Category: Features

Articles, interviews, columns, and more — you’ll find it all here.

The Apple Pencil hover dot

The one new feature that truly stands out with the 2022 M2 iPad Pros, is the hover dot the Apple Pencil gives you to indicate where you’re about to press. This registers earlier than before, meaning that you can hold the pencil a full 12 mm above the screen, and see where you’re heading.

This is helpful, I’m pleased to say.

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This is what’s new in iPadOS 16.1

It’s been a weird iPadOS beta period, bumpy enough for Apple to skip iPadOS 16.0 altogether, and jump straight to 16.1. Well, the wait is over, iPadOS 16.1 is rolling out, and the beta watch is officially ended.

I won’t do a mammoth review of iPadOS 16.1, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of videos and posts on that particular topic. However, let’s take a closer look at some highlights in iPadOS 16.1.

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Solving the Apple Pencil problems for the new iPad

The new, tenth generation, iPad comes in the iPad Pro/Air form-factor, as previously mentioned. That means charging using USB-C and eschewing, which is a good thing for such a device. All in all, the new iPad looks like a promising device. The one thing that stands out, that sort of sullies it, is that it uses the first generation Apple Pencil, which charges using Lightning. That used to mean that it’d stick out awkwardly on the side for a bit, from the iPad’s Lightning port, when you needed to charge it. Now, that port is USB-C, and charging the Apple Pencil got a lot more complicated.

Luckily, there are solutions.

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iPadOS 16 Beta Watch: Allow paste, per app, finally

Here’s something that’s rolled out recently, in iPadOS 16.1 (due Monday), and the upcoming iOS 16.1, that really should’ve been there from the get-go. You know those horrible allow paste from another app warnings that are such a bother with apps like Yoink (review)? Well, no, you can agree (or deny) them once and for all under each app’s settings pane in the Settings app.

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Spark update brings new features, wants you to subscribe

Spark, the popular email app from Readdle, has gotten a pretty big update, and with it, they’re switching to a subscription model. If you’re a user today, nothing much will change, unless you want access to these new features. It’s all detailed in a blog post, but I wanted to touch this a bit.

First, the new subscription model pricing. We’re looking at $8/month or $60/year for individual users, which, I must say, is pretty steep. Current users get 30% off. The Spark for teams pricing is, I think, unchanged, at $10/month or $84/year per user. Again, pretty steep, but if you build your business around email, and need collaborative tools and real-time chat about these things, then it’s reasonable, I guess.

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iPadOS 16 Beta Watch: Get rid of those duplicate photos

While this isn’t an iPad-only feature (it’s also in iOS 16 and the upcoming macOS Ventura), I, for one, am doing most of my photo managing on an iPad, so I appreciate this new feature in Photos. As you know, taking more than one photo of something is the key to getting a good result, but it does mean that you end up with plenty of duplicates. Well, Photos can help you with that, thanks to the new Duplicates feature.

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iPadOS 16 Beta Watch: Stage Manager is far from done

This is a post I really don’t want to write, but alas, here we go. As you know, Stage Manager is the new multitasking feature in iPadOS 16.1, and also supported in the upcoming macOS update. It’s not a mandatory feature just yet, you have to enable it, but it does come with something a lot of professional iPad users have been clamoring for, and that’s proper external display support. Because of this, and the fact that screen-size matters for such a feature, Stage Manager is limited to iPads equipped with the M1 chip (or better). That’s 2021 iPad Pros, and the iPad Air 5.

The state of Stage Manager was what made Apple skip iPadOS 16.0, jumping straight to 16.1. The plan was, clearly, to release iPadOS 16.0 alongside iOS 16.0, which went live last week. And now we’re chugging through 16.1 developer betas, seeing improvements to Stage Manager, and yet, we’re far from done. As in, really far from done.

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iPadOS 16 Beta Watch: How is Stage Manager on an 11” iPad Pro?

Stage Manager, this new way to multitask in iPadOS 16, and the next macOS too, is the reason we’re not getting iPadOS 16 just yet. The release has been delayed until later this fall, and even skipping 16.0, going straight to 16.1. Stage Manager doesn’t work on all iPad either, you need an M1 (or later) equipped iPad to use the feature. Despite Xcode-induced demos on the iPad mini, and the general notion that Stage Manager probably could run on lower-end iPads, limiting the feature to larger iPads makes sense.

I’ve been using Stage Manager on both my 11” and 12.9” M1 iPad Pros, and I’ve got some thoughts on the former.

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