Gabe Weatherhead on LiquidText

Gabe likes LiquidText.

LiquidText is not cheap. It's free to download on the AppStore but $30 for all of the features I've described. If the iPad Pro only allowed me to use LiquidText, I think it would still be worth it. This is the kind of app that justifies the iPad and the expense of the incredibly powerful hardware Apple is developing.

And I'd say he's spot on. I've been playing around with the app to research posts for 1Password and it's pretty amazing. It's exactly what the iPad and Apple Pencil are perfectly suited for, and if you do it enough, it's worth buying an iPad for on its own.

Read Gabe's full review for all the details.

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The many iPads of Federico Viticci

Federico only has the one in-use — I think! — iPad Pro, but the ways in which it can be used is a great example of its versatility. It's like he has multiple machines, but they're all rolled into one 12.9-inch slab of glass and metal.

The opening few lines of the latest instalment in his ongoing "iPad Diaries" series sums it up perfectly.

One of my favorite aspects of working on the iPad is the flexibility granted by its extensible form factor. At its very essence, the iPad is a screen that you can hold in your hands to interact with apps using multitouch. But what makes iPad unique is that, unlike a desktop computer or laptop, it is able to take on other forms – and thus adapt to different contexts – simply by connecting to a variety of removable accessories.

The iPad, whether Pro or not, may not be what the future of computing turns out to be, but this idea of one machine that does everything depending on the accessories it's connected to and the scenario it is thrust into, is what we need computing to become as we hurtle towards 2020 and beyond. Computing, with the iPad and Surface lines, feels like it's on the precipice of a sea change that's still being held back by poor software choices and some questionable hardware decisions. We're getting there, but that also means that we're not there yet.

With iOS 13's likely arrival at WWDC in mid-2019, we might see the iPad take a huge step towards what we all want — a tablet that works how you want it to, when you want it to, without seemingly arbitrary limitations thrown in for no good reason.

Apple, I'm looking at you and the ridiculous USB-C storage situation you've created. 😡

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Freelance - four months later

Time flies.

It's been almost four months since I posted about going freelance, and it's been four months in which a lot has changed.

Working as a freelance writer has a lot going for it, but it's not all lattes in the local coffee shop and brunches over a notebook. There's plenty of work to do — if you're lucky, and long may it continue — and for the most part, if you don't do it, you don't get paid. That's pretty obvious, but when the amount you invoice for at the end of the month is directly related to the work you did in the four weeks prior, it has a habit of focussing the mind. That's before you take into account the fact you don't get paid annual leave anymore. Or sick leave.

But then, you don't need to go through four different layers of management to get a day off, either. Nor do you need to make sure the calendar lines up with two other people to be able to take an hour to go to an appointment or, like I will this year for the first time ever, see the kids in their nativity plays. There's a flexibility that only working for yourself can offer, and four months in, I can't imagine working in an office. It feels like a lifetime ago, and that's a great feeling to have.

So far, as of the beginning of December 2018, I can honestly say that leaving a relatively stable "normal" job to set out on my own was the best career move I've ever made, both financially and for my quality of life. I wish I'd done it years ago, and I can't thank the folks at 1Password, Redmond Pie, How-to Geek, TouchArcade, and anyone I'm forgetting, enough for making this possible.


iPad Diaries: Typing on the iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard Folio – MacStories

I think Federico has this pretty much right, although I do think I'm getting along with the keyboard better than he did. I've been writing almost exclusively on this thing for a week, and so far, it hasn't driven me mad.

Do I love it? Probably not. It's great to have a keyboard always available, that's for sure.

Will I actively try to replace it for when sat at a desk? Maybe.


A tour of a MacStadium Data Centre

MacStadium is getting a lot of attention following the recent Apple event, and if you're not familiar with their work, it's pretty amazing. A data centre full of Mac mini, Mac Pro, and iMac Pro machines is almost unique and this video showing the insides certainly is.

Check it out, it's well worth a few minutes of your time.