Contemplating to go all-in on iOS

I’ve tried searching but can’t seem to find any other topic on the forum in regards to this subject

I’ve been for quite some time wondering if I’d be able to go all-in on iOS and ditch my mid-2013 MacBook Air in favor of an iPad, and still get the same level of productivity and automation as I’m currently used to.

So, I’ve spent the last couple of months trying to pinpoint what it is that I actually do on my Mac and what I do on my iPhone.
I know @MacSparky has mentioned this route a couple of times on the show and I’d love to hear your input, but what about other listeners inhere - what are your experiences with going all iDevices?
Do you have any advice for me, do’s & don’ts? :smiley:

For good measure, the things I use my Mac for is:

  • Updating blog/posting new content to blog - primarily text posts with images - done through web interface in Safari
    -Primarily due to display size, and ease of use with keyboard & touch pad
  • Several Automator actions/scripts activated either through Calendar events, or folder actions, backing up Dropbox files to specific iCloud folders (not sure this could run automatically on iOS - without any user interaction)
  • Photo editing in Photoshop, though shifting to Pixelmator Pro soon
    -Primarily due to display size and easy usability in iCloud file archiving
  • Calendar management in Fantastical 2, though recently purchased for iPhone as well: looking to switch entirely to iOS management
    -Due to display size - better overall view of week/month/year view
  • Tasks/Reminder management in Fantastical 2, same as Calendar management
    -Tied in with Fantastical 2
  • Twitter: using Twitteriffic, backgrounded TweetDeck update with notifications
    -Simply because it’s running backgrounded when I work on my Mac
  • Checking this forum & the Automators forum
    -Used as 5 min. focus break (I use the Pomodoro technique when working)
  • Checking Apple news from 9to5Mac, Cult of Mac & Mac Rumors
    -Same as above: use this a focus break

Some of the tasks above I sometimes do on my iPhone, already, so I’m pretty sure that I probably should be able to cut all ties to macOS, but I’m a bit unsure on the rest of the use cases :thinking:

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I don’t believe personally I can go all iOS easily. However, I went all iOS while mobile. Few notes about your specific use case:

  1. Whenever you mention screen size and keyboard, my inner voice says iPad Pro 12.9” with Smart Keyboard.
  2. Whenever you mention Safari on desktop, I say probably there is a better native iOS app somewhere doing this job.

So for me iMac + iPad replaced a MBP.

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Which CMS are you using? For example for Wordpress you can automate a lot of this with Drafts and Shortcuts which makes it very easy to do.

Backing up Dropbox folders to iCloud folders isn’t easy to do, but could be done - just depends on what you want and why you do it.

I love photo editing on iOS, a larger screen iPad will definitely benefit you here though.

Everything else sounds entirely doable on iOS, though I have switched to the Twitter app for notifications because other apps are rather delayed sadly - but this delay affects all Twitter apps not made by Twitter on any platform unfortunately.


Thanks for the input.

Yeah, I was actually considering one of the Pro models, as well, with a keyboard attaced.
Are there any specific feature with the Smart Keyboard, or is it “…just what works great in that config…” :smiley:

FWIW I wrote this post yesterday about where I am in the iOS vs. macOS device spectrum.

TLDR is whether mobile or at home/office I use my iPad Pro for virtually everything. But there are still a few times when I need macOS but I can just steal a bit of time on my kids’ iMac for that. I no longer need my MBP.

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Thanks for the reply

To sum it up:

I use the on a self-hosted site. The drafts for the content are written in iA Writer (due to the minimalistic focus mode, and the way it archives documents), and then copied one paragraph at a time into the Gutenberg editor in Wordpress, adjusted to my liking, and then released.

The files I backup from Dropbox are backups of the site mentioned above. A plugin runs a daily backup, and keep five days of retention online in Dropbox. But I like to have 3 types of backup, so once every week I backup the latest set of backup files from Dropbox to a specific iCloud folder, which is then backed up to Backblaze through my Mac (if I go all iOS I’ll ditch Backblaze, though).
I’d like this to run automatically, so I’m not required to give it any thought, or have a device unlocked in a specific app, at a specific time (if that makes any sense).

Yeah, I think so, too, so was considering one of the Pro models :thinking:

Yeah, I hate that as much as anyone - but, I know that on Mac the TweetDeck is real-time timeline updating, I just can’t stand the app. But on iOS I have Twitter app in a never used folder, just for the notifications.

I’d recommend checking out the Wordpress app, you can connect it to blogs no problem and while the app doesn’t yet use Gutenberg as far as I know, I’m sure it will.

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iPad should be fine for your uses, with a few pain-points on your hosted blog (as opposed to using managed hosting at blogspot,, etc). An episode of (sorry, can’t remember which one) outlined issues one of the hosts had with his Wordpress (and then Squarespace, IIRC) blogs which had him jumping over to his Mac for some posts.

Also, managing large numbers of photos is cheaper and easier on a Mac - you can get an 8Tb external drive for under $180 these days, compared to whatever cloud computing prices are.

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Surprisingly, I find LaunchBar on macOS is biasing me away from iOS for anything but consumption, such as this forum, or the Kindle app.
Also, things like mail tagging are done in MailMate, so that isn’t available. Analysis is done in MATLAB, which isn’t available. The list goes on.
I’d probably be more productive without an iPad…

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@ronguest Thank you for your input.
I see that the thinks you’ve thought about, are pretty much some of the same things I’ve wondered over the past couple of months, at least to some degree.

Do you think you’d end up going the iOS device route eventually, or…?

@RosemaryOrchard I did use the app a couple of years ago. I can’t remember what it was, back then, that made me jump ship, but maybe I should try it again :thinking:

@bowline The self-hosted site isn’t a dealbreaker - I’m willing to have it managed, if that enables me to go all iPad/iPhone :smiley:

@JohnAtl I love Launchbar - I use it for just about anything. Today I haven’t once not used it to open apps, check mail, and so on.
That’s probably something I at first will miss on iOS, but then again, I’m well into Siri Shortcuts, so guess I’ll use that as a semi-replacement.

I think some of the “can’t do” items will be resolved soon-ish (e.g. Banktivity reports). I think heavy software development and video editing are the toughest to solve as even the lower end Mac/MacBooks are painfully slow for this.

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You’re probably right.
I’m pretty sure that within the next two or three years, the last hurdles for ditching the laptops, in general, will all have been solved.

“Large number of photos” is of course a subjective number, but I currently have 4.800 photos in my local camera roll and almost 3.000 in Lightroom Mobile. These are 90% higher resolution than I need for online use. I also have free space on the 128GB storage of the iPad Pro.

Agreed, most things are easier on my 27" iMac but having access to lots of images locally has not been an issue for me.

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Then that should work for you, as long as you take into consideration the cost of accumulated photos in the future, especially given the increasingly large image sizes.

When I don’t photograph with my iPhone I shoot with an interchangeable lens camera whose jpegs are usually around 4Mb, and whose RAW images are usually around 14Mb. And I mostly shoot RAW. Going all-iPad would be extremely difficult for me, especially as Lightroom Classic is much more full-featured than iOS’s Lightroom CC. In order to affordably save RAW pics to the cloud the cheapest useful options for me would be Google Photos (plus giving them my metadata which they’ll use for marketing purposes) or Flickr - neither of which is especially palatable. So for me at least the best option remains subscribing to Lightroom Classic (and Lightroom Mobile’s unlocked features) but retaining my photos on cheap, capacious external local storage (plus CCC backup, plus Backblaze).

Going iPad-only would be easier and much more affordable for me if I mainly shot with a phone, or if I shot jpeg only.

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You know, something I just thought of, my repetitive strain issues are exacerbated by using my iPad and iPhone. Maybe it’s pecking on glass with no tactile feedback that causes me to peck harder for the sensation. No idea. But there’s definitely a relationship between RSI and my iPad use.
Not trying to dissuade you, just thinking out loud.

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I had a Macbook Air, 2012 and a 2010 iMac. Got an iPad Pro 10.5 when it launched and put the Air away. Haven’t booted the Air up since (really should check that the battery hasn’t died). The iMac gets used occasionally, mostly around tax time or when I’m working on something that I need to leave running in the background (I’m experimenting with machine learning, bots and generative text).

Beyond that, I write, teach, manage creative initiatives, code creative tech projects and more, all from my iPad. What I miss from the iMac: system utilities like Keyboard Maestro or Alfred. Shortcuts goes a long way in that direction, but not quite far enough, and when you think about the closed nature of iOS, I’m assuming that further improvements along the lines of that kind of automation are probably going to be slow coming.

That said, apps like Pythonista, Scriptable, Shortcuts, Drafts and Editorial make me happy. And all in all, I’m extremely happy having made the jump. And that’s the thing— it wasn’t even a conscious effort. It just made sense at the time…


Nice blog post. My case is very similar to yours. I bought an iMac for my home office a year ago where I do my Mac-only work: Quicken, taxes, spreadsheets, Hazel rules, heavy duty video work, Drone video, etc. Everything else is done on the iPad or iPhone. I turn my MacBook Pro on every six weeks just to update its software, but haven’t needed it at all. I’m not ready to go iOS only, but a setup with an iMac at home and iPad/iPhone on the road works amazingly well for me.


Ergonomics is one of the things keeping me on desktop Macs. In my case it’s mainly neck issues rather than RSI.

However, I don’t really find laptops to be any more ergonomic than an iPad Pro with an external keyboard. So it’s not really a factor on which platform I choose for my mobile computing needs, just which I choose for the home and office.


For those doing video work, have you tried LumaFusion on the iPad?

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Regarding blog posting, have you tried iA Writer? I usually use either iA Writer or Drafts to write and post. Then use either Safari or the WordPress app for edits or adding images.

I mostly use the Photos app for basic editing. Affinity Photo or Designer if I need to use photos in design documents. Affinity Photo is a fantastic app but I’m not sure how that might fit or not fit in your workflow.

The 12.9" Pro is fantastic for use of 2-3 apps at once. For example drag and dropping of images into Safari for Wordpress posts is very nice. And generally speaking, having the large screen with Smart Keyboard or a Bluetooth keyboard is really excellent. I can’t imagine going back to one of the smaller screened iPads for the same reason I would never have chosen to work with the 11" MBAir but chose instead the 13". If this is going to be your primary computer that larger screen may be essential.

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