Category: News

The latest news with an iPad focus.

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.

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.

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!

Is Safari’s Reading List good enough as a read later service? (#90)

Here I am again, talking about default apps and features. This time, it’s Safari’s Reading List feature, and comparing it to the likes of Pocket and Instapaper.

How are you? And more importantly, how and where are you reading these letters? I like to put longer pieces in a read it later service, something I’ve talked about before. I also like to use the default apps as much as possible, since they tend to integrate well with iPadOS.

So, where does that put Safari’s read it later alternative, called Reading List?

I ditched Pocket and its ilk for a couple of weeks, in favor of Reading List, and I have thoughts. Read on, or save for later, to find out if Safari’s Reading List is good enough.

📧 Switch to iPad #90 is a paid issue. It’s $5/month or $50/year, which includes the full archives, if you’re interested. Thank you!

Call to code: WWDC 2022 announced

This year’s WWDC, Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, has been announced, subtitled Call to code. Mark June 6-10th in your calendar, with the sixth being the most interesting for most people. That’s when Apple will lift the lid on all the cool stuff they’ve got lined up for iPadOS, and all their other platforms (i.e, iOS, watchOS, tvOS, macOS, and whatever new OS they’ll possibly launch). 

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Last day to subscribe and donate to UNICEF for Ukraine 🇺🇦

This is just a quick reminder that this is the last day of March, which also means it’s the last day where I’ll match subscriptions with an equal donation to Ukraine (up to $1,000). I wrote about this here, if it’s news to you.

So, if you’re on the fence about subscribing to Switch to iPad, or if your renewal is coming up, then this is a chance to do some good, while also getting a subscription.

Last I checked, subscriptions are up about $400, meaning I’ll donate $400 to UNICEF’s work in Ukraine. Thank you! 🙌🏻

Subscribe here!

I’ve been using Calendar for weeks, and I have thoughts (#89)

Remember when I said I was going back to default app, but not Calendar? Well, that changed.

How are you? Is your calendar as jam-packed as mine? I certainly hope not, it’s been nuts, and while I hope this week is the last crazy one, I’m starting to doubt it. These days, I put more and more things in my calendar, blocking time. That, in conjuncture with a to-do list app, keeps me organized.

You might remember that I’ve been going back to the default app to a certain extent. I’ve written about Reminders in Switch to iPad #85, the default to-do app, and extending it with Remind Me Faster (review here). I’m a dedicated Notes user, too. But Calendar, I just didn’t see it replacing Fantastical.

Now, Fantastical is a great app, but it comes with a yearly subscription if you want all the features. I don’t mind that, I’ve relied on it for a long time. However, a series of sync issues made me wonder if Fantastical was the culprit, and, in a weak moment, I deleted the app, and reverted to the default Calendar app.

Let’s just say that I’ve got thoughts.

📧 Switch to iPad #89 is a paid issue, so you need a valid subscription. It’s $5/month or $50/year. I’m matching all subscriptions with a donation for Ukraine, until March is over, so do consider subscribing if you haven’t already.