I can’t sleep on planes.
I used to be bored. Now I’m productive. My iPad is the reason why.
Since 2010 I used different versions of the Apple tablet:
- iPad 1st Gen: Didn’t really have much use for it other than adding weight in my bag. Joking aside, when my old laptop died during my exchange semester it was a handy tool to finish off the last weeks of uni without buying a new device.
- iPad mini 2: Really cool device. Portable and capable of everything I wanted (browsing, reading, etc.) – it filled a perfect niche: travel companion.
In 2018 I snagged an iPad Pro 11 inch. Since a couple of people have asked about my experience and specific use cases I decided to write these down.
November 2018 was game time. I ordered the following setup:
- iPad Pro 11 inch (2018) // 256GB of storage
- Initially ordered 12.9 inch but way too big + heavy as laptop (comes with the downsides of a larger device without all the benefits // still, might make sense for artists for stationary usage)
- Pencil is a must since it unlocks a more intuitive interaction – specifically for creative workflows
- Keyboard is great // feels nice + supports most shortcuts
When it launched, Apple advertised the iPad Pro as a full-on laptop replacement, which it wasn’t. There were too many limitations:
- No possibility to connect external storage via USB-C port
- No ability to connect bluetooth mouse
- All browsing was done in mobile-browsing mode (despite 11 and 12.9 inch screen form factor)
- No proper file management
Then came iPad OS.
iPad OS: Turning a Tablet Into a 95% Laptop Replacement
Apple listened and fixed all of the kinks.
Creative Machine: My Use Cases
- Work – taking notes (replaces paper + syncs with all my other devices) + email
- Travel – consuming information and doing brain dumps while travelling
- Create – illustrate; edit photos
- Light/versatile —> don’t have to stow away during take-off and landing (since it counts as mobile device)
- Has different modes of usage (keyboard vs. screen vs. pencil)
- Not a 100% replacement for laptop (e.g. excel; logic pro X; recordbox; etc.)
Software: Apps I Use
- Usually doing everything on chrome but since iPadOS (Nov 2019) Safari on iPad supports desktop browsing which is a huge deal (see below)
- Notes – Perfect note taking + syncs with all other devices
- Evernote – when working on iPad only
- GMail/Outlook – for email
- Slack – team comms
- Sheets/Excel – for viewing of information (but not really geared to edit/create)
- 1password – pw management
- Google/Microsoft Authenticator – MFA apps
- Zoom/Skype – if call is needed
- Trello – task management
- Soundcloud/Spotify – listening to music
- Wired – app to read magazine in digital format
- Pocket – saved articles for offline reading
- Kindle – books
- Netflix – download for offline viewing
- Youtube – watching clips
- Procreate – amazing way to do illustrations/covers/etc // check it out, it’s a sick app
- Photo Editing
- Lightroom Mobile – best way to edit images on the go (just pluck in SD card and start working)
- Google Photos – unlimited storage // but compressed
- Garage Band – play around
- Blocs Wave – coming up with track ideas
- Photo Editing
- Great tool to use while traveling (during commute + just as a light device)
- Other applications, which are more suitable for a tablet (sketching; faster photo editing; reading)
- A year in I’m very happy