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A Short Glance at My iPad Pro Usage

As a professional, I am enjoying my iPad Pro. I have encountered a number of conversations across the web where people are trying to understand how this device can be part of their life as a professional, or if it’s simply too limited. So I thought I might comment about my experience so far.

I prefer to do my serious work on my desktop iMac. It’s incredibly powerful and has a wonderful screen. My posture is vastly better than with any mobile device of any kind and I have a huge amount of screen space to spread my work around when needed. There is no notebook of any kind that even remotely compares to this working environment. That said, my employer does furnish me with a 15” MacBook Pro (retina) that is currently running a fresh install of 10.11 and stowed away on a shelf. I never use it.

All that considered, I do like to get away from the desk from time to time. As a work-from-home Senior Software Engineer and technical lead, it’s easy to find one’s self head down in work for 15 hours at a time several days in a row. It’s important, even if you’re very busy, to get away from the home office or you will, in fact, go crazy.

So here is a list of points related to the use of iPad Pro by an actual professional who does not do art for a living:

Of course, that’s only a portion of what I do with this thing. Just yesterday I conveniently received, filled out, signed by hand, and returned a ballot for my local HOA without ever planning to be able to do that, all on my iPad Pro. How nice. Even on my Mac that process is more tedious. Notability made it streamlined. Open DOC in Notability ⇾ fill out form and sign ⇾ share with OneDrive to keep a copy ⇾ reply to mail with Mail.app and attach from OneDrive to return the ballot.

Anything you ever do with a computer required someone at some point to make a tool to do that. Computers do literally nothing useful at all without software to provide the service. It’s great to have general purpose tools to make up new workflows, but, in the end, real productivity comes from specialized tools. The one and only legitimate complaint I can see against iPad for any workflow is the lack of such tools. For some people this will not be a real issue, for others it will be a showstopper, but, for a surprisingly large number of professions, it is a matter of investigating what exists and putting it all together in a way that is useful to you.

You have to consider what you value. I personally have been very much on the fence between iPad Pro and Surface Pro, but, in the end, I hold vastly greater value for the stability and consistency of iOS as well as the extremely better build quality and quality control of Apple products. I value the silence of the device. I know there is a silent version of Surface but its CPU is pathetic compared to iPad Pro. And the reality of that product line is that it’s in shambles in terms of software quality. There are numerous problems. Maybe Microsoft will fix them all. I don’t want to wait. The extremely minor quibbles on iOS are nothing in comparison.

So, for what I want my lightweight (both in physical and metaphorical terms) companion device to do and how I want it to work, nothing in the world compares to iPad Pro right now.