Author: Thord D. Hedengren

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

The one about Stage Manager 🖥 (#99)

The WWDC keynote this Monday showed us what’s in store for iPadOS this fall. One of the new features is Stage Manager, which revamps multitasking on iPadOS, but also brings proper fullscreen support to external monitors. Yeah, you knew I’d write about that, right?

I’m writing this on my M1 12.9” iPad Pro, but I’m not looking at its screen. Instead, I have hooked up to a 27” BenQ display via Thunderbolt, something I rarely do. That’s because you get those pesky black bars on the side, and just a mirrored version of your iPad screen.

Or rather, that’s what it used to be like. You see, I’ve got the developer beta of iPadOS 16 installed, and the main feature there is external monitor support with Stage Manager. I’ve got to tell you, it’s pretty sweet. No, scratch that, it’s bloody brilliant, that’s what it is. At least I think it will be, when the bugs have been ironed out.

Apple announced iPadOS 16 at WWDC this Monday. It’s very much in beta (with improved developer tools), and just for developers at this time. The public beta is due in July, if that’s your thing, with the actual release coming sometime this fall.

So, what’s it like to work on your iPad using Stage Manager?

📧 Switch to iPad #99 requires a paid subscription. It’s $5/month or $50/year.

Ulysses update fixes WordPress publishing issues

WordPress, the world’s largest content management system by far, has a pretty rocky history when it comes to third-party apps publishing to sites. This is because of XML-RPC, the communication method used, and how it is prone to attacks. Luckily, development moves forward, and WordPress has had a REST API for quite some time now.

Apps, however, haven’t always caught up. Ulysses, the popular writing app, was one of those. I wrote a whole issue about how you could publish your blog posts using Ulysses, and for many, that was the case. For me, and for Switch to iPad, it soon stopped working because of XML-RPC and how attackers tried to brute-force the site.

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News on Affinity Publisher for iPad coming soon

Remember how Apple seemingly ”leaked” the iPad version of Affinity Publisher? Well, now it’s official that news of the long-awaited app is coming soon.

Free yourself from the confines of your desk, without compromising the quality of your work with Affinity Publisher for iPad. A professional page design app that allows you to create on the go, it has everything you need to produce stunning brochures, posters, portfolios, magazines and much more, no matter where you are.

Affinity Publisher is a great app for laying out, well, just about anything for print. I’ve personally used the Mac version for apps and books, as well as billboards and posters. It’s great, and I can’t wait to see how it translates to the iPad.

And no, it’s probably no surprise that we get this just before WWDC 2022 hits. Might we see Affinity on stage, perhaps? If the pro apps rumors are true, then it surely is an obvious choice. It doesn’t get much more pro than desktop publishing, after all.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s WWDC keynote

How’s your Sunday going? Mine’s just fine, some kind of summer finally reared its beautiful face here in Stockholm, so I’m going outside to enjoy that, sans iPad, but with my camera. But before I go, I just wanted to remind you that WWDC, Apple’s developer conference, starts tomorrow, and while most of the things there are strictly developer-focused, it’s also a glimpse into the next big update for iPadOS. There are rumors aplenty, talking about better multitasking, and possibly some sort of windowed controls, but the truth is that we just don’t know.

The keynote will be live-streamed on the Apple Event page, as well as through their various channels, including the TV app, of course. It starts tomorrow, June 6th, at 10:00 a.m. P.T., which is in the evening for yours truly. Next week’s issue of the Switch to iPad newsletter will surely be about what the future holds, but if you can’t wait, I did a hopes and dreams issue with some friends of mine that is free to read.

A typical day ⌛️ (#98)

It’s Wednesday, which means that it’s newsletter time! From the intro of the 98th issue:

This week, I thought I’d tell you about mine. It might illuminate some issues and compromises, as well as strengths, of using an iPad, foremost.

So, tag along for a day.

📧 Switch to iPad #98 is for paying subscribers only, so if you want to know what my day’s like, this is a good time as any to sign up. It’s $5/month or $50/year, with a free trial available. Thank you for your support!

Lululook Magnetic iPad Stand – a review

Magnetic iPad stands are all the rage these days, and it’s easy to see why. Just like the Magic Keyboard invites you to be productive in a familiar, laptop-like sense, a magnetic stand does the same with a more desktop-y feel to it. I’ve tried quite a few, and what they all have in common is that they offer the same sense of usage freedom as the Magic Keyboard does. Type away, then pull the iPad off to do something else. It’s no surprise that Apple went with magnets for this sort of thing.

Apple doesn’t make any stands, though, and while I do like the Magic Keyboard, I definitely don’t think it’s the perfect angle or setup. At home, I have my iPad Pro wall-mounted, and I control it with a bluetooth keyboard and Magic Trackpad. That’s not always possible, however, and might be a bit extreme for most people. Hence, getting a stand, and that stand could very well be the Lululook Magnetic iPad Stand.

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What if Apple bought EA? (#97)

I mean, they won’t, but what if? And, maybe they will?

So, there are speculations that Apple might be interested in buying Electronic Arts (or EA as they brand themselves), a big games company. It’s one of the gigantic ones, known for the EA Sports line, as well as franchises such as Need for Speed, The Sims, Apex Legends (recently launched on mobile, by the way), and Battlefield. EA is looking to sell in the wake of the mammoth Activision Blizzard deal, where Microsoft paid $68.7 billion.

One of the potential buyers is Apple. There have been talks, reports say, although how serious those talks have been, or are, is unknown at this time. EA is surely looking for a serious payday, although it’s hard to see them being worth as much as Activision Blizzard these days. Other people can probably guess better than I, so I’ll refrain, but suffice to say, whoever picks up EA will have to have a deep wallet.

Apple has a deep wallet. They’re also notoriously bad at games, despite raking in cash on games through the App Store.

So, does EA make sense for Apple, and what would happen if they bought them?

📧 Switch to iPad #97 is free for all, so pop on over and read it. 👋

How tiny can a keyboard get? (#96)

I love my iPad mini 6, as you probably remember, and I’ve got this idea that pairing it with a small keyboard could be an awesome portable writing station. So, that’s what this week’s issue of Switch to iPad is all about, featuring five portable keyboards.

I’m typing this on a Keychron mechanical keyboard, but that will soon not be the case. You see, I went on Amazon and bought a number of tiny keyboards to see if any of them were a worthy addition to a small iPad kit. I’d love it if I could get away with a small bag, packing just the iPad mini 6 and a small keyboard, as well as the Apple Pencil, for creative forays into the city. Smaller is sometimes better, after all.

The problem with this isn’t the iPad mini, you don’t need a big screen if you’re setting out for a writing session. What you do need is a decent keyboard, and, traditionally, these are at least close to full-sized. There are tiny keyboards out there, too, but I’ve stuck with models that are at least reasonably sized, not directly set up to fail by sheer lack of size.

So, let’s see if there’s anything worth getting for a truly tiny iPad workstation, shall we?

📧 Switch to iPad #96 requires a paid subscription. It’s $5/month or $50/year, and helps funding my keyboard purchasing needs (and this very site). There’s a free trial, too.

Apex Legends Mobile is out now

So, are you missing Fortnite, still? Is PUBG and New State not doing it for you? Well, here’s another Battle Royale game for you: Apex Legends Mobile. Released today, the initial reactions to the game is pretty positive. There’s even an mobile first legend to play, Fade.

I’ll see if I can’t give this a go this weekend, and get back to you.

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