A computer for everything: One year of iPad Pro

“After years spent adapting what I learned from the Mac to bring it to iOS, what I found on the other side was a more focused, efficient way of working and communicating with people,” Federico Viticci writes for MacStories. “The iPad Pro accelerated my move to an iOS-only setup; today, I genuinely don’t know how to perform certain tasks on a Mac anymore.”

“I use my iPad Pro for everything,” Viticci writes. “It’s my writing machine and favorite research tool, but I also rely on it to organize my finances, play games, read books and watch movies, program in Python and Workflow, and manage two successful businesses. While I’ve been advocating for such multi-purpose use of the iPad platform for a while, the iPad Pro elevated the threshold of possibilities, reaching an inflection point that has pushed others to switch to an iPad as their primary computer as well.”

“Over the past year of daily iPad Pro usage, I’ve made it my personal goal to optimize my iPad workflows as much as possible. This is one of the best aspects of the iOS platform: competition between developers is fierce and you can always choose between different apps to get work done – apps that are improved on a regular basis and are constantly updated for the latest iOS technologies. With enough curiosity and patience, iOS rewards you with the discovery of new ways to work and save time,” Viticci writes. “Here’s what I’ve done…”

Tons more in the full 12-page article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Regardless of whether you prefer macOS or iOS, there’s no argument that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is the strongest argument in favor of using iOS as your primary computing platform.


  1. iOS’s inability to allow programs to remain persistent in the background killed any Pro usage for me. Multiple server terminal sessions need constant babysitting to not disconnect, and editing files on a server is a huge pain if you look away for 5 minutes.. and it kicks you off.

    but for web/email its so so nice to only have to carry around one small device.

    gonna need a laptop for real work though..

    1. Then you would be someone who needs a “truck”. Apple still makes “trucks” and will until there isn’t a need for them anymore. Ford didn’t stop making F-150’s just because most people can get by with a Taurus or Fusion. If you need a Truck, then buy a truck, if not then don’t buy one. They make products for your work case.

      1. Then they should stop selling the iPad Pro as the Only computer you need.. the laptop replacement.. etc.. Because it clearly is not. I cannot even handle basic terminal based usage.

        Screens is nice though. Like ARD for iOS.. I have resorted to running a server just for terminal use.. and i use Screens to remote into that.. then processes don’t die.

        1. Well for most people, not everybody, but most it is all the computer they need. Take my mom for example, I offered to give her my 2015 27″ iMac to replace her 2009 iMac. She said “i don’t need that, mine is fine and i use my iPad for everything anyway” (she has an iPad Air 2 in gold). So, by the time her iMac gives up the ghost, she won’t even need a full computer anymore. Most consumers fall into that category. We on this forum generally do not, and I don’t think that we are a fair representation of the broader market. I have and use a 12.9″ iPad Pro every day, but my main machine is my new 15″ MacBook Pro. With it, i no longer need my iMac, and most of the things I do on the go can be accomplished with the iPad. When I need to do heavy animation, heavy photoshop, heavy editing, or 3D work I go to the laptop. Even though I have edited very nice video in the field on my iPad. That said, us on this forum aren’t the vast majority of users, and I suspect that in a few years we will be even more in the minority.

            1. I guess the point is that it has enormous headroom, and in relatively short order it will be able to do everything. I think that’s the crux of the argument, this reminds me of the shift from command line operating systems to gui’s when I was a kid, everyone constantly complained that you couldn’t do “real work” on a macintosh or an amiga, but eventually the definition of “real work” changed to accommodate the new paradigm, and apps were rewritten to take advantage of it. It may seem silly now, but there were MANY people back then who thought a mouse and clicking on things was insane, they wrote articles and had tv shows about how dos was intinfely more capable than anything else and learning all the commands was what “real” computer users did… the iPad makes the dream of truly personal computing closer than ever, and will probably (with its derivatives) take over computing pretty soon completely. The iPad existed before the iPhone remember, and Steve said “shrink it”, that’s how we got the seismic shift with the original iPhone.

              As I said above, “trucks” will continue to exist, and if you one buy one. But there’s no point in complaining that a new paradigm doesn’t work the way the old thing does, becuase it’s never going to.. that’s the point, It’s a new paradigm. Trying to shoehorn functionality of an old system onto a new one that’s designed to operate differently is a recipe for disaster (ask Microsoft), or creating a “toaster fridge” … in theory it’s what people say they want, but making something like that would be the worst user experience and make everything worse.

              “If is asked my customers what they wanted they would’ve said ‘faster horses’ ” -Henry Ford

            2. You said “The iPad existed before the iPhone remember, and Steve said “shrink it”, that’s how we got the seismic shift with the original iPhone.”

              I couldn’t stop laughing. You can’t rewrite history. The iPhone was released on June 29, 2007, and the 1st generation iPad came out in 2010. He didn’t shrink the iPad to make an iphone.

            3. Try knowing your history. The iPad was developed in 2003 and presented to jobs in late 2004 at which point he said Apple should go after smart phones and the iph0ne was developed. The iPad, almost unchanged from the prototypes (with the exception of the A4 processor and wireless chips) was released in iPhone was released June 29th 2007, but the iPad did exist before hand. Read the Walter isacaon biography. MDN, back me up on this please…

            4. I read that article. The iPad was not out yet, it was a dream, not even a prototype. Nobody gave him a physical piece of hardware, it wasn’t developed. Apple had all kinds of ideas that never made it past that.

              You said “It existed”, and it didn’t.
              Here’s a MORON right back at you.

            5. I also said read the biography, which goes into detail about it…. a prototype did exist, the engineer presented it, and then the iPhone came out of that. Period. Read the fucking book and you’re more than a MORON… you’re a willfully ignorant MORON and someone who comes here to cause trouble. In fact here is the full interview: go to 35:56, the fact you cant remember this either means you don’t want to, or you ar 12.

            6. You’re the one who said i didn’t know what I was talking about…. and when proven wrong, BY THE MAN WHO ACTUALLY SAID IT…. decided to stick to your guns and parse my statement for a semantic difference because rather than admit you are wrong, you’re one of those people who can’t handle knowing that you know less than you think you do. Insecure much? I will continue to call you a moron until you act like someone who isn’t. And that means accepting when you are incorrect instead of continuing to defend yourself when you have none. And now that you’ve retreated to the “I’m taking my ball and going home” defense…. we all know the fealty of your mental acuity. Enjoy your ignorance snowflake.

      2. Not to mention the HORRIBLE UI experience with Google Docs and iCloud (garbage).

        Its nice their are native apps, but just run Chrome on iOS if you want to actually do anything with them.

      3. Apple stopped making serious trucks some time ago.

        Strike 1- Trashcan Home Movie PC dba the Mac (not) Pro. Nice engineering exercise that might be a nice LR PC for a home theater, but not for serious work unless you want a spaghetti bowl of cables and wall warts and power strips and Promise Boxes doing what used to happen in a real Mac Pro.
        Strike 2- Sealing up the iMac for no memory upgrade and crippling it with fucking Intel Integrated Graphics. Unless you buy the big and highly overpriced iMac you cannot even add memory. There is nothing Pro about Iris Pro except the name.
        Strike 3- Sealing up the MacBook Pros and crippling them with few ports and fucking Intel Integrated Graphics.
        Strike 4- Sealing up the Mac mini, soldering the chips in, eliminating Quad Core CPUs, crippling them with fucking Intel Integrated Graphics.
        Strike 5- Letting Apple HW stagnate.
        Strike 6- Turning the Trackpad, Keyboard and Mouse into throwaways because Jony doesn’t want to do rechargeable batteries. How about a car with no replaceable battery, Jony?

    2. Lack of accessible filesystem and a USB filesystem that any app can read and write is what prevents it being a full computer replacement for me.

      There’s products like the iBridge and the iXpand, but you’re fully at the mercy of specific third party apps that could stop being supported anytime (and the latest version of the app for the iBridge is getting trashed in the reviews).

  2. I really like using my iPad for browsing the web, reading emails and messages, but that is about it. When I have to write, crunch numbers, create graphics and put together reports from multiple sources and other reports, my iMac is the only way to go versus the iPad.

    And when it comes to doing some real heavy lifting I need the Mac Pro.

    APPLE, we need them all. Yes, maybe most Apple consumers will buy and use the iPad and be totally mobile, but many of us still require a desktop for our work. Don’t abandon us.

  3. Same here. I’d love to be able to do this, but it just isn’t robust enough, and I don’t know that the form factor would ever work. For those that find it adequate, go for it. For me, it falls very short.

  4. I love it when I read when iOS fanatics say that the Mac is a truck and iOS is the car. A truck being the ultimate vehicle, how about the Mac is a car, and iOS is a bicycle? Take your iOS to do email, surf the web, find the closest Burger King, do some 1 page at a time iWork stuff, while the Mac users do 4 times that amount of work in the same amount of time, plus do big time edit of movies, record and edit music, and manipulate graphics with the best tools available. I can’t believe that a non-mobile operating system has to be defended like this.

    If you can do everything you need on a mobile operating system, you have to know you are in the minority, but yet you don’t.

      1. Steve jobs was a master salesman. If he told you the Mac was a spaceship, you’d believe it. In the scheme of things, the Mac is not a truck, although I don’t blame him for putting it at the top of the chain, after all, that was his job. It appears it is you who can’t accept today’s reality that the mac is not at the top of the chain, and that the iPad is below that for most users who do real work.

        1. I also said read the biography, which goes into detail about it…. a prototype did exist, the engineer presented it, and then the iPhone came out of that. Period. Read the fucking book and you’re more than a MORON… you’re a willfully ignorant MORON and someone who comes here to cause trouble. In fact here is the full interview: go to 35:56, the fact you cant remember this either means you don’t want to, or you ar 12. He clearly says “they presented me a prototype… and we put the tablet on the shelf”

    1. A Xeon Mac Pro desktop is the Land Rover of Computers.
      The iMac the Toyota RAV 4 of Computers
      The MacBook the Hyundai whatever their cheapest shitbox is of computers.
      The MacBook Pro with Gizmo Bar is the Nissan Altima (4 cylinder with CVT) of computers.
      The iPad the Toyota Prius of Computers.
      The iPhone is the computing device for those who want to squint themselves blind.

  5. Two BIG problems. The author makes a big case that managing files needs to be done in the cloud. I am not about to put my files in the cloud. That is asking for a catastrophe. Also backup is also in the cloud Time machine is one of Apples great inventions and I will continue buying Mac Books because of it. After 50 years in computing I have found that nothing is more important than reliable back up.

  6. Mac

    IPadPro. A computer for everything.

    Except inDesign.

    And Photoshop.

    And Illustrator.

    And accessing an external file system.

    And installing a font.

    And simply importing a tif or eps into a page layout.

    Basically what I do as a pro user 100 times a day.

    Please don’t tell me ‘I’m a niche case’

    The entire market is made up of a series of niche cases.

    Please Apple, don’t tell me that every Mac user should use an iPad.

    I’m quite happy to move to an iPadPro Apple, just make it a true ‘pro’ device.

    20″ plus screen, access to a file system and pro apps and make it quick.

    Whoops I’ve just described the SurfaceStudio.

    1. Exactly.

      Innovation has left the building at Apple and the only vision they have is remove features, power and shrink everything to a thin slab of metal – at a higher price, of course. Now with rental content and in app purchases.

      Whoopie shit.

  7. the Gentelman above must not be in the content creation buisness…or he would not for a second say what he said.

    Without an IosPro with full/roubust user managable file sys ……and withouth full fledged comprehensive Applications rather than fragmented App snipets…
    ipad pro is not even remotely close to being a pro product .

    What worries me is what MS and Qualcomm will show off this Thursday… windows 10 running full fledged Application on snapdragon chip. ..

    And yet Apple is still pushing their idyosyncratic dogma. …..

    sent from ipad pro 12.9

    1. Everybody knows, already, because it has been drilled into our skulls, that REAL work requires processing power which resides with advanced desktop configurations. The quibbles are about the exact definition of REAL work. People who are comfortable with less-than-cutting-edge hardware feel insulted that their craft, and their thriftiness, are labelled as somehow lesser because they are not reliant on Herculean technology. Therefore I suggest ditching the REAL work argument, on the grounds that whilst advancing it, you are promoting the interests of one or two guilds at the expense of the reputation of all the rest. — You want Apple to change their minds, and offer better tech? They aren’t listening to you alpha studs, as you are too few to impress their bottom line; so how about garnering allies instead?

  8. My iPad Pro and Pencil perform beautifully for colorising my digitised sketches.

    The iPad Pro is OK too for quick movie edits.

    Otherwise most things happen on my MacBook Pro, which shuttles between the big screens at my home and office.

  9. I like my iPad pro but it’s not much more then an entertainment device unless you have a specific app for a specific purpose.

    My MBP is FAR easier to do the majority of things that I use a computer for. Use to try and find things to use the iPad pro for but gave up. Went back to using my MBP for almost everything.

    Rarely use it for even web browsing anymore. Got tired of no flash support. I understand why there’s no flash support but too many sites use flash.

  10. I have a 12.9 iPad Pro, just came back from using it at a coffee shop. Great for browsing, sketching,

    but now I’m typing this looking at a giant 20+ inch Cintiq and another big monitor connector to a Mac Pro (upgraded cheese grater). Sorry but at home I would never reach for the iPad unless it’s for reading magazines on the couch or something. For serious computing you need screen real estate and a PROPER FILE SYSTEM (doing anything complex like 3D with multiple small components in files, without an advanced file system it’s chaos).

    SCREEN REAL ESTATE: with two monitors I can have emails with say instructions from a client , video manuals , reference files etc open in one monitor and work on the main programs on the other. On a Mac with proper multitasking ability you can move and copy things around etc.

    Doing this on even a 12.9 iPad will take much much more time.
    Every time I help someone with a small screen and they have to shove windows aside to look at something underneath I sigh (what a waste of time).

  11. Tons of businesses still use PC and Macs and that will not change for a long, long time. That is a fact. Deal with it. Tablets are supplemental devices that compliment PC’s. PC’s exist to maintain compatibility for businesses.

  12. The iPad Air & Pro
    If you are:
    Grandma or Grandpa who plays casual games, does Facebook, shops online, looks at Pictures, read Kindle Books, do email and listens to a few Podcasts…
    Fratboy Biff or Sorority Chick Steffie and Facebook, et al are your thing…
    This is your Computer. You need nothing else.

    If you actually need a computer instead of an internet device with some limited computing ability, get a real Desktop OS. And hurry, Apple is steadily dumbing down OS X/Mac OS/mac OS or whatever Phil calls it this week. Pretty soon it will be as castrated and worthless as iOS.

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