App Lag / by Erin Wade

I mentioned starting to work with the iPad Pro a few weeks ago, and finding a workaround for the fact that some of the apps hadn't yet updated to use the larger keyboard that the device offers.

This is not an atypical experience for people who take in new technology as it comes out. The trade off for the excitement of playing with the new thing is that you also get to find out what doesn't yet work with that new thing. While it has quickly seemed familiar to me, one should, I suppose, bear in mind that the iPad Pro only came out in late November - it's only been around for a couple of months.

What has been around longer, however, is iOS 9. The newest version of the operating system was released September 16th, 2015, and it's had, according to Wikipedia, the fastest adoption rate of any new operating system, appearing on half of all active iOS devices within the first week of release, and on 71% by mid-December.

iOS 9 also has multiple new features that are specific to the iPad, including new multitasking and split screen features. It is surprising to me that there are a number of programs that have not been updated to take advantage of these features. Obviously any new feature is work, and it's understandable that many smaller app development companies will find that they have to prioritize in a way that may not put development for those new features first. This is the way I find myself framing things when I realize that Day One was not only not updated for the new iPad Pro keyboard, but also does not support slide over or split-screen multitasking on any iPad.

But where I can see that for a small company, it's somewhat perplexing when it comes from the larger players. Frederico Vitticci from MacStories has been tweeting his frustration about the lack of support for these features in Google Docs for a while. I don't use Google Docs; my frustration comes from a lack of support from Dropbox. If there ever seemed a service that was designed to be a perfect compliment to the iPad, Dropbox is it - it's your repository for everything you might need to access, right there on your device, even though it's not on your device.

I'm with Frederico, here, in that every time an update comes out for the Dropbox iOS app I'm waiting to see the liner notes indicating that it's been updated for the multitasking features.

Every time I'm disappointed.

Because, as an early-adopter, I'm accustomed to the delays, I know that we're likely to get there eventually, and I'm somewhat content to wait. The longer the delay, though, the more the eye wanders. Although I found the portrait workaround for non-updated keyboards effective, I also wanted to get some practice working with, and becoming accustomed to, the new layout. To meet this, I ended up downloading 1Writer, based upon the recommendation of Serenity Caldwell at iMore.

The upshot of this is that this entire post is written in 1Writer, where I've traditionally written almost everything for my sites in Day One. And, while I'd initially downloaded it as a make-do app, the longer I use it the more I find that it has excellent features - it's support for Markdown is exceptional, and better so far than any other app I've tried - it has an excellent toolbar to allow for quickly entering links and other Markdown features, and today I discovered that it will directly export Markdown text into SquareSpace's Blog app in a Markdown field - no copying or pasting necessary. The multiple steps I've been taking to get my posts on to the website are unnecessary. I've also learned, today, that it has its own web browser to facilitate finding links in the first place. And it supports autocorrect, which Byword, another otherwise excellent Markdown text editor, does not.

I'll copy this to Day One when its finished, to keep everything in my journal where I can easily find it. What becomes clear, though, is that the longer apps delay their updates, the greater the opportunity for competitors who have. Right now 1Writer is where I'm starting my writing process. That wasn't the case a month ago. I'm starting to wonder whether the alternatives to Dropbox have updated their iOS apps...