iPad Revelations & Misery

I really miss my MacBook. I’m a firm believer that using the right tool makes you happier and is therefore more sustainable in the long run. Since September, I have been relegated to using my iPad Pro exclusively for all my needs. In some ways, it has been both a revelation and joy to use. In other respects, it has been abject misery.

Protability

Where the iPad shines for me is it’s portability. This thing is incredibly light. Solidly built and has an incredible battery that keeps on going and going. The fact that the pencil is magnetically attached to the top means it’s always charged and ready to go. All in all, it is definitely the road warrior that I imagined it to be. I opted for the 12.9” version, which is right for me, in most cases. It gets a bit big when I write notes, but this is mainly a mindset thing that I need to get past and work into my routine.

Keyboard Support

While this isn’t perfect, I use this with two keyboards. One by Apple and it’s perfect and the other by Logitech and it works great at work as I need to flip between a Windows machine and my iPad. The only issue I’ve ever really had is that sometimes support across various apps has been pretty buggy recently. Most notably with iAWriter, the keyboard goes haywire if I switch between apps. Its restored only when I restart the app.

Apps

Apps like GoodNotes, Procreate, iFontMaker, Stop Motion Pro, and PDFExpert truly shine on this machine in a way that other apps cannot. There are the apps that have been adapted exceptionally well. iA Writer. Soulver. Drafts. Affinity’s Photos and Designer work surprisingly well but they falter by the limitations of the iPad’s poor support of a mouse which is where these types of apps shine.

Then there are the apps that don’t exist on the platform. The Archive. Affinity say that they are working on a version for their Publisher app, but until then, creating books isn’t really all that possible - sure there is Pages…but I mean, c’mon guys. It’s called an iPad Pro. No Web Developer tools of note. The ones available are barely ok, but certainly not as powerful as what already comes with desktop safari.

Buggy Software

This is something that I have noticed a sharp addition of bugs for iOS13. It’s not been great. Everything from dictionary support to weird and wonderful bugs with the keyboard support. As this is my main machine for production, it’s frustrating.

Fonts

Yes, you can have your own fonts installed, except for some reason, it’s only through third party apps (none of which are very good). Why the hell isn’t this baked into the OS?


Fixing It

I know it’s fashionable to pile onto the iPad at the moment. The truth is that it wouldn’t take very much for me not to pine over my macbook.

  1. Add the Safari Developer Tools.
  2. Give proper mouse support to the OS.
  3. Design a nice interface for font management.
  4. Sort out the bugs related to the keyboard support.

Moonshot

The thing that would be the real game changer for me is if the 3rd party developers are enticed to actually develop real productivity software for the platform. I’d love to see ports of Mac apps on iOS. Make it happen Apple. It’s the sort of crazy shit Steve Jobs would ask for. This would allow me to have The Archive, Hemingway, Highland, Marsedit and any number of other great Mac apps that I have already paid for and currently have no way to use.