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Going all-in on iPad for video production with Christopher Lawley on the AppleInsider podcast

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On this special episode of the AppleInsider podcast, YouTube creator Christopher Lawley shares his journey from editing video on a 2007 Mac Pro, to going all-in on iPad as his main computer.

Before encountering his first Mac in 2007, Christopher was a build-your-own PC gamer during High School. However, once he was assigned a Mac Pro for editing video, he never went back and currently has over 150k subscribers on his YouTube channel dedicated to iPad productivity and automation.

Christopher describes his 12.9-inch iPad Pro setup with Studio Display and some of his productivity and content creation tools. We also dive into iPadOS 16 and Stage Manager, which he believes is a significant upgrade to the iPad experience.

While LumaFusion is the best tool for video editing on iPad, Christopher hopes and believes we'll see Final Cut Pro come to iPadOS by early 2023. We discuss the hardware updates Apple could bring to an M2 iPad Pro, the desire for a 15-inch or larger iPad, and why he chooses iPad over Mac.

Lastly, we discuss creating iPad content for YouTube, where Christopher goes for inspiration, and how he decides what to publish on his channel vs. what to scrap.

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Interview transcript with Christopher Lawley

Stephen Robles

Welcome to the AppleInsider podcast. This is a special episode with guest Christopher Lawley. He's got a YouTube channel where he talks about lots of iPad stuff. That's his big focus with almost 150,000 subscribers. He really makes excellent content and has great productivity and creativity tips when it comes to iPad.

Chris, thanks so much for being on the show.

Christopher Lawley

Thank you for having me. I'm not entirely sure, hopefully I can live up to that intro. We'll see but hopefully I can live up to it.

Stephen Robles

I will say I just was on your YouTube channel and I sorted to the oldest videos.

Christopher Lawley

No, nobody should do that, no

Stephen Robles

They're still there. So it looks like you started the channel in 2015, but really about five years ago really started making the concerted effort. And you've come a long way, man.

Your videos are super high quality. I always watch when I see one of yours pop up in the feed. You're doing incredible work, man.

Christopher Lawley

Thank you, thank you. Yeah, not all of the older videos are still up. I probably should go clean up that list. I've been doing it, I think I truly started in 2016, but I had some things here and there in 2015, but yeah, sure. Thank you for the kind words.

Stephen Robles

Yeah. What is the story behind your website domain? Because it's the untitled.site is your website.

Christopher Lawley

Can I curse on this podcast? No, probably not, right?

Stephen Robles

I'll probably bleep it out. You can curse as we record.

Christopher Lawley

So originally it was called random -bleep- is what it was originally called. My roommate at the time was like, you probably shouldn't call it that.

And I was like, why it'd be funny? People are gonna laugh, it'll be one of those things people will definitely say on podcasts and then she was like, no people are going to bleep it on podcasts and nobody will ever hear it. And I was like, ah, okay.

So I was at my IT job at the time I was working on a Windows computer and I opened up Notepad and I was saving a document and the default title in notepad along with every other thing was untitled.txt.

And I was like, untitled, huh? I wonder if the untitledsite.com was available and it was, and then now it's just the untitled.site because that's less to type.

Stephen Robles

Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And everybody goes to YouTube, that's your main deal.

Christopher Lawley

So I started blogging before I did YouTube stuff and I realized I was a terrible writer. So I don't really write anymore.

The website is more of just a place I can put all my links to all the stuff that I do at one place so I don't have to list 50 different things for when people are like, "Hey, what do you do?"

Stephen Robles

And now you're like all in on iPad it seems and I want to talk about that, but what was your entry into the Apple world? Was it the iPad or did you start with a Mac or iPod or what?

Christopher Lawley

No. No, Very first entry was the very first iPod nano, which would've been my freshman year of high school, which, ah, who knows when that is, it was a long, long time ago. Whenever the first gen iPod Nano came out, cuz I, I got it.

It came out right around my birthday and I got it as a birthday present. That was my first true Apple product and the iPods were the fashionable thing.

It was very much the fashionable thing to have. I didn't really start getting into Apple and Macs and the technology behind everything until I was a junior in high school where I live, we have this kind of, it's hard to explain because literally nowhere else in the world, they're the first of their kind.

Maybe now there might be others like it, but basically I had a traditional high school experience my freshman and sophomore year. Junior and senior year, I went to two different schools. One of the schools was called CART - Center for Advanced Research and Technology. Can't believe I still remember that, it's basically like college prep stuff.

But you do hands on things. I wanted to go to film school in college, but I ended up doing film stuff there and we had PCs mostly to work with. And then halfway through my junior year there they brought in a couple of iMacs and a Mac Pro and I was already on track to move that way, I had been selected to be in the small advanced group my senior year.

So my film teacher said, "You really should use a Mac, it's the industry thing." And I was big PC boy at the time I built my own computers. I was PC gamer boy, I didn't want anything to do with the Mac. And he was like, "I'm gonna make you use Final Cut." And this was Final Cut 7 at the time.

This was before they did the big skip 8, 9 and jumped to 10. Yeah. So I just used it and I was like, hey this isn't too bad. I like this. The screen's really nice. The computers are fast compared to the PCs that we had there. And I got the Mac Pro my junior year, so I was like, oh, this thing's great, this thing's fantastic.

Stephen Robles

Now that would've been cheese grater, like 2007 model.

Christopher Lawley

Yeah, it would've been the cheese grater, 2007 model. That one had the 24-inch display,

Stephen Robles

The Apple cinema display.

Christopher Lawley

Yeah, it looked amazing. It looked beautiful. But the thing was smoking fast compared to everything else we had.

It still had a spinning hard drive, so it wasn't like that fast, but it was fast compared to everything else that we were using. So that was what got me hooked. I essentially had a Mac assigned to me throughout that time, but I got my first Mac as a graduation present.

And when I graduated in 2009 I got the 2009 MacBook pro I can almost recite the specs because I like, I memorize it as the 15.6 inch display it had.

I ordered a refurbished-always order refurbished, people-because you can basically get the same model or most of the time you can get the same model as the current one out.

But sometimes if you're lucky like me, poor high school student. I ordered a 250, gig hard drive. Got a 3 21. But this was when you could replace hard drives. So a couple years later I put an SSD in it and then exactly, I think I got 2 gigs or 4 gigs of RAM. We put 8. Yeah. Like it was an awesome computer.

Stephen Robles

Was this the unibody one?

Christopher Lawley

Yes, the first unibody one I think.When I graduated, I think I waited like a little bit. Yeah, because there was rumors of the unibody one coming or something. I don't remember exactly. I didn't get it right away because I knew something was coming.

Stephen Robles

Well the unibody came out October, 2008. And the reason why I remember is I had a 12 inch G4 PowerBook personally that I used through college. And my first job was about to buy me a MacBook.

And it was September of that year and I bought the 15 inch MacBook Pro, the company got it for me, it was amazing.

But then the very next month, the unibody major redesign came out and I was like, "Ah, I just need to wait one more month!" But yeah, that, that was a huge design and hardware upgrades. That was a good start.

Christopher Lawley

That, it's funny you say that. I literally had to buy an iPhone last night because, nothing like having to buy an iPhone in August. So I totally know how you feel right now.

Stephen Robles

Wait did you break your current one or what happened?

Christopher Lawley

No. I had to send back my review unit, so it's nothing bad. I just needed to send it back, And I was like, okay, what is the thing that I could buy that I would be happy with? But also what's the thing that I could turn around and sell in September and still get most of my money back? That's gonna be the 13 Pro Max.

Stephen Robles

You get the green one?

Christopher Lawley

Yeah, I got the green one because I was like, why not? Nobody else has it.

Stephen Robles

I know. I so wish I would've gotten the green one. If it was available.

Christopher Lawley

It's such a better color than the blue one. The blue one was my review unit. I hate the baby blue one. Okay, 12 Pro Max, the Pacific blue, Best color, best looking iPhone ever hands down. I will not take any questions about that. it is. You have to agree with me.

Stephen Robles

It was very good. And I missed it. I bought a black one that year. And I missed the blue. And then when the 13s came out, I was like, I'm getting the blue because I missed it last year.

And that's what I have is the Sierra blue. And it's alright. But I totally would've gotten the green one and Apple's marketing team a hundred percent knew what they were doing to wait halfway through the year. Cuz almost got me to do a mid cycle upgrade, but I was like, can't do that.

Christopher Lawley

It's not even a mid cycle. I'm a literally an 11 month upgrade. I'm like, I can't believe I have to buy this thing, but that, I get it.

Stephen Robles

So you did start on the Mac, you were doing Final Cut 7. And now, from what I can tell on your YouTube channel, you're doing all iPad. You edit your videos in LumaFusion on iPad.

So when did that transition happen?

Christopher Lawley

When LumaFusion came out, a couple months after it came out, I found it. It didn't make a splash at all. It was a very quiet launch. It was one of those things. I had my ear to the ground for a true video editor on the iPad ever since the iPad pro was announced, I got the first iPad Pro almost right away and I kept my ear to the ground and Eye movie.

And there was some from Pinnacle and it just wasn't what I needed because I love the iPad and I wanted to go all in on it. So couple months after LumaFusion came out, I found it and I started using it and I was like, you know what, for my basic needs, this works.

So I'll use it. And I went all in on it. Cause I was like, I want to be the guy on YouTube that doesn't just say he uses the iPad, that actually uses the iPad for everything. So I went all in on it. I, and then I had an IT job at the time that I definitely couldn't have used the iPad for just because they weren't gonna let me use my personal computer for it.

Luckily I ended up leaving that job and I got a job where I got to make the rules and I was like, Hey, I get to use whatever computer I want. So I was even using the iPad for IT stuff, editing video alongside that. Then October of last year, actually, pretty much all of last year, I started having serious issues with LumaFusion.

Serious bugs. I wasn't able to export a couple of videos. I was having some major crashes and then October last year, the new MacBook pros were announced. And I was like, and I had a group of friends and I was talking to I'm like, I am having so many issues. I wasn't able to get my iPhone 13 video out in time.

I literally got the iPhone 13 video out, I think a day before the MacBook pro emargo drops. So by that time nobody cared. So I was like, I'm having so many issues. I just, I can't keep dealing with this. So I ended up ordering a MacBook Pro and I got it in December of 2021 so since December of 2021, I have been editing everything in Final Cut.

That being said, I have been testing LumaFusion again with iPadOS 16, because I know one of the major issues I was having is it was just running outta RAM. It had the app intent that allowed it to use up to 12 gigs of RAM, still wasn't quite good enough. Now can use up to 16 gigs of RAM. I can see the difference.

There is a significant difference. There's still some issues, but I, that could just be a test to the fact that iPad OS16 is in beta currently, it's August 3rd right now. And so that's, it's a little buggy there, what I'm hoping for, and if you'll allow me to put on my conspiracy theory hat for a minute,

Stephen Robles

Okay, please, let me get the tin foil hat.

Christopher Lawley

Last year we had the M1 iPad Pros announced. Okay, makes sense. The M1 chip, everyone freaked out about it, but let's just be honest. It's just the X version of the A14. I can't keep track of all the numbers anymore.

Anyway, just the X version that would've normally have gone into the iPad with extra RAM and stuff. Okay, cool. Still a lot of power, but we have this really nice display on the 12.9 inch iPad Pro, the XDR display. I just it's the Mini LED display Apple's Minis marketing terms. Mini. I used to memorize em all now. I just don't care. I'm like, you know what? It's a Mini LED display.

Everyone knows it, we're just gonna call it that. Yeah. I don't, I can't memorize all these marketing terms anymore.

Stephen Robles

Yeah. Liquid retina XDR and all that. Yes.

Christopher Lawley

Yeah, it's too much. Beautiful display, has Thunderbolt, has all this stuff in it. Hardware wise I'm like, huh, this is all stuff video editors would need. Then iPadOS 15 came out, nothing too special.

Stephen Robles

They revolutionized multitasking in iPadOS 15. You don't remember that?

Christopher Lawley

Did they? It really didn't change though.

Stephen Robles

I mean, no, they just put the three dots every window at the top.

Christopher Lawley

And then there was the, then there was the dock or, sorry, not the dock, but shelf.

Stephen Robles

The shelf, yeah. Yeah. Where you could do multiple windows and such. That was it. Yeah.

Christopher Lawley

And I'm like, okay. I was still using drag and drop.

Stephen Robles

I'm hoping our listeners saw the tongue in my cheek, but I don't know if they'll see that while they listen.

Christopher Lawley

Anyway. Yeah. So I, we got the iPad Air with the M1 chip in there in the meantime. The faster USBC port, which again, got me to raise my eyebrow. Yeah. Something's definitely coming iPad OS 16. Boom. We all know we have stage manager, we have virtual memory swap. We have reference mode.

We have all these features that I'm like, huh, these are features you would really need if you're doing pro software.

Stephen Robles

They even said "Pro desktop class apps" during keynote.

Christopher Lawley

Desktop class features is another thing. I'm putting my knife in the ground right now, or I did back in June.

That in a 12 month period between now in the next WWDC, we will see Final cut for the iPad. I'm calling it now.

Stephen Robles

Oh, okay.

Christopher Lawley

I don't know what I'll do if I don't get that right, I'm not gonna retire. I don't know what I'll do, but I will be shocked. Shocked, I say, if we don't have at least some sort of reveal announcement of hey, this thing's coming.

Yeah. My theory. And I'm I was sitting there at WWDC cuz I actually got lucky enough to be invited and that was awesome. That was amazing. First Apple event I've ever been to. Oh, that's awesome. I was sitting there in the crowd and I'm like, yes, there's still more to come. And I was like, they announced Freeform early.

I will give them this. They announced Freeform the app early, which is interesting, but, oh boy, do I feel like there is a surprise in store for us come Fall, maybe the Spring for Final Cut on the iPad, which is like the only thing I need to get rid of the Mac. I like the Mac really.

I'm sitting at a Mac right now because I figured it would be more stable for the way we're recording this podcast. I would probably still keep a desktop Mac around, but I wouldn't also have a 14 inch MacBook pro and an iPad Pro, I hate that. I hate that I have both of those.

Stephen Robles

So that was my question is if you could go all iPad, would you and you just said you would?

Christopher Lawley

Oh, 100%.

Stephen Robles

I still use both. I actually got a Mac Studio, which I absolutely love because I like having a desktop computer that's just sitting there all the time. I don't have to worry about battery or anything. Yeah. But the iPad for me is special because I edit all podcasts on my iPad with Ferrite.

And using the Apple pencil and iPad, that's such a unique and fast experience for me that I just love doing it on there. But you like iPad OS enough where you would totally go all in and your iPad would be your main computer?

Christopher Lawley

Yeah, absolutely. I think there's one hardware thing that would keep me back and I'm probably the only person on the planet that would complain about this is that the iPad only goes up to 2 terabytes of storage and we've already seen the M2 chip and we know that it maxes out at 2 terabytes of storage so that I don't think that's gonna change anytime soon.

I have 4 Terabytes on my MacBook Pro. And when I have a bunch of video projects, I absolutely use that space. That is 100% something I would use. So I think what I would end up doing is I have an M1 Mac Mini underneath my desk that acts as an automation server.

If Final Cut comes to the iPad, What my plan today is if Final Cut comes to the iPad and it can do most of the stuff I want it to do, like if it works the way I want it to work-

Stephen Robles

80% of what desktop Final Cut can do.

Christopher Lawley

Yeah, exactly. There's some high end stuff that desktop Final Cut can do that I don't need. So I'm not saying it needs to be one to one at all. If that comes to the iPad I will sell my MacBook Pro, I will sell my Mac Mini. I will get a Mac Studio and have that as like my, always on automation machine, but as also as like a backup workspace machine.

So I have a lot of really big projects that I work on throughout the year. One of which I'm working on right now, I do a big iPads OS walkthrough every year that just covers everything that's in iPad OS. All the features, what it means for iPad users, and that project can get quite big. And especially with my new camera set up, those files are gonna be absolutely huge this year.

I wouldn't want to keep that on my iPad. And I don't know if that's a bit, a big project like that is something I would want to work on an iPad when I could get a machine with higher performance threshold, more GPU cores, more CPU cores, all that stuff.

So that's my thought process right now, but the iPad would be, yeah, like my main computer and it is right now. It's the, when I wake up in the morning and I'm like, okay, it's time to go do work I grab my iPad unless it's video editing.

Video editing is where I have to grab a MacBook Pro.

Stephen Robles

I will concur with your conspiracy because I was thinking about the next iPad. Obviously there'll be an M2 iPad pro at some point, in the next six months, I think Fall might be likely cause it'll be on that 18 month cycle already.

But if it is announced, I'd be curious, your thoughts. I don't know what hardware additions or features Apple could put into an M2 iPad besides the chip, they could bring the XDR to the 11 inch. Yeah, that would be nice. They're not gonna add anymore ports. We're not gonna get an SD carts slot on the iPad.

It already has 5G data. So I'm not sure besides the M2 chip itself, what updates on maybe Apple pencil gen 3, but if they announce the M2 iPad pro it makes sense for them to announce Final Cut pro as well. Hopefully they don't make it just M2. Hopefully it would be M1or M2 iPad.

Christopher Lawley

I don't think they would.

Stephen Robles

Yeah, hopefully not but what could they, besides Final Cut, which I think would be likely in that kind of event, what else would the iPad gain or what else would you hope the hardware of iPad could gain in the next model?

Christopher Lawley

There's my realistic expectations. And then there are my fantasy expectations.

Stephen Robles

Pie in the sky. Yeah. Yeah.

Christopher Lawley

Honestly, it could just be a quiet update. It could just be like, hey, here's the M2 chip, the 11-inch gets the good display, which would be helpful to help differentiate it from the iPad Air, which is something needs like for a while there, after the iPad Air came out I just used the iPad Air up until a couple weeks before WWDC and I had something come up that I was like, okay, I need the bigger iPad for it now.

But the iPad Air is a great machine, so the 11-inch could use some help differentiating it. The M2 chip is obvious. I would love it if I could get one with 24 gigs of RAM, that would be fantastic.

I will never complain about extra RAM if they wanted to make a special model. Just for me that had 4 terabytes of storage, Apple, I won't complain. You'll make me very happy, but I don't think you'll do that.

I don't know if the M2 chip could handle that. So the other thing is O LED display, that would be really nice. That would be cool. There's not a whole lot, like realistically that I would expect to see from this year. I don't even know what they would do with a third gen Apple pencil, other than like an eraser side,

Stephen Robles

Flip it around and use the eraser.

Christopher Lawley

But people have been asking for that since the first one and they didn't do it with the second one. So I think like their answer to that is the double tap feature, which I know some people like, some people don't, I don't really mind it either way I leave it enabled.

Stephen Robles

Yeah. I leave it enabled. I don't use it often now, Kirsten from the K digital studio's YouTube channel, she would love if Apple made a 15 inch or even larger iPad, would you be all about a bigger screen?

Christopher Lawley

That's what I was getting to. So that's my pie in the sky one. I don't expect to see something like that this year. I know there are rumors that there are bigger iPads in the work. I would love a 15 inch iPad.

Oh, if there was a 15 inch iPad, I would be ecstatic. Because the 12.9 inch is fine, but it can be a little cramped when working on big creative projects. So I would like something a little big, more space.

And if they were to bring Final Cut to the iPad, I would definitely appreciate that more space because I have a 14 inch MacBook Pro right now. And I hate editing on the laptop screen because it's a little too cramped. I should have went with the 16 inch one, but I cheaped out. And I was like, oh, I wanna keep it light and fluffy.

And it just did not work out for that. So I would love a bigger iPad. The thing I would ultimately love, and this is futuristic-folding iPad. An iPad Pro that could fold up. I'm talking Westworld.

Stephen Robles

You want a surfers duo iPad.

Christopher Lawley

That's actually good. No, I want one that's like an iPad Mini-ish thing and I can open up into an iPad Pro because there's a lot of times I have an iPad Mini.

Oh, it's right behind me. It's charging. I have an iPad Mini I use for reading and stuff like that. And then I have my iPad Pro for work and what I hate is stuff doesn't sync between it. I'm always trying new apps and stuff like that. So it's already annoying when I try a new app, I have to set it up on my iPad, iPhone and Mac.

I don't wanna have to go set it up on another iPad. So if I had like a folding iPad and then let me fold it out and put it in the magic keyboard or something, this is totally pie in the sky fantasy realm, five years down the road kind of thing. But yeah, I would love that kind of thing.

And I honestly think Apple would do it at some point if they could do it right and do it well.

Stephen Robles

And not have a crease down the screen, after opening and closing many times. I was gonna ask you about the iPad Mini next, because I have one, I really like it. I was editing all my podcasts on the Mini because it's so light.

Holding an iPad, especially the 12.9 inch for a long period of time gets come cumbersome. And I like editing my podcast, just sitting on a sofa. And so the Mini was great for it.

But eventually actually I think the lack of Pro motion and weird display things got to me, like even the weather widget on the iPad, Mini is still broken.

There's things that overlap each other. Yeah. And it's just, I feel like Apple still hasn't gotten that iPad OS on the Mini right, just yet.

Christopher Lawley

I expect this might be the last Mini update.

Stephen Robles

Oh no.

Christopher Lawley

So I like the Mini, don't get me wrong. I like the Mini. But there's rumors of a folding iPhone coming, and I think that will eat the lunch of the iPad Mini. And I think Stage Manager is truly the future of the iPad.

I honestly, Apple is very proud of Stage Manager. You can just hear it in the way they talk about it. Yeah. And I think it is really good. I, and I do not think it's a conspiracy theory that they're trying to sell more iPads.

I truly think they want this to be the future of the iPad. And if they could bring it to all the iPads that supported iPad OS 16, I think they would, because right now it's optional, but I definitely see a day where the M1 iPad Pros or the M1 iPads are the bottom level of what I iPad OS can support.

And that's when stage manager ceases to be optional. This is the future, this is what's going forward and I cannot see Stage Manager working well on, on an iPad Mini size screen. It's just too cramped.

Stephen Robles

That's true. Now, it's interesting because I watched your maximalist iPad desk set up and I know you have a studio display and you hooked up your iPad to it. You're doing like full on iPad deal.

And most Stage Manager reactions have been pretty tepid. But you seem all into it. So how is stage manager with your iPad and the studio display, and how's that work, do you actually find Stage Manager to be useful like that?

Christopher Lawley

Stage manager is incredibly useful. I'm gonna say something that makes some people mad. Hot gossip.

Look, there are people on the internet that use certain things for about five minutes and then make a 20 minute video on them. I'm shrugging right now. I'm just realizing this is an audio podcast and I'm shrugging.

But I live and breathe and work off the iPad. I am not joking when I say Apple has tried a lot of different iterations of multitasking. And some of those iterations have worked, some of em not so much. I liked, I didn't hate the previous iteration of multitasking, where it was a lot of dragging and dropping and stuff like that.

But I understood that it wasn't something that was discoverable for people. So that's why they added the three dot menu. And I think that three dot menu has gotten really good in iPadOS 16. When I say Stage Manager is the future of the iPad, I truly believe it. The windowing and the way I can work with the iPad now is so much quicker.

The fact that I can have multiple apps open in a space and, reference stuff. I get a ton of PDF documents. I get a ton of webpages I need to go over, app documentation, I have stuff that I have to pull from all the time. And the fact that I can jump between these documents while writing notes or writing a script is just so fast. It's such a game changing feature.

I love the spaces, the stages that they have and that you can jump through them. So I have a stage for my writing stuff. I have a stage for communication and discourse kind of stuff. And I have another for editing videos and editing photos and stuff like that.

I truly believe this is the future. Does it need to be tweaked a little bit? Yes, absolutely. It is not perfect by any means. This is very much a base that they can work off of. But I think this is the truest base that the iPad multitasking has had like that, that absolutely gets it.

I understand some people don't like it. I would say give it more time. Because I truly believe in Stage Manager and I don't even work for Apple. I'm not on the team. If it didn't work, I would tell you it didn't work. I don't care. It's no skin off my back.

Stephen Robles

Do you think using it with an external display makes a big difference?

Christopher Lawley

Yes. 100%. Especially if you're doing stuff with a lot of documents open and stuff like that, it. Having that extra space allows you to reference those extra documents. It just makes more sense. I know some people are doing the thing where you keep stage manager off on the iPad, but are using stage manager on the external display.

So that way it's like a more traditional iPad on the side. And then you have like your windowing and stuff on the monitor. That's fine. But I'm all in on the windowing. It's buggy right now. It's in beta. Beta 4 right now, developer beta 4. So I'm hoping it gets smoothed out. There are definitely improvements that needs to be made.

But they are making those improvements. One of the, and we've already seen that over the beta. So one of the things that they've improved is on the stages on the left hand side, that column, you can click on the app icons to see the other windows, the other groupings. So if I have Safari over there, I can click on the Safari icon, it'll show me all my Safari windows that I have. So that's nice.

So you can drag and drop those into your space and do whatever you need to from there. And then they've been adding keyboard shortcuts, like W will now completely close a window, M will Minimize a window. So it's improving. It's not perfect, but I do think it's the future.

Stephen Robles

Someone might say it's just getting more Mac like. Those shortcuts all on the Mac with windowing too, Stage Manager and windowing. I'm playing devil's advocate, but the all these features are making it more Mac like, so if it continues down that road, gives you the things that you're hoping for, Final Cut, even.

What is the main difference then of having the iPad as your main computer versus just using a Mac?

Christopher Lawley

Simplicity. It's sometimes simplicity can be pitched as a bad thing that, oh, the simpler something is the less pro it is. Pro has to have all these customizations and all these features and I completely disagree with it.

Cuz at the end of the day, the iPad is still the iPad. It's touch interface. I can work with it and I can work with it with my finger. I can work with it with the Apple pencil. I can work with it with a keyboard. I can work with it with a track pad or a mouse.

I can plug in an external monitor to it. I talk a lot about how the iPad is a modular computer. It goes from a tablet to a notebook, to a laptop, and now to a desktop computer. So that's where I see the iPad going.

Now on an infinite timeline will the Mac get iPad OS? No, but what I do see happening in an infinite timeline, and you can start to see it already, Apple starts to merge all of their core OSs.

So iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. I can see those kind of end up starting to merge and become something else entirely. And I'm not saying this is gonna be a next year thing, like 10 years down the road, probably.

They all become one OS and these devices are running the same OS and it changes based on what input you're using and stuff like that. And we of see that already with iPadOS 16.

One thing that's really interesting say you have some text highlighted in notes in the past. You could tap on that with your finger or you could click on it and you would get that same menu, that menu that runs horizontally on the top. And you have the cut/copy/paste/replace if you have a spelling mistake, look up things like that.

Now with iPadOS 16, you can tap on that and get that same menu. But if you were to right click on it, you get a traditional right click menu, like more along the lines of something you would see in macOS.

So yeah, they are starting to come together and those lines are starting to become blurred. But at the end of the day, do we need three separate OSs that have to be very different from each other?

Shouldn't the similarities blur together so that way, hey, I'm somebody that's been using the Mac for 10 years and somebody puts down an iPad with a magic keyboard in front of me, I should probably be able to figure out how to use 80 to 90% of that just because I've had Mac experience in the past.

Stephen Robles

I'd be curious 10 years from now because I know Craig Federighi multiple times has said, they are separate. We are not abandoning one or the other.

Christopher Lawley

I think that was more is the Mac, is macOS going to get replaced or is Mac OS gonna go away? And I think they were phrasing it like the iPad is not gonna replace the Mac, but I think down the road, like in 10 years, will it still be Mac/iPad,/iPhone, or will it be like, we have these folding devices and these, you have this phone that can open up into a tablet and now I can plug that tablet into a monitor and I have a desktop computer.

We see these processors and CPU, GPUs, just getting faster, right? Look at the M1, M2, you don't need a fan for those. And clearly you could use those for high end work. I've done it.

A lot of other YouTubers and creative people have used those computers for high end work. So I don't necessarily think, and this is pipe dream stuff. I totally realize that, but I think on that infinite, like timeline or not even infinite timeline and the 10, 15 year period, I do see those like big core OSs, like put TV OS and Watch OS aside.

And I think HomeOS is the other thing, put those aside because those are specialty things, but iOS, iPadOS and macOS. I could see getting combined into one thing at some point. Sure. And just being like, Hey, it changes based on the context you are in, which would be really cool. I would be all for that.

Stephen Robles

Yeah. Which I think, it used to just be iOS. We actually just used to have two, instead of three iOS was iPad and iPhone and yeah. I could see that at least combining in the future,

Christopher Lawley

Yeah, I'm glad they broke out iOS from iPadOS. As a big iPad user, it was sure there was a couple years there was like, okay, will this be the year the iPad gets anything.

Stephen Robles

That's true, that's true.

Christopher Lawley

iPadOS is like a standalone thing. We're expecting something every year. Some years are lighter than others. That's okay. I have a theory about that as well, but that's a whole other rant.

Stephen Robles

I wanna know, because with iPad being your main deal, I imagine Shortcuts and automations are a big part of your workflow.

You even said you have a Mac dedicated to some automation. So I do wanna hear about some of your workflows. What are some of your shortcut integrations, or most used automations that you use with your iPad being your main deal?

Christopher Lawley

Oh, I have a ton. Let me pull up my Shortcuts app here.

Stephen Robles

How many what's the total amount of Shortcuts, cuz I wanna know?

Christopher Lawley

That has been cleaned up recently. It's only 64, only 64.

Stephen Robles

Oh, it's 64? Oh, okay. You're doing better than me? I got 218 running over here.

Christopher Lawley

Honestly I was pushing like 500 for a while, but I was I was part of the MacStories automation April contest. I was the judge on that. So I had a ton of Shortcuts installed, like all really good shortcuts but I was like, okay, I'm not gonna use these. I need to clean. So it was pretty bad for a while.

Stephen Robles

If you ever wanna feel better about the number that you have, just talk to Matthew Cassinelli, because I think he's got over a thousand now.

Christopher Lawley

That's literally what I was just gonna say is my pal, Matthew Cassinelli, who I talk to all the time, love dearly, he has way too many Shortcuts installed. And if you're listening, Matthew, I'm here to help you. I'm here to help.

Stephen Robles

He's been on this show three times. He's our resident shortcuts guy. That's his shtick. That's what he does.

Christopher Lawley

That is his thing. And I definitely use shortcuts quite a bit. I definitely use it for a productivity Focus thing. So yeah, I have a lot of shortcuts that do things in the background for me. So for example, whenever I publish a new video, I use a service called Zapier and Pushcut to watch the RSS feed for my channel. It sends me a notification and I can tap on that notification and it runs a shortcut.

And what it does is it uses regular expressions to get the description of the video and formats it into a blog post, gets the links, gets the titles, makes it all into a nice blog post and publishes it right to my website. So I don't have to do anything. It's really awesome. I love that one.

Stephen Robles

I use Zapier with podcasts to automate RSS. I have one podcast where every time a new episode is published to the feed. It pulls the custom artwork for that episode from the RSS feed, takes the description from the episode and then just publishes to Instagram and Facebook and Twitter automatically.

Christopher Lawley

Oh, nice.

Stephen Robles

RSS automations, I love it.

Christopher Lawley

Oh yeah. So much of and I used to do a lot more when I had a podcast back in the day, I had a lot of RSS automations when it came to that. When it, yeah, just what you were doing, pulling the episode, sharing it and doing all that stuff. I have shortcuts that I use that I've built like custom time tracking stuff for I've got one called Capture Cut, which is basically my way of recreating QuickNote but for third party notes apps. I have one called MoneyCut, which logs all my income and expense tracking stuff to an AirTable database that uses like the AirTable API.

Stephen Robles

Do you use focus modes along with some of these automations and schedules?

Christopher Lawley

Yeah. I'm a big focus mode and they're getting really good in iOS and iPadOS 16.

They were already really good, but they're getting a lot of nice quality of life improvements.

Stephen Robles

Focus Filters is gonna be huge.

Christopher Lawley

Focus Filters will be huge. I'm really curious to see how third parties adopt those. The first party stuff is great. I'm working on one right now, I'm self-employed now, so I work every day of the week and I'm trying to ease up on that a little bit and at least take one day off. I'm using the new Focus Filter feature to basically put in a weekend focus. And who knows when the weekend focus actually will come on that week?

Stephen Robles

Sunday from 10:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

Christopher Lawley

I meant like sometimes it could be Wednesday. Sometimes it could be Friday. Sometimes it might be Saturday. I'm using that to turn off my work calendar, turn off my work email, turn off all these things. You should not be looking at these things today.

If something is on fire, certain people know how to get ahold of you in emergency ways. Most stuff can wait a day for me. It's not the end of the world.

Stephen Robles

Sure. Yeah. I love the email account filtering for focus filters. That's gotta be huge because yeah, I reflexively open email. I've taken the mail app off my home screens, I don't have it anywhere, but reflexively I just swipe down to enable spotlight on my phone and Siri just knows I want mail. And so I just open it. So to be able to shut off certain email accounts on the weekend or when I'm on vacations, I'm very much looking forward to that.

Christopher Lawley

Yeah, that's very cool. And the custom home screen features too, is really nice for that. Cause I do have mail on my home screen, but not on my weekend home screen. It's not there. I don't need it. It's one of those features I'm surprised Apple actually made, but I'm really glad that they made it.

Stephen Robles

For sure. Before we go, I wanna talk, just ask a few questions about YouTube specifically because I saw a tweet in interaction between @EverydayDad and you, and it was talking about what do you choose to make for your audience?

How do pick topics, keep it interesting. And you said in this tweet that you had worked 20+ hours on a video. But when you finished it, you hated it. And so you did not publish it. One, I'd be curious if you're willing to tell us what that video was about.

Christopher Lawley

Nope. Nope.

Stephen Robles

No? Okay, it's top secret. Nope. Then how do you choose, is it, "I know this topic will be interesting" or is it just because you want to cover it? You're passionate about a subject at the moment, or are you following news and trying to follow those trends? Where do you go to find your topics?

Christopher Lawley

Honestly, I don't follow any news or trends or anything. If I did, I'd probably be a much bigger YouTuber. Honestly I just make stuff that I am interested in. So I just published a video on mind mapping because honestly, it's something I was thinking about at the time. I was working on a big mind map for my iPadOS 16 walkthrough thought. It's not gonna be, it's not gonna be a hundred thousand view video.

It may not even be a 20,000 view video, but you know what? I figured a few people might find it interesting. So I made a video about that. Yeah. And honestly, that served, that kind of rule of thumb has served me really well.

Not all my videos are the most popular videos. I have some duds on the channel, but I can honestly say I'm proud of them because there's something that was interesting to me. They are videos I would watch.

You mentioned that I deleted a video, I deleted it because it's not a video I would watch. It was boring. I was making it because I hadn't made anything in a while and I was like, I should just put out something.

By the time I had that video practically finished, it could have been published like with a few minor tweaks, I was just like, "Nope. It's just not a video, like five months, six months from now I would be proud of." I'm just particular about that.

Stephen Robles

Okay. So where do you go either to watch or get ideas or for inspiration? Whether it's for iPad or just Apple in general.Do you watch other channels? Do you, where do you go for inspiration?

Christopher Lawley

Usually for me, it's always about solving a problem in the past. It's been like, for example, when I had my IT job, it was like, hey, I need to be able to remote into a whole bunch of computers. Okay. How could I do this? I found a solution.

I need to be able to control the server VMs Found a solution. I need to be able to write code on an iPad, not execute it, just be able to write it. Found a solution. So it's always been about problem solving for me. And that's something that's always I've enjoyed in my work. No matter what I've been doing is finding a solution to a problem.

Going back to one of the very first things we talked about, LumaFusion, finding LumaFusion was solving a problem. I wanted to edit video on an. And that was my solution to that problem. Unfortunately, there is literally no other solution since 2017. So hopefully that changes Apple.

Stephen Robles

For sure. So when you are not in tech mode, you're not working, you're not wanting to watch tech. You wanna watch something for enjoyment or just to unwind. Do you watch something on YouTube? Are you in that F1 world now? It seems like everyone on Twitter is talking about F1, or are you doing something else?

Christopher Lawley

I am all in on F1 world.

Stephen Robles

What happened? Why is this the thing now? What happened?

Christopher Lawley

Okay. F1, unlike a lot of sports, has a really long season. It started in March and will go to November. It has a ridiculously long season. So there's only 20 drivers and F1 is the pinnacle of race car driving.

The best go here. But there are only 20 drivers that get a seat. We just started what's called summer break, so there's basically a month where there's no racing whatsoever. And usually there's one every other week and sometimes there's two back to back, but usually it's every other week.

But right now there's a month of no racing. And this is what the start of what's called is silly season. So silly season is when a lot of contract negotiations are happening and teams are trying to figure out who their driver lineup will be for next year, because sometimes you might get a driver that has a two or three year contract.Sometimes they only have a one year contract. Some, one driver just signed a five year contract so they're all, they're not similar at all.

So what happened the other day when Twitter completely erupted, happened a few days ago. A world champion driver, been in the sport for years and years now announced he was gonna retire on a Friday. On a Monday that team already had a replacement who is another world champion driver.

And that team that he left had literally found out via the press release that the team that he's going to put out. The driver did not tell them at all. So they're scrambling to find somebody and make themselves look competent.

They just announced without talking to this person, they have a reserve driver that basically, if one of our two drivers get sick-cuz every there's 10 teams, 20 drivers, each team gets two drivers-so if one of our two drivers get sick, this guy can step in and take over.

So they just announced the reserve driver will be their driver for 2023 without checking with him. Then he didn't back that up for hours. There was like two hours where he didn't say anything, which is very unusual. Like usually it's a timed release, "This person's gonna be our driver." And they're like, "Yeah, super excited to be your driver!" Like it's like a choreograph thing. He didn't say anything for hours and hours.

And all of a sudden he puts out a tweet saying, something like, "Hey-the team they're called Alpen, made an announcement saying that I was going to be their driver for 2023. That is not the case, I will not be driving for them." And that was news to them. Honestly, F1 is for people that think they're too cool for soap operas. That's what it is. It's just drama. It's just drama.

It's people that think they're too cool for soaps and want like V6 hybrid, like torque up engines that go 200 miles an hour.

Stephen Robles

I've heard John Gruber and on the talk show, talk about baseball many times. And if you love baseball, it's, you're either into the stats or you're either into the drama.

And so it sounds like the F1 world has the drama.

Christopher Lawley

Oh, we have have the drama, but we also have the stats because F1 is not just drama and drivers. It's also engineering because all teams have to build their own car. It is called engineering insanity. It's amazing.

And as a nerd, as a science geek. I absolutely love it. Like everything about this sport just speaks to me because I'm not athletic. I was never the cool athletic kid. But, oh boy. Do I love a good engine and good engineering? I grew up redneck. I can drive me just about anything.

Stephen Robles

Did you grow up in the south?

Christopher Lawley

No, I lived in Texas for four years when I was a kid, but okay. Where I'm born and raised mostly is the dead center of California, which is the agricultural capital of the world or one of the agriculture capitals of the world. Depends on who you ask, but like sure is redneck central. Even by California standards, it's redneck central.

Stephen Robles

Okay. Did, but did this F1 thing like just happen recently? I feel like I had never heard a word about.

Christopher Lawley

What happened is there was a documentary on Netflix called Drive to Survive. And it's a great starting point for anyone that's curious about it. If you get through the first couple episodes of Drive to Survive, you will love Formula 1.

If you watch the first episode and be like, nah, not for me, totally get it. I watched it and I was like, oh my God, this is exactly what I want. Okay, this is everything that I want.

I was never a sports person. I could care less about that, but I'm like this, isn't throw a ball, catch a ball thing. This is drive a car at 200 miles an hour and try not to die. The engineering, the fact that they can, like a car can pull.

They can change the tires in just over two seconds is amazing. That's amazing. mean, I just went and got with tires changed a couple months ago and it was like three hours. I'm like, what the heck?

Stephen Robles

There's no pit crew at that mechanic, no.

Christopher Lawley

I know. These guys did it in 2.3 seconds over the weekend and I'm sitting here for an hour, three, and I'm like, come on guys. What's going on?

Stephen Robles

So F1. Very good. Yeah. Okay. Lightning round, as we close up, because you are a Mac guy, you started as a Mac guy. Here's my James Lipton style closing. At what speed do you listen to podcasts?

Christopher Lawley

Oh, okay. 1.25 with smart speed on.

Stephen Robles

Okay, so you use Overcast to listen, I assume

Christopher Lawley

Yes. Yeah, I do. I tried going back to the Apple podcast app over the summer, I tried to use the Apple default app so I can talk about it and stuff. I can't do the Apple Podcast app because it doesn't have smart speed.

I got to meet some podcasters that I've listened to for years at WWDC and talking to them in person, I'm like, oh my God, I didn't realize how slow you talk. And I'm sure people have said that about me cuz they'll watch YouTube videos at 1.5 or whatever.

Stephen Robles

Okay. When you're using a Mac, mouse or trackpad?

Christopher Lawley

Track pad, but only because that's where all the gestures are. I do prefer a mouse.

Stephen Robles

Okay, natural scrolling or unnatural on your Mac?

Christopher Lawley

Whatever the default one is. Is that natural scrolling?

Stephen Robles

It's natural now. It matches touch devices.

Christopher Lawley

Okay, yeah. For a long time, I didn't want to do it mostly because I had a job where I was using a Windows computer, a Mac, and like all that other stuff. But a few years into not needing a Windows computer, I just was like, okay, I'll just go all in on natural scrolling.

Stephen Robles

What is your default web browser on the Mac?

Christopher Lawley

Safari.

Stephen Robles

would've assumed, because iPad.

Christopher Lawley

Tab Groups are amazing. On the iPad it doesn't really matter because everything has to use web kits still. Safari's got all the privacy stuff. I don't trust Google. Yep, I'm a YouTuber. I realize the irony.

Stephen Robles

That's different though than using it for all your communication and all web browsing and all that kind of stuff. So I totally get iy.

Christopher Lawley

I don't stay signed in.

Stephen Robles

Okay. What's your task app of choice?

Christopher Lawley

Oh gosh, that's a loaded question there. Depends on what's happening. Right now it's Reminders, but that's just because, like I said, I'm using Apple's default apps over the summer, but if I could only have one, I would go with Things 3.

Stephen Robles

Yep. I love things. That's mine too.

Christopher Lawley

That's fantastic.

Stephen Robles

Final question on your Mac, what is your dock position? Do you auto hide and genie or scaling effect?

Christopher Lawley

Okay. So it's left, not auto hide and it's big enough so that genie or scaling doesn't actually matter because I have enough stuff in it. Yeah. So genie or scaling doesn't I don't even actually know which one it is.

It's on genie technically, but like it doesn't do anything, but that will probably change with Ventura because Stage Manager puts the stuff on the left side. So I was a little bummed about that. I was hoping there would be a feature that would let me move the stages over to the right side.

Because I'm not sure what I'm gonna do. Probably have to move the dock to the right.

Stephen Robles

I was a left dock guy forever. And then when I started using universal control with my iPad, I realized it was getting in the way, because if I wanted an iPad on the left or the right, it was annoying to have to go through the dock. And then even if you're trying to drag something. So I've transitioned now dock at the bottom. Wasn't my preference for many years.

Christopher Lawley

I don't like it at the bottom. I know all the traditional Mac people are like must be at the bottom, Steve Jobs willed it that way! I'm like, okay.

Stephen Robles

I like it on the side.

Christopher Lawley

I think it's just better on the side. Like it's out of the way. I like that. I keep my iPad on the right for universal control. So when I am using my Mac, I love universal control, great feature. So I keep my iPad on the right. So I don't have that issue, but I didn't think about that with Ventura coming up.

Yeah. I may end up having to be a bottom dock person. Oh, Ventura. What are you doing to me? Ventura isn't even a nice place. Why did Apple name it that? I'm from California. If I'm planning my California vacation, Ventura is not on that list.

Stephen Robles

Really? I keep predicting this every year, I imagine eventually I have to be right. Unless they totally change it. But El Dorado, I'm waiting for macOS El Dorado. They've done El names in the past, they've had El Capitan.

Christopher Lawley

Yeah. They did El Capitan. I loved that one cuz I'm only an hour and a half or an hour, 15 minutes away from Yosemite. So that whole Yosemite El Capitan, High Sierra one, I was like, these are fine. These are my releases.

Stephen Robles

Yes. That's fun. Christopher, thanks so much for joining us. So we'll put links to your YouTube channel and the untitled.site, of course, in the show notes. Is there anything else you'd like to direct people to?

Christopher Lawley

No, that's it. Thank you so much for having me.

Stephen Robles

Yeah, it was a lot of fun. Thanks again, Chris. And again, listeners check all the links in the show notes. You can follow, subscribe to him on YouTube, amazing iPad content, and you can of course, visit the untitled.site to find all this other stuff.

Thanks again, Chris.

Christopher Lawley

Thank you.

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