໒(⊙ᴗ⊙)७✎▤ Battey Me

Thoughts on the iPad Pro

One thing I don’t talk about much online is that my primary computer is an iPad and it has been since the original iPad Pro was released. It’s been quite a journey as Apple has refined iPadOS into what it is today. My iPad Pro use has evolved with the software and hardware.

It all started when I purchased the original Pro on a whim. I’m not really sure what prompted that. I had a perfectly good Mac Mini (Late 2012, which is still doing work as a home server). I quickly remembered how much I loved holding the internet in my hands, a love I discovered back with the original iPad. The iPad Pro reignited that feeling, and it never stopped. I upgraded my original iPad Pro to a 3rd generation when it was released, which has been my primary computing device since then.

The headlines and reviews of every iPad since then have all said the same thing, the iPad is held back by its limited software. While I agree that there are a ton of workarounds necessary to do some tasks, that isn’t true for every task. Back when I started my Masters degree, I decided I wanted to do it 100% on the iPad—which I accomplished. It definitely wasn’t easy, in May of 2020, to write and compile my thesis entirely on the iPad—I didn’t have a convenient reference manager, Pages was limited in it’s ability to format the paper in proper APA format, and the built in functionality of viewing PDFs was lacking. I managed to work around all of that, using 3rd party apps and writing my citations manually. It worked out fine, and it was a fun experiment in what was possible at the time.

That same iPad that was my primary computer for my Masters thesis has been a daily computer since. I own an M1 iMac—it was purple…I had too..—and while I love it, I don’t love sitting in front of it at a desk. I am hopeful now that I can eliminate it completely for home computing requiring heavy multitasking, with the release of the M4 iPad, which I am typing this blog post on.

The problem with my 3rd generation iPad Pro is that its memory was limited, and its battery was old. Multitasking on it began to become an exercise in frustration—if it couldn’t fit on the screen, it would get dropped out of memory quickly. This wasn’t a major issue for most tasks, but it made the work I do impossible—I do a lot of my professional work as a Special Education teacher in a web application that doesn’t auto save anything. If I needed to swap between tabs or windows, eventually the application would need to reload the tab and I would need to log in again—possibly losing work in the process.

With the M4 iPad Pro, I don’t think this will be an issue because it has a lot more memory. I opted for the base model, which has twice as much memory has my previous iPad, and so far it has performed perfectly. There may be a time when I regret not buying the upgraded model with double the memory, but that day isn’t today.

I understand why people believe iPadOS is limited, for some it probably is. For me? I love it. I don’t believe the iPad needs to have macOS in order to be a viable computer for many. For those of us who use it daily, iPadOS is already what it needs to be. Not every pro user is a YouTuber editing videos trying to start the next media empire. While I look forward to seeing the new features introduced in the next iPadOS, I’m not subscribing to the idea that the iPad can’t be a useful device without macOS.