Did my first iPad only workday

Discussion in 'iPad' started by SmackBookPro, May 15, 2019 at 11:13 AM.


Do you / would you use an iPad for your work?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. SmackBookPro macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2018
    I challenged myself to keep the Mac Mini in the bag today at work. It was a success, though not without its challenges. It cost me £20! This was my first attempt as its the first day I brought my new Logitech Slim Folio for the 10.5 iPad Air 3..

    I started the day checking through emails from over the weekend, Mail app was okay but did take a long time to download the email content from a number of emails in my separate work folder. Once that came through I used split view to check off requests for tasks people asked me to do.. and replied to them as I accomplished each. I downloaded Outlook to try and separate work and personal email accounts but as I already move work emails into an iCloud Work folder. I’d love to see Mail get more advanced at WWDC, though it did the job.

    I then was tasked with managing our corporate MailChimp list by removing and managing email addresses sent. They have an app, which was handy. Though it could be improved. I did submit feedback and got a response saying they’d added it to their feature pipeline... (bulk selection and management of contacts). With many iOS developers, I’ve learnt just ask and you’ll likely get (in the future).

    The WiFi at my work is poor, the connection itself is great but the WiFi to device connection is too congested and spread too thin, the old and oddly long shape office is also hard to get full coverage.. Normally I plugged the Mac into Ethernet and got phenomenal, uninterrupted speeds.. this did require an adapter mind you. Failing that with the Mac, I went to a nearby Windows 10 PC with a WiFi card which was plugged in and broadcast out the WiFi via Mobile Hotspot. I did this from a colleagues machine but for some reason failed and was just as poor as the normal WiFi for the first time... At this point I nearly had the Mac out of the bag, but resisted. I relocated as close as I could to the WiFi router which solved my problems with WiFi today, but decided to truly solve it to buy an adapter.. Has anybody got experience with this?

    I moved on to accessing files via SharePoint, word documents, excel documents and PowerPoints that have information changed since last week on them. Was able to use split screen to make changes based off emails, and Apple Pencil to strike them off my list.

    A PDF needed major changes which I last worked on with the Mac on Affinity Designer. I ended up purchasing the app at just under £20 to work with my Affinity formatted master file. This worked, though bigger changes coming tomorrow will really test it. The minor changes went well, and I could export it with ease. The iPad is quick at exporting too!

    There was a meeting and I took my notes using Notability for the built in recording features. Very nice, being able to detach from the Logitech keyboard and use the iPad + Pencil again in tablet form. Passing it around to show people examples of marketing materials made was really nice too!

    Finally, asked to do a video promoting a product. Usually I’ve used Keynote, with images / video backgrounds and smooth moving text transitions exported into a movie, then into iMovie for a soundtrack.. (That’s until I get to grips with LumaFusion to make real good videos). I was able to put this together with timing / animations / transitions completely today, exporting it. Tomorrow I’ll add a soundtrack and upload it to SharePoint.

    The SharePoint app isn’t as smooth or seamless, particularly when a low speed connection arises.. it will lag and stick and a force quit is needed and a second try. Though it works well mostly and I expect 2019 Microsoft to quickly act on feedback and really nail it, especially as they’re upping their offering on iOS and Android now with Windows Phone, sadly dead.

    That’s about it.

    I couldn’t have done it so quick or precisely without the keyboard case, the Command Tab to switch apps and the Command Space to quickly search for apps / files / songs on Apple Music. It was better than I thought!

    I can only get more efficient at using it. And WWDC can only bring it closer to a full computing replacement!

    Anybody got any questions / suggestions / ‘me too’ stories?

    Attached Files:

  2. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Interesting story.

    Doesn't interest/work for me for a few reasons, most notably that basically none of the software I use is available for or would be any good on an iPad (engineering). iOS is the single biggest limitation for me as the workflow is very strict and limited, the lack of mouse support, etc. Spending endless time dealing with workarounds for every little thing I need to do is undesirable, and I don't see the payoff for the effort and cost (which is shouldered by the employer).

    Another is ergonomics -- I have no desire to spend my day using a single tiny screen. At least laptops can be docked and used ergonomically, but iPads cannot yet. I have seen some people use keyboards that are on their desk while the iPad is raised on a box, but it's still then a tiny display that you sit relatively close to.

    I also don't really see the advantage over just using a laptop. I could see iPads being useful if you're using it while walking around, but if it's only used at desks or occasionally on your lap, then I don't see the benefit.

    Just my opinion on it. I'm sure you could build a deck with a Swiss Army knife, but I don't think it'd be any better to. ;)
  3. SmackBookPro thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2018
    Everything you say is true, and yeah that’s what it comes down to for most people, “is it worth the hassle of workarounds? “. Over time I feel this will become less and less the case, but we have a long way to go.

    For me, the advantage is clear (though I completely left it out from my thread). And it’s highly personal and debatable whether it’s going to feel the same way to others... Leisure time. During time outside of work, using a laptop is a real hindrance on my life. I need to sit at a desk (all the time), when you take a laptop out in some cafes people look at you as if to say “really, working now?” Lol. And when I used the MBP in bed next to my gf as well felt like I was blocking her out, and had to guard the laptop from falling or slipping and really baby it. The iPad, we can huddle around and it’s great for watching media and tablet things. We have dropped it (in case, thankfully) and it was great. The MBP may not fair so well. Whilst the laptop is superior at work, the iPad seems superior everywhere else (to me)

    I was using it on the beach on Monday, got a bit sandy but could sit with the gf on the beach with music playing, seeing the screen clearly and even with a bit of sand that needed cleaned off it was really “life friendly” which really sums up my personal favouring of the iPad as a form factor. But I’d not pretend it’s perfect nor better than a laptop / desktop in some situations - and whether or not I can stomach it in the long run will be the real experiment.

    So in bed, in cafes, on the beach and leisurely tasks is where it excels and to me, that’s where I want to be benefitting the most in life. Again, i must stress, my personal thoughts.

    I used to use SketchUp for some quite complex models of ships and shopping centres (always adding detail until my Macs of old struggled to navigate around them). I know it’s probably too basic for someone in the field of engineering, but I came across a fantastic iPad app the other day, Shapr3D - you should see what you think, or maybe you already have? I plan on replacing my hobbyist use of SketchUp onto it. As someone who possible has more experience than me in both software packages, what would you think of that?
  4. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    That seems more like a personal/leisure device than a "work" one. ;)

    I don't do any work at the beach, in bed, etc, (beyond basic communication stuff). At home, I'd rather use my PC for all things work for the ergonomics. I'd also rather use the TV for media rather than holding an iPad in bed, especially with two people watching.

    It all depends on what you do for work and what works for you.

    I'm in electrical engineering, so the software I use isn't really for physical sketches or anything. Physical circuits, FPGA design, physical semiconductor design, etc, all use software that isn't on the iPad. Some of these suites such as ANSYS aren't well-suited to iPads. It simply is not the tool for this kind of work.

    I'd check it out anyways, but the only iPad I still have at this point is first-gen (which doesn't run much, sadly). :p
  5. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    Thanks for posting. We are issued work laptops and aren’t able to use iPads there. I’m not sure that it would fit my workflow even if we were able to, honestly. But I always enjoy reading these stories and see if how iPads work for others. I used one as my main computer when finishing my MBA and I agree with you that you’ll get faster with It over time.
  6. JMountainDew macrumors regular


    Apr 24, 2012
    Haven't posted for I don't know how long, but had to encourage you to hang in there. Making the move from MBP to IPP with ASK was very slow and frustrating as I adjusted to new workflows and occasional limitations. But after a year, it is smooth sailing and, believe it or not, using my macbook now actually feels clumsy. Stick with it as best you can... you will get past the hurdles.
  7. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    Agree with these points. iOS is just so limiting for my line of work that it isn't even faintly feasible to consider. I could probably do a portion of my work on it, but it would be sacrificing speed and adding massive frustration - I see no reason to bother. Depending on the tools and workflow, it may work well for some people. For my personal use, it may get close to replacing my home PC, depending on what iOS 13 brings.
  8. MrRabuf macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2019
    I'd love to go iPad only but it just does't work for my field (software engineering). Apple would have to add so much to the OS that it would basically have to run MacOS before it could be a viable option. I envy people who can get away with an iPad being their only computer.

    To be fair, I have technically done my job using my iPad Pro but I had to be remotely logged into other computers/servers to do it. It was a pain in the ass and not something I'd want to do a lot (it was a work emergency, I was on vacation, and I didn't have a laptop). Having mouse support would make that so much easier but I still wouldn't want to do it routinely. iOS is just way too limiting and having to always be remotely logged into other computers sucks.
  9. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    What's frustrating is that the hardware is powerful enough for most things, it's just iOS that is so limiting.
  10. muzzy996 macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2018
    I’m happy that for many an iPad can serve as a primary computing device. I’m just not one of them either. Just goes to show we all have different workflow requirements and some can fit into the iPad ecosystem while others can’t.
  11. tps3443 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 24, 2019
    Well we see where the polls are going in this thread. Apple better make some changes fast. It looks like everyone one wants to use there iPad for work.
  12. Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    I've tried using iPad for my works few years ago. Also, lot of my work colleagues tried the same, when iPad 2 / iPad Air first release, everyone hype. In almost every meeting at that time, I could see at least 2 of people using iPad. But, it doesn't last. Today, no one using iPad at my office. Still the same office, which we can use BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). No, even our senior managements do not bring iPad anymore in the meeting.
    iPad is too limiting, and it end up to have keyboard *and* iPad, which in the end will be more practical to use the less-fragile thin laptop.
    I knew that iPad might be very efficient for some jobs, especially related to art and entertainment. But for my jobs (in financial industry), it doesn't work well.
  13. Conutz macrumors regular


    Oct 24, 2014
    I don’t work only on my iPad - I couldn’t as I need software that only runs on Windows and also some apps that either don’t have iOS versions, or have limited iOS versions. I tend to use my 12.9 iPP, Air 3 and 2018 MBP in a complementary fashion.

    Generally, the iPP is home-bound and is my go-to for anything that doesn’t require the MBP. I “step up” to the MBP when I have at least a couple of tasks that absolutely require it, otherwise it feels inefficient or overkill. My iPP work includes simple tasks such as emailing, remote support with Teamviewer, responding to MR threads :) and so on, but also more involved tasks such as document creation (quotes/estimates, letters, manuals) and system design. For system design, I use a combination of iThoughts, Omnigraffle (I also own the Mac OS versions) and Goodnotes, depending on what needs to be done. Thinking while writing, I find, results in a better process and overall outcome. The iPad is great for all of this. Excellent battery, Pencil support, great keyboard (ASK). It’s instant-on, light and gets you working right away.

    When at the office or on the road, I carry the MBP and the Air 3. If I’m starting with meetings, it’ll be Air 3 all the way. I can take notes, access our tools (Confluence and Trello), remote in to systems and so on. When I need to use those apps that aren’t available on the iPad, or need a larger screen come to think of it, I’ll turn to the MBP. When I really need real-estate, I’ll plug the MBP, via Thunderbolt adaptor, into my Thunderbolt Display. This is mainly when I need to put in some hours on app development. The MBP also comes in when I need features that the iOS version of Office does not support for example, or I need to do some more serious data analysis. In some cases, I’ll work on the MBP and Air simultaneously, each performing to its best abilities.

    Finally, on the road, the Air 3 is the primary, with the MBP performing the backup role. The Air is much more portable than the 12.9 and feels just right for on-the-go type work - the screen and keyboard size feel perfect. (I do think that hours and hours of the 10.5 screen may become tedious). Today, I visited a client, had around a 3-hour meeting, going back-and-forth between Goodnotes, Teamviewer and email, discussing various aspects of the clients needs. The MBP would’ve felt unwieldy and so limiting with only a keyboard for capturing notes. I then quickly drafted a letter to another client in Word, saved as PDF and emailed it to another client. Finally, the MBP was needed when I went out to program a couple of controllers that have Windows-only programming interfaces.

    In the end, they’re both a pleasure to use and I wouldn’t sacrifice one for the other. What is important to me is grouping the jobs for either device, so that I get some good linear time on each device before switching over. The iPads have certainly lightened the load on my MBP and have changed my workflow for the better.
  14. subjonas macrumors 68000

    Feb 10, 2014
    Sorry, I’m not 100% sure - is the poll asking if I can use an ipad by itself for work?

    If so, then no, that won’t be possible for me for a long time for various reasons. If not, then yes, I use an iPad every day to help out with some work duties.
  15. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    I do use my iPad at/for work, but it's certainly no substitute for my laptop.
  16. MacPeasant123 macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2018
    This makes me wonder whether inside Apple's R&D labs, do they have macOS installed on iPads to see how that works out? Maybe just to see how macOS runs on their A-series chips. I would guess they have at least tried it
  17. rowspaxe macrumors 68020


    Jan 29, 2010
    Hope your workday doesn't involve any 'cut and paste'. Good luck with that
  18. millydog macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2007
    Until a few months ago, I used my iPad at work. As a programmer, I also require a laptop, but I used my iPad in meetings or at my desk to supplement my laptop. However, we are now required to install an MDM profile if we wish to use it for work. It’s my personal device and I am not sure that I feel comfortable with a MDM profile on it. The reasoning is so that if I leave the company or lose my device, that the company could remove work data from the device. But in the mean-time, I feel uneasy about it, like I am unsure if I’d be spied on. I miss using my iPad in meetings and it does have its benefits to have the profile to have access to my email, calendar, work Skype account, Microsoft Teams, etc, while I’m at home. It also enables full Office 365 on my iPad. They say that they can see what apps I have on my device but that they’d only use location services if I report my device as missing. They also enforce a screen timeout with a maximum of 3 minutes and passcode changes every 3 months.
    What are people’s thoughts of installing company MDM profiles on personal devices (iPhone and iPad)?
  19. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    Our company has the same requirement to use a personal iPad or iPhone. In our case, we can really only use them for email/calendar/webex. I find it convenient to be able to check those things away from the office without turning on my computer but I’m unueasy about using the mdm. I ended up loading it in my old iPhone so now and using that phone for work only ( just a free sim from freedompop so I dont pay anything for it). Although I hate carrying two phones, it’s a better trade off to having mdm on my daily use iPhone. Also, work restricts us from using iCloud Drive for devices using the mdm so that would be another issue.
  20. millydog macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2007
    It sounds like you have stricter settings than we do in the MDM profile. I’m not yet aware of any apps that we can’t use, although I believe that apps that have been determined to have security holes can be restricted and we can be told that our devices no longer meet the MDM profile requirements if we don’t update iOS to the latest version. That doesn’t bother me, since I’m usually a day 1 installer. I’m not sure what the stance is on Beta versions of iOS though since I haven’t tried that with the profile as of yet. I might be tempted in June though. I’m not really a fan of the 3 minute timeout. I find it too short for iPad use, but not as bad for an iPhone. I’m also not really a big fan of the forced pin code change since I want my family to be able to access my photos if anything was to happen to me. I guess that I follow good photo backup practices though, so probably not a real issue. There are definitely some good benefits for adding the MDM profile to my devices. You mentioned one of the main ones in that I could access my work email, calendar and accounts while away from the office. I can use iCloud for work and personal accounts together if I have the profile installed. So there are minor disadvantages (mainly the 3 minute timeout for me), but I need to get past the uneasiness that I feel of potentially being spied on in terms of what apps I use and who knows if they track how long I spend in each app either.
  21. Nhwhazup macrumors 68020


    Sep 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Short term and in a pinch I can use my iPad to get my work done. However, it’s much more cumbersome having to use work-arounds that reduce efficiency.
  22. SmackBookPro thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2018
    Well guys, in Day 2 of the experiment it all fell apart. The iPad CAN do everything, but as some of you had said not always as easily. That comment also about the workplace having to absorb the lost time in adapting / workarounds is also very true.

    I exported a movie from Keynote into iMovie to add a soundtrack. Downloading the MP3 file from the web was really complicated! Took 30 minutes and only would have taken 2 on the Mac / PC.

    I continued, on to making marketing materials on Canva. That went well, but glitches and ‘not responding’ on the app was a PITA. Having to go in and out of the design to get it to work... my head was boiling at this rate

    There’s also a PDF I made on Canva, and then made adjustments to on PDF Expert and later on Affinity Designer. The way one of these programmes interpreted the text messed it all up... And with 13 requested revisions from colleagues that would have taken seconds on the Mac each I was putting it through PDF Expert and Affinity Designer each time only to find Affinity Designer was crashing when I applied a spacing adjustment.. This is when the kettle started to whistle, unfortunately.

    It’s VERY POSSIBLE and the iPad in terms of exporting and processing has a surprising amount of power. But small things let it down, which all add up. The SharePoint app, whilst it does everything, is laggy web-interfaced and sometimes buttons do nothing too. The lack of Ethernet too with our poor WiFi makes EVERYTHING, from Canva, to SharePoint stick. Not just in network downloading tasks, but interfaces too - I suspect many of them are web based even when the look native to iOS?

    I got the Mac mini out , after a six day sleep it got and powered through some Word documents which needed redone for another colleague. Well, it just worked.

    A few of the colleagues I told about the iPad only initiative asked what happened to the idea. I just said it was quicker to do these things on the Mac. Even that was a hassle, as the monitor I previously connected to was now used for another persons PC, thankfully they weren’t in so I could use it. Still, not ideal. I kept thinking to myself: The MacBook Pro needs to come back. And that’s what I think will happen.

    Except, I don’t want to fork out for my previous 512GB TB 2018 13” again. The 2017 model is too expensive with the 512GB option. I considered the Air but its still a bit over priced. The MacBook is on sale for £1150 locally with 512GB, a steal, but unsure if it’d do my needs of connecting to a 1080p monitor at work any good without a fan.

    I’m thinking of getting a ThinkPad X280 - which I’ll make a post about in the Alternatives section of the forum. It’s as thin and light and small as a laptop can get (without being either highly priced / lacking performance in lieu of portability) and it’ll fit into my work environment well. I’ll plug it in at work to my 24” monitor they’re ordering for me for a comfortable experience.

    To the other iPad only guys, sorry. I tried though and some people certainly can pull it off, I just couldn’t with the pressures of the work world. Last year, my old MPB was seen as a miracle machine around the office. It could do things their PCs (or they) couldn’t. My new laptop be it a ThinkPad or MacBook should restore this fable!
  23. Nhwhazup macrumors 68020


    Sep 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Let us know how you like the ThinkPad.
  24. SmackBookPro thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2018
    Thanks. Just made a post there about it if you’re interested in checking it out. It’ll be the i7/512GB spec X280
    --- Post Merged, May 17, 2019 at 6:29 AM ---
    Just to clarify, here’s what I do at work, I’ve basically got a 3 way role...

    Marketing: email marketing, posters, flyers, brochures, logos, promo videos, photography of products etc. And compiling research finding with statistics etc.

    Admin: setting up excel sheets for tracking, modernising old powerpoint materials, delivering presentations on how to use new systems, rebuilding old Word documents with advanced features (same for Excel)

    IT: I fully set the company up with O365 and SharePoint last year, and act as tech support for this, as well as setting up printers and new hardware and setting up / migrating new PCs we get and the works of tech support for colleagues

    The iPad could do it all, just slow and trickily!
  25. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    You lasted as long as I did when I tried this one time. Went on a trip to visit a client for a couple of days and tried to do it with just my 12.9 iPP. I was ready to toss it out of the window after about 2 hours as it was just so clunky and convoluted to get anything done. It was a two day trip and I was never so happy to see my MBB as when I got back in the office!

    Obviously, it works for some people so clearly it is a workflow/tool issue as to whether it is feasible or not.

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30 May 15, 2019