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Snippet: The Problem with iPad ☇

Shared on September 2, 2016

Dan Counsell finds the iPad to be lacking when it comes to many tasks, especially in contrast with the Mac:

The iPad is not a pro machine. I know a lot of journalists use the iPad full time, and that’s fine. The reason they can use it full time is that typing text has very low system requirements. However, as soon as you need to move files from one app to another, or unzip a document the iPad starts to make your life more complicated.

While, I disagree with a number of points in this article, it does point out that it’s easy to make excuses where the iPad replaces the Mac easily in theory. Some things, like direct manipulation of virtual controls or anything drawing-related on an iPad Pro or any sort of reading/writing seems to either be easier or more enjoyable on the iPad. That being said, I maintain the idea that both devices currently have their places and debating over which is better is somewhat silly. Currently, macOS has a head start on iOS on the iPad by about ten years, not to mention that both have progressed quite differently. For example, very early versions of OS X didn’t have .zip support (and even in the classic Mac OS days, there was no support outside of utilities like StuffIt Expander), but that is just one example. I suspect there will be some convergence at some point, but I think the idea of using which device you find better for your needs is the best and neither has to win.

That being said, the idea of basic mouse support in iOS is fascinating:

I know this sounds crazy and it might be a little controversial, but I’d actually like to see mouse support in iOS. That way I could sit down at a desk with a keyboard and a mouse and use the iPad more effectively. I think the pencil is part way towards this, but it’s not the real deal. I like using the pencil to interactive with the iPad. It might be because it’s more comfortable, as well as the fact the pencil gets in the way less. It’s perfect for scrolling lists and tapping buttons. I’ve heard other people say this too, so I know it’s not just me.

Although I have my work-issued MacBook Air that is great for my daily tasks, I’ve toyed with the idea of if I could do everything with an iPad. Throwing a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse could help in “desk” mode, if you treated a mouse like a secondary input, much like the Apple Pencil. I’d still want to use touch, since that’s what iOS is designed around, but in a few cases a mouse could be a great addition: remote desktop tools or selecting/changing the cursor point when you have a keyboard attached (you lose the virtual trackpad).

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.