iPad Pro A week with the 9.7" iPad Pro as my primary computer

Discussion in 'iPad' started by DougFNJ, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. DougFNJ macrumors 6502a

    DougFNJ

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #1
    I never thought to consider using my 9.7" iPad Pro for primary computing when I purchased it. I thought it to be a great compliment for what iPads were initially intended for. An in between device for my iPhone and MacBook.

    Unfortunately, my MacBook was having some issues with freezing and slowdowns. I brought it to the Apple Store on Monday, and they had to send it out, most likely they will have to change out the logic board. SO before they shipped it, I moved my important files over to Dropbox, and I figured this would be a good opportunity to see how well I could do using just my 9.7" iPad Pro for computing. I have the Smart Keyboard, regular Smart Cover, and the Apple Pencil, and my iPad is Cellular. Here is my experience.

    Beginning with hardware, I have regularly swapped the Smart Keyboard and Smart Cover when I had a lot of typing to do, I have found a LOT of value in the keyboard this week and really glad I made the investment when I bought the iPad to begin with. The shortcuts are great, and being a touch typer I have been able to type just as fast as my MacBook with little errors. It's a little heavier than the cover, and it doesn't stay put to the back of the iPad when reading as well as the cover, and that's why I bought both. For the portability, this little combo is excellent.

    As far as the Apple Pencil, I am using it the same way I have all along. Notes, highlights, and drawing. Apple Pencil was my main reason for upgrading from the Air 2 to begin with, it has not disappointed. There have been times when my bag was not with me, I would write notes on a notepad, take a photo of them in Goodnotes and it's as if I wrote them up there, I could continue the notes and highlighting and never worry about losing a piece of paper with important info on it again.

    One of the biggest complaints many have is that iPads don't have file systems integrated in IOS. I have to say Dropbox has worked as a perfect workaround for this. My major files in Word Docs and Excel Spreadsheets are just as accessible and work just as well on my iPad as they do my MacBook. The edits and changes I make to templated spreadsheets and docs are great, and I am able to save the work on the fly. This is where I thought I would struggle, and it has worked out so much better than I anticipated. I am really happy with the changes Microsoft has made with Office for these devices. I always primarily used Office on my iPad to view docs and spreadsheets, I was always stubbornly hesitant to do the major work because it was always easier to just open the Mac and do them there. The verdict I am finding is that the iPad Pro is just as capable. The only con is that I cannot open 2 docs or spreadsheets side by side. I can however view one through Dropbox and edit on Excel or Word. But the screen real estate is a bit limited. So my next purchase will most likely be a lightning to HDMI so I could work on a monitor when I need to.

    I am also not feeling like I miss the mouse or trackpad. Being that the screen is small, tapping works just as well as clicking.

    Another thing I appreciate about emails now is that I could add attachments through Dropbox navigating to the file just as easy as I do on my MacBook. Silly, I didn't realize you could do it that way, but mailing files that I had worked on was another reason I used to grab for the MacBook, I figured it was easier to drag and drop. I am discovering simple things this week that I had no idea I could do just as easily on my iPad as I could my MacBook because I was just used to doing things one way only.

    For entertainment, I have always used my iPads for reading books, magazines, and newspapers. Web searching, simple games. Nothing really changed here.

    The cons I have found this week are few, but big enough where I will always need my MacBook. Flash was a big one. It's old, it slows down my work, but too many websites still use it, and my iPad will never have it. The side by side multi tasking is important, and although I have workarounds, they are not significant enough to substitute full time. I still need my more robust programs like Final Cut, and although Dropbox worked well for me for my files, I still like having them on board.

    So the verdict is I will not be getting rid of my MacBook anytime soon. I also will not be finding any reason to upgrade it as often as I did. I found my iPad Pro to be a lot more capable than I had realized, and found uses for it that I probably would not had known had I not gone full time with the iPad this week. Although I will definitely be using my iPad Pro even more now, and I won't be nervous if I decide to leave my MacBook home for the day, I will always have a need for a Laptop.
     
  2. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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  3. matt2053 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 8, 2012
    #3
    I've had similar experiences. I'm now at the point where Monday thru Thursday nights I just leave my MacBook Pro at work on my desk. If I need to do something quick at home, I can pretty much always do it from my iPad Pro. I just bring my MBP home on the weekends now. So nice to not have to lug a whole laptop bag back and forth every day. I just grab my iPad with Smart Keyboard and go!

    Only spot where we really differ is the Pencil. My wife has one and I've played around with it, but I'm so much more comfortable typing notes now, rather than handwriting them, that I don't see the utility there for me.

    Anyways, thanks for your review!
     
  4. masotime, Jun 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016

    masotime macrumors 68000

    masotime

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    Jun 24, 2012
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    #4
    I have to ask, what websites are you browsing that still use Flash and you need Flash to properly use that website?
     
  5. Dave Meadows macrumors 68020

    Dave Meadows

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    #5
    I have Dropbox but find I don't have much space, despite not syncing my photos there. Just wondering, do you pay for Dropbox or manage with the free space?
     
  6. DougFNJ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DougFNJ

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    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #6
    Normally I would type those notes, and I actually do when on the phone with clients. But when sitting in front of customers, I found it to be distracting for them and took the focus off the presentation. So until the Apple Pencil, I wrote them in a notebook. It's not as distracting writing on a screen vs typing, and actually works out to be a quick ice breaker before the meeting begins.

    Work related sites, and customer sites that are not very fond of change.

    No, I don't pay them anything. I just keep important documents on it that I know I regularly update and need.

    It really is great sometimes being forced out of my comfort zone which is why I wrote this up. It's changing certain work habits, and trying things I was hesitant to try before I had to.
     
  7. masotime macrumors 68000

    masotime

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    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #7
    That's amazing. I can't imagine any "professional" use for Flash - it's usually only for video / animation / games. As for customer sites, no major "customer site" I know of still uses Flash - I suppose legacy ones would have those long-winded Flash introductions before going into their website, but I usually just skip them all together.

    So you're saying you literally cannot use these site at all if Flash is not enabled? It's rare for a website these days to have content that isn't separate from the Flash animations.
     
  8. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    #8
    Very refreshing attitude, and atypical for the macrumors forums.
     
  9. zosokm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    #9
    I have started using my ipad pro 9.7 inch (256GB)as my primary work computer and haven't used my macbook air even once.
    Puffin browser is free and allows viewing flash sites. icab browser is great as it makes up for most of the deficiencies of safari on iOS . Office on the ipad is great for my work and I even started doing all my presentations on it.
    Documents by readdle is a great file manager and works great with my cloud storage as well . I use san disk connect to export files which need to be opened on windows laptops (particularly presentations in ppt format which I have created on my ipad). The apple smart keyboard really makes the ipad a much more productive device.
    I found that particularly for office , the ipad pro is blazing fast and much faster than my macbook air.
    There are shortcomings , but apples wonderful App Store ecosystem makes up for it .
    The one thing that I had hoped was the implementation of split view for apps, the only app for which this has been implemented is in iOS 10 is safari . (cab browser already had this ). Hoping to see this in other apps.
    Overall the ipad pro 9.7 inch is ultralight and a great personal computing device .
     
  10. xaqt93 macrumors 6502

    xaqt93

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    #10
    Okay, I have to give my reply, I use my iPad Pro 9.7 as my main computer and I have not used my MacBook at all. I've actually gotten rid of it because I don't have an actual use for it anymore. Using the iPad Pro is great and I recommend it for people who are just using a computer as, you know, a basic computer. Haha.
     
  11. Channan macrumors 68030

    Channan

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    Mar 7, 2012
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    New Orleans
    #11
    I use my iPads for the majority of my use. Only use my MacBook Pro every couple of weeks at this point. I don't really need a laptop at this point, but I still couldn't imagine getting rid of it.
     
  12. xaqt93 macrumors 6502

    xaqt93

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    #12
    Trust me, I definitely miss my Computer, but I didn't use it for what I could have been using it for. I honestly miss Xcode, but I have an iMac for that and I have never built apps or have had a need to bother with an app while I'm on the go...and if it is really ever needed, I can use Parallels to connect to my iMac. I haven't had a reason though...iCloud makes everything perfect!
     
  13. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #13
    Great review. Thanks for sharing. I've largely switched to iPad only for personal use. Unlike you, I ended up selling my Air, but there are a still a few times when I want to reach for my wife's MBP.

    I imagine that at some point, I'll get another Mac, but today is not that day.


    My employer just launched a new intranet site for its employees that requires Silverlight. Ask me how I feel about that.
     
  14. xaqt93 macrumors 6502

    xaqt93

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    #14
    Check this out! personally have not tried it, but it may help you.

    http://appamatix.com/download-silverlight-ipad-iphone/
     
  15. DougFNJ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DougFNJ

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
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    NJ
    #15
    I appreciate that, and it's funny how many refuse to think out of the box with a company that coined the term, "think differently" isn't it?

    I am really enjoying reading the discussion that's evolved here. I was hoping for this. Some great ideas. I give credit to those that have gone off the laptop/computer altogether. It goes to show you that it's the direction computing is going. Imagine the day an iPad Pro gets the full working MacOS? My MacBook now has no moving parts and no fans. My mobile computing had gone far enough to get me off the MacBook Pro, ports, CD Rom and 90% wireless. At this point, we have a generation growing up that will have never had to plug an iDevice into a computer, and will have grown up with touch displays. The first iPhone began as a great idea that needed the technology to catch up to it to be created. Now we are far enough with technology that the great ideas and conceptions can be developed and brought to market so quickly. It's exciting times we are headed for in computing.
     
  16. masotime macrumors 68000

    masotime

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    Jun 24, 2012
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    San Jose, CA
    #16
    Yeah that sounds awful. As a web developer, I lament that the web still hasn't rallied around open HTML5 standards and web workers etc. Oh well :(
     
  17. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #17
    Oops, you just went off the rails there. A legacy desktop OS doesn't belong anywhere near the iPad.
     
  18. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    Jan 1, 2011
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    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    #18
    Pretty much the same boat here. Once I left a part time job that relied heavily on TextPlus, I find I can do almost everything I need on my iPad. I've always used it for reading and taking notes.

    The only major thing I still need my Mac for is using my Silhouette vinyl cutter. The iOS app just does not cut it. Pun intended. I'm also very disappointed with the Facebook app, now that I need to use it for the new business. It's next to useless.
     
  19. Booji macrumors 6502a

    Booji

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    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #19
    Thank you very much for sharing - great discussion! I might just try this but I've been hesitant that I might come to a situation where there is not a work-around and I'm out of luck for something important at work - like having to deal with some massive spreadsheet full of pivot tables and arrays, or having to work amongst several PowerPoint presentations at one time.
     
  20. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    #20
    I do expect iOS to eventually become as capable as macOS.
     
  21. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    Aug 8, 2008
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    Manhattan
    #21
    The only thing I can't efficiently use my iPad for is applying to jobs. I can certainly edit a resume and cover letter on an iPad, but I haven't found a way to upload it to a random employer application job board *unless* I previously uploaded it to that job site on my computer. Since every job requires a custom cover letter and sometimes a custom resume--I'm always at my computer. I've got these documents in Google drive and One Drive, and these apps are on my iPad, but there seems to be no way to transfer them unless I'm missing something obvious.
     
  22. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    #22
    I don't know how these job sites are set up, but you can attach files from Google drive, One drive, etc to MacRumors forum posts by clicking "upload a file," then "choose file," then the file location pop-up comes up. Isn't there something similar on those job sites?
     
  23. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    Manhattan
    #23
    The major aggregate job sites often do, but the postings for indivual employers often do not provide the option to upload from Google Drive. It's hit or miss.
     
  24. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #24
    Hmmmm. Well, I googled "upload to website from ios" and seems there are some apps that purportedly lets you do this. Perhaps one of them will work for you?

    I know that ideally, iOS should support uploads to all sites natively, but the thing about iOS is there's always been apps that try to provide workarounds for things not supported natively. Nay-sayers make a big deal about having to find workarounds for basic functions, but hey, they let me get work done without toting around my laptop.
     
  25. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #25
    It's all fun and games until a desktop OS ends up on a tablet. LOL

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. There are a few, handful of tweaks (mostly minor ones) that Apple can make to iOS to allow the iPad Pro to go a bit further in usefulness and productivity. Though people will most likely disagree as to what those tweaks should be based on their own particular use cases.

    None of which require the incorporation of a desktop OS.

    If someone REALLY wants a desktop OS on a tablet, the Surface devices are exactly what happens with that.
     

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