iPad Pro – My 3rd iPad

Written: February 5, 2020

Back in 2012 I purchased an iPad and was quickly impressed with how lightweight, portable and easy to use it was. I could browse the web, read email, keep up on social media, and along with a Logitech keyboard it made typing fast. Then in 2016 I upgraded to the iPad Air and continued to use the tablet for both business and personal uses. Last night I upgraded to the iPad Pro 12.9″ tablet after researching it for awhile online.

Apple Bridgeport
Apple Bridgeport

Out of Box Experience (OOBE)

The Apple way is to use the minimum amount of words to describe anything, so sure to form the box had only the iPad Pro wrapped in plastic, USB-C cable, USB-C charger, a small leaflet showing 5 features of the iPad Pro. Turning on the power for the first time I was prompted to bring another Apple device nearby, so I turned on my iPad Air, then all of the WiFi settings, Docs and Apps were magically transferred over to the new iPad Pro, so easy. I had the same wonderful experience when buying our 2nd Apple TV, because Apple has totally automated the new install process, something that Microsoft and Android could certainly learn much from.

Display Size

Setting up both the iPad Air and iPad Pro 12.9″ models side by side, you can see how much larger it is than a 9.7″ display.

iPad Pro size
iPad Air vs iPad Pro 12.9″

New Features

The first feature that I wanted to try out was the Split View on the iPad Pro, allowing me to have two apps open at one time.

Split View
Split View

Documentation

Oddly enough, the iPad Pro doesn’t come pre-installed with any User Guide, so I had to literally do a Google search to find it on the Apple site, then I had to load a new app called Apple Books in order to read it.

Apple Books
Apple Boos

There are a whopping 728 pages in the iPad User Guide, so expect to spend some time figuring out all of the features.

Keyboard

I’m used to typing on a MacBook Pro keyboard and the Logitech keyboard for the iPad Air, both are quite easy to type with. The Apple keyboard is a bit stiffer, requiring more force to type, especially the Space Bar key for some reason. I certainly miss the backlighted keys from the Logitech keyboard, so there’s certainly room for improvement on the Apple keyboard, plus when you click the Caps Lock button there is no visual indication.

Apple has done a great job with the keyboard features, giving it two viewing angles and a sturdy fit by using magnets. The Keyboard gets its power from the iPad Pro, so no separate charging, and improvement over using a Logitech keyboard.

Cables

My MacBook Pro and Samsung Galaxy S8+ both use the newer USB-C cable for power, so I was ready for the iPad Pro using the same connector. For the first time in iPad history, this cable can be connected to an external storage device like a thumb drive. I don’t have any immediate plans for this, but external storage could be a good thing.

Battery Life

My old iPad Air seemed to lose about 10% battery charge overnight, while the new iPad Pro was at 96% last night, then exactly 96% again this morning, so no overnight loss, I’m happy again. I can probably find a use for my old iPad Air, or maybe I’ll gift it to my wife.

Summary

If you like to work with a very lightweight, portable tablet with a huge 12.9″ display, then consider the Apple iPad Pro. Now that I bought one, Apple should introduce a shinier, new model in March, maybe with 3 cameras, just to make me feel a twinge of buyer’s remorse.

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Subtle Graphical Improvements

Written: January 24, 2020

In any given work day I can work on 1-4 different client web sites, so over the years I get to see hundreds and thousands of web pages. Visitors will be visually attracted to your web site, so pay attention to how your content, words and images, are placed on the page. Let’s cover an example from yesterday, a client site had a popular email newsletter signup in the footer of each page:

 

Notice how the button for Yes is now aligned with the Email field, and the color of the button matches the heading. One final touch, as you mouse over the Yes button then the background color changes to indicate that you may click the button:

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Updating Jetpack in WordPress Causes Fatal Error

Written: December 4, 2019

I’ve been using WordPress since 2008 and the most trusted Plugins certainly come from the WordPress engineers at Automattic. Today when I started updating a few WordPress sites that use JetPack I was confronted with a Fatal Error message:

JetPack error
JetPack Error

Uh oh, then I received an email from my WordPress site noting that a Fatal Error has occurred. 

JetPack email

The bad news is that some fatal error occurred with JetPack, but the good news is that my WordPress site looks and functions OK, so it almost feels like a false positive. A quick Google search brought up this same issue, and we can safely ignore this error message, because it is just transient, not permanent.

So, go ahead, update WordPress, and if your JetPack site throws this error, just ignore it and get back to work.

Pitfalls of Using the Cloud

Written: October 20, 2019

A large part of the world economy hinges on the Cloud being up and running, 24/7, for 365 days per year. So far, so good, but what happens when there’s a glitch? Just today I’ve had two cloud-based issues:

  1. Google Home Assistant – couldn’t connect to the Internet with WiFi
  2. Google Docs – couldn’t create a new document

 

Google Home Mini
Google Home Mini
Google Docs
Google Docs

To fix the Google Assistant issue I had to un-plug, and then plugin the power cable, so somehow that got it to work with WiFi again. Strange issue because all of my other WiFi devices were working just fine. I’ve had the Google Home Mini for close to one year now, and this was the first time that it disconnected somehow from WiFi.

I’ve been using Google Docs for several years, and today was the first time that I was not allowed to create a new, blank document. After a few minutes I tried again, and then it did work. 

So, yes, the cloud is a wonderful concept, but it doesn’t work 100% of the time, because there will always be mysterious glitches that happen infrequently. At least now I can listen to my music playing while I type of this blog. 

Happy cloud-use to you.

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