Using software to be productive and get things done in life and Apple have announced updates of their operating systems so that they work better for people. Apple had their keynote speech for the developers conference yesterday and a number of things will be changing in both the desktop operating system and the mobile operating system.
Art for Art Sake
At first glance it seems that many of the updates for the desktop operating system are to do with the way it looks. They are going for a similar flat look to the operating system as was already introduced with iOS 7. I am not too bothered about the look of something I am more interested in how well it works. I want to see interoperability of applications, one with another and being able to be efficient using that software. I suppose it is true to say though, that one of the things that many Mac users do like about the way that Apple produces its software, is that it is well-designed and good to look at. I would include myself in appreciating the better quality in terms of a visual experience of using Mac software rather than Windows software or software from something like Linux. We still don’t want changes being made just for the sake of making something that was already well-designed look different, if there isn’t some substance behind it in terms of the way that it works.
Up the Yosemite Mountains
I haven’t been able to go through all of the details of what’s coming with the Yosemite Mac operating system, but it does look like that there are some good enhancements. Then there is the iOS operating system which has always been very good and just over the last couple of weeks I have been thinking that I will start using Android less and using iOS more. This is partly due to the introduction of a new Mac version of Omnifocus and the fact that it works well together with the Omnifocus that is on iOS too. On top of that there is an application called Day One which is for journalling which I like to use and it is not available on Android . I have started to think that although I have enjoyed using Android there have been times when I have been ‘making do’ with the software rather than using the best.
Better iOS data entry is coming
The only thing with the iOS operating system that I had missed from my time with Android were the alternative keyboards. Often it is the little things in life that are the most pleasing and with the alternative keyboards on Android I like the fact that when I am typing in I can see lower case letters on all of the keys on the keyboard. Then if I press the shift key I can see that I then get capital letters. Another thing that I have been able to do with Android is to use the swiping method of text entry . At first I didn’t like it, but then I found that it is much faster when you put your finger on the keyboard and slide around from one key to the next. It is actually very quick indeed to type on a virtual keyboard this way. So I am very pleased to see that we’re getting swiping typing available on iOS also. In fact I have already seen a tweet from Swift Key that they are already working on their alternative keyboard for iOS. Swift Key on Android has been one of my favourites. It is probably quite likely that this will be one of the first alternative keyboards that will be available for iOS and I will certainly be buying it in the App Store. The keyboard on Android that I use at the moment is called Swype and depending on how well the dictation works on SwiftKey then I may or may not change to Swype if that also becomes available on the Apple mobile operating system.
Handoff and iCloud Drive are coming
There have been enhancements to the basic applications on the Mac – Safari, Mail, Messages and most interestingly with the addition of iCloud Drive. This is going to give us the opportunity to move files around between the Mac and iOS and to have more say in how we use the files on the mobile operating system. There’s also going to be a thing called Airdrop between Macs and iOS which has worked very successfully for me on my Macs when I want to move a file from one Mac to another. The whole big new thing about interoperability is the fact that with the pairing between the two operating systems it will be much easier for working on a file on one system and then being away somewhere else and still able to pick up exactly where you left off with a document on either your iPad or your iPhone. It works the other way too. Apple are calling one of these new features Handoff
Back into the Fold
In any case, with what I saw in the update so far, it has confirmed to me that I should be moving most if not all of my computing back into the Apple ecosphere. A switch from Android to iOS. I have been thinking that I should get my iPad that I have now, sold to give me some extra cash to put towards buying a new iPad Mini that has a mobile connection included. This way I will always have Internet available and it looks like I can get 500 MB per month for about between six and nine euro from one of the providers her in Spain.
Still like my Nexus 7
The question is going to be, what will I do with my Nexus 7 because it is still a good tool that I like using and in some ways I would be not keen to give up using it. The other possibility would be to keep it for using around the house and to replace the iPad that I have now which is heavy, to get the iPad air. The only trouble with that is that it is still going to be a bigger device and therefore not so easy to carry about all of the time. With an iPad Mini I expect I will be able to put that into my bag more easily or even into a pocket.
Timing is everything
I will also have two think about exactly when I decide to do the upgrade. I wouldn’t want to upgrade to a new iPad when it is close to the time when Apple might come out with a new version. It is always nice to have a new version just after it has been announced, in that way you get a longer period of time of use out of the device. Seeing as there were no hardware announcements at this developer conference keynote it is probably going to be the autumn before there are going to be any hardware upgrades either in the Apple Mac computers or with the iPad or the iPhone. Seeing as I am staying with the Android phone that I’m using now for another year because of the fact that I am still paying for it, I will not be upgrading the phone during that period. But then that might not be so necessary if I’m using an iPad that has Internet connection through cellular which in some ways it is like just using a big iPhone anyway, but without the phone calls. I don’t make many phone calls, so in some respects that would even suit me better.