Life on an iPad

A few days ago, my MacBook Pro had to go on a quick trip to Texas for a doctor’s appointment (a.k.a. Some service work on a misbehaving main board). With my “spare” MacBook mostly used by my wife these days, I figured “I wonder if I can survive on my 2018 11’’ iPad Pro and my 2022 iPad Mini. Here’s what I learned…

  • Hooking an iPad mini up to a 27” Cinema Display with a mouse and keyboard gets you about 95% of what you need, with the important caveat that your muscle memory needs a bit of tweaking. Some shortcuts are the same macOS to iPadOS, and some are not.
  • Cloud storage can save you – with all of my files in OneDrive or iCloud, I could pop over to one of our classroom computers if I desperately needed to do something with the desktop operating system.
  • I estimate that for about 1/8th of my work, it’s much easier to do on desktop, or impossible to do on an iPad.
  • Having 2 iPads was helpful for things like Microsoft Teams calls, and other situations where I just needed the ability to keep something up for an entire duration of a meeting.
  • Split screen is way more useful than I ever thought, as is multiple windows in iPadOS Mail.
  • Unlocking an iPad with your watch, similar to unlocking a Mac, would be a nice feature.

Overall I’m pretty happy that my MacBook has now returned from service (with a new logic board, touch pad, top panel, and battery), but it was a useful exercise to live for 3 days in my office on an iPad mini.

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