Matt Gemmell

CHANGER is available now!

An action-thriller novel — book 1 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon

KESTREL Book Two… and You

books & kestrel 2 min read

I’m thrilled at the success of CHANGER, the first book in the KESTREL series — thanks so much for the wonderful reviews and kind words. Book Two is underway and will be out later this year, and I’d love to email you as soon as it’s available. I’m also running a competition you may be interested in…

Update: the competition has now ended. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Using the iPad for: Taking notes and planning

tech & ipad-only 7 min read

This article is part of a series on going iPad-only.

If you’re a maker of iPad apps that my readers would be interested in, you can sponsor this site for a week.

I’m going to be quite brief here, because I’m busy, but I wanted to share this with you. One of the most promising aspects of the iPad’s physical form-factor is that it can potentially replace much-loved paper notebooks, which I’ve long used for planning, note-taking, design sketches, and so on.

Previously, the problem with this idea was a lack of stylus input precision, and also the lag that plagues digital drawing tools. Apple Pencil and the iPad Pro solved that part, and so I started to consider whether I could finally go entirely paperless. As it turns out, I can — and I have.

Designing for iPad Power Users

tech & ipad-only 6 min read

An increasing number of people — myself included — use an iPad for work. There are plenty of apps designed with that in mind, but I often find rough edges, as if the developers haven’t quite considered that people are potentially spending their entire day using the software.

The needs of iPad power users aren’t conceptually different from those of desktop or laptop users, but the nature of the hardware and its capabilities tends to cause some things to be overlooked. Based on my own experience, here’s some stuff that you, as a developer, should think about implementing if your customers are working with their iPads.


health 3 min read

I’ve written previously about my workout routine, and also about my heart condition. My routine has naturally evolved over time, and I wanted to make a record of my current setup, since people ask me about it quite often.

Apple Watch for sale

tech & development 1 min read

Update: The Apple Watch has now been sold. Thanks for your interest!

I’m selling my original Apple Watch. It’s in pretty much mint condition, perfect screen, fully functional, latest watchOS, everything included. It’d be a brilliant Christmas gift (even for yourself), or a solid start to the New Year’s fitness resolutions, or a device for developing watchOS apps on.

Full details of the package are below.

Thoughts on Ulysses and Scrivener

tech & writing 7 min read

I’ve been a Scrivener user for a long time. I wrote CHANGER in Scrivener on the Mac, and I edited and assembled Raw Materials with it too. I wrote about the new-this-year iPad version of Scrivener a month ago, and in that piece I also touched on Ulysses, which takes a different approach to writing and assembling long (or short) written works.

I’ve been giving Ulysses a bit more of my time lately, and I wanted to jot down some of my thoughts about it, and how it compares to Scrivener, for posterity. This article pertains almost solely to the iPad versions of each app.

Setapp Beta Invitations

tech 1 min read

Setapp is a new subscription software service for the Mac. You pay one flat monthly fee, and you get the latest versions of all the apps, including any new ones they add. You get updates too, for the lifetime of your subscription. As long as you’re current, all the apps run — without any ads or limitations.

I’ve been testing it for a couple of months, and the user experience is pretty good. You get a subfolder in your Applications folder, with stubs for each of the apps. When you launch one, you’ll see a description and some zoomable screenshots, just like on the Mac App Store. If you want it, just click a button, and the app downloads immediately, replacing the stub. You can get as many as you want.

I don’t have any stake in Setapp (I don’t really use a Mac anymore, either), and I don’t get any referral fee or anything; it’s just an interesting thing I’ve been trying out. The launch is in 2017, but it’s in public beta right now (press release here). If you sign up for a free trial, you go into a waiting list to get a beta invitation — but, since I’m apparently super-important or something, I have a hundred instant-access invitations to give away.

If you’re fast enough, you can get your invitation here. If they’ve already been used up by the time you click the link, you’ll go into the regular waiting list. It shouldn’t take long to get your invitation then either.

Once again, get your invitation here. Don’t say I never give you anything.

iPad gear: Logitech Create keyboard case

tech & ipad-only 3 min read

This article is part of a series on going iPad-only.

If you’re a maker of iPad apps that my readers would be interested in, you can sponsor this site for a week.

I recently treated myself to a much-recommended Logitech Create keyboard case for my 9.7” iPad Pro. My usual setup is a separate leather case/stand, and an Apple Magic Keyboard, but there’s one issue there: it’s not really a viable in-lap typing solution. I wanted an all-in-one option that’s stable in my lap, with good keyboard action. The Create seems to be it.