iPadOS’s underrated progress

I know it’s fashionable to lament that iPadOS is not up to “pro” use, but I had an experience recently that reminded me how far it has come already. I wanted to download half a dozen PDFs and save them to a new folder in iCloud Drive. Easy enough on a Mac, but my Airbnb has some pretty dodgy wifi. Rather than fight with a bad connection, I fired up my cellular iPad. I was able to:

  • Download the PDFs in Safari using its download manager
  • Open the Files app
  • Use a two-finger drag to select all the PDFs
  • Move the files to a newly created folder

What struck me was that five years ago, none of this would have been possible. I would have been stuck trying to use the share sheet and third-party apps to manage these PDFs one at a time. iPadOS may not be progressing as quickly as we’d like, but it is a lot more capable than it used to be.


@ChrisUpchurch - I agree. I won’t put too much here, considering I feel like I’ve already added so (too?) many words here on MPU on this subject, including, most recently in this thread: Catching up with Federico. I can’t remember if you were in that particular discussion; so, I’ll just drop the cross-reference here.

Anyway, I’ve been doing some work for the past two months where I’ve been essentially tied to my iPad. There are so many things that I can do just as comfortably here that I could not have been able to do five years ago (maybe even two years ago). I appreciate that some people feel the progress is still below what should be table stakes. All I can say about that is, whatever the Platonic Ideal form of the iPad should be and no matter how much the current iteration differs from that ideal, it’s really (as you already observed) quite capable.

One of the things I feel is always the difference maker on iPad success or failure is learning how to use it right. Much of what you can do on an iPad is just as efficient as on a Mac, but you have to accomplish the task differently. I enjoy that part.


I’m using an (ageing) iPad now as my daily driver when out of the office, leaving my MBA at home. I’m able to do my writing, research, planning and messaging without any issues at all. I’ve been learning the trackpad gestures!

My only issue is lack of memory on the current device causing some reloading when I switch applications… it’s tempting to get a newer model.