Interview With Jeff Perry of Tablet Habit and A Slab of Glass

Recently I shared a post on top iPad only sites and resources that you ought to check out. Within this list I include tablet habit, a site from Jeff Perry which I had recently discovered but couldn’t tell you too much about. Since then, Jeff and I have been in contact and I wanted to let you know a bit more about him and a new project he is working on that I bet you’ll like.

Who are you and what’s your origin story?

My name is Jeff Perry and I am the creator of Tablet Habit and co-host of A Slab of Glass.

I have been into podcasting for several years now (I lost count at this point). I started back in high school and have been a serial podcast creator ever since. I have started and dropped more podcasts than I can count but I always seemed to come back to the medium because I just loved it so much.

Before I created Tablet Habit and A Slab of Glass, I was working on a podcast that eventually closed up shop. I was burnt out on podcasting at the time and needed a break, but I am the kind of person that always needs an active side-project. At the time I was really into using my iPad Air 2 as my main device. Something about iOS and the iPad really made me gravitate to using it more and more. I just find the whole thing a delight to work with and that is in no small part because of iOS.

So since I was taking a break in podcasting I decided to start blogging. I created Tablet Habit and have been writing on it a little over 6 months now.

Why did you start “A Slab of Glass”, how does it differ from your site and other podcast?

A Slab of Glass is a podcast I knew I would probably make when I really started going all in on Tablet Habit and the iPad. Like I said, I love podcasting and no matter how many shows I cancel I always keep coming back to it. I just knew I didn’t want to do it alone.

That is where my co-host, Christopher Lawley, comes in. I stumbled across his videos on YouTube and immediately loved them. Once I found out that he literally does all of it on his iPad I knew I wanted to pick his brain a little more. So I sent him a cold email and asked if he would be interested in writing a piece on how he makes his videos on YouTube with just his iPhone and iPad.

He wrote a great piece on my site and it instantly became one of my most visited articles. After that we kept a correspondence on social media and we each offered support to the other about the stuff we were making.

Eventually Christopher mentioned something about doing a podcast and I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. We talked over the ideas we had and feelings on what a podcast about the iPad should be. Eventually we decided to do the podcast together and have been loving every second of it.

A Slab of Glass is a tech podcast, but it is also a very personal podcast as Chris and I speak about our experiences with the topics we choose. It isn’t a news podcast by any means which allows us to have a lot more creative control on the things we talk about each week. It is usually a short 30 minute conversation on the main topic and then another 10 minutes or so on an after show topic. We wanted to keep things brief because there are a ton of great long-form tech podcasts out there already and we wanted to be more brief to stand out amongst the crowd.

Who should check ASlabOfGlass out?

This podcast is great for anyone who wants to get more out of their iPad and/or tech geeks like Christopher and me. We try to keep things from going off the deep end to include the more novice users of the iPad. But it isn’t a podcast only newbies can enjoy, seasoned iPad users can also get a kick out of it too.

Our goal is to eventually have guests on the show who are doing interesting and fun things on their iPads as well, so feel free to get in contact with us at [email protected].

Any sneak peaks of what you’re going to cover?

So the first episode comes out March 18th, and it is about who Chris and I are and our office/workspace setups. We figured it would be a great way to show who we are and how we work.

Episode 2 and 3 come out later that same week. Episode 2 being about the 10.5” iPad Pro vs the 12.9” iPad Pro and episode 3 about how we handle cloud storage. So that whole week we cover a bunch of differing topics.

After that we will be posting every other Friday (so episode 4 comes out April 6th). We are always open to potential guests and topic ideas so feel free to contact us via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @iamJeffPerry and @chris_lawley.

How can people subscribe to a slab of glass?

We have links to all the main podcasting apps over at We also have a YouTube Channel where we will post each episode if that is how you prefer to consume your shows.

Interview with John Saddington on DeskPM and Pressgram

John Saddington has been blogging for a long time and made blogging his business. He has made an income blogging, set up a business based around blogging and run an WordPress based news site. Basically, John knows blogging. So when I heard that he was creating a new publishing and writing app for bloggers I knew I wanted the inside scope.

However, DeskPM isn’t going to be John’s first app. He also created Pressgram a photo publishing app based around WordPress which is free on iOS. With Pressgram approaching version two I decided to catch up with the changes coming and compare John’s experience with DeskPM and Pressgram.

If you like publishing photos or have a blog then this is not an interview to miss. Also if you have thought about creating an app yourself then John has some nuggets of wisdom for you.

Questions from the interview

  • How would I Google you, if I didn’t know your name?
  • What’s your current set up?
  • iPhone with case or without?
  • What’s the origin story of DeskPM and what are DeskPM’s superpowers?
  • You’ve had the idea for DeskPM for a while, did pressgram give you the courage to do it?
  • What separates deskpm from Mars edit or byword? Do people really need another blogging client?
  • When is it coming out ?
  • How are you funding DeskPM?

Pressgram and DeskPM

  • Did starting Pressgram influence your thoughts for DeskPM?
  • Do Pressgram and Desk PM share elements of the same philosophy?
  • Pressgram doesn’t have adverts nor a monthly fee nor cost to buy the app but was Kickstarter funded, what is the financial model moving forward? Is there a chance of waking up one morning and finding ads or needing to pay a constant fee?
  • Where can people find you online.


The app was not found in the store. 🙁

David Smith On FeedWrangler 6 Months On

In the aftermath of Google announcing that it was going to mothball Google Reader David Smith announced he was developing his own alternative RSS service to fill the coming void. In fact, he managed to release feedwrangler, his google reader replacement service, before Google reader was formally retired on the 1st of July. As we approached the 6 month mark of Google reader’s demise I was fortunate enough to find out from David some of his inights into the death of Google reader.

What Was The Push That Made You Create An Alternative RSS Reader?

For a long time I had grown worried about Google Reader’s future. It seemed to have been long neglected. I use RSS on a regular basis so I started working on it as a side project for my own use. Once Google announced it was ending Reader I just took the step of taking my personal system and generalizing it for my customers.

How Is Feed Wrangler Different From Other Feed Companies?

As I see it there are really two categories of feed syncing companies. There are a handful of small, independent companies (Feed Wrangler, Feedbin, News Blur,…) and then there are the handful of larger, typically VC backed options (Feedly, Aol, Digg, …). The difference between these two groups is most concisely defined as the way we make our money and as a result our focus. My customer is my end user (not an advertiser) and as such they are my sole focus. Within the independent options the differences seem to come down mostly to price and flavor. Additionally, Feed Wrangler is the only syncing provider I know of that integrates podcasts natively into their system and proves synced apps for listening to them.

Did the Success of Feed Wrangler lead you to setting up Pod Wrangler or was there another reason you set it up?

Once I had the infrastructure in place for Feed Wrangler it became clear that I also had all the pieces I’d need to build a server backed podcast solution. So it seemed a logical next step to expand the types of feeds that I could handle. I also personally listen to dozens of podcasts so I wanted a podcast client that fitted exactly with my tastes. Pod Wrangler was the result.

How have user numbers changed since you started Feed Wrangler? Are you getting more users? Are they subscribing to as many/more feeder or declining?

There was obviously a huge wave of signups around the Reader shutdown. Since then things have settled down but my subscription base is still growing each day. The pace of this growth is something I’m very happy with. It continues at a pace that gives me pretty good confidence about the sustainability of the platform.

Have you changed how you use RSS changed since reader went away?

Not really. There are a few features like Filters that I use in Feed Wrangler but weren’t there in Reader. But, more generally, my general workflow of keeping up on my favorite blogs is much the same as it was back in the old Reader days.

What have you learnt from starting feed wrangler?

Gosh, where to start. Probably the biggest lessons i’ve had to learn (sometimes the hard way) are around scaling and performance. While I’ve built numerous web services before Feed Wrangler it was the first one where the scale of the data being managed required specialized considerations. Additionally it has provided an opportunity to learn about working with 3rd Party developers who use my API.

What’s coming in 2014 for Feed Wrangler (and you in general)

Feed Wrangler is settling down nicely in terms of core functionality and stability. I expecting 2014 to be focused on making the end user experiences better and better. This will include an overhaul of the iOS client and web experience. As well as working on continuing to improve the desktop podcast experience. I’m also looking at other ways that I can leverage the server infrastructure that I have built for other user features (much like I did for Pod Wrangler).

Thank you for your Time David.
You can find David Smith at his website or on twitter @_DavidSmith. If you are interested in subscribing to Feedwrangler you can either sign up on the feedwrangler website or download the app and make an in app purchase.