MacBook + iPad Pro

The iPad Pro 12.9” is a fantastic device that replaces much of what I might need a “traditional computer” for. As I used the iPad Pro, I found it replacing a lot of tasks that previously were done on my 13” MacBook Pro. I still had both devices though, so if needed, the MacBook Pro was not out of reach. Well, at least until that one day…

I was sitting at the airport on a Monday morning, heading out for work travel that would be a full week on the road. As I sat at the gate typing on my iPad Smart Keyboard, I came to the realization that I forgot my MacBook Pro on my desk at work, when I left the previous Friday. Because I have my iMac at home, I was in the habit of not bringing my laptop home from work unless I needed it for travel. Except for this particular week, I guess!

I wasn’t terribly concerned that I would be without a laptop, but who knows what would come up during the week. Even though I use my iPad Pro A LOT, I have always had my trusty OS X available just in case. Not this time!

Time to find out if it was possible to use only iOS for work and personal stuff for an entire week, and while on the road. This is about the most extreme test you can do, so let’s see how it turned out.

While on the road, I have a wide variety of things I need to accomplish, and here is how the iPad Pro did in each area.

Email: I really like doing email on the iPad. Big full screen mail.app to plow through the stack of mail that accumulates throughout the week.

Conference Calls: We use Zoom for conferencing, which is fine, but their app is not updated for the large iPad Pro, so the interface is kinda wonky.

Video Edits: I didn’t need to edit anything video related on this trip, which is good because I really need to look into this as a capability of the iPad Pro while I have Final Cut Pro around, before I dive into the deep end on this one.

Photo Edits: iOS has a really nice selection of photo editing applications for almost every occasion. I generally need to work on product photos for work, and for that I use the awesome Pixelmator.

Document edits and creation: I love me some Pages, Keynote, and Numbers! Unfortunately, I have to use Word for a lot of documents, because of Word specific features. The good news is that Word on iOS is actually better in many ways than Word on macOS.

Project Management: I track all my own tasks using Wunderlist. For tracking and managing projects at work with teams we use Teamwork which does have an iOS app, but I prefer the web browser version since that is what I use on the Mac. This works well enough in Safari on iOS.

Watching videos: The iPad is basically the perfect device for watching vidoes! Also with the new picture-in-picture mode, I can watch videos while still working on other things.

Listening to music and podcasts: I use Apple Music and this of course works great on any iOS device. For podcasts, I go back and forth between different apps. I have used Overcast, PocketCasts, and the Apple Podcasts app. I am currently using the Apple Popdcasts app because I subscribe to a mixture of audio and video podcasts, and this lets me have both in one app, and gives me the ability to sync my podcasts between every device I have.

TelePresence Calls: MyMeetingVideo App is my only option here, but it works! Great for testing calls with room endpoints when needed.

Downloading files from medical devices: I used a Lexar JumpDrive M20i that has both a standard USB connector and a Lightning connector.

Downloading files from CD: Nope, not happening even a little bit.

Bottom line, there is still plenty of room for both iOS and macOS in my life, so here is what I ended up doing:

In the end, I decided to replace my MacBook Pro 13″ with the second generation MacBook 12″ (maxed out specs!!) This gives me the best of both worlds. I now have my 12” MacBook + 13” iPad Pro. This is a really killer combo for me, and also because they are each so light, I can carry both of them without even noticing.

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