To a Bigger iPad

Ben Brooks again, writing this time about his thoughts on working primarily from an iPad and the potential of a larger iPad model:

"I can tell you the iPad is better all day long, but that’s meaningless without putting it in more context.

First let’s start with the most often quoted benefit: less distractions. I hate to lead with this, but I need to get it out of the way. Yes, this is also a true statement, if a bit overplayed. The forced, full-screen, nature of iPad apps enforces a strong ‘focus’ on the task at hand. For instance, I can’t glance easily at Slack to see what is being said and get sucked into that distraction. If I am writing an email, I am writing an email. Likewise, to note a downside, if I am fucking around on the web, I am fucking around on the web. So yes, more focus, but that is universal, not just on the productive operations. In general, I’ve found the increased focus a net benefit."

...

"If that last point doesn’t have you thinking I am crazy, this will: iOS has better apps. No, I am not about to espouse some “they are simpler” bullshit — they usually aren’t, they are just better designed."

...

"There’s less tweaking and fiddling on iOS, because you simply can’t tweak and fiddle with much. For some that drives them to Android, but for me it’s the best thing that could happen, as I am prone to lots of fiddling if given the chance.

All of that and more, is why the iPad works for me, and why I long for a bigger screened iPad."

A lot of the points in this piece hit home for me. I'm able to be more productive on my iPad far more often because I'm able to drill down and focus on one thing at a time. Later on in the piece Ben goes on to mention Editorial as one of the apps that he thinks is better on the iPad and I fully agree. Editorial has the perfect mix of being "just one thing at a time" so that I can drill down and focus, while still enabling you to page back and forth between what you're writing and a browser tab. I don't utilize Editorial to its full potential, not even close, but I do use it just about every day to work on writing for this site or to take notes in class. It's absolutely essential to my workflow at this point and I can't supplement it with any of the markdown editors that you can find on the Mac.

Another point that's hard for me to get across but one that I believe in nonetheless is that iPad apps are better than Mac apps. Like Ben says, it's not just because they're simpler. In many cases that's true, but I think it's often also because the mobile space is inarguably the focus of the market right now. Apple sells many thousands more iPhones and iPads than Macs every year, and I think as a result of that many of the new brilliant ideas and the developers who bring them to fruition have been focused on mobile for the past half a decade. That innovation has included the iPad, and so when I think about whether I'd rather be using cutting edge new apps on a tablet or using more traditional-style apps on a desktop operating system, it's an easy choice for me to side with the iPad.

Using the iPad as my main computer for the past two months has been a really interesting change for me, and while I still don't manage to do 100% of my computing-tasks on it, it's undoubtedly the computer I use most and reach for more often. Using my MacBook feels more and more weird every time I open the lid, which is a little scary for me since I've been used to using my MacBook for so long now. At the same time though I really appreciate the simple, modern experience that using an iPad enables and how it gets me to think more about how I'm using it for creation and consumption.

I'm not completely sure if I would want a larger iPad, but I'm really happy with my choice to switch to using one as my computer currently. I'll have more thoughts on the matter at a later date I'm sure, but suffice to say for now that I think that the future of computers is here, and it just takes the courage to jump in and try it for one to become convinced of that.

Cheers,

~M