Using Apple’s iPad Pro as my development machine

“I bought an 11” iPad Pro to use it as my main development machine,” Fatih Arslan blogs eponymously.Let me say it’s an attempt.”

“The iPad is a very different device. I know that many people (including me) are using it already for so many years. However, the iPad has improved a lot and has two new ways of interactions that are now a first-class citizen in the iPad ecosystem: Apple Pencil [and] Apple Smart Keyboard,” Arslan writes. “The number one reason I bought the iPad Pro is, not just to have an excellent and powerful mobile device, I also wanted to explore new possibilities with all these new input devices, new ways of creating stuff. I think Apple is onto something here and I want to see if it holds up or not.”

The new iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard Folio offer take-anywhere power and versatility.
The new iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard Folio offer take-anywhere power and versatility.

“This is a very lengthy blog post. First I’ll share my experiences using it as a development machine, scripts I’m using and my whole workstation setup. Afterwards I’ll share and review the various bits of using an iPad Pro (photo and file management, keyboard, pencil, apps, accessories, etc.),” Arslan writes. “Grab a coffee ☕️ and let’s deep dive into it!”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Another review, and a good one, that ends up pointing fingers at the limitations of iOS.

Take off the training wheels, Apple! After over a decade, we’re familiar with the touch paradigm already!

If you want it to be considered a “real computer,” Apple, how about Xcode for iOS?

Imagine an “iOS Pro” mode.

Turn on iOS Pro on your iPad Pro
1. Tap Settings > General, and make sure iOS Pro is turned on.
2. There is no step two.

Hey, we can dream, can’t we?

Shouldn’t such a thing already exist? Where would iPad sales be if it did?MacDailyNews, December 29, 2015

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

Apple’s iPad Pro is only a few key steps away from being a killer computer – December 24, 2018
Apple’s amazingly powerful iPad Pro is a computer from the future, with software from yesterday – November 9, 2018
I can’t put Apple’s new iPad Pro down, but we really need ‘padOS’ – November 8, 2018
What Apple’s iPad Pro enables matters more than what it replaces – November 7, 2018
The Verge reviews the new iPad Pro: Apple’s approach to iOS is holding back powerful hardware in serious ways – November 5, 2018


  1. He’s not really using an iPad as a development machine. He’s jury rigging a Rube Goldberg setup of tools to remotely control a development station. Lots of work. At the end of the article, you know you need to buy a Mac.

    1. To be fair, I would still consider the setup to be a development machine since you could host your VM instance in the cloud instead of a remote log in to a desktop/server. As a standalone development machine however I would have to agree with you since it would always require a data connection to work.

    2. Yes absolutely Rube Goldberg. I’m reminded of similar articles on porting linux and Android to the HP Touchpad when HP orphaned web0s.

      Fascinating article , if you really want to get into the guts of your iPad Pro and i0S. For the brave and intrepid perhaps you can port Mojave to an iPad. I’m leery of trying it myself as my iPad Pro already has a bend and I’m concerned about warranty issues already.

  2. Just give iOS-Pro as i have suggested for years now….. a roubust CORE user manageable file/folder system with a consistent UI across the OS and ecosys and accessible from all apps for all types of files!
    Open up the i/o. No restrictions to external devices.!

    Please! 🙏🙏🙏

    1. The sandboxing model fundamental in iOS is the big ‘wall’ preventing a full featured file system similar to Windows/Android. That model is what keeps iOS Apps from adversely affecting data used by other Apps on the same device. The current workaround is to use iCloud as your filesystem and make sure the Apps you use support iCloud for storage.

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