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New Mobile Writing Setup

Around a year ago, I wrote about my mobile writing setup, where I equipped my iPad with other gear. I’ve recently updated that, so I thought I would share the new one with y’all.

New Mobile Setup 1

iPad on new stand, new Bluetooth keyboard, delicious tea

First of all, badness: I lost my Apple keyboard and Origami case back in April. That caused me to look for a different bluetooth keyboard, as I am really disappointed with the Apple one. I mentioned that in the last post, so no need to belabor the point. Along with that, after the iOS 5 upgrade last year, my iTrent stopped being able to charge my iPad — total bullshit that a software update caused once-useful hardware to no longer function. (Thankfully it still works on my iPhone.)

I’m still using a first-generation iPad, cuz they’re not cheap. If you want to just plain give away a 2rd or 3rd, I’m all ears :D

In any case, necessity being the mother of invention and all that, I started looking for new solutions. And I recently found a couple.

New Stand

I bought a new, cheap adjustable stand from Amazon ($10-ish), and I’m pretty happy with it. Originally, I just wanted something that would make watching Netflux or Hulu on it easier without requiring me to remove my iPad covering. It’s easy to transport as it collapses well, allows it to use it in portrait or landspace orientation, and I can adjust it as my eyeline changes (from a chair to laying down, whatever).

iPad stand

At the time of this posting, it’s out of stock, but you can see what it is easily enough to buy something similar.

New Keyboard

The main reason for this post, though, is the new keyboard I got last week: the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 ($80, $60 right now on Amazon). I got this last week when my original replacement bluetooth keyboard finally died[1].

Keyboard

This one feels pretty durable and has some really interesting features:

  • It’s solar-powered, which at first you might think “oh, so it’s got crap for power” — not so! There’s an internal battery that gets charged whether the keyboard is on or not, and I’ve used this in low-lighting because of that. So far, so good.
  • It has a genuine on-off switch. Take that, shitty Apple product design. Not going to accidentally lock up my iPad with this keyboard.
  • It feels like the Apple keyboard in typing, which I like.
  • IMG_2876The really interesting part, which sold me on buying it, is that it supports hot-swapping between three devices. There are three keys at the top that, when pressed, switch to a different pairing arrangement. My first one is set to my work computer[2], the second to my iPad, and the third to my iPhone (for those rare times where I use a keyboard on that). The switching is fast and nearly seamless, so I can take a break from work to compose a note on my iPad without it being a pain in the ass.

All said, I had to buy this at Best Buy and pay full price because I needed to replace my broken keyboard. I really wish I could have paid the $20 cheaper price on Amazon.

And yes, it comes in PC keyboard form, too. (This one without the hot-swapping.)

New Writing Apps?

Here’s the thing: I’m still using Notably. I know there’s a world of new writing apps out there. What ones do you recommend? Why? Help me upgrade my software they way I have my hardware.

– Ryan

[1] Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000, which I only mention to say that I do not recommend. (Thus, not even linking.)

[2] Which is why I needed a new keyboard right away, so I could keep doing my job with a comfortable, less-noisy keyboard.

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4 Responses to New Mobile Writing Setup

  1. Docs to Go isn’t too bad. It’s mostly compatible with Word, and you can do things like track changes or add and read comments within a document. I haven’t noticed it messing documents up whilst transferring from my desktop to my tablet and back. It has some slightly wonky interface issues, but I have few complaints about it so far.

  2. Man. Logitech. Right now, I’m using a bluetooth keyboard and mouse to power my fake desktop (it’s actually an Ultrabook I have wirelessly connected with a monitor.) It’s beautiful. I’ve never had a keyboard I felt so comfortable typing on.