Never had an iPad. Should I get one?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by apocalyarts, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. apocalyarts macrumors newbie


    Sep 22, 2015
    I think the new iPad is offering a really nice package for the 349€ price tag.

    The thing is: do I need one? Would I use it? I have an Apple TV at home as well as an iPhone 7 and a Mac Book Pro.

    I'm not seeing anything a tablet could give me that my other device can't.

    BTW: I am a game and web developer. Are there any ways to utilize a tablet for work?
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I was pretty much like you, had the MacBook Pro, iMac and phone. I bought an refurb tablets for cheap and find that I use it for:

    1. a book reader. I like being able to cary around dozens of books. Texbooks, technical stuff and even fiction. I like being able to adjust the font size, something I can't do with a paper book.

    2. When I want a device I can do actual work with and need to be ultra-portable. I can do type on this screen. I take the iPad when I expect to have loots os down time, like waiting in the Dentist office

    3. silly but handy, a second screen for my MacBook Pro. I can drag reference material over to it off the MaxOS desktop. It is to "laggy" for use with an active window like an IDE.

    4. a remote terminal. The iPad can run ssh and I can get at my headless computer(s)

    That is a lot of uses but of all my Apple stuff the 27" iMac is by far used the most. I am writing software for motion control currently (Using C++ and Eclipse) and the more screen space the better.
  3. biker4mac macrumors member


    Aug 17, 2001
    South Central Pennsylvania
    I think a lot of whether you need one depends on what you would use it for.

    As an Architect, I can take plans and other information out into the field. Swiping and tapping on the screen is easier for me than trying to type stuff in on a keyboard. So those are the things I use it for. Other than that, I'll sit on the couch and browse email or the web with it, but if I have to reply to an email or such I typically go back to the computer where I have a real keyboard.
  4. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
    Going to chime in with "ultra-portable" as well.

    I too am a MBP, iPhone, iPad person. Yes, the MBP does things the others don't (eg. running VMs) and is better suited for other things (ie. heavy duty word processing/spreadsheets, code development, photo editing), but find it's a bit overkill to lug around everywhere, particularly if not going to need the full horsepower.

    iPad is a light, powerful device, largish screen (vs. phone). Great battery life. Can do much of the word processing, photo editing chores. Instead of lugging around pounds of books and magazines, it's all digital on my iPad. Can (and do) pair with a Bluetooth keyboard when needed for power typing (can type quite well with on-screen keyboard). What with airplane seats these days, can be a real trick to open up and use a laptop vs. smaller space and "hand-able" nature iPad.

    At home, as hinted above, it's my main reading device on the couch, in bed. Some video viewing. Second screen for simultaneous live events.

    My MBP rarely leaves the home these days, staying tethered to the external display, wired keyboard, ethernet cable.

    I have been very happy with my iPad, and will be upgrading my 6yo iPad next week with the 2018 model.
  5. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

    Sep 26, 2017
    I've tried a lot of tablets over the years, and the iPad was by far the most useful to me because the developer support is pretty good. I use one to stream sports while in other parts of the house (like while cooking), and the web browsing is pretty darn good and is often better than using the iPhone. For work, I guess it would depend on if you spend a lot of time presenting concept art/designs with clients. It's far easier to pull up such things on a tablet and pass around than to use a phone or laptop. If you do photography, they are a good way to showcase your work.

    Then again, if you can't see the value in one, then there's probably not much sense in buying one for the deal alone. If you had a desktop Mac, the iPad might have more value, but you already have something portable. Maybe the question really becomes, are there times when your MBP is too cumbersome and the iPad could fill in?
  6. thisismyusername, Mar 28, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018

    thisismyusername macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2015
    Nobody needs an iPad. I have an iPhone, iPad, PC, old MacBook Pro, and Kindle, along with various other electronic things. The iPad is my most used device by far even though everything I do on it could easily be done on a PC/MBP/etc. The ultra portability of it and the easily attachable/detachable smart keyboard (only available for the iPad Pro mind you) are what I love most about my iPad Pro. It's just productive enough that I never use my laptop anymore, although I do use my PC all the time for gaming and when I really need a "real computer".

    If I want to lounge on the couch and read the news, watch a video, etc, I reach for my iPad. If I'm traveling for personal reasons, I bring my iPad instead of a laptop. If I need to remote login to my home server (I SSH into a bunch of different machines all the time from my iPad) and do some stuff on it, I use my iPad instead of my MBP or PC. If I'm watching TV and want to look something up on the internet, I reach for my iPad. If I'm lying in bed and want to read for a bit, I reach for my iPad. It's my goto device.

    Heck, I've even used my iPad to do some minor web development (which I tend to do on a remote server and not the actual device I'm using) while on vacation. Granted, a laptop is a much better tool for this but the iPad was all I had and it was a work emergency. I wouldn't want to work like this all the time but it worked just fine. The fact that I could get away with an iPad to do this was a big reason I chose to it over buying a new laptop.
  7. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Same. I have an iPhone, iPad, desktop, laptop and a Kindle but the iPad is the one that gets used 80-90% of the time. That's the reason why I tend to splurge on iPads. I haven't needed to buy a new laptop in, I dunno, 6-7 years? My current laptop (i7-2620M, 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM) still performs quite well and does everything I need it to although I only use it maybe once every 2-3 months. Really, the laptop gets more use when I go on long vacation because then it acts as my desktop replacement.
  8. strawberryshortcake macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2017
    Bay Area, California

    "...for work" ..... that is the most critical piece of information I see from the OP.

    You’re a game and web developer. Do any of your other colleagues use an ipad or a tablet for work productivity? Do you care about mobile games or mobile web design?

    Have you done any research on apps specifically for your line of work and the apps’ ability to get work done. You’re going to need to find out how easy or difficult it would be to transfer "work" between the ipad and your work machine. Find out if you can actually use the ipad to work on ‘games’ and ‘web development’ ... whatever that may entail.

    I have an absolute love hate relationship with Apple and my ipad. I joke sometimes that if I ever wanted to get my ipad engraved officially by Apple, I would send it to them and have them engrave "I Hate Apple." Apple can make simple things incredibly frustrating.

    I bought the 12.9 ipad pro 2017 along with the apple pencil for drawing purposes. I am currently putting that on hold and am trying to self teach myself coding. I use the ipad to read pdf files on coding. I use the apple pencil to mark up and makes notes on those pdfs. I take screen shots of websites and keep those as reference files to aid in my learning.

    I guess you can say my tablet is mainly used as a learning tool right now — reading pdf, searching the web to clarify coding concepts, watching youtube on coding.

    Last note: You could read up on why people love the ipad. But what’s more important is to read up on what people hate/dislike about their ipads. Run a google search on them and type the word ‘forum’ as well to get real individual user experiences. Use youtube as a research tool as well.
  9. DNichter macrumors 604


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    Yes you should. iPads seem like an unnecessary purchas at first, but it really does make for a nice experience. I started to use my iPad more and more and then decided to sell my MacBook. In your case though, right now you can’t do a ton for your profession. In time though, probably not too far off, you could.
  10. jeremiah256 macrumors 65816


    Aug 2, 2008
    Southern California
    I've played with development on my iPad, and have the usual apps recommended, like Textastic, Working Copy, Prompt, Transmit, and Pythonista. And they are great, but the 9.7" form factor is, for me, too small for anything other than a quick session. I should note, though, that I'm old, so my eyesight ain't what it use to be.
  11. rijc99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2015
    Don’t buy it just because you think it’s a good deal. It sounds like you know you don’t need it.
  12. Jedimindtrick macrumors member


    Jun 28, 2017
    i think tablets (not just iPads) are great. most argue the iPad is the best tablet money can buy. I'd agree.

    I've had 4 or 5 different iterations of the iPad over the years, have never paid less than $499. The new iPad for the price is a great investment IMO.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 28, 2018 ---
    There's the argument that you can't get the same type of work done on an iPad. That can be true depending on what you do. But the price point reflects that - Apple doesn't sell a laptop or desktop for only $329.

    Personally, I love the versatility of the iPad + Apple Pencil.
  13. NorthSeaBeach macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2014
    The Hague
    Not for work. But for leisure the iPad can't be beat imo. Not by an iMac or Macbook. Can't see myself laying on the couch browsing or netflixing with a laptop. An regular iPhone is too small for indoors competition as is a plus.
  14. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    If you can't justify needing one, then you don't need one.
  15. apocalyarts thread starter macrumors newbie


    Sep 22, 2015
    I'm quite sure that I would start using an Ipad for leasure a lot as soon as I have one. I'm just curious regarding the possibilities.

    Work contains many meetings, checklists and notes, so an Apple Pencil would be a neat purchase for the future. A sweet bonus would be the possibility to do actual coding, at least fixing a typo in one of my files and commit them to my repository. All remaining tasks are web apps anyway, so as long as I have WiFi I'm good to go.

    Oh, and I also have a lot of Hue lights at home and navigating between all the smart home stuff on an iPad could be much easier.
  16. Winterfibre macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2016
    I found the iPad to be a waste I just use my iPhone . The kids use it all the time so
  17. Macalicious2011 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    My iPad is used as a kitchen TV. I move it around with me as I cook, clean or sitting at the dining table. Similarly I take with me to bed if I want to casual browse before going to bed.

    Lastly it's a fantastic laptop replacement when going on holiday.

    Remember that you don't have yo buy one new. You can get a used one in near new condition for less.
  18. spiderman0616 macrumors 68040


    Aug 1, 2010
    I can tell you first hand that it's a great Hue controller through the Home app or Siri. We mostly use Hue with Siri, but the Home app has a nicely laid out interface that lets you look at things room by room and incorporates other smart devices too. It's actually much nicer to deal with than the native Hue app.
  19. ericwn macrumors 68020

    Apr 24, 2016
    If you can order from a shop with a good return policy, just get one and try it out, make your own experience and come back if you have questions.
    I wouldn’t rely so much on others’ opinions on what works for them - Apple for example has a generous 2 week return policy in most countries - give it a try if you can.

    I am enjoying my iPad a great deal.
  20. thisismyusername, Mar 30, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018

    thisismyusername macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2015
    You've got all kinds of options for that sort of thing. I use Google Keep and Things 3 for that kind of stuff. I've thought about picking up an Apple Pencil and also using something like Notability but I'm not sure I'd really make much use of it. Could be good for an electronic whiteboard so to speak. If you do find a good use for an Apple Pencil, this is one area where an iPad really can become a better tool than a laptop.

    I do that all the time from my iPad Pro with the huge caveat that I never code directly on that device. I use the iPad to SSH into some other server and do the actual work there.

    I'm not saying it's impossible to code directly on an iPad. I'm sure it is (a quick search even revealed apps that work with github). It's just that a laptop is a better tool for that. For doing the work remotely, however, an iPad works just fine for the occasional work emergency that comes up while I'm traveling.

    Also keep in mind that if you happen to be talking about frontend web development, your browser development tools are limited when on an iPad. Safari and Chrome, for example, want you to hook up to a laptop and use the browser dev tools there. I really wish Chrome would allow you to run their dev tools directly on the iPad.
  21. Jarrodbcall macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2013
    How do you use it as a second screen? Is there a specific app you use?
  22. lsutigerfan1976 macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Fake news. Even newborns carry around iPads....
  23. smirking, May 7, 2018
    Last edited: May 7, 2018

    smirking macrumors 68000


    Aug 31, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    I'm a Web Developer too. Depending on what kind of Web Development you do and who you do it for, a tablet can be very handy. If you need to demo a prototype with one other person, I prefer having a tablet to play with and discuss over. It's just more socially engaging to talk to someone face to face and be able to easily control the screen together.

    Also, to be a good Web Developer, it helps to understand the tablet experience. You can't just assume that it's the same as a regular mobile experience. It doesn't take a lot to carve out some UI rules so that a site works well for someone using a tablet either in landscape or portrait mode, but it's not always obvious what you need to do so it helps to understand the experience.

    Like some other people, I also use my iPad as a second screen. When I travel, it's my second screen when I need the extra display space. It's also a handy travel companion because maps are easier to use on one when you need navigation help. I also keep my cell phone and my iPad on different cellular networks so if Verizon doesn't have good coverage where I'm at, I have a pretty good chance of my T-Mobile iPad having usable 4G that I can activate with a data only when I need it.

    Day to day, I have zero need or use for a tablet, but it's a very handy device for special cases.

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