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Tag Archive for ‘Habib Cham’

Cosmicast 2 ➝

Habib Cham:

Cosmicast, a podcast player released a couple of years ago and recently redesigned from the ground up, is set to disrupt the two-horse race currently led by Overcast and Pocket Casts as the two coveted full-featured third-party podcast players on the App Store by offering on par features, platform access and unique design-centric delights.

I like a lot about what Cosmicast has to offer, especially tvOS and macOS support. If the app allowed for subscribing to password-protected feeds, I would seriously consider switching from Overcast.

➝ Source: chambyte.net

The Best Apple Setups

This is a nifty thought experiment from Chris Wilson:

I saw a YouTube video with the ultimate apple setup for $1000 and thought, “that’s interesting. I wonder about other budgets” So I thought I’d write it. To make it fair, I’m only using prices from the Apple website. It’s the easiest way even though I’m sure some other options could be found using second hand sites.

The idea being, what is your dream Apple setup at various price points? With the only rules being that the prices are based on Apple’s website and you can’t use anything you already own.

Matt Birchler, Habib Cham, Greg Morris, and Andy Nicolaides have shared theirs and I thought I’d do the same.

$500 Setup

  • 64GB iPhone SE for $399
  • Magic Keyboard for $99

Total: $498

I could have gone with an iPad, but an iPhone is just too essential in my eyes to leave out. And the SE is the only model within this price range. The Magic Keyboard might seem like an oddball choice, but I type a lot and having a physical keyboard for longer stretches of writing seems pretty clutch.

I haven’t included anything to prop-up the iPhone for typing, but you could rest it against the top edge of the keyboard and prop it up against literally anything — including the box that your items ship in. So I wouldn’t consider this cheating based on Chris’ rules.

And after selecting the iPhone, I don’t think there are any other accessories that I would be willing to purchase for the remaining budget. An iPhone case, headphones, or charger are natural options but I don’t use a case on my devices at all and the stock headphones and charger are just fine for my needs.

$1,000 Setup

  • 64GB iPhone SE for $399
  • 10.2-inch iPad with 32GB of storage for $329
  • Magic Keyboard for $99
  • AirPods with Charging Case for $159

Total: $986

With the additional funds, adding an iPad and AirPods seemed like the best options. The iPad is my preferred platform and AirPods are probably the best Apple product in the last decade.

In my original draft, I had an Apple Watch instead of the keyboard and AirPods, but I think this is the superior list.

$2,500 Setup

  • 64GB iPhone 11 Pro for $999
  • 128GB 11-inch iPad Pro for $799
  • 42mm Apple Watch Series 3 for $229
  • Magic Keyboard for 11-inch iPad Pro for $299
  • AirPods with Charging Case for $159

Total: $2,485

This is where things start to get really interesting and some higher-end products start to come within reach. Upgrading to the iPhone 11 Pro and iPad Pro were of the highest priority for me. The 11 Pro’s camera system is much better than the iPhone SE and it’s the only other iPhone in the lineup that comes in a size that’s worth owning — I’m still not down with larger phones.

The iPad Pro is much more powerful than the standard 10.2-inch iPad and gives us the ability to upgrade our typing setup from the Mac-centric Magic Keyboard plus cardboard box setup to the Magic Keyboard designed for the iPad Pro.

The AirPods remain, because they’re great. And this budget also sees the addition of the Apple Watch. I suppose that tells you where the Watch sits in my hierarchy of importance.

$5,000 Setup

  • 256GB iPhone 11 Pro for $1,149
  • 128GB 11-inch iPad Pro for $799
  • 21.5-inch iMac with 3.6GHz Core i3, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD for $1,899
  • 44mm Apple Watch Series 5 for $429
  • Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro for $299
  • AirPods with Wireless Charging Case for $199
  • Nomad Base Station, Apple Watch Edition for $150

Total: $4,924

A little bit of extra storage on the iPhone, the same iPad, an upgrade to the Apple Watch, and the wireless charging AirPods. I cheated a bit with the Nomad Base Station — it’s not available on Apple’s website, but it’s the only wireless charger that I think is worth purchasing. You can charge all of your portable devices with it — the Watch, AirPods and iPhone wirelessly while the iPad charges using the built-in USB-C port. It’s also a gorgeous piece of tech.

But the biggest addition is the iMac — the first budget to actually include one. I would have gone with a Mac Mini to be used headless, but because of the rule preventing you from using anything you already own, it would have meant I needed to purchase a Keyboard, Mouse, and display in order to set it up. It’s not really worth the trouble at that point, so an iMac was the best alternative.

In terms of the specific configuration for the iMac, I went with the most well-balanced and powerful iMac I could afford with my remaining funds.

The State of iPad

The iPad was announced on January 27, 2010 — just over ten years ago. And this anniversary has started a discussion among our community about the state of iPad, where it has succeeded and where it has failed. I have my own opinions which I’ll share at the end, but I thought I’d do my best Michael Tsai impersonation and share some choice quotes from others who have written about this occasion.

John Gruber:

The iPad at 10 is, to me, a grave disappointment. Not because it’s “bad”, because it’s not bad — it’s great even — but because great though it is in so many ways, overall it has fallen so far short of the grand potential it showed on day one. To reach that potential, Apple needs to recognize they have made profound conceptual mistakes in the iPad user interface, mistakes that need to be scrapped and replaced, not polished and refined. I worry that iPadOS 13 suggests the opposite — that Apple is steering the iPad full speed ahead down a blind alley.

Nick Heer:

There are small elements of friction, like how the iPad does not have paged memory, so the system tends to boot applications from memory when it runs out. There are developer limitations that make it difficult for apps to interact with each other. There are still system features that occupy the entire display. Put all of these issues together and it makes a chore of something as ostensibly simple as writing.

Riccardo Mori:

Ten years later, here I am, with a sufficiently large and advanced iPhone on one side, and a sufficiently compact and powerful laptop (the 11-inch MacBook Air) on the other. And the combination of these two devices has effectively neutralised any need I might have for an iPad. After ten years, the only area where the iPad has truly become far better than a laptop and far better than a smartphone is art creation. For that, it’s a really astounding tool.

John Gruber, in response to Matt Birchler’s on the intuitiveness of platforms:

Advanced iPad features are mostly invoked only by gestures — which gestures are not cohesively designed. The Mac is more complex — which is good for experts and would-be experts, but bad for typical users — but its complexity is almost entirely discoverable visually. You just move your mouse around the screen and click on things. That’s how you close any window. That’s how you put any window into or out of full-screen mode.1 Far more of iPadOS should be exposed by visual buttons and on-screen elements that you can look at and simply tap or drag with a single finger.

Habib Cham:

The age-old uncertainty of whether the iPad can completely replace your PC and whether you can do work on the iPad remains. There is a simple answer to both questions: it depends on your computing requirements. To still utterly condemn the iPad as incapable of doing work is ludicrous and often a statement made by disputatious observers.

Lee Peterson:

I might dig into other comments separately but in general I have to say that I’d like iPhone development to slow down and iPad development to speed up. iOS 14 should be stability and no new features on iPhone and a real effort put into pruning iPadOS. I’d also love to see more work put in by Apple to make professional apps such as Final Cut Pro on iPad and it’s own apps such as Reminders split out of the OS and put into the store as an app that can be worked on independently just like Microsoft or Google do. […]

The iPad in my opinion isn’t tragic or a failure, it just needs a bit more focus for the power users.

Tom Warren, writing for The Verge:

Apple’s iPad may have transformed the tablet market, but it now appears to be growing into something more. The next decade of the iPad will define whether it remains as a third category of device that’s capable of occasionally bridging the gap between tablet and PC or if it’s ready to fully embrace life as a laptop.

John Voorhees, writing for MacStories:

iPad keynotes are very different today. The black leather chair is gone, and demos emphasize creative apps like Adobe Photoshop. The ‘single slab of multitouch glass’ is gone too. Sure, the iPad can still be used on its own and can transform into whichever app you’re using as it has always done, but there are many more layers to the interaction now with Split View, Slide Over, and multiwindowing, along with accessories like the Smart Keyboard Folio and Apple Pencil.

That’s quite a transformation for a product that has only been around for 10 years, and with the more recent introduction of the iPad Pro and iPadOS, in many ways it feels as though the iPad is just getting started.

Om Malik:

A decade after its introduction, I think the iPad is still an underappreciated step in the storied history of computing. If anything, it has been let down by the limited imagination of application developers, who have failed to harness the capabilities of this device.

Jean-Louis Gassée:

The iPad situation is serious. As an old warrior of the early Mac years recently said, one worries that Apple’s current leadership is unable to say No to bad ideas. Do Apple senior execs actually use the iPad’s undiscoverable and, once discovered, confusing multitasking features? Did they sincerely like them? Perhaps they suffer a lack of empathy for the common user: They’ve learned how to use their favorite multitasking gestures, but never built an internal representation of what we peons would feel when facing the iPad’s “improvements”.

Ben Thompson:

There are, needless to say, no companies built on the iPad that are worth anything approaching $1 billion in 2020 dollars, much less in 1994 dollars, even as the total addressable market has exploded, and one big reason is that $4.99 price point. Apple set the standard that highly complex, innovative software that was only possible on the iPad could only ever earn 5 bucks from a customer forever (updates, of course, were free).

I have a more optimistic outlook on the iPad than many of the bigger influencers within the community. It’s far from perfect, but I think the state of iPad is overall positive. There are issues with the multitasking interface, text selection, mediocre mouse support, and more — I trust that these annoyances will be smoothed out over time, though.

And even with these issues, my iPad is still my primary personal computing device. With the help of Fantastical, Day One, Bear, Things, Ulysses, Spark, Slack, Code Editor by Panic, Pixelmator, and more, I can do just about everything I was using my Mac for prior to going iPad-first in 2015.

There are still plenty of limitations on the iPad, but the ceiling feels higher for me than it does on macOS. The key is access to automation through Shortcuts. On macOS, I’ve used Alfred, Quicksilver, Automator, and countless other apps within the category, but I’ve never been able to build anything quite as advanced as I have with Shortcuts.

It’s difficult to feel pessimistic about a platform that is home to a productivity tool that has clicked for me like Shortcuts has. And seeing Apple integrate it into the system as deeply as they have shows that they get it. It’s just a matter of tightening things up and continuing to aim the ship in its current direction.