eXtensions - Wednesday 24 April 2019
Cassandra - Midweek Review: Answered Prayers with iOS 13 and Photo-workflow Rumors; Innovation at What Cost; and Other Asides (Correction)
By Graham K. Rogers
iPad Pro and Nikon connected by USB-C cable
If a couple of rumors are to be believed, it may be that the next major release of iOS will cover exactly those points, and some more. Andrew O'Hara (AppleInsider) writes that it may be that both iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 will have new features that will allow different options for import and image handling. Likewise, Christian Zibreg (iDownloadBlog) includes information about use of an API so that "apps will be able to capture photos from external devices such as cameras and SD cards, without having to go through the Photos app". I wonder about the XQD card, although as the cable connection works fine, I am happy to stick with that; but the external disk (like my SSD) I do find exciting.
In another article on potential new features for iOS, Christian Zibreg also outlines the idea of mouse and trackpad support coming to the iPad Pro. It is not as daft as it sounds as the use of the touchscreen when I am using a horizontal keyboard, means that I have to change position and this is ergonomically unacceptable. A sideways hand movement to a mouse, or in my case the preferred trackpad, makes much more sense in terms of work efficiency, particularly for those who work for extended periods on images or text. An overview of the rumors concerning the upcoming iOS release, which is expected to be around September, is in a MacWorld article (Jason Cross).
Another problem is autocorrect. When I type something on the iPad Pro, I look later on the Mac and cannot think why a particular series of words is there. I complain about students using this with Microsoft Word when writing academic papers, particularly when they do not check their work and leave it to someone like me to fix: when you are writing about offshore platforms, the right word is "tubular" and not "tabular"". When this appears more than once, the author is not checking and has too much faith in autocorrect. Turn it off. I have done this, although for the time being have left on the Predictive option. Also, when I highlight a word I know I have mistyped, I am given one or more options: that is fine. Letting iOS or Word take over may not work as expected.
I switched tasks and will come back to the videos next time, when I will take the Mac or the standard iPad. Since I bought the iPad Pro I have been using Bluetooth headphones so never noticed the lack of the port. Next week I will take the Mac.
BareBones also made BBEdit and I switched to that, although had to download from the developer site as this was no longer available on the MacApp Store. Last week, I noticed that this was now featured on the App Store startup screen and Jason Snell (6Colors) outlines the reasons for its return, but notes this is subscription-only, so if you want the one-time purchase like me, it means a visit to the BareBones site.
What I found interesting in some of the comments highlighted in Patently Apple was the idea that the WSJ report was from a medium known to be partisan towards Apple. Indeed, in my examination of several WSJ reports, I have been critical of the negativity I found concerning Apple and its devices. Note that this is not the first time that a Samsung product has been found wanting and it would be irresponsible of any reviewer to praise a device with a non-functioning screen, or a propensity to self-combust: "Yeah its good value for $1980, even if only half the screen works sometimes. . . ."
Several other reviewers had problems with the device. I only saw one reviewer who did not, although Samsung retrieved even that device as they rush around taking all pre-release versions back. The release events have been cancelled and those who ordered early are being offered their money back. A number of commentators have questioned Samsung's rush into new technology when innovation should really be tempered by a few design restrictions, including full testing and running the device for some time in the street to see what might go wrong in day to day use.
Not all people read instructions. That plastic covering the screen is an obvious problem as of course some users will pull it off (I always pull Apple's protective coverings off on day one), their kids are going to be tempted by any possibility of a loose covering; and if it that critical, does it really have a reason to exist?
One writer who thinks so is Ramish Zafar (WCCTech) who may not be looking at the same product (at least not in the same objective way) as others. He writes, "the Korean tech giant's gadget is finely built, and exhibits the finish and look of a top-of-the-line smartphone." This is not what others seem to be reporting. Dismissing the "inconsistent display performance [sic]" he suggests Samsung has "designed other parts of the Galaxy Fold elegantly" and it "surpasses other gadgets (including the iPhone) in aesthetics." In a fantastic vote of confidence he adds "For an unfinished design, its performance is quite solid, and Samsung will narrow out the kinks as time progresses." For $1980 most users would prefer a design that was totally finished and ready to roll.
I was initially drawn to this article by the title: Apple Is Actively Pursuing A Foldable iPhone, And Testing Displays. Apple often looks at examples of new technology and at new solutions, but it may be a leap of faith to imply that Apple will produce such a phone; and the example of Samsung is not a lot to hang that faith on. Rather than WCCTEch, this seems to be more WTFTech.
I have owned a couple of basic Samsung phones and they are not bad, but I always fret about the way I am asked to sign in for services I do not want: especially by Google. With the Samsung Fold having such a dire start, I also saw a critical review of the Galaxy S10+ by Ron Amadeo on ArsTechnica. Again this is not a cheap phone ($1000 up to $1600, but the review highlighted the number of sign-in requests or permissions to access data, while being most critical of the number of unsolicited advertisements that were displayed. I use some software for free that shows ads, and I accept that; but if I am paying top dollar for an app or a device, I do not want to be assailed by advertising; and I want to access the features, not be overwhelmed by bells and whistles.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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