

Have you got kids? Do they sometimes borrow your iPad (or iPhone, for that matter) to play games, or watch something on YouTube Kids? And, while they do, are you secretly afraid they’ll accidentally text your boss, call your ex, or tweet something inappropriate about Elon Musk?

Focus Mode to the rescue!

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My new iPad home screens 🏠 (#95)

Ah, home screens… Dragging and dropping those apps, figuring out where they go, it’s something some of us spend quite a bit of time on, and others couldn’t care less about. This week’s issue of Switch to iPad is all about home screens, and how I set them up together with Focus Mode.

How are you? And, perhaps more importantly, what are your home screens like? I’ve been fiddling with mine for quite some time, trying to find balance. What I needed, it turns out, was an unplanned reboot of my 11” iPad Pro. I had some issues with my cellular connectivity during my Easter trip a while ago, and while I was waiting for the provider to get back to me (not an easy task during Easter), I tried everything I could think of. In the end, and in my desperation, I resorted to resetting the iPad completely. Don’t worry, I had access to decent Wi-Fi at the time, so it was easy enough to get everything up to speed, but during this process I figured, hey, why not reshape the whole thing?

So, I did, and ended up with the most logical, albeit perhaps not entirely complete, home screens yet. This, paired with Focus Mode, has helped me consolidate my iPad use a bit, something that’s been beneficial for me the past couple of weeks.

Let’s talk home screens, then!

📧 Switch to iPad #95 is a paid issue, so you’ll need a paying subscription to read. It’s $5/month or $50/year, and you’d be supporting my writing with your hard-earned money. There’s a free trial too, if you’re uncertain. It’ll get you full access to the archives as well, which is more than two novel’s worth of iPad goodness.

Our hopes and dreams for iPadOS 16 (#94)

It’s Wednesday, and that means that a new issue of Switch to iPad is out. This one’s about iPadOS 16, and our collective hopes for that. I reached out to some fellow iPad fans to hear what they had to say about the matter.

WWDC, Apple’s developer conference, is closing in. It starts on June 6th, with the State of the Union event, where Tim Cook & Co. lays out what’s next for Apple’s various platforms. This, of course, includes iPadOS 16, which is what this week’s issue of Switch to iPad is all about. Now, Apple won’t actually release iPadOS 16 at WWDC, they typically preview upcoming features, and release the first beta version. A live, public, release isn’t likely until sometime during the autumn, normally alongside new iPad models, and what we get then isn’t necessarily feature complete. Just look at iPadOS 15, where we didn’t get the much lauded, and truly excellent, Universal Control feature until iPadOS 15.4.

Now, I have lots of thoughts on iPadOS 16 myself, but I asked around a bit, and got some interesting thoughts and tidbits from some fellow iPad users. You might know them from YouTube, the App Store, or maybe a magazine or book cover? Let’s hear what they have to say about iPadOS 16, and their hopes for Apple’s next big version of the iPad operating system.

📧 Switch to iPad #94 is free for all to read, so have at it! Do tell your friends, though.

Keychron K6 – a review

I love keyboards. I’ve owned hundreds over the years, which might sound like a crazy number, and that is obviously because it is. Today, I think the number is just shy of twenty, not counting older keyboards I might’ve forgotten in a drawer somewhere. Yeah, I might have a problem, but then again, if it weren’t for my keyboard curiosity, I wouldn’t have stepped out of my comfort zone (Keychron K4) and picked up the wireless and mechanical Keychron K6. And, I’ve got to tell you, I love this keyboard.

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Zavala – a review

Zavala is an app, available for iPad obviously, but it’s also on iOS and macOS, that helps you create outlines. That is, outlines in terms of a tree of items, with indention to clearly state where an item is in relation to other items. You’ve done plenty of those, I’m sure, using bullet lists. Well, that’s what this is: An app to create bullet lists.

And I like it. I do feel that the best way to tackle this review, is to show you. So, here’s my outline (and review) of Zavala.

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iPad screen sizes, again (#93)

Let’s talk iPad screen sizes again:

How’s your eyesight? Mine’s good, although I have invested in blue light-blocking glasses for work, with slight magnification. I find it relaxes the eyes a bit, or maybe it’s the placebo effect. It matters little.

I’m typing this on my 11” iPad Pro, sat in its Magic Keyboard. The keyboard’s a bit cramped, as mentioned previously, but it gets the job done. The screen size is large enough for most tasks, the middle ground of iPads, you might say.

However, the release of the M1 iPad Air (10.9”), the iPad mini 6 (8.3”), which I love, and the fact that I’m using Universal Control rather than Sidecar with my Macs, has made me think about iPad screen sizes again. This, obviously, means that I have to share said thoughts with you, so here we are.

📧 Switch to iPad #93 requires a paid subscription. It’s $5/month or $50/year, as usual, with a trial available.

Pro Snooker & Pool 2022+ – a review

I don’t know if you know, but the snooker world championships is happening now. It’s an event I enjoy a lot, for some reason. I also enjoy playing both snooker and pool, in person as well as in digital form, so when Pro Snooker & Pool 2022+ popped up on Apple Arcade, I was all over it.

Most people know what pool is, usually played in 8-ball or 9-ball in sleazy bars, but snooker might not be as known. It’s a tricky billiards game that involves massive tables, small pockets and balls, and quite a bit of strategy. Snooker isn’t as fast as pool, and, I’d say, it’s a lot harder to get into. That’s why I like it. It also makes for pretty good slow TV, if that’s your thing.

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The magic of Universal Control 🪄 (#92)

I haven’t talked about Universal Control at all, up until now. There’s a reason for that: I wanted to actually put it to the test first. So, here’s this week’s Switch to iPad newsletter, about Universal Control.

Universal Control was introduced in iPadOS 15.4, and requires a Mac running macOS Monterey 12.3 or later. It’s a feature that lets you control your iPad with the keyboard and pointing device connected to your Mac, but also lets you do some things seamlessly between the two. So, while connected, you can move your pointer from your Mac screen, to your iPad’s screen, and back again. And yes, that means that you can drag a file between the two, which feels like magic the first time you do it.

But is this useful, or just a gimmick. I’ve been using Universal Control for weeks, since iPadOS 15.4 was released, and I’m here to tell you: It depends.

📧 Switch to iPad #92 has been sent to paying subscribers. Care to join them? It’s $5/month or $50/year. There’s a free trial, too.

The iPad packing list for my Easter trip 🐣 (#91)

Easter is upon us, well, almost, and I’m going on a trip. That’s what this week’s issue of Switch to iPad is all about.

How are you? Me, I’m packing for a trip down south (it’s not as dramatic, nor as warm, as it sounds) to attend my little sister’s wedding, and get some much-needed vacation. It’ll be good to see my parents and siblings, it’s been a while, as you’d imagine.

Oh, and it’s Easter, too. That’ll make it a joy to travel through half the country by train, I’m sure… I do hope to get some reading, writing, and researching done on the train, though, so that’s good. Sometimes, being confined to a certain space, and limited as to what you can do, is great for productivity.

I’m traveling light. That means I’ll bring my 11” iPad Pro, and not that many other things.

📧 Switch to iPad #91 is free for all to read. Have at it!