Home screen: David Chartier


As I prance through the Internet, I keep noticing that articles I particularly enjoy have David Chartier in the byline. David (Web) (Twitter) is a freelance writer who frequently contributes to some of the best tech sites, like Macworld and Ars Technica. David also does work with AgileBits, publishers of my beloved 1Password. David, I believe, is also the first guest to share his iPad mini home screen (though I suspect he won’t be the last). So David, show us your home screen.


What are some of favorite apps?

How much time do we have? Let’s see, Evernote, Flipboard, Tumblr, Drafts, Day One, TextExpander, and Writing Kit off the top of my home screen. If I can diverge from the iPad for just a second, I also have to mention KitCam for iPhone. It feels like the epitome of everything we’ve learned about and want from a mobile camera for photos and videos.

Which app is your guilty pleasure?

Right now I’d have to say Angry Birds: Star Wars. I know we’re all probably sick to death of them, but adding the Star Wars characters created some fun new game mechanics that I am fully prepared to admit have convinced me to in-app purchase all the levels.

What is the app you are still missing?

A to-do app for things and places. I have Things, I might switch back to OmniFocus, but I want an app for collecting books, movies, music, places, and other types of things that I want to try. This app needs to understand and display metadata about the thing I want to try. I want album art, movie ratings, Foursquare-like photos of the European city to which I want to travel with my wife… not just a list of names and checkboxes. Good idea David.

Springpad is a kitchen-sink Evernote competitor that works some metadata magic. It’s close, and its iOS apps are great and getting better so I might try it again for what I’m talking about. But I would prefer an app tuned for this specific purpose, and ideally not supported by advertising (or likely to be). Recall for iPhone is getting there, and Done Not Done adds some light, social smartness to that whole thing. But I still feel like my Moby App is out there… eluding me. Taunting me.

How many times a day do you use your iPhone/iPad?

Is this a trick question? Ok, I should probably break it down. My iPhone? Constantly. I keep it with me as a scratchpad for ideas (Drafts, Evernote, and Things), or to limit my social media usage when I really need to hunker down. Or simply as a flashlight to get around the house at night and to take the dogs out since I am often a night owl, my wife is a light sleeper.

When it comes to my iPad, it’s different. I’ve grown to love the portability and simplicity of iOS for many of the tasks for which it suits me, like reading, writing, outlining, basic sketching, researching (thanks to Writing Kit’s built-in browser), and more. That said, I’ll admit my Mac is still better for some tasks and situations, so I’d say my general work day is split about 80/20 Mac and iPad, maybe 85/15. But when it comes to after hours or anything that doesn’t absolutely require a Mac, I reach for my iPad more and more these days. Walking out of the house with nothing but a small, incredibly light satchel containing an iPad and maybe my Logitech Tablet Keyboard is incredibly liberating.

What is your favorite feature of the iPhone/iPad?

That it can become any feature. The iPad and iPhone are designed to be blank canvases, from the first line of code to the final line drawn by Jonathan Ive. Whether I want to write, or tinker with my music and singing hobby, or dust off the drawing skills of my multimedia design degree, my iOS device becomes entirely devoted to that purpose with a single tap. It’s been five years and I’m still impressed by this aspect of the experience and platform that Apple built, and the immense creativity developers show in harnessing it.

If you were in charge at Apple, what would you add or change?

I would iterate iOS faster and add a layer for power users. As much as I love iOS, parts of it really do feel like they’ve stalled or fallen behind. iOS releases have become one major X.0 release per year, a couple of security fixes to follow, and then nothing until the preview of the next big X.0, then the release of said next X.0.

I really do think there is room for some kind of a “pro user” layer to iOS. Maybe it could be a giant red button, buried deep within Settings.app, which warns the user that they forfeit all software support for the remainder of their device’s warranty (but total hardware failure could still be covered if you have AppleCare+). The details are negotiable.

But utilities like TextExpander, Pastebot, and everything else handicapped by sandboxing and other iOS rules are incredibly useful. There has to be a way iOS can be safe and secure for the vast majority of users, yet offer the extra power for users that can knowingly harness it.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Thanks a ton for inviting me to this series. Be excellent to each other.

Thanks David