The Last “User Friendly View” Column

This is the final column I’ll be writing for User Friendly View. As the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end.” And so it is with this column. I began writing for The Mac Observer back in May 2005 and continued to do so until today. It’s been a great ride.

I want to thank the people at TMO for providing me with a soapbox to stand on for these past seven and a half years (has it really been that long?). This column was my first foray into editorial/analysis writing and I welcomed the opportunity. It’s been fun tackling many of the hot topics of the day — both big and small.

Despite my obvious commitment to Apple and the products it makes, many of my columns have been critical of the mothership. In just the past several months, I took Apple to task for its implementation of sandboxing on OS X, problems with iOS 6’s Passbook app, and the loss of RSS support in Safari 6. Over the years, I have been critical of several more over-arching issues, including Apple’s iOS file sharing restrictions and its continued opposition to any form of jailbreaking.

At the other end, I frequently lauded Apple. Over the past months, I heaped praise on Apple’s latest iPads, the iPhone 5, the camera on iPhones, and the iOS-ification features in Mountain Lion.

In between these ups and downs, I offered an assortment advice and analysis on using Macs and iOS devices, with recent topics ranging from Digging Deep into iWork Document Sharing in Mountain Lion, 6 Top Reasons to Visit your Library (Folder), and a Complete Guide to What’s New in iOS 6 Settings.

Beyond Apple itself, I often looked at third-party Mac and iOS products. Recent examples include RichText Edit(Textilus), Splashtop, and ScanSnap document scanners. Occasionally, I ventured into topics more tangentially related to the Apple universe, such as AT&T’s Outrageous iPhone & iPad Rates and Macworld | iWorld Reinvents Itself.

Several of my columns fell into the opinion and speculation category. These were often the most challenging for me to write, but the most rewarding when they worked well. Recent examples include The Splintering of OS X (a speculative look at possible future for OS X) and Apple’s Half-empty Half-full Future (the last column I wrote, not counting this one).

One final mention: By far, the most popular article I have written for TMO, and likely the most viewed article I have ever written (thanks to its prominence in Google searches) is: Top Apps for Word Processing on the iPad. I never would have predicted that.

My point here is that User Friendly View gave me unprecedented freedom to write about virtually any topic that caught my fancy. And gave me the chance to do it every week. I tried to take full advantage of that freedom.

Through the comments, both positive and negative, posted at the end of each article, I was able to more directly interact with readers. Thanks to all of you who took the time to let me know your reaction to what I wrote.

This is certainly not the end of my presence on the web. I’ll still be writing for Macworld, continuing my Bugs & Fixes column as well as other articles. I also plan to continue making occasional entries to my Slanted Viewpoint blog.

For now, I just wanted to say so long to this column. So here it is….

So long.