Jared White Photo of Jared

Expressively publishing on the open web since 1996.
Entranced by Portland, Oregon since 2017.

#iphone

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Happy Birthday iPad! First Impressions from 2010

A lot of people still remember the hype train and rumors flying left and right leading up to the announcement of the iPhone—the “Jesus phone” as some wags liked to call it. I too was very excited about the iPhone.

But not as excited as I was about the iPad.

The iPad was hardly the first tablet to get my heart racing. In the tumultuous period of the very early 2000s, Be had been attempting to pivot from marketing a PC OS to rival Windows and instead service the theoretical market of “internet appliances” — even naming their updated OS BeIA. BeIA was intended to run on a variety of form factors, some looking rather iMac (G3) inspired, but one looking essentially like an iPad with a few extra buttons (and an antenna!):

BeIA Tablet prototype

You can see a fascinating early look at various BeIA prototypes in this YouTube video.

At the dawn of the millennium I had been a huge BeOS nerd, so you can imagine my excitement at the thought of a touchscreen, wireless, internet-capable tablet running a variant of BeOS. I simply couldn’t wait to get my hands on one once Be’s hardware partners started shipping production models.

And then Be folded and the BeIA dream died. For roughly ten years—ten!—I remained lost in the wilderness. (Not really though, because I quickly dived headfirst into shiny new Mac OS X waters…kicking off my love affair with #Apple with the gorgeous Titanium PowerBook G4. The rest is history…)

So when the rumors started making the rounds that Apple was working a tablet of its own later that decade, I was quite intrigued. Of course in those early days, most people assumed a tablet would run a touch-and/or-stylus-enabled flavor of Mac OS X, and we all saw plenty of third-party mockups of a “Mac tablet” to whet our appetites.

Then the #iPhone landed, and suddenly the narrative began to shift. What if…just bear with me here…what if an Apple tablet wasn’t running a stripped-down version of Mac OS X, but a beefed-up version of iPhoneOS? Using all of the touchscreen awesomeness of the iPhone experience?

And as we know now, that’s exactly what happened. And my body was ready for it. (We later came to learn that Apple actually started development of the iPad first and ended up deciding to bring multitouch technology to market in the phone form factor initially with the intention of circling back around to tackle the tablet project.)

I was so incredibly excited about the upcoming launch of Apple’s first tablet computer, I started a (short-lived) blog called iPad Artistry, featured in the above link. Here’s a live report with a few photos of folks lined up at my local Apple Store at the time.

Once I had gotten my hands on an iPad, I quickly put it through its paces and—despite many obvious limitations—fell in love with the experience. It was only a year later when I embarked on a journey to revamp my “personal brand” and website development agency around “tablet-first computing”. I ended up building a whole new CMS and website hosting platform from the ground up which launched in late 2012. I would spend the next couple of years trying to reach product/market fit and unfortunately never did so. Mariposta was certainly an interesting product, but ultimately doomed to failure because the web never embraced “tablet-first computing” and instead went for the ultimately superior concept of “responsive design” — aka websites should look and function well on a wide variety of devices and form factors, scaling up and down as needed. (Apps too eventually went the responsive design route, and the dream of tablet-first app design and product marketing died a slow and painful death.)

So here we are in 2023, and while in some ways I’m disappointed the tablet ended up having far less of an impact on media and computing than I’d originally hoped (the laptop PC and the smartphone remain the canonical computing platforms for most people around the world), I nevertheless am extremely happy with my #iPadPro and use it every day to get real work done. The iPad is a fun product, a joyful product, and that I’m able to earn a living using it as a trusty companion to my desktop Mac is a noble conclusion to this story.

I still hold out hope that tablets will eventually mature into the “everyday computer” for the masses—more capable, powerful, and usable than a phone…more versatile and nimble than laptops featuring a far greater number of potential use cases and ideal scenarios. Certainly it’s true my children use iPads all the time, and tablets are every bit as central to their lifestyle as any PC-style device.

In summary, Happy 13th Birthday iPad! I love you and can’t wait to see what you’re capable of next.



From iPhone mini to iPhone Pro

picture of the Deep Purple version of the iPhone 14 Pro

I’ve been rocking the iPhone mini lifestyle since the 12 series debuted. I love my mini. I love that form factor. And I’m sad to see it go.

Nevertheless, time marches one and new iPhone models come out packed with new features. And the list of new features in the #iPhone 14 Pro is impressive indeed.

  • Dynamic Island (I always hated the notch. Byeeee!)
  • Always-On Display
  • 48MP Main Camera
  • Deep Purple

OK, maybe that last one isn’t a “feature”, but I definitely love this color. I got to hold one at my local #Apple store and generally see the Dynamic Island at work, and it’s fantastic. It’s what the design should have been from the beginning. Farewell notch…hopefully forever.

I’ve heard some grumblings about the overall lack of progress in the standard iPhone lineup this year, and I get that. But for me it’s not an issue, because there’s no way I would ever upgrade from an iPhone mini to one of the standard iPhones. If I’m forced to leave the world of the mini behind, I’m going #iPhonePro. No question about it.


iPhone 14 Pro Display Panels Reveal New Pill-and-Hole Design Replacing Notch

My favorite #iPhone since the iPhone 5 has been the iPhone 12 mini. I think #Apple knocked it out of the park with the 12 line-up in general, largely due to its industrial design and iPhone 5/iPad Pro-style flat edges. Plus having a small phone again really rekindled my love affair with this product category.

So I’ve been sad hearing the rumor mill pontificate that the mini size will be going away due to middling sales numbers. However, the flip side to all this is I’ve never been a fan of the notch. Sure I understand why it’s there, and it doesn’t bother me in daily usage. Yet it’s always felt like a hack, a necessary evil, a stain on an otherwise “perfect” form factor.

The pill-and-hole design brings us much closer to perfection. There’s no visual interruption along the edges of the display. It feels much more symmetrical, especially in landscape orientation. Obviously I can’t come to a final conclusion without seeing the final product in the flesh (assuming the rumors are true), but I’m far more impressed by the mockups so far than with the iPhone X-era notch.

If that’s the new design language of the iPhone 14 Pro, I’m afraid I’ll have to kiss my mini goodbye and embrace the bigger size once again. The pill-and-hole styling is simply irresistible.


I stopped by my local #Apple store yesterday to take a look at the new #iPhone as well #iPadmini models.

I was fairly surprised that the first impressions I’d had of the devices solely from watching the announcement keynote and glancing at marketing materials carried over intact to my hands-on trial.

I just don’t like any of the non-pro iPhone colors this year. And that’s disappointing because the rumor mill seems convinced that this is the last year for an iPhone mini form factor. And being a mini enthusiast, it sucks I have no interest in purchasing this year’s mini.

On the other hand, this may be my favorite lineup of iPhone Pro colors to date. All of the models look fantastic and quite premium up close, and they feel good in the hand. Graphite and Gold are definitely my favorites. Despite my love for the trusty mini, I’m sorely tempted to get a Gold iPhone 13 Pro as a holiday treat. (BTW, the Max size is laughably gigantic…I don’t know who buys phones this large! 😂)

Watching Apple’s recent event, I was blown away by the iPad mini. Clearly it was the star of the show for me. And holding it and seeing it in real life, the accolades are well-deserved. The size is delicious, the Apple Pencil 2 is an amazing note-taking and sketching companion at this size, and it’s just so light and “airy” (sorry iPad Air!). It’s the sort of device that simply begs you to use it and carry it around with you everywhere.

Having an #iPadPro already in my possession, I’m still thinking through where an iPad mini would fit in my life. But I have no doubt at some point down the road, it will join my collection. Well done Apple. The iPad mini finally gets its opportunity to shine.


#Apple #iPhone 12 mini mini review:

My love affair with the iPhone has returned. It’s been a ways down on the list for some time, bested by iPad Pros & Macs alike. But this device has captivated me. I love just holding it and carrying it around in my grip.

Yay for retro iPhone 5 vibes!


Apple hid an AR Easter egg in its September event announcement

This is really fun! (Click the Easter Egg link in the article while on your iPhone/iPad.)

Putting on my speculation cap, here’s what I’m hoping to see on the 9/15 #Apple event:

  • #iPadPro inspired #iPhone 12 (duh)
  • Cheap iPad but with new Pro styling
  • “AirPhones”
  • More affordable Watch options
  • Teaser (or beyond!) of first Apple Silicon #Mac
  • A new app surprise of some kind (Terminal for iPadOS? 😎)
    • (Honestly Logic and/or MainStage for iPadOS would be pretty sweet. FPC X would be a stretch, but a man can dream…)


Due to circumstances somewhat beyond my control, I had to upgrade my #iPhone from a 7 Plus to a XR (Coral, looks dope). The enchanced photo processing combined with the wide gamut display means photos like this really pop! I do miss the 2X zoom lens from my iPhone 7 Plus, but otherwise, the iPhone XR is a really solid product and I’m enjoying it tremendously.

Taken at Tanner Springs Park in #portland

High-Resolution Image


Instagram Will Soon Let You Download a Copy of Your Data

One significant thing that #Facebook did right is to allow users to download an archive of everything they posted on the network. I feel like the format of the data export is rather poor and in some cases hard for software to parse for interesting analysis, but it’s certainly better than nothing. I’m glad to hear #Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) is following suit. However, I generally don’t post anything to Instagram myself that’s not already in my #iPhone’s photo library, and I suspect that might be the case for a lot of Instagram users, so I’m curious what besides the photos & videos themselves will be included in the archive.


(PRODUCT)RED Edition of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

I’m still a huge fan of the iPhone 7/8 form factor, and oh wow that looks incredible. Remember how the previous RED edition fronts were white, and what everyone was actually drooling over were some mockups floating around that had a black front instead? I’m so glad #Apple listened to that feedback. As cool as the iPhone X is, this in my opinion is the most stunning #iPhone they’ve ever made.