in General

iPad for Work

It is not a sacrifice to use the iPad as a primary device.

— Shawn Blanc, Why the iPad is My New Laptop

Shawn writes about how he’s using his iPad more for regular tasks without missing a beat without using his laptop. I wrote about this earlier when I talked about how I am Changing My Workflow. After I wrote that, I started to explore more ways to push my work onto the iPad and migrate away from my MacBook. The iPad has essentially become my main device for many of the same reasons Shawn outlines in his post.

The main reason I enjoy the iPad more for work than the MacBook is for focus.

Shawn writes:

The iPad, however, comes with a natural anti-distraction software: iOS itself. The iPad makes a great multi-use device because it doesn’t distract or beckon away from the task at hand.

I find this to be extremely important to me now. The Mac OS makes multi-tasking extremely easy, while it’s slightly more cumbersome in iOS (double-tapping the Home Button vs CMD-Tab. Because it takes me slightly longer to switch apps on the iPad, I tend to stay more focused, in my writing especially.

On my Mac, I would open a new tab to check in on Facebook, switch over to email when a new message arrived, dabble in iTunes to find the right type of music to listen to, etc.

On my iPad, I don’t open new tabs or the Facebook app to check in, I’ve turned off notifications for mail, and rarely listen to music while working on the iPad now.

The one thing Shawn doesn’t mention is how quiet the iPad is in comparison to the laptop. Right now, I have the MacBook running iTunes, and Safari, and the fan is still humming quietly. On the iPad, the only noise I hear is of my iPad keyboard clicking away. It’s rather Zen-like, looking at Byword and listening to the keyboard go clack-clack-clack.

Shawn also mentions iCloud backup and restore, which is great, and has made me much more aware of backing up my data on my computer in the cloud. I’m currently migrating all my work files Dropbox to back them up and to have them readily available in case I need to work on them from the iPad. I do a full backup via TimeMachine to an external drive already, but I don’t think I need to backup everything to the cloud. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Apple made TimeMachine iCloud-ready for the next version of MacOS X, in which case, I would backup to the cloud since TimeMachine is so simple to use.

The final piece of the puzzle for my workflow has been solved. PocketCloud allows me to not only connect to a remote desktop, I can easily log into my own computer to access the file system. It’s free and well worth checking out.