iPad Pro 10.5-inch vs. 11-inch On-Screen Keyboard

November 6, 2018 · 11:54

Since the iPad Pro reviews have started to trickle out yesterday, I was looking for a comparison between the on-screen keyboards. I own a 10.5-inch iPad and will be switching to the 11-inch model tomorrow (hopefully, if there are no delays!), but I couldn’t wait. Luckily Steve Troughton-Smith had the simulator handy and helped me out1.

Above is the 10.5-inch keyboard in portait orientation, while the new 11-inch edition is below. You can click the images to load them full-screen and use the arrow keys (or swipe on them) to navigate between the two.


Make of this what you will but I can’t say that those additional keys are useful for the way I use my iPad. I’ll find out soon enough, but I am curious if it will be more comfortable to thumb-type on than the older one.

  1. Thanks Steve!

Apple Is Rebuilding Maps From the Ground Up →

June 29, 2018 · 23:51

Matthew Panzarino, writing for TechCrunch:

Maps needs fixing.

Apple, it turns out, is aware of this, so it’s re-building the maps part of Maps.

It’s doing this by using first-party data gathered by iPhones with a privacy-first methodology and its own fleet of cars packed with sensors and cameras. The new product will launch in San Francisco and the Bay Area with the next iOS 12 beta and will cover Northern California by fall.

Apple Maps really needs vastly superior search algorithms and many more POIs. The problems with search in Europe are comical. Search for “Kaczyńskiego” in Poland (e.g. when in Warsaw) and Maps will suggest a street in a far-away city, despite there being two by that name in Warsaw. Or if a street name consists of two words, e.g. a name and surname, you often have to type in both, otherwise it will fail.

I’ve given up on Apple Maps in Europe and it will take a lot of work on Apple’s part to get me to come back.


Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12

Everything You Need to Know About iOS 12 Shortcuts →

June 14, 2018 · 11:34

Federico Viticci, on MacStories:

On the surface, Shortcuts the app looks like the full-blown Workflow replacement heavy users of the app have been wishfully imagining for the past year. But there is more going on with Shortcuts than the app alone. Shortcuts the feature, in fact, reveals a fascinating twofold strategy: on one hand, Apple hopes to accelerate third-party Siri integrations by leveraging existing APIs as well as enabling the creation of custom SiriKit Intents; on the other, the company is advancing a new vision of automation through the lens of Siri and proactive assistance from which everyone – not just power users – can reap the benefits.

I was afraid magic variables would go away, but I’m surprised and happy to see that they have been retained. I like to imagine Ari Weinstein fought a battle there because this is not something I expected Apple to keep.

I hope they keep Ari and his team happy, so he can continue to build on the foundations of the most excellent Workflow (now Shortcuts) app. I don’t want even think about going back to using iOS without automation.


AirPods to Get Live Listen Feature in iOS 12 →

June 8, 2018 · 14:30

Steven Aquino, for TechCrunch:

In iOS 12, users will be able to use Live Listen, a special feature previously reserved for hearing aids certified through Apple’s Made for iPhone hearing aid program, with their AirPods.

After enabling the feature in the iPhone’s settings, users will be able to use their phones effectively as a directional mic. This means you can have AirPods in at a noisy restaurant with your iPhone on the table, for example, and the voice of whomever is speaking will be routed to your AirPods.

Live Listen is a feature Apple developed and eventually launched in 2014 that allows iPhone users with hearing aids to hear people in noisy environments or from across a room, such as a crowded restaurant or lecture hall. If a compatible hearing aid is paired to a user’s phone, there are options to turn Live Listen on and off, adjust volume and even set it as their preferred Accessibility Shortcut.

This could be a fascinating feature, especially for people with hearing problems, but also “for the rest of us”, when we’re placed in extremely loud environments.