iPad Pro Instead of a Laptop: Day 1

Blog, Technology

I’ve been here before. A couple of years ago I tried to use an iPad instead of a laptop to see if it would work. It didn’t. Everything simply took longer to do and it was a frustrating experience. Since then with the release of the iPad Pro, iPads got bigger, got more powerful and most importantly, got multitasking. So I decided to try this experiment again. This time, my expectations will be far more reasonable. I’m not ruling out using a laptop completely, there are still some things that I need to do (printing – I don’t have an AirPrint printer) with a ‘proper’ computer. This ‘diary’ isn’t going to be daily, but I’ll come back from time to time whenever I have some interesting observations to make.

I’m now sitting here with an iPad Pro typing this blog post reflecting on a day where most of what I did was achieved using this tablet. Here are my thoughts so far:

Apple Pencil

The biggest surprise for me so far is how useful the Apple Pencil has been. I don’t/can’t draw. I never really bought it for that, instead I thought it would be nice to make hand-written notes from time to time as typing can be a bore. Also, signing documents in Microsoft Office has been a massive benefit for me so far. However, the pencil has been so much more than that. I use it as a stylus to navigate around the iPad (sorry Steve). When you have the tablet resting on the keyboard, lifting your arm all the time to touch the screen can be fatiguing. The Apple Pencil for me has taken on more of the role of a mouse (which you know I wanted after writing this article). I navigate, use it to make precise edits to images or audio files and a hell of a lot more. It’s incredibly comfortable to hold and despite its heavy price tag, completely worth it.

iPad Pro

FileBrowser on the iPad Pro is Useful

FileBrowser is an app from the AppStore that allows you to access a number of different cloud storage services, network drives and wireless hard drives. You can copy files between different locations, preview documents and manage your files in a much more convenient way than other similar apps. Having access to network drives at work has been very useful and in fact, is quicker to do than on my MacBook Pro.

Audio Editing is Better, Almost Brilliant

This evening I needed to record a voiceover for a video I’m making. I hooked up my Rode NT-USB microphone to the iPad Pro using the Camera connection kit, booted up Auria and recorded what I need to. Editing waveforms using your hand or pencil is much quicker than a mouse. Audio apps have their limitations (especially when exporting), but no doubt this will get better over time. I hope Adobe release Audition for iPad. That would be killer.

Adobe Photoshop sucks, Pixelmator Rules

I was updating my website on my iPad Pro. I needed to resize and crop an image to a specific size. Do you think Adobe’s Photoshop apps could help me? Nope. Useless. Pixelmator was far better and made it easy to get the image dimensions I wanted.

WordPress in Browser is Better than the App

As I said above, I needed to edit my website earlier. WordPress’ app for the iPad Pro just gave me a headache. It’s far too limiting. However, the big screen size of the iPad Pro means that the browser-based backend for a WordPress site displays just fine so you can edit and change just like you do on a laptop or desktop.

They’re my initial thoughts for now. I’m sure over the next few days there will be a few more things I come across.

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