Techuiste Digest

05.19.2024: iPad Pro Craze, Threads, and my new Chromebook

iPad Pro Craze

Since Apple's Let Loose Event, what has really gone loose, except for some love for the new iPads, is a lot of craziness about the iPad Pro's worth and place in Apple's lineup of computers. Not only has there been so much scrutiny around what iPadOS is good for and if it can truly be used by professionals, but some are getting defensive about Apple's progress with iPadOS.

After the announcement, instead of praising Apple for the improvements they made to not only the entire lineup of iPads but especially the much-needed love for the Pro line, everyone began spouting the same rhetoric about how Apple could charge so much for something that can't serve the Pro community.

If you follow me on Threads, you know that I have been fighting back against this narrative a lot lately. My frustration, in particular, is with some Apple pundits and tech reviewers continuing this false narrative that the iPad is not useful for people who want to do real work – or professionals.

One prominent voice in the Apple tech-sphere, Federico Viticci, wrote a whole article titled "Not an iPad Pro Review" to list out all of his frustrations so that he had something to reference every time he got pushback for saying iPadOS isn't good enough.

I won't bother rebutting this article myself but would like to instead share a post from Beardy Guy Musings, someone I have linked to before talking about the iPad and how useful it is since he did a very good job breaking down Viticci's article and why a lot of it is more his own personal wants and not a real problem for most who use the iPad full-time:

Concerning the state of iPadOS and a very tired Federico Viticci | Beardy Guy Musings

I would recommend checking out all of Denny's posts on his blog. He uses the iPad full-time and has shown, even to me, the things you can truly do on an iPad that many are just not aware of. It is frustrating that the ones with the largest voices and special access to these products don't actually provide useful information to the people who need to know if a product is for them or not.

A lot of times, reviews for products are just a repeat of every other review regurgitating the same specs and benchmarks over and over again. Or the ones that do provide a little more commentary all have the same shtick at the end, shitting on iPadOS and why buying a 1,000 to 3,000 dollar iPad is a waste of money.

One last thing that I would like to leave you with is a little background on why I think this has happened. I wrote about 2-3 posts over the last couple of years trying to explain why this phenomenon has occurred, but again Denny at Beardy Guy Musings has done a fantastic job summarizing:

The perception of the iPad is stuck in a rut created by the Apple enthusiast community | Beardy Guy Musings



Lately, I have been using Threads a ton under my @techuisite username. Not only have I been getting more engagement recently, but I have also had a lot of good conversations around the iPad and Apple in general. I still don't know how I feel about Meta owning it, but the app seems pretty good at surfacing content I care about.

To say that I am lousy at social media would be an understatement. I wrote a post on Medium years ago talking about how I pretty much treat it like any other tool for consuming content. I am a lurker, some would say, and have never been good about contributing myself.

I don't know if it is because Threads is still very new, or because it feels like the original version of Twitter, but I like it a lot compared to Mastodon. Mastodon feels both gigantic and very small. I follow mostly tech people on Mastodon, and even then there isn't much going on in my timeline. The global timeline is just a mess of topics, many I don't care about.

I think the key here is algorithms. I was one of the few who actually liked the algorithm on Twitter and liked that it would surface tweets that I might care about or like to see. From not only followers, but retweets from people I am following, or conversations pertaining to topics that I was interested in.

Threads feels like it is starting to nail down the topics I like and the algorithm has been really good about presenting those to me on my For You page. I will sometimes go to my Following page, but most of the day I am in my For You. So if you're on Threads, come check it out, especially if you are interested in some good iPad discussions.

My new Chromebook

MacBook Air running ChromeOS Flex

As I continue with my use of the M3 Pro MacBook Pro and working on the review that I plan to finish before the end of the month, my tinkering computer has been tinkered with more. I liked having Ubuntu on my 2012 11-inch MacBook Air, but decided that I wanted a change.

I started going down the path of installing macOS Sonoma with Opencore, but after restoring to Lion and trying to get a bootable USB drive set up to install Sonoma, I realized how slow and clunky this computer was with a traditional OS on it. So instead of putting macOS on it, I decided I would try ChromeOS Flex.

After only about 30 minutes of setup, I had a new Chromebook at my fingertips. Not only is it cool that I was able to install ChromeOS so easily, but this 12-year-old MacBook Air runs like a champ. Moving around ChromeOS, installing Linux apps, and writing my newsletter (as I am doing now) has been really great.

MarkText in ChromeOS

I am still getting used to using the OS with this hardware, like understanding how to use separate desks so I can have a Chrome browser in one area and MarkText in another for having separate places to research and write, but I am slowly getting the hang of it.

It is just fun for me to continue trying out and testing new technologies. Since the iPad Pro was announced, I have been tempted to sell my MacBook Pro and switch back to iPad-only again, but I think tinkering around with this MacBook Air has fulfilled my nerdy appetite for trying something new without the hassle of selling and buying again.

Subscribe to Techuisite

Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Jamie Larson