Author: Thord D. Hedengren

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

Can the Logitech MX Anywhere 3 be a Magic Trackpad substitute? (#88)

This week’s issue of the Switch to iPad newsletter follows up on the Logitech MX Anywhere 3 review published yesterday.

How are you navigating your iPad? I’m writing this on an 11” iPad Pro, sat in the Magic Keyboard, but that’s not always the case. More often than not, my writing setup consists of the iPad in a stand of some sort, and a bluetooth keyboard and pointing device. That last one is what I’d like to discuss today.

External pointing devices – mouse and trackpads – has worked with iPadOS for quite some time now. It’s something of a universal truth that a trackpad is the better choice, and with good reason. After all, you can recreate every swipe and gesture that you’d do on the iPad screen, on the trackpad’s surface. A mouse doesn’t have that, but they’re still supported. Are they then a reasonable alternative to trackpads?

📧 Switch to iPad #88 is available for paying subscribers now. Subscribe for $5/month, or $50/year. I’m still matching subscriptions with donations to Ukraine – we’re closing in on $1,000, which is both the limit and target, so please help.

Logitech MX Anywhere 3 – a review

Logitech MX Anywhere 3 is, as you can see, a mouse, not a trackpad. That means that things like swipes and gestures are hard, downright impossible, to do. This is limiting in iPadOS, definitely, and also a reason why most people, including me, would recommend Apple’s Magic Trackpad over a traditional mouse.

But what if you want to use a mouse? Or have one for your Mac, maybe, and need it for your iPad at times? That’s where the MX Anywhere 3 comes in.

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Keychain now supports notes for your saved passwords

Keychain, the iCloud-powered password saving feature that’s built into Apple’s various operating systems, keeps evolving. As of iPadOS 15.4 (and its equivalents for other platforms), you can add a note for your saved passwords. This is done by going to the Settings app, then Passwords, and then tapping the password you want to change. There are some minor things you can do on this screen, such as setting up verification codes and easily go to the website in an in-app browser to change your password. However, the notes field is a new one, so that’s a nice addition.

Keychain really is a great feature. It’s got a long way to go before it competes with the likes of 1Passwords, in terms of storing and sharing other sensitive data, but for personal use, it’s great.

Slay the Spire – a review

Slay the Spire is a critically acclaimed rogue-like card game. I think that’s what I’d call it. You draw cards and use them to kill your opponents, thus climbing hour on the three act long ladder. The more you play, the more cards you unlock, and other things too, making progress easier, but also more varied.

I’ll say this right away: This is a brilliant game, and you will either love it or hate it.

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How important are the iPad speakers? (#87)

It’s Wednesday, and that means that paying subscribers are getting this week’s issue of the paid Switch to iPad newsletter. It starts like this:

I have a confession to make: I seldom use the speakers on any of my iPads. That’s true for my Macs over the years, too. It’s not that they’re bad speakers, any of them. On the contrary, Apple is best in class more often than not. Especially the iPad Pro speakers, with their four-point system, is lauded for being enough for most.

Except, I don’t agree.

So, this will be a letter about iPad speakers, and perhaps help you decide if they matter to you, as you consider a new iPad. Because we’re always considering new iPads, aren’t we?

📧 Yep, it’s all about the speakers in Switch to iPad #87. You need a paid subscription for this, which costs $5/month or $50/year.

Remember, I’m matching all subscriptions in March with a donation to UNICEF, for Ukraine, up to $1,000. We’re several hundreds of dollars in, which is lovely.

iPadOS 15.4 is available now

It’s time to update those iPads, folks. Oh, and you iPhone, Mac, Apple TV, HomePod, Apple Watch, and, err, yeah, that’s all of them.

The star of the show in iPadOS 15.4 is Universal Control, a feature that lets you connect your iPad to your Mac (or several Macs to each other), while using a singular input device. That’s right, it’s not like (the otherwise excellent) Sidecar feature, which makes your iPad act as a second screen for your Mac. With Universal Control, you’re still in every device’s respective operating system, while still being able to do things like drag-and-drop files between them. It’s all very cool, and I’ll have more on it in the future. And yes, if you recall this being mentioned before, know that it was an iPadOS 15 feature that got delayed.

There are also over 100 new emojis (if you count all the color variations). You can seen them all on Emojipedia.

Where to save that link, again? (#86)

Switch to iPad #86 has reached its subscribers. It starts like this:

I hope this letter finds you well, and that you have time to read it. If not, then feel free to save it in your read it later service of choice. Or maybe there’s something in here that you want to refer to in the future, something that you need to keep handy later on.

Where do you save those links?

In the old days, most links to articles and resources you wanted to refer to later ended up in various link-saving services. They weren’t really read it later tools, although they obviously could be. It was more akin to an extended bookmark folder, with tags and the like to keep your links organized. Delicious (originally, del.icio.us, so wonderfully web 1.0) and later Pinboard spring to mind.

I don’t use any of those services today, but I find myself needing to save the link for future reference, still. It’s tempting to just throw them in a read it later service because technically Pocket or Instapaper would work just fine. They have all the features needed, after all, with tagging and highlights, as well as decent search capability. But, to me, that’s not what a read it later app should do. I don’t want my GitHub link failing to load in a reader view, alongside that long exposé from The Atlantic, I want it someplace else.

I’ve been on a quest for some time, and maybe you have to. Let’s see where we’re at, and go from there, shall we?

📧 Switch to iPad #86 is a paid issue, so you need a valid subscription to read it. It’s $5/month, or $50/year, and there’s a free trial as well. Remember, I’m meeting all subscriptions with a donation to benefit the victims of the war in Ukraine, up to $1,000. Full details are here.

Who should buy the fifth generation iPad Air?

Apple did a number on us with their Peek Performance event on March 8th. There were plenty of nice things announced — iPhone SE, Mac Studio and a new monitor — but I want to talk about the fifth generation of iPad Air.

Wow, was that surprising.

I mean, it was pretty much what we expected, iPad Air was due an upgrade, and given how the latest (sixth) generation of the iPad mini (review) was performing, it wasn’t far-fetched to believe that was the iPad Air was destined to be. I can attest to the power of the iPad mini 6, I’m using it daily, and prefer it for most games.

But the iPad Air 5, it’s something different, yet similar.

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