iPad Pro iPad pro + Remote Desktop. Perfect laptop replacement?

Ghost31

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 9, 2015
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i just discovered remoting into a desktop from iPad. I know. I'm late to the game. I just caught this video and it made me think


If an iPad pro covers 90% of my uses and for the 10% it doesn't cover I can just remote into my Mac (like for programming stuff) isn't that like the perfect setup? What's the downside? I'm sure there's gotta be downsides if I don't hear about this all the time when people talk about how not capable an iPad pro is
 
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ZombiePete

macrumors 68020
Aug 6, 2008
2,251
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San Antonio, TX
Remote Desktop can work great; I do it regularly for short bursts of work. For longer sessions, you start running into UI issues; namely, trying to manipulate your desktop OS with touch. Splashtop has a nice mousepad interface that remedies this for me a bit, but it's still not as convenient as an actual mouse/touchpad.

Other potential issues include that Remote Desktop apps are generally more battery intensive, and require Internet connections.

I do absolutely agree that these apps serve as a remedy for those times when you need more than iOS can offer alone, but I'm not sure I'd rely on them if my workflow required much more than casual connections to a desktop. Just my two cents.
 
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WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,100
2,559
Seattle
Remote Desktop can work great; I do it regularly for short bursts of work. For longer sessions, you start running into UI issues; namely, trying to manipulate your desktop OS with touch. Splashtop has a nice mousepad interface that remedies this for me a bit, but it's still not as convenient as an actual mouse/touchpad.

Other potential issues include that Remote Desktop apps are generally more battery intensive, and require Internet connections.

I do absolutely agree that these apps serve as a remedy for those times when you need more than iOS can offer alone, but I'm not sure I'd rely on them if my workflow required much more than casual connections to a desktop. Just my two cents.
What a load of truth. :)
 

zacheryjensen

macrumors 6502a
May 11, 2009
764
144
So, remote desktop (or actually SplashTop) on iPad Pro makes it a laptop replacement for me. It's pretty much right up my alley. Recently, I've gone 100% "work from home." I prefer working on a high power desktop machine (I make high scale software, it's CPU/IO intensive) and am not especially fond of notebooks for non-work things like reading or browsing casually. That said, I've wanted to be able to bum around at a local café or similar place to get out of the house from time to time and still be able to work. I also like having a tablet for chilling on the couch or similar situations to do my own thing as well. I did not want more than one extra device for both purposes.

My candidate options boiled down to Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, or iPad Pro for various reasons. Right now I'm running reset on the Surface Book to return it, because, iPad Pro + SplashTop has won out for me in very practical, actual real world testing of the devices as they pertain to my desires and preferences. I would rather remote into my Windows 10 VM running on my 5K iMac than use the Surface Book (or Surface Pro) as a tablet in any manner. Surface Book makes a decent laptop and a terrible tablet, iPad Pro makes a wonderful tablet and a decent laptop replacement. Both statements pertain to my usage patterns specifically, and are not based on guesses. I have both devices and have tried both in all expected scenarios.

So yeah, a good remote desktop app can vastly expand the usefulness of iPad Pro. What's more, it benefits massively from the increased screen space. That extra 45% of space vs. the air means I can actually be relatively comfortable even using the onscreen keyboard, which I found myself doing essentially out of laziness on one of the days I was testing the iPad Pro for these purposes.

It's a huge problem around the forums where everyone is deciding for everyone else what devices will be best. I recognize that not everyone has the opportunity to actually try them and decide. But, if it's a possibility, it's the best thing you can do. Just ignore the decisions everyone else made and try for yourself. This is a great time of year for it as well as many retailers have expanded return windows, and Microsoft is especially open to returns as they are desperate to get people to try their devices at all.

I will also say that I am enjoying the size of iPad Pro much more than I thought I would. I spent several days out of town over Thanksgiving and spent the hours between family events doing my usual online leisure activities with iPad Pro. It was stuff I'd normally do on my iMac, and, frankly, it was surprisingly comfortable and enjoyable. The split view feature was a huge part of that, and the screen size makes split view all that much better.

After the last week and after testing out an alternative approach to the tablet+laptop replacement approach, I'm quite convinced that iPad Pro really can be a notebook replacement for some of us.
 

mebpenguin

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2015
22
7
I'm basically in the same place. I had been waiting for a sky lake 13-inch MacBook Pro, but ever since the iPad pro was finally released I've been wondering whether a full laptop is necessary anymore.

I also see Remote Desktop solutions as that safety that covers the five or ten percent of use cases that iOS still can't cover. For me that included things like Salesforce administration and perhaps advanced excel work.

I'm planning on using GoToMyPC combined with the Citrix X1 mouse to use the iPad pro as a laptop in those edge cases, and I believe the rest of the time I'll be just fine with iOS.

Now I just need to go out and actually buy the thing.

So, remote desktop (or actually SplashTop) on iPad Pro makes it a laptop replacement for me. It's pretty much right up my alley. Recently, I've gone 100% "work from home." I prefer working on a high power desktop machine (I make high scale software, it's CPU/IO intensive) and am not especially fond of notebooks for non-work things like reading or browsing casually. That said, I've wanted to be able to bum around at a local café or similar place to get out of the house from time to time and still be able to work. I also like having a tablet for chilling on the couch or similar situations to do my own thing as well. I did not want more than one extra device for both purposes.

My candidate options boiled down to Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, or iPad Pro for various reasons. Right now I'm running reset on the Surface Book to return it, because, iPad Pro + SplashTop has won out for me in very practical, actual real world testing of the devices as they pertain to my desires and preferences. I would rather remote into my Windows 10 VM running on my 5K iMac than use the Surface Book (or Surface Pro) as a tablet in any manner. Surface Book makes a decent laptop and a terrible tablet, iPad Pro makes a wonderful tablet and a decent laptop replacement. Both statements pertain to my usage patterns specifically, and are not based on guesses. I have both devices and have tried both in all expected scenarios.

So yeah, a good remote desktop app can vastly expand the usefulness of iPad Pro. What's more, it benefits massively from the increased screen space. That extra 45% of space vs. the air means I can actually be relatively comfortable even using the onscreen keyboard, which I found myself doing essentially out of laziness on one of the days I was testing the iPad Pro for these purposes.

It's a huge problem around the forums where everyone is deciding for everyone else what devices will be best. I recognize that not everyone has the opportunity to actually try them and decide. But, if it's a possibility, it's the best thing you can do. Just ignore the decisions everyone else made and try for yourself. This is a great time of year for it as well as many retailers have expanded return windows, and Microsoft is especially open to returns as they are desperate to get people to try their devices at all.

I will also say that I am enjoying the size of iPad Pro much more than I thought I would. I spent several days out of town over Thanksgiving and spent the hours between family events doing my usual online leisure activities with iPad Pro. It was stuff I'd normally do on my iMac, and, frankly, it was surprisingly comfortable and enjoyable. The split view feature was a huge part of that, and the screen size makes split view all that much better.

After the last week and after testing out an alternative approach to the tablet+laptop replacement approach, I'm quite convinced that iPad Pro really can be a notebook replacement for some of us.
 
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mebpenguin

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2015
22
7
Would this work for with Screens and my MacBook Pro? Or only windows?
The X1 mouse only works with Citrix products, but I asked in another thread and people indicated it should work with a Mac and Go To My PC, which is very similar to Screens.
 
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Ghost31

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 9, 2015
2,813
3,936
So, remote desktop (or actually SplashTop) on iPad Pro makes it a laptop replacement for me. It's pretty much right up my alley. Recently, I've gone 100% "work from home." I prefer working on a high power desktop machine (I make high scale software, it's CPU/IO intensive) and am not especially fond of notebooks for non-work things like reading or browsing casually. That said, I've wanted to be able to bum around at a local café or similar place to get out of the house from time to time and still be able to work. I also like having a tablet for chilling on the couch or similar situations to do my own thing as well. I did not want more than one extra device for both purposes.

My candidate options boiled down to Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, or iPad Pro for various reasons. Right now I'm running reset on the Surface Book to return it, because, iPad Pro + SplashTop has won out for me in very practical, actual real world testing of the devices as they pertain to my desires and preferences. I would rather remote into my Windows 10 VM running on my 5K iMac than use the Surface Book (or Surface Pro) as a tablet in any manner. Surface Book makes a decent laptop and a terrible tablet, iPad Pro makes a wonderful tablet and a decent laptop replacement. Both statements pertain to my usage patterns specifically, and are not based on guesses. I have both devices and have tried both in all expected scenarios.

So yeah, a good remote desktop app can vastly expand the usefulness of iPad Pro. What's more, it benefits massively from the increased screen space. That extra 45% of space vs. the air means I can actually be relatively comfortable even using the onscreen keyboard, which I found myself doing essentially out of laziness on one of the days I was testing the iPad Pro for these purposes.

It's a huge problem around the forums where everyone is deciding for everyone else what devices will be best. I recognize that not everyone has the opportunity to actually try them and decide. But, if it's a possibility, it's the best thing you can do. Just ignore the decisions everyone else made and try for yourself. This is a great time of year for it as well as many retailers have expanded return windows, and Microsoft is especially open to returns as they are desperate to get people to try their devices at all.

I will also say that I am enjoying the size of iPad Pro much more than I thought I would. I spent several days out of town over Thanksgiving and spent the hours between family events doing my usual online leisure activities with iPad Pro. It was stuff I'd normally do on my iMac, and, frankly, it was surprisingly comfortable and enjoyable. The split view feature was a huge part of that, and the screen size makes split view all that much better.

After the last week and after testing out an alternative approach to the tablet+laptop replacement approach, I'm quite convinced that iPad Pro really can be a notebook replacement for some of us.
This post right here is such a big deal it might've convinced me to go out and get an iPad pro. I've never tried Remote Desktop. If I have a good internet connection, I shouldn't have any issues with lag right? I'm thinking about using the iPad pro for most everything and the part of the time that I'll want to Remote Desktop, it won't be too much of a hassle I don't think. I want to start learning how to program but good ide's are only available on desktop os's. Think Remote Desktop will work for me as a beginner coder? Slap that smart keyboard onto that baby and Remote Desktop?

I'm getting a bit excited thinking about it now...
 

nicho

macrumors 68040
Feb 15, 2008
3,420
2,203
This post right here is such a big deal it might've convinced me to go out and get an iPad pro. I've never tried Remote Desktop. If I have a good internet connection, I shouldn't have any issues with lag right? I'm thinking about using the iPad pro for most everything and the part of the time that I'll want to Remote Desktop, it won't be too much of a hassle I don't think. I want to start learning how to program but good ide's are only available on desktop os's. Think Remote Desktop will work for me as a beginner coder? Slap that smart keyboard onto that baby and Remote Desktop?

I'm getting a bit excited thinking about it now...
do you have an ipad (mini/air) to test the software first before you spend hundreds of dollars on the ipad pro?
 

Ghost31

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 9, 2015
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do you have an ipad (mini/air) to test the software first before you spend hundreds of dollars on the ipad pro?
I'm trying it out now with iPad Air 2 and my windows 10 pc. Microsoft Remote Desktop is...not connecting. Nice
 

Ghost31

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 9, 2015
2,813
3,936
Ok wow. Just got remote desktop to work between ipad air 2 and windows 10 pc. That...is some cool ass **** right there. With the app i used to stream, there's no noticable lag or anything. Why isn't remote desktoping a bigger deal? Maybe i'm just a newb and get amused by simple things easily, but this is pretty damn fun .

ipad pro here i come!
 

eyeseeyou

macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2011
3,051
1,429
Also the remote desktop flow requires being connected to an always on resource plus a data connection.
 

zacheryjensen

macrumors 6502a
May 11, 2009
764
144
Ok wow. Just got remote desktop to work between ipad air 2 and windows 10 pc. That...is some cool ass **** right there. With the app i used to stream, there's no noticable lag or anything. Why isn't remote desktoping a bigger deal? Maybe i'm just a newb and get amused by simple things easily, but this is pretty damn fun .

ipad pro here i come!
It's probably worth noting that the latency depends greatly on network connection and settings like resolution and color depth. But, that said, even on slower (but still broadband) connections, I don't have any trouble. I can work over my local LTE network and it's nothing to write home about, 30mbps average. Most of these remote desktop protocols had their start when it was rare to have more than 256kbps for a "broadband" connection anyway.

I currently prefer SplashTop with the everywhere access add-on. I am probably going to end up getting the add-on that allows high customization of keyboard behaviors to boost productivity on the non-standard Apple keyboard as well.

One thing I forgot to mention as a benefit of this type of setup is that I never have to maintain a second development/work environment. In my work, that's actually quite a bit of time and effort saved. Even with tools to help automate it, you still have to keep all that set up. I don't have to do or even think about anything. It's quite nice.
 
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zacheryjensen

macrumors 6502a
May 11, 2009
764
144
Also the remote desktop flow requires being connected to an always on resource plus a data connection.
This is true, but, if you're me then you have the resource on anyway for other purposes, and the network connectivity is no issue. I live in the US and just about any area of any significant size has fairly ubiquitous Wi-Fi, not to mention a number of wireless broadband options (Verizon and AT&T LTE, for example, are quit prevalent.)
 
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Ghost31

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 9, 2015
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Strictly speaking, if you are remoting into your laptop, you aren't replacing it, you are using it remotely.
True. I worded it wrong. Basically what I meant was that I found a solution for me that works well where I don't have to carry a laptop with me all the time and an iPad is suitable for me without sacrificing too much on the go.
 

nicho

macrumors 68040
Feb 15, 2008
3,420
2,203
True. I worded it wrong. Basically what I meant was that I found a solution for me that works well where I don't have to carry a laptop with me all the time and an iPad is suitable for me without sacrificing too much on the go.
just a question then, are you trying the software on the same local network as your computer?

you need to go to starbucks or something to make sure its still not laggy on an actual remote connection.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,667
9,378
Prescott Valley, AZ
Ok wow. Just got remote desktop to work between ipad air 2 and windows 10 pc. That...is some cool ass **** right there. With the app i used to stream, there's no noticable lag or anything. Why isn't remote desktoping a bigger deal? Maybe i'm just a newb and get amused by simple things easily, but this is pretty damn fun .

ipad pro here i come!
Yes it's fun, but without support for a mouse it is limiting. Remoting into a Windows 10 PC without a mouse is exactly like using a Surface tablet with desktop apps without a mouse. It isn't enjoyable/preferable doing that directly on a Windows tablet, it isn't any more enjoyable because it is an iPad.

Should Apple provide support for a mouse, then yes, it would be fantastic.
 
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BrennerM

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2010
243
22
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Remote desktop is pretty good for mostly text-based work like coding or document creation. Not so great if you want to edit videos, do major Photoshop work, etc. But if your usage isn't very graphics-heavy, it can be a solution.
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,074
5,173
Yes it's fun, but without support for a mouse it is limiting. Remoting into a Windows 10 PC without a mouse is exactly like using a Surface tablet with desktop apps without a mouse. It isn't enjoyable/preferable doing that directly on a Windows tablet, it isn't any more enjoyable because it is an iPad.

Should Apple provide support for a mouse, then yes, it would be fantastic.
Most iOS remote apps have ways of replicating mouse functions with touch gestures. Don't Windows remote apps have them?
 

mojo522

macrumors newbie
Jun 8, 2009
24
12
I actually don't mind using the screen as a mouse. I was able to work on my excel worksheets this week while I was out of town and didn't need to bring a separate laptop and iPad.
 
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