The other day, I wrote about the Bill Simmons interview on The Moment with Brian Koppelman. He mentioned The Ramblings, which I forgot about. I searched for a few of his older ramblings columns from Page 2. Zoomed completely out, they looked like this.
Reading them reminded me of the time he held off on joining Twitter. Which seemed odd because it was a perfect platform for firing off one-off ramblings. Anyway, here’s a bad imitation.
Okay it took me like 5 minutes to set the tripod up but I’m going to type some initial thoughts about this keyboard while using the keyboard.
- When angled all the way back and floating, it’s not the best thing for the lap. At first it felt like it would tip backward but that part ends up being okay. What happens, though, is that the front edge lifts a bit. So it can wobble while you type. Resting one palm on the keyboard fixes this. I’m guessing plenty of people type with their palms on the keyboard so it’s not an issue at all.
- I’m always worried that when I upgrade WordPress, the real full screen mode will go away. (Open the visual editor and press ctrl+shift+f) It’s a view that gets me in the right mindset to write something to publish. Just having the formatting options there reminds me that this is for an external audience.
When I write in Evernote, I usually have the mindset that I can write things that are really rough. The idea is that I’ll take it from that rough state and then revise it and shape it from there to something final. Reality: I do get a lot of thoughts down but then they just stay in there. This isn’t unique to me—when talking about quick entry in GTD, David Allen said some apps like Evernote can be very quick but also write-only in practice. This was on his Tim Ferriss interview, I think. Let me find the excerpt…
(While trying to find the excerpt, the clicks stopped registering and then I tried to fix that and 30 minutes later I remembered I was trying to find the quote. Here it is.)
David Allen: The Web Clipper. But I still don’t use it that much. I don’t have that much stuff that I want to do about that. The problem with things like Evernote, somebody described it as “write-only.” They spend all their time adding stuff in there and don’t even go in and look at what they’ve got.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. It’s a risk with a lot of digital technology.
David Allen: Write-only, as opposed to read-only.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Addition and not sufficiently, well, at least subtraction from intentional perspective.
That’s more about research material but I really do just write a bunch of things into Evernote. It’s like something where I write one line on a post-it and then throw it into a bottomless drawer with the idea that I’ll do something with it.
- I wish there was a keyboard shortcut in Safari for “Hide the toolbar”
- While writing this post, there was a point where trackpad clicks just stopped registering for some reason. I’m guessing this is a pointer support issue, not at all something with the hardware. But then it does look like things got in a weird state where I couldn’t tap anymore in Safari. Quitting and re-opening fixed it. (Locking and unlocking the iPad did not.)
- No lap heat! I watched and read a decent number of reviews and, while I’m sure it was mentioned in at least a few of them, it wasn’t a huge point that came across: there’s no lap heat. People did talk about whether or not it would tip over in your lap in different setups. But the biggest thing I’m noticing so far is that I used to just have an expectation that things would get warm and then uncomfortable when using my MacBook Pro on the couch. That will never be a problem with this keyboard. (Though it also wasn’t a problem with the Smart Keyboard either, if you’re comparing keyboards and not devices.)
- Split screen tap registers: This was something I noticed when multitasking with Kindle in one half and a text editor in the other. There’s no way for me to switch pages without going into the zoomed out view because I need to tap to switch app focus but that also registers as a tap in the app.
- Quick update on above bullet: I‘m a moron. You can just tap on the left and right side of that part of the screen. Probably working as intended. In hindsight, this is definitely working as intended because the opposite is. You would need to double tap everything in the other portion of the screen.
- Non-floating setup for the lap: This has been good for splaying out on the couch. The weight distribution makes it difficult to tip over. The screen angle isn’t great since it’s 90 degrees. But it’s definitely useable, especially if you use an editor where you can keep the lines near the top of the screen. Ulysses and iA Writer make this possible.
And here’s a closer screenshot of what’s going on here:
- The trackpad works well. Clicking into it is louder than I’d like but I usually just tap instead of doing the full click so it doesn’t matter that much.
- If you pay for a gym membership and you’re not taking classes, a lot of that is going toward the cost of running those classes. (I remember learning this by reading that the reason Blink is so cheap is that they don’t have classes at all.) Anyway, I’ve been wondering how much cheaper this keyboard (and all keyboards) would be if there was no backlighting. I wonder what the split is for people who use backlighting vs. who don’t. (Quick guess is that I’m in the minority of people who don’t care for backlit keys but have no idea if it’s like a 90/10 split or 60/40.)
- With the Magic Keyboard and desktop-class browsing, the iPad can really be the only computer for a lot of people.
- It’s heavy. I have a 16-inch MacBook Pro and it doesn’t feel as hefty as that, I’d definitely say it feels closer to that than it does to the other thing I was using a lot, an 11-inch iPad with a folio cover (no keyboard).
That said, portability is really hard to judge during quarantine. Similar to reviewing a backpack, some of the portability quirks (both positive and negative) are revealed after day-in, day-out use.
- What does this actually feel like when pulling it out and using it on an airplane tray?
- Will I want to take this with me along with the MacBook Pro. Will I feel like I don’t need to bring both?
I used to always bring the 11-inch iPad Pro with me day to day. Sometimes with the MacBook Pro. I don’t imagine I’d bring the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard with the 16-inch MacBook Pro. I have a 20-lb ruck plate for that use case.
Okay maybe I’ll write a part 2 or something like that but those are some thoughts so far.
(And geez, no matter what device combo it is, I miss writing in the gym lobby after struggling through a lazy workout.)