I have subscribed to Apple’s $9.99 highest-level storage plan for a couple of years, not being convinced of Dropbox’s lasting power (although I love Dropbox), data security (I have had to change my Dropbox password due to a data breach), and of course, improvements with iCloud. This means that I can store my most valuable data in Apple’s cloud system without worrying about failing drives or even stolen equipment. My most important documents, my music library (scanned and audio), and photos are all safely in the cloud for $120 a year, and Apple keeps increasing the amount of storage included in that pricing (now 2TB of data). Apple doesn’t seem to hold audio files or pictures against that total storage…although I do pay $25 a year of Apple Match (it takes all of your music and puts it in the cloud, also allowing you to re-download) and have not yet subscribed to Apple Music, although I think that subscription is coming, too.
With that online storage, I am able to backup my personal devices without any fear of running out of room. Sadly, the minimal 5GB that Apple allows for every iTunes account does not help much, and you end up buying storage for devices. I wish there was a way my family could tap into my 2TB of data, as I pay $0.99 for my wife’s devices and really should upgrade to $0.99 for our children’s iPads. We do use family sharing…but I wish there was family sharing for device backups.
Well, my new iPad Pro arrived yesterday afternoon–the afternoon of my last contract day (students were done on Friday), so receiving the iPad felt like a bonus for surviving the year. I will blog more about the year later–but I need to distance myself from it for a while before I do so.
What you read about the iPad Pro (12.9″) is true. It is huge, it is fast, and it has the potential to change your workflow. This morning, as I did my daily routine of having breakfast, doing devotions, and reading the news, my workflow was modified by having my journaling app (Day One) and my Bible reader of choice (Olive Tree) up at the same time. I could do this on my iPad Air, but doing so makes the split screen of limited use as space is minimal. I am learning how to utilize the new screen space, and am really looking forward to reading music on it. I get my first opportunity to do so this afternoon as a small group of ukulele players are playing for a Veteran’s retirement home–unintentionally on Flag Day (incidentally, happy Flag Day!).
I am figuring out how to integrate the Apple Pencil into my work flow. I have used a stylus before, but this device changes many interactions with the iPad Pro (and yes, with the latest iPad Pro, there is no perceived lag or latency). I just wish there was an “eraser” on the end of the Pencil for apps like forScore.
Back to the topic at hand…as my devices are set (in Settings) to back up when “sleeping” and plugged in, I am basically ready to upgrade or migrate at any time.
All I have to do is open a new device, go through the starting menus, tell the new device to restore from a backup, and then Apple restores the data. Apple doesn’t store the Apps with your backup–those download directly from Apple. All that downloads from your backup file is app data–which is relatively small (most of the time–there are exceptions, such as video files). Then, over time, Apple restores all of the apps you had on your device, and for the most part, you are ready to use your new device. Occasionally you will need to enter a password (such as with WordPress, which I use to blog), but that is a minor inconvenience.
I think a larger task would be the challenge of migrating from iOS to Android or Android to iOS…and even then, the carriers and companies have tools to help you migrate.
If you have been putting off the purchase of a new device because of the challenge of setting it up, and you want to use the existing setup on your current device–simply use iCloud Backup and the migration is pretty painless…it just takes a while to download everything.
One other tip: don’t erase your old device until you know that you have restored everything to your new device (or until you know that you will keep your new device)–just in case.
If you play popular music on the ukulele, and you have any exposure to ukulele on YouTube, you know The Ukulele Teacher. The Ukulele Teacher creates weekly (or more) instruction tutorials on how to play songs of all kinds. Chances are that students in your music ensembles are watching his videos to learn how to play music they want to learn on the ukulele. He was recently named a Kala artist.
I adore his work for a number of reasons–but above all others, he is not a fantastic singer-but he sings all the time. I love that, and I love the message that it sends to kids. You don’t have to be a high school choir dramatic soprano to enjoy singing and to enjoy making music.
The Ukulele Teacher earns a living a number of ways–some advertising in YouTube, a Patreon account, some limited “gear”, some product placement, and his relatively new iPhone App, which is called The Ukulele App. It runs on iPad, but has not been made a universal binary to run on all the sides.
The app has a number of functions, including links to all of the Ukulele Teacher’s videos on YouTube, a tuner (more of a pitch generator), and a chord library. They are going to be adding a number of features to the app this year, and for the month of June, the in-app purchase is only $0.99. The app itself is free, but this is a cost savings.
I bought the IAP at full price–I want to support what John Atkins (the real name of the Ukulele Teacher) is doing, and I see the app becoming even more useful in time. If you play ukulele (or want to play ukulele), I recommend the purchase–particularly at the reduce price for June 2017.
I was busy with school items today and did not catch the news from WWDC. I still need to watch the keynote (perhaps tomorrow), but Apple released a SIRI based speaker, and also introduced the newest versions of the iPad Pro (10″ and 12″ models). As I have said for a long time–I was waiting for the new version of the 12″ iPad Pro, and it has been ordered, and should arrive next week.
I am looking forward to the new iPad for a number of reasons: Apple Pencil, increased speed, much better speakers–but most importantly, size. I am using reading glasses now on a daily basis (something my eye doctors said would eventually happen) and I am really looking forward to interacting with a 12.9″ screen. I am sure my next iPhone will also be the “Plus” size.
I don’t buy every iteration of every Apple device. My MacBook (which I am working on right now) is a 2008 Aluminum MacBook (later rebranded as the 13″ Unibody MacBook Pro) that has had 3 hard drive upgrades and holds as much RAM as I could put in it (6GB). My iPhone is an iPhone 6S that will be two years old in September, and my iPad is an iPad Air 2, which is now over two years old. Even my Apple watch is going on two years!
Depending on what my carrier does, I will likely upgrade to an iPhone 8 in the fall (or a 7S Plus…whatever it is called), and I will try to continue to use my MacBook as long as I can (9 years in October!). My Apple watch has been a critical element (along with my iPhone) in helping me with my health (more about that next week) and whether or not I upgrade that device depends on what the new devices will do, and what my older device can no longer do. This is true for most of my devices…when my MacBook can no longer run Finale, iMovie, or Notion, I will upgrade immediately. I already cannot upgrade the operating system. So I do have a lot of Apple stuff, but much of it has been purchased over time, and it is a hobby as much as a professional interest.
I’ll be sure to write about the new iPad Pro when it arrives.
Disclosure: Uberchord sponsored the hosting fees for the first year of our podcast (ME&T Podcast).
Just a quick news item: Uberchord is currently offering a special discount for a yearly subscription to their “Essential Plan,” normally $9.99 per month. The normal yearly rate will be $99, but they are offering a year subscription for $59.99 (50% the monthly rate for a year, which would be $120). The special pricing ends June 1, 2017.
If you are interested in learning guitar–or improving your guitar skills (no ukulele–yet), check out Uberchord. Also: if you already subscribe to Uberchord, it would be a great idea to subscribe for the yearly plan!
Note: This post will be posted on both techinmusiced and ukestuff.
One of the best aspects of this “non-job” has been the people I have had the opportunity to meet. I can’t think of a single person in the area of music education technology that I have not immediately liked. Simply put, the music education technologists that I know are also some of the finest, most intelligent, collegial people I have met. I learn from them, as I am sure they learn from me–and I enjoy hearing about their lives and getting to know more about them.
This winter, I had the chance to present sessions at the Maryland Music Education Association, mostly thanks to Robby Burns, who has served as the MMEA’s technology chair. Robby is an incredible teacher and technology user, and has a blog, podcast, and even a book on digital organization (Buy it! Paper. Kindle. See his awesome promo video at the bottom of this post). If we have “specialties,” I would say that Robby is a specialist in secondary band and technology automation. He looks for ways for technology to simplify his life and to make automatic processes that solve problems, keep things organized (for himself, his program, and his students), and to ultimately create more free time for himself and his family. When you see Robby’s presentations, hear his podcasts, or read his book or blog, you need to know that like all the music technology experts I have met, he lives what he is teaching. The knowledge comes from real life experience, and is personally tested.
One of the highlights of my trip to Maryland was spending 30 minutes with Robby (until we were kicked out of the exhibit hall as it closed) simply talking about apps that either of us did not know. One of those apps was Any Font.
Robby discussed how he loved Any Font, as he was able to use any font on his iOS devices for anything–documents, presentations, whatever. While I should have been writing down every app he suggested (I only typed out a few–and thus, I am not the expert on digital organization), that conversation is locked in my brain.
I blogged about the new version of Chordette the other day, an app that provides a way to use a font to make ukulele chords–something of great use if you teach ukulele. However, if you use the fonts embedded with Chordette–they are not going to show up correctly on an iPad (ever get the Keynote message that a font is not available? Even if the font is no longer used in the presentation? Any Font is one solution, and there is another that I will add at the end of this post). I have also been working with the developer of Chordette to make a font set that uses the colors of the Aquila KIDS strings–and would love to use those fonts in my presentations. Fonts are always better for a smaller document size than an image–which is why a PDF of music created by a software program (e.g. Finale, Sibelius, Notion, Dorico, MuseScore) is always smaller than scanned music (embedding a picture in the PDF).
I haven’t had need of fonts other than the standard fonts embedded in iOS, but Any Font allows me to put the Chordette CGCA ukulele fonts into iOS. You send a True Type Font (TTF–most are in this format) to Any Font (you can even “Open In” from iCloud Drive or Dropbox, but easiest is Air Drop from a newer Mac to an iOS device), and then select the fonts you want to install on your device. Any Font sends those fonts as a profile to your device, enabling those fonts for the iOS device to use. If you delete the profile, the fonts go away. You can always add a font and take it away later. Any Font also offers 1,000 additional fonts for $2 as an In-App Purchase–a pretty good deal. Of course, you can find a great number of fonts on the web for free, including musicological fonts that might be helpful in documents and presentations.
So…if you have ever wanted to use other fonts on your iOS device, or have had issues with Keynote telling you a font wasn’t available, Any Font is a great way to solve both of those issues.
It does make you wonder why Apple hasn’t made it possible to simply add fonts to iOS as you can on a Mac–perhaps this will be resolved in the future. Until then, I recommend Any Font to you, and want to offer thanks to Robby Burns for bringing this app to my attention.
Final note: Are you getting the “font not available” warning in Keynote, even after making sure all fonts were in the system? If you don’t want to install the not-used but still considered “missing” font, do this: Export the Keynote as PowerPoint, import that exported file into Keynote. Save the file. Problem solved.