A Decade of iPad Evolution

A decade of iPads in my life – from 'movie Kindle' onwards - 9to5Mac

I could go on, but the bottom line is that while the iPad Pro can’t replace my MacBook Pro, it has replaced a fair chunk of my usage of it. I’d guess that something like 25% of the things I used to do on a MacBook are now done on my iPad.

This is a great history by Ben Lovejoy on how the iPad started as a pure consumption device and slowly started to chip away at most things that his traditional computers did for him.

Sonos One vs HomePod

Kirkville - HomePod vs. Sonos One Stereo Pair Comparison

With the price differential, and the added ability of being able to adjust the EQ and balance, the Sonos One is a much better choice for a stereo pair than the HomePod. Of course, you may want to use Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant with your speaker, and if you are locked into one ecosystem, then this is a consideration. Since, however, most HomePod purchasers probably already have iPhones, which they can use for Siri, I don’t see it as being worth paying nearly twice as much for a pair of HomePods.

I should talk about this again, but I went through a very similar path to Kirk. I got a HomePod the day it was released, got a second one a few months later, and then got a Sonos One in 2019. While I do like the Sonos overall, and in terms of price it’s far more compelling, but I very much disagree on the audio quality point; the HomePod sounds much better to my ear.

More to come on this front…

Just Breathe, Apple Watch!

Apple's Breathe app on the Apple Watch has been confusing people for years - 9to5Mac

Does your Apple Watch keep reminding you to breathe? You’re not alone. People all over the world are interrupted by the Apple Watch reminding them to breathe every day — even if they’re already breathing. So what gives?

I feel like Zac Hall is my doppelgänger writing for 9to5Mac. Everything he write about the Apple Watch gets my full endorsement. This article is really well written and is more fun than you’d expect. Read it even if you don’t care about the Apple Watch.

Getting Out of Your WordPress Comfort Zone

Lessons Learned by Stepping Outside WordPress Comfort Zone – WordPress Tavern

I love WordPress. More than that, I appreciate what WordPress has allowed me to accomplish over the years. However, I was no longer happy with it for my personal blog. It was suitable for the job, but I often found it had a lot more gadgets and gizmos than I needed. I had also been writing blog posts in Markdown for many years rather than the classic editor. WordPress was simply no longer a part of my workflow for my blog. At times, it was a hindrance.

This whole article rings very true to me. I recently switched this site off of WordPress and the concerns voiced in this article made me go 🙌 a few times.

If you don’t read the article, it’s worth noting that after a dalliance with some other options, this experience made him love WordPress even more.

The Impact of iPadOS’s Desktop-Class Browsing

Desktop-Class Safari for iPad: A Hands-On Look at the Difference the iPadOS Update Makes to Apple's Browser - MacStories

For about four years, I’ve sat down at my Mac to produce Club MacStories’ two newsletters using Mailchimp. There’s a lot I like about Mailchimp, but that has never included the company’s web app. […]
That finally changed with iPadOS 13, which brought one of the most extensive updates to Safari ever. The result has been that roughly half of the issues of the Club’s newsletters have been produced on my iPad Pro since October. Before iPadOS, that simply wasn’t possible.

I have had occasional issues with Safari on my iPad since iPadOS was released, but they have been far and few between, which is a welcome change from before. Apps like Google Docs even work better on the web than in their native apps, which is a really bad look for those apps.

There are Fewer Dramatic Rebrands These Days

There are Fewer Dramatic Rebrands These Days

Warner Bros. Studios, PBS, and IKEA rebrand for this century

Really, if you’re adapting to the digital age now, you’re late to the game.

Corporate rebrands are always going to be a thing, but it does seem like in the past year or two the number of dramatic rebrands has gone down a bit. With luck, we’re moving past the “take whatever uniqueness we had before and hide it behind our name written in Helvetica” age of rebrands.

If web design trends are anything to go by, loud and distinct designs are in, and the monoculture of everything looking the same might be slipping out of fashion.

The Golden Age of Blogging

The Golden Age of Blogging

Josh Ginter writing for his personal blog, The Newsprint

I started The Newsprint in what felt like a golden era of blogging — I had friends who quit their jobs to blog on the hopes their blog could make it as their future career.

And:

I don’t know if the field is as ripe for that type of blog today. I could be wrong, but in the world of video and social media, it feels like these small blogs are a long-shot from ever earning the kind of money necessary to feed your family.

And:

I’m going to write and post things that interest me. Things I like. Things I’m trying my hand at.

Josh is a good guy, and I completely sympathize with his feeling that the era of the “personal blog as career” is largely past us, at least in the tech space. There are exceptions, of course, but if your goal is to quit your day job, I don't think blogging is giving yourself the best chance.

On the plus side, since bloggers (like me too!) don't need to build a BRAAAND as aggressively as before, we can talk more like real people than just stay laser focused on one topic that we're known for.

On the one hand, the golden age of blogging is past us, but if you're looking for ways to follow more well-rounded writing from people, maybe we're entering a new, smaller, more personal golden age.

Here’s a few of the sites I follow from people who I think do a great job of keeping the personal blogging community alive. Most of these are tech-focused, and I’ll be the first to admit that the male:female ratio is not as good as I wish it was, so please let me know on Twitter with who you think I should be following that you don’t see here.

You Must Read This Post About the Decade Writing About Video Games

You Must Read This Post About the Decade Writing About Video Games

The Cost Of Being A Woman Who Covers Video Games

At the beginning of 2010, I had no idea how often I would be terrified, over the next ten years, to be writing about video games and gender. I had no idea how tired and jaded I would become by the time 2020 arrived. I had no idea that Gamergate would become international news, that various people I had met in passing at local gaming meet-ups would become talking points for mainstream political pundits beyond the world of games. I had no idea how much games would change, and how hollow and pointless the supposed victories would often feel in comparison to the fear and the pain I experienced and watched my peers experience.

This is the best article I’ve read in weeks. A lot has changed in the past decade when it comes to video games, and this article sums up the often toxic world of “gaming culture.” I love the medium itself, but the abhorrent behavior and gatekeeping of a loud minority of gamers is frankly embarrassing. This article summarizes the “highlights” from the past 10 years perfectly.

This Reboot Needs…a Reboot

This Reboot Needs…a Reboot

Finding Lara Croft - Super Jump Magazine - Medium

Sega has responded to this collision of old and new fans by releasing games like Sonic Generations and Sonic Mania, where they are offering both a clear nostalgic experience alongside upgraded visuals and new content.
In my view, this is what needs to happen with Tomb Raider in order to keep the fun and humour of the classic series going — to preserve its DNA.

I never played the old Tomb Raider games, my actual introduction to the series was 2013’s Tomb Raider and I really loved that game at the time. I then played the sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, a few years later, and enjoyed it some, but with much less passion than the first one. When 2018 rolled around with a third game in the rebooted franchise, I was over it and never bought the game, even when it was on sale for something like $9.99.

I’m not sure what way the series should go at this point. On the one hand, moving the series away from it’s new super-serious tone sounds good, but on the other, I don’t want them to regress and “just make one like the old games” because that’s as sure a sign as any that there’s nothing left for a franchise.

We’ll see where they decide to go with this franchise, but I definitely share Daryl’s feeling that it can’t just keep doing what it’s currently doing.