My iOS 9 wishlist

A few minutes ago I realized my iOS 9 wish list has grown to 3 items.

  • f.lux functionality built-in to the operating system. It makes my computers so very nice to use.
  • PGP key support in mail and the OS. S/Mime is great but support isn't everywhere and it would be nice to have both
  • Notification sets. Being able to group a set of notification preferences. Do not disturb is handy but it's the nuclear option. Sometimes, or everyday, I would like to have different "work-day" and "off-hours" notification settings. As a bonus for my colleagues this would man my phone could buzz a lot less while we are on conference calls.

Using iPad to hold your photos while on vacation

Working on computer on the roadA family member recently sent a question to my wife about how to keep photos safe while traveling.

And speaking of road trips, we are heading to Hawaii and are planning on getting an iPad for entertainment along the way. We are wondering if you have used your iPad as a photo transfer station from your EyeFi card to your iPhoto at home. Does it work that way? We don't have a laptop, so we were thinking an EyeFi card would allow us to take pictures and upload them to our iPad (and ultimately our computer) for safe keeping. Or, would we be better off taking the card to the local Costco to get a cd made to make sure we have the pics safe and sound? Thank you for any insight you might be able to offer.

This is a workflow I've spent quite a bit of time on over the years. My thinking is definitely affected by two instances of losing photos I'd really like to have back.

The first instance where I lost photos was years ago on a business trip to Wichita of all places. I'd taken some photos on the plane as well as some pretty nice sunset photos. I'd reviewed them on the camera's (tiny by modern standards) screen and shared them with colleagues on the trip. When I downloaded the photos I didn't notice that the card was evidently corrupted in some way and only a portion of the photos were saved to the computer. Thinking that all was well the card was formatted and I went on shooting. Had I caught it in time I could have likely used some card recovery software and gotten back at least some of the photos.

iPad's greatest flaw

ipad_connect_to_itunes.pngA today reminded me that I've been meaning to write about the big flaw in the iPad. Actually it is a flaw in iOS but I notice it most on the iPad.

First a little background. I've had an iPad for as long as they've been around and eagerly stood in line for the iPad 2's new cameras. More than the first iPad the iPad 2 is a transformative device. It is comfortable to hold in bed to read, it has an amazing cover that just works and it's a bright white color instead of the heavy black. (How the color affects the perception of weight is another topic for another day.)

As awesome as the device is for me. It comes with a horrible flaw. This first came to light the very night I picked it up. After the headache of convincing my credit card issuer that yes it really was me staying in a hotel and buying an iPad at an Apple store I met a friend and we headed out for dinner. Being a Drupalcon dinner there were plenty of tech folks. Since the line for Chicago pizza was longer than the line for the iPad 2 we had plenty of time to talk. Eventually I succumbed to peer pressure and opened the box.

While peeling away the shrink wrap on the box (even the box is slightly smaller than the previous iPad) thoughts of taking a few pictures of the group with the new iPad came to mind. With a creative group of smart people what could we do with this new technology while waiting for a dinner with a week's caloric intake? And then all at once it happened.

An unusual iPad 3G activation problem

AT&T Logo This afternoon I got a call from the folks who had spent hours trying to activate the cellular data plan on an iPad. Having called Apple and AT&T didn't help. The frustration level was understandably very high. At the end of the day it boils down to an odd little problem that AT&T never anticipated.

First the interface for activation isn't great at dealing with errors. The cycle would run like this. You enter all the data and submit it. The system doesn't like your physical address and tells you so. When it presents the form with the error it also removes the password you've entered in your last attempt. However it doesn't highlight the password field so you don't know readily it's been removed. Your next submission is rejected for not having a password. Once you fill that in it gets rejected for the address again and around, and around, and around you go.

But that's my job!!

While running errands today I stopped in the credit union to do a little business and see who I could talk to about the problematic iPad website. It's a simple problem really, the iPad is redirected to the mobile website. As you'll see if you visit the mobile site it is pretty spartan. More problematically there is no way to opt-out of using the mobile site.

So I try to explain the problem and I'm treated to an explanation of how the browser on the iPad works. "You see, the iPad looks to the server just like an iPhone so it's not possible to tell," goes the explanation. Of course it's complete balderdash. I explain that I spend my days working on some relatively large websites and know a thing or two and in fact it is possible to differentiate the two.

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