Friday, August 9, 2019

Bye-Bye iPad

Jeff Perry:

I simply don’t use an iPad anymore for my work.

No, this isn’t a “you can’t get real work done on an iPad” article. I have gotten real work done on an iPad for years and loved it, but due to some changes in my life the iPad isn’t the best tool for the job anymore.


If I am being totally honest, it isn’t just the editing that makes me want to use my Mac over the iPad. I’m not sure if it is me not always happy with certain limitations on iOS or if I am just used to the Mac, but something about the Mac allows me to work with less friction.


7 Comments RSS · Twitter

>something about the Mac allows me to work with less friction

I'm getting the impression that a lot of the people who use iPads as their primary productivity device are doing it out of a contrarian instinct. They're doing it to prove it's possible, not because it's actually a better choice than a laptop.

I really wanted to make a go of it with just an iPad, but it hasn't really worked out. I still have to do a lot of work with traditional Office files and other mainstream "computer" apps, and even with iPad-native versions, there are enough gotchas that it's just more efficient to stick with a good laptop. I've noticed that at the last few meetings, my iPad sees its greatest use as it gets passed around the table for people to enter their Grubhub orders for lunch.

It's a shame that Apple were so lax on evolving the iPad (i)OS that the great hardware is still not fully utilised. I gave up trying to use the iPad for work (as a photographer) many years ago - despite the dream of editing images directly by touch becoming a reality, the whole file structure limitations and multi-tasking kludges made it too tedious to persevere with.

I've recently been asked to prepare a Powerpoint animation for use in a video and I've been surprised by the viability of Keynote for iOS but that's not something I need to use very often.

I'm not giving up on the iPad, just getting a bit tired of waiting for the OS to evolve to be close to the capability of Mac OS.

@stu. Why on earth would you want to *just* use an Ipad? Apple's whole strategy for the past 9 years has been to make it so that instead of having a computer on your desk and another in your pocket, now you can now have a computer on your desk, another in your pocket, and a third one in your bag, and your work flows seamlessly between them.

In 1984, a Mac cost $2,500. Today, an entry level imac costs half as much, and allowing for inflation the cost to buy an entry level mac is lower now than it's ever been. Ditto for the cost of ipads, which has gone from $500 to $300 before allowing for inflation. For the income demographic that Apple sells to, there's no reason to have just one computer. I own a phone, a desktop, and an ipad, and I switch from one to another depending on what I need to do and where I happen to be. Lots of typing? I go to my desk. Lots of cropping of photos? I use my ipad. Away from home? I use my phone.

Computers used to be rare. We used them only to do the things that could not be done without a computer. Then they became more common, and we used them to do things that would be more expensive or time consuming to do without a computer. Now computers are ubiquitous, and we use them to do all kinds of things that it is merely somewhat less convenient to do without one. Choosing just one computer on which you do all your computing is needlessly making your life harder, not easier.

Interesting article—and a bit of synchronicity, as I was coming to some similar conclusions about writing long-form text, and just wrote this weekend about how "The iPad needs more focus on the little things":

Per Glaurung's comment to Stu, I've never wanted to use "just" an iPad, either, but I've been using an iPad more than I've been using a Mac for a while, because as much as I love my iMac, I like being very nomadic (whether we're talking about the living room sofa or a coffee shop in another city). And, I confess some of that was also frustration with the butterfly keyboard, which I still don't love. But after picking up my MacBook Pro again over the last few days, it's...really nice to be back. Even with the too-flat keyboard.

@Glaurung: Fair points, though it's not always practical or convenient to have multiple "computers" conveniently available, each with different strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities. This is particularly true in mobile, high-travel scenarios.

To be fair, I should have qualified my earlier comment with the mobility/travel scenario. I also should have explained that my "just an iPad" remark was really about avoiding the use of other devices as crutches in the mobility-oriented use case. The bottom line is that I haven't found an important use for an iPad in my business activities that is not reasonably or, more often, better achieved on a laptop than on an iPad. Your mileage may vary.

Apologies for the confusion my earlier, dashed off remark caused.

I am not sure if you are being serious or a bit tongue in cheek here. What you describe is exactly the captive, single source consumer Apple has been striving to herd behind their walled garden.

I do agree friction free travel between devices is a great dream to aspire to, but that is why cross platform cloud services and even native front ends are important. The argument we went from needing one Mac to be productive to one Mac, one iPad, and one iPhone is a little crazy. I also find reaching back to 1980s prices is a bit crazy.

However, I do understand your larger point. My preferences does remain, "Hey, all these devices work very well on their own, and if combined can be friction free." rather than "Hey, all these devices have to work together because we do not interoperate. Not that your point is against mine, but I just wanted to clarify from my side.

Leave a Comment