Pseudo-Review 3 – iPad Air 5, A While Later
Alternative worst-title: Solving iOS 16.2‘s biggest problem
Well. Don‘t you know. Dear worst-reader. Worst-writer is still pretty tickled with the new iPad Air 5. In fact. Since the iOS 16.2 update, where there are significant improvements to driving a second monitor, I haven‘t touched my 2017 twelve inch MacBook. This iPad not only blows the MacBook away–even as a replacement for running my MacBook on my desktop in clamshell mode–every time I use it I can‘t get over how fast it is. That worst-said. I’m almost full-in on the iPad replacing the/my Mac. For example.
Using Apple’s StageManager means that I can easily integrate my entire workflow on two screens and at times it feels like I have three monitors. The thing is, I rarely used my MacBook monitor when on my desktop, hence clamshell. Even though the twelve inch MacBook is Apple’s smallest, the iPad has a much more useable desktop footprint. Again. Space saving clamshell mode. Obviously I also don’t have a very large desk, so space saving is important. As far as multi-monitor performance, the only issue I’m having is adapting to the differences between MacOS and iOS. As an old Mac user, the differences are not unsubstantial. But I think I’m making progress.
The main issue I‘m having with the iPad right now is, would you believe, that someone at Apple thought it a good idear to not make AirPlay available when the iPad is connected to an external monitor (see screenshot above)? WTF! I mean. This is/has to be an error. Or? #Nomatter. The work around I‘ve found for this, well, is to not use Airplay. Instead I’m
connect via using Bluetooth to a Raspberry Pi 3b that has a Hifiberry DAC hat that is connected to a stereo and it works great. For those not in the know, the RPi3b has to have a USB bluetooth dongle, since it doesn‘t have BT onboard. There are still some issues with bluetooth connectivity but I‘ve worked them out by just sticking with Hifiberry‘s in-house OS for music play I’ll continue to work on them until Apple gets it together with Airplay. My pay-grade means that I can‘t get bluetooth working on any minimal Linux distribution on the RPi3b. HifiberryOS works like a charm, though.
A few other minor issues I‘m having? I‘m using the Keychron K2 version 2 external keyboard and for whatever reason it seems to disconnect out of the blue. It doesn‘t do it often but every once-a-once, usually after the Keychron recharges, things get hairy. Although it indicates that it reconnects right away once it‘s charged, typing doesn‘t work. Solution? Lot‘s of iPad restarts. Hopefully I don‘t have to replace this keyboard because I really dig typing with it. Might I eventually move to an iPad keyboard case? Maybe. Recent travels with the iPad haven‘t convinced me I can go without a physical, external keyboard.
Then there’s the issue of a Terminal app. Unlike MacOS, which comes with a Terminal app, that I need to manage all the Raspberry Pi‘s I have around my house, iOS doesn’t have one. Although I’ve tried a few via the AppStore, I’ve not been able to get any of them to work/connect. Again. WTF! Ok. Since I’m on a worst-roll. Another minor issue. And this relates to me getting used to iOS. The world of apps is really weird. The thing that kept my away from iPads through the years was the fact (idear) that Apps are not programs, at least they‘re not to me. Are they written/coded like programs? Sure. But I don‘t care. The thing is. Apps are nothing more than a way to make a webpage standalone–and look like it ain‘t a webpage. But. Again. I reckon I‘ve got a bit more iOS acclimating in front of me. Oh. Before I forget. The iPad as a desktop machine works really well with Apple‘s Magic Mouse. You know. Since I hate touchscreens. Who‘d a thunk it.
So there you have it, dear worst-reader. Worst-writer is on the verge of giving up on MacOS. This little iPad with only 64gb is flat-out stealing the thunder out of my Mac world, even though it still has a few flaws. Considering how I‘ve used iPads for only a short period of time and the significant improvements Apple‘s done with iOS, I can‘t praise it enough as a worst-writing work-horse.