How I made my iPad replace my MacBook

southparksteve

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 6, 2010
41
0
San Diego, CA
I've read so many threads on the subject that I thought I'd just post my own. I have managed to completely replace my laptop with my iPad. I recently took in on a 2 week business trip and did not need my MacBook laptop once. To clarify:

I purchased my iPad as a novelty item hoping that it would replace my MacBook but figuring that it wouldn't. I use it for mostly business purposes but also for personal things.

Please ALSO note that it is NOT a replacement for a full computer like an iMac. As you will read in point 1, I purchased an app that allows me to log into an iMac remotely.

Here are the apps that I got that have replaced my MacBook:

1) RDM+ (or similar app): This app allows you to remotely log into your always-connected, always-on desktop/laptop computer back at home. Meaning, you can log in and access accounting data, photoshop, etc. NOTE: pretty slow (2 - 3 second lag time) over 3G, only about 1 second lag on wifi.

2) Pages & Numbers: These actually work great. I have no complaints and they replace my Excel and Word on the MacBook. The spreadsheets are similar to those of Excel and Word (or Numbers and Pages) on a Macbook/iMac. Note that not all functions work exactly right- sometimes some images don't transfer properly and formatting can get screwy. But for the most part they actually work great. I have not tried Keynote but suppose that it works in the same manner.

3) CoPilot HD: fully functional, voice turn-by-turn guidance GPS system (for the 3G iPad only) with spoken street names. $30. Unbelievable!

4) Netflix: why not enjoy some of your instant queue Netflix while on the go. I use it all the time.

5) iDisk: I use MobileMe for email and cloud data storage. Their newly upgraded app was worth the wait. You can store data right to it and open it on your iPad, as well as open it in different programs like Pages and Numbers.

6) Skype: makes your 3G iPad a big phone, if you are so inclined, and have the SkypeOut plan (I do). You can't do

7) FTPOnTheGo: if you do any website work, including programming or HTML coding, etc, this is the perfect app for you. Access any website on the go and make changes wherever you are. Well designed app.

8) QuickSale: my wife uses this. Basic accounting / invoicing program allowing you to create invoices and email them right from the app. Pretty neat for $10.

There are hundreds more that can be used to basically eliminate the MacBook.

I also know that some of you will go out there, buy it, and then post here and say "I couldn't make it do that blah blah blah...", well if you notice the post, it says how I made my iPad...meaning MY iPad, not yours. These are just some helpful suggestions for those of you in limbo! So, hope it helps!!
 

macabouttobe

macrumors regular
Aug 5, 2007
130
0
Michigan
Interesting take on the iPad. Was hovering over buying a laptop for months and now that the iPad is out I've been weighing the productivity apps. I'm convinced I don't need a laptop now, and I'm not the power user you appear to be (work laptop provided from company - XP ugh!!) and will be for personal use.

Thanks for sharing. Now I gotta figure out if I go 3g or not. I'm leaning toward 3g and only paying for the months I seriously need it, which will probably be more as I uncover more uses..
 

JohnnyQuest

macrumors 65816
May 25, 2006
1,442
188
The more and more I use my iPad, the less I see a need for a mobile computer. I will always need a powerful and functional computer, but since owning an iPad, I lean more towards a desktop. A larger screen and better specs for a cheaper price, coupled with an iPad...perfection.
 

Akash.B

macrumors regular
Mar 25, 2010
195
0
Same here. Whenever I want to use a laptop, just grab the iPad and use it instead due to its immediateness in starting and giving me what I need (google maps, mail, YouTube, facebook, web, etc.). R.I.P. Laptop. FTW Desktop + iPad!
 

ibosie

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2008
281
24
London
iWork for iPad is useful if you only need to create and manage the files directly on the iPad. The moment you try to share development with the Desktop apps it starts to fall apart. It's not much fun having to reformat the layout every time it moves between devices. I also noticed fonts in Pages .pdf exports have problems displaying properly on Windows machines. To get around this I find I need to pass the file through Adobe or Pages on the desktop.
 

EthanNixon

macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2007
645
97
New Jersey
iWork for iPad is useful if you only need to create and manage the files directly on the iPad. The moment you try to share development with the Desktop apps it starts to fall apart. It's not much fun having to reformat the layout every time it moves between devices. I also noticed fonts in Pages .pdf exports have problems displaying properly on Windows machines. To get around this I find I need to pass the file through Adobe or Pages on the desktop.
iWork.com?
 

mixvio

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2009
388
0
Sydney, Australia
My iPad has replaced the new MacBook Pro I bought a month before I got mine. Not necessarily because of the apps (the functionality is the same in both, which is good) but because of its size and weight.

I was already used to having a powerful desktop for gaming and serious work, then a smaller MacBook Pro (I loved my 13'', long may it rest in peace) that I used as my "main" machine for its transportation and travel ability, so the iPad has just replaced the laptop part of my workflow.

Since getting my iPad I've rarely felt the need to sit at my desk in weeks (at least until Starcraft 2 came out. :eek: )

When I've told that to people a lot of them go, "Well what's so special about the iPad that makes it do all those things better?" And... there's nothing intrinsic to the iPad. It does the same stuff my laptop does, which is pretty much the point I think. It just does them in something a fraction of the size with a much better battery life.
 

mmb32

macrumors newbie
May 13, 2009
18
0
UK
I am having similar good experiences though I do think the wireless bt keyboard is a must, as it really does make it much more useful for writing longer stuff though it is clunky with spreadsheets (you have to use the touch screen too before entering data).

The only downsides I have found so far are
1.Poor security with the 4 digit code, not acceptable for travelling
2.export to excel from numbers , big omission by Apple!
3.copy / paste does not work well with graphics for creating documents, e.g. stuff you may want to collate from the web or other docs.

Also switching is a pain but OS4 should fix that. The other essential wishlist item would be connection to a wifi drive when you are not in a wifi spot (like airstash). then you could have access to all your documents, photos and music, no matter how large.

Else delighted and amazed that Apple got it so right for a 1st gen device.
 

mixvio

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2009
388
0
Sydney, Australia
1.Poor security with the 4 digit code, not acceptable for travelling
You can change this yourself by using Apple's iDevice configuration utility. It was originally intended for enterprise setups, where an admin would need to create a specific security profile for a bunch of devices, but it can be done for just one if you wish.

I used the config utility to create a profile allowing me to enter a 12-digit password.

http://www.ipodtouchfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129938
 

aughsum

Guest
May 6, 2010
248
0
my ipad has somewhat displaced my macbook pro..

I used to take the MBP home with me everyday but now I leave it on my desk and vpn/remote into it from the ipad if i need to.

There are times that I wish the ipad had the tv out capabilities of the mbp but that is about it.

/sys admin
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,716
9,514
Prescott Valley, AZ
If a person was truly able to replace their Macbook with an iPad then they woefully spent way too much by buying a Macbook in the first place.

If all one uses their Macbook for is checking email and doing light web surfing, then even a smartphone could replace their Macbook. That is not a testament of the usefulness of the iPad but the lack of use of the capabilities of the Macbook.

I'm interested in people who print things (like airline boarding passes) and read in digital pictures from a camera to share via email on their Macbook replacing it with an iPad.
 

mixvio

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2009
388
0
Sydney, Australia
If a person was truly able to replace their Macbook with an iPad then they woefully spent way too much by buying a Macbook in the first place.

If all one uses their Macbook for is checking email and doing light web surfing, then even a smartphone could replace their Macbook. That is not a testament of the usefulness of the iPad but the lack of use of the capabilities of the Macbook.

I'm interested in people who print things (like airline boarding passes) and read in digital pictures from a camera to share via email on their Macbook replacing it with an iPad.
Printing isn't really a big thing to me. I can't remember the last time I really needed to print a physical document. Boarding passes I print when I'm at the airport checking in, which has served me sufficiently well including 2008 where I had a marathon of travel between four countries and seven cities. (Many airlines also are rolling out boarding passes on your phone in the first place, ending the need to print a document at all.)

Even so, I eagerly am awaiting those new printers coming out that have their own email addresses which let you print to them by simply sending an email as an attachment. It's a great concept that stuns me by how long it's taken to get implemented.

As to photos, I regularly bring pictures in from my camera through the camera connection kit, upload them to flickr or to Dropbox, send them to people as attachments or via links back to flickr. When I'm back at home, I just plug my iPad in and sync it to iPhoto.

Having jailbroken, I can now also do web development work by running a local web server on my iPad itself. I just finished a novella almost exclusively on my iPad.

Really the only thing I haven't been able to do is upload files when a browser has an upload box (I really hope someone figures out a way to change this, it's so frustrating) or play intensive games that I wouldn't really be able to play on my MacBook either.

You don't have to only use your laptop to check email to still replace it as a productivity device with an iPad. I have, and my computer use is significantly more involved and technical than my parents' or grandparents'.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,716
9,514
Prescott Valley, AZ
Printing isn't really a big thing to me. I can't remember the last time I really needed to print a physical document.
...

You don't have to only use your laptop to check email to still replace it as a productivity device with an iPad. I have, and my computer use is significantly more involved and technical than my parents' or grandparents'.
Your self-assessment of your technical use of your devices notwithstanding, the fact that you don't print anything makes you in some sense LESS technically demanding than your parents and grandparents (older generations tend to rely more on printing).

I'm sure that you can't remember the last time you used a scanner either.
;)

How serious a web development can you really do on such a low resolution screen? Your productivity will definitely suffer.
 

southparksteve

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 6, 2010
41
0
San Diego, CA
I am having similar good experiences though I do think the wireless bt keyboard is a must, as it really does make it much more useful for writing longer stuff though it is clunky with spreadsheets (you have to use the touch screen too before entering data).

The only downsides I have found so far are
1.Poor security with the 4 digit code, not acceptable for travelling
2.export to excel from numbers , big omission by Apple!
3.copy / paste does not work well with graphics for creating documents, e.g. stuff you may want to collate from the web or other docs.

Also switching is a pain but OS4 should fix that. The other essential wishlist item would be connection to a wifi drive when you are not in a wifi spot (like airstash). then you could have access to all your documents, photos and music, no matter how large.

Else delighted and amazed that Apple got it so right for a 1st gen device.
I do have to agree with you here. The lack of export to excel from numbers IS a huge omission by Apple. Must be some compatibility problems that they couldn't work-around for the first version. I hope they fix that in an update soon.

I don't use the pin as I find it too much of a pain to turn it on and off all the time, and then enter the pin code. So for me that one is not a big deal (MacBook is not secured either).
 

southparksteve

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 6, 2010
41
0
San Diego, CA
If a person was truly able to replace their Macbook with an iPad then they woefully spent way too much by buying a Macbook in the first place.

If all one uses their Macbook for is checking email and doing light web surfing, then even a smartphone could replace their Macbook. That is not a testament of the usefulness of the iPad but the lack of use of the capabilities of the Macbook.

I'm interested in people who print things (like airline boarding passes) and read in digital pictures from a camera to share via email on their Macbook replacing it with an iPad.
As I have stated above, the iPad is NOT a replacement for a fully functional desktop machine. If your MacBook is that for you, then it cannot replace it (I have an iMac).
 

southparksteve

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 6, 2010
41
0
San Diego, CA
Interesting take on the iPad. Was hovering over buying a laptop for months and now that the iPad is out I've been weighing the productivity apps. I'm convinced I don't need a laptop now, and I'm not the power user you appear to be (work laptop provided from company - XP ugh!!) and will be for personal use.

Thanks for sharing. Now I gotta figure out if I go 3g or not. I'm leaning toward 3g and only paying for the months I seriously need it, which will probably be more as I uncover more uses..
Definitely go with the 3G. It's one of those things that you don't know you'll need until after you get the iPad (I had the wifi one first, then got 3G, and never looked back)
 

wolfpackfan

macrumors 68000
Jun 10, 2007
1,547
16
Cary, NC
For the most part my iPad has completely replaced my Mac Mini except for one app - Quicken. I rely heavily on Quicken to pay my bills and haven't found a comparable app that runs on the iPad. I turned my Mac Mini over to my wife (she has it setup in the kitchen) but I still have to use it every day or so to keep my checkbook balanced and to pay bills. Other than that I do everything else I need to do on my iPad.
 

mixvio

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2009
388
0
Sydney, Australia
Your self-assessment of your technical use of your devices notwithstanding, the fact that you don't print anything makes you in some sense LESS technically demanding than your parents and grandparents (older generations tend to rely more on printing).

I'm sure that you can't remember the last time you used a scanner either.
;)
Or it's indicative of the fact that these days most things are digital and there's no need for printing anymore.

How serious a web development can you really do on such a low resolution screen? Your productivity will definitely suffer.
Well most HTML development is in a text editor in the first place (at least for me, anyway) so it's not any more involved than writing an email. I load up the browser to check the output and since I keep the width of websites under 900px anyway the width of the device ensures I stick to that.

You can check out my two personal sites if you'd like an example of stuff I coded mostly on the iPad itself.

Am I going to be able to do snazzy Flash or artwork on the iPad? No, but pretty much everything else I can.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,894
31
Northern Virginia
Only one area that the iPad falls short as a replacement to the MBP and that is in photo editing. Not that I got the iPad to to do that....

I am seeing that the MBP is going to give way to the iPad and the desktop computer here for me maybe very soon.
 

d21mike

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2007
3,317
356
Torrance, CA
I rely heavily on Quicken to pay my bills and haven't found a comparable app that runs on the iPad.
I pay all my bills on the banks web site. So the iPad works fine. I assume you use Quicken because you need to get the payments into Quicken (I don't). I assume you could download to Quicken at a later time (maybe once per month).
 

d21mike

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2007
3,317
356
Torrance, CA
Your self-assessment of your technical use of your devices notwithstanding, the fact that you don't print anything makes you in some sense LESS technically demanding than your parents and grandparents (older generations tend to rely more on printing).
Printing is so outdated. I have tried to go Paperless on everything that I can. Most people are finding that they can even do without books. Have you heard that Amazon is starting to sell more digital books then paper books? Anyway, I would not use the fact that you can print with the iPad as an argument against the iPad. I personally need a PC for things I can't do easily with my iPad. But Printing is not one of them.
 
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