iPad Pro After My MacBook Pro Acquisition

It seems like a year doesn’t go by that my workflow sees some sort of major disruption, caused by a new device. Last year’s big shakeup was the iPad Pro, which was large enough that I could finally comfortably write on a tablet for hours at a time. It also held the promise of becoming a full-time computer given the storage space. But given what I’d like to accomplish with a mobile computer — mobile photo editing, writing, browsing, and video editing — the iPad Pro isn’t there yet. I’ve written that word quite a lot over the years: yet.

Touchscreen devices are seeing the fastest growth in terms of innovation and performance improvements, but they still feel inferior to the L-shaped laptops we’ve been using for years. There’s something about resting my hands on the keyboard, looking forward at the screen, and keeping my hands in place as I manipulate content. It is more enjoyable to surf while touching the content on screen, but when it comes to multitasking or batch-processing of tasks and files, the Mac still feels faster to me.

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Deals: ActiveInbox the Ultimate Gmail Task Manager at 37% off

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Today’s featured deal is perfect for those of us who are looking for a way to take back our gmail accounts and make them easier to manage.  By introducing a task oriented prioritization model, your Gmail will will work for you providing the heavy lifting and organizing that we all try to avoid.  Right now there is a better way, and it’s called ActiveInbox.  Touted as the Ultimate Gmail Task Manager, you can pick up your own copy at a savings of 37% off.  It’s a great deal that will run you only $24.95 – instead of the standard price of $39.95. Here’s some info about ActiveInbox, and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

Gmail inbox getting a little overwhelming? ActiveInbox reorients Gmail as an elegant task manager, allowing you to take control right from a task’s origin. Easily integrated into Gmail on your browser and mobile, ActiveInbox gives you folders for projects/clients, scheduling to manage due dates, notes on emails, prioritization, it tracks whether you’ve received a reply to important emails, and even lets you schedule emails for sending later. Give yourself a breather – let ActiveInbox get your Gmail more organized and efficient than ever.

  • Organize your inbox more effectively & implement greater prioritization & note-taking on emails
  • Give all your emails & tasks due dates to never miss a deadline
  • Keep track of everything you’ve asked other people to do in the “Waiting On” area
  • Schedule emails to send later so they’ll be opened at the perfect time
  • Notate emails & tasks & add to your calendar, CRM, or project manager
  • Summarize lengthy threads into a series of tasks to highlight the most important points
  • Write emails w/ existing, relevant tasks for each contact in easy view

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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Evaluating 1Password for Families

I’ve been a 1Password user for a few years now, but it was only recently that I decided to look into their subscription service. 1Password for Families is a $60/year subscription service that provides access for five users on a single Family account. The perks of this plan include:

  • 1 GB of storage for each family member
  • Access to iPhone, iPad, Android, and Mac apps (Windows doesn’t seem to be Family compatible yet)
  • Access to a 1Password web app
  • Shared vaults with the ability to restrict editing rights for specific members (“look, don’t touch!”)

Previous to signing up for the Family subscription, I had kept all of my personal information in the Primary vault (the default vault that comes with any 1Password installation). It took me a while to realize that there was no way to sync this vault with my 1Password for Families account; I had to actually copy or move my data from the Primary vault (which was synced via Dropbox) to the Personal vault in 1Password for Families (which syncs via Agilebits’ custom sync engine).

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Deals: Kinkoo 3-Outlet Surge Protecting Smart Power Strip at 28% off

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Today’s featured deal is perfect for those of us who are looking for an easy and convenient way to keep all of our tech items charged and ready to use when needed.  With three surge-protected outlets, three USB charging ports and one USB type C-port you will always be prepared to keep your most needed devices fully charged.   Right now you  can purchase your very own Kinkoo 3-Outlet Surge Protecting Smart Power Strip at a savings of 28% off.  It’s a great deal that will run you only $24.99 – instead of the standard price of $35. Here’s some info about the Kinkoo Smart Power Strip, and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

At the office, in your room, in the living room, in a hotel room – there are many, many power-packed places in your life that could use a good power strip. This travel-friendly strip is the solution. Equipped with 3 high-powered outlets and 4 USB charging ports, this durable, surge protecting power strip will fit perfectly into any space in your life.

  • Plug in 3 appliances & charge up to 4 devices simultaneously
  • Charge a range of devices thanks to 3 regular USB ports & 1 Type-C USB port
  • Pack up easily & take on the road – it’s only 8 inches long
  • Free US Shipping
  • Ships Internationally
  • Expected Delivery: Dec 23 – Dec 26
  • Expected International Delivery: Dec 23 – Dec 26

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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Quick Look: Gmail for iPad

I really like the default Mail app on the iPad. I think it’s a great example of what a good iPad Pro app should be. It supports a lot of different keyboard shortcuts, has a cool three-pane panel for extra context in landscape mode, but also still respects the concepts of margins for easy reading on a large screen. One thing it really sucks at, however, is searching for email. Unless I’ve flagged something, searching for email in the Mail app is just a crappy experience.

Luckily, Gmail (which I use for my primary personal email account) has seen a number of solid updates in the past year. It’s not something I’d recommend for everyday use necessarily, but it’s a great app to load up in those moments where you need to find that one email from your boss from two years ago.

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Quick Look: Bear for iPad

The screenshot above should also make it obvious, but if you were wondering if iOS has just received another really good-looking notes app that also sync with the Mac, then the answer is yes. Bear uses simple plain text for all of its formatting, so the notes you type out are easily transferrable — at any time — to any other platform or service. However, just because you’re using plain text, it doesn’t mean your notes have to look plain: Bear also handles rich text formatting with Markdown, and it displays pictures right alongside body text.

The Simple Bear Necessities

Whereas other plain text tools like iA Writer 4 focus more on being plain text writing machines, Bear feels like it focuses specifically on taking great notes in a flexible format. There are extra writing elements like word counts and read times in the right sidebar, but I’ve definitely become a bit of a snob when it comes to writing apps: without some sort of focus mode to keep text centered, I don’t consider Bear a full-fledged writing app for my purposes. That’s fine though, because in my brief testing period, it feels like a fantastic app for notes.

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Deals: pCloud Premium Cloud Storage Lifetime Subscription at 87% off

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Today’s featured deal is perfect for those of us who are looking for a little extra storage space to help mange all of our accumulated data and files that eat away at our precious computer storage limits.  In addition, it would be great to have secure web access to keep it all safe, and connection speeds that are not only reliable, but also super fast .  Well look no further– now there is an affordable solution that will serve all these needs and more.  You can get your pCloud Premium Cloud Storage Lifetime Subscription at a savings of 87% off.  It’s an awesome deal that will run you only $59.99 – instead of the standard price of $478.80. Here’s some info about pCloud Premium Cloud Storage, and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

You’ve got too many files in your life to effectively manage on just one device, which is where pCloud comes in handy. A supremely secure web storage space for all of your photos, videos, music, documents, and more, pCloud gives you an easily accessible place to store your valuables without taking up any precious data on your devices. With unrivaled transfer speed and security, pCloud makes saving and sharing memories extremely easy.

  • Get 500GB of cloud storage & 500GB of download link traffic without taking up any space on your computer
  • Download & upload links fast & invite users to shared folders for easy collaboration
  • Enjoy high-level security w/ a 256-bit TLS/SSL connection & client-side encryption through pCloud Crypto
  • Boot up auto upload from your iOS or Android camera to get photos on the cloud fast
  • Sync your data across multiple devices automatically & w/ any folder
  • Access content of unlimited size w/ built-in video & player & HD video streaming
  • Backup your files from Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram, & OneDrive
  • Stream audio & video on all your devices w/ pCloud’s built-in media players
  • Access on multiple devices, from PC & Mac, tablet, smartphone, & more

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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How to Filter out Spam Invitations to your iCloud Calendar on your iPad

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Tis the season to get unsolicited calendar invitations to your iOS devices via your iCloud account.  I never knew this was a “thing” until I recently became part of a large spamming exercise to lure unsuspected individuals in to view Black Friday offers.  I’m not sure how long I had the invite in my  Calendar since I use Calendars 5 by Readdle as my daily driver on my iPhone, and therefore have push notifications and icon badges turned off on Apple’s Calendar.  It was when I glanced at my iPad’s “Apple” folder this afternoon that I thought I may have been spammed.

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Using the iPad Pro Without the Smart Keyboard

As an update to my previous post on everyday carry, I have been leaving the Smart Keyboard at home and bringing just the iPad Pro around with me. I thought that I’d get into the habit of bringing a stand around with me, but it had felt like just one more thing to bring around. So for the past few weeks it has been just the 12.9-inch tablet and the Pencil for occasional diagrams and a few handwritten notes.

It still surprises me how much more comfortable I find typing with the iPad Pro flat on a surface, or propped up on my legs. A typing stand like the Smart Cover or TwelveSouth Compass make it easier to view my text when there’s glare from the ceiling lights, but on the typing angle also forces me to tilt my wrists upwards. I can type comfortably for quite a while this way, but I inevitably walk way from the experience with some wrist pain or discomfort. Not being able to rest my fingers on the keys just makes typing on glass that much more fatiguing. Typing with the iPad completely flat isn’t as good as a physical keyboard, but it’s far easier on my wrists, and ultimately more enjoyable.

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Black Friday Deals Worth Checking out

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Black Friday–the antithesis of the giving, thankful holiday season where we break bread with family and friends and let everyone know how thankful we are and how much our loved ones mean to us.  This celebration is so short lived that many Americans partake in the gluttony of commercial indulgence immediately following their Thanksgiving meals.  Never-the-less, Black Friday still provides consumers the best sales and deals of the year, with electronics often receiving the most attention.

The following is a hand picked list of some of our favorite Black Friday deals…

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Quick Look: Amaziograph for iPad

Amaziograph isn’t a pro-level app, but it’s one of those apps that really shines on the iPad Pro. Pick up an Apple Pencil, spend $2 on Amaziograph, and start to re-discover the fun of creating tessellations and mirrored images in just a fraction of the time it takes to create them manually.

The mechanics of Amaziograph are dead-simple to learn. You choose one of 10 initial grid types, each with different kinds of mirror or tiling effects. Then you just start drawing and watch as your strokes are multiplied across your screen. This is one of those apps where the act of creation is really part of the experience. There’s a genuinely soothing effect to seeing how your drawing can come to life as you add a little line here, a circle there, and finish things off with a blast of colour. It can feel like you’re drawing with 10 of your greatest clones, and they’re all perfectly in sync with you.

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