Tips, tricks, and apps for ALM iPad users

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I’m (Semi-) Back. And Please, Update

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Hello all. I’m on deadline, have a zillion projects up in the air. But I updated my iPad (version 1) to iOS5. And I’m glad I did.

I’ll write a longer post later about the refinements, etc. But I just wanted to flag this–the newsstand app. It gathers your subscribed publications into, well, a newsstand. You can go to the apps’ settings, and if you’ve got a sub, not a copy-by-copy purchase deal, you can tell the app to update automatically.

What happiness. The old New Yorker app used to make me download the latest copy, and it would freeze halfway through more often than not. Now a fresh issue comes in all by itself.

Even better, so does the Times. So I can leave the print copy for my puzzle-addicted wife to finish up when she gets back from teaching schoolkids. And I can carry a full-color, all singing and dancing Times every day on the iPad. One less thing to pack every day, too.


Written by almipad

October 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Back soon

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Hello everyone. It’s been a hectic month–I was on vacation, now I’m on a magazine deadline. iPadmania will be back with new posts after Labor Day.

Written by almipad

August 31, 2011 at 9:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Ain’t Misbehavin’—Not!

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Sorry for the double negative.

But last week, while trying to read the latest issue of the New Yorker on the iPad, the app repeatedly crashed. So did the Gourmet Live app (is this a Condé Nast conspiracy?). Aric called me over, said he was having trouble reading the New Yorker, too.

So, what to do? I did what I usually do when an app misbehaves–I force-quit it. How? Go to your home screen, then double-click the home button. You’ll see all your apps that are currently running at the bottom. Then put your finger on and hold the icon of the offending app. The icons will start to wiggle, and will show an “x” in the corner. Hit the “x” of the bad app, and you’ve force-quit. That usually forces it to play nice.

But it didn’t, in both cases.

If this happens, it’s time for drastic measures. Well, first do this–turn the iPad off, then turn it on. See if it still happens. If it does, trash the app, and reload. How? Place your finger on the app’s icon and hold, and you’ll see the vibrating thing again. Hit the “x” that appears. You’ll get a message saying doing that will trash the app and all its data. Be brave, do it. After you’ve thrown it overboard, go to the App Store and download it again. If it’s a pay app, you won’t have to pay again, Apple keeps track of such stuff and gives you the download. You’ll have to reload issues, but the time spent doing that is a small price for having a working app again.


UPDATE: I tried downloading the latest issue of the New Yorker, a week after deleting the app and reloading an issue. Guess what? It crashes again. Not good, CN.

Written by almipad

June 28, 2011 at 10:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Typing and Other Annoyances

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I was in Toronto for a couple of days on a sales trip (pretty good one at that). Before leaving, I called my hotel, a not-so-hot one—there was a huge mining convention in town with 20,000 attendees—and the desk clerk assured me they had wi-fi for every room.

It didn’t work.

Each room did have an ethernet cable, which did me no good, because I took my iPad. In the course of my wanderings, I was tempted very briefly to buy a router (hey, are those expense-able? I mean, you do get reimbursed for pay-Internet reception, right?), but I decided I wasn’t going to be spending that much time there anyway.

There was a Second Cup cafe down the street, which is sort of like Starbucks, with better coffee. And, thank the Internet gods, free wi-fi. A login prompt came up, telling me that the hotspot was for “Rogers wireless customers with the iPhone 3GS, I agreed to the conditions (what, no curling or hockey jokes?), and I was in. I called up this blog page, logged in and tried to post. And….hmmm, no go. I started to type, but I couldn’t see what I was typing. Is it something to do with the Safari version on the iPad? I don’t know; stay tuned for further experimenting.

I was going to post something on typing, which many find vexing on the device. I don’t, I’ve had an iPhone for over three years, so I’m used to how it works. My advice: trust the autocorrect, 80 percent of the time. I use a modified touch-typing style, fewer fingers than I’m using now on a regular Mac keyboard, but more than two fingers. By the way, have y’all figured out accents? Hold the letter key down until you see the letter with various alternatives. Slide to the one you want and release.

Some people, however, want a physical keyboard. I’ve seen two recently. First off is the Apple one–check out their online store here. On that page, you’ll see the regular wireless (Bluetooth) keyboard and the somewhat clumsy dock.

One of our colleagues has been carrying his iPad around with this dashing setup. Brookstone sells it, and it’s a portfolio (in three colors) that contains a Bluetooth keyboard. You open the case, the iPad can sit up at a comfortable angle, and it looks for all the world like a neat little laptop.

Written by almipad

March 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Out-of-Town Experiment

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I’ll be out of town Monday-Wednesday. I’m going to try updating from the iPad. Let’s see how that works.

Written by almipad

March 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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Welcome to the ALM iPad user blog.  A lot of people have fallen for the shiny tablets. And Aric asked if I’d be interesting in starting up an internal, for-our-eyes-only blog on what I find useful, interesting, amusing, or terrible, on the iPad. Here’s the result.

Some ground rules for app reviews: I won’t comment on the native apps, i.e., those that come with the device.  All apps found in Apple’s App Store are fair game, whether they’re free or not, media-centric or not. I’ll admit that I have a distinct preference for apps that take full advantage of the platform, using the technology to good advantage. So if it knows where I am, allows me to slide stuff around and pinch and expand, it’s likely I’ll fall for it. A simple port of a static PDF document, without added content, or some bells and whistles? Forget about it.

And, as you’ll see immediately below, I’ll violate that first rule to talk about book readers, because the main competition to Apple’s iBooks is a non-native app.

Written by almipad

February 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized