I had intended to write a year’s worth of articles about my experience using the iPad Pro full-time as my main computing device. Granted, my current job, which is in web development, requires that I use a laptop and has issued me one accordingly. Not to say I didn’t give it the old college try.
But alas, I am here to write that more than a month ago I gave up the dream of using the iPad as my main computer. As much as I wanted to make it happen it was just not meant to be. The dream of being as productive as Federico Viticci would not replicate itself with me. Nor was my patience.
When you try to use something not necessarily designed for your needs, you immediately recognize those things which make it nearly impossible to use. I had no idea until I began using the iPad Pro as my main device how much I relied on a desktop browser or a mouse. Using the touchscreen as the only way to interact with a device turned out to be not ideal for me. Reaching up and swiping and smudging on the iPad Pro’s large screen took longer than keyboard shortcuts or clicking around with a mouse. Maybe I’m getting old school like this now? But I just don’t find the touchscreen (when it’s the only available way to interact with an OS) as a productive option for user experience.
I tried the Dolphin browser, which promised to have more desktop features. But was still handicapped by what Apple allows other iOS apps to do. The same problem with iCab. [More details my reviews of browsers for the iPad can be found here.]
Don’t get me wrong! It was fun trying something different. To explore what I could do and what I couldn’t do with the iPad Pro. Or what workarounds I could try out. I do love experimenting. Maybe that is why I do a lot of QAing and testing for a living, right now?
But honestly, iOS is still not ready for prime time. It is a great operating system with a lot of promise of one day perhaps becoming a desktop level system. But I feel like it is still light years away. Apple has laid the foundation, but very few, if any developers are biting. There are maybe a handful of apps that are somewhat desktop level. But the majority focus on mobile first. Granted, Apple probably already knows this. That is why they are trying to make it so developing an app for iOS will one day be done in the same fashion as developing software for the Mac. So that everything would be seamless and easily respond to a desktop or mobile environment.
I think that’s neat!
After calling defeat I resolved to sell my iPad Pro rather than continue with my frustration. With the money I was able to get back from selling my iPad, I now plan to put it toward getting a new MacBook, hopefully sometime this year.
I used to have a MacBook Pro a few years ago. But when Apple released the 12” MacBook I leaped at the chance to give it a try. And guess what? What did I end up missing? The ability to play games like Sim City and Civilization. So, after a few years of experimenting with more mobile friendly-devices, I have resolved to admit that what I really need … what I really want is a powerful MacBook Pro. I don’t need the most powerful MacBook Pro, but for my needs I I need one that can at least handle Sim City and/or Civilization.
I have played around with the idea of switching to Windows by buying their Surfaceb Book 2. But through my research, most of my preferred apps are, for the time being, exclusively on MacOS. And if they’re on MacOS, they’re more likely to have an iOS version available. So, that also makes me still locked in with an iPhone.
I’m trapped in Apple’s ecosystem, for better or for worse. But do I really want to leave? Or am I just continuously curious about trying something different? Unfortunately, my pocketbook and my wife are not amused by this expensive habit of mine. Getting a new MacBook Pro will probably be the last big electronic purchase I will make in a long time.
I look forward to seeing what Apple develops in the future for iOS and the iPad Pro. But for now, I will remain rooting for them from the sidelines.