How to use iPad as a Mac replacement and why you'd want to

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  • Reply 41 of 45
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,449member
    Marvin said:
    Ms surface has been merging the two. It’s not going so well. 
    An ex-Microsoft director who helped launch the Surface said this a couple of days ago:

    https://twitter.com/stevesi/status/1790581279433621918
    https://wccftech.com/former-microsoft-president-on-dual-boot-ipad-pro/

    "At least on Windows, touch is not driving sales. Surface x86 (ug) was not even a named top ISV, just 'other'."

    Even after more than 10 years, they make a few billion $ per year. At $600 ASP, this is about 10m units, around 4% of PCs and they get used as laptops, not tablets.

    The iPad can run UTM, which allows running a lot of different systems and software, albeit with a performance hit:



    It would be possible to get a faster VM than this and it would cover whatever software people want without compromising the iPadOS design.
    You are right that most Surface devices are being used as a laptop, but is that a bad thing? When I had my Surface Pro I didn't need separate tablet. At the office I had the Surface Dock, and it worked like a full desktop (multiples profiles, multiples monitores, full multitasking, full featured apps, no issues with file management).  The laptop experience was not as good compared to a full-size notebook, but still had the benefits of a full desktop OS.  Tablet mode was more limited compared to iPadOS, but I had no issues running mobile apps (browser / internet, Netflix, Disney+, Twitter / X, etc.).  The big issue I had with the device was caused by Intel.  It was hot with poor battery life.  I'm looking forward to Monday event with Surface devices using Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite processors. 

    This is different from iPads, where most are being used as tablets.  Could this be because iPad laptop experience is not that good, and users need to have a laptop / desktop to complete their tasks?

    From my experience, replacing a laptop/desktop with an iPad or Surface Pro involves certain trade-offs. You must decide which compromise you're willing to accept. If you desire the best tablet experience at the expense of laptop functionality, choose the iPad. If a superior desktop experience is your priority, albeit with limited tablet utility, the Surface is a better option. In my opinion, the iPad is the best tablet in the market, but the Surface Pro is a better device when used as a laptop / desktop replacement.
    edited May 18
  • Reply 42 of 45
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,404moderator
    danvm said:
    Marvin said:
    Ms surface has been merging the two. It’s not going so well. 
    An ex-Microsoft director who helped launch the Surface said this a couple of days ago:

    https://twitter.com/stevesi/status/1790581279433621918
    https://wccftech.com/former-microsoft-president-on-dual-boot-ipad-pro/

    "At least on Windows, touch is not driving sales. Surface x86 (ug) was not even a named top ISV, just 'other'."

    Even after more than 10 years, they make a few billion $ per year. At $600 ASP, this is about 10m units, around 4% of PCs and they get used as laptops, not tablets.

    The iPad can run UTM, which allows running a lot of different systems and software, albeit with a performance hit:



    It would be possible to get a faster VM than this and it would cover whatever software people want without compromising the iPadOS design.
    This is different from iPads, where most are being used as tablets.  Could this be because iPad laptop experience is not that good, and users need to have a laptop / desktop to complete their tasks?

    In my opinion, the iPad is the best tablet in the market, but the Surface Pro is a better device when used as a laptop / desktop replacement.
    It doesn't make sense to make the latter point. The Surface is a laptop/desktop replacement because it's not a 'replacement', it is a laptop running a desktop OS, it just has a touch screen.

    What makes a proper tablet is that it can be used exclusively and fully with touch input. This is a different class of product than a laptop.

    A touch laptop doesn't negate the need for a tablet for most people (hundreds of millions) because many people wouldn't be able to use them. Young kids and less technically minded people can't easily navigate a desktop UI. Some people who have struggled for years with standard computers use modern tablets with ease and have next to zero support issues.

    If the iPad had launched as a MacPad, it wouldn't have sold over 600 million units.

    The interest for a touch laptop is for a smaller group of people who want to take a laptop where a clamshell form factor is inconvenient or to draw in Mac apps.

    This is a difficult type of product to make work well and it's very easy to make a fridge-toaster convergence product. Having a hybrid UI switcher could work but apps need to be built this way as well as the OS and there's never enough users with hybrids for developers to cater for this.

    The simplest solution is to let 'power users' run a virtual machine natively and they can put a desktop OS on it for the use cases iPadOS falls short.

    With external display support, the current iPad setup covers a lot of use cases:



    If someone is only browsing, sorting/editing photos/videos, posting on social media, checking emails, editing documents, this is all covered. Software development needs a desktop OS (can be via VM) or a cloud solution but can't be done in touch mode anyway.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 43 of 45
    mmatzmmatz Posts: 18member
    Thanks for the article; I found it helpful.  I particularly liked being introduced to the concept of the naked robotic core, which I'd never heard of.  It's a different way of looking at the iPad, which makes sense to me. And I'm looking forward to reading the next article in the series, focusing on software.

    Back in 2019 or thereabouts, I sold my MacBook Pro and decided to buy a Gen III 12.9 iPad Pro with an Apple Keyboard for my mobile computing needs. I found that I was using my MBP less and less frequently, sometimes going a month or more without starting it up. So I took the plunge.

    My desktop is a 2020 Mac Mini i7, with a 32" monitor. The combination of Mini and IPP seems to work well for me. I really don't need a laptop when I'm out and about. Admittedly my needs are modest, and I have iPadOS versions of the MS Office apps, a CAD app that does maybe 80% of the desktop version on my Mini, plus the usual stuff like Safari, Mail, Files (which works well, for me, btw), Google Earth, etc. Only very rarely do I find myself wishing for more powerful software on the IPP. If there's something more involved that I need to do, like building complex spreadsheets, or working on a major document, I do it on the Mini. And I can view such content on the IPP, and do minor editing if need be.  I find that the IPP is good for being able to have content available in the field, where I can refer to it, update it, take notes, or whatever.

    Sadly, my IPP needs replacement, as I dropped it and it no longer works as it should. Having to do constant restarts is annoying.

    I almost sent it in to Apple for replacement, for $650. Then the new M4 IPP came out, and I'm now leaning hard in that direction. It's expensive, but as a consultant I can depreciate it for tax purposes, and I think the display quality would be worth the premium over the iPad Air. Plus I'm thinking there may be iPadOS software improvements coming out of next month's WWDC. We'll see.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 44 of 45
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,449member
    Marvin said:
    danvm said:
    Marvin said:
    Ms surface has been merging the two. It’s not going so well. 
    An ex-Microsoft director who helped launch the Surface said this a couple of days ago:

    https://twitter.com/stevesi/status/1790581279433621918
    https://wccftech.com/former-microsoft-president-on-dual-boot-ipad-pro/

    "At least on Windows, touch is not driving sales. Surface x86 (ug) was not even a named top ISV, just 'other'."

    Even after more than 10 years, they make a few billion $ per year. At $600 ASP, this is about 10m units, around 4% of PCs and they get used as laptops, not tablets.

    The iPad can run UTM, which allows running a lot of different systems and software, albeit with a performance hit:



    It would be possible to get a faster VM than this and it would cover whatever software people want without compromising the iPadOS design.
    This is different from iPads, where most are being used as tablets.  Could this be because iPad laptop experience is not that good, and users need to have a laptop / desktop to complete their tasks?

    In my opinion, the iPad is the best tablet in the market, but the Surface Pro is a better device when used as a laptop / desktop replacement.
    It doesn't make sense to make the latter point. The Surface is a laptop/desktop replacement because it's not a 'replacement', it is a laptop running a desktop OS, it just has a touch screen.

    What makes a proper tablet is that it can be used exclusively and fully with touch input. This is a different class of product than a laptop.
    I would agree with you if we were talking about the Surface Laptop.  But the Surface Pro is a different story.  You can use it as a tablet.  When I had mine, I used it as a tablet for social apps, streaming apps, PDF annotation and web browsing.  No keyboard, mouse or trackpad needed.  
    A touch laptop doesn't negate the need for a tablet for most people (hundreds of millions) because many people wouldn't be able to use them. Young kids and less technically minded people can't easily navigate a desktop UI. Some people who have struggled for years with standard computers use modern tablets with ease and have next to zero support issues.

    If the iPad had launched as a MacPad, it wouldn't have sold over 600 million units.

    The interest for a touch laptop is for a smaller group of people who want to take a laptop where a clamshell form factor is inconvenient or to draw in Mac apps.
    I agree with you, touchscreen laptops do not replace a tablet, but I have never seen touchscreen notebooks positioned to be a tablet replacement.  Touchscreen is just an additional input mode for convenience. They could be used for scrolling pages and even annotating PDF / Word documents with the Pen (as one of my customers does).  Regarding "MacPad" sales, we would never know sales numbers of such device.  IMO, it would have sold very well.  At the end, we can only speculate.  
    This is a difficult type of product to make work well and it's very easy to make a fridge-toaster convergence product. Having a hybrid UI switcher could work but apps need to be built this way as well as the OS and there's never enough users with hybrids for developers to cater for this.

    The simplest solution is to let 'power users' run a virtual machine natively and they can put a desktop OS on it for the use cases iPadOS falls short.

    With external display support, the current iPad setup covers a lot of use cases:



    If someone is only browsing, sorting/editing photos/videos, posting on social media, checking emails, editing documents, this is all covered. Software development needs a desktop OS (can be via VM) or a cloud solution but can't be done in touch mode anyway.
    Your "simplest solution" with a VM and a 10-minute video to connect an external monitor shows the some of the limitations and compromises iPads have, and also show the benefits and strong points of a Surface Pro. To connect a monitor with a Surface Pro, I just plug it in, and even support two external monitors. Also, power users won't have issues with apps, since most of the are available in Windows.  

    I want to make clear that I think that the iPad w/ Magic Keyboard could be a desktop replacement for a group of users.  But also think that the Surface Pro could be a good tablet for another group of users. IMO, both are excellent devices, even though both have some limitations.  Which one is better?  It depends on what you are going to do, apps availability and if you are willing to live with its limitations and compromises. I remember Apple criticizing the compromises of the "toaster / fridge" device.  But at the end, they release one, the iPad w/ Magic Keyboard.  It looks like there is no perfect device, yet.  
  • Reply 45 of 45
    HedwareHedware Posts: 90member
    danox said:
    nodtmf said:
    I keep my important data as encrypted DMG files on iCloud. Sadly I can’t open them on an iPad. That’s a problem.
    You keep your important information on someone else's computer? Dumb......
    It’s called backing up to an online service. But I would not use iCloud as a backup service given its past issues.
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