Which features would make the iPad Pro your main working device? Here are mine

Discussion in 'iPad' started by nalbagli, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. nalbagli macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2014
    After my first week with the iPad Pro, Apple pencil and the smart Keyboard. I have completley loved the device, at the beggining I felt like it was excessivley big but after a few days I think iPad air screen is too small haha. Although I love it, I still don't feel like this could be my main working device (although I didn't buy it to replace my laptop so that is not a problem) but i actually think that for me it's pretty close. Although OSX is great and clearly better for being productive I think I could do it with iOS with just a few tweaks:
    - For me the main missing tool for doing actual work is the lack of a trackpad or regular mouse input, I love the touch screen but for many tasks like using Excel or Powerpoint I find more convinient the trackpad, I wish they could make iOS compatible with this.
    - Another key feature for me would be for apple to incorporate a file managing system in the iPad that would let me move files in a more similar way to what I can do in a regular computer.
    - Make all apps compatible with the split screen feature
    - Last key feature for mw would be for the smart keyboard to incorporate backlight

    I've been pleseantly surprised with the iPad and I do think it a great productive machine, maybe not for heavy users but for me as a student I can do almost everything with it.

    What features would you need in the iPad Pro to make it your main working device?
  2. iPhone1 macrumors 65816


    Apr 2, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I wish there was a better way to save PDF's from the stock Mail.app to iCloud Drive. Right now I use a work around involving Scanbot but wish I could easily just save the files to an iCloud Drive folder.
  3. Smeaton1724 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 14, 2011
    Leeds, UK
    Goodreader does a good job at file server/management.

    To make it my main machine:
    - 512GB storage.
    - Ability to run OSX as need access to virtual machines, bootcamp/parallels for Windows access and Xcode.

    In all seriousness the iPad Pro is a long way from being my main machine BUT it is the best tablet I have and is a welcome addition to my retina MacBook.

    There seems to be this obsession with people wanting the iPad Pro to replace their Macs, it's a different OS with a completely different purpose. That is clear. If you can get by with a different OS with that different purpose then fair enough, but I really doubt Apple are going to make iOS a complete OSX clone. It's a bit like those people who expect an Apple Watch to replace their iPhone.
  4. Rob.G macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2010
    My main issue would be a real file system or filemanager of some sort. Until that happens, iOS just cannot be taken seriously. It makes doing some of the simplest things hopelessly complex.

    As a developer though, an iPad will ever replace my Mac. I just don't see an iPad ever running Eclipse or being able to run its own webserver, etc, etc, due to Apple's over-active security model. But the same would apply to an Android device, even though it does have a filesystem and way more overall flexibility than iOS, it still couldn't replace my Mac in its current form.
  5. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    File system with development tools. You can accomplish pretty much everyone's needs by having OS X run on it. But we all know that Apple will only do that, kicking and screaming.
  6. nalbagli thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2014
    To be clear, I didn't buy the iPad Pro to replace my laptop, and for many people it never will. I actually bought it only as a tablet and for me the ability to markup pdf with a pencil is a must, but when using it, I've realized with some few additions I could do all my regular tasks on an iPad
  7. jamesrick80 macrumors 68020


    Sep 12, 2014
    It's my main machine currently since I have the 1 TB of Microsoft onedrive storage, 50 GB BOX cloud and the 128 gb of ipads own storage. For what I do, it's been handling everything well and I definitely haven't touched my laptop since I got it. More ipad pro optimized apps would be on my wish list but I'm more than satisfied now. A lot of my files are in Box or onedrive so I'm glad I have access to it and can easily add files or docs to both of those cloud servers on the iPad pro.
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    What features would make the IPP my main machine?
    Well, I guess, the simplest solution would be to run OS X. That way I can use a mouse and a full keyboard with the function keys, run my desktop apps.

    I'm not knocking the IPP, but I basically have all that in a 12" tablet right now, my Surface Pro 3.

    As for the iPad Pro, it is a gorgeous tablet, that I may eventually buy, but it won't be used in place of my main machine or for replacing my laptop/SP3. It will be for content consumption, not creation, still I do like the idea of the iPad Pro, and my kids absolutely love the idea of getting one :)
  9. sjleworthy macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2008
    Penarth, Wales, UK
    Proper desk top apps and better desktop interfacing and filing.

    This is another thread to upset the purists again.
  10. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Actually, the feature I need is for an app to save to older Word format while preserving document layout, font settings, etc. It's stupid, I know, but the office I work for never updates their software, so I find myself having to run Word 2000 to do final formatting of my documents to ensure it prints correctly. Even Word for iPad doesn't save documents in regular doc format, only docx. If it saved in doc, I could do all my work on the iPad.
  11. craig1410 macrumors 65816


    Mar 22, 2007
    It's nothing to do with being a purist. It's about people missing the point.

    Just look at your post where you mention "desktop" twice in the same sentence! Maybe what you need is, um, a desktop computer?

    It's like someone saying they'd like a 2 seater sports car but only if it had 5 seats and maybe a flat-bed loading area in the back. It just makes no sense and there are already products that do exactly that!
  12. sjleworthy macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2008
    Penarth, Wales, UK
    I was asked my opinions, i dont need them wrongly justified.

    I thin powerfull tablet like the ipp would be a great asset if it had the desktop capabilities i'd like. Whats the whole point if all we need do is dump it for a desktop? I answered a specific question on personal needs/wants. Hence the justification of my second paragraph. And no, the sports car anaolgy is completely off the point ;)

    Not here to argue mate, but i dont need to be told my susbjective ideas are wrong. In my opinion, there will one day, now or in the distant future, be Apple tablets, like the sp range, doing just that. The closer link between apple tablet and desktop compatibility is my want in a tablet.
  13. craig1410 macrumors 65816


    Mar 22, 2007
    The storage will happen in due course when economically viable.

    As for you wanting OS X just to run VMs and Xcode, there are already a number of screen sharing apps such as Screens which let you control remote (or nearby) Windows boxes without massively compromising your iPad's battery life or stability. Windows just isn't energy efficient enough to run natively or via VM. It may be possible to get a VM host (eg Parallels) running as an iOS app to avoid the need for OS X but is it really worth it given the downsides?

    As for Xcode, as a developer myself I'd welcome an iOS Xcode app and wouldn't be surprised if Apple have one running in their labs. It won't be trivial to port to iOS for public use but I think there is a good chance it will happen in the next couple of years.

    Someone else in this thread said that iOS can't run a web server but that's incorrect. Many apps such as Goodreader use a little web server to let you upload files. Some dev tools like Coda let you preview web pages you have created too.
  14. craig1410 macrumors 65816


    Mar 22, 2007
    I don't intend to upset you but asking for desktop capabilities on a tablet seemed exactly like my sports car analogy. Anyway, others can judge that.

    To my mind, if the device you seem to want was to be a success then Microsoft Surface would be outselling iPad by 100 to 1 instead of the other way around.

    Apple will never merge iOS and OS X as has been stated by Tim Cook very clearly. It would require a complete change of culture of the company and in my opinion it would kill the Apple we know today.
  15. sjleworthy macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2008
    Penarth, Wales, UK
    I agree. But there's more loads of factors justifying that point. The main, for me, is that the SP is still far far from being the 'perfect' tablet. If it was super thin, light, erganomically as suprior as the ipp, and worked like a dream with great battery and performance, i might think differently, but it isnt, and its a long long way from that. Hense the lower sales figures i guess.
    If the SP acted like a fast and reliable desktop pc, with great battery and user experience, then yes, i'd switch in a heart beat.

    I know what Tim Cook says, and he's right. But thats still not excluding the possibilities in the future some time of another new catagory for Apple to invent again along these lines.
  16. Eric5273 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2009
    New Jersey
    This is an interesting conversation and one I have been thinking about often lately....

    I currently have a 2010 Macbook Pro which I have been using for all of my work and leisure needs over the past 5 years. Last month I purchased the 128 GB Cellular iPad Pro.

    I own a small music business and work from home. My needs are as follows:

    1) email and receive emails with Word, Excel, PDF, and MP3 attachments (my business is music related)

    2) Create and edit Word, Excel & PDF files

    3) Download WAV & MP3 files from an FTP site, listen to the WAV & MP3 files, and upload them back to the same FTP site, but to different folders and be able to edit the names of the WAV & MP3 files.

    I have a Microsoft Office 365 subscription with 1 TB of Onedrive cloud space. This subscription allows me to put Word & Excel on my iPad Pro and also gives me the full Microsoft Exchange email & contacts system. This, along with the Goodreader app allows me to accomplish #1 & 2 above.

    As for #3, I've been doing research on this. There appears to be several good file management apps that allow for uploading and downloading from an FTP, and a couple of them even allow you to listen to music files once they are downloaded. Some also allow you to access Onedrive as well, so I would be able to move files between the FTP & Onedrive (not something I do often, but could be useful).

    So I have come to the conclusion that I could indeed replace my Macbook with my iPad Pro. I just need to get a nice stand for my desk so I can prop up the iPad like a monitor, and get a keyboard as well.

    And yes, I do agree that mouse support would make using programs like Excel a bit easier. But lately I've been thinking that the Apple Pencil could perhaps serve the same function.

    I think the problem is that most of us have learned how to use a computer with a mouse and have used a mouse for one of more decades. So now trying to use touch instead of a mouse requires us to relearn and break habits. But I think the capability is certainly there.
  17. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    You've offered a well-considered list IMO.

    re: trackpad/mouse. I believe that Apple will introduce support for pointing devices some time in the near future. Support for pointing devices has been around the jailbreak community since the iPad 1. That implementation was simple, effective, and did not impede on the use of touch as input. This is an OS-level change, so it could be possible to slip it in via an iOS update.

    re: file manager. Apple has been incrementally expanding access to different cloud storage options. I think that a full-on file manager in the traditional sense is a longshot since it would fundamentally change the nature of interacting with files on iOS, I DO see Apple leveraging their cloud storage support to create a "cloud storage" option that actually represents the on-board storage on the iPad.

    re: universal support for split-window. iOS 9 is Apple's first public entry into multi-window capabilities. It is possible that the current implementation is simply a preliminary step to introduce this feature. Maybe a future version of iOS will move multi-window to be a universal service of iOS and not depend upon the app to support.

    re: smartkeyboard w/backlighting. I don't know what Apple was thinking with their design decisions for the ASK, but I suspect that once sales figures for the iPP are made public, then 3rd party keyboard makers will fill the gap with options.

    All in all, I think that Apple is pretty close to fulfilling those in some manner.

    For me, there were two key features that were missing from the iPP that prevented me from buying one (even though I had held off upgrading my iPad waiting for the iPP):
    - trackpad/mouse. (already discussed)
    - a quality keyboard option. Having spent extensive time with Microsoft's TypeCover for the Surface, I was expecting Apple to produce something of comparable quality (if not exceeding it). The ASK falls significantly short in that regard... lack of actual keys, lack of dedicated iOS-specific function keys, and lack of backlighting make the $170 pricetag laughable IMO.
  18. craig1410 macrumors 65816


    Mar 22, 2007
    Try FileBrowser by Stratospherix. I use this for general file management and it's one of the best apps I'd say.
  19. cardfan macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2012
    There really isn't much Apple could do to iOS to enable me to use it as a work device as a CPA. By the time I'm done adding stuff, I've turned it into my laptop/desktop.

    It compliments what I have. The whole freaking appeal of an ipad is that it isn't my work device.
    • A file manager not only has to show you files but it has to mark locations somehow like X:\insert file name.
    • Multitasking has to be more than split screen. It also has to be dependable and not subject shutting down due to memory mgmt.
    • I have to have full versions of office. Not to mention full versions of what I use for bookkeeping, audits, tax, fixed assets, etc. The list of what I use can go on but there's no iOS equivalents.
    • Have to be able to do specific backups. Icloud sucks. I don't really like using cloud services, but icloud would be in last place. Heck, they can't even get photos right.
  20. Nevaborn macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2013
    The one feature I use for work a lot is the ability to hyperlink documents on the computer into a spreadsheet for quick access. Great for invoices and work orders for record keeping.

    I was shocked really to find Apple does not allow for such a thing. Stupid that iOS can't even store the PDF in Pages and link to it from that.
  21. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    My iPP is perfect the way it is. I wouldn't mind jail breaking it (coming soon for iOS 9.2) just to put iFiles on it though, but it's not essential.

    My main working machine will always be a 27" 5K iMac (or what ever most power desktop with largest, highest res screen available).

    I true handy man will always true a tool set of various pieces and sizes, rather than the "Swiss Army" version of one size fits all. I like to have all my iPads, MacBooks and iMacs (and some misc. Windows machines, sadly) to serve my different needs on different days.
  22. Macmamamac, Jan 1, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016

    Macmamamac macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2015
    Colour calibration.

    Glass is not an ideal surface to draw on. So maybe use a transparent surface with the same feel as a Wacom tablet, or the Magic Trackpad 2.

    Better camera.

    Option to use OSX in system preferences. Maybe even option to load either iOS or OSX when booting up?

    Holographic penis extender ( optional )
  23. malandra macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2003
    i would never expect a tablet to be my primary computer, but with a few tweaks it could be my main portable--allowing me to replace my retina mbp with a Mac mini that old never leave my desk.

    I'd also like mouse support, file systems, more storage. The smart keyboard is a deal breaker for me, I think it's awful, but I'm sure there will be some sweet options in the near future.

    In addition, the upcoming software releases will really be the proof in the pudding. If scrivener for iOS is awesome, for example, and if word and pages evolve to make my user experience less awkward, I may be swayed.
  24. seadragon Contributor

    Mar 10, 2009
    If or when the iPad offers the ability to run Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro and full Adobe Lightroom with easy file management, I would retire all of my computers.
  25. sparksd macrumors 68000

    Jun 7, 2015
    Seattle WA
    Support for external storage devices (not cloud)
    Non-sandbox file management
    Mouse support
    Display calibration
    Full-function Adobe Lightroom, not the Mobile kluge

    I think I really just described a laptop that also works as a tablet ...

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