I replaced my Mac with my iPad Pro for a week -- here's how it went

Posted:
in iPad edited July 15
Recently, my Mac keeled over, leaving me with my iPad Pro to produce content and do day-to-day tasks with. This is how I managed, using only my iPad.

12.9-inch 2018 iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard Folio
12.9-inch 2018 iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard Folio


A few weeks ago, my trusty Mac finally had to undergo repairs. The graphics chip was failing, making external monitors unusable and video editing a chore. My USB-C ports had become loose -- cables would physically disconnect randomly. And the keyboard alternated between typing no spaces to typing superfluous characters.

I created a clone of my drive and raced to the nearest Apple Store to begin the repair process that I knew would take me out of commission for at least a week.That left me at my desk with nothing more than my iPad Pro and a pile of work that needed to get done.

So began my week replacing my Mac with my iPad Pro.

My new setup

I had the latest generation 2018 iPad Pro in the larger 12.9-inch size and 64GB of storage, with Apple's Smart Keyboard Folio. Since my iPad Pro was not a primary device for me I was also using the iOS 13 beta which comes with both pros and cons.

12.9-inch 2018 iPad Pro
12.9-inch 2018 iPad Pro


All of my working projects were stored on my 20TB LaCie 2Big Thunderbolt 3 Dock -- which meant even with iOS 13, I could get to them on my iPad Pro. Before I took my Mac in, I did move two or three current projects onto an external Glyph Atom USB-C SSD.

Day 1

The first major hurdles I had to overcome was a doozie -- one I expected and one that is entirely attributed to the beta process. Excellent mobile video editing application Lumafusion had a major bug that prevented my projects from exporting. Funny enough, this issue only occurs upon export, meaning you've already edited your entire project and are ready for publication when it inevitably fails.

LumaFusion refused to cooperate
LumaFusion refused to cooperate


Luma Touch was great and tried to issue me a temporary TestFlight build to see if it resolved the issue, and while it fixed one, it presented me another. Still, I was unable to export my project.

This isn't Luma Touch's fault by any means. Apple introduces a number of changes with each major OS update and iPadOS has loads of them. They will certainly have these issues squashed by the official release, but in the interim, I was in trouble.

While I worked with the team at Luma Touch on the issues preventing my projects from exporting, I turned to Apple's own iMovie.

It was frustrating having to re-edit an entire project, especially in iMovie. For eagle-eyed YouTube viewers, they may have noticed a video didn't go up on that Monday as I adjusted, and the video that went on Tuesday was missing some of the usual flair.

Day 2

My second day with my iPad Pro was largely still just adjusting my workflow and dealing with the ramifications of my go-to editor being out of commission.

There were still a few apps that had crashed because of the beta that I had to work around, but I was still able to get a lot of writing done and started to feel much more productive.

Day 3

On the third day, things got slightly more interesting. I bumped up against a huge hurdle. My iPad Pro was a measly 64GB -- a far cry from the necessary storage I'd need if I were to truly make the iPad my main workstation.

When I picked up the 3rd-generation iPad Pro, it was not my intent to necessarily keep the device. I already had a 2nd-generation iPad Pro 12.9-inch and was in no rush to replace it. But the new slim design of the updated model and the impressive performance and updated Apple Pencil made it a must. I decided to keep that iPad Pro -- even with the paltry storage.

Nearly a year later, and this was turning to bite me in the rear.

I spent quite a bit of time optimizing my iPad, removing large RAW graphic files I had been editing and apps that I had downloaded for testing or other reasons and never quite used. This freed up enough space to continue working, but I did have to make sure to upload to the cloud whenever possible.

iOS 13 made importing footage easier
iOS 13 made importing footage easier


I started to really appreciate iCloud Drive as well as iOS's ability to connect external storage. I was able to hop into the Files app, pull footage right from my Nikon's XQD card or my Glyph Drive and save locally to the iPad. I could then edit the project and when done, move the resources up to the cloud, freeing up more local space.

I kept it local because I like to edit on the go and don't always have a connection and it is far faster than waiting for several 4K clips to download each time I need them for a project.

Day 4

Four days is how long it took me to become completely comfortable on my iPad Pro in doing real work. I had proper workflows laid out and started to rely on the Shortcuts app for further automation. For example, images getting uploaded to AI have to meet certain requirements, many of which I executed by applying a Shortcut on a group of images that get compressed, resized, and even renamed.

I could import the photos directly into the Files app and iCloud Drive from external media, manually edit specific shots inside of Affinity Photo, then run my shortcut that runs the commands and puts them into a new folder.

12.9-inch 2018 iPad Pro is great for multitasking
12.9-inch 2018 iPad Pro is great for multitasking


This is also when I started to adjust more to the new gestures which are great for text editing and selections. Multiple windows were also quite helpful, as I worked in different Files windows at once and easily dragged stuff between them all and my other apps.

The larger display affords me the ability to move more freely between these apps. On many occasions I found myself editing text on one side, the AppleInsider publishing platform on the other, and using slide-over for accessing Slack and Twitter.

Overall, I didn't feel nearly as limited with the iPadOS multitasking interface as I thought I would be.

One iOS 13 change did make things a bit more difficult for me -- at present, pasting in text automatically adds a space following and preceding the selection. When working in HTML, as we do when working with certain aspects of articles and editorials such as this, it gets very frustrating. I'd paste a link in between a set of parenthesis and I'd have to manually go and remove the ancillary spaces.

Day 5

My iPad's stint was a bit abbreviated with an extremely fast turnaround from Apple after replacing the internal logic board, the extra I/O board, and the top cover on my MacBook Pro.

As I started to restore my Mac and get it back up to snuff, I reflected on what was working and not working with the iPad. Editing video was surprisingly doable and I actually quite enjoyed using LumaFusion and will use that again.

At the same time, I felt while things weren't difficult and doable, they took a bit more time than they did on my Mac. Little things like the space inserted in pasting text. I did try using a mouse with the iPad and iOS 13 but it still wasn't as smooth as experience as I had hoped.

I also felt like I kept having to jump in and out of apps more than simply being in them all at once like on my Mac.

Still, using my iPad Pro as a daily driver was refreshing. It was a different way of looking at things and the platform shows a lot of promise. For full video editing, I'm not 100-percent ready to give up my Mac but with the latest hardware and iOS 13, Apple is getting remarkably close to getting there. Perhaps next year will finally bridge the gap.
n2itivguyroundaboutnowSanctum1972
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    talexytalexy Posts: 62member
    Whow. This sounds like a seriously beaten up Macbook Pro. And it can't be older than 4 years, given you mentioned the USB-C port. Either the quality of the latest MBP line is really not that good, or your way of handling it is pretty rough.

    marsorrysirozhaGigiqwedysamoria
  • Reply 2 of 46
    rcfarcfa Posts: 780member
    i(Pad)OS has a long way to go for any serious work.
    e.g. can’t inspect/edit e-mail addresses when composing e-mail, and one has to be extremely careful not to use the wrong e-mail addresses, since autocomplete easily picks the wrong one.

    Text selection, copy/paste are a PITA

    These are just examples, but in essence i*OS devices remain information consumption devices like TVs, not content creation devices like computers.
    toysandmedavgregentropyswilliamlondondysamoriaSanctum1972GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 3 of 46
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    ...

    Day 5

    ...
    As I started to restore my Mac and get it back up to snuff, I reflected on what was working and not working with the iPad. Editing video was surprisingly doable and I actually quite enjoyed using LumaFusion and will use that again.

    At the same time, I felt while things weren't difficult and doable, they took a bit more time than they did on my Mac. Little things like the space inserted in pasting text. I did try using a mouse with the iPad and iOS 13 but it still wasn't as smooth as experience as I had hoped.

    I also felt like I kept having to jump in and out of apps more than simply being in them all at once like on my Mac.

    Still, using my iPad Pro as a daily driver was refreshing. It was a different way of looking at things and the platform shows a lot of promise. For full video editing, I'm not 100-percent ready to give up my Mac but with the latest hardware and iOS 13, Apple is getting remarkably close to getting there. Perhaps next year will finally bridge the gap.
    Why didn’t you use the Pencil to quickly select and remove  those extra spaces? Since this is professional work a Pencil is justified. Besides, you can also replace all those “ )” in Pages, then paste the whole text again in your editor.

    You don’t have to jump in and out of apps, just use the four-finger swipe to navigate between open iPad apps. On the Mac you are still in and out of apps since you must activate a window by clicking. Or you assign open applications to different desktops to swipe between them. As such, both macOS and iOS are similar in switching open apps.

    You may also offload some of your video work to your iPad Pro since that beast doesn’t have temperature issues like computers with fans. Running your MBP mostly in max temperature will shorten its life, like any laptop.
    edited July 15 radarthekatSpamSandwichmrboba1watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 46
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,018member
    talexy said:
    Whow. This sounds like a seriously beaten up Macbook Pro. And it can't be older than 4 years, given you mentioned the USB-C port. Either the quality of the latest MBP line is really not that good, or your way of handling it is pretty rough.

    I thought the same thing.  USB ports coming loose?  My 6 year old MacBook Air hasn't had anything like that litany of problems.  Going some way to putting me off upgrading.
    macplusplusdysamoria
  • Reply 5 of 46
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    lkrupp said:
    Latko said:
    Try using a car as a tractor. Yes it works, sometimes.
    If blatantly failing Mac quality as of recent is the main inspiration to use an iPad for non-iPad activities, it says enough. People should be alarmed instead of accepting the inexcusable.
    Revolt against the Cookette idiots instead of  following them with their wicked idea’s that only apply to the sheepy masses
    Funny, isn’t it, how Apple products, including the Mac, consistently rank high in reliability, customer satisfaction, longevity, usability in every survey or study out there. But inside techie blogs  like this one every Mac is a piece of shit, every Mac fails shortly after purchase, anyone who buys a Mac is a mindless, ignorant sheep. Macs have features no one wants but are forced upon the aforementioned sheep. Inside techie blogs the Mac is the biggest disappointment ever foisted upon mankind.

    Can someone please explain this to me?
    The problem is that MacBooks still have great   characteristics but have lost their name and prominence after being bogged by the Cook- and Schillerism for so many years.
    (referring to the butterfly keyboard, I guess we owe that disaster to Joni -  but it is the others who choose to maintain it...)
    edited July 15 MplsPdysamoria
  • Reply 6 of 46
    qwweraqwwera Posts: 280member
    All the new text editing tools in iPad OS are welcome, but it’s still awful. I haven’t tried a mouse yet, but so glad they’re loosening up and allowing it.
    edited July 15 dysamoria
  • Reply 7 of 46
    GadgeteerGadgeteer Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Can you talk a little more about the file renaming that you had to do for your articles. Is there a way to automatically rename a group of files to have the same prefix with an incremental number? Like iphone-1, iphone-2, iphone-3, etc?
    doctwelvewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 46
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    qwwera said:
    All the new text editing tools in iPad OS are welcome, but it’s still awful. I haven’t tried a mouse yet, but so glad they’re loosening up and allowing it.
    The Pencil is better than a mouse, even on the Mac.
    redgeminipawatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 46
    thttht Posts: 3,249member
    ...

    Day 5

    ...
    As I started to restore my Mac and get it back up to snuff, I reflected on what was working and not working with the iPad. Editing video was surprisingly doable and I actually quite enjoyed using LumaFusion and will use that again.

    At the same time, I felt while things weren't difficult and doable, they took a bit more time than they did on my Mac. Little things like the space inserted in pasting text. I did try using a mouse with the iPad and iOS 13 but it still wasn't as smooth as experience as I had hoped.

    I also felt like I kept having to jump in and out of apps more than simply being in them all at once like on my Mac.

    Still, using my iPad Pro as a daily driver was refreshing. It was a different way of looking at things and the platform shows a lot of promise. For full video editing, I'm not 100-percent ready to give up my Mac but with the latest hardware and iOS 13, Apple is getting remarkably close to getting there. Perhaps next year will finally bridge the gap.
    Why didn’t you use the Pencil to quickly select and remove  those extra spaces? Since this is professional work a Pencil is justified. Besides, you can also replace all those “ )” in Pages, then paste the whole text again in your editor.

    You don’t have to jump in and out of apps, just use the four-finger swipe to navigate between open iPad apps. On the Mac you are still in and out of apps since you must activate a window by clicking. Or you assign open applications to different desktops to swipe between them. As such, both macOS and iOS are similar in switching open apps.

    You can also offload some of your video work to your iPad Pro since that beast doesn’t have temperature issues like computers with fans. Running your MBP mostly in max temperature will shorten its life, like any laptop.
    These are many of the reasons I say that the best way to use an iPad is flat on table, when at a table, or flat on your lap. By configuring an iPad like a laptop, it makes it harder to use the biggest advantages of using a tablet: multi-touch gestures and Pencil input. The software keyboard takes practice to be proficient at, and Apple needs to improve it too by at least adding meta and arrow keys, but I think people can enter text with the software keyboard well, while being able to manipulate the iPad with multi-touch and Pencil really well who’ll flat.

    When propped vertical while using a hardware keyboard, multi-touch and Pencil input is going to be cumbersome. If I was using a hardware keyboard, I’d just lay the iPad flat just behind the keyboard.
    infinit_zerowatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 46
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,018member
    qwwera said:
    All the new text editing tools in iPad OS are welcome, but it’s still awful. I haven’t tried a mouse yet, but so glad they’re loosening up and allowing it.
    The Pencil is better than a mouse, even on the Mac.
    How have you used a Pencil on your Mac?  :/  

    Besides, I imagine it depends on the task and the environment as to which is better.
    edited July 15 dysamoria
  • Reply 11 of 46
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 229member
    rcfa said:
    i(Pad)OS has a long way to go for any serious work.
    e.g. can’t inspect/edit e-mail addresses when composing e-mail, and one has to be extremely careful not to use the wrong e-mail addresses, since autocomplete easily picks the wrong one.

    Text selection, copy/paste are a PITA

    These are just examples, but in essence i*OS devices remain information consumption devices like TVs, not content creation devices like computers.
    Define serious work. The latest iPad Pro 12.9” does everything I throw at it. Cannot wait for iOS 13 making the iPad Pro even more of a computer.
    StrangeDaysFileMakerFellerredgeminipaSpamSandwichuraharawatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 46
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    crowley said:
    qwwera said:
    All the new text editing tools in iPad OS are welcome, but it’s still awful. I haven’t tried a mouse yet, but so glad they’re loosening up and allowing it.
    The Pencil is better than a mouse, even on the Mac.
    How have you used a Pencil on your Mac?  :/  

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/07/07/review-wacoms-intuos-pro-small-is-a-graphics-tablet-for-artists-on-the-move

    And with iOS 13 and macOS Catalina we’ll be able to use the iPad as a second display to the Mac and also customize Apple Pencil options in the Sidecar Preference pane on the Mac.
    edited July 15 dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 46
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    tht said:
    ...

    Day 5

    ...
    As I started to restore my Mac and get it back up to snuff, I reflected on what was working and not working with the iPad. Editing video was surprisingly doable and I actually quite enjoyed using LumaFusion and will use that again.

    At the same time, I felt while things weren't difficult and doable, they took a bit more time than they did on my Mac. Little things like the space inserted in pasting text. I did try using a mouse with the iPad and iOS 13 but it still wasn't as smooth as experience as I had hoped.

    I also felt like I kept having to jump in and out of apps more than simply being in them all at once like on my Mac.

    Still, using my iPad Pro as a daily driver was refreshing. It was a different way of looking at things and the platform shows a lot of promise. For full video editing, I'm not 100-percent ready to give up my Mac but with the latest hardware and iOS 13, Apple is getting remarkably close to getting there. Perhaps next year will finally bridge the gap.
    Why didn’t you use the Pencil to quickly select and remove  those extra spaces? Since this is professional work a Pencil is justified. Besides, you can also replace all those “ )” in Pages, then paste the whole text again in your editor.

    You don’t have to jump in and out of apps, just use the four-finger swipe to navigate between open iPad apps. On the Mac you are still in and out of apps since you must activate a window by clicking. Or you assign open applications to different desktops to swipe between them. As such, both macOS and iOS are similar in switching open apps.

    You can also offload some of your video work to your iPad Pro since that beast doesn’t have temperature issues like computers with fans. Running your MBP mostly in max temperature will shorten its life, like any laptop.
    These are many of the reasons I say that the best way to use an iPad is flat on table, when at a table, or flat on your lap. By configuring an iPad like a laptop, it makes it harder to use the biggest advantages of using a tablet: multi-touch gestures and Pencil input. The software keyboard takes practice to be proficient at, and Apple needs to improve it too by at least adding meta and arrow keys, but I think people can enter text with the software keyboard well, while being able to manipulate the iPad with multi-touch and Pencil really well who’ll flat.

    When propped vertical while using a hardware keyboard, multi-touch and Pencil input is going to be cumbersome. If I was using a hardware keyboard, I’d just lay the iPad flat just behind the keyboard.
    This is exactly how I use it without external keyboard and I do a lot of text editing/formatting, ePub export etc in Pages. A low angle may be better and I bought a Targus VersaVu case that folds also in low angle. Another excellent case with low angle is Logitech AnyAngle.

    If only Apple Marketing could have some inspiration instead of presenting the iPad like a Surface clone !
    edited July 15 watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 46
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,895member

    rcfa said:
    i(Pad)OS has a long way to go for any serious work.
    e.g. can’t inspect/edit e-mail addresses when composing e-mail, and one has to be extremely careful not to use the wrong e-mail addresses, since autocomplete easily picks the wrong one.

    Text selection, copy/paste are a PITA

    These are just examples, but in essence i*OS devices remain information consumption devices like TVs, not content creation devices like computers.
    What kind of “inspecting” do you need to do? Tapping on a name in the address field gives you the address. Tapping on the “I” gives you the entire contact. What else are you needing?

    text selection isn’t equal, but it’s not bad. Maybe you’re still using iOS 12, because 13 does make an improvement, from my experience.
    macplusplusStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 46
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,895member

    crowley said:
    talexy said:
    Whow. This sounds like a seriously beaten up Macbook Pro. And it can't be older than 4 years, given you mentioned the USB-C port. Either the quality of the latest MBP line is really not that good, or your way of handling it is pretty rough.

    I thought the same thing.  USB ports coming loose?  My 6 year old MacBook Air hasn't had anything like that litany of problems.  Going some way to putting me off upgrading.
    It’s easy to mess up present day ports on any device. Sadly, the rush to small and cheap has lead to tiny ports and plugs that are not really made for heavy use insofar as plugging and unplugging is concerned. Additionally, pulling on cables weakens and loosens them too. I’ve seem people pick up drives with a short cable attached that picks the end of the computer up with it before they realize they’ve done it. That damages the cable and port.

    in the “Old” days of computing, ports were large, sturdy metal, as were connectors, with screws used to secure them. The ports were attached to the frame of the device with screws in addition to being soldered to a board.

    I'm not surprised that someone doing what he does for a living has damaged his computer after 4 years. I’m surprised it lasted this long,  because those problems with ports usually indicate lack of care in handling a device. And a lot of people who consider their devices to just be “tools” treat them that way, though many don’t realize they’re doing it.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 16 of 46
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,576member
    rcfa said:
    These are just examples, but in essence i*OS devices remain information consumption devices like TVs, not content creation devices like computers.
    Nah, you're just on drugs. I can't get any business done on my TV set, but I can do a whole lot on my iPad Pro. Sorry you don't seem to know how to use it for the jobs to be done.
    kiltedgreenwilliamlondonfastasleepredgeminipauraharawatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 46
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,576member


    talexy said:
    Whow. This sounds like a seriously beaten up Macbook Pro. And it can't be older than 4 years, given you mentioned the USB-C port. Either the quality of the latest MBP line is really not that good, or your way of handling it is pretty rough.


    I have a 2017 Macbook that I beat daily. ZERO problems. Trust me, I don't know anyone who beats their Mac like me. I toss it around, bend the hinge all the way back etc. I'm not worried as Apple provides excellent quality.
    Likewise, my 2015 MBP has no issues. So my anecdote trumps his anecdote!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 46
    GigiqweGigiqwe Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Oh you poor thing.. You only had your iPad Pro 12.9. It's a wonder you survived this nightmare!
    williamlondonhammeroftruth
  • Reply 19 of 46
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 584member
    The experience would also depend largely on what you call “work”. 
    dysamoria
  • Reply 20 of 46
    rcfa said:
    i(Pad)OS has a long way to go for any serious work.

    ....

    These are just examples, but in essence i*OS devices remain information consumption devices like TVs, not content creation devices like computers.
    Computers? What, something with an external keyboard? Like an iPad can be? Or a mouse? Like an iPad can be with iPadOS? Or some other definition of computer that you have decided upon that excludes the iPad?

    Try telling Federico Viticci you can't do 'serious work' - try this for starters https://www.macstories.net/stories/initial-thoughts-on-ipados-a-new-path-forward/

    He's got plenty of articles on MacStories explaining just how he does the things that you say he can't do.
    redgeminipawatto_cobra
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