My iPad Pro a Year Later

I just realized that I have been using my 2017 iPad Pro 10.5 as my primary computer for over a year now. You notice that I didn’t say laptop or tablet – I said computer. My iPad Pro is a very capable computer for me and how I do things since I retired.

There were huge questions in my mind about how I would be able to survive without having a trackpad, mouse or access to more of the operating system than the locked down one that is IOS, not being able to just hook a printer up and having a touchscreen keyboard – no way.

Initially, I thought that this grand experiment was not going to work all that well and it would not have worked at all if I had not paired it with my Zagg case/keyboard combo.

Looking back, my first month wasn’t all that pretty, all the years and years of using a mouse or trackpad had built up some serious muscle memory and that didn’t change overnight – the frustration factor was real. Especially one day when my keyboard battery died and I really learned that the onboard keyboard sucks for me and being able to use a real keyboard was key to the whole move to the iPad Pro.

I did a lot of experimenting with different apps and found that the Apple offerings did better than most of the other more “powerful” individual ones that were not as well integrated into how the iPad works for me. I also found that I preferred to use the websites of certain companies (Facebook, Amazon, Google amoung others) versus their IOS apps. I just felt that I was more in control of what they had access to when they had to go through Safari and its sandbox to get to anything versus, being onboard as an app. Maybe it is wishful thinking, but I feel better about it.

By the time the end of 2017 (about two month later), rolled around I was beginning to adjust to no mouse or trackpad. Now it is not an issue and when I do have to use my wife’s Windows 10 desktop or one of the old laptops around the house, the mouse/trackpad interface feels…well clunky and the operating systems on them are not as user friendly.

For me one of the best parts of having moved to the iPad Pro is how well it integrates with my iPhone 7. They share the same operating system, which makes device management a breeze and while IOS has its own issues that are well documented by others who navigate around IOS than I ever will be or want to be.

The two devices have just worked well together.

I think too many people look at the iPad Pro and attempt to think of things that it cannot do, instead of how they actually use a computer in today’s world. For me, I found out that it is not so much a question of what the iPad Pro cannot do, it is more what things that my iPad Pro can do – the way that I want to to do it.

Believe me when I say, it does more enough for most people and for those that it doesn’t it is either because of them not wanting the iPad Pro to work for them in the first place – that self fulfilling prophecy kind of thing or because of some specialized software is necessary for their work, more than limitations of the iPad Pro.

Of course there are a few things I am not crazy about.

Not having ports on the Apple hardware is something that is Apple-wide and the way it is if you use their products, but it is a pain in the arse to rely on dongles to get routine “stuff” done.

It would be nice if Never Winter Nights the original or version 2 were ported over to IOS. I read somewhere where NWN was recently ported to Android, so eventually it will get to IOS – at least I hope it does. Baldur’s Gate and Planescape Torment just are not the same game to me.

I have found that using Safari as my primary browser does have some limitations and issues that make it necessary to use another browser to properly render some websites i.e. Strava, Garmin and others. That is easily taken care by using a different browser like Firefox, Opera or even Chrome (if you must), but it does add an extra layer to the mix and gets frustrating if you are working along and have to switch browsers to see a website.

That and some apps do not flip to landscape mode, so you have to look sideways to use the app or move to portrait mode.

However, as I move from being someone who worked at a power user level at most of the places I worked for many years and was (still am to some extent) the person people go to “to fix” their computer…to someone who just wants to turn on their computer and have it do what I want. Without all the frig, farting around that seems to go along with setting up and maintaining correctly, so many operating systems and computers.

The reality is that

I just want to use the damn thing.

With my iPad Pro 10.5 I am finding that when I press a button, it is instantly on and is ready to do what I want without waiting for it to “wake-up” is pretty nice. It sure as hell has saved me a lot of time and aggravation that seemed to be a part of having a computer in the past.

Since I have purposely stepped away from being a power computer user, the iPad Pro has become more than enough computer for my computing lifestyle now. It allows me to write my blog posts, do the photo editing I want, watch TV while on the elliptical, read local/national news, read blogs, watch videos, do a little shopping and all the other things that I used to do on a real computer.

Without many of the hassles that I had learned to live with.

Would I trade my iPad Pro for a comparably priced or even one a few hundred dollars more, brand named laptop running Windows, Linux or even MacOS?

Probably not.

My iPad Pro 10.5 does everything I want, has enough screen real estate and forces me to focus more on what I am doing, rather than attempting to do too many things at once. It is light, portable and sits comfortably in my lap with my Zagg Bluetooth keyboard combo.

All I know is that my computer life is a lot simpler since I switched to my 2017 iPad Pro 10.5.

6 thoughts on “My iPad Pro a Year Later

  1. So glad that the iPad Pro is working for you! Guess what I am typing this on? :).

    I do love my 10.5 2nd gen Pro – though as mentioned way back I use the Apple keyboard cover. I really like the keyboard – definitely more than most laptops! I actually recently switched to a 15” MacBook Pro after having the 12” MacBook – the small one was underpowered for my music studio … the 15” is incredibly powerful! So I have that, a Dell gaming laptop, and this – and the iPad gets the most mileage.

    And I agree that many sites are better as web pages than their iOS (or Android) apps … I am pretty OK with Facebook’s app, though I am trying to use it less and less and prune my friend/follow/group lists pretty much weekly so that my engagements are more meaningful.

    This is the first time Apple announced a new iPad that I haven’t bought it … this current one is already more powerful than the OS can handle, why do I need to spend >$1300 for power I can’t take advantage of?

    Oh – of course I also have Android tablet – the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 – and am running Neverwinter Nights EE ‘beta’ … and it started pretty glitchy (wouldn’t work with external keyboard and I couldn’t get through tutorial area without freezing), but now it is pretty solid. I am working through Chapter 1 with a new Sorcerer build, so far so good!

    1. I didn’t like the feel of the Apple keyboard when I tried it and the Zagg had a better touch typing feel than the others that I tried, plus the bomb-proof case with a stylus holder was a big selling point. I am jealous on the NWN beta you get to play around with, hopefully it will soon come to IOS – ever hopeful :-). I have a feeling that my first character will be MU/Thief that might become an Arcane Archer (probably have to pickup a fighter level at some point 🙂 when it ports over. I have a feeling that I will have this one for another 3-4 years and then see what is out there to make my life even simpler 😉

      1. Yeah – I am pretty certain NWN will hit iOS, since Beamdog are the same folks who brought is Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2, Icewind Dale and Planescape Torment Enhanced Editions (and NWN: EE is already on the Mac)! I think it is more that iOS doesn’t allow a similar beta system structure (yeah, there is TestFlight, but that is much more of a small-scale limited beta program).

        I definitely *failed* to simplify in 2018 – ending with new iOS and Android phones, iOS and Android tablets, Mac and PC computers, Garmin and Apple watches … ugh. Definitely trying to line things up for a more streamlined 2019. Need to focus on what I am DOING with these things (actually been starting to get better these last couple of months, need to sustain it!)

      2. Tech is so easy to want/get the newest and greatest, kind of like me and running shoes this year ;-). Although that new Apple Watch is tempting, but I will wait until my Garmin really bites the dust next summer – it is almost 2 years old and has the beginning signs of starting to fail. Just gotta nurse it along a little longer 🙂

  2. Great post. I’ve been living the iPad life for a while too, although I do still have a MacBook in case I need it. Are you planning on upgrading to the new iPad Pro models?

    1. Thank you. No I don’t think that I will upgrade for a while. I do like the option of having a headphone jack and power supply port and would loose that flexibility if I did. Plus the 10.5 is doing everything I need for now and I don’t see that the new iPad Pro would do anything all that much better or differently than what I have. Although the new MacBook Air is intriguing, but I do not see me buying a new computer for at least another year. See what new and great things come out over that time frame.

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