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iPad Pro Switching to the 12.9": My real world usage story

jimmy_uk

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2015
1,169
1,083
UK
Most things are way faster and more "fun" with a touch interface, because you can directly hit your target (or even multiple at the same time) instead of dragging a cursor to it's destination and then click on it. So it's very sad to see, how many people are destroying the tablet experience for themselves (and possible for me too, in the long term) 🙁
But you can do both? The whole point is you have a choice on how to interact with ipadOS. Apple aren't going to remove the requirement for a touch interface for apps.
 
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spiderman0616

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 1, 2010
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I wanted to bump this thread again, because there's kind of a new phase I wanted to add to my initial list, and that is the phase I'm in now and have been in for the last couple weeks:

6. This versatility is amazing.

The original iPad changed my workflow and was assigned several things that my laptops used to be used for. The Pro lineup in general, especially when paired with the various accessories available, took even more of those tasks on. Fast forward to the 2018 11" iPad Pro that I had before this--by the time I got that machine, I started using it for my actual job some days AS LONG AS I didn't have any conference calls or major multi tasking to do that day that required lots of apps to be open at once. If I was just babysitting my inbox and taking some random calls here and there, I didn't mind just leaving my Macbook Pro behind and living on my 11" iPad Pro for the day.

Over the last 3 weeks though, I have been pushing the envelope with my 2020 12.9" iPad Pro, and I made a pretty crazy discovery: I can now fully replicate my Macbook Pro workflow on my iPad Pro--at least the way I use my Macbook Pro when it's not docked on my desk to my dual monitors. With my Mac, if I'm away from my office and not using it with my dual monitors, I just set up Spaces, one that resembles my left monitor layout and one that resembles my right monitor layout. Then I just swipe back and forth between the two spaces.

With the 12.9" iPad Pro, I set up app pairings that resemble the same Spaces I used to use on my Mac. So one space might have Outlook and Slack, one might have my browser with all the tabs open that I need, and one is personal mail and iMessage. This was possible on my 11" iPad Pro too, but because I couldn't run full blown apps side by side, the screen size was prohibitive. Not nearly as big of an issue on the 12.9".

I don't like using my personal devices for work, so I don't do this super often, but it's nice to be able to when I need to. And then when the work day is done, I can pop it off the Magic Keyboard and use it for fun stuff or personal projects. After 10 years of the iPad's existence, I am still getting this renewed sense of amazement about how I just used this device all day long for my job, and now that the work day is over I can go into full iPad mode and use it like a completely different kind of device.

I know Windows convertibles have been doing this for years, but in my personal opinion it has never been as elegant or sleek as what Apple is doing with the iPad and iPadOS. I'm sure some Windows fans will troll me for that statement, but I have long thought the slow and steady approach Apple is taking with the iPad and iPad Pro would turn out to be the right one, and I feel like that's finally coming to fruition now.
 
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aloshka

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2009
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668
I wanted to bump this thread again, because there's kind of a new phase I wanted to add to my initial list, and that is the phase I'm in now and have been in for the last couple weeks: ...

Here is what I'm seeing and just my opinion. There are posts on top of posts on top of posts on how to make peoples' workflow work on the iPad. So many discoveries and ways to "trick" it into doing what you need and so many people changing their work flows to just make it work. That in of itself speaks volumes around why an iPad is not a laptop replacement. When I get a laptop or desktop, do you know what i have to do to make it work? Nothing, I just work and not spend so much time figuring ways to change my entire life to work around a device. Rather I change the device to work around my life and business.

That said, I think the reason there is this desperate need for it, is because it's ultrafast, turns on immediately, doesn't overheat, battery lasts forever, small, feels like you can just throw it around, and screen is just gorgeous with its 120hz and insane color reproduction accuracy. I mean, even I did sooo much to try to make it work for me. In the end, it just felt "uncomfortable". Can't explain it..I think something to do with having many windows open at once and having full-screen context switching is difficult.

I think Apple realizes this, especially if they pushed iPads as being computers internally.. and that's why the ARM-based mac is a HUGE welcome. Basically a mac, with ALL the benefits of the iPad: Faster, better battery life instant on no matter what. In my opinion ZERO compromises, ZERO change in workflow but absolutely perfectness (that's a word??)

Basically BLISS.. I can't wait.
 
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spiderman0616

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 1, 2010
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Here is what I'm seeing and just my opinion. There are posts on top of posts on top of posts on how to make peoples' workflow work on the iPad. So many discoveries and ways to "trick" it into doing what you need and so many people changing their work flows to just make it work. That in of itself speaks volumes around why an iPad is not a laptop replacement. When I get a laptop or desktop, do you know what i have to do to make it work? Nothing, I just work and not spend so much time figuring ways to change my entire life to work around a device. Rather I change the device to work around my life and business.

That said, I think the reason there is this desperate need for it, is because it's ultrafast, turns on immediately, doesn't overheat, battery lasts forever, small, feels like you can just throw it around, and screen is just gorgeous with its 120hz and insane color reproduction accuracy. I mean, even I did sooo much to try to make it work for me. In the end, it just felt "uncomfortable". Can't explain it..I think something to do with having many windows open at once and having full-screen context switching is difficult.

I think Apple realizes this, especially if they pushed iPads as being computers internally.. and that's why the ARM-based mac is a HUGE welcome. Basically a mac, with ALL the benefits of the iPad: Faster, better battery life instant on no matter what. In my opinion ZERO compromises, ZERO change in workflow but absolutely perfectness (that's a word??)

Basically BLISS.. I can't wait.
That was kind of my point though--I don't feel like I'm tricking it or finding workarounds for things anymore. I'm using it exactly the way I would use my Mac if I were not at my desk and hooked up to two monitors. In fact, there are some aspects of the multitasking that are better on iPad now. For example: Outlook for Mac does not let me display my calendar and my inbox side by side in the same window. On iPad, Outlook fully supports multi-window instances, so I can easily cross reference my emails with my calendar, which something I do fairly often.

I've been using iPads almost daily since 2011. There was a long period time where I had to be creative and find workarounds for things. That is no longer the case for literally any of my work flows. The one thing I would love to have is multi-monitor support on par with what I have on the Mac, but that's strictly a nice-to-have not a must-have.

EDIT: I'm kind of confused as to what part of my comments made it sound like I'm finding weird workarounds for things.
 
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Namara

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Apr 16, 2020
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East of the sun, west of the moon
I'm having a similar experience with my 12.9+MK. The workflow is very smooth. It doesn't feel at all like fitting a square peg in a round hole or making compromises. And @spiderman0616, nothing I've read in all of your excellent posts here indicate any weird workarounds.
 
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aloshka

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2009
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I'm having a similar experience with my 12.9+MK. The workflow is very smooth. It doesn't feel at all like fitting a square peg in a round hole or making compromises. And @spiderman0616, nothing I've read in all of your excellent posts here indicate any weird workarounds.

Fair enough! And I get both your points. I guess just doesn't work for me and a few of the people I work with. Maybe it's the nature of our jobs. I think I'd be happier if plugging it into my giant monitor would allow use of multiple windows, etc. I'm one of those that prefers the ergonomics of a desktop.

Just wondering what do either of you do for a living/work or what you use ipads for?
 
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Namara

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Apr 16, 2020
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Fair enough! And I get both your points. I guess just doesn't work for me and a few of the people I work with. Maybe it's the nature of our jobs. I think I'd be happier if plugging it into my giant monitor would allow use of multiple windows, etc. I'm one of those that prefers the ergonomics of a desktop.

Just wondering what do either of you do for a living/work or what you use ipads for?
Totally it's not one size fits all, and I wouldn't attempt it if I needed multiple windows. I've got a 4K 27" monitor that I used with a Mac Mini (now sold) if I needed it, but haven't taken it out of the closet to use with the iPad yet. Without being too identifying, my work is text-based only so it works well on a 12.9. That said, I'm not ruling out getting a MBP at some point, but having an easy and comfortable current setup gives me lots of time to see what happens with the Arm developments.
 
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aloshka

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2009
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I think I'm actually just going to buy a 16" for all work connected at my desk via tb3 (single cable).. and have ipad pro for actually laptop-like usage. That way if I need the desktop experience, I have it. Otherwise my ipad will be my laptop.

What's up with the shipment times though? August-27th? huh? shortage?
 
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jdb8167

macrumors 6502
Nov 17, 2008
369
243
Here is what I'm seeing and just my opinion. There are posts on top of posts on top of posts on how to make peoples' workflow work on the iPad. So many discoveries and ways to "trick" it into doing what you need and so many people changing their work flows to just make it work. That in of itself speaks volumes around why an iPad is not a laptop replacement. When I get a laptop or desktop, do you know what i have to do to make it work? Nothing, I just work and not spend so much time figuring ways to change my entire life to work around a device. Rather I change the device to work around my life and business.

That said, I think the reason there is this desperate need for it, is because it's ultrafast, turns on immediately, doesn't overheat, battery lasts forever, small, feels like you can just throw it around, and screen is just gorgeous with its 120hz and insane color reproduction accuracy. I mean, even I did sooo much to try to make it work for me. In the end, it just felt "uncomfortable". Can't explain it..I think something to do with having many windows open at once and having full-screen context switching is difficult.

I think Apple realizes this, especially if they pushed iPads as being computers internally.. and that's why the ARM-based mac is a HUGE welcome. Basically a mac, with ALL the benefits of the iPad: Faster, better battery life instant on no matter what. In my opinion ZERO compromises, ZERO change in workflow but absolutely perfectness (that's a word??)

Basically BLISS.. I can't wait.
What you call a trick can also be called learning a new skill. People have been using windows and mice interfaces since Apple popularized it in the 80's. That's a lot of training compared to something that is only a few years old--I'm only counting the iPad Pro here because before then, the iPad was mostly for browsing the web and other content.

Ask people who have done the work to get up to speed on using an iPad Pro for their primary computing device and you will get a different take. The only normal computing that I can't do on the iPad Pro is develop code. But you know what I can do if necessary, remote into my desktop Mac and do my work there through my iPad Pro. It isn't even inconvenient.

No one is asking everyone to use an iPad in place of their preferred computing device but those who are dismissive of others who have successfully transitioned to iPadOS should look at their biases (and I'm not saying you are dismissive but many are). I too am looking forward to what Apple Silicon will bring to the Mac and macOS but when it arrives, I will still use my iPad Pro for much of my daily computer usage. As a matter of fact, I'm as excited for what the Mac Apple Silicon will eventually bring to the iPad Pro as much as the other way around.
 
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Namara

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Apr 16, 2020
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The biggest hurdle for me wasn't the hardware or software, it was my mindset. Having used Macs for three decades, I was wired somehow to feel that my data was safer on a Mac. The more I thought that through, especially with the On My iPad option via the Files app, I realized wait a second, this will really work. I back up my iPad daily to two external drives (rotating every other day), and of course via iCloud.
 
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spiderman0616

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 1, 2010
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Fair enough! And I get both your points. I guess just doesn't work for me and a few of the people I work with. Maybe it's the nature of our jobs. I think I'd be happier if plugging it into my giant monitor would allow use of multiple windows, etc. I'm one of those that prefers the ergonomics of a desktop.

Just wondering what do either of you do for a living/work or what you use ipads for?
Definitely depends on what your actual job is. I'm a project manager--I do a lot of conference calls and use a lot of web based tools during the day. For those tasks, the Magic Keyboard finally closed all the remaining gaps I had before. For personal use, I do a lot of photo/video/audio editing, some graphic design projects here and there, and of course all the standard "for fun" stuff. I will add that now that I have an Apple Pencil, I would never do any of my creative work on anything but my iPad Pro, so it's an essential piece of my workflow. Honestly, I'd give up my Macbook Pro in a heartbeat if I were forced to pick between the two.
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The biggest hurdle for me wasn't the hardware or software, it was my mindset. Having used Macs for three decades, I was wired somehow to feel that my data was safer on a Mac. The more I thought that through, especially with the On My iPad option via the Files app, I realized wait a second, this will really work. I back up my iPad daily to two external drives (rotating every other day), and of course via iCloud.
That was another big gap that iPadOS filled in for me. I keep all my important project files in iCloud Drive, but I also dump them off on an external SSD for local backup whenever I create a new one or change an existing one. I'd love if Apple would add some kind of automation to that process in iPadOS.
 
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cmonkey1976

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2017
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Although I have an iPad for work, where I work isn’t the most technologically advanced or innovative - so it’s really a windows device or nothing.

In my personal use of iPad I’ve pretty much completely moved over to 100% iPad.
I do get the ‘things are easier on a laptop’ comment for some things... but I think the laptop way of doing something is just the old way we’ve become accustomed to... the iPad just feels the right way to go, and if changes in workflow are needed then so be it... for kids coming out of school now it will be all about tablets and iPads.

I really don’t miss not using my MacBook when my IPP is just so nice to use.
 
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aloshka

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2009
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So don’t know if anyone cares and sorry for bumping the thread if no one does. But I decided to jump in and try what you are all doing and all I can say is with the magic keyboard, the iPad 12.9” IS a replacement laptop. I still have a computer for PC-based games and software development, but my iPad is otherwise my primary computer and man, it does work.

Glad I followed this thread and gave this a try.
 
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IngerMan

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Feb 21, 2011
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I went with the 11” 2020 iPP and MK. Then I sold my 2020 MBA. The iPP is a great tool and I find so far I can replace it as a laptop.

The 12.9” iPP and MK weighs 5% more than the 2020 MBA, the 11” combo weighs 15% less than the 2020 MBA. For me this makes a big difference for movement placement, grabbing it out of my bag, placing it on the end table with one hand. The 11” just seems like a perfect size for me.
 
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aloshka

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Aug 30, 2009
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I went with the 11” 2020 iPP and MK. Then I sold my 2020 MBA. The iPP is a great tool and I find so far I can replace it as a laptop.

The 12.9” iPP and MK weighs 5% more than the 2020 MBA, the 11” combo weighs 15% less than the 2020 MBA. For me this makes a big difference for movement placement, grabbing it out of my bag, placing it on the end table with one hand. The 11” just seems like a perfect size for me.

Good point on the weight. I had both for 2 weeks before decided to return the 11. IN the end, I felt I got used to the weight difference. I think the 12.9 w/MK is actually the same if not more than the 13...
 
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