Apple Development

macOS on iPad

It’s that time of year. Time for the Apple Developer community – and punditry – to make wishes for their favorite features to be added to their favorite OSes and hardware.At this point macOS and iOS are so mature I can’t think of any feature I’d like to have. I’m sure Apple will come up with something I’ll enjoy but we have so many features I’ve never touched as a developer. Some because I have no real need for them in my apps and some because I just don’t know they exist.

The only thing I keep coming back to is macOS on iPad. Why?

Well, now that macOS can run iPad apps it seems a natural fit to put all that power and openness on a smaller device. I can see walking into my office with my iPad, sitting it in a VESA mount next to my VESA mounted display, having it connect to my keyboard, monitor, and mouse and off we go.

It would take some time for Apple to make it work, no doubt, but iOS and macOS already share a lot of code. There will be plenty of things to sort out, like touch, but it’s not like they couldn’t do it if they wanted.

Consider swiping between the Mac desktop and Launch Pad. Launch Pad could act as you iOS springboard for all of your iOS apps. Perhaps you group them together or maybe the OS is changed to do something special for you. That way you could put yourself in that mode when you’re not docked and use all of your favorite iOS apps then move to the Mac Desktop when you’re docked and need Xcode to do your dev work.

It feels like a natural progression to me and I definitely do not agree with the punditry about keeping iPad pure. Offer two versions. A Pro model with iPadOS and a Pro model with macOS. Problem solved.

Let Pro users and Developers pick their poison.

I know which one is pick.


The new 9.7-inch iPad and Ag

I know the latest Apple event was focused on Education, but anyone using the iPad as tool outside of the technology world will benefit.

I work for a small company called Agrian that builds software and services for Agronomists. You may think that just a fancy word for farmers but it’s a lot more than that in this day and age.

Agrian iPad Scouting
Agrian iPad Scouting

Large farming organizations and crop retailers may have hundreds of employees working out in the field. They do everything from collecting soil samples to scouting crops to baiting and trapping for critters. When they’re out in the field they can use our software for any one of these jobs, and it’s best used on an iPad.

At one point we recommended purchasing iPad Mini’s because it was the best bang for the buck. With the introduction of the new 9.7-inch iPad we can start recommending that device. It’s not that $329 is cheap, but it sure beats the price of the Pro models and it’s plenty powerful enough for use with our software.

It’s a real winner.

Life Mobile

Tablet in the wild

Jerry Fahrni: “When our conversation was over and the gentleman had finished his cereal he simply picked up his coffee cup in one hand, his iPad in the other and walked out the door. I suppose that just about sums up the value of utilizing technology in a mobile form factor.”

This is how I see an iPad being useful. It’s really a personalized digital news paper. Grandpa used to sit at the table eating breakfast, reading the news paper. Now we do that with the iPad.


MacBook Air or iPad?

The Unofficial Apple Weblog: [hat tip @JFahrni]“What the iPad does not do well is work. Yes, you can get work done when the need arises, but the iPad was not designed for day-to-day business. It is, at its heart, a netbook with the core demands of light computing and connectivity guiding its use. If you want multitasking, multiple windows, professional software suites and so forth, then you want a proper computer running a full-featured OS. You want a laptop or desktop, not a pocket or tablet device, even if you still need mobility.”

I like this article because they point out exactly what the iPad was designed for, consumption. It’s not about cranking out documents and spreadsheets, it’s about watching movies, playing games, tweeting, and answering the occasional e-mail. Just what Steve Jobs said it was for.

As for the Air. I know a lot of folks that drool over them. I’m not one of them. I’d much prefer a fully loaded 15-inch MacBook Pro. I’m man enough to carry around this 5.6 pound beast!

Apple Google Microsoft

Ballmer on Tablets

CNN Money: “The CEO claimed that Microsoft needs to take its time to get its products just right to compete in the intensely scrutinized tablet space. He said that chipmaker Intel (INTC, Fortune 500) will be coming out next year with a tablet-specific processor called “Oak Trail” that will help manufacturers make better tablets that run Windows 7.”

I find it interesting that Intel is now making tablet specific chip sets, after Apple ships a highly successful device. Ballmer also states that the Windows based devices will likely be cheaper than the iPad.

I guess we’ll see. I hope they’re good because that’ll just push Apple and others to make better devices, which makes things better for all of us.

I’d also expect to see some Android based devices hitting the market pretty soon.


Leave Apple Alone

Bloomberg (via Daring Fireball): “May 4 (Bloomberg) — U.S. antitrust enforcers are considering an investigation of Apple Inc. following a complaint from Adobe Systems Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.”

Yesterday, on Twitter, I asked “Can you develop XBox 360, Sony Playstation, or Wii apps using Flash?” There was a reason for that question. I was hoping someone would take the bait, but alas, nobody obliged. Once again I ask, can you develop XBox 360, Sony Playstation, or Wii apps using Flash? I’m fairly confident the answer is “NO.”

From the Microsoft XBox Developer site: “At this time, access to development tools for the Xbox 360â„¢ video game console is limited to developers working on approved titles for licensed publishers. This will change over time, so check back for more information in the future.”

At this time you can’t even develop for the platform. Sorry, I’m picking on Microsoft, but I’m most familiar with the XBox so it was easy to find information on developing for the platform.

Why doesn’t Adobe complain about lack of Flash support on those platforms? Money, that’s why. Adobe stands to lose money if it can’t sell it’s Flash development tools targeting the extremely successful iPhone and iPad. For some reason they’re not beating down the door at Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo trying to get on their game platforms. They’re closed systems, but I guess gaming consoles are somehow different?

Yeah, but…

I’ve been carrying on a conversation with a co-worker about iPhone, and iPad, development and he’s not happy about Apple’s stance. He says he doesn’t have access to the platform because he has to invest in an Apple computer($599.00) and pay to join the iPhone Developer Program($99.00). For $700.00 you can develop Mac, iPhone, and iPad applications. I can see where that could be a bit intimidating, $700.00 is a chunk of change. But what does it cost to use Flash to develop on any platform? To purchase Adobe Flash Builder will set you back, that’s right, you guessed it, $699.00. Same price. There may be free tools, I don’t know, I don’t use Flash.

Why punish iPhone and iPad developers?

There’s an entire class of developers out there working hard to deliver iPhone and iPad applications, they’re using the preferred technologies, and quite a few of them are doing quite well. Hey, if a knuckle head like me can figure out how to write and publish an iPhone app, anyone can. Is Flash really a great development tool? Really? All designers aren’t necessarily developers, there are a few that bridge the gap, but not many. I’d venture to guess there is a lot of really bad Flash code running on the web today, Flash is the new Visual Basic, it gives folks something they can create with, that’s great, create away! My question is why do you feel you have to be able to write Flash code to run on the iPad or iPhone? Is there some code of ethics that says you have the right to create Flash based programs that can run everywhere? Why would someone think that? I have an idea.

If you want to create apps for the iPad or iPhone pick up a book, get a compiler, sign up to be an iPhone developer and you can create apps to your hearts content. I’m pretty sure you can create “Punch the Monkey” using Objective-C and Cocoa Touch.

I’ve rambled on long enough, have a great night.

Life Mobile

Merry Christmas, it’s iPad Day!

The Apple iPadThe iPad un-boxing pictures are starting to show up, pictures from Apple Stores, as well as the tweets.

Un-Boxing Pictures

Craig Hockenberry’s iPad
Seah Herber’s iPad
Dave Winer’s iPad pictures

Apple Store Pictures

Chris Parrish from U Village Apple Store.
Mashable has a story and pictures.


Gus Muller – Tweeting in line from the Apple Store, Alderwood Mall, Lynnwood, WA.
Chris Parrish – In line at U Village Apple Store, Seattle, WA.
Emilio Cavazos – He doesn’t say, but I’m betting the Apple Store at Fashion Fair.

Development Indie Mac

Mac Bits for Sale?

Matt Legend Gemmell: “I want to solicit some feedback on the idea of selling source code for the iPad/iPhone and/or Mac platforms. It’s something that’s commonplace (and popular) on other platforms like .NET and Java, but for whatever reason it’s never taken off on the Mac. I think that there’s potentially a reasonable market, particularly for iPhone/iPad, and I’d be interested in your thoughts.” – It’s odd there isn’t more of this in the Mac world. There’s definitely a whole lot of free, very well designed, Mac and iPhone source code floating around out there. Matt’s very own MGTwitterEngine or Gus Muller’s FMDB to name a couple.

I, for one, would welcome high-quality, supported, fully baked component bits for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. It’ll make my life easier and allow me to focus on creating apps by not having to create as many foundation pieces.