Apps - iPad as Computer

Momof9

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 22, 2018
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Do you use your iPad (Pro) as your computer? What are your favorite, useful apps that make this possible?

Email:

Email - multiple email addresses; unified in box, use keyboard shortcuts​

Browsers:

Chrome - sync bookmarks, more robust, request desktop site​

File Management:

Writing
:

Graphic Design:

Graphic - Vector images, Word Art
Affinity Photo - like Photoshop,
Music:

Web Design:

WordPress (but in browser)​




I am going to see if I can update this post with your apps.... Please leave a description of what the app does, why you like it and if you have a favorite tutorial link for that app...
 

thisismyusername

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2015
346
430
Some things I use:

Microsoft Remote Desktop - There are probably better alternatives but it works for me when I need to get into my home windows PC when traveling.

Network Analyzer - It's a network analyzer. Useful for all sorts of network related things, like 'ping'.

OpenVPN - I use it to get into my home network when traveling.

SimpleNote - A note taking app. I like it because it's free, cloud based, supports every platform you'd ever care about, very simple, and supports markdown. That said, I'd probably just use the built-in Notes app if I was 100% all in with Apple (I don't like using icloud.com to access them on non-Apple platforms due to how long it takes for that site to load).

The various Google services such as Docs, Sheets, Keep, etc.

The aforementioned Prompt 2 is one of the apps I use most when it comes to "real computer" type stuff. It's how I code on my iPad when I'm traveling.
 

sledgehammer89

macrumors regular
Jan 22, 2009
248
173
For terminal/ssh on iOS, there's nothing better than Prompt.
Is it possible to run a local Shell script iterating over iOS file in other Apps, piping output to sed, awk and other Unix commands? Or install Golang Compiler? Or run a batch of picture through 'convert' command from Imagemagick? Tag your music with EyeD3 command?

Everything is there on iPad: good display, good Smart Keyboard, even iOS is a Unix system. But I can cry why some basic Computer stuff isn't possible what's standard on a Computer, at least on macOS and Linux.
 

sean000

macrumors 68000
Jul 16, 2015
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1,895
Bellingham, WA
Do you use your iPad (Pro) as your computer?

Definitely. I have a 9.7 inch iPad Pro that was purchased for me by my employer. Before that I had a work-provided third gen iPad. It has been the device I take to meetings or for working in the field for years. I have been offered laptops and Surface tablets, but I have preferred to stay with the iPad. I do not have the stylus, because I don't think I would use it much. I don't have the keyboard either, because I had a bluetooth keyboard for my previous iPad that I rarely used. I don't mind typing on the display when I'm in a meeting. I occasionally use the old bluetooth keyboard for extended typing sessions, but it's rare.

What are your favorite, useful apps that make this possible?

A longer list is below, but here is the short list of what I use the most on the iPad:
  • OneNote
  • Slack
  • Outlook
  • TickTick
  • OneDrive for Business
  • Jira
  • Chrome (because so many things are web-accessible these days)

Email, instant messaging, and video conferencing:

  • I use the Outlook app since we are an Office 365 shop. It's actually quite outstanding. I can also use it to access my Office 365 groups. It also lets me access my work calendar.
  • I also use the native mail app for iOS so I can access shared mailboxes. It's not yet possible to access shared mailboxes from the Outlook app, but I can do it from the mail app by setting them up via IMAP.
  • Slack - This has replaced email for a lot of communication with my coworkers
  • Skype for Business (now morphing into Microsoft Teams) and Zoom are both used for video conferencing (Skype/Teams can also do instant messaging as well).

Browsers:

I also use Chrome as my primary browser, and it does make it easier to access the tabs on my desktop computer (which is Windows)​

File Management:

OneDrive for Business

Writing
:

  • OneNote - We use a lot of OneNote notebooks at work, and I can view or edit them easily from the iPad.
  • I also have the Word app on my iPad, but I don't use Word that much these days. OneNote is a much better option for the vast majority of my writing.

Web Design:

  • Drupal (browser based editor)
  • Confluence (for web-accessible KB articles)


Office 365 Administration


  • The Office 365 Admin app
  • Browser based interface (especially for more specific admin portals like Exchange Online)

Service Management (Service, Incident, Problem, Change)

Jira app for Jira Service Desk (cloud)

Task Management and general productivity

  • TickTick is my preferred task management tool
  • Toggl is my preferred time tracking tool (although our office is looking into Clockify)
  • RD Client or Teamviewer (when I need to remote into my Windows workstation)
  • Other Office 365 apps like PowerPoint, Excel, Visio Viewer, etc.
 

RecentlyConverted

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Oct 21, 2015
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RecentlyConverted

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Oct 21, 2015
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Disappointed with this thread. I was really hoping to discover some great useful apps that I may have missed.

The lack of response could be
- People don't want to post
- Users are using stock apps and are happy with them
- Users are using the apps already mentioned

Or it could be the fallacy of saying an iPad could replace a computer for serious users.

For me, the iPad remains a consumption device, that I use for simple work tasks when out and about, (where a bigger screen than a Plus iPhone is required). The real positive for me is the battery life, no worry of unit dying unlike laptops of old (with spinning HDD). But it could never as it stands (iOS) replace a computer for me. Even with a better OS, I would always want a Mac or PC, sometimes working to a deadline I have all three of my Mac screens (27" iMac & 2 Apple 24" Displays) in use.
 
Last edited:

JD2015

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2014
555
255
Do you use your iPad (Pro) as your computer? What are your favorite, useful apps that make this possible?

Email:

Email - multiple email addresses; unified in box, use keyboard shortcuts​

Browsers:

Chrome - sync bookmarks, more robust, request desktop site​

File Management:

Writing
:

Graphic Design:

Graphic - Vector images, Word Art
Affinity Photo - like Photoshop,
Music:

Web Design:

WordPress (but in browser)​




I am going to see if I can update this post with your apps.... Please leave a description of what the app does, why you like it and if you have a favorite tutorial link for that app...
Email- Native email app and Gmail. Outlook is good also.
Browsers - Safaroi, Chrome and ICabMobile
File Management - Files and Google Drive and Zipped. For photos I use Google Photos
Writing - Microsoft Word (App and web version), Ulysses and IThoughts. Ulysses is also very good. Have pages as a backup tool also.
PDF Management - PDF expert, PDF convertor, PDF Element, Scanbot, FineScanner
Presentations - Keynote and PowerPoint.
Mind mapping - IThoughts
Design/Video/Photos- OmniGraffle, IMovie, Typorama, Snapseed, Affinity Photo, PS Express, Affinity Designer
Spreadsheet - Excel and Numbers
Calendar and tasks - Fantastical and native Reminders.
Notes - Native Notes app
Remote work - Citrix with Citrix X1 mouse.
Referencing - Reference Me Website alongside Grammarly.

Use Apple Pencil alongside Apple Smart Keyboard.
 

sean000

macrumors 68000
Jul 16, 2015
1,551
1,895
Bellingham, WA
Disappointed with this thread. I was really hoping to discover some great useful apps that I may have missed.

The lack of response could be
- People don't want to post
- Users are using stock apps and are happy with them
- Users are using the apps already mentioned

Or it could be the fallacy of saying an iPad could replace a computer for serious users.

For me, the iPad remains a consumption device, that I use for simple work tasks when out and about, (where a bigger screen than a Plus iPhone is required). The real positive for me is the battery life, no worry of unit dying unlike laptops of old (with spinning HDD). But it could never as it stands (iOS) replace a computer for me. Even with a better OS, I would always want a Mac or PC, sometimes working to a deadline I have all three of my Mac screens (27" iMac & 2 Apple 24" Displays) in use.
I like the iPad because I need a device I can easily use on my feet. I know a lot of people who don’t do much with their laptops besides consume content. However if I am going to be working on content creation or manipulation for more than short periods of time, I’d rather use a laptop or desktop computer.

As far as app discovery goes, it’s such a personalized thing depending on the work one does. I can get away with doing a lot on the iPad because most of the software I use for work has iPad apps or at least a web interface. In fact I can do just about anything I need to do for work on my iPad, and for the few things I can’t do, I can just remote into my desktop computer. I know one thing I prefer about using an iPad to a laptop is the fact that it mirrors my iPhone apps and experience. The technology I rely on for both work and personal stuff resolves around my iPhone these days. Now the desktop/laptop computers are more specialized devices for specific kinds of tasks.
 

thisismyusername

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2015
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For terminal/ssh on iOS, there's nothing better than Prompt. It's almost as good as using macOS.
A couple of apps along these lines I've recently discovered:

Blink: Mosh/SSH client but it's command-line only. Nice if you prefer to type "ssh <server>" instead of using a GUI. It also supports remapping caps lock to escape or control which is reason enough for me to use it over Prompt.

iSH: A Linux shell. It's as close as you can get to having a real terminal on an iPad. It's running Alpine Linux in an emulator. I've only tried a few basic so far (vim and compiling a C Hello World program) but it works. It's beta and has bugs but looks like a pretty cool project.
 
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Donka

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May 3, 2011
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Lumafusion for video editing. Not quite at FCPX levels but miles ahead of the likes of iMovie or other mobile editing apps.
 

Nugget

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Nov 24, 2002
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Houston Texas USA
Blink: Mosh/SSH client but it's command-line only. Nice if you prefer to type "ssh <server>" instead of using a GUI. It also supports remapping caps lock to escape or control which is reason enough for me to use it over Prompt
Thanks for this recommendation. I think still Prompt has a slight edge for occasional/emergency use when using the on-screen keyboard. But for heavy use with an external keyboard attached Blink is absolutely incredible. It's way closer to having a real computer in front of you. After a few days of playing around it's definitely become my primary shell app.
 
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Treebark

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May 24, 2010
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The meme that the iPad Pro can't be a "real computer" is so tired. Why does anyone care? Some people use it as such, others don't. Anyway:

Chrome - sync bookmarks, more robust, request desktop site​
Just and FYI that Apple's Safari can do this too. Hold down on the refresh until the pop up with requesting desktop site appears.

Most of what I use has been mentioned, and I can't say enough good things about OneNote, but under writing you could put Ulysses as I know quite a few people swear by this as a good writing environment with document management built in.

How about something a "real computer" can't do? LiquidText ( https://www.liquidtext.net/ ) to my knowledge doesn't have anything similar in the Windows or even Mac ecosystem. If you just need to highlight some sentences in a PDF you don't need it. But if you are an editor, reviewer, researcher or many other functions and need to pull out excerpts to a workspace, link documents or pages with what amounts to hyperlinked lines, easily compare pages, etc. I've never found desktop app that does everything LiquidText does. But then again I haven't looked for quite some time as my two desktops go mostly unused. ;)
 

RecentlyConverted

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2015
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The meme that the iPad Pro can't be a "real computer" is so tired. Why does anyone care? Some people use it as such, others don't. Anyway:
For some of us, we genuinely want to learn how far we can push iOS devices, to make them as productive as possible. Great apps make a huge difference to these devices.
 

MacFinnley

macrumors 6502
Aug 30, 2014
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Munich, Germany
Mail: Apple Mail.
Notes: Agenda, Notability for hand written notes
Todo: Notion, a very powerful App I just discovered
Messenger: Slack
Writing: iAwriter, Google Docs
Presentation: Paste (love it)
File manager: Apple Files
 

Treebark

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2010
296
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For some of us, we genuinely want to learn how far we can push iOS devices, to make them as productive as possible. Great apps make a huge difference to these devices.
I probably wasn't clear...what I meant by being tired are all the one-liner comments that "ipad will never be a laptop replacement" or "ipads are for consumption only"....I did not mean to imply people shouldn't push them to be as productive as possible. I applaud that effort. I just think all the naysaying or arguing about if it can be or can't be a laptop replacement are a waste of time. It is, or isn't, depending on who you are and how you use it.

Todo: Notion, a very powerful App I just discovered
I haven't heard of this one, have you been using it for very long?
 

gigapocket1

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Mar 15, 2009
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I was coming to this thread hoping for more as well... my MAIN app that I love is Team Viewer.
We have 7 computers and being able to remote into every one of them with a click of a button is just amazing.
It has saved our business multiple times. Being able to remote in and help an employee while across the country or solve problems.
I just need full photoshop to come to the iPad. And I will definitely be in business then.
 
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sean000

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Jul 16, 2015
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Bellingham, WA
I was coming to this thread hoping for more as well... my MAIN app that I love is Team Viewer.
We have 7 computers and being able to remote into every one of them with a click of a button is just amazing.
It has saved our business multiple times. Being able to remote in and help an employee while across the country or solve problems.
I just need full photoshop to come to the iPad. And I will definitely be in business then.
I use TeamViewer as well, but not that often. Occasionally I need to remote into my office desktop for something, but that need has waned in the last couple of years as it has become possible to do more from the iPad (or even iPhone).

At home the only reason I use my desktop computer is to run Lightroom, Photoshop, and the Nik plug-ins. It is becoming easier to organize and develop photos on the iPad, but still a better experience on a larger display with a mouse and full software application.

I think the proliferation of cloud storage and web based apps has made it trivial to bounce between devices and operating systems. Just as iCloud keeps my apps in sync between my iPad and iPhone (I don’t own a Mac), Office 365, Google Drive, and Adobe cloud allow me to start working on something from my Windows computer and then pick up where I left off on the iPad (or vice versa). We’ve come a long way from the days when I could sync only limited information to my Palmpilot via cable, and when a floppy disk or thumb drive was the main way to sync files between a desktop and laptop.