Microsoft’s Surface Go: iPad Killer? – BirchTree

Microsoft’s Surface Go: iPad Killer? – BirchTree

Too often, people view products as dollar signs first, and products second. Yes, price is a factor when making any purchase, but I don’t think that Microsoft is going to move the needle much by releasing this product. Yes, with it’s similar size, build, and price tag, it absolutely is a direct competitor to the iPad, but I don’t see how this solves problems for real people. At least, not in a way that a multitude of other Windows machines are already doing. I see 2 major problems with the Surface Go.

(Via birchtree.me)

The Microsoft Surface Go never seemed to be an “iPad Killer” to me. It always seemed to be a way for Microsoft to try to compete with Apple and the iPad. Honestly I can’t see many people comparing these two devices evenly, and Matt goes into detail on both software and hardware on this in his post.

My biggest takeaway with Microsoft doing this at all is that they continue to play around with their devices to try and make things for all kind of consumers. Which is a good thing in the long run, but the Microsoft Surface Go seems to be a swing and a miss if I ever saw one.

Link Post Workflow

With Tablet Habit now going daily, I have found myself wanting to post more link posts. Doing this on my Mac is easy with MarsEdit 4, but it isn’t as easy with iOS, until I created a workflow that is a hybrid between Evan Kline of 40Tech and Christopher Lawley at The Untitled Site.

What it Does

For those who aren’t familiar with link posts, it is a very handy way to post articles from elsewhere and add your own input after quoting a selection of the article. You can find an example of one I used recently to get an idea of what I am talking about.

How it Works

So with Workflow, you can use the Share Sheet as a means to run a Workflow and take things like a URL from Safari, your clipboard, and selected text into the workflow to use within it. All three of these examples are used with the Workflow I have created after taking a look at what both Evan and Christopher have done.

LinkPostWorkflow1

First, you need to find the post you want to link in Safari on your iPhone or iPad. From there you select the text you want to use in the post as a quote. With that text selected, open up the share sheet and run the Link Post Workflow.

Workflow Link Post Prompt

As the Workflow Opens up there will be two questions that it will ask you. The first question being what the publication is. In this case it is 40tech. After that it will ask for the author’s name, which is Evan Kline.

Once both the publication and the author is determined the workflow will then take the URL of the website you shared and the selected text you highlighted to make it into a Markdown ready post.

LinkPostWorkflow result

Once all of the text formatting is done a new Ulysses sheet will be made with the entire link post formatted and linked properly. All that is left now is to write your own response to the link post!

You can download the workflow here and make any changes you need to it. Happy posting!

Author and Teacher of Creative Writing E. Christopher Clark: “That’s My Mantra: Just Get to Work”→

Author and Teacher of Creative Writing E. Christopher Clark: “That’s My Mantra: Just Get to Work”:

How do you manage to find the time for writing, in addition to your bread-and-butter job? It’s hard. I used to carve out a couple of hours per morning or evening. But I have kids now, too. And I made a promise to myself to put family first, so sometimes the writing time disappears in order to help my kids with their homework or their own creative endeavors. But when I do decide to put my butt in the seat to write, I am fiercely protective of that time. I think Stephen King said in On Writing that he doesn’t write every day of every week of his life, but that when he is writing he writes every day. That’s what I strive towards. What, do you think, is most important for an author: talent, craft, or diligence? Diligence. We’re all born with some degree of talent, which we nurture by reading a lot and writing a lot. Craft is something you pick up along the way, again by reading and writing a lot. But there’s no getting around the fact that diligence is the most important factor. You have to want it. You have to want it bad, and work at it (in at least some small way) all of the time.

Ulysses isn’t only a great app, but it is also a really well done blog for creatives to draw inspiration from. The questions they ask aren’t just cookie-cutter questions and I am impressed with the answers they get from their interviewees.

I also love how Christopher Clark explains the importance of diligence. It really validates my reasoning for writing every day on Tablet Habit, and also lights a fire under me.

Hexterity: Welcome Back! — Wooji Juice→

Hexterity: Welcome Back! — Wooji Juice:

Ten years ago today, the App Store opened for the first time. Ten years ago today, Wooji Juice began selling its first iOS app in the App Store. In the following months, there would be something of a “gold rush” as people piled in to try and capitalise on the success of the iPhone, but Wooji Juice was there on day one. I’d quit my job a month or two earlier. When the iPhone was announced, I believed that if Apple did what they said they were going to, then it would be a breakthrough product that upended the technology world. But the software was the missing piece of the puzzle. So when the iPhone OS (as it was known then) SDK became available, I handed in my notice. A couple of weeks later I left, downloaded the SDK, and turned Wooji Juice (my personal blog of occasional ramblings about tech and stuff) into Wooji Juice (my iOS app business). And ten years and a dozen or so apps later, here we are.

Canis is one of those developers that you just want to get to know on a personal level. I didn’t get to know him until I started to look into Ferrite but in the podcasts he has been on and interviews he has done, it is clear that he not only cares immensely about his users but also wants to make sure that his apps are polished and perfect. I am glad he put everything into the apps he made, because I wouldn’t be able to podcast on an iPad without his hard work.

Celebrating the App Store’s 10th Anniversary with a Week of Special Coverage

Celebrating the App Store’s 10th Anniversary with a Week of Special Coverage – MacStories:

Back in December, when I realized that the App Store was going to turn 10 in July, I knew that I wanted to celebrate the event with something special. I don’t typically like to dwell on anniversaries, but a decade of App Store is a big deal; I felt like both MacStories and AppStories were uniquely suited not just to nostalgically commemorate the App Store’s humble beginnings, but to tell the stories of the people whose lives were changed by it over the past 10 years. I wanted to involve the entire MacStories team in this project, and I wanted to reach out to developers who were there in the early days of the App Store as well as those who started making apps in recent years. And I wanted this special event to be at the intersection of longform articles and in-depth podcast conversations, with a healthy mix of stories about the history of the Store, a celebration of its accomplishments, and a critical look at its past missteps and potential for future changes. So, sometime in January, we began planning all of this, and we got to work. The result, which I’m incredibly happy to announce today, is our App Store at 10 event. Starting today for an entire week, we’re going to publish 1–2 feature stories on the site each day, which will be aggregated at this event hub page. Additionally, there will be one special AppStories episode each day for a total of six interview episodes by the end of the week.

If there is any site that should be covering the App Store’s 10th anniversary it is MacStories. Federico Viticci and his team have done amazing work over the years covering apps and indie developers. Not to mention the longform research projects that are incomparable to anything else out there. I can’t wait to see what comes from them in the coming days.

Congratulations MacStories, here’s to another 10 years.

Do I Miss Touch ID? →

Donnie Harkcom at The Mealy Apple:

There are times where Face ID is annoying and I wish I could have Touch ID back. For instance, when your phone is sitting on a desk or flat surface you cannot unlock your phone unless you hover your head over the top of your phone. I know this might sound insignificant, but it is one of those things you don’t realize you’re missing until it is gone.

This, along with price, was one of the biggest reason I decided to get an iPhone 8 Plus instead of the iPhone X. I know Face ID can be awesome, but when it doesn’t work it can be an inconvenience you’re not ready to endure. Maybe when Face ID 2 comes out I’ll reconsider. Until then I will happily use Touch ID.

The Future of Tablet Habit (Part 2)

So by now you should have heard about the changes I have made to the change to use a MacBook Pro as my main device. I could go into the reasons why, but I want to talk more about what this means for Tablet Habit. In a recent episode of A Slab of Glass I talked about the possibility of moving the website away from Tablet Habit and into something a little less specific.
Thankfully, Mike Rapin and Christopher Lawley talked me off this branding ledge.If you haven’t listened to this episode I really recommend you do! We dive deep into my issue, but also talk more broadly about things like imposter syndrome and the importance of consistency; which brings me to my next announcement.
I plan to write on Tablet Habit daily every Monday through Friday starting this upcoming Monday July 9th. This has been something I have been wanting to do for a while and when I saw that I have been writing on here for over 6 months (it will be a year in October) I knew I wanted to step up my writing and make more consistent content. This venture wasn’t something I thought I would love so much, I mainly did it to take a break from podcasting, but this has been a lot of fun and very exciting to do for the better part of a year. Blogging is something that I think is in my DNA.
I love to share content and write about the things I am passionate about, but seeing people read my work and go out of their way to reach out to me on Twitter has been humbling and exhilarating.
The future of Tablet Habit may not be just about iPads, but it really never was. It was a place for me to share my thoughts on Apple, iOS, productivity, and now macOS as well. These are things I am passionate about and something that I see myself doing regularly for a long time. So while Tablet Habit isn’t an iPad only blog like I intended when I started, I think this change in the narrative is something that is not only going to bring more value to you, but also something that is more fulfilling for me.
I thank you for reading and I hope this change is something that you are as excited about as me. If you have anything you want to talk to me about feel free to leave a comment below, find me on Twitter, or shoot me an email. Until then, I will see you all Monday!

A Very Special Episode

After buying a new MacBook Pro, Mike Rapin and Christopher Lawley decided to have an “intervention” for me.

We recorded a podcast and this is what came from it. We dive deep into consistency and dealing with imposter syndrome. It gets real. I really hope you enjoy this podcast because it was a lot of fun making this one!

Listen here

See More Actions Without Tapping

Matthew Cassinelli:

If you’re like me, you may have been on iOS for years before you learned that when you select text and want to navigate the copy & paste menu, you don’t have to tap the arrows to navigate – you can just swipe to the next page. Normally I’d select text, try to accurately hit the tiny little next arrow, and usually missed and paste something instead of closing the menu. But when I was at WWDC, I saw someone go to share a bit of text and he… just…swiped on the list of actions

 

After you select some text, have you ever tried to tap on that tiny little arrow on your phone to go to more options? I bet you’ve missed pressing it on more than one occasion. But thanks to Matthew Cassinelli your days of fumbling through the tiny text options are over

I have been on iOS for years and have never known about this little trick. It is almost as good as the precise cursor selection that iOS implemented not too long ago. It is like having the weights on your feet taken off before a run. Give it a try if you get a chance. One thing Matt recommends is to use it in Drafts and Workflow.

For anyone who uses the Workflow action extension often and likes to run workflows on text using the text selection share menu, this is extremely handy. And for Drafts users, this also provides quicker access to the Dictate and Arrange actions available in that second page of the copy & paste menu.

So if you haven’t already, give this neat trick a shot and let me know what you think on Twitter.

The Future of Tablet Habit (Part 1)

I have been going through a bit of a crisis with Tablet Habit lately.

This all started with me wondering what the Mac would be like for me a few months ago. I did an experiment using the Mac exclusively for a week, and I didn’t hate it. In fact I found that a lot of the things I was doing on the iPad could be done in either less time or less hassle than on an Mac. It was a surprising twist, but I decided to stick with the iPad to stay “on brand.”

This was a mistake.

I put the device first and the work second. I wanted to be an iPad only person so bad that I sacrificed some productivity and efficiency to stay “on brand.” I felt like this was only an iPad blog and if I went away from that I would be doing everyone a disservice. Except now that I knew the Mac was something that I could use to get work done there was this voice in my head telling me to go back to it for some things.

I began to feel like a fraud, a trickster, and a liar to the people who decided to read my blog regularly as an iPad user. But I knew that the Mac was something that I wanted to have in my life. It made me happy when working on the things that mattered to me.

So I made a purchase.

 

So, I bought a new MacBook Pro. I know that some people may think that I made a bad decision not waiting until September to see if new Macs come out, but I am happy with my purchase and I feel that this Mac will get me by the next several years without issue.

I loved this computer the minute I took it out of the plastic and cracked it open. The keyboard is actually really enjoyable, the Space Gray color is beautiful, and the power this computer has is incredible. I love my Mac, and I know that I made the right decision getting one.

My co-host to Getting Caught Up, Mike Rapin, chimed in on my purchase. To you give you some background, I am notorious for starting new projects or jumping the gun on things and this was something I mentioned to Mike earlier in that week. I knew I was going to be getting this computer I just didn’t tell him.

Christopher Lawley, my co-host for A Slab of Glass, also knows of my woes with the iPad and me wanting to do more on my Mac. In the conversations we had I also expressed my interest in changing the name of the blog to something other than Tablet Habit, but clearly they felt that that was a bad idea.

The two of them, who I call my friends, wanted to make sure that I didn’t do anything stupid like changing the name of my website again. They knew that I felt like an imposter using a Mac and writing on a website called Tablet Habit. It was like having a Star Trek blog and writing about how Star Wars is a great series as well. But it wasn’t just those two who felt that I shouldn’t change the name.

But when your friends are persistent on making sure you don’t do something silly they make it known.

 

So we sat down and spent almost an hour recording a special episode together where both Christopher and Mike tell me why they feel so strongly on me maintaining the name of Tablet Habit and what I should do next.

So, to avoid spoiling it for you, I will refrain from posting the second part of this journey until after it is posted on Thursday.

I will say Tablet Habit isn’t about the tools I use. It used to be, but it isn’t anymore. It is about something much bigger than what tools I use to get my work done. It is about the work itself.

You see, blogging has always been a narrative format to me, and this is just part of my narrative. Tablet Habit was originally meant to be about the iPad, how I use it and how others can use it as their main device, but that changed over time. It became less about the devices and more about what you can do on those devices. It was less about tools, and more about results.

Until then, I can’t wait to show you what we have in store for you all. I am so excited to share this podcast with you all in a couple of days!