iPad Pro Is it just me that prefers macOS? I cannot justify owning an iPad Pro

Discussion in 'iPad' started by petvas, May 28, 2019.

  1. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    After using the iPad Pro 12.9 for almost a month, I just couldn't find any way to justify its purchase. I just prefer macOS in just about every regard. Maybe I am just too old fashioned and used to doing things the way desktop OSes work. I am not really sure to be honest..
    The iPad has amazing hardware, it really does. As a tablet is amazing, but it just doesn't seem to fit into my lifestyle. For almost all tasks I prefer my MacBook Pro and every time I use the iPad I feel that I am missing something. Common tasks are more difficult to achieve using an iPad, but I think if wanted to summarise what I really miss I would say the following:
    • Office apps are not as powerful as their desktop counterparts
    • Email apps are not as powerful as on the desktop
    • Mobile Safari not as powerful as on the desktop
    • No direct access to a file system from all apps (every app has its own separated space, lives in total isolation)
    • No precision based interface support. I would love to have a mouse on my iPad..

    For me the iPad is still a toy, an expensive one. I know that there are people that are doing actual work with an iPad and I understand that it can work. The iPad has become much more powerful than before, but it is still being held by its OS. I too could do real work on an iPad but I choose not too, because it is just too cumbersome to use and I would need to find ways to go past the iPad limitations all the time. Technology should be there to help people, and not to make them feel limited. This is how the iPad makes me feel. As an entertainment device it is absolutely amazing, but I can use my Macs for that too and I wouldn't miss anything.
    I will send it back and use the money to partly finance my new iMac which I just ordered. For me, the combination iMac as a desktop computer and MacBook Pro 13" as my mobile device, together with my iPhone is more than sufficient. I don't believe that there is space for a device that sits somewhere in the middle and does nothing better than my Macs. I know that there are a lot of people that disagree, and I respect that, but unless many things change on the OS and apps level, I do not see myself going back to an iPad for a long long time. With the setup I described I will be getting the maximum usage possible from each device. Each device has its purpose and doesn't leave me wonder why I have it.
    When the iPad gets a much more powerful OS and better apps than the current ones, or when I will be so rich that I can justify having a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet and a smartphone, I will buy an iPad again. In the meantime I will enjoy macOS for as long as possible.
  2. stephenschimpf macrumors newbie


    Jun 15, 2018
    San Pedro, CA
    I have both an iMac and an iPad Pro and use both, almost daily, but for different things.
  3. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    I can understand that, but it is possible that you haven't given the iPad Pro enough time to fully explore how far an iOS tablet device can go.

    I've spent YEARS attempting to use iPads (and iPad Pros) as a replacement or supplement for laptops. I explored the various software options, adjusted my workflows to be more in tune with how things work. I worked hard to "think different" and focus on WHAT needs to get done and not HOW I did them on my laptop.

    I was moderately successful. But there are many things that just either aren't possible in iOS or able to be done as efficiently and effectively as can be done on Mac OS. No amount of creativity can overcome the technical deficiencies of what is essentially a smartphone OS.

    I have found those to be limitations as well. Add to that the lack of support for USB peripherals. The simple act of copying files (files... not photos stored in hardcoded directories) from a USB stick required using a wireless hub/server, attaching the USB stick to that, and then using software on the iPad to copy the files over and then "send" the files to the app that would manipulate the file.

    At its core, iOS is a smartphone OS. I don't say that as a pejorative, but as a statement of fact. It is app-centric that expects the user to select the app to use and then load a data file within that app. Apple has patched iOS by wedging the Files.app as a way to overcome that limitation. On a desktop OS, it is equally capable of launching an app and loading a file within the app as it is to open a folder and double-click on a file to open the default app.

    iOS doesn't easily allow different apps to interact with any particular file. (eg. 2 image editing apps) Apple created a workaround for that by implementing a "send to..." or "open with.." from the current app to "send" the file to another app. (which in turn creates multiple local copies of the file... one in each app's sandboxed storage) A common solution is to store the file on the cloud and use Files.app to download the file and send it to the respective apps. (if the apps themselves don't support accessing the cloud directly)

    Apple's introduction of the Files.app as a way to address the sandboxed storage issue really made matters worse IMO.

    Where I've landed in all of this is to continue to use an iMac in my home office, a 2017 Macbook Air for travel, and the base 2018 iPad for iOS stuff. For all the things that I do on an iPad, the 2018 iPad has allowed me to do everything that I could do on a 12.9 iPad Pro. But I'm doing less than I was because I'm not trying to push the envelope, but using the iPad in a way that is more natural for a tablet to be used.
  4. Isamilis, May 28, 2019
    Last edited: May 28, 2019

    Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    Same here. If the macbook air has been so thin and small, why bother to use iPad? Unless I have special needs that only iPad can serve. I tried using iPad long time ago, as my main device. It was hard. Yes, I can do lot of things just like with my macbook, but... with higher complexity. In the end I need keyboard as I write quite a lot. And I found, iPad+keyboard is very similar in size with macbook air, but in iPad I need to bring *both* keyboard and iPad (which is not as simple as bringing one macbook). Finally I think, if my only concern is only the size, why not bring macbook that already serve me well and proven for years to be efficient, while its size difference now is not much anymore?
    I also read somewhere, that using tablet is not eyes friendly compared to laptop - especially for kids. When using laptop, our eyes are managed to some distance (30-50cm) from the screen (because there is keyboard in the middle), while using iPad we can be unaware very closed to the screen.
  5. TheSkywalker77 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 9, 2017
    If I did get an iPad it'd be just for content consumption. I can't replace my MBP with one for many reasons you listed plus more. I just wish Apple would acknowledge that the iPad can easily be a touch-screen Mac or maybe have some weird touch-screen version of macOS on it. iOS is great for phones, but with how good the hardware in the iPads are they deserve a better OS than they have right now.
  6. MisterSavage macrumors 6502a


    Nov 10, 2018
    Same here and I wouldn't even consider getting rid of either.
  7. DNichter macrumors G3


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    Not at all. Plenty of people prefer macOS over iOS and the iPad. For me, I moved on from macOS a few years back and could never go back. It’s great that we have options today as consumers.
  8. muzzy996 macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2018
    I tend to purchase devices to fill workflow needs rather than trying to justify purchases by FINDING reasons for them. I can fully understand that we all have different needs just as we all have different financial capacity. For me the $1k investment in my iPP wasn't a hardship and all I really wanted the device for was handwritten note taking, PDF annotation and media consumption when lounging about or traveling. The iPad fits those tasks perfectly compared to a Mac or PC. Out the gate I knew that web browsing and media consumption was going to be 85% of the time spent on the device making it purely a luxury item and I was ok with that. YMMV. I totally agree on iPads not being able to fulfill more complicated workflows; I fall into that category too where my needs for office applications go beyond mobile versions and my need to do things like CAD and other production work in my profession (civil engineering) require a full desktop machine.

    At the same time, even though for the most part my Gen 2 iPP is a luxury item for me and it didn't break my wallet there's absolutely no way in hell I will even attempt to justify another $1,630 to upgrade from a Gen 2 to Gen 3 12.9-inch iPP. I hope to run this iPP into the ground before having to re-invest in new generation tech (pencil and keyboard).
  9. nouveau_redneck macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2017
    For me iOS on iPhone and macOS on a MacBook are all that's needed. An iPad is really an in between device that doesn't seem to have a place for my needs.

    iOS to me is a light weight interface with the primary purpose of portability. The iPhone provides greater portability than an iPad and is a device that can be carried at all times. An iPad is similar in size to a small MacBook, making it inherently less portable than the iPhone. So the iPad has the OS limitation without the benefit of portability.

    Due to that OS limitation, it does not serve as a replacement for macOS for general purpose computing. The iPad hardware format is less useful for me as well. A MacBook is an all-in-one, and its more comfortable to use. Lift up the screen and it is ready to go with keyboard and the body makes a good platform to comfortably rest on the lap or a table. Contrast that to the iPad which requires being held continuously, or propped up with a stand that is not as stable as a laptop device.

    iPads seem to do better with limited or specialized uses, or very light weight and constricted general use.
  10. LiveM macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2015
    At the iPad’s revelation, Steve Jobs said that it would offer a far superior email and browsing experience to a Mac. To that end, I believe the email apps should be at least as capable as the desktop counterparts. Just attaching a document to an email in Gmail is a nightmare, and there is no way to remove text formatting. That shouldn’t be so.
  11. Mainsail macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2010
    I think a Mac desktop (iMac or Mac Mini) plus iPad is a great combination. The iPad is great for mobile productivity and consumption. A desktop is great for complex tasks and large content creation.

    It seems like "content consumption" gets a bad wrap....like you can't be productive when consuming content. This is ridiculous.
    • Reviewing and replying to emails/messages
    • Referencing and Updating Contacts, Calendars, and reminders
    • Reviewing and Annotating PDFs
    • Reviewing and writing Handwritten and Typed Notes
    • Reviewing, drafting, and editing other documents (tables, charts, slides, etc..)
    • Reading Books and professional Journals
    • Reviewing and marking up sketches and photos
    If your mobile productivity is primarily this type of stuff, an iPad is a great device and schlepping around a laptop would seem to be excessive. Also, cloud storage has made it pretty seamless to move between devices, so you don't need to carry around a laptop everywhere just to access your files and documents.

    It is really not about cost: MacBook Air 2018 = $1,200. Mac Mini + iPad Air 3 = $800 + $500 = $1,300. Almost everyone has a monitor, keyboard and mouse laying around. If not, they are often on sale at electronic stores.
  12. omelet1978 macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2012
    I love my iPad Pro 11, but it is not a Mac replacement. It’s sooo close though at this point but I think the reason things like external hard drive support and stuff like that is simple...they make a lot higher margins on their Macs, so they want to keep a tablet a tablet and a Mac computer a Mac computer.

    I also agree an iMac desktop and a iPad is a very good combination. I use my LTE iPad all the time. I’m curious what iOS 13 will bring to the table though so hopefully it’s a good update.
  13. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Same. Admittedly, I bought my first iPad specifically for reading Japanese manga after multiple disastrous forays with Windows slates (slow, overheats, 3-4 hour battery life, etc). No thoughts to productivity at all. My work requires Windows anyway.

    After spending a couple grand on a 1-week vacation, ~$1K on an iPad that I'll use for at least 1 year didn't seem too bad. That said, I did reign in the impulse to upgrade to a $1.7K+tax iPP 11 1TB LTE. Too much money for something that doesn't tick off a lot of points on my checklist.
  14. richpjr macrumors 68040


    May 9, 2006
    I agree with the OP. iOS is just so frustrating to use for certain things that I can never use just it as my sole computing device. I greatly prefer to use the tool that best fits my needs to get something done. That has led to me having a lot of gear (11 and 12.9 iPP, 15MBP, Windows gaming/video/photo editing machine). I'd love to be able to consolidate on one or two devices, but it is currently too much of a compromise (I'm looking at you iOS!).
  15. RevTEG macrumors 6502a


    Oct 28, 2012
    San Jose, Ca
    I have both the Mcabook pro and the newest iPad Pro 12.9. I’ve been Apple only since around 2003ish and have a lot of experience with Mac OS and I still prefer iOS over Mac OS. I hardly ever use my MacBook. I much prefer my iOS workflow.

    Even if my MacBook Pro had unlimited LTE, like my iPad Pro, I’d still prefer iOS apps.
    --- Post Merged, May 28, 2019 ---
    I know there’s some jobs that require programs not available on iOS. However, I think the mass majority of people have pretty simple requirements in computers. That leads me to believe many of us just prefer what we’re used to using. For me that’s become iOS, for others it’s Mac OS. Kind of like the whole mouse debate. I haven’t owned one since pawning a 2 or 4 gig Compaq desktop 19 or so years ago. Not using one became my normal and I have no desire to change. So, I think preference in most cases is based on familiarity. Which is totally fine.
  16. Shirasaki macrumors G3


    May 16, 2015
    Over three years since I started my master degree at university of Sydney, I simply could not find justification to get an iPad during my study as an electrical engineer. It was until recently when I thought giving iPad a try and see if I ever need one. Turns out, I love having an iPad around than my 11” MacBook Air (2014, core i5 haswell), which is four years old at this point. I find reading PDF or books on a Mac weird and a bit unnatural than holding an iPad for reading. True Tone and night shift also helps easing the eye strain a bit. Gaming on iPad is a whole new experience compared to iPhone. Larger screen, easier to eyes (everything is much bigger) and still retain certain level of portability. A fantastic device.

    With that all being said, I still think if book reading and website browsing is not the top priority for daily life, refrain from buying an iPad. iPhone can do those just fine, albeit putting more pressure to the eyes.

    Off topic ranting: my highest Face ID failure count on iPad Pro (2018) is 5 before I need to enter passcode to unlock. Bad.
  17. Greenmeenie macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2013
    Hey, opinions vary. But for me, the ipad pro is definitely NOT a toy. I sold my macbook & don’t use my imac anymore. I do serious video & photo editing on my 11” ipad pro as well as drawing & design. I have made the transition 100%. It may not be for you, but for me it is.
  18. secretk macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2018
    It does depends on the person ;).

    I don't own macOS so I cannot comment on this but I do prefer Windows over iOS. As you can see in the devices I use, I am exposed to Windows, Android and iOS. iOS is the OS I dislike the most. After that is Android and I like the most Windows. Not because Windows is perfect because it is not. It suits however better my needs. iOS is far too restrictive for what I need. It is a mobile OS and it is OK if it is used for phones

    I would not call the iPad a toy. I can use it productively but it is for specific needs that my current laptop cannot meet (namely pencil support).

    For everything else I prefer the laptop. I don't use the iPad even for media consumption as I prefer the bigger screen on my computer. The audio is also better. The typing experience is superior on laptop as well. Ergonomics are also better on a bigger machine.

    Overall I could not justify paying for iPad Pro. For regular iPad I can (because of the pencil support) but not for iPad Pro.
  19. prospervic macrumors 6502


    Aug 2, 2007
    Apple is playing the long (and I mean LONG) game with the iPad. Meaning, they are priming iOS to be the computing platform of the future. As such, it will be of primary use by the generation now approaching adulthood, as well as subsequent ones. Old farts like us (and by that I don’t mean “age”, but ways of thinking and working) will likely never fully embrace it the way they will, because for them, iOS will be just what a computer is.

    The difficulties expressed in this forum stem from trying to fit accustomed legacy methods, with their attendant brain and muscle memories, into this radically new computing paradigm. We are making assumptions that simply do not apply in this new world. Just as a friend of mine (who is not “old”, mind you) cannot wrap his head around purchasing music via digital download (he once said to me “but aren’t you really buying nothing”?) because, as an avid CD collector he spent many years amassing a huge library that crowds out his living space.

    I recall interning at a company that was in the midst of transitioning from DOS to Windows — a number of the employees took early retirement because they just could not cope with learning GUI.

    Apple knows what they are doing. iPad will become the norm, whether or not the cranky ones like it.
  20. 537635 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 7, 2009
    Slovenia, EU
    This is a great sum-up. Through the years I really have tried working with iPads but it simply doesn't stick. After coming from a proper OS, it feels like a toy or more like an inflated iPhone. In terms of productivity I think that an iPad is far closer to an iPhone than a Mac. When you think about it, for software available on all platforms you actually can do everthing on an iPhone, that you would on an iPad. But there are many (mainly non-content-consumption, creative, professional stuff) things you simply cannot do (or cannot reasonably do) on an iPad.

    You can do NICHE pro stuff.

    Can you do video editing? Like for real. No!
    Can you do complex presentations? Like animations and timings and stuff? No!
    Can you write scientific articles with references etc.? No.
    Can you use complex keyboard shortcuts in software? No.
    Can you create software for iOS? LOL, no. This one alone makes it not really "pro".

    I mean for crying out loud if somebody sends me a ZIP file, I need to jump through hoops to open it.

    I would love to work with an iPad. It's so portable, elegant... If it would run macOS, I would simply get an external keyboard and trackpad and that could be my only device besides the phone. I really wish Apple brings their own silicone to the Macbook line.

    Even scrolling through Macrumors is a far nicer experience on a laptop. You can open threads in new tabs, have separate windows, switch between them.
  21. akash.nu macrumors 604


    May 26, 2016
    This is exactly what my conclusion as well in terms of the usage of iPad in my life. I carry my MacBook for work and iPad for pleasure / admin work that doesn’t require my MacBook. The whole concept of replacing MacBook with an iPad just doesn’t hold water in my life. Base model iPad is doing just fine for me.
  22. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    I used to carry an 11" Macbook Air with me all the time when I travel. Now, the 10.5" iPad Pro is its replacement. Lighter, longer battery life, do almost everything I need a "computer" for on the go. If I need to travel even ligther, the iPad mini 5 is with me and it's an awesome tool. I've been using iPad mini since iPad mini 2, and have done quick office stuff on the go (powerpoint, excel, etc). At home base, my Macbook Pro is still on the desk for heavy lifting (Final cut, Lightroom, etc). It used to be an iMac, but the Macbook Pro replaced it since it's easier to take with me when needed.

    Find the best tool for your needs. Simple. You found macOS to be the right tool for you, great. Other find iPads to be theirs. Some, like me, find both to have their own uses and advantages. Nothing wrong with any of those. What's wrong is people who demean and insult others just because they have differing needs and views.
  23. petvas thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    I agree. There is no need to start insulting anyone here. I would love to keep my iPad, but it is really a luxury I cannot afford, especially when I know that my Macs will always be used much more. Maybe for when travelling I buy a cheaper iPad, just for casual stuff.. We will see!
    The main thing that makes me unhappy with the iPad situation is that even if Apple improves the OS with the next update, the apps will not get better overnight. Microsoft Office is something I use a lot and the mobile version is a joke..The same applies to most apps I use. The Mac version is much more powerful and I cannot really use the mobile versions for anything serious..
  24. AutomaticApple macrumors 65816


    Nov 28, 2018
  25. petvas, May 29, 2019
    Last edited: May 29, 2019

    petvas thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    I agree 100%. This is not my first iPad. I had a three year pause without any iPad but to be honest, apart from the hardware differences the main software experience hasn’t changed a lot, compared to the iPads from three years ago. I will probably get a cheaper iPAd at some point, just to have one tablet, but in the meantime my iPhone suffices. When I want to do anything more advanced, I prefer to use macOS. I prefer the window centric approach and I don’t believe that the app centric approach helps the iPad. It works great on a phone, but not on a device that is supposed to be a pro machine.
    --- Post Merged, May 29, 2019 ---
    This thread should be read by the people in Cupertino, responsible for the iPad development.

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