Back to the Mac

I enjoy working on the iPad and over the last two years have probably use the iPad for 60-90% of my work, depending on the projects I’m working on.

However, having just invested a significant amount of money on the M1 Max and given the increasing number of iOS/iPadOS applications that can or will be able to run on the MBP, I am making a slight change to my workflow. Given the good keyboard, ports, larger (14") beautiful screen, performance and long batter life, as well as the power of MacOS, my new workflow will be:

  1. Most of my work will now be done on the MBP when in the office or the home study, when I need to manage multiple files or when I need to use more complex tools.
  2. The iPad will be used for reading, annotating PDFs, taking meeting notes, a second screen, watching the occasional video, and when mobile (on the couch, outside, coffee shop, traveling, etc).
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Okay, I’ll bite. What ability was the iPad lacking that made you decide to get a MacBook Pro?

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I’ve always had a MBP. In fact, I’m writing on my MBP M1 now as I wait for the new MBP to arrive. When I wrote “Back to the Mac” I was referring to the frequency in which I use it. Rather than the MBP being my “secondary” computer, it will now become my primary computer and the iPad will be the supplemental device.

I love the iPad and I can get a lot of basic computing done with it but many apps still don’t support the same features on the iPad that are available on the Mac and for more complex tasks such as multiple file conversions, OCRing multiple files, citation and bibliographical work on book size projects and more are more difficult (sometimes not possible) on the iPad. I’m also finding that I more frequently need the larger screen.

I hope this makes sense. :slightly_smiling_face:

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This sounds like a document-heavy workload. I have a similar work pattern — and find the iPad comes up short for me. I’m also mouse-oriented when working with documents, and do not feel comfortable using my fingers on the screen when writing or editing.

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Yes, my work flow is heavily text oriented. I am a bit of an amateur photographer so I do some photo editing but most of my work is research, writing, and preparing presentations and of course the always ubiquitous emails. :slightly_smiling_face: I also do some spreadsheet work.

I almost never use the iPad with my fingers. 90+ percent of the time it is in landscape mode using the Magic Keyboard. It works great that way for my writing projects and I like the weight, the portability, the focus, and the cellular connection. The only time I find myself using my fingers on the iPad is when reading and needing to scroll. Even then, I often have the Apple Pencil in my hand and use it to scroll the pages as I annotate and highlight.

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No matter how many times I try to use iPad as the primary computer, I fail big time. This comes inline with my purchase frequency for iPads. Every few years when iPads see a major change in features and I say “may be this is the time”, I upgrade, it falls short, and I continue to use Mac as primary device and iPad will be secondary and this is why I upgrade every 4 years or even more.

There are certain tasks and complete jobs that cannot be completed on iPads.

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I would wager the iPad is the world’s most popular bathroom computer.

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I would have thought that a document-heavy workflow is ideal for an iPad. Out of any workflow out there, it has to be easiest to go iPad only.

I’ve never taken my iPad to the bathroom. A 12.9” piece of glass is not conducive to reading under those circumstances. :joy:

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It is for basic text work. But when you need to do something more sophisticated, like I said in my post like citations, bibliographical entries, as well as other layout options, the iPad is harder to use than the MacBook Pro. Again, I agree in so far as putting text down. The iPad is wonderful for that, which is one of the reasons why I like it so much. But once one gets beyond that basic task, things tend to get harder to accomplish. I also do a great deal of research and file management, including the conversion of files, OCRing of PDFs, and more.

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When I was still in school, I used to write on my iPad, format on my iMac, and then proofread/edit on my iPad while sitting on the couch. I think it’s crazy to go iPad only, but an iPad is a great companion for a Mac.

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I agree. While the iPad has improved my portable computing greatly, there are still times when it falls short. The multitasking is too limiting, screen space is. Problem, and I don’t use a keyboard with it so major typing is a pain. I find it easier to get up and go into my office to use my iMac instead of fussing around with an external keyboard.

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Exactly, which is why I’m changing my workflow to make the MacBook Pro my primary computer and my iPad a supplement. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I wouldn’t say you failed. Every tool doesn’t work for every job. I never needed a powerful machine to manage the computers and phones for the call center where I worked. I mainly needed email, a spreadsheet, and the ability to connect to remote computers & devices.

I used an entry level 2013 MBP for the last 5 years before I retired, and I occasionally used my personal iPad. If I had my 2020 iPad Pro in those days I would have never needed to take my MBP home. It’s now my primary computer. I still use email and the occasional spreadsheet, and a bunch of apps to handle finances, photos, videos, and the usual stuff most people do. And I mainly use it “with my fingers”. I have a stand with a magic keyboard and trackpad, but I rarely use it.

An iPad works for me. The only thing it lacks is the ability to do real backups, so I had to buy an $899 accessory called a M1 MacBook Air to handle that choir. Just as Apple intended. :grinning:

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Couldn’t agree more, thanks for the reminder.

This brings to my mind the other thread about how most people do not need MBP Pro because M1 are capable devices, and I wonder why some professionals assume that every other job in the world do not need a more powerful device because they personally never needed one.

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For me the major problem with the iPad as a primary machine is files management. There have been improvements, but to this day if I need to find a file deep in Dropbox or iCloud I go to my 2013 but still trusty MacBook Pro.

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