Daniel Lemire's blog

, 11 min read

My iPad Pro experiment: almost two years later

14 thoughts on “My iPad Pro experiment: almost two years later”

  1. FWIW, I have been using Surface Pro for the last year or so, and I can attest to the “better reader” sentiment. I tend to read from it in tablet mode now, and I feel like I can focus on the contents much better compared to using a laptop or desktop (or, indeed, Surface Pro but in laptop mode). Not sure I can quantify this either 🙂

    1. I should get a Surface Pro.

  2. Marcos says:

    Do you connect an external keyboard?

    When I tried to use a hybrid device as a main computer, I discovered the best keyboard I found still wasn’t good enough for the task. I imagine on a pure tablet solution, you’d use an external keyboard and not have this problem.

    1. To be clear, I use the external keyboard that Apple sells with the iPad Pro 3018. I like it.

  3. Flavio Martins says:

    I had a similar experience using the SAMSUNG Note Pro 12.2. It was Android so text selection was definitely better. I was using Xodo to annotate and highlight PDFs, which was a system that I liked.

    Unfortunately, that tablet broke and I have yet to get something to replace it. Been thinking of replacing it and the laptop with a surface pro. However, I still haven’t done it, because I prefer Linux on the laptop and I feel having a separate device for reading really does create a different focus space.

    1. I have also had Android tablets but there isn’t yet anything on the Android side that is comparable to an iPad Pro.

      I don’t just use my iPad for reading. I use it for a wide range of tasks… including writing up reports and stuff.

      My view is that if I were strictly bureaucrat, I could do all of my work with an iPad Pro. There are obvious limitations, but there are upsides as well.

  4. anonymous_2019 says:

    Have you tried pythonista on ipad? It has nice IDE (with debugging support) and you could build python applications with nice GUI support.

    1. Pythonista is intriguing.

  5. Oliver says:

    Very technical question: is it relevant that it is an iPad Pro, or do all of your comments apply to the classical iPad as well?

    I am asking since I am thinking about starting to use an iPad for work for exactly the same reasons as you. What puzzles me is the choice between the classical one and the pro version. The keyboard that comes for the pro is indeed very nice. The pro is otherwise just double the price and I am not yet sure how work-relevant its added features are (e.g., direct charging for the pen, better display, …).

    1. The Pro is an expensive device. I think that you could get the same results with a cheaper tablet…

      Of course, you still need an external keyboard.

      The Pro has a better processor which is handy if you use CPU intensive web apps (say). I don’t have performance issues, but I fear I might on a cheaper tablet.

      1. Brennan says:

        Good article and thanks for sharing.

        I’m an IT veteran with a career spanning 40+ years. I switched to mobile platforms exclusively a couple of years back. To get things done I jump between iPad Pro and my iPhone depending on what’s needed. The key to this working well for me is the availability of an abundance of good iOS apps and cloud enabled services. E.g. Loading a Citrix Remote Desktop VDI on my iPad Pro is a bit clunky but it does work and allows me to get things done with my organizations legacy systems.

        I do more management than coding these days, but I do create a lot of content. Being able to do this from just about anywhere (volcano hikes, jungle treks, the local coffee shop etc) with good battery life is keeping me smiling. The trick for me has been to not try and get my mobile environment to behave like a laptop or desktop but to understand how to do things well in the mobile and cloud world. Some frustrations along the way, but that has been true of all environments I’ve worked with.

        I liked your observation “Evidently the fact that developers rely on laptops and desktops explains why things work better on laptops and desktops” and I’d say that’s true with my own experiences.

        FYI, agree with the external keyboard need. I use a Logitech “Keys to Go”. Only small, good battery life and fits easy in my backpack.

  6. Maynard Handley says:

    The correct description, I think, is not “fun” but delight.
    And I think it’s rooted in something that people consider Apple hype, but it’s real; namely making items in the interface behave like physical objects. The early version of that, skew,orphism, was about looks, and of limited success. Today’s version is about behavior, not appearance, and I think is hugely successful. It’s the fluid motion, the little bounces, the gravity attraction, that creates the delight.

    To the extent that this could be quantified (60 fps, no skipped frames) it was accepted by tech nerds as a real “goal” and aspired to/argued over. But that’s old hat, what matters now is the pseudo-physics; that can’t be quantified, and so it’s dismissed. But I think it’s what makes it all work.

    On the Mac I’ve had the same experience. The HW has (finally) become fast enough to maintain the fluidity, and enough of the system SW has picked up the pseudo-physics, and so IMHO MacOS has a lot more of this feel of delight than it did a few years ago, even though superficially it looks very similar.

  7. Thomas Wong says:

    This works better for me than Pythonista.

    1. Thomas Wong says:

      I was too brief. ish provides sandbox installation of Alpine Linux from which python and other packages can be installed using APK.

      Not directly comparable to Pythonista.