I quite like the iPad Pro 11 inch with Magic Keyboard. In Land of Pandemic, where every day is Saturday, the tablet is king. Without any real purchase on the chaotic flow of life, the rules – any rules – are very dear to me. Structure is arbitrary, but mandatory. Strategy is Niagara Falls: slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch. What do I really mean?
First, the tablet is a strange animal. Caught between the laptop and the phone, you think there would be a constant compromise. It is not. Each time I add a step to the workflow, it cements itself as a coherent whole. In a world ruled by the next warning, context switches are disruptive; hand-offs are not. One minute, the iPad is a media pig. The phone is ringing. Answering it on the watch frees me from the tether, and answering the iPad clicks on the phone icon at the top left to go to the phone.
I know it sounds a bit nutty to explain or even discuss, but add the iterative improvements of this platform and you will achieve some real productivity. Not the type of business or media hacker, but the tangible advances in shaping a place in this new digital world. Slowly but surely I have moved process after process to iPad Pro. Gillmor Gang production, or more precisely editing, mixing, rendering, posting, commenting, testing, now all on one device.
To begin with, I decided to trash Final Cut Pro as an editing platform, simply because it only ran on Mac. It̵
I used to doubt that Apple would provide remedies for these weird design gotchas, like the camera on the side of the screen in landscape mode. The Magic Keyboard does not allow you to place the iPad in portrait mode, and it would not work anyway with Zoom in 16: 9. But again, the keyboard falls until the Magic Keyboard does not support backlit keys. Now the iPad Pro is my most important writing tool, the slightly underpowered keyboard wins out over the MacBook Air. Magic Keyboard is expensive ($ 300), but Apple’s attention to detail strengthens my commitment to the development of the platform.
The keyboard’s trackpad is similarly tough in implementation, and sits restlessly between the touch platform on the screen and the keyboard options and text editing precision of the Mac. You quickly learn how to navigate between the two worlds, but intuit that future implementations will build on the elements of the hybrid that work. I’ve been following the press clues about the future of Mac OS and iOS, but now I’m comfortable with the assumption that the relentless shift in power has overturned. Maybe it’s the price performance on the move for Intel to Apple’s internal chips.
Or maybe it’s the feeling that momentum is updating problems based on a desire to stay locked in the process flow of modular apps and services. I use Quip to write this, because I know that the iPad version does not yet provide a word counting feature like the Mac version does. So I searched for Apple’s accompanying Pages app and got the answer. My assumption is that these regular services will soon become table money.
During technology definition, the iPad reminds me of the power of directed evolution. As trivial as a backlit keyboard seems in the overall form of things, that Apple always knew what the block was on this platform, increases for future expansions we know are coming in this Work From Anywhere moment. Not just the big ideas, but the small ones that grow through steady adoption to giants of a shift needed to contain unexpected disasters and smaller scratches of the usual kind. I was not sure why I felt compelled to spend so much time gathering my tools and strategies to virtualize my computer experience. Now that we are living full time in this moment, it is these little things that count.
The Gillmor Gang – Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary, and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Friday 4. September 2020.
Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @ tinagillmor
@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang
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