The Right iPad

Remember the first day when I saw your face

As you may have heard on this week’s episode of our podcast, You Chose Poorly (listen on Mixcloud here and subscribe on iTunes here!) I’m a proud owner of 12.9″ iPad Pro. A Hurry up the Cakes review is coming soon, but I think I have to sort out my many unprocessed feelings about it.

I know that I love it. I know that I love multitasking on the big-ass screen. I love using the Apple Pencil to make stuff on Paper and Procreate, and to mark up students’ papers on Microsoft Word. I love using the Smart Keyboard Cover and having the option to use my iPad as “just” an iPad, or as my work machine. Its size is perfect for writing, for drawing, for multi-tasking, for reading in landscape, and for catching on the WWE Network. I love it. I love it all.

As a device, in and of itself, it is, without question, the very best iPad that I have ever owned, and the one that I am or have been happiest about.

However, as you also may have heard on this week’s episode of You Chose Poorly (listen on Mixcloud here, subscribe on iTunes here!), I can’t help but see the iPad in the contexts all the other iPads that there have ever been, and all the other iPads that are on sale right now.

It’s in the these two contexts that I think I’m gaining some mild anxiety.

My “Wrong” iPads

The “New” iPad

Four years ago, I upgraded from an iPad 2 to the “New” (3rd generation) iPad. It was something I was immensely excited about. I scarfed down every review, every first-impressions article, every post that concerned itself with Apple’s then-latest-and-greatest.

Nobody warned me that I would regret it.

Sure, it was a little bit thicker and heavier than the iPad 2. Sure, its processor was only an “X” upgrade (A5X from the iPad 2’s A5). But it had a retina screen. My iPhone had a retina screen and it was always very jarring to shift between my phone and my iPad. Also, the new iPad was pretty.

Nobody warned me that I would regret it.

Nobody warned me that Apple would release a brand new iPad, with an A6X processor and a lightning port, just six months later.

Six months. It broke my heart.

Not only because the 3rd Generation iPad was no longer the top-of-the-line offering, but because it became more and more evident that the A5X chip, when pushing the pixels on a Retina screen, isn’t that much faster than the A5. In fact, it was actually slower, in some ways. It was the 4th generation iPad that ended up being the true One Generation Jump over the iPad 2. The iPad 3 was just a stopgap measure—besides the Retina display, it was more like a .5 generation jump.

So when Apple announced the iPad Air in one year later, I knew I had to upgrade to it.

iPad Air

Apple launched the iPad Air in October of 2013. I was beginning to be uncertain about whether or not one year was the right amount of time between iPad upgrades, but I was already antsy about getting a new one 18 months into my iPad’s life cycle.

So, then, the iPad Air. One pound. iPad mini-esque redesign. Accidental bezel touch non-recognition technology. Lightning port. A7 chip. Why wouldn’t I get it, right?

So I did. And I was very happy with it. (Also it was legitimately a very difficult time in my life, and Apple came through at the right moment to provide an opportunity for retail therapy.)

The next year, when the iPad Air 2 launched, I barely paid any attention. I was engaged to be married, and spending money on what seemed like a minor upgrade (laminated screen, Touch ID, 2GB RAM, A8X chip) wasn’t exactly a high priority. Also, my wife adds, I was “deliriously happy and nothing else mattered.” (She’s been reading over my shoulder, apparently.) I even used it to read my vows during my wedding!

For a while, everything in my iPad world was pretty darned good. Until iOS 9.

During the WWDC 2015 keynote, Craig Federighi announced and demoed iOS 9’s new features for the iPad: keyboard shortcuts, command-tab app switching, Slideover, and the big one: Split Screen Multitasking. I was pumped. My iPad Air’s life cycle suddenly got an unexpected boost.

And then they announced that only the iPad Air 2 would have all the new features. My iPad Air would get everything except the big one.

Suddenly it all began to make sense. The A8X chip was not just a One Generation Jump over the A7, but a full generation and a half. And it had 2GB of RAM—more memory than iOS truly needed just six months before. My iPad Air was a very good upgrade in 2013, but the iPad Air 2 was a way overpowered, future-proof fantastic upgrade in 2014. In 2015, the Air 2 hardware would begin to truly sing, while the Air 1 would start showing its wrinkles.

Once again, I had the wrong iPad.

(I mean, I loved it, but it was wrong.)

iPads Pro

I kept my iPad for a little while longer. In September, at the launch of the iPhone 6s and the new Apple TV, Apple squeezed in an announcement for the new 12.9″ iPad Pro, along with the Smart Keyboard Cover and Apple Pencil. In December, it arrived here in the Philippines, sans Pencil and Keyboard.

By March, nearly all local Apple resellers had demo units of the Apple Pencil. So I dropped by one store and tried it out. It ruined my day. (This story, and many others are told I full detail in this week’s episode of You Chose Poorly! Listen on Mixcloud here and subscribe on iTunes here!)

So now I’m a very happy owner of a 12.9“ iPad Pro. I’m pretty confident it’s the ”right” iPad for me simply because it’s what I wanted, and I love it, and I use it all the time, and it delights me.

That’s all that’s supposed to matter, right?

Except the new 9.7″ Pro seems like it’s the new star of the iPad show. And the True Tone sensor and the wider gamut display seem like the new hotness of the industry. And it’s thin and light and much more bringable. And my iPad doesn’t have them. And I think Rene Ritchie and John Gruber like it more than the big one.

If you pretend that I don’t have an iPad, and you make me choose between the baby Pro and the large Pro, I would still choose the larger Pro. And I would be happy. And the whole premise of this post wouldn’t even be an issue.

And then on Tuesday morning, I record another episode of You Chose Poorly (listen on Mixcloud here and subscribe on iTunes here!), and wonder all over again. I have the 12.9″ iPad Pro—I chose well, right?

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You Chose Poorly, episode 2

This week, we talk about my favorite product ever. We also talk about the product that is the least indispensible in my tech workflow. Lastly, we talk about the product that has given me the most grief.

Favorite product. Least indispensible. Most grief.

Favorite product. Least indispensible. Most grief.

Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device. 

This week, we talk about the iPad.

Show notes

Listen on Mixcloud

Subscribe on iTunes, RSS

Mikey Llorin, Podcaster

I finally have my own podcast! I am proud to present You Chose Poorly, a tech podcast about regret, with Sawyer Paul and myself.

Sawyer has been kind enough to have me as a guest on his wrestling podcasts through the years, but the times we podcasted together with technology as the topic were a lot of fun. Tech geekery is something he and I can easily get very worked up about, especially since our emotional investment in it is often matched (or eclipsed) by our financial investment. Unlike many people in tech-writing-podcasting circles, we’re not (yet?) on the list of people that Tech Product Companies send review units to, yet we often talk about and write about and pour our lives into the damned things anyway. And the damned things can get damned expensive—in more ways than one.

You Chose Poorly is about the cost of having these beautiful/terrible devices in our lives. Sometimes it hurts so good, sometimes it just hurts.

You can check us out on Soundcloud here and iTunes here. You can also subscribe via our RSS feed here. Our show notes are on our Tumblr page over at youchosepoorlypodcast.tumblr.com.

You can also send us feedback about the show via Twitter — @mikeyllorin and @_sawyerpaul.

We quite enjoy making this show, and I think you might enjoying listening to us during your commute every so often. But even if you don’t, subscribe anyway!

Thanks, everyone.

Squishy Days predicts the Hurry up the Cakes WrestleMania experience

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“Dear Jesus, please bless the Internet and WWE Network. Amen.”

I asked my very pregnant wife to send in her WrestleMania predictions a few days before the big event. Instead, she decided to send in something a little wackier. Ladies and gentlemen, I present: Char’s predictions of me and my behavior during WrestleMania weekend. (My own comments are bold. Also, they’re in boldface.)

WrestleMania isn’t my thing. I’m a Royal Rumble girl (I like the nostalgia and the organized chaos).

To be honest, whenever I watch anything with Mikey, I spend half the time watching him and his reactions. More often than not, his reactions are far more entertaining than whatever is on the television—more so for WrestleMania.

Yeah, especially if Roman Reigns is in the main event.

My predictions start on Sunday morning. WrestleMania will air Monday morning for us, so the excitement will begin on Sunday morning in our humble home.

Unfortunately, my wife forgot that WrestleMania weekend this year started on Saturday morning, with NXT Takeover: Dallas. I forgot too, and ended up scheduling a lunch with a few friends. Thankfully I was able to watch it live all the way to the end of the undisputed match of the year: Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. I mean, holy cow, right?

Sunday morning:

  • I wake up first. I check to see if Mikey is awake. He’s not. I go through my my repertoire of please-wake-up tactics (usually arranged from cute to annoying). Lately though, “I’m hungry” has been the most effective way to get him to wake up.
  • He wakes up, grabs his phone, checks twitter, looks at me, and smiles with his mouth open and teeth showing. He bounces up and down. His cheeks jiggle. He will say: “Can you smell that? It’s WrestleMania.”
  • He will use words/phrases like “palpable” or “my body is ready”, and he will refer to himself as the “boy”.
  • Our day will go on as planned, but during the quiet moments, he will bounce up and down on his seat to express excitement

She also forgot that the Hall of Fame ceremony aired live Sunday morning on the WWE Network, which means that I woke up first. I turned on our little bedroom TV set and let old-time speeches and tributes act as the white noise beneath our early morning stupor.

The cobwebs cleared up by the time The New Day went onstage. I switched over to the WWE app on my iPad Pro so that I could watch and prepare breakfast at the same time. By the time Michael Hayes overstayed his welcome sang Badstreet, the table was set. Delimondo brand chili-and-garlic flavored corned beef, sautéed pork and beans, and hot white rice.

We were back in bed for Sting’s induction speech. I did not expect him to retire, which means I was thoroughly worked by his appearances in which he teased a match with the Undertaker. I was saddened by the announcement, but I took this as a good sign—after repeatedly increasing my jadedness for years, WrestleMania can still surprise me.

Throughout the day, I bounced up and down several times. My cheeks may or may not have jiggled. I did not say “Can you smell that?” because that questions is too associated with The Rock, and his WrestleMania appearance did not really excite me, even if he was my childhood hero.

Monday morning/afternoon:

  • Mikey will wake up first because his schedule dictates our departure time (an unspoken rule at home–whoever has to leave earlier is in charge of wake-up duties).
  • He turns off internet access on his iPad and phone. “I don’t want to be spoilered. If you get spoilered, don’t tell me.”
  • Our day will go on as planned. Mikey will be quieter than usual because he won’t be connected to the internet in any way (no tweets, no FB messages, no iMessages). Unless of course he does get spoliered—in which case I will receive a very angry call. He will vent and he will use profanity.

All accurate. I did call her in the middle of the day to tell her about something important that happened at work. She picked up the phone and continued giggling the whole time I told the story. When I asked why, she said was fully expecting me to use profanity because I had been spoliered.

My wife forgets that I am a gentle soul. I would not rage—I would weep.

  • He will pick me up at 4:30 PM (work on Monday ends at 3:30PM). I will joke about wanting to go somewhere before we head home. He will begrudgingly agree (because I am carrying his child), I will take it back and watch the joy unfold in his face.

I picked up my wife in record time. I pulled up to the gate at 4:15 PM! 

She did, in fact, joke that she was craving S&R Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad. Since I was fully prepared for the ribbing, I snapped back: “Nope, we are going home and ordering a pizza.” Then she said that she was serious, and pretended to sadly agree to go home instead.

Then I felt guilty. And then she laughed.

My wife is evil, I tell you.

  • When we get home, he will turn off the wifi on all of our devices (Mac Mini, laptops, phones, and iPads). Only the PS4 that’s connected to the television will have access to the internet.
  • He will order pizza and chicken because he has no time/desire to cook and clean up.

This is exactly what happened. Thankfully, the WWE Network PS4 worked perfectly—no lag, no skips, no buffering.

We ordered Yellow Cab Pizza. Large Four Seasons pizza and a Charlie Chan Chicken pasta. Char offered one can of her coveted San Pellegrino Arranciata, presumably to make up for her evilness earlier that afternoon.

WrestleMania Proper:

  • He will load WrestleMania on the very legal WWE Network and he will say: “oh myyyyyyy! This is it!” He will quickly hug me, kiss me, and tell me that he loves me. I will be playing non-internet based games on my iPad.

This ended up being wrong. She played non-internet games during “America the Beautiful” and the wonderful Sideshow Bob voiceover intro, and then she became fully engaged when the Ladder Match started, yelling and cheering and jeering alongside me for the entire four-hour and fifty-one minute show.

WrestleMania is a special time of the year for wrestling fans the world over. My life was never the same after I watched that VHS tape which featured all the main events from WrestleManias 1 through VII twenty-six years ago, and I make sure to try very hard to mark the occasion every year. I’m a very lucky boy to be able to share this with the craziest woman I know—and that she actually enjoys it!

(And apparently, someone else was enjoying it with us, too. ❤️)

“I’m a guy who’s got it figured out”

The Awl — “How to Keep Your Mistress a Secret”:

I’ve had the same mistress for eight years and none of my girlfriends have ever found out about her. As soon as a girlfriend starts to suspect something, I accuse HER of cheating. That gives me a few weeks of cushion time to line up a new girlfriend. I’m a total commitment phobe but using this method I’m never in a relationship for longer than six months. And I have had the added benefit of conducting a fulfilling, rich and passionate affair with the same beautiful woman for eight years.

Terrible. Hilarious.

WWE Network now available where I live

WWE.com:

Beginning today, fans in Thailand and Philippines can order WWE Network online by going to WWENetwork.com and receive their first month of service free. WWE Network in Thailand and Philippines will cost $9.99 USD per month, with no commitment and the ability to cancel any time.

Sawyer:

I felt a great disturbance in the force, as if millions a couple hundred VPN subscriptions cried out in terror, and were suddenly cancelled.

One of the reasons I detest International Object is how cleverly and succinctly the author expresses what I want to express before I even get sit in front of my computer and blog about it.

(Another reason is how well Sawyer Paul lives up to his reputation as being the Terry Funk of wrestling writer hiatuses.)