For those interested in going mobile with iPad

(Wilson Ng) #21

If you get the Smart Keyboard for the 10.5” iPad Pro, that makes its extremely slim. It combines a stand, keyboard, and cover to make a thin profiled device.

My current setup is an iPad Air 2 with an Apple Bluetooth keyboard. I have a keyboard case to protect it. All of this fits inside my Tumi messenger bag. My MBP 13” wouldn’t fit in it.

I am thinking of getting an iPad Pro 10.5” with a Smart Keyboard eventually but the iPad Air 2 is still functional for me. So I can’t upgrade just yet. The only real incentive for me is if I am going to start doing more work editing with a photo app or graphic work with a drawing app. It’s hard to describe it but it just feels different using your finger or Apple Pencil directly on the iPad screen instead of a mouse or trackpad for drawing. I feel like I’m actually working on paper instead of trying to match my finger on the trackpad to the cursor on the screen.

I love the iOS to Mac handoff feature to be able to work on the same document on my Mac or my iPad.

I’ve been using Handoff for Pages, Numbers, and Pixelmator to switch between iPad and Mac mini while editing documents.

I also use Moon Invoice app on both my Mac mini and my iPad. I thought it would be interesting to use the Apple Pencil for customers signing invoices when I’m outside the office. But it feels like a luxury right now.

My daughters already have ipad minis for themselves. It was a simple matter to get them their own Bluetooth keyboard and they can use it for their school projects instead of buying a MacBook Air. They just have one device instead of getting an iPad and a MacBook Air.

If you’re happy with the MBP 13”, stick with it. Ugh you need to find a role for it. You might not need it now. Revisit this idea in the future. Or just get an iPad and tinker with it. You won’t know when to use it until it finally bonks you right between the eyes.

(Wilson Ng) #22

Apple just released a new commercial promoting the iPad Pro as a notebook replacement. It’ll be awhile before it becomes widely accepted but I think the new generation of kids are taking to it very well. it’s us older adults that are still clinging to our notebooks and desktop computers. But for most use case scenarios, the iPad Pros are becoming common.

Apple has control over their ARM chip processor and can customize the chipset to their specifications. MacBooks and Mac desktop computers still rely on the Intel motherboard but Apple doesn’t really have any control over the chipset.

I suspect that the ARM processors will become powerful enough to overtake Intel chip performance.

These are interesting times to be living in.

(Curtis Spendlove) #23

I used to feel this way. But the cellular plan for the iPad is worth its weight in gold. All the itty bits of tethering friction just disappear. The biggest being that I don’t have to be constantly charg my iPhone due to the tethering battery drain.

(Curtis Spendlove) #24

I have found this to be absolutely true. I prefer my iPad to be highly mobile. And with a keyboard case or such that mobility takes a bit of a hit.

That said, I don’t use the iPad as much for “highly mobile” stuff anymore. So, what I’m hoping is that my iPhone X will be sufficient for the mobile stuff I do: triage, reading, other media stuff.

If so, I’m going to invest in at least a 10.5” iPad Pro. I will probably go all in and shoot for a 12.9”. I will likely keep it in a keyboard case and use it when I don’t want to pack my “massive” MBP (13”) around.

I can do most of my productivity work, including web app development with the iPad, but there are definite compromises.

That said, my current array of devices is 2 windows laptops, a MacBook Pro 13”, an iPad Air 2, and Galaxy S7 Edge (which is being replaced with an iPhone X as soon as T-Mobile can get it to me.

I desperately want to minimize my gadget requirements.

(Justin DiRose) #25

David Sparks just posted about this as well.

He said,

If I had 35 years experience using a tablet like I do the mouse and keyboard, I’d probably be just as fast.

I think you’re exactly right @wilsonng, and I think Apple realizes this. If they can impact the youth of this generation to use tablets now, they’ll want to use them later. I can only imagine what the workforce will look like 20 years from now with this focus on tech today.

(Wilson Ng) #26

I’m just amazed that I’m using a little phone that packs more power than what a computer in the '80s and '90s had. Dictating a message on my iPhone? Mind blown. Being able to watch movies and read books without needing a VCR player or waiting by my television for “appointment TV?” Holy craps. Using map apps such as Waze, Google Maps, and Apple Maps to find my way to that new burrito restaurant? Amazing.

I remembered when the mouse was dismissed as a gimmick input device. Wifi being a suitable transport mechanism instead of carrying a 5.25" floppy disk or 3.5" floppy or even a thumb drive now? My kids laugh at dinosaur technology.

Eliminating USB ports and headphone ports in favor of cloud? My kids ask why do I need this holes in my phone? I just put on bluetooth earbuds and just use iMessages or Dropbox. My kids scratch their heads when they see my music CD library when they’re used to Apple Music or Spotify.

It’s still evolving and the apps are getting better. I wouldn’t think of the iPad as a notebook replacement. It’s more of a complementary device at this point in 2017/ But let’s see what it looks like in 2027. There’s all these rumors of Apple wanting to ditch Intel and move everything over to the ARM processors that are in our iOS devices. MacOS is based on a robust foundation based on Unix. iOS is a fresh operating system that’s been slowly built up from the ground up when the first iPhone was introduced. Ten years later, it’s shown tremendous leaps in technologies and features.

I’ve been practicing by learning how to use Apple Pages, Numbers, and Keynotes on my iPad instead of on my Mac. It can be frustrating but it’s slowly getting better.


Working on an iPad Pro is a different world to working on a laptop. What you want to use it for would dictate whether it’s worth it or not. What do you use your laptop for on a daily basis?

For me, I’ve been working full time on my iPad Pro for over a year, and it’s the single best decision I’ve ever made. I’m a writer and occasional artist, so I mostly use Ulysses, apps like Procreate for drawing with the pencil (which is magic), along with photo editing, etc. I’ve also used it for video editing.

For writing, it’s an absolute joy, and I think the joy comes from the focused nature of it, and the increased immersion with what you’re doing. It’s like you’re a greater part of the work, and involved in it on a more primal level.

I would recommend reading this:

(Wilson Ng) #28

Sometimes I find my computer too distracting. I have all my apps loaded and it’s just too tempting. Today is a day where I get back to some writing during some quiet time in this busy Holiday Retail Shopping Season. My 27" screen just feels too big when I’m using single app mode on my Mac Mini.

It’s kinda nice to be able to move over to a small corner in the shop with the iPad and just start doing some Deep Work. The smaller screen size helps me focus and I can always move away to another part of the building to get some quiet space. I’m just trying to find a little time away to get back to some projects that been placed on the back burner.

(Joe Buhlig) #29

Email, writing, web development, code research, web design research, and SSH access to servers.

Email, writing, and most of the research could be done on an iPad. But the others don’t fit too well if at all. I’ve tried to determine how to do development on an iPad but never found it to be possible. That’s the main issue I face. If it’s not possible to do part of my work on the iPad and every other aspect is possible on the Mac, why add an iPad? Especially when it’s a tool that does the same work in roughly the same amount of time.

This is important for me as well. Especially when I’m considering a device add. I currently travel with my phone and the Mac. But the Mac is so small anymore that I don’t see it as “huge” and non-mobile.

Something I tell folks going into IT of any kind is that they should treat laptops as a mobile device. They rarely sit in an office full-time and often end up at home, in coffee shops, etc. Mine is no different. It’s with me a lot. Are there times when the iPad would be nice? Sure. But those times are limited.

(Wilson Ng) #30

I think the purchase of your iPhone X negates the need for an iPad at this point.

I have my MBP 13” encased in a rugged case from Urban Armor gear.. So it is bulkier. Yeah, I do miss the sleek design of a naked MBP 13” but I’m a klutz. Therefore, I need that case. It’s light but durable enough to give me comfort.

But even without the case, I couldn’t fit my MBP 13” inside my Tumi messenger bag. But I can fit my IPad Air 2 in a bulky Otterbox Defender case and the Apple Bluetooth keyboard inside my Tumi bag. So it’s still a smaller profile. I think if I bought the Apple Smart Keyboard case, it would be even slimmer.

As @drewcoffman mentioned in the Whims That Work podcast, my life has become a bit more iPad-centric. I can see how @joebuhlig’s job will keep him tied to a Mac. I’m in a retail shop and it’s so much easier to walk around the sales floor with an iPad. If I had the MBP, I’d have to put it down on top of display case if I wanted to use it.


I don’t really know much about web development, but this covers some aspects of it:

At the end of the day, though, if you don’t think an iPad suits your work, there’s no need to get one. If you need to convince yourself, there’s probably no need :slight_smile:


There’s a really interesting post on iPad Pro for computer use and apps here:

(Wilson Ng) #33

And another interesting post about letting developers create one app for iOS and MacOS.

I’ve heard that Microsoft wants to bring Windows 10 to the smartphone experience. They’re already working hard on making their Surface devices work as a notebook/tablet experience.

I had guessed that MacOS was built on a rock steady foundation based on UNIX. Apple had the chance to build an operating system from scratch and nicknamed it iPhoneOS. This later became iOS. Apple slowly built it up to iOS 11 and has become a very capable device. I thought that Apple would slowly get MacOS developers switched over to iOS development and eventually phase out MacOS.

Maybe this Bloomberg article is the next phase of transitioning developers over. old Mac users had to endure the 68K Motorola Macs and switch to the PowerPC platform. Then there was the switch from the PowerPC platform to the Intel platform. It was a rough transition that eventually worked itself out.

I’m finding that I don’t need use VMWare Fusion/Windows 10 to run my Windows app because there are many apps available on iOS that replaced my Windows apps.

Google is also trying to get users to switch over to ChromeOS and allowing Android developers fine tune their apps to work on mobile devices on chromeOS computers.

So we’ll see how this experiment goes. It’s interesting to see the future develop right before our very eyes.

(Joe Buhlig) #34

Coda is a pretty sweet looking app. I’ve had my eye on it for it a while. The trouble I have with it comes when you look at the type of development I do, which requires database connections and multiple servers running at one time. You can get there with Coda (barely) but it necessitates an external server runnning somewhere that you are remotely accessing via Coda. And even then you can only really debug one aspect at a time. I’m often looking at three or four server components at once.

But I don’t disagree that this is something folks are working on. I think it’s only a matter of time before my kind of dev work can be done on iOS.

(Rosemary Jayne Orchard) #35

I’m getting there with DraftCode, I do quite a bit via Coda as well - but I’d much prefer to have a full IDE.

(Joe Buhlig) #36

I’ve not worked with either at this point. There are simply too many hoops to jump through to get iPad development to work. And I think the fundamental sticking point is the lack of control over the OS itself. Unless someone comes up with an app that can run multiple local servers and allow them to interact with each other, it will never work for me.

And even then, it’s a really small screen for it. :wink:

But thanks for mentioning DraftCode. That’s not one I’ve seen so far.