iPad Pro as your main device - How's it going for you?


Ok, so it’s obvious that an iPad has huge limitations in comparison to using OSX , so we don’t really need to have that debate. However for some users the iPad pro can be sufficient, and I say iPad pro rather than iPad Air or mini purely due to screen size … Oh and the awesome speakers on the pro :smile:

But at the same time, iOS has perks that OS X cannot offer, and in some ways it’s starting to have the feeling of a vanilla OS X that’s clean and minimal but at the same time very powerful.

For me personally, I have always been annoyed that I needed 2 devices, an iPad for running my business and certain work related apps that I just can’t get for my MacBook Pro and then I needed the laptop for marking documents and some word processing etc … So I don’t need it for heavy processing etc…

So at the moment , I have put my laptop away and only allowing myself to use the iPad pro for at least a month to give it time to see how it really is for my use case.

As I get more into it I will post my experiences

Anyone else giving this a go ? I would love to hear about your experiences…


I have both a Macbook Pro 15 and an iPad Pro, I’m going to put up a review of the Apple Pencil later tonight because I think the iPad Pro is more of a no brainer. I.e. if you have very light requirements from a laptop like email, web and basic office, it’ll work, if not, it’s not really a laptop replacement. If you need a big screen consumption device, you probably don’t need a review to tell you to buy the iPad.

The real value of the iPad Pro comes from the Pencil for art, note taking or photography, so it’s more the arty side, but I don’t think the business (corporate) take on for the iPad Pro will be big. It may be more suited to some mobility tasks used in industry (plant maintenance) where the extra screen size is an advantage, but not in corporate suit and tie environments.

I actually think my mum could probably get away with using it because she only does email, Facebook, web, basic word and photos

I’m disappointed with the apple keyboard, its worse than the SP3 and SP4 keyboard, provides less functionality, is more expensive, has a bad floppy design, and what it does do on the keyboard side, it does worse than the SP3 and SP4 keyboards


I’m interested in how people are using their iPad Pro.

I was seriously considering it as an alternative to my computer/s for photography, as it is, I sometimes choose to use the Air2 for editing (PS Touch, Leonardo, Laminar Pro, Snapseed etc) and having the extra screen real estate was a definite drawcard for me. Other than the photography, I’m also just a web, facebook, imessage and email user. a few games. But the cost of it has put me off for now.

I still need my Mini to run Plex, but I could see a time when an iPad pro was the only thing I’d actually need, for everything else.

So… hows it all going?


Hi Kyte

Have a look at an app called Astropad. If allows you to mirror your Mac screen onto an iPad Pro and use it like s Wacom Cintiq. I’ve tested it and it works very well. The Pencil sensitivity is incredible


Astropad does look awesome, my wife is a graphic designer so I will be lending her the pro when she needs it to do drawings in photoshop or illustrator … Will save her a lot of time I’m sure


Unfortunately,my work means that the iPad Pro for me can never be my main device as I need desktop applications, such as Aperture/Lightroom, EndNote for Word, basically the full features of Outlook, and the full features of desktop iTunes to manage the home media. So unless it can run a desktop OS like the Surface, or iOS evolves to the point it becomes iOSX (the next version maybe) then I will still need another “main device”.


In regards to keyboards etc…I dont like the logitec…way to bulky and heavy and not so easy to pull on and off, and I dont like the apple keyboard cover they realesed…so for now I am just using the Apple bluetooth keyboard when I want to write something that is longer than a couple of paragraphs long. I actually type just as fast on the onscreen keyboard as I do on a regular keyboard, and thats not because I am an excellent typer, on the contrary actually … lol … I need to look at the keys but can get some speed ha.

So I just use the apple case for the back and the apple front screen cover for the front, the front cover is very handy for all the positions you can actually use with it, and together they both minimise bulk. normally with an ipad however I usually just use a clear skin on the back and thats it, but because I will be moving the pro around so much and also due to the screen size I opted for this combo.

The main apps I use are these:

  • Week Cal - for all my client appointment as it also syncs with the apple calender and therefore syncs over icloud to all my devices and my wifes devices etc…making it easy to make appointments where ever.

  • Quick Sale Pro - for all my invoicing of my clients, it accesses my contacts where I store all my clients details and alows me to make and invoice and send them a pdf email within about 30 seconds … very fast and easy setup.

  • iBooks - the best thing about ibooks is that I can put pdf versions of books in there, and then on viewing use the search function built in to find the information I need. In my case I am looking up medical conditions or formulas etc from verious refernces…its amazingly convenient for me now.

  • Medical apps - there are some really fantastic medical apps out there for the ipad, one of my most used is Complete Anatomy by 3D Medical (the one featured on stage during WWDC) these apps are just not accessable with osx.

  • Notability - I am also a lecturer, so I use notability mainly for managing classes etc…and keeping notes for assesments etc…also my go to for general notes.

  • Numbers - I have a spread sheet set up for ordering stock, the waty I have it set up I am able to create an order and email it off within minutes.

  • Microsoft Word - I have never had to use word until I started lecturing, previously I just used pages, but due to university requirement for students I recieve there assigments in word format and then use the comments function for marking etc…

There are a few more apps I use regularly but this gives you the general jist of my user case … oh and how good is Clash of Clans on the big screen :smile:

The biggest hurdle I initially faced was dowloading documents from the internet and then been able to upload douments…this I needed for my lecturing job accessing the LMS/backend of our university portal. I tried using dropbox, google drive, one drive…but In the end I setled on using straight icloud, so far I have found no instances when I have not been able to access it for download and upload, where as I had verious issues with the other options. Getting documents into Word 365 is a little bit tricky at first but once you know which buttons to press it is seamless but with occassional issues with file format and file names between icloud and the word app.

So overall the transition is working out great with the advantages way outwaying the disadvantages for my use case…but I ll keep ya posted :smile:


I didnt like the look of the apple keyboard case either, it looked complicated. I was attracted to the logitech, the one I have on my air2 is an almost identical design apart from the backlit kb, size and method of charging… and I love it.

I’ll be looking on with interest at further comments, and working out if I really need 128GB (I barely scratch the surface of use with my Air2.) Maybe if I downgrade expectations, I may be able to get one next year, after the next model is released :slight_smile:


The logitech is better but more bulky.

I think where the value of the 128GB would come into play was if you were keeping offline copies of SharePoint 365 and Dropbox. Thats about it.


I don’t know if it’s gauche to link to my own shit here, but, I got myself an iPad Pro at launch and didn’t really like it for the tasks I do (predominately researching articles and writing). I wrote about it on Reckoner: http://reckoner.com.au/2015/11/the-ipad-pro-as-a-post-pc-device/

The main thing I had a problem with was the fact you need to touch the screen pretty often to get things done. Your finger is your cursor and when the iPad is upright, it’s tricky to get accuracy, as well as something steady for it to lean against.

I actually kinda wouldn’t mind a keyboard and an iPad laid flat, with the iPad on top. Tapping stuff on the screen when the iPad is flat isn’t bad. Maybe a very slight incline, like 10° or something. Dunno how that would go ergonomically though, with your neck always craned down.

At what point does changing your workflows and making sacrifices for the iPad become more hassle than just using a Mac? Maybe it’s just me who’s too ingrained with the windowing and desktop metaphor and I’ll be using a Mac/Windows until they stop making them.

I’d love Apple to make a Surface clone - something that runs Mac OS X when a keyboard/trackpad is attached, then runs iOS when it’s just a screen. It’ll never happen though, that’ll be admitting Microsoft is right :stuck_out_tongue:


Benny has already linked to that article in the main iPad Pro thread. Great article btw.


Ergonomics is a funny thing…before computers we used pad and pen and was head down but the way we used our arms and shoulders was more natural movement and issues like carpel tunnel and rsi was less prominent due to joint angles of the wrist elbow and shoulder holding a pen or pencil. When we use a keyboard and mouse the joints are more susceptible to strain and circulation problems that cause rsi and carpel tunnel. In regards to curvature of the spine and neck, that’s more related to how we sit and the angle of our pelvis as it determines how correct we use the spine.

Have you tried using the iPad with a slight incline using the apple cover and then combined with just a blue tooth keyboard? It does make it ver easy to then touch the screen when you need to. Apple needs to find a way to add the 2 finger touch curser function that exists with the on screen keyboard, and add it to a Bluetooth keyboard somehow, or Apple cover keyboard…as well as integrating a lot of other short cuts for iOS productivity usage…that would be great to see.

iOS vs OS X … I am actually really enjoying the simplicity of iOS for productivity, so far I have been able to find a solution to all my usual work flows, I just means I have had to find a way to do things in a new way, and to my surprise generally the flows I am discovering are less time consuming, but the downside is based around having to go from one screen to another in and out as oppose to having multiple processes ready to go on one large screen as we normally do with a desktop iMac etc…

Everyone’s use case is different, for some iOS perhaps will never meet their requirements as iOS is ‘the car’ , but for a lot of peeps it could work out for the better, it’s just a matter of accepting you have to think of your work flow in a different way, and finding the best methods to suit what you need to do.


You’re right @maclab, we had no problems writing and reading stuff with our heads down, looking at a table. It’s been so long since I’ve done that, the concept seems so foreign to me, hah.

I returned my iPad Pro because it didn’t do what I wanted (need a few apps to upgrade to support the iPad Pro) and it was really expensive ($1600!), but I’d definitely prefer using it with the keyboard below the screen, with the screen at a slight incline.

Can you use the pencil as a stylus? Like to tap parts of the UI in apps that don’t do drawing and stuff?


Yeah, it seems to work like a finger :nail_care:


Ok … I now no longer own a laptop or desktop except for an old iMac with a dead hd that I never got around to fixing…feeling a bit naked atm :scream: But all is going fine :grimacing:


Hi all,

Thought I would do a check in as its been a few months since going iPad only.

All is going well, largely,due to the workflow app, I have been able to overcome the short comings of iOS and iCloud integration, I have found some ways to upload and download files from the web when needed which posed to be the biggest hurdle initially.

I’m surprisingly finding just using iOS refreshing after constantly battling with OS X over the years without constant re login s required for iTunes and email accounts constantly having issues with verifications and server issues, on iOS it all just seems to work so much more consistently.

I use lots of apps for most things, alien blue for reddit, flipboard and feebly for news, eBay app, safari with ad blockers, and then an array of apps for running my business doing invoicing and medical apps for resources. And the coda app for maintaining my websites.

iBooks has been huge for me to, I just throw my PDFs versions of texts in there and I get a lovely bookshelf with book covers and the search function is awesome for finding what I need inside the book…works really well.

Love to hear your experiences is anyone else has switched are partially switched. Any questions feel free to ask.


Documents by Readdle is a free app that allows you to off-line Dropbox with a proper folder structure. The native Dropbox app is crap. If may help your workflow


Thought I’d revisit this topic, as I am looking towards the iPad pro for when I return to study in the new financial year.

Three questions :

  • Has the iPad Pro become an effective alternative to a MacBook/MacBook Pro?
  • How does the battery life fluctuate when connected to devices like the smart keyboard and pencil?
  • Finally, is it worth it, or has it been a worthwhile upgrade/purchase for you since it was released?


The one thing that would make me get an iPad Pro is letting it use a mouse. But that will never happen either.


Most of the enhancements I dream of for a better iPad capable of replacing a traditional laptop are software based. A lot can be cludged with third party software, but solutions like that aren’t elegant and certainly are not the old Apple mantra “it just works”

A quick list:

  • A system wide finder
  • The ability to drag and drop content between apps
  • A better way to copy, cut and paste
  • The ability to access a memory stick (I will accept a dongle here)
  • The ability to open files from any app that could read them (see finder)
  • The ability to use a wide range of input devices (like a mouse, I will accept Bluetooth ones)
  • The ability to easily add multiple files to an email (see finder)

I would also like to de-Ive the general design of iOS, by making buttons more obvious. In fact the whole look of iOS needs a good look from a user friendly approach. Make it easy for grandma to pick up and use, but also allow the ability of power users to use that power.

On hardware:

  • A cheaper Apple Pencil
  • A way to reduce the risk of losing the pencil

In fact, Federico Viticci has recently posted his iOS 11 concept video and description on Macstories. I pretty well agree with all of it.