Several weeks ago we run a poll that asked the very simple question; could you use the iPad as your only computer?
It made me wonder about whether I really could, what the toll on my productivity would be, and how it would change the way I did things. Could I truly ditch my MacBook and move over the the iPad permanently?
Next week I’m actually going to try it, I’m going to power down my MacBook and lock it away – give my iPad a baptism of fire, its first experience in the trenches! I’ll follow this up next week once the experiment has reached its conclusion, but first here are some thoughts on what I’ll love and what I’ll miss…
Before I get fully stuck in I thought I’d share a graph with you, and who doesn’t like the odd graph?
While only a small portion of AppStorm readers could get away with using just their iPad, possibly due to most people having at least one thing they need to do that it’s not capable of. The interesting thing is that a great deal more readers could use their iPad almost all of the time!
Not a great deal needs to change to see those people dropping their full-time computers and turning to the iPad, and with a slightly bigger push it might also be possible to grab those people who can see it happening in the future! Let’s take a look at some Pros and Cons, who doesn’t like a good list?
When it comes to physical size and weight, the iPad is sitting pretty. It’s effortlessly easy to throw in a bag and carry around, and won’t take a toll on your neck muscles…
This means you can work almost anywhere with consumate ease, from a coffee shop to a plane. This size and weight advantage can’t be underestimated, I anticipate it to be one of the most enjoyable things about using solely the iPad for a week – the sheer freedom!
Looking at it from a different point of view, the lack of a physical keyboard is a surefire way to slow down your typing. And, while multitasking gestures have helped, there are a lot of things that are faster using a mouse and some nifty keyboard shortcuts…
For some the slower processing power might have an impact, but in reality (and for my purposes) the iPad actually feels quicker – partly because I have yet to move over to an SSD in my primary machine.
All software on the iPad works seamlessly, and that’s a big bonus! There are a vast number of apps in the App Store to achieve what you want to achieve, and many high quality apps in most categories. The form of multitasking that you get on the iPad could actually help you focus more on one thing at a time.
With the addition of a few apps, such as TextExpander and 1Password, the iPad can certainly compete when it comes to being productive, while the natural interconnectedness of iOS could make some tasks easier.
There are a couple of big cons here. First up are the limitations that the App Store places on app availability, some of the apps that you might use daily just aren’t there (and some never will be). One person noted on the poll I mentioned earlier that they couldn’t do bookkeeping from the iPad as the version of Quickbooks that you can get in the App Store doesn’t do everything that they need to do – something that I’m sure is the case for a number of apps.
The differences between OS X and iOS will also feature as a negative for the iPad, with a key problem for some being the lack of an easily accessible file system (you can achieve some things using Dropbox and other apps but it’s not the same).
I have to say that I’m quite excited going into this. I really enjoy using my iPad and hope that I discover more and more how useful it can be!
I’ll be sure to report back in a week or so with my findings…