Isn't the iPad Really Just A Toy Still?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by parseckadet, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. parseckadet macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2010
    Denver, CO
    Ok, so I know the thread title may seem trollish, but I promise that's not what I'm trying to do. Part of my purchase process inevitably gets to a point where I say to myself "I don't really need this thing." The iPad Pro with iOS 11 has me really tempted, and so I'm in that same spot of saying that I don't really need it. That's the reason I'm starting this thread, to get these thoughts out there and see what others have to say.

    So on the one hand, I could use a hardware upgrade. I have an early-2011 MBP, which is really starting to show its age. But it also was invaluable when I was looking for a new job and relocating 6 months ago. I updated my resume, posted to recruiting sites, had several interviews over Skype, wrote numerous coding samples for prospective employers, organized and executed my move, all from my MBP. There's no way an iPad could have accomplished all of that, so I'm not someone who's going to go iPad only.

    On the other hand, the iPad could have accomplished a lot of those tasks. I have an original iPad Mini, which is REALLY showing its age. So much so that I haven't bothered to dig it out of the box since we moved, and I haven't missed it.

    That last part is what's feeding my thought process that the iPad is just a toy. Sure, I've enjoyed taking it on trips to watch movies and Netflix, read books, etc. But that's all its ever really done for me.

    Then Monday happened, and now I'm back to thinking that maybe there is some usefulness to the iPad beyond consumption. For example, I'm constantly having to scan receipts, sign a cover document, and email them off.

    So now I'm so wrapped up in knots that I just don't know what to think. My personal experience has been that the iPad is indeed just a toy for watching videos. But is there something about the Pro that changes this? Is multitasking (even the version that came in iOS 9) really THAT big of a game changer? Sorry for the rambling nature of this post, but my thoughts are just such a mess right now. I would love to hear what everyone else has to say.
  2. spiderman0616 macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2010
    The Pro was a game changer for the iPad last year. The Smart Keyboard and Pencil make it even more so. Now we have the software coming in the fall to finally confirm that Apple is committed to the iPad's future.

    There are a lot of people out there who were already using their iPads as laptop relacements BEFORE the Pro line came out. Now there will probably be a lot more.
  3. kdoug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2010
    Iowa City, IA USA
    If it's a toy it's a damn productive one at that. I very rarely use either of my desktops because this little gem can do most anything the desktops can do. Filing and storage is still a plus on a traditional computer.
  4. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Op to be honest all the tasks you’ve listed could have been done on an iPad with ease. I completely agree with the above post.
  5. Freakonomics101 macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2014
    And iOS 11 makes it even better!!
  6. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
  7. TheRealAlex macrumors 65816

    Sep 2, 2015
    The iPad is a complimentary device. It could have likely done everything you outlined if it was your Only choice. But they way Steve Jobs envisioned Computers is analogous to Atuomobiles. A truck does somethings while a Corvette is better at others meanwhile they can both do the same tasks arguably one is better than the other at some tasks.

    IPad is Simple it gets the job done.

    - Movies, Netflix
    - Online Webbrowsing Shoppings etc.
    - eMails, Social Media communication Texting
    - YouTube
    - Games and Usefull Apps
    - Music buying and Listening
    - Reading Books and pdfs Online Manuals etc.
    - Flying my drone DJI app
    - taking Notes

    My Mac or PC can do all this above it's just the iPad does them better. And it's better at a lot of them. Can't play GTA V, but I can slip it in my backpack and weighs 1lb.
  8. darkarn macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2017
    For me, well, due to my motion sickness issues, I can't game on the PC anymore like years ago. Also, I intend to focus on music games more than before, so getting an iPad Pro which supports these games really well was indeed a good step in that direction. So yes, it is a toy (or even my sole entertainment device?) to me.

    But, I too am someone who wants to squeeze every bit out of my IT devices whenever desirable. So when I tested out Teamviewer on the iPad Pro vs my iPad Air, the larger screen size alone justified the iPad Pro as the more superior productivity tool since I can now see almost the entire screen of the remote PC. The iOS 11 announcements also sound like it will be very worthwhile too

    So for my use case, it looks like the iPad Pro will become a toy and beyond!
  9. eyeseeyou, Jun 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017

    eyeseeyou macrumors 68020

    Feb 4, 2011
    You can play San Andreas though!
    --- Post Merged, Jun 11, 2017 ---
    Imo it was more of the pencil considering Bluetooth keyboards, with arguable more functionality than apples keyboard, have existed since iPads have had Bluetooth.

    As for the OP, everything but compile code could’ve easily been done on an iPad.

    There’s probably an app for compiling code but since that’s not what my job entails I’m not as familiar with those apps.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 11, 2017 ---
    Hey here’s a list of coding apps available, they even sync with github
  10. parseckadet, Jun 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017

    parseckadet thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2010
    Denver, CO
    Before too many more people jump on the "you can code on iPad" train, I understand that for some languages it can be done. But the jobs I was interviewing for were using either Java or C#. Further, they wanted me to remote into a machine they had on their network using Citrix or something like that.

    While I know you can remote into other machines using iOS ( I do it myself), I'm not going to tell an interviewer to wait while I figure out an alternative for my iPad when they're already familiar with how to do it with Windows and macOS. In the middle of an interview is the wrong time to figure that stuff out. When he says "Open a new project in Eclipse and write a program that does X," he's not just trying to see if you know how to write code. He also wants to know if you know how to use the tools the rest of his team is using. He might be open to news ways of doing things, be he has to know that you can fall back on the current setup when you need to.
  11. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    When it comes to devices like computers, whether something is a "toy" or not depends on how it is used. The app store's front pages tend to be loaded with games and media-based apps, which may lead people to believe that iPads and other iOS devices are "toys." But you could just as easily use your computer to do nothing more than play games and watch videos.

    Is it easier to do typical productivity-based tasks on a Mac than an iOS device? The first answer that comes to mind is "yes," but that's really only because we're used to working on computers and have established workflows on them. For years I've used iPads in the professional medical setting, primarily as a paper replacement (yes, even before the Apple Pencil) and also as a portable scanner and mobile library. Email and team-based communications are a given. Sure, I have a "toy" iPad at home that is loaded with home-based things like shopping applications, games, and video consumption apps, but my work iPad doesn't have any of those. It is as much a toy as paper, pencils, and reference texts are.

    There's no need to push yourself - if you're comfortable with MacBook Pros for work, then upgrade that or consider going with a MacBook if you want ultra-portability. (Full disclosure: I carry around both an iPad and MacBook, but the MacBook can go a full week without being used, whereas the iPad is almost constantly on and in use.) Using iOS devices effectively as more than "toys" requires redesigning your workflow, changing the way you think about computational tasks (at least a little), and finding the right applications for the job you're trying to accomplish (which isn't so different from standard computers).

    I think some good starter applications are:
    1) Documents (by Readdle - it's free, and already accomplishes a lot of what iOS 11's "Files" app claims to do)
    2) PDF Expert (adds functionality to Documents and can also be used as a stand-alone app; useful for advanced PDF editing)
    3) PDF Converter (also Readdle... I'm not affiliated with them but they make good productivity software)
    4) Notability (best paper replacement application, in my experience. Use an Apple Pencil for the best writing experience on an iPad; if choosing a non-Pro iPad, or preferring a cheaper implement, an Adonit Dash works fairly well, too)
    5) Scanner Pro (also by Readdle - best scanning application, in my opinion)
    6) Apple's productivity suite, which has been free with new iOS device purchases for a few years now: Keynote (buy a Lightning-VGA adapter to be able to present directly off of your iPad); Numbers; and Pages.
    The rest is a matter of finding applications specialized to your field or tasks.
  12. daflake macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2008
    Not really... I mean, I used my iPad (not pro) to get me through my Masters degree. It was a great tool with Office on it and a ClamCase to get me through it all. I wish I had more control over my files, but I managed.
  13. jmeas macrumors regular


    Jun 30, 2015
    San Jose
    For the tasks you listed, it could be that you either prefer doing them on an iPad, or you don't mind it. It could be worth trying out.

    There's a no-questions-asked two week return policy at Apple, so if you know there's two weeks where you'll need to be doing a lot of those tasks, then it might be worthwhile to buy an iPad and see what you think. Maybe hold off until iOS 11 enters the public beta, or until it's released officially.

    I have an iPad Pro, and I love using it for media consumption. For some tasks, like writing emails and basic photo manipulation, it's pretty great, too. But some things on it are simply too annoying to do.

    For instance, saving a file to iCloud Drive. I use iCloud Drive for everything, and I have tons of files in there. But the dialog to save files into iCloud Drive expands all of the directories, so it's very difficult for me to locate the right place that I want to save a file to.

    Also, I work with git a lot on programming projects. Sometimes, I want to edit Markdown files. This is pretty tedious to do, too, as even the best Git clients (like Working Copy), don't have all of the tools needed to do a really sophisticated git workflow.

    Do I like my iPad? Yeah, it's one of my favorite things that I own. But it's still really far off from being able to replace all of the "productivity" tasks that I use computers for.
  14. Shanghaichica macrumors 603


    Apr 8, 2013

    I'm not sure. On the one hand my computing needs are minimal, all I do is web browse, shop on line, mobile banking, watch videos, listen to music and podcasts. So an iPad serves my needs perfectly. I have a MacBook but I rarely use it.

    I think as my computing needs decreased over the years and as iPhones/iPads became more powerful I've gravitated towards them as my main computers. Even though I own a MacBook and an iPad Air 2 my iPhone is still my main computer. It's the one I have on me at all times and I can pull it out and do 98 % of the things I need to do. At the moment I'm only using my iPad Air 2 to watch videos, web browse and I've just bought an Adonit pixel stylus and I've been using it to do colouring.

    I'm still debating whether or not to upgrade to the new 10.5 inch iPad Pro. On the one hand it would be nice to have but on the other hand the iPad Air 2 still serves my needs really well. It will be getting updated to iOS 11 and will be getting all of the multitasking features. Things like PDF annotation, document scanning and annotation and screen shot annotations will work on my iPad Air 2 with my adonit pixel. The only feature I won't get is the ability to take notes from the lockscreen as that is exclusive to the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. However I don't like taking hand written notes because my hand writing isn't very good. It's not a feature that I think I'd use a lot on a tablet as I'm no longer in education and I work in healthcare and we are not allowed to use our personal devices for work related issues for confidentiality reasons.

    I used to be of the opinion that the pro iPads were not pro machines at all because all it offered was a slightly more accurate stylus and a stock keyboard. However you could always get a keyboard case for non pro iPads and there are plenty of Bluetooth styli out there. However I think iOS 11 has made the iPad, partuculary the pro into a real laptop replacement. Advanced multi tasking, the files app and drag and drop along with the pencil features put forward a strong argument for the iPad as a 'real' computer. That is why I'm considering buying the iPad Pro 12.5.
  15. gobikerider, Jun 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017

    gobikerider macrumors 68000


    Apr 15, 2016
    United States
    The iPad Pro is not a "toy" in that it now offers real "Pro" level performance and fully featured desktop applications are beginning to filter down from the Mac onto the iPad Pro. Affinity has brought Photo and is working on Designer software for iPad. These 2 programs are fully featured photo editing and graphic design tools designed as Photoshop and Illustrator replacements. I think over the next year current software will continue to evolve on iPad and developers are going to add More features and capability into the current apps that allow them to do even more things that the Mac counterparts can already do. iOS 11 brings a host of improvements to the iPad in itself that brings the iPad fairly close to the Mac in terms of features and capability, bewtween the new Dock and Files app, don't forget Metal 2, Safari 11, and HEVC video support. iOS 11 already shares so many common API's and capability with MacOS, with the new iPad Pro's power I think this is really going to be a big shift in the overall capability in the iPad Pro as a true Mac or laptop replacement. If iOS 12 brought another wave of new enhancements and api's I think in 2 years it could be a real thing. You have to wonder what they are going to do with this new iPad Pro that has the same perfmance as the 2017 MacBook Pro 13 inch
  16. smirking macrumors 6502a

    Aug 31, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    I'm a developer and what I've been reading about the performance specs of the A10x processor has me believing that it's possible that what replaces my 2016 MBP will end up being a 2019/2020 iPad Pro.
  17. gobikerider macrumors 68000


    Apr 15, 2016
    United States
    Hah no the new iPad Pro already did that silly, have you seen the performance, unless you have a 15inch model but even then the new iPad Pro has better single Core performance and faster gpu atleast compared to the intel iris pro graphics but the amd discrete graphic are still faster of course
  18. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    Posting in the iPad section is likely to get you a tinted response lets say.
    For me the iPad is just a consumption device still, little games, browsing, the occasional email and anything more than that and i reach for the mac.
  19. smirking macrumors 6502a

    Aug 31, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    It's got a ways to go still, but the potential is easier to see now than it was before. The best feature of the new MBP is the 5K monitor. I upgraded to the 2016 solely to get a 5K monitor. Well, I needed the upgrade too, but the monitor drove the decision.
  20. gobikerider macrumors 68000


    Apr 15, 2016
    United States
    Hey iPad can connect to monitor too you know :D:D:p
  21. emembee macrumors regular


    Oct 31, 2013
    Well it isnt a toy but its not always as reliable as a mac, for example i lost this post while in safafi, only worked better when done in editor and then pasted. The right mix of apps and worklfow is essential and there is nothing like hands on experience to sort out what it can and cannot do for you, and come to your own conclusions.
  22. Kal-037 macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2015
    Depends on the day, but usually I live all over.
    I get what you're saying but honestly I only have used an iPad for 2 years and without it I'd be stuck. Sure I could have bought a laptop but the iPad worked better still. I still consider it a toy though as the laptop would have worked but it was less convenient.
    Really we can just compare an iPad to fancy car. The whole point of a car is to get from point a to point b... yet you have all these fancy style or sport cars. Yet something like a Ford Taurus is probably more realistic or what one should just buy; saving money, easier to repair, doesn't attract as much theft, etc etc. but often fashion over function is what we go for.
    But back to point, an iPad actually does good work, lasts a long, long time, has a great company policy behind it, has high quality parts that work great and last, so realistically it would be both a toy but also a smart buy (AKA a real work tool.)

    If I were you I'd do a pros and cons list, ask why you'd buy it, and what the uses for it would be to warrant its purchase,
    **but also look at both generation 1 iPPs as they would perhaps be the better buy for you as the new ones will have new features to boost performance but most people who will appreciate it are going to be those who work in a creative or visual based type area. The biggest features the new iPads were given were display tech (color, brightness, HDR, refresh rate increase, etc, etc.) IMO they will still be great for other work, BUT... so will the original iPad Pro without all the new display tech. It's almost as powerful as a low 2015 MacBook Pro.

    Maybe just look at some deals for refurbished Pros or for sales on gen one versions, as you don't sound like someone that would really NEED or really care that the new iPad has millions of more colors compared to the first. I loved my gen one and was sad to see it go as it was a great machine and did its job and then some. But I work in Film; I do creative design, sketches, and animation. I needed the new display tech. Still it's practically a toy, but it's also a useful toy.

    As always YMMV, good luck with everything I hope you don't lose any sleep or have any more stress about it. Cause at the end of it... do you feel you can make real use of it?

    Kallum W.
  23. parseckadet thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2010
    Denver, CO
    So after thinking it through I went ahead and ordered the 10.5", 256MB, WiFi-only, along with a pencil. I would have gotten the LTE model of T-Mobile still offered their free 200MB of data. I'll put it through its paces for the next two weeks.

    My thought process is that I'll be using this primarily at home for typical household tasks such as budget tracking, scanning and submitting bills to insurance companies, etc. I'm also going to give it a whirl for note taking at work (I purchased Notability awhile ago on my Mini). I won't be able to do much more than that since they really limit what we can do with our personal devices. They won't even let us connect to the guest WiFi for example.
  24. DNichter macrumors 603


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    You can call it a toy if you want, but I am selling my MacBook to get the 10.5 instead. macOS has become stale to me.
  25. spiderman0616 macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2010
    I have never been more "meh" about macOS updates than I was this year. I know it's more of a point release, but still. macOS is the old way in my mind. I honestly don't care if they don't mess with it much anymore other than security stuff.

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