Finally upgraded my first-gen Apple Watch to the new Series 3 with LTE and holy shit, Siri is instantaneous. It even launches third-party apps quickly!

This totally changes the way I think about my Apple Watch. It's no longer just a fitness tracker and notifications hub for my iPhone; it's becoming a voice assistant and computer on the wrist.

iPad Pro Cannibalizes My MacBook Pro

The iPad Pro (with the Smart Keyboard) cannibalizes my MacBook Pro the same way the iPhone 7 Plus cannibalized my old iPad mini.

I'm blown away by how many non-work related tasks I can accomplish on the iPad Pro. And for some tasks, I can even do it faster on the iPad Pro.

My biggest discovery is split-screen mode works brilliantly because many apps are designed to work on iPhone-sized screen. Browsing and clicking on a link in a left-side app can open in Safari on the right. Apps on the desktop were not designed to work on iPhone-sized spaces.

Some of my favorite use-cases for split-screen mode are:

  • catching up on RSS feeds with Reeder + Safari
  • researching reviews with YouTube + Safari
  • catching up on email newsletters with Newton + Safari
  • catching up on computer tasks with Things + Safari

There's also something special about having a general-purpose computer that can turn on & off instantly compared to a laptop, yet having all the benefits of keyboard shortcuts.

This seriously makes me wish Apple would resurrect the iBook brand in the form of an iOS-driven laptop with built-in LTE.

The killer OSX feature that compelled me to switch to Mac after 10 years of Windows PCs is the same feature I still use every single day — Mission Control (aka Exposé & Spaces).

This Fall, with iOS 11, the iPad has that in the form of the new App Switcher.

No, Force-Quitting Apps on iOS Does Not Save Battery →

John Gruber:

The single biggest misconception about iOS is that it’s good digital hygiene to force quit apps that you aren’t using. The idea is that apps in the background are locking up unnecessary RAM and consuming unnecessary CPU cycles, thus hurting performance and wasting battery life.

That’s not how iOS works. The iOS system is designed so that none of the above justifications for force quitting are true. Apps in the background are effectively “frozen”, severely limiting what they can do in the background and freeing up the RAM they were using. iOS is really, really good at this. It is so good at this that unfreezing a frozen app takes up way less CPU (and energy) than relaunching an app that had been force quit. Not only does force quitting your apps not help, it actually hurts. Your battery life will be worse and it will take much longer to switch apps if you force quit apps in the background.

I just got back from a trip to Hawaii and I'm surprised how many people I saw at the airport still force-quitting apps.

Fraser Speirs: Can the MacBook Pro Replace Your iPad? →

Fraser Speirs:

The huge issue with the MacBook Pro is its form factor. The fact that the keyboard and screen are limited to being held in an L-shaped configuration seriously limits its flexibility. It is basically impossible to use a MacBook pro while standing up and downright dangerous to use when walking around. Your computing is limited to times when you are able to find somewhere to sit down.

Not that you would want to use a MacBook Pro while standing anyway. The sheer weight of these devices means that your shoulder is going to take a beating if you switch from iOS to OS X. The current 15" MacBook Pro tips the scales at 4.49 pounds - or three iPad Pros - despite having a lower-resolution screen and one less hour of battery life.

A brilliant alternative view of the MacBook Pro if judged by a tablet-first user.

What us older people forget is kids these days have literally grown up with multi-touch screen devices for 10 years. Kids who were 12 years old when the iPhone was introduced in 2007 will be graduating college and entering the workforce.

They will build their workflows and solve problems with multi-touch devices, not with keyboards & mice like we did.

To the touchscreen generation, the tablet is a real computer.

Study: Macs are $535 Less Expensive Than PCs Over Four Years →

At the Jamf Nation User Conference, IBM shared their findings with deploying Macs vs. PCs:

In 2015, IBM let their employees decide – Windows or Mac. “The goal was to deliver a great employee choice program and strive to achieve the best Mac program,” Previn said. An emerging favorite meant the deployment of 30,000 Macs over the course of the year. But that number has grown. With more employees choosing Mac than ever before, the company now has 90,000 deployed (with only five admins supporting them), making it the largest Mac deployment on earth.

But isn’t it expensive, and doesn’t it overload IT? No. IBM found that not only do PCs drive twice the amount of support calls, they’re also three times more expensive. That’s right, depending on the model, IBM is saving anywhere from $273 – $543 per Mac compared to a PC, over a four-year lifespan. “And this reflects the best pricing we’ve ever gotten from Microsoft,” Previn said. Multiply that number by the 100,000+ Macs IBM expects to have deployed by the end of the year, and we’re talking some serious savings. [Emphasis mine]

The Reinvention of the Camera →

Evan Spiegel:

People wonder why their daughter is taking 10,000 photos a day. What they don’t realize is that she isn’t preserving images. She’s talking. […]

It’s not about an accumulation of photos defining who you are. It’s about instant expression and who you are right now. Internet-connected photography is really a reinvention of the camera. And what it does is allow you to share your experience of the world while also seeing everyone else’s experience of the world, everywhere, all the time.

Even though consumers are no longer "wowed" by camera improvements on smartphones, the internet-connected camera is more important than ever.

How to Fix Home Screen Layout After Restoring iOS Backup →

Sometimes after restoring iOS from a backup, your third-party apps will appear scattered across various screens instead of the folders/screens where you originally placed them.

This tip by Dan Frakes for iOS 4 is still relevant today:

The problem here is that whenever you click the Restore button in iTunes’ Summary view for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, iTunes wipes your device clean, installs a new copy of the iOS software, and then restores your media and settings from your backup. In other words, you’re forcing a first pass each time.

It turns out that iTunes actually offers two kinds of restores. The first is the one described above, accessed by clicking the Restore button in iTunes’ Summary view for your iOS device. The other one is less obvious—you access it by right-clicking (Control-clicking) your iOS device in iTunes’ sidebar and choosing Restore from Backup. As the dialog that appears explains, the latter procedure restores only your data and settings, not the iPhone’s firmware or OS. What the dialog doesn’t note is that your third-party apps apparently remain on the phone, as well. In other words, it gives iTunes that “second pass” at restoring your Home-screen app organization.

The trick, of course—and what I neglected to do during all those restores on Saturday—is to *let iTunes finish syncing your apps** on its first restore/sync. Then you can do the second, non-firmware restore to let iTunes tidy up.

So to break it down, here's what typically happens when you upgrade to a new iPhone:

  • connect your new iPhone/iPad to iTunes and restore from your latest backup.
  • wait for the restore process to finish and begin the standard sync process. (This is the "first pass")
  • important: wait for all third-party apps to sync with the device.

After all third-party apps have been synced and you find them scattered instead of in their proper positions:

  • click the Restore Backup button and again, restore from your latest backup. (This is the second pass)

When you Restore Backup from iTunes instead of Restore iPhone, it will clearly state:

This will restore only the contacts, calendars, notes, text messages, and settings, not the iPhone firmware.

It will also restore your home screen folders and layouts, just like before.