How Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro took me by surprise and replaced my MacBook Pro

“I have never been into tablets. I’ve had numerous ones over the years from iPads and iPad Minis to Android tablets. I always found their utility to be too constrained to find a permanent space between my daily phone and laptop usage. Against my better judgement, I decided to give tablets one more chance,” Paul Stamatiou, product designer at Twitter, blogs eponymously. “I walked into the Regent Street Apple Store in London and purchased a 12.9″ iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard.”

“That was a few months ago. A few months in which my 13″ MacBook Pro has not even been powered up once. Any new gadget novelty has long since worn off and I’m still loving and using this iPad Pro daily,” Stamatiou writes. “The iPad Pro features a large and stunning ProMotion display, more mature multitasking functionality, performance to put it in the same arena as larger laptops, a lag-free new input capability with the Pencil and a growing collection of iPad-optimized productivity apps. All while having an impressive battery life, making it a device that can effortlessly feel at home at a coffee shop just as much as on a plane, couch, Eames lounge chair, kitchen counter… anywhere.”

“Can it replace my laptop?” Stamatiou writes. “Yes, and it did. I just wiped my 13-inch TouchBar Macbook Pro and am getting it ready to ship to my sister, whose current laptop is my old 2008 MacBook Pro.”

iPad Pro, in 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch models, introduces the world’s most advanced display and breakthrough performance
iPad Pro, in 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch models, introduces the world’s most advanced display and breakthrough performance

“However, there are definitely areas where an iPad Pro does not make sense at this time. For one, there’s no way to transfer files between an external hard drive except for a few constrained workflows. Doing any real web dev and design is going to be a challenge and slowdown without a dedicated desktop browser and inspector/dev tools, along with the ability to install and run background processes as needed,” Stamatiou writes. “I can’t yet do my day job on this iPad Pro where I need to design and develop with an advanced prototyping tool for macOS called Framer. Even if my mockup design tool of choice (Sketch) existed for the iPad Pro, the speed with which I can create and manage dozens of mockups with the precision of a mouse would be sorely lacking.”

“That leaves me to my final comment about the iPad Pro,” Stamatiou writes. “It’s such a fantastic platform for a wide variety of tasks that I wish there were more developers creating robust apps for the professional market along with customers demanding them and creating with them.”

Tons more in the full article – very highly recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

We find that there are many older users longing to make iPad work like a laptop, because that’s what they know.

Take a look at a twelve-year-old who’s only really ever used an iPad for personal computing. It’s an eyeopener. It’s like looking into the future.

The answer isn’t to try to make the iPad into a MacBook. The answer is to provide all the tools possible in iOS for developers to make robust apps that can take advantage of the multi-touch paradigm. — MacDailyNews, May 16, 2017


  1. Nothing new here, the author makes the case that applies to me in the 4th paragraph re: web developement, etc.

    He is right as far as he goes, but I am not sure where my iPad is right now, cannot recall using it in the last two months, and don’t have the need to look for it.

    1. It’s funny. At home, I almost never use my computer – just do everything on my iPhone. At work, I do software development, and so I use a MacBook Pro with external display, keyboard, and Magic Trackpad.
      I’m not sure that I would use an iPad instead of my iPhone when at home, so I don’t know how much benefit I’d get out of it. It’s nice to have the at-home device already in my pocket, rather than being something I need to go pick up to use.

    2. Guy says he has to use a real Mac at work because the iPad doesn’t cut it. So the headline is misleading: no dude, you haven’t replaced your Mac. You’re just replacing your personal MacBook Pro with a tablet that you’re using outside of work.

      Same old. This just will not die no matter what. No, the iPad/iOS does not replace a Mac. Anybody claiming it does never needed a Mac in the first place.

      1. “Same old. This just will not die no matter what. No, the iPad/iOS does not replace a Mac. Anybody claiming it does never needed a Mac in the first place.”

        Exactly right! The ignorati of touch screen consumers never ceases to amaze me …

          1. “Don’t confuse the two.”

            Well, if you are talking to me I own and use the “two” and have been preaching exactly what you are saying for years now.

            My comments were more directed at the ignorant here that don’t understand the difference or have a smug disdain for pro content creators and power Mac users. One particular poster is wrong all the time …

  2. Not even a possibility to me. Software on the iPad is a joke compared to on a Mac. I need power, real power in my software and it will be years, if ever, until an iPad drives like a truck.

    I hardly ever use my iPad anymore. It’s just for content consumption, not real work.

  3. Not until iOS can allow you to open two Documents Side by Side in the same app in Pages and Numbers. Shame on you Apple Notability “beat you” to it. You can open two documents side-by-side in the same app. Apple Pencil also works better in Notability. And their drawing tools are better than Pages and Notes. Apple has lost its MoJo…!!!

  4. I type this every couple of months: iOS Finder, iOS Preview. Give me a My Documents folder where I can do anything I want (files, folders, etc.). Let me poke on a spreadsheet and have Numbers open. A picture and iOS Preview (or Pixelmator or whatever) open. Etc. When I ‘connect’ to my iPad I want My Documents to show up on my MacBook’s Desktop, just like a memory stick, so I can drag and drop stuff or work right on the files on the iPad. The rest of the machine is Apple’s. I don’t need more gizmos or gestures that go off when I accidentally touch the wrong part of the screen, nor do I want anything in iCloud. I bet they already have this on a dusty shelf in a lab in the Spaceship.

    1. “I don’t need more gizmos or gestures that go off when I accidentally touch the wrong part of the screen, ” 5 stars on that one!!!!

      Have been on Mac since 1988,I have to say that Apple software interfaces no longer have any advantage at all compared to other OS’s when our app screens do not answer the user question: Where Do I Go Next? Especially on iOS apps, you just have to know “intuitively” where the developer wants you to go to use the app.

      “If you loved me, you would know what I meant”. That statement comes prior to a divorce.

      Having said that; Mojave preview looks cool. The only question is: Will Apple return to excellence on the “where do I go next?” question?

  5. The iPad Pro is nice- what I an using right now- but it in no way is a replacement for a desktop Mac and a large display.

    As to “older” users not understanding the device- speak for yourself.

  6. Since photos on the iPad does not have a calendar option, how would you make an Apple calendar at Christmas time on an iPad? This seems like a pretty basic function that is not possible if you get rid of your Mac.

  7. I concur with MDN. Same as a vegetarian. You will never be successful at eating no meat, until you stop eating meatless hotdogs etc. You need to eat the rich supply of REAL food that is available to you. It’s eye opening, and vastly improves your experience.

  8. MDN: please stop reprinting this rubbish. iPads cannot and will not soon replace the function of Macs. One must have very limited computing needs to accept any iOS device as your main work machine. This might be the main problem in Cupertino now. The brainless Apple executives are just accepting the half assed capabilities of their iPads and have no clue what they are missing.

    And then there is Jony. He’s a little special, so he has a white room with special door knobs, an custom alooooominium table and a sketchpad with handmade paper with silver edging so he can draw concepts using expensive European writing instruments made by craftsmen in monasteries. Jony will sit down on his 60,000 pound Italian leather handcrafted chair and deliberate how to remove another millimeter of thickness from the next iOS gadget and take away another physical user interface if possible. Then after lunch, which involves a jet trip halfway around the world, Jony will return to his estate to count is latest executive bonus and polish his latest exotic car acquisition. It’s a rough life. Thank goodness all this hard work has resulted in an iPad that is thinner than the Mac. That alone makes it better, right???

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