Syncing iPads?

So now I have a new iPad Air and a new iPad mini. All in the name of research of course!

Both machines are wonderful, but each has a specific role for me:

The iPad Air tends to be my main iPad when at my desk, or when I need to use the keyboard for extended periods of time.

The iPad mini is my travel iPad and the one I turn to when away from my desk.

I could use one quite easily for both roles, but hey, I need to keep up with the latest and greatest.

So my first world problem is how to keep them in sync.

Yes, I know I can sync new apps quite easily. That’s built into iOS. I just switch on automatic downloads for Music, Apps, Books and Updates and everything new will be pushed to both iPads. However, if I delete an app off one of the iPads, it will remain on the second iPad.

I’d also like to sync my home screen layouts – re-arrange on 1 iPad and the changes in icon positioning and layout are reflected on the other.

A current Twitter stream suggests that Apple Configurator could be the answer, but I’m not sure it would acheive what I really want – it may be a half way house though.

iCloud backup/restore is also a potential half way house solution – Configure one of the iPadsd as I want it, do an iCloud backup and restore to the second device. Again, it will establish a common starting position, but over time, things will drift. There is also the issue of user data. It can take quite a while to restore data and there’s always the issue of re-entering some passwords and re-authorising apps in the restored version.

I just want changes on one to be reflected on the other in real time and automatically.

Not a major problem, but as iPads start to become more popular, I’m sure others will have the same (nice to have) problem!

iOS8 perhaps?

The iPad Pro?

The iPad Pro, when it inevitably arrives, might be defined by a larger screen, TouchID and other hardware enhancements we may not yet be aware of.

However, it shouldn’t be the hardware that defines it, it should be defined by the software, and what the software allows you to do on the new device.

Much as I love my new iPad Air, and am in awe of the tremendous power under the hood, the constraints of the current single application mode of working in iOS stops me from using the iPad as a primary personal computer. The compromises and effort required to do anything but the simplest of tasks, relegates the current iPad to a secondary device.

A very useful one, but for my workflows, I could never use the iPad as my primary device.

This post by Kyle Baxter nails it…

…iOS still hews closely to the one-app-at-a-time, app-as-silo concept that began with the iPhone in 2007. For some purposes, this actually makes the iPad a better tool than the PC; the iPad’s limited ability to multitask makes it easier to focus on writing or other focused tasks like sketching. But it also significantly constrains what’s possible on the device. Writing an email or article that references a website or note, or doing any work that requires looking at one application’s content while working in another, requires flipping back and forth between applications, which makes for an excellent test of patience. And there is virtually no support for allowing two applications to work together on a single task by passing data between them.

Where Does The iPad Go From Here

Hopefully iOS8 will bring the necessary features required to elevate a future variant of the iPad to a true Pro machine.

The New iPad – Resolutionary

Just some random thoughts about last nights iPad (3rd Generation) launch.

iPad – So no new name – probably a good move as we’ll get away from this ridiculous emphasis on numbering schemes (iPhone 4S vis iPhone 5 anybody?). Wouldn’t surprise me if the next iPhone is the new iPhone.

Tim Cook – Played a larger part in the proceedings than I expected. One the whole, he did a great job. Wobbled a bit here and there, but a solid performance.

The Retina Display – Seems to be all we wanted and more. The number of pixels on such a small screen is staggering. I especially loved the video of the wireframe of the iPad panning up and covering the HDTV to show the extra pixels – really well done. I truly believe that this will need to be seen to be fully appreciated.

iOS 5.1 – Very muted introduction. I take it Siri will go down very well in Japan. Could be a major differentiator in selling the iPhone over there.

No Scott Forstall on iOS 5.1 – No surprises due to the limited number of new features. Fully expect him to be rolled out for the first sneak peak at iOS 6.

4G LTE – Quite surprised due to the non availability of 4G service in most places, but gives them a good head start on the competition. We just need someone in the UK to deliver a 4G service – I’ll not hold my breath.

10 hours battery life - Impressive with the extra horsepower of both the improved graphics and LTE – but they had to keep this benchmark.

Quad Core Graphics chip – Not a full quad core processor but providing the raw power where they need it the most, and where it will be utilised immediately. It won’t hurt that people will see quad core and leave it at that when comparing with competitors.

Voice Dictation – This is the main component within Siri that I was hoping would be ported to the iPad. No indication if you need a network connection for this to work. Voice dictation could prove a tremendous boon on the iPad.

iSight Camera – Strange they’ve brought the name back? Overall a huge improvement on the camera on the existing iPad.

Apple TV – 1080p is welcomed but the UI seems a bit contrived and I have to say, a bit of a veneer over the old Apple TV. Downloaded the update following the keynote and was surprised the new UI is only for the top level menu. Apple still treating this as a hobby unfortunately.

Movies in the Cloud – Good move and would tempt me to purchase loads of movies… if only the Movie industry would bring the prices down to a reason level. If the movie industry would get a clue, Movies in the Cloud could act as a catalyst for people to buy movies instead of renting them. But not at £13.99 a time (IMHO)

iPhoto for iPad/iPhone - Very impressed with the new iPhoto. A great indicator of things to come.

iWork Updates – Still waiting on the other shoe to drop for iWork. They released new updates but mainly for compatibility with the new iPad. I fear we will still will have to wait for Mountain Lion in the summer, before Documents in the Cloud becomes a reality and we have seamless transfer and compatibility of documents between the iPad and the Mac.

Well they are the major thoughts that spring to mind. So on the whole, a pretty strong performance overall.

MacJury #1102: A Weekend with the iPad 2

MacJury  1102 A Weekend with the iPad 2 | MacJuryOne of the reasons I decided to go and get an iPad from the US was so that I could take part in interesting and fun discussions with esteemed panels.

This is one of them!

I skyped into one of Chuck Joiners excellent MacJury panel last night, to discuss the buying process, our iPad configurations and initial experiences with the iPad 2.

Some of the comments surprised me, I have to say!

You can check out the podcast for yourself – MacJury #1102: A Weekend with the iPad 2 – and thanks as always for the invite Chuck.

Well I’ve only gone and done it!

I’ve been mulling over if I should wait for the iPad 2 to hit these shores two weeks after the US, get one shipped out, or go and get one myself.

Well, I priced up the trip to the US based on the assumption I’d need to fly out on the Wednesday, spend the Thursday mulling about and then start queuing nice and early for the launch on the Friday. Then fly back on the Saturday or Sunday.


That would be a 4 or 5 night stay. Plus, to keep the costs down, I’d need to fly with a stop on the way to New York, as the direct flights were expensive. The thought of flying through Philly again filled me with dread (No offence to the City, but the airport transfer is horrible)

So I’d sort of dismissed the idea.

Next option would be to get one shipped out. I checked out the US Apple website to get pricing on the model I wanted, and discovered that the actual launch isn’t until 5pm on Friday afternoon.


So that means I could fly in Thursday night, have a kip, and then into the City first thing on Friday to get my place inline, then fly back out Saturday and home for Sunday afternoon.


A quick check on Expedia followed, and although I couldn’t get a direct flight from Manchester, I was able to get a shuttle to Heathrow, and then a direct Virgin flight to New York. Never flown Virgin before! A two night stay in a cheap hotel near the Airport and sorted!

So hopefully, I’ll be arriving back in the UK with two iPad 2s on Sunday.

One for me, and one for a lucky ScreenCastsOnline member.

I’ll be giving away a 16GB WiFi iPad 2 on the show at the end of April.

So I’d better get working and prepare for next week’s extended show as I’ll have to have it finished and uploaded before I go on Thursday.

Although it might seem a bit crazy to go all that way, I’ll actually use the travel time to do some work, heck I may even record the following weeks show on the iPad 2 on the Sunday in my hotel room!

PS: It looks like there will be a limit of just 2 iPads per customer on the day, so I won’t be able to take any requests for additional iPads to bring back with me – Sorry!