iPads come and they go, but some stay around longer.

This is the time of year that I take stock of all the devices and accessories around the house that I no longer want to keep. I have enough keyboards, cases, and spare cables to sell on eBay and make a few bucks for Christmas shopping.

I’ve sold three iPhone cases, two sets of speakers, an Apple AirPort Express, and that’s only a third of the lot. There are a few more goodies to go. I’m considering the sell of my iMac (circa 2000), the late eighties Apple keyboard, and even the Power Macintosh G3.[1]

And I had plans to sell my first generation iPad mini. In the early winter of 2013, I purchased it from Apple.com. I had it engraved on the back with “I fight for the users.” I loved that device.

But it didn’t last me a whole year. The first time I dropped it, my iPad mini landed diagonally on the top-right aluminum corner. It shattered the glass very unexpectedly. I was miffed. That was the first iPad I really wanted to keep around, and with the most innocent of accidents, it went from ‘awesome’ to ‘this is everything that bothers me about technology.’

Before I knew what was happening, my wife gifted to me an iPad Air. Rather than restore the iPad mini, I put it inside one of those OtterBox cases that were built to survive a volcanic eruption. Then I gave it to the kids. It held together and they never noticed the shattered glass. The integrated screen protector worked like a charm, holding the glass together and avoiding bodily injury.

Then, this past summer, my father-in-law handed down his iPad 3. It became the new ‘iPad for kids.’ The iPad mini had seen enough action, or so I thought.

Flash-forward to the eBay sells of present day.

I took the device to a local Smartfone repair shop. They have been helpful on more than one occasion. Being the purest that I am, I would’ve been happier to take the misshapen iPad to an Apple Store, but the nearest one is an hour and a half away.[2] If all you want to do is replace the screen to resell it, the smart thing to do is to go to Smartfone.

They said they would replace the screen for $130. That’s a competitive price. Others online would replace it for $119, but that doesn’t include shipping and my time waiting.

After Smartfone replaced the crackled display, I came home and wrote this product description:

Why sell: This is my very awesome, very loved, iPad Mini. My wife surprised me with an iPad Air as a gift, so I have no need to hold onto this device.

Engraving: I originally order it from Apple.com new. On the back is engraved “I fight for the users,” which is a Tron: Legacy’ movie quote. It’s practically the perfect geek reference for any movie buff.

Condition: The one corner of the back of the aluminum has a minor scuff. There are very minor scratches along the right-side chamfered edge. Besides that, it’s in very decent condition. Looks very good.

Photos are coming.

Everything was falling into place. With the right snapshots from my iPhone edited in Photoshop, my product would be irresistible. I hoped to collect $140 to $195, if I were very lucky.

At supper, I showed the device to my wife. “See what I had fixed? I’m thinking to sell it.”

Unexpectedly, she had a look of anticipation and eagerness in her gaze. There was an inaudible yearning. Like magnetism, something was pulling at the iPad mini in my hands.

“… I was thinking, that is, unless you can see a reason…”

She looked at me a little more hopeful.

“… Or if you are interested, I’d be glad to give it to you. It’s in good condition.”

And with that, my iPad mini became my wife’s. She was thrilled, surprisingly. She said she wanted to give me my Christmas present early, as well. She sincerely thought I was gifting it to her — as in, she thought it was my primary Christmas gift to her. Very early.[3]

Hardly! If someone gifted me their old iPad mini, with dings along the side and a scuff on the top-right corner, I would feel insulted. For my wife, on the other hand, it was the coolest thing that happened to her in November 2014. How was it possible that our feelings about the iPad mini were so different? Could we honestly be thinking about the same device: a first gen. iPad mini? No better than an iPad 2?

I didn’t expect it to play out like this. I thought she wouldn’t be interested. She previously had an iPad a little over a year ago. After a year with it, she lost interest in carrying it. After a few months of collecting dust, we came to the conclusion we should do something else with hers. I guess we sold it on eBay in early 2013. Since then, she’d not expressed any interest in an iPad.

She has a great MacBook Pro. She carries a young iPhone 5s. It just hadn’t occurred to me that she would like an iPad. In general, rumor has it that everyday people are losing interest in the iPad. No? Oh, maybe that is just a rumor, or the statistic is largely exaggerated.

So, I was reminded of a very important truth today: you never know. Your family members’ use cases will probably not match your own. You may not even know which devices would better serve your family unless you simply offer it to them. I knew this somewhere in the back of my mind, but it hadn’t occurred to me how relevant it was in my present situation.

Christmas came early for my better half. (just kidding!) eBay will have to wait another year before it sees my old iPad mini.


  1. I’ve considered selling them for years. Haven’t convinced myself yet that I don’t want to show them to the kids when they’re older.  ↩

  2. Even if Apple would replace it at a good price, considering the rest of the lifespan for a first generation iPad mini, it just wasn’t worth the trip. The iPad might have another year’s worth of relatively satisfactory usage.  ↩

  3. She has a hard time not giving me Christmas and birthday presents way ahead of schedule.  ↩

The Typist’s Phone and His Pants

I’m genuinely beginning to take interest in the iPhone 6 Plus. People that have given it a try don’t hate it. I expected some real-world-experience-generating backlash. In reality, the people that have not given it a try seem the most opposed to the large form factor. And those that have tried it are seeing that the phone is attractive, for one reason or another.

Then, there are those that strongly approve of the 6 Plus. For your reading enjoyment, here is what Yuvi Zalkow thinks of the phone’s writing capabilities. I’m taking note.

How do our pants have anything to do with this? Well, the bulk in ones pants seems like the biggest complaint I’ve heard against the Plus. Seems kinda silly, don’t you think?

Marvel App

Marvel App (MarvelApp.com) is an idea that we designers should really back up. The service/tools give us a tremendous amount of power and flexibility.

Build mobile or web prototypes which include sophisticated gestures and links in a matter of minutes. And simulate a full-featured site or app in a variety of other clever ways using Marvel.

It hooks up with your Dropbox account. Adobe files you have there are accessed by Marvel online. Beautiful interface… Everything about Marvel App checks out.

And thankfully, they have a decent membership structure. Like Dropbox and other services, you can use a free account with limited features. Go pro, and you have…

  • Unlimited Projects
  • Awesome Support
  • Create teams and collaborate
  • Download your prototypes
  • Password protect prototypes
  • Remove Marvel branding

… for $6.40 a month. Brilliant.

What I’m Listening To

I’ve changed about half of the shows I frequently listen to in the last season. The new additions are promising. The shows that are newer to me I’ve marked with an asterisk.

I listen while driving, cooking, cleaning, exercising, and shopping. Sometimes I skip an episode that disinterests me. At one time or other, just about all of the shows have disappointed me once and have been skipped. There just isn’t such a thing as a perfect podcast.

But for all the thousands of listening hours (yes, I believe by now that I’ve listened to thousands) they are by far and away the best medium for digesting content. I prefer podcasts over articles and the like. I have more time for them, because I can multi-task while I listen. It’s just about the only way I can handle multi-tasking.


*99% Invisible
Only heard about this podcast two months ago. It’s really entertaining for listeners interested in the arts and design. Listen

Accidental Tech Podcast
Most people assume that if you are fascinated with Apple geek culture, you will enjoy this show. In all honesty, I don't enjoy the content as much as I enjoy listening to the three guys: Marco, Casey, and John. They're the right mix of intelligent, quirky, and frank. Listen

*Analog(ue)
Myke and Casey have casual conversations as friends. They explore the meaning of their feelings, specifically the the feelings that concern their tech lifestyle choices. Listen

*Anxious Machine
Robert McGinley Myers is smart. I’ve read his blog and enjoyed his videos for some time. He covers topics like anxiety, technology, and “scary things.” All his things are thought-through and content-rich. Listen

*The Art of Manliness
I know what you might be thinking, and it’s probably not why I’m giving this show a try. Brett McKay is making great creative content. As well as he puts the interviews together for his show, I can’t resist tuning in. Some episodes I’ve skipped; when I wasn’t interested in the topics. Listen

Back to Work
I like my weekly dose of Merlin Mann (and Dan Benjamin). Listen

Clockwise
Four tech topics in 30 minutes. I listen for the snarky humor, mostly. Listen

Connected
And more snarky humor… only with different people. Stephen, Myke, and Federico talk about their use cases from the heart, but with a critical eye. And yet, they seem interested in making the world a better place — not just listing likes and dislikes for the sake of making yet another tech podcast. Listen

*The Critical Path
Just started listening to this one. It’s very dry, but incredibly informative. If I can stomach the analytics and the numbers, I might learn something. Listen

Debug
These developers always have interesting professional anecdotes to tell. Listen

*Dorm Room Tycoon
I recently heard about this one for the first time. The idea is it’s interviews with “the world’s most influential innovators.” Gave it a listen yesterday, and it. Was. Impressive. I thought I would be disappointed. I was not. Listen

Grit
Earlier this year, Quit helped me in a real way. The topics were timely, as I was beginning my exodus from the full-time job I’d held for seven years. Quit/Grit helped me stay sane in uncharted career adventures. Listen

Inquisitive
CMD+Space is one of the reasons I listen to podcasts in the first place. Not very long ago, it was rebooted as Inquisitive. I give most every episode a listen — since the beginning of the series to the present. It’s about work, tech, culture, lifestyle, business ventures, workflows… all the good stuff. Listen

Mac Power Users
David and Katie are the reasons I wanted to host a podcast of my own. They are an example to us all! They produce some of the most informative information for advanced Apple geeks. I love their labor of love. Listen

RadioLab
This WNYC radio show that doubles as a podcast is the most well produced, but the content is hit or miss. Jad and Robert pick topics that pertain to science, culture, and the great unknown from week-to-week and try to make sense of them through the art of storytelling. Usually entertaining and informative, but sometimes under-baked or misinformation, if you ask me. Listen

Reel World Theology
My friend, Fizz, and his wide array of guests discuss movies from week-to-week in light of their impact on and reflection of culture. Great minds think alike. Fizz’s mind burns bright (uh, whatever that means...). Listen

*Serial
An old co-worker and friend said, “You’ve got to listen to this,” so I am. So far, so good, but its one of those podcast I wish I had listened to from the very beginning. You shouldn’t miss one episode if you’re going to give it a listen. Listen

The Talk Show with John Gruber
Confession: I don’t have many graphic T-shirts. I have one for Daring Fireball, and I’ve considered purchasing another that I can wear while the other one is in the wash. Listen

Tech Douchebags
This show is different. The conceit just works. The Twelve Steps are uncannily reflective of… admittedly, well, my own… ahemListen

*Upgrade
Jason Snell is like the "fun size" version of Macworld. Only, Macworld is practically dead to me, but Jason is not. Six Colors, Jason, Myke… I love their show. One of these days they’ll even review the Kindle Voyage. Listen

*Vector
Just subscribed to this one. Going to give it a first-time listen today. Listen

The Weekly Briefly
Shawn is one of those creatives that while very unassuming and laid back (like some say I am) he accomplishes much and inspires his listeners in the, well, details. His is a motivational devotional for creatives, as it were. Listen

You Are Not So Smart
I listen to David McRaney because he’s clever, intelligent, and full of heart — reasons that I like several of the other podcasters. But David’s is unique, in that he views culture through a lens of academia and modern psychology. I don’t always agree with the views held by psychologists at large, but David’s show is great fun to digest. Listen


If I had more time, I would listen to more shows. As it stands, I’m usually about a week behind the current episode crop — that’s just the way it happens from week-to-week with my routines.

And I’ve got shows to produce of my own! MovieByte is 111 episodes old and going strong (that’s insane) and I’m still in the process of rebooting Movieology, which will be seeing a soft launch in a few days. Check out the new site, which is full of archive content. Lots more is on the way.

Going Keyboardless

I started using the iPad when the first generation was available. As an early adopter I loved its versatility. No, it wasn’t an outright MacBook replacement, but in a pinch, I could type with the iPad.

I used the cramped on-screen keyboard so much that eventually it didn’t feel cramped anymore. My large hands grew accustom to the landscape orientation of the keyboard. The portrait view worked while thumb typing. Some people found that neither of these orientations worked well for them, as they couldn’t get comfortable and see past the constraints. If they could’ve only seen the added abilities it brought to iOS… but sadly, most people do not.

For these people, there was Bluetooth support. External keyboards have always been optional for the iPad. Pick up an Apple wireless keyboard, for instance, and you can pair it to the iPad. Third party wireless bluetooth keyboards in general work for the iPad. These days, some of the third party models are actually sexy, like this one.

There are limitations, of course. Most specialty keys on the board (like the function keys) don’t/didn’t work. If you think about it, you could do worse. Who uses the top row and side keys all that much? The iPad with a full-size wireless keyboard is a doable typing setup, even without a host of keyboard shortcuts.

Since the first generation, I used every new model iPad besides the fourth generation, which was largely similar to the third. Month-in-and-month-out, I found myself typing with the Apple Bluetooth keyboard or the on-screen board. It was doable in many situations that worked in my use cases. It encouraged me to write more, even. I was motivated in part by the uniqueness of the writing experience. For another part, I actually got good writing done with the iPad that I didn’t need the Mac for.

But in the spring, my career path took a turn for the better. I have been working from home. Not too long ago, I was able to become a full-time independent graphic designer, which is a great scenario for my professional lifestyle. I like to work in solitude. There are times that I miss the company of office personnel, but it can never compete with the productivity and clarity of working solo.

Working solo in my home office introduced new workflows. For instance, I can setup my MacBook on virtually any desk, counter, or table and it’s a reasonable workstation. I can roam throughout the house with the MacBook and use it in ways that I couldn’t when I worked five days a week at the office. This means that I have found fewer scenarios that I would use my iPad. The iPad truly became a consumptive device. I haven’t found a reason to type with mine except at church in Sunday school. My MacBook Pro is a great notebook that works wherever I want to get work done, and the built-in keyboard makes it the ultimate — and mostly convenient — writing device.

The iPad + external keyboard takes more effort. If I’m going somewhere to use it, I have to carry at least two parts: the iPad and the separate keyboard. If I want them in a bag, then that bag needs to be large enough for the two devices plus who-knows-what-else, like power cords and maybe even the MacBook as my backup tool. And that means… As you can see, typing with an iPad is a slippery spiral into more and more complexities. You spend more time thinking about what you’ll need to do it, and less time thinking about what you write.

Or, you could just write the old fashioned way: with your notebook computer. Then you wouldn’t have to think about so many components.


To end my critique of iPad typing, I want to observe what Ben Brooks mentioned in his iPad typing piece. “There are also ergonomic concerns over typing on an iPad — mostly that it is too low and you end up looking downwards at the device.” He’s very right. Docks and stands for the iPad place it on a flat surface well-below the recommended position you want to be viewing. My head craned downward gets sore in fifteen minutes or so. The iPad typing setup — with an external keyboard and stand for the screen — might look nifty for a college kid, but it’s so bad for your posture that no one should type like this regularly.

And, like Ben, the solutions to the problems have escaped me. “I’ve yet to solve any of this. I’ve heard rumors of people trying to install the bluetooth module into a custom case, and I’ve thought about 3D printing my own iPad stand that houses it, but that’s all far too time consuming for what time I have.”

Ben is addressing a mechanical keyboard he likes paired with his iPad, and how he would utilize it more efficiently. In all scenarios, an external iPad keyboard introduces some stopgap. We don’t know how to effectively eliminate the added difficulties.

Even if I used an iPad stand that brought it up to eye level, it would introduce new difficulties. Who wants to tote the stand around? It would most likely be left at one workstation. This would tie down the iPad to that work station, if I wanted to write. And that’s not cool, because one of the primary draws to the iPad is its portability. You solve the one problem and takeaway one of its better characteristics in the process. If I want to get writing done on the iPad, I would like the solution to be sufficient anytime in anyplace.

What all this means is that I’ve reconsidered my stance on the iPad in the last few months. I was a strong advocate for the iPad over the years: saying you should consider it a real tool for work and pleasure. You still should, but the limitations of the iPad are more opaque to me now than before. In the context of working at home, I have less reason to pick up the iPad. The MacBook truly is a power tool, when compared to the pad.

My iPad Air is still a high quality device. I’m just not inclined to type with it that much anymore. Gone are the days that I want to fiddle with the external components. My hobbies include what’s made possible with the a large screen, tap-computing, and iOS — going keyboardless.

8 New Monument Valley Levels

My favorite iOS game — preferably played on the iPad — is getting eight new levels next Thursday. In the meantime, there is a fun promotional video to watch. The developers of the game describe various considerations they have faced creating Monument Valley.

Angry Birds’ popularity has been blown way out of proportion. It has earned bookoos, and it’s highly commercialized. The bigger Angry Bird’s became, the less relevant it became. For app development and the future of iOS gaming, games like Angry Birds made their mark but they didn’t mature with the platform. It was relegated to the mainstream — for people that would download the game because they heard of it, but only to play two or three levels then lose interest.

I have faith that Monument Valley will not turn out like that.

(Via Dot Info)

Rare Steve Jobs Photos

Little has been seen of Steve’s life between 1986 and 1996. Here’s a small collection of candids.

I’ve seen other photos circulated dozens of times. At this point, historical moments that we haven’t previously been exploited are few and far between.

Mail Drop: Now We All Can Send Insanely Large Attachments

Mail Drop is a new service that only iCloud is providing. Should you use it as a replacement for Dropbox or some other service that’s already doing the job right? That depends on your interests. Mail Drop makes large attachments that were previously impossible to send via e-mail possible. It will “just work” for many of us.

But what I hadn’t noticed before now are the limitations users have to pass before they can use Mail Drop. If you’re interested in Mail Drop, because maybe you don’t have Pay yet and you’re the kind of geek that’s chafing because you don’t have enough geeky things to do today, then review the conditions for Mail Drop. From Chris Breen on Macworld:

Note that Mail Drop/iCloud Mail have certain “fine print” limitations. They include:

  • You must have your iCloud account activated on your Mac and you must send these messages via your iCloud account.
  • A single message can’t be larger than 5GB (this includes the message body and any attachments).
  • You can’t send an uncompressed folder that contains files. Instead, compress the folder by Control-clicking (right-clicking) on it in the Finder and choosing Compress.
  • You can’t send more than 200 messages each day.
  • You can’t send messages to more than 1,000 recipients each day from your iCloud account.
  • A single message sent via iCloud can’t have more than 100 recipients.
  • You can’t store more than 1TB of messages. Attachments expire after 30 days, so as they disappear, space will be freed up.
  • This 30 day limit means your recipients must retrieve these messages within that period of time.

These are reasonable limits that protect many of us from spammers and the like. No one wants the nefarious amongst us to highjack a good feature of iCloud Mail. And if you would like to complain that you can’t send more than 5 gb of data via Mail Drop in a single day, or that you can’t send such files to more than 100 recipients at a time, then you seriously missed your calling. You should just go ahead and join the Dark Side and attempt Internet domination.

To the good, handsome people that read this blog, everything look good for you? Then fire away some absurdly large files to your friends and coworkers, this otherwise slow fifth of November.

The Dunnes were made for each other.

Title: Gone Girl

Rating: ★★★★½

Director: David Fincher

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Crime, Thriller

Notable Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosemund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens

Rotten Tomatoes Says:
“Dark, intelligent, and stylish to a fault, Gone Girl plays to director David Fincher’s sick strengths while bringing the best out of stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.”

Summary & Review:
Nick Dunne is a likable idiot that’s lost his motivation in life. Then, he unexpectedly faces charges for the murder of his wife: the literary celebrity Amy Dunne. Nick is thrust into an up-hill public battle to prove his innocence and solve the murder of his wife, which turns out to be far more complicated than he imagined. Just like marriage itself.

Beautfully scripted, acted, and edited, Gone Girl pushes all the right buttons to be a thought-provoking and meanigful thriller. It lacks morals, but makes up for it with Hitchcockian flare for surreal plot twists.

I would not recommend anyone watch this film, because I think that everyone’s response to it will be so deeply personal that it will shock, confuse, and distort reality for many viewers. On the other hand, it’s one of the most lovingly, creatively crafted movies of 2014. It won’t surprise me at all when this movie is discussed during awards season.

Best Line:
“Amazing f***ing Amy is getting f***ing married!” - Amy Dunne (In truth, there were many best lines.)

Favorite Character: Nick Dunne

Timelessness

Robert McGinley Myers:

With the advent of time-shifted television, we no longer pin days of the week to certain TV programs. With the advent of email, we no longer feel the passing of time between sending a letter and receiving a response. With the advent of digital photography, we no longer have to get our photos to developed. With the advent of Facebook, we no longer have to wait for Christmas cards to see pictures of the people we used to know, and their children.

It's not an original observation, but there is a downside to eliminating all this waiting. I once told a co-worker that whenever I was forced to restart my computer, it always felt like the least productive two minutes of my entire life. It's perhaps inevitable that the more digital technology reduces the time we used to spend waiting for things, the less patient we become.

And if you work from home, like many of us, then you don’t even have commutes to gauge some passing of time. All things considered, sleep cycles, meal times, and weekends are just about all that’s left, and even those routines are in a muddled schedule for many of us that avoid routines.

I for one crave some routine to help the passing of time to be restored. I remember what it felt like — the patterns of thought processes during my childhood — and I miss it. Delayed gratification, developing patience, and seeing fulfillment when all things were due seemed… healthy. My focus was stronger.

I call this timelessness. It’s not a positive mental framework. You lose the awareness of time and you have a significant disconnect with reality. Adults life out their lives with more immaturity, like the children they are inside that haven’t earned their place in society. And their are other problems, to be sure.

For more insight into artificially slowing down and speeding up the passing of time, read Brett McKay’s Be a ‘Time Wizard: How to Slow Down and Speed Up Time’. The article’s title is link bait, but the content is anything but.

MovieByte #110: Lenox Square

TJ and I discuss Marvel’s new The Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser trailer, the Amazon Fire TV, which we’re both ordering, and review Kill the Messenger, which stars Jeremy Renner and Rosemarie DeWitt. I was losing my voice. TJ didn’t get to see the film. So in an unusual turn of events, I do most of the talking and sound like I smoke too much.

Kill the Messenger is worth seeing, if you like government conspiracies — the ones that turn out to be true — and Jeremy Renner. He delivers even when the script does not.

Pixelmator for iPad

David Sparks:

I knew it was going to be something special but not this special. For five dollars, you'll get a full features photo editor that just a few years ago would have required a Mac Pro and thousands of dollars in software.

Pixelmator is one of the very few tools besides Photoshop that I enjoy using for graphic design work. I’m looking forward to using it on the iPad.

Oh, and who says that iPad apps don’t have much to offer? At least for designers, audio technicians, and videographers, the iPad is an indispensable tool in 2014.

Were we too hard on skeuomorphism?

Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson wrote about Steve Jobs, skeuomorphism, and design history that predates iOS. He shares one particular anecdote about a Breitling watch ad and the QuickTime 4 player interface.

I’ve defended skeuomorphism before. Can I prove that skeumorphism is good? No, but the way Apple has used it over the years has made a profound affect on me. When I started using System 7 as a child, skeuomorphism was the primary reason I was attracted to design and the Mac. I spent countless hours studying the interface because it reminded me of real things. I was fascinated with the virtual world that skeuomorphism created: teetering in an arbitrary balancing act between the realistic and the imaginary.

I remember that when Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, I was immediately taken with its graphic user interface. The iPhone was loaded with skeuomorphism, which was inspired by Mac OS X’s UI. I admired Scott Forstall’s and Steve’s design choices. I wanted to read books again because iBooks was attractive to me, whereas the Kindle’s drab display was a turnoff.

Has skeuomorphism always worked well? Of course not. Just like flat design of iOS 7 and Yosemite will not make everyone happy, opinionated design will only work for people that mutually share the opinion. And there is always the question of is it implemented effectively? That’s yet another subjective realm that many a designer and customer has debated.

Thankfully, I have enjoyed Apple’s design in 1994, 2004, and in 2014. And along the way, I think I’ve picked up on a possibility that many haven’t considered. I think that in years to come, Yosemite’s new design standards could introduce a new balancing act: one where skeuomorphism will be yin to flat design’s yang.

PS: I still enjoy reading on the iPad with iBooks in iOS 8, but I also fondly remember the impact it made on my reading habits in 2010.

Yosemite’s Drive Icons

Kirk McElhearn notes that Yosemite’s hard drive, external drive, and Time Machine icons are somewhat inaccurate. I hadn’t noticed this flaw before but he’s certainly right. They break from the standards in place for all the other icons.

And there isn’t an SSD icon, should you have one of those. My SSD is represented as a built-in hard drive.

The New iCloud

Macworld:

iCloud Drive is less flexible than other cloud storage services, such as Dropbox, Box.com, Google Drive, OneDrive, and MediaFire. Outside of the options available in the Sharing menu you can’t share and sync your iCloud Drive documents with others, for example, thus making document collaboration tricky. With these third-party storage services you can send a link to anyone so they can download a file. With iCloud Drive you can share files this way only with documents created with iWork apps. iCloud Drive has other limitations as well. You’ll need OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 and you can’t save files larger than 15GB, for example.

iCloud Drive isn’t as powerful as Dropbox and other competitors, but for many customers it will be sufficient. And even though I wouldn’t live without Dropbox at this point, for the sake of some of my workflows, iCloud Drive is better suited.

Read Macworld’s article if you want to get a complete introduction to iCloud Drive.

Not for Some

Patrick Rhone at Minimal Mac:

I’ve been around too long and learned from experience that technology has to prove itself. It should make us better. It should solve problems. And, we should consider these things before allowing any new tool into our daily lives. We should ask ourselves if it’s for us.

Me, I’m happy here. Things work in a way I am happy with. The same as they did yesterday. And, if that’s the case for you then the best upgrade one can make is to get to know what you have even better. Maybe dig up a iOS 7 or Mavericks tips & tricks post from last year that’s growing stale on some tech blog. You just might make a writer’s day when they open their stats and see your solitary click on a post they thought long forgotten and irrelevant. Let them know why that post is still there and why it matters — it’s for you.

Good advice. My wife and some of my friends are of a similar mind. We geeks like to think that every update is ultimately timely and important. They aren’t. Many people are better served with last year’s tech, because their use case is running smoothly, and if they’ll take the time to learn a little bit more about their devices or software, they become all the more efficient.