iOS 7 update

My initial impression at the keynote announcement was negative. The design looked like a step backward. Maybe a backward step was part of the design, because the more I use it the better I like it's clean simplicity. The installs on iPad and iPhone were both flawless.


Motorola S10-HD Bluetooth Headset


My older MotoRokr S9-HD stopped connecting over Bluetooth with my iPhone and Motorola replaced it with the newer S10 model. I love these headsets because they have great audio, fit well, and the ear buds are comfortable. Whether walking or riding on the trainer, the lack of a cord and the ability to still have all controls easily accessible for the phone is great feature.

Grocery List Hack


Ever find yourself out and near the grocery store but without your grocery list? I have and I do not want another app on my phone to maintain. They are useless because Pamela and I both need a copy of the list. 

Simple solution: we share our iCal calendars on our computers and phone, so we know each others schedule and can plan events together. We create a event for the 1st day of the next month titled "grocery list" and add grocery items into the notes area. Now whoever is in town and near the grocery store always has an updated grocery list on their phone. Simple and easy to maintain. We just move it to the first of the next month at the end of each month.

Sketchnote Handbook

This quickly became one of my favorite birthday gifts this year. Pamela knew that I love to sketch as we travel and I have doodled for years in meetings.

This handbook takes notes to a new creative level and the examples are outstanding. 

What surprised me was how much it helped me to focus my thoughts and to better listen to and understand others. 

Highly recommended. 

iPad as travel computer replacemet



This is the first time I have traveled without taking my laptop (MacBookPro) with me for writing, email, surfing, and photo storage. I decided to take only my iPad “3” and left my iPhone in airplane mode. I used Pamela iPhone 4gs for all my photos and she used the Leica D-Lux4. I am waiting for my Telus contract to shorted and am holding out for a new iPhone 5.

Therefore my technology for this trip was:

  • 1. iPad for READING, writing, email (wifi only), and photo storage,
  • 2. thumb drive for backup
  • 3.  Pamela’s iPhone for photography. No calls.

I was originally afraid I would had problems since the iPad limits what you can import or save to it through the browser. I was editing the play that will be performed October 11-13th with the new It’s Alive Theatre company in Lunenburg. Because Scrivener for iPad is still in development I used Storyist (an alternative to Scrivener) to edit in RTF format and converted it to Final Draft on return. Since I do all my writing in Scrivener this was the only really handicap and should be removed with the upcoming release. 

I loved the smaller size and portability. In my opinion, “this is the BEST reading platform I have ever experienced”. Kindle on the iPad is much better than my Kindle 3 reader. The resolution is extraordinary and its light weight allowed me to read for hours in bed with comfort. The on screen keyboard is easier to use than I expected. All in all it was a great experience and I will travel with it more often going forward.

NOTE: If Apple is listening, the best solution would be a MacBook Air with a removable display. When the display is attached it acts as a MacBook and when detached it becomes an iPad. This would be the best of all worlds. Just a suggestion.

Favorite iPad App in the Morning


Ever stand at the newsstand hoping to find a magazine with no ads that has all the articles on topics you are interested in reading. Zite is an iPad app that delivers 24/7 all the sections on the news you are interested in following. Each morning  I can slowly rise while enjoying the latest book or theatre review, follow the latest bicycle race, see the new movie trailers, find out what is happening in the world and around the corner in Nova Scotia, or read a provocative essay. Unlike the NYTimes app which I enjoyed, this pulls from all the best newspapers, magazines, blogs , and other online sources for articles.

The reader selects the sections and topics that interest you. Zite follows what you read and intelligently learns to give you more of the same. You can like or dislike as you read along an help Zite improve your choices. You can add and remove sections as your interest change.

Best of all it is a Free App on iTunes.