Monday, November 20, 2017

The Mac Still Feels Like Home

Sahil Mohan Gupta:

As he walked into the room along with Microsoft India head Anant Maheshwari, Nadella spots that I and a colleague have iPads and cheerfully says, “You need to get a real computer, my friend.”

Jason Snell:

Amazingly, today Apple released this ad, titled “What’s a computer?”, in which a kid uses an iPad Pro in countless ways. It feels… familiar.


What’s a real computer? My iPad Pro is whatever I want it to be.

David Sparks:

Before iOS 11, managing multiple files and email attachments felt masochistic. iOS 11 fixes that. Now with iOS 11 and the Files App, I’m able to manage files nearly as fast on iPad as I am on Mac. If I had 35 years experience using a tablet like I do the mouse and keyboard, I’d probably be just as fast.


Two such roadblocks that immediately come to mind are Microsoft Word and Googe Docs. I spend a lot of time in both these apps doing day-job legal work. In many ways, Microsoft Word on iPad is superior to its Mac counterpart, but it has one glaring omission, the inability to modify style preference. If I want to change a style format or line spacing, it’s simply not possible in Microsoft Word for iPad. I’ve used styles in Word forever. If you know what you are doing, they dramatically improve document editing and tricky legal paragraph numbering. Likewise, Google Docs has a change tracking feature that works fine on the Mac but has never been properly implemented on the iPad app.

Gabe Weatherhead:

As the title suggests, the Mac still feels more comfortable for almost everything. The Mac feels less innovative and “fun” but I actually feel more relaxed when using multiple windows, real keyboard shortcuts, and a true file manager. The irony here is that the size and design of the iPad makes it more of a joy to use, but it’s also tainted by inefficiency. I do almost every task faster and more easily with my Mac than I can do it on my iPad Pro.


I think it’s well understood now, but the quality of apps on the Mac is far above anything I use on iOS. Maybe it’s the high-quality developers that started on the Mac, like the Omni Group and Panic, but even within their apps, the quality is generally better on the Mac. Having multiple windows open for OmniFocus makes it more capable for moving tasks between projects and the inbox. The new Transmit FTP application on the Mac is just more reliable than the corresponding iOS app from Panic. I suspect that many of my failures have to do with the frameworks provided by Apple. Sharing files on iOS into Transmit regularly fails to upload them to the SFTP server. This never fails on the Mac.


The other thing iOS gives me is email and calendar integration with work that’s just not supported on my Mac. The Exchange certificate management of iOS means that my iPad Pro is the only place I can see all of my calendars from work and home in one place on a big screen.

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"What's a Computer?" Based on what has been happening on the Mac lately, maybe Apple doesn't actually know.

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