The Friction-free iPad

I’ve owned an iPad since shortly after the device debuted, and I swore that I’d never use a keyboard case. I had a MacBook Air to use when I wanted a portable device with a full keyboard. I also didn’t like the idea of turning my iPad into a Frankenstein device, with accessories bolted onto it. My thinking on this has recently turned 180 degrees, though – I’m now sporting a new Belkin QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case on my iPad.

What caused the change was a reevaluation of my priorities, and a change in my gear. Previously, I was all about portability. I wanted my iPad to be thin and light. Lately, though, I realized that I wasn’t using my iPad as much as I could have been, because I have an unhealthy aversion to using onscreen keyboards.

I also have gradually upgraded from an 11 inch MacBook Air to a 13 inch Air, to my current 15 inch MacBook Pro. With a three year-old in the house, I don’t just grab my MacBook at a whim. There’s something about that glowing Apple logo that draws my daughter to it, with her little hands grabbing for the screen and the keys.

The iPad, on the other hand, was something I could open up and use for a few minutes here and there. That’s become even more common now that I have a bluetooth keyboard case on the iPad. I had a document to work on over the weekend, and did most of it in 10 minute spurts several times over the course of the weekend. That wouldn’t have been possible for me before.

There are compromises with having a keyboard case on the iPad. The most notable compromise is that the iPad is heavier, and not as comfortable to use in bed. I’ve found, though, that if I keep it open in landscape mode, with the keyboard on my lap or chest, I can use it without even noticing it. Another issue is that the iPad doesn’t stay on the stand that I use when eating breakfast in the morning. My solution is to just open the iPad up in landscape mode now.

I’ll see if this setup sticks for me. Right now, though, I like be able to use the full power of my iPad, wherever I go.

Easy Paragraph Selection in iOS

This is one if those tips that makes you wonder what else about iOS you don’t know. I had been doing this the hard way – tap and drag those tiny handles. Two finger tap doesn’t seem to work in all apps that I tried, and certainly is easier on an iPad.

Use a two-finger tap directly onto the paragraph to instantly select the entire paragraph or group of contiguous words.


Thanks to OS X Daily for another handy tip.

Select Paragraphs & Large Text Block Easily in iOS with a Two-Finger Tap | OS X Daily

Keynote From an iPad to a Mac

Control keynote on mac from ipad

I just finished a several hour mediation (I’m a lawyer by day), during which I used Keynote as a presentation tool. The mediation happened in another lawyer’s office, so I had to take any technology with me that I planned to use. This was my first time to take presentation technology into a completely new environment, and I was very pleased with how things went.


Everdock Duo – Review

Everdock duo review

I recently decided to ditch my nightstand clock, and use an alarm clock app on my iPhone for that purpose (I’m still trying out a few different apps). My setup wasn’t very elegant, with my iPhone propped up against a box so that I could see the time. I also was constantly fighting a tangle of cords, between my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, and a USB cord for a few different devices. Knowing that setup wouldn’t meet the WAF (Wife Acceptability Factor) for long, I researched some dock solutions, and found one ended up working well, and that my wife has even been eying with some envy.


Build Your Own Dropbox Alternative with OmniPresence [Mac/iPad]

omnipresenceOmniPresence is a new sync tool from the OmniGroup that can be used to keep your OmniOutliner, OmniGraffle, or OmniGraphSketcher files in sync between the Mac and iPad. It goes one step better, though, and can be used to sync any type of file on your Mac, working much like Dropbox works, but using a sync server of your choosing. While OmniPresence will never replace Dropbox, it does offer advantages over Dropbox in some areas.


Dismiss Intrusive iOS Notifications With a Tug

iOS notificationOn iOS, you can configure your notifications on a per app basis to appear in different ways. One type of notification drops down in a thin box from the top of the screen. Occasionally, this box can get in the way. If you’re typing a web address for example, you might think that you have to wait for the box to disappear to continue your typing. You can actually dismiss the box.