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Category: linked (page 1 of 8)

iPad Limitations With Reactive Work →

Riccardo Mori, at morrick.me:

The point that some iPad die‐hard fans seem to miss is that it’s not a matter of people not wanting to adapt to an iOS‐based workflow; it’s not a matter of people lacking mental agility to ditch their computers and switch to iPads for work. It’s that their work imposes different solutions, in the form of dedicated software, company‐issued computers, multitasking requirements (e.g. ability to monitor more than three applications simultaneously on a bigger screen), etc.

Although the “why I can or can’t use the iPad as my only computer” topic has been covered ad nauseam, and although Riccardo’s post focused on the portability and lightness aspect as a draw for iOS, the above quote is what struck me.

While I love the change of pace of working on my iPad when I can, it simply isn’t possibly when things are flying fast and furious at the office. And that has nothing to do with me not being familiar enough with iOS or iOS automation to bend the iPad to my will so I can react quickly. Instead, it has everything to do with the design decisions of the iPad concerning windowing and multi-tasking, as well as the limits of automation on iOS1.

I can’t instantly jump between apps on the iPad as quickly as I can on the Mac, or keep more than a couple windows on screen at once (three, if you count slide over). iOS automation isn’t to where it is on macOS yet, either. For example, with Keyboard Maestro on macOS, I can apply a brute force filter to entries in our firm’s case management system, using Keyboard Maestro’s ability to click on specified images. With the iPad, I have to do this clicking manually. The iPad method takes several seconds longer, and, for me, those seconds count.

For my type of work, the iPad is good when I know what I need to get done, and can control my work environment. When I have to be reactive, though, I need a system with windowed apps, and more advanced multi-tasking and automation (i.e., macOS).

I’m glad Ricardo framed this as “some” iPad users missing the point. I think most of the people in my online circle seem to understand that what works for them doesn’t work for everyone. I certainly understand that my way of doing things is specific to me, and that the iPad is a much better platform for some of you.

(But don’t get me started on the ergonomic and future health issues of working solely on an iPad or laptop.)


  1. This post isn’t meant as a suggestion that there’s something inherently wrong with those design decisions, or that Apple should change them – just that they hold me back in some situations.


Blogging on a Mac Instead of My iPad →

Jeff Perry from Rocket Panda:

It also has an incredible editing system to show you where you can improve on your writing and grammar. It reminds me a lot of the Hemingway web-app, showing where you write in passive voice, or when you are using words that have preferred alternatives. So instead of saying something is “very large” it could show you something like “enormous” or “gigantic” making for it to be a much more pleasing thing to read.

Jeff’s post inspired me to try out Marked 2’s writing and grammar tools, which I had forgotten. In fact, I used Marked 2 to see some suggestions for improving the post you’re reading right now. To use Marked with MarsEdit, select the “MarsEdit Preview” menu item from within Marked.

In general, my blogging workflow on the Mac is a bit more basic than Jeff’s workflow. I use Ulysses on iOS, but not on the Mac. Instead I write and publish directly from MarsEdit when on the Mac. I, too, use the MarsEdit extension Quick Post extension in my browser.

One reason I don’t use Ulysses on the Mac is because I like MarEdit’s preview function, which uses your site’s CSS to show you what a post will look once published. I also favor MarsEdit’s ability to browse and grab links to posts located on my server. Once you publish a post, you can’t retrieve it or interact with it from within Ulysses.

Both Ulysses and MarEdit are great tools. It comes down to which features are important to you.


Finally Making Sense of Magic Variables in the Shortcuts App →

Dr. Drang:

All those green bubbles come from a single Magic Variable and its many parts. I’m going to show how to put them together—partly because it might help you, but mostly in the hope that doing this will reinforce the use of Magic Variables with me.

The introduction of Magic Variables in version 1.7 of the Workflow app was supposed to make the use of variables easier. Magic Variables never clicked with me, though, probably because I never spent the time to understand them. I finally grasp how to use them, thanks to this post by Dr. Drang. If you want to use Magic Variables in the Shortcuts app (the successor to the Workflow app), Dr. Drang’s post is a great place to start.


Siri Shortcuts and Things →

Marius Masalar, at his blog:

“Hey Siri, Add a new Writing task”
This example creates a new task in Things within my ‘Writing’ area, assigned to Today, and presents me with a pre-filled quick-entry window where I can add the title and hit save.

I’ve already created almost 50 Siri Shortcuts, but I haven’t done much in the way of integrating Siri Shortcuts with Things. I’ve only set up a couple Siri Shortcuts to filter my tasks with particular tag/list combinations. Follow the link above, though, for some really good examples of Siri Shortcuts set up to create tasks in Things. The post inspired me to set up a few.

Read more


Apple discontinues its own photo printing service, recommends third-party Photos Projects apps instead →

Benjamin Mayo writing for 9to5Mac:

Apple is discontinuing its Photo Print Products service, which has been integrated into iPhoto since its launch in 2002. The service expanded from simple prints, to albums, photo books, and calendars.

Maybe I’m a dinosaur, but I used this service every year to make a Mother’s Day calendar for my wife and our daughter’s grandmothers. The story does mention some third-party apps that include Photos Projects extensions, so this isn’t a complete loss. Still, I’m sad to see it go. I hope the third-party solutions are as elegant as the Apple solution.