Switching to the iPad

The Mobile Computer Blog has been showcasing the value and utility of the iPad (Pro) and encouraging people to use it in various areas of their lives.

This blog post is covering a point that was implied in earlier posts, but not directly tackled. In essence, to really get the utmost value of the iPad as your main mobile computing device, you would need to consider switching to it in a similar fashion to switching from PC to Mac or from Android to iOS.

This level of engagement with the iPad wouldn’t necessarily be for everyone, but the ideas in the post would still be helpful to a wider circle of users.

In addition, it should be stressed here that you’re not necessarily recommended to get rid of your Mac/PC. Rather, besides the iPad, it is recommended that you have access to a desktop computer for the times you would need it.

In the following paragraphs, we will look into why switching to the iPad would be a good decision, the suitable mindset needed to make a successful switch, and tips on how to go about doing it.

Why should you switch to the iPad?

In earlier posts, we had discussed whether the iPad is a true laptop replacement and the importance of tailoring it to your specific needs.

In this post, we will make the argument that perhaps you should adopt the iPad as your main (mobile) computer. This approach is best suited to people who need a proper mobile computing machine. If the demands of your job, or the type of person you are, require you to do various computational tasks while on the move or at different locations, then the iPad would serve as the perfect device. For people like you, the iPad would provide empowerment and flexibility, in addition to the bonus of instilling joy while working on the move.

Potential beneficiaries of this approach include:

  • Educators
  • Students
  • Writers
  • Freelancers / free creatives
  • Artists
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Consultants or coaches
  • Engineers in the field
  • Field salespeople
  • Medical doctors

For such people, the ideal device would have to strike the right balance between ability and mobility. In theory, any device (desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.) would be able to do many of the tasks you need. The argument of this post, however, is that the iPad occupies the sweet spot of balancing between ability and mobility. It is more mobile than traditional laptops (battery life, always-on, easy to fold and unfold) and is more capable than smartphones (screen size, battery, versatility).

So, are you ready to switch to the iPad? Let’s get to it 🙂

Mindset for switching to the iPad

For years, you’ve gotten used to do your serious work on a Mac or PC. You’ve been doing things in a certain way and have developed long-lasting and automatic habits. If this is the case, and you are considering to switch to the iPad, then it is logical that you should not bring with you all of the same old habits and expectations. The iPad is a platform of its own, one that is different from the Mac or PC. In fact, the foundational principles of the iPad are different and are more catered to a mobile computing lifestyle.

This necessitates that you have an open mind about how to do computational tasks. Some of your older habits would need a minor change, some might have to almost disappear, and some new habits would need to be developed.

As discussed in the post on tailor-making your iPad, it would be ideal to experiment with different apps and usage scenarios as you are gradually mastering the device and its platform.

How do the switch?

Ideally, you would need to plan a transitional period for switching from a dekstop computer to an iPad. You might want to run this period during your leave or a period of relatively lower work load.

Next, you would need some proper accessories. For artists and people who would be taking hand-written notes, the Apple Pencil is a must. For people who would regularly type on the iPad, getting a physical keyboard is vital. In all cases, a cover/case is a necessity. Other accessories to consider include getting an extra charging cable, a USB to USB-C/Lightning cable (to access thumb/flash drives), a stand, and a bluetooth mouse.

As with anything new in life, it would take you some time to get used to the iPad; the way it works, the applications to use, and the tools and accessories to augment it. You would occasionally run through some bumps as you are still learning how to do various tasks. The key is to stay at it and to try to patiently find the way out, either by yourself or by asking experts (like this blog!).

One useful approach of going about the switch is to gradually move to the iPad, one task at a time. You could start, say, with using it as your main Emailing machine. This would involve steps like:

  • Adding your email accounts to Apple Mail (or your app of choice)
  • Setting up a suitable notifications system.
  • Get used to the keyboard and keyboard shortcuts.
  • Setup iCloud (or another cloud service) as you would need to move files between the iPad and your Mac/PC.

Following the example above, once you start getting into the habit of using the iPad as your main emailing machine, you could then add other tasks, one at a time: Calendaring, hand-taken notes, writing, giving presentations, going paperless (using PDFs and scanning documents).

So, to sum up, getting the most out of the iPad is best experienced by switching to it as your main (mobile) computing device. This would provide you with the empowerment, flexibility and joy, enabling you to be the accomplishing and productive person you’ve always wanted to be. The process is going to take some time in building your habits, getting to know the apps, and building your arsenal of tools. Eventually, I hope your journey would be as enriching and fruitful as mine has been.

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