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iPadOS was worth the wait (except for one major disappointment)

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The non-beta version of iPadOS debuted yesterday; the first true operating system for the Apple tablet (though it’s a tweak of iOS 13) is a winner, though it still won’t convince some folks such as myself to replace their laptop with an iPad or iPad Pro. 

But it’s a step in that direction. And there’s a lot to appreciate about iPadOS.

One of the best features for those who use their Apple tablets for productivity: you can now work with multiple files and documents from the same app simultaneously with updates to Split View. Or you view and switch between multiple apps in Slide Over. 

Slide-over.png

You can now open multiple windows or instances of the same app as a new screen or in Split View. If an app supports it, just tap on a section of an app, drag it out of the app and to the right edge of the screen. Release your finger to create another window of the same app. If you want to open the window full screen, take the finger to the top of the page and then release it.

All of Apple’s native apps support multiple windows. It’s up to third parties to add support for their own apps, so there’s a bit of trial and error to see which software works.

iPad OS’s App Exposé provides a quick view of just the open windows for any one app with a simple tap. This is just one of the new Mac-like features in iPadOS.

The Apple Pencil has always been a useful, and fun, accessory for the iPad. This is even truer with iPadOS. You can now mark up and send entire webpages, documents, or emails by swiping the stylus …. er, Pencil …. from the corner of the screen. A redesigned tool palette provides quick access to tools, color palettes, shapes, object eraser, and more. Plus, there’s a new pixel eraser for removing any part of a stroke and a ruler for drawing straight lines. 

Apple Pencil.png

The Apple Pencil is even faster and more precise in iPadOS. Apple says this is due to advanced prediction algorithms and optimizations that reduce its latency from 20 milliseconds to as low as 9 milliseconds.

Among the new things you can do with the Pencil: swipe in from the bottom corner of the screen using the Apple Pencil and iPadOS will take a screenshot. You’ll also see an option to take full page screenshot in the right side. Screenshots are easy to annotate using the Apple Pencil.

Another productivity booster: the Files app serves as a central place to access and manage documents. iPadOS offers iCloud Drive support for folder sharing. Anyone with access to a shared folder will see it in iCloud Drive and will always have the ability to access the latest version. 

Still another productivity booster: iPadOS also supports external drives, so you can attach USB drives and SD cards. The new Column View with previews makes it easy to navigate directories. Support for Quick Actions such as mark up, rotate and create PDF can make your workflow smoother, as can local storage, zip and unzip, and new keyboard shortcuts.

One of my favorite features: iPadOS users a desktop (as opposed to mobile) version of Safari that’s scaled for the iPad display. It also boasts features such as a download manager, 30 new keyboard shortcuts and enhancements to tab management.

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Speaking of the download manager, when you visit a link that can be downloaded, you’ll see a popup asking if you want to download the file. A Download icon will appear in the toolbar. Tap on it to download a file (and to monitor your downloads). Downloaded files are, by default, stored in the Downloads folder in the Files app.

Another cool feature: when you take a screenshot in Safari and tap on the preview box, you’ll see a new Full Page option at the top. Tap on it and you’ll be able to mark up and capture the entire page.

Text editing on an iPad gets updated with iPadOS with a variety of new gestures. Some of them are very useful; others — such as anything involving more than two fingers — are tricky and take practice to nail.

iPad OS introduces Dark Mode, which offers a dark color scheme designed to be easier on the eyes in low-light environments. I use it all the time.

Custom Fonts can be installed for use across the system with iPadOS. Fonts from vendors such as Adobe, DynaComware, Monotype, Morisawa and Founder will be available on the App Store. I’ve yet to find a need to buy more fonts, but your needs may be different than mine.

Ditto the new floating keyboard that’s designed to save space and includes support for QuickPath. I’m a terrible one-handed typer, so if I’m going to be writing anything more than a short text message, I attach the Smart Folio with keyboard.  On the other hand, my kids can type one-handed at the speed of light. If that’s you, you’ll find it useful that you can pinch in to enable the floating keyboard and drag it anywhere on the screen.

Photos gets a substantial upgrade in iPadOS. Apple’s photos app curates the library to highlight the best images, a nice touch. Even better is the new photo editing tools that even — thank you, Apple — can be used to edit videos.

Video editing.png

Sign In with Apple is a fast, easy and private way to sign in to apps and websites using Apple ID.

Other things to note about iPadOS:

The revamped Home screen is nice. It’s been redesigned with a new layout to show more apps on each page. Today View can now be added to the Home screen, allowing quick access to widgets for at-a-glance information, including headlines, weather, calendar, events, tips, and more.

You can now view widgets directly on the Home screen and pin them to the Home screen as well. When you’re in the Home screen, swipe right to reveal the widgets. To pin then, swipe to the bottom of the Today View panel and tap on Edit. Then turn on the toggle next to Keep on Home Screen.

Home screen.png

Maps features a new basemap, built from the ground up. The Look Around with street-level imagery of cities using high-resolution 3D photography is cool. There are also: Collections for a new way to share restaurants, shops or destinations; and Favorites for quick navigation to frequent locations. That said, I rarely use Maps on my iPad. If I need it, I use it with my iPhone.

There’s also support for game controllers for use with Apple Arcade. I’m yet to implement such controllers or play with Apple’s game streaming service. Look for my thoughts on this soon.

But here’s my biggest grip with iPadOS. You can pair a wireless mouse with your iPad — but not Apple’s own Magic Mouse 2. The Bluetooth Devices settings in iPadOS has this message: “AssistiveTouch allows you to connect Bluetooth and USB assistive pointer devices, such as joysticks and mice. Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad are not supported over Bluetooth.”

No support for Apple’s own accessories? Major fail, Apple, major fail.

I’m assuming this glitch will be worked out soon. Otherwise, iPadOS is something I’ve wanted for some time. And it inches the iPad closer to a (for me) Mac laptop replacement.

To download iPadOS, go to System Preferences > General >Software Update.   It builds on the same foundation as iOS, adding new capabilities and features specific to the large display and versatility of the tablet.




















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chrisrosa
20 days ago
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Certainly dumb, but the "major fail" and "biggest grip" (sic)? Seriously?
San Francisco, CA
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Australia Is Using New Technology to Catch Drivers on Phones

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian state is attempting to persuade people to put down their smartphones while driving by rolling out cameras to prosecute distracted motorists.

New South Wales Roads Minister Andrew Constance said Monday that Australia’s most populous state is the first jurisdiction in the world to use such technology to punish drivers distracted by social media, text messages or phone calls.

Road safety experts are alarmed at the growing prevalence of accidents involving drivers using smartphones on New South Wales roads. Experts say drivers who illegally use phones increase their chances of an accident four-fold.

“There is no doubt drink-driving as far as I’m concerned is on a par with mobile phone use, and that’s why we want everyone to be aware that you’re going to get busted doing this anytime, anywhere,” Constance told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The government intends to roll out 45 Mobile Phone Detection Cameras across the state by December, he said.

In fact, each unit contains two cameras. One camera photographs a car’s registration plate and a second high-set lens looks down through the windscreen and can see what drivers are doing with their hands.

The units use artificial intelligence to exclude drivers who are not touching their phones. Photos that show suspected illegal behavior are referred for verification by human eyes before an infringement notice is sent to the vehicle’s registered owner along with a 344 Australian dollar ($232) fine. Some cameras will be permanently fixed on roadsides and others will be placed on trailers and moved around the state.

A six-month trial of two fixed cameras this year checked 8.5 million vehicles and detected more than 100,000 drivers with their hands on phones, including one driver who was using a phone and iPad simultaneously. Another driver had a passenger steer while they both held phones, the government said.

The government wants to expand the program to 135 million checks a year by 2023. New South Wales has 5.2 million registered vehicles.

National Roads and Motorists’ Association spokesman Peter Khoury, a leading advocate for road users, accused the government of using stealth to crack down on illegal phone use. While the association supported tougher action against drivers distracted by phones, it wanted signs warning motorists that phone detection cameras were operating in an area, as happens with speed cameras in the state.

Government modeling found that the phone detection cameras could prevent 100 fatal and serious injuries over five years.

The annual state road toll in New South Wales fell by 35 deaths to 354 last year.

Police said more than 16,500 drivers had been fined for illegally using phones so far this year.

Drivers are allowed to use phones in hands-free cradles and through Bluetooth. But it is illegal to touch a phone while driving except to pass it to a passenger. The ban even applies to drivers who are stationary at red lights or stuck in traffic jams.

Constance said his government was relaxing the law to allow drivers to legally pay with their phones at restaurant drive-throughs.



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chrisrosa
22 days ago
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aka The Wank-cam.
San Francisco, CA
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Facebook is reportedly teaming up with Ray-Ban maker on its smart AR glasses

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Illustration by James Bareham / The Verge

Facebook has been working to build its own augmented reality glasses for the past few years, and according to CNBC, it has partnered with popular eyewear brand Luxottica, makers of Ray-Ban glasses, to bring them to market in the next few years, possibly between 2023 and 2025. The news that Facebook might have found a manufacturing partner, (and a well-established one at that) could be an indication that these might not actually be vaporware.

These glasses, codenamed “Orion,” won’t be supplemental to your phone — they’re supposedly built to replace it entirely. They will reportedly be able to take calls without being tethered to a smartphone, and will show information in “a small display,” which sounds similar to Google Glass. The glasses...

Continue reading…

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chrisrosa
28 days ago
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This will go nicely with the tag-spam that happens constantly on the platform.
San Francisco, CA
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Octopus Superyacht

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Built for late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2003 and recently refitted, the Octopus is one of the largest private vessels in the world. Measuring 414 feet bow to stern,...

Visit Uncrate for the full post.
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chrisrosa
28 days ago
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Hail Hydra?
San Francisco, CA
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Monster Bush Plane is a One-Off Engineering Masterpiece

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All of us dream of reaching a point in life where we have the knowledge, skills, energy and resources to pull off builds that match our wildest dreams. [Mike Patey] is living that dream and with a passion for engineering and aviation that is absolutely infectious, he built Draco, the world’s most badass bush plane.

Draco started life as a PZL-104MA Wilga 2000, which already had impressive short take off and landing (STOL) capabilities for a 4 seater. Its original 300 hp Lycoming piston engine failed catastrophically in 2017, very nearly dumping [Mike] in Lake Utah. He decided it was a good excuse to start building his dream plane, and replaced the motor with a Pratt & Whitney PT6 turboprop engine, putting out a massive 680 hp.

Almost the entire plane was upgraded, and the engineering that went into it is awe-inspiring, especially considering that [Mike] did most of it himself. This includes a redesigned fuel system, enlarged wing and control surfaces, new avionics, oxygen system, upgraded landing gear and an array of lights. The wing tip landing lights are actually from a Boeing 737. [Mike] estimates that the upgrades cost somewhere in the region of a million US dollars. All the highlights of the build is documented in series of videos on [Mike]’s YouTube channel. What we would give for a personal workshop like that…

Try not to let your jaw hit the floor when watching the video after the break.

[Mike Patey] has quite a bit of experience with crazy planes. One of his previous builds, a race plane named “Turbulence”, holds a US transcontinental speed record and the average speed record (438 mph / 704.9 km/h) for a single engined turboprop.

We have covered some home-built aircraft before which are slightly more accessible for the average aviation enthusiast. But always remember that just because your dream build is crazy doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

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chrisrosa
29 days ago
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Love this plane.
San Francisco, CA
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An off-grid cabin, perched atop 10 sloped acres of redwoods on...

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An off-grid cabin, perched atop 10 sloped acres of redwoods on the California coast. Designed, built and owned by partners Jeff Waldman and Molly Fiffer, and constructed over the course of one year, by the pair and their friends.

Clad in local redwood siding, with birch plywood walls and exposed Douglas fir timbers, the cabin is outfitted with large doors that allow the cabin and deck to function as a single indoor/outdoor space.

The couple had no prior design or construction experience, beyond the 18 months of smaller projects on the property, which led up to the cabin build. They spent a year salvaging most of the windows and the panoramic door, which the cabin was designed around. The rest of the design was informed by their capabilities and by the constraints of the site.

To reduce costs, the kitchen was constructed from standard wire shelving and mounted to Ikea countertops with closet rod hardware. The cooler slides out on casters and the propane stove is a utilitarian RV model. The shelves, bench, and stow-away loft ladder are made from slabs of madrone, which were chainsaw milled from trees felled on the cabin site. The redwood timbers and siding came from a neighboring sawyer.

The communal weekend getaway, shared among dozen of friends, also features a series of suspended tree decks, elevated outdoor shower, wood fired hot tub, and a host of camp activities, such as workshops, axe throwing and archery.

More photos: elevatedspaces.ca / @elevatedspaces

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chrisrosa
36 days ago
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yes please.
San Francisco, CA
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