This is not exactly breaking news, either, but it’s well worth pointing to nonetheless: Crossway has now released the ESV Study Bible for the iPad and iPhone. You can find them in the App Store.
The app is simply fantastic. They really nailed the user interface and the very challenging puzzle of how to make it easy for the user to access the study Bible notes without interfering with simply reading the text itself. There was clearly some detailed, user-oriented thought that went into developing this app. This is what we need more of. It is a great service to not only make the Scriptures and God-centered content available, to make them easily available in a user-centered format.
Thank you, Crossway!
It’s not exactly breaking news, but if you haven’t heard: OmniFocus for iPad was finally released on Friday. Here’s a quick summary from PC World:
OmniFocus for iPad isn’t just some gussied up version of the iPhone version either: the app’s been redesigned for the iPad from the ground up. You can organize tasks into projects, folders, and sub-tasks and nest them until your heart is content; tasks themselves support detailed options like start dates, due dates, repeating schedules, audio notes, and photo attachments.
If you want to organize your tasks by category or specific context (“things to do while you’re at the computer,” for example [by the way--I think that's a bad idea!]), you can do that too. And if those contexts involve specific locations–your local supermarket and post office for example–you can look at a map to quickly get an idea of where all your tasks might take you.
If you’re an OmniFocus user on the Mac and/or the iPhone, OmniFocus on the iPad will happily sync with them, making sure your tasks are always up to date, no matter which device you’re on. If you ever run into problems, The Omni Group even offers free customer support via both e-mail and phone.
You can get OmniFocus for iPad in the App Store here.
From the Wall Street Journal (registration required, I think):
Two of the leading makers of electronic-book readers, threatened by the success of Apple’s iPad, slashed prices in a move that could further drive e-readers into the mainstream.
Interestingly, this corresponds to Godin’s post from a few days ago.
For those who use Evernote, they have added functionality that lets you assign the notebook and any tags to the note right from within the email.
I will blog on iPads coming up if I get the chance. I do have one and have found that it solves trillions of productivity problems.
One gap right now is that OmniFocus is not yet available. You can run the iPhone version, but there are lots of limitations to that. Fortunately, it looks like a version of OmniFocus developed to take full advantage of the iPad will be releasing in June. Here’s an update from their site.
Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal has a really good review of the iPad. He argues that the iPad may be a true “game changer.” Here’s how the WSJ summarizes his article:
Apple’s new touch-screen device has the potential to change portable computing profoundly. It could challenge the primacy of the laptop and eventually propel the multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface.
Here’s another interesting part:
The iPad is much more than an e-book or digital periodical reader, though it does those tasks brilliantly, better in my view than the Amazon Kindle. And it’s far more than just a big iPhone, even though it uses the same easy-to-master interface, and Apple says it runs nearly all of the 150,000 apps that work on the iPhone.
It’s qualitatively different, a whole new type of computer that, through a simple interface, can run more-sophisticated, PC-like software than a phone does, and whose large screen allows much more functionality when compared with a phone’s. But, because the iPad is a new type of computer, you have to feel it, to use it, to fully understand it and decide if it is for you, or whether, say, a netbook might do better.
Good, from Newsweek.
It’s usually a bad idea not to include page numbers on multi-page documents. Adding them manually to every document, however, creates an extra step that is better removed by making page numbers a default part of the template. However, if you are on a Mac and use Microsoft Word for Mac, it is hard to figure out how to make the template automatically include them.
I finally looked in to how to do this, and found a forum that contains a solution that works.
First, here’s a more detailed statement of the problem, which explains the very complication that I used to run into whenever I would try this before:
I am using Word 2008 for Mac. I always want page numbers, but I always need to select it from the Insert menu. Is there a way to make this the default so I don’t have to manually select it every time? I have tried this: See the Word help topic ” Template locations in Word” for more information, which says to edit the Normal template and add them there: they will then appear in every new document I create. But this doesn’t seem to help. When I open the Normal.dotm file, it appears as Document 1, so I can’t actually change Normal.dotm. I can make a new Page Numbers doc but I’ll have to select it to use it. How do I make a default Normal, or how can I get Page Numbers to open as the default?
Here’s the solution that was proposed:
Open Word, New document, select File Open. Navigate to where normal.dotm is located: /Users/you/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/User Templates/normal.dotm
Open it and make the changes to it that you desire. Save normal.dotm, save all, and close Word. Open Word again and the changes you made should be reflected as part of the normal template. The old normal template will be renamed and saved in the same location as a backup.
Now I can add: that solution works.
A post at TUAW summarizes the results of a study that does a good job of showing the problem with organizations not getting Macs because they are “too expensive.” Here are two paragraphs from the post:
According to the survey, Macs were cheaper to troubleshoot and required fewer help desk calls; system configuration, user training, and servers/networks/printing were all cheaper for a Mac environment than a PC environment. Software licensing fees turned out to be nearly identical for both platforms.
The survey doesn’t factor in the costs of the Macs themselves; Macs do present a large up-front investment, especially compared to the budget-priced Dells you usually see populating most office cubicles. However, half of the survey respondents noted they switched to a Mac platform because of a lower total cost of ownership.
Wired has a very good video showing how their magazine will operate on the iPad. This finally seems to provide an electronic experience that is overall better and easier than reading the printed version:
Josh Sowin rightly observes: “This is really exciting from a design & reading standpoint. It will be the experience of reading a magazine, but with the interactivity of the web. It’s going to be a really fun decade.”
(HT: Josh Sowin)
A good full color, multi-media, touch screen device for reading e-books — which the iPad now is — implies something about how electronic books should be conceived.
Electronic books should not simply be print books made accessible in electronic form. Rather, they should be conceived and created to take full advantage of what a device like the iPad makes possible, while remaining true to what a book is and what a book is for.
I have lots of thoughts on this I may post if I have the time. In the meantime, TechCrunch also has a post which begins to offer some thoughts on this.
A very interesting post over at TechCrunch: Top 10 Reasons the iPad Will Put the Kindle Out of Business.
By now you’ve probably seen the videos on Apple’s site showing the iPad. But those aren’t always indicative of the way it actually works in real life. Luckily, Apple had plenty of iPads in a demo pit area after the event today and we captured some footage of a few applications actually being used.
In the video below see Apple’s new Keynote app (built specifically for the iPad), as well as the new iBooks app, in action. As you can see, the device is very fast. Also note the Apple employee talking about using the iPad to make calls.
A good update. This is especially interesting:
According to insiders who’ve spoken to TechCrunch, addition to being very “excited” by the rumored new device, Steve Jobs himself has said “this will be the most important thing I’ve ever done.” Apple execs are also reportedly telling friends that Steve is about as excited as they’ve ever seen him.
Andy Naselli recommends some apps and gives some suggestions for using your iPhone more efficiently.
They haven’t made a final decision yet, but it looks like they will soon, and that it will involve charging. This is an interesting development as newspapers try to figure out their business model in the new environment.
BusinessWeek has a half-century of automotive eyesores.
(I happen to think that some of the ugliest cars around are still on the road. But, I’ll hold my tongue!)
If you’ve ever wanted to do this in order to make the required action more clear in an email you’ve received but aren’t acting on right away, here’s how.
The Washington Post has a good article on the much-rumored Apple tablet. Here’s the best part:
Conventional wisdom suggests that Apple will not be able to succeed where so many others have failed. But Apple makes billions defying conventional wisdom.
The truth is that most of us don’t understand the allure of a tablet computer because they’ve all sucked up until now. It’s the exact same reason that I didn’t understand the iPhone at first. My cellphones leading up to the iPhone ranged from “okay” to “junk.” The idea of getting one with such a high price tag was insanity to me. But within seconds of using the iPhone, I was able to tell that Apple had made something completely different. It wasn’t a cellphone as I had known them. It redefined the category. And while there are no sure things in the tech world, I would bet that Apple’s tablet will do the same.
TechCrunch has a good article on how things are progressing away from buttons and keys toward touch-based computing. The day of exclusively using touchscreen interfaces may come sooner than we think.
A recap at Fox News.
Well stated, from a Time article from a few years ago (but still very relevant):
Most high-tech companies don’t take design seriously. They treat it as an afterthought. Window-dressing.
But one of [Steve] Jobs’ basic insights about technology is that good design is actually as important as good technology.
All the cool features in the world won’t do you any good unless you can figure out how to use said features, and feel smart and attractive while doing it.