App Reviews Need Better Functionality

You know I love my apps. They are so pretty and I love the developers that make them. But what I hate is in-app review notifications. It’s like an invasion of my privacy or something. I’d rather donate some money to the developer in-app than see a notification that forces me to leave the app to review it.

I keep my phone on Do Not Disturb all day long now and only accept calls from 4 people so any type of intrusion is met with ample hostility. This has drastically eliminated so much distraction but every now and again an app I’ve had for years gets an update and all of a sudden it’s time to ask me to review it.

I even hate reviewing people on eBay. But what’s so sad is that I wait and hope people will review me when I sell them something special and include some extra stuff in the package. And when I get that review I’m super happy for some reason. The same way a person on Instagram feels when some random person they never met likes their picture.

It’s selfish to expect someone to review you if you had an app and you not review them. But you know what else, Apple needs to fix this. Why not have a way to review right from the pop up. Add some stars to it, a little section to type something quick and get back to the app. Have a notification message in the Notification Center if you aren’t up for responding right away. And if that fails, have a review section in the App Store app that you can tap into when you’re bored and want to review your apps. Make it iMessage style so it has an easy familiar layout too.

Once something like that is setup I’ll be way more willing to review my favorite apps.

iPads Need LTE Love

I recently got a hold of the iPad 10.5 inch and went all out with the LTE version this year. I got the Smart Keyboard too and kept my Apple Pencil from my last iPad 9.7 Wifi only version which was recently sold on eBay for about half of what I paid (including the Smart Keyboard). Barely used. Just a side note, iPads, especially iPad Pros, seem to be loosing their value the same way cars do when you take them off the lot. Super fast, I only had that iPad for a year and its value dropped by half. Doesn’t happen that fast with iPhones.

But back to the review. For some reason in the past I thought a wifi only iPad was all I needed to get by since I could just tether it to my iPhone when I was out and about. Some major problems with this setup, it really really sucks. I mean tethering is so slow to start up, sometimes it doesn’t even work right away. You have to play this on and off tethering game with the iPhone and when it finally starts working, you gotta check the status on your iPad by opening Safari and doing a test search. This process takes about 2 minutes if you’re experienced.

It’s embarrassing and Apple knows good and well they can fix this. An iPad or Mac should automatically be connected to your iPhone at all times. Never should any of my Apple devices yearn for internet when I have this one thousand dollar phone sitting right next to it with unlimited LTE.

Other issues with this set up is the battery life. My iPhone loses hella battery life tethering and I have an iPhone 7 Plus. That’s bad for business. The next thing is just the thought of having to carry around something so big that relies on something else to connect to the world. It’s very similar to a laptop. A reason I started leaving my MacBook at home. Lugging around something like that should only be done if you’re doing some type of content creation or developing on an app that the iPad hasn’t ported over yet.

We are in the age of connection, if it doesn’t connect, it becomes obsolete. Now that I have this LTE version it’s like magic. I open my iPad and start working. No more asking the barista “Hey, what’s the password to your slow wifi that Joe Schmoe over there is hogging up downloading reruns of Game of Thrones and Lost”. I just pay for my expensive sparkling water which is double the normal price I get from Whole Foods, find a seat far, far away from nosey people, do a flip-a-roo with the Smart Keyboard and BAM!, I’m to work. No fumbling with my iPhone.

It’s such a classy experience I catch MacBook users doing double takes from time to time. Like they know my iPad is LTE because it just starts working. I get into my zone right away. I can fill out forms I get on Notability with my Apple Pencil, I knock out paragraphs on Ulysses and clear out emails like a boss. My time is very short in cafes now. As soon as I get the work I needed completed, I close my iPad, recycle my bottle of sparkling water, use the bathroom and go about my day.

When I’m at work, its way better now too. I have to sometimes write out things in Notability to send off to different people and I need quick access to do this. Before I would have to play the connecting game, while patients would be talking to me. It was super frustrating, I’m trying to do 10 things at once while waiting for my iPad to connect. Now I just flop it open, write something and send it off without a hitch.

It’s the way computing should be. At first, I didn’t understand it, but now I completely do. The LTE version has made me a believer. I don’t do super crazy programming, designing in Xcode, Adobe or anything but pretty soon the iPad will be just as capable if the apps aren’t available already. Mac’s are becoming trucks, just like Steve Jobs said. They serve a purpose but not everyone needs one.

This movement towards iPads is starting to gain momentum. Many people are switching to iPads for everything. No more is the notion that its just a consumption device. People are running businesses from their iPads and becoming more mobile than before.

Apple releases iOS 11 in 2-3 weeks. This release changes the whole iPad setup with better multitasking, drag and drop, a better file system and more. I’ve dabbled with the beta version on my last iPad but currently I’m sticking with the stock iOS until the full version is released. iOS 10 works really well as it is and I don’t really miss anything on iOS 11 that I can’t wait for.

LTE is the biggest thing I’m happy about on this iPad. The bigger screen, faster refresh rate and thinner bezels are nice, but my previous iPad was good enough in that regard. It lacked LTE and it’s why it sat in a drawer for most of its life with me. Do yourself a favor if you’re considering an iPad Pro, get the LTE version. You won’t regret it.