macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 19, 2017
Boston, MA
Hello guys,

I currently own an iPad Pro 9.7" + LTE and I have the Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard. It is an absolutely amazing combination. The few times I take notes, the Apple Pencil makes this a joy. Whenever I have to type something up, the Smart Keyboard feels great. And for media consumption the iPad by itself does a kickass job.

My problem is that I find myself not picking it up as often as I would like because of the software limitations. I am not trying to say that iOS is limited. There are apps for almost everything, and games for every type of person. - But for some reason, most tasks are simply a lot easier to do on a regular Mac/PC with a traditional OS and mouse. I feel like it's not an iOS problem, but rather a problem with everything else. Websites, programs, the everyday workflow hasn't fully adopted to the devices of the future. And it's a shame.

I'm a PhD student, and certain interactive websites that I use for school just don't seem to load well or allow me to navigate as efficiently. Certain jobs that I do require me to use a browser, and a mail client. Both things fully functional on any iPad. But, again, for some reason, I find myself being lot quicker and more efficient on my MacBook. The precision of a mouse has a lot to do with it, but the snappiness and flexibility of a desktop OS can't be taken for granted either.

It is true that I am a power user, and perhaps I have the knowledge/experience that a simpler user wouldn't have on a computer, making the iPad a better choice. The problem here is that I really love my iPad. I just wish I could use it more. When I'm on the go (commuting, walking around, in & out of class / work, my iPhone X has a terrific screen and does a great job offering me everything I need in those situations. And when I get to sit down, my 12" MacBook is small and always with me, ready to be fired up and used.

At home, my entire house is rigged with Cast devices (Android TV, Chromecast Audio, and normal Chromecasts) that allow me to just cast my media to a speaker/tv, so I don't really use the iPad at home for that purpose.

Does anyone else feel the same way? Is there any app, service, or something that I might be missing out on that might improve my experience?

As much as I love it, I think I will sell it and keep my Gaming Rig + 12" MacBook + iPhone&AppleWatch setup.
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macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2012
Destin, FL
A lot of the issue is the way websites were designed in the past. We developers have learned much about the user experience. Every site I've built in the last three years or so have been Single Page Applications ( SPA ) using various technologies.

Basically, the site loads and user interaction is immediate, even if the round trip to the server is delayed. The user never feels this. Things pop immediately. Websites have become more web applications.

Time will refresh these older sites to newer technology. Especially if the need is great and money is to be made.

The best news of all, the same technology makes your mobile and desktop computing seem better as well.

Harmonious Zen

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2013
You’re not alone, OP. That’s why I rarely use an iPad now too. Between my phone and my MacBook, there just isn’t much I need the iPad for.
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macrumors 68040
Aug 24, 2017
Out there...way out there
Just to balance things out (and please note I'm not trying to minimize anyone else's experience here) I still use my iPad just as much as my iPhone and my 2 MacBooks (Air & Pro).

Guess that different folk have different needs is all!


macrumors 68000
I was in the same box, only I never had time to use my iPads. So I sold 3 of them and am getting a 10.5” to use for basic stuff, until the next refresh. I had a great set-up that worked awesome, before my job got really busy and I barely had time to use my iPads. I had a Mini 4, Pro 12.9”, and Pro 9.7”. It was a great set-up, (in terms of being able take one iPad and leaving the others.)


Oct 1, 2015
My wife neglects her tablet too. Yet she will sit on the couch for hours using iOS on her phone. Some people just don’t want to tablet. try blocking your consumer sites like this site so you can only come here on tablet.


macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2017
I mostly use mine for watching tv in bed. I hardly use LTE but it came in handy after being without power the past three days. 10.5 Pro is on the way. LTE for me is not really necessary so I’m just going WiFi for the new one.

I like the iPad since it is easier for vs watching and browsing on my 8+ and when I don’t want to be sitting with my laptop.


macrumors member
Nov 24, 2016
I use my iPad almost as a consume media device, even that I have as the OP the smart keyboard and the pencil, but I found that I mostly use my MacBook for work, simply for me nothing compares to be able to use a mouse for spreadsheets and most web sites are better rendered in Mac OS. Started using the iPad as my main device, but lately I found myself spending more and more time with the MacBook, still love the iPad, and for just watch some media or casual browsing is perfect device.
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The Game 161

macrumors Penryn
Dec 15, 2010
I’ve become that way too ever since I got an iPad mini last month. When I get home from work, I usually set down my iPhone and pick up my iPad.

When at home I use my phone more for WhatsApp. Away from home I use it a lot when out and about but yeah my iPad is what I use mainly in the evening.


macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
The only tasks I really need/prefer my iPads for are digital drawing and occasionally needing to compute on my feet at work (12.9), and ebooks (mini). I think everything else that I use my iPads for would be as good or better on a light laptop, in addition to my phone. I don’t really play games, and like OP, I much prefer using a TV for shows and movies.

Touch is more intuitive, but a mouse is more precise and requires less movement, and because of its precision a mouse interface will always have a more robust UI given the same screen real estate. I also prefer a stable clamshell form factor. Not to mention the mobile software ecosystem still has a lot of catching up to do, but to me that is secondary.

I like my iPad Pro a lot, but if it wasn’t for its two aforementioned specific tasks, I would have a rMB. Whether iPP or rMB though, I would still need a small tablet for ebooks.
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macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2012
I use my iPad Pro a lot. Being an older person means that the stuff in my iPhone is too small. I would never watch a video on my iPhone, for example. My iPad Pro is my “go to” device. My home computer is a Windows 10 PC, which works very well, but I use that for the programs/apps which are not supported on my iPad. Otherwise, my iPad is my main device.
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macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2015
I'm the opposite. I use my iPad Pro a ton and find myself using it more and more as time goes on. It's pretty much my go to device. I even use it to remotely log into various servers and desktop machines when I'm away (yes, a laptop is arguably a better device for this but I just love the ultra portability of an iPad). I wouldn't use it nearly as much if I didn't also have the Smart Keyboard. The only time I reach for my iPhone at home is when someone calls me.

In fact, I never use my MacBook Pro anymore. Granted, I still have a PC for gaming and stuff that requires a "real computer" so an iPad isn't exactly a computer replacement for me.

I'm actually surprised at how much I use my iPad. It's one of the best purchases I've made in the past few years.


macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2003
SF Bay area
I use an iPad Pro and a MacBook Pro most of the time. I carry an iPhone for calls and text messages. At night when it goes on the charger it has 80% battery remaining.

The iPad and MacBook are good for different things. The iPad is great for taking notes, annotating images and documents, sketching out ideas and all sorts of reading and podcast listening. The MacBook is great for the heavy lifts of document creation, email, text entry, Xcode and such.


macrumors 68000
Sep 17, 2008
I bring my iPad with me 99% of the time. Until I got my 2016 15" MacBook Pro, I rarely took my laptop. Now, when I leave for work I throw the MBP in the bag since it's so light.

My main non-day job needs are pretty much in this order:
  • Writing with Ulysses for my blog
  • Working on school
  • Editing Photos in Affinity Photo and Lightroom
  • Drawing
  • Playing games (ok, some days... ok a lot of days, this is higher on the list).
Writing is a slam dunk on the iPad. Ulysses is pretty much feature complete. School is a mixed bag. I can do most things on my iPad, but the limitations to Word are frustrating. This semester I need to create a document with a Table of Contents, but no word processor I've seen lets me create a ToC. Word can update one, but not create one. Affinity Photo is also fairly feature complete, but I like my Topaz filters a lot. Drawing is something I want to do more of, but don't really do at all. There are some even more fringe things I can file under drawing: working on AutoCAD, which is not optimal on iOS.

This keeps brining me back to just going back to my Mac and leaving the iPad for times I don't want or need to bring the laptop. It's frustrating because I love iOS. I love the iPad and the pencil, but the software like Word and AutoCAD are just hindering me.

Edit: One thing, though, I LOVE about my iPad is the ability to just strip my creative process down to the bare minimums. Write, draw, edit photos.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2009
New Jersey
It’s a situation where you are used to using a regular computer and using a tablet is awkward for you. It has little to do with capability or workflow. You can adjust your workflow if you really wanted to, and the iPad has the capability to do everything that most people need to do.

I went through this when I got my first iPad Pro in 2015. It wasn’t until I pushed myself to stop using my MacBook and forced myself to use the iPad Pro that I began to get used to it. I no longer own a mac these days, but when I use one that belongs to someone else, I keep trying to press the screen instead of using the mouse. We are all creatures of habit.
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