Creating. Why don’t we create more?

I use my iPad every day to READ music FROM.

What I don’t do nearly enough of is use it to CREATE music WITH.

I used NanoStudio (which is on sale currently for I believe 50% off)

Tonight I did – I’d love for you to take a listen.

https://pshimmons.bandcamp.com/track/sporian

Thing3 is on sale Currently

So… you are looking for a To-Do App? How about a project manager?

You are in LUCK!

Things3Things 3 is currently on sale!!!! Cultured Code GmbH & Co. are giving those of us who have not updated from version 2 a chance to jump on the band wagon and update!

IT also just so happens that the developers have been hard at work and have updated the app for iOS13! iPadOS has gotten some special love too! Multiple windows, Widgets, and conversational shortcuts using SIRI!

iPad version is $13.99 (normally $20)
iPhone version is $6.99 (normally $10)
Mac Version is $34.99 (normally $50)

Things 3 has taken a HUGE step forward now that we are on iOS13 and iPadOS. Now you can use SIRI to add Things to do!

GoodTask would be another amazing ToDo manager.

 

Music Teacher with a New iPad?

So…. you are a music teacher and you just got a new iPad to help you run class and teach music….

What are the three apps that I think are the most important for you to purchase as a teacher to help you teach music?

ForScore
Notion
iDoceo

Just saying….

Hope your school district helps support your purchase of an amazing device for music teachers! I believe every school should HAVE to buy every music teacher an iPad! But if they DON’T help you then you might feel like you have a brand new sports car in your driveway with no wheels and no money for gas! But it’s all paid for and you totally own it!

My iOS Device Journey

This…. this is my blog of my adventures with the magical world of Apple and it’s devices. My story of the journey of using, creating, and learning.

and so…. the great tale continues today with another episode in the “I can’t believe it” category.

Astute readers will notice something missing in the picture above – my Apple Watch! Pretty funny tan line hey? That’s what Band Camp and being outside all summer will do to you! The iPad is also an integral part of todays story!

Three years ago I purchased my first Apple Watch – like almost exactly three years ago! As soon as they were released I ordered my Series 2.

The watch has been an excellent addition to helping me make more efficient use of my time. I will wear it all the time. (and NOT just to prove my wife wrong 😉 )

I on purpose did not get a case to protect it. I wanted to see what it would endure. It has proven super durable! Many times I have hit it on a metal door frame and thought for sure it would have been busted but the watch always come out ahead!

Then about a month ago I looked at my watch while out in the sunlight and realized there was a crack all the way around the outside edges of the screen! I for the life of me could not remember doing something stupid like many times before. The only thing I could imagine was that in the process of taking it off to fly my drone it had gotten hit or something.

Then I read that Apple had started a screen replacement for Aluminum Apple Watch Series 2! There was an example image of what cracked screens looked like that were eligible and sure enough – looked exactly like mine! Guess I wasn’t the only one with a mystery crack on my AW screen!

IMG_2160
My Cracked AWatch Series 2 Screen

So today, after making a Genius Bar appointment,  I finally drove the 1.5 hours to the closest Apple Store to take it in.

We will come back to THAT visit in just a moment….

The second part of this story was that at school we had just purchased an iPadPro Gen3 for the Band Program because I figured it was long due time that I should not be using my personal device for school business and teaching. We’ve only had it about a week and I still have not put it in a case so I took the iPad with me so I could go buy a case one today.

Now… back to the Apple Store…

I walked in about 25 minutes early, checked in and went back to the table to wait. Hardly had I sat down then Genius Bar worker Karim came over and introduced himself. We went to the work table. I explained about the crack, he took a look, entered some info into his iPad and said, yup looks like we need to send this in. He stated that there didn’t look to be any point of impact and that sort of crack certainly fit the criteria. About five minutes later we were all done. Never once did he ask for a receipt, or ask questions about if I thought I knew it had happened or anything really! I knew I did not have my receipt, couldn’t find it but since I had blogged about getting the Apple Watch on this blog I had pulled that post up on the school iPad so I could maybe use that as proof of when I had purchased the watch. Never needed it! Karim was fast, efficient and super helpful! Exactly the reason Apple Stores are having such huge success!

As he wrapped up he asked if there was anything else I needed. I responded, “Nope, that was it! Thanks Man!” He then proceeded to point at the week old iPad Pro and asked if the crack in the screen was annoying me! I about fell out of my seat! I had been using the iPad in church just that morning – no crack! My 27 year old son had used the iPad right before I left for the Apple Store as did I  – neither of us noticed a crack! On the drive down to the store the iPad sat on my front drivers seat playing music. I was simply floored that there was indeed a crack and still have no idea how. Karim asked when I had acquired the iPad – I explained it was like brand new and I hadn’t even set up and down loaded all my apps yet! Without blinking an eye he stated that since it was a single hairline fracture he would replace it – I explained I hadn’t yet purchased Apple Care. He said no problem – BUT if it would have been a multiple line crack I would have been paying $650! Again, no questions from him about a receipt, proof of purchase or anything! A few minutes later a nice lady walked out of the back room handed him a box with a different iPad in it. Karim had me disable Find My iPad, then erase and reset all settings. I took the new iPad, signed in and literally 7 minutes later was walking out of the Apple Store a VERY satisfied and relieved customer!

Several things stick out in my mind:

  • BUY A CASE – I’ve had a TON of iPads and have NEVER cracked a screen! (Well, except that one I beat with my conductors baton while trying to get the percussion to keep a steady tempo in class – I’m STILL salty about that!
  • APPLE CARE – Buy it!
  • I can’t imagine having had a better experience in a different type of store!

Several other thought:

  • Make sure you write your passwords down for your Apple account  – your main account as well as your iPad unlock codes.
  • Make sure you disable Find My iPad ?BEFORE wiping a device
  • Create and actually use your free iCloud account/username!

These last three thoughts are not just from todays experience but from every time I set up a new device. As well as every time I help someone with their devices and accounts. I will be writing a couple of posts about several of these horror stories and the simple way people could have avoided their situations!

I will leave you with a picture of the iPadPro screen the way I set it up when it was fresh booted today vs after installing the iOS 13 beta and downloaded a bunch of apps.

YUP – Even though iOS13 is almost certainly like two days away from public release I could not bear the thought of not having to go back to iOS12 even for just a couple of days! There are significant improvements in iOS13 and I have come to rely on those improvements!

Home Screen Before
Home Screen Before Full Set-up
Home Screen After.PNG
Home Screen AFTER Set-up

Software/App Updates – FileMaker and Readdle in Particular

Well it was very interesting to read about FileMaker (an Apple owned company) rebranding itself BACK to it’s Claris name. Claris is from the days gone by (like 1998) and was the predecessor to FileMaker. Claris had some great apps like MacWrite, MacPaint, Claris Works and such. FileMaker has been profitable (80 back to back quarter of profit is no small task) so that’s not the reason. Although I was NOT happy to see the subscription model come out last year (I think that’s when it was) and I DO wonder if they had issues getting people to “but into” that model. I think the company is just ready to build and expand. Which is exciting news and I look forward to what comes!

As Long As They Don’t Mess With FileMaker and take away features I already have!

BUT…. Hey, I OWN a perpetual license to the software so I can continue to use it as is for years to come! Unlike if I had a subscription.

Readdle today also announced that their stellar iOS app PDF Expert is now going to be a free download! At first glanced I about choked on my morning Diet Dr. Pepper (I really dislike coffee)! THAT was going to be a GREAT deal for ANYONE!

BUT…. they have actually decided to go to a subscription based model as well!

Now… they have a very clarifying post on their blog detailing what current users will continue to “keep” forever – so if you have NOT updated to the pro level of PDF Expert – GO NOW as it’s like $10! It might still let you update at that price because soon it will cost you $50 a year! At that price I did choke on my bagel!

Here is the deal – from their website….

PDF Expert7 Chart

So to be fair to them they have done an excellent job of taking care of current users! I fully appreciate that I will continue to “keep” things I have already bought! This is important because I have come to rely on their excellent apps!

THANK YOU READDLE for that!

BUT… this subscription based model for new users…. oh my….

Here is the problem with the world of apps and software…. Developers should NOT be expected to develop an app, sell the app, and then continue to update that app for everyone forever without getting more money for that app!

That’s why I would constantly purchase software and then continue to pay for upgrades in the past! First of all – those bright shiny upgrades ALWAYS looks like fun and look useful! Second of all I like the developers who are amazing at what they do and I want to continue to support them!

Subscriptions mess with the process though. If I purchase a subscription to an app I will be able to use that app freely for one year (or how ever long it may be.) THEN… it stops working. Now… if we are talking about something like $10 here I can usually scrape up the money to renew. But sometimes the subscription prices are just too much for someone as an educator for instance to depend on that money always being there!

Consider these thought –

FileMaker: I can buy a perpetual license for $540 and use that app forever. The subscriptions start at $15 per user per month and they want you to start at 5-9 users. So assuming I could even get a subscription for ONE user it would therefore drop the cost per year down to $180. Seems like a good deal. IF THE MONEY is there to upgrade every year.

Readdle: So what I could suggest to other people as an amazing app on their iPads for $10 (I don’t know was it $10? or was it more?) NOW…. I have to let them know that in order to get some of the most useful features (signing PDF’s, Rearranging PDF’s, Merging PDF’s) well now that’s going to cost $50 EVERY SINGLE YEAR! That’s a big chunk of change to swallow!

Here’s the real life scenario –

I teach. I buy software for my band program. Some years we have money and many other years we go through budget cuts! Some years, like this one, the state hasn’t even told our district how much money they will be allocating to our school but they are demanding a balanced budget from our school. Well you can imagine the state of mind we are in! Who knows if I’ll have money to continue a subscription! There are some pieces of software that I rely on  – FileMaker, Notion/Sibelius, Pyware 3D, ForScore/UnRealBook, and yes I would also list PDFExpert and Calendars5 in this category.

As an individual I run into this issue as well. I have a subscription to iTunes Match. I rely on iTunesMatch – I love it and wouldn’t want to be without it! I did make the mistake of starting my first subscription to it the week right after Christmas the first year though. So now… I’ve got to make sure every year I have $25 in my band account so that it continues to renew reliably! Sometimes if that day falls right before a payday or if I’ve forgotten about the renewal date I’m scrambling!

The Solution –

I don’t have the answers but I did like the previous model of purchasing and updating software. I have chosen to use the same app on my computer (and know MANY teachers who do the same) for years and years. A good friend was upset that in his last year of teaching band he was forced to upgrade to the latest version of Pyware3D – he was running version one! But the computer he was using it on stopped working and the new computer wouldn’t run version one! (surprise) the upgrade coast hurt but he relied on that app and knew that future band directors would be able to use that software for years to come!

In the world of apps getting updates for free has been a nice ride but a better model has to come about so our developers get paid. I do appreciate that Readdle is NOT taking features away from current users! I am not sure how I can recommend a $50 YEARLY cost to new users.

Readdle has an amazing suite of apps available – Check it out at their website.

https://readdle.com

iOS13 Tip#4 – Pin Widgets to iPad HomeScreen (well…. this is REALLY iPadOS)

iOS13 vs iPadOS – These tips will all be highlighting new ways we will be able to use our OS’s to improve our productivity/creativity! iPadOS is an enhanced version of iOS13 which is technically for iPhone and iPod. iPadOS has features that will never be available on the smaller screens.

Remember those nifty Widgets on your iPad? What? You never use them because you forget they are there?

NEWSFLASH – Now you will notice them! Someone at Apple REALLY, REALLY, REALLY believes we should be using these little tools and have found a way to put them in our faces all the time! (or not – you don’t HAVE to do this but I think we ALL want to be more productive right?)

Use Widgets right from your home screen! In fact… pin two of them right there to ALWAYS be visible!

iOS Tip#3 – 18 Slots now available in iPad Dock! (Well… iPadOS)

Now we will be able to hold even more apps in our iPad Docks.

Why you ask?

To make us more productive! BUT – when we want to use the new iPadOS features available like SlideOver with multiple apps we NEED more apps in the dock! Because it’s easier to get apps into that SlideOver and SplitScreen mode.

The iPad dock will now hold 15 of your selected apps/folders and 3 recents for a grand total of 18 slots! Notice I did not say 18 apps. Using folders we can put an absurd amount of apps in the dock now!

iOS13 Tip#2 – Fast Forward/Rewind Videos in the Photos App Tip

When I opened the Photos app there were some wonderful amazing things going on in there!

One thing freaked me out though – where did the timeline go while watching a video so I could fast forward/rewind quickly!?!?!?

Well… never fear! It’s still near! Just a Tap away will let you Nap in peace Today!

 

 

iOS13 Tip#1 – Dragging files from the New Download Manager in Safari

So I’ve been a seriously stupid person once again – It seems I just can’t resist!

I’ve gone and loaded up the public betas of iOS13 and iPadOS on my iPhone and iPad.

Several things have really struck me and I plan on making a few short tips on YouTube to show you some ideas of how the new features are going to be useful and possibly even boggle your mind!

Tip #1 – The new download manager in Safari

Safari now downloads files into it’s spiffy new download manager. From there you can drag files like PDF’s out into other apps!

Apple says this about the Download Manager “Check the status of a file you’re downloading, access downloaded files quickly, and drag and drop them into a file or email you’re working on. You can even download files in the background while you get work done.”

Watch the YouTube video linked below to see this in action as I download a PDF I need for Sunday morning worship team from SongSelect and into ForScore. ForScore by the way has fantabulous support for Drag and Drop and if you have NOT used Drag and Drop (from iOS 12) then you SHOULD be!