Give Victor Cajiao an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Get magic back.
What is it about the internet that makes people think they know better than everyone else? What is it about the internet that takes what I can only assume are relatively normal people and turns them into trolls?
More importantly, what is it about the internet that makes people think they have the right, or even the ability to tell someone that their specific use case is wrong? That what they just told them was rubbish because it doesn't fit with their outlook on a specific topic?
What makes them think that, having read a piece of writing that articulately explains that someone could in fact use an iPad instead of a Mac full time, they have the right to tell that writer he is wrong? That they're even going so far as to lie about it?
That's what is happening right now after Federico Viticci, the man behind Macstories, wrote an excellent article that started out as an iPad Air 2 review and then turned into a piece about how he doesn't use a Mac anymore because that same iPad does everything he needs and in many ways, does it better.
What most right thinking people should be able to agree on is that an excellent piece of writing has been turned into a one-sided flame war in which Viticci has been told, repeatedly, that he is wrong and that an iPad simply cannot, must not, and never will replace a 'real computer.' Countless tweets and blog comments have seen everyone with a keyboard and an irrational hatred of anyone who disagrees with them, come out of the woodwork.
One commenter on a BGR post claims that "...sorry no way a tablet no matter who is going to replace a laptop." Except, you know, for the people that it already has done exactly that for.
Another exclaims: "completely ridiculous. Of course an iPad can't replace your PC...EVER." Except, well, for the people that it already has done exactly that for.
Another. "A total load of #$%$. Doing what work? Writing columns. Twitting. Texting. LoLing. Browsing. Silly to suggest that a tablet replaces a computer." That comment even manages to contradict itself in the same paragraph. Yes, when working. Writing. Like I am now. You know. On an iPad.
See, I can use ridiculous punctuation, too.
The point of writing this isn't particularly to point out, again, that I too don't use a Mac anymore. It's not even to agree with Federico's post either. Instead, it's to point out the ridiculousness of an argument that just keeps on reigniting and seemingly just won't be smothered out for good. Are iPads real computers? Can they be used for real work? Can they replace a notebook?
Well yes. And yes. And yes again. Because I'm doing it. And because Federico is doing it, too.
Oh, you're not, you say? You can't play Grand Theft Auto 5 on a 60-inch monitor using an iPad? You can't do some specific workflow that requires a $3,000 piece of software that 95% of the population has never even heard of, on an iPad? Oh well, then I'm obviously wrong. You're right. iPads can't be used for real work.
Except the real work I'm using it for.
I guess what I'm trying to get at after this lengthy late-night-in-the-UK ramble that I can't seem to wrap up is this: Why can't we just call get along? Why must my working habits conform to yours? Why, because you can't do something on an iPad must I either be wrong, or worse, simply lying through my back teeth when I say that I can live without a Mac?
Why does it have to be some kind of holy war, with Mac owners on one side and iPad owners on the other?
Can we not all just get along?
Written on an iPad. Because I can.
This may come as a surprise to many of you, but I have not always been the well-rounded iPad user that I am today. No no, don't interrupt me. It's true.
After picking up the first iPad before it launched over here in the UK - there's an interesting little story about that involving scientist Brian Cox, maybe I'll tell you all one day - and then losing interest in it, I bought an iPad 2 shortly after its arrival. It was new, shiny, thinner and lighter. Apart from that, I still didn't really use it. It was a nice-to-have, but far from essential.
Of course, now I live on my iPad mini, but that transition started with something much more basic than going all-in. I didn't write blog posts on it, and I certainly didn't manage any FTP stuff like I do now.
What made the transition happen initially was the realisation that the iPad isn't a big iPhone.
The problem I always had when making myself use the iPad was that I tended to have my iPhone either in my pocket or my hand. Why would I hunt out my iPad to do something that I could already do with what was, quite literally, to hand? The short answer is that I didn't and, in fact, I shouldn't. The iPad is not a large iPhone, and the sooner everyone realises that, the better.
Use the iPad for reading comics. You wouldn't do that on your iPhone. Use it for watching Netflix. You wouldn't do that on your iPhone. Use it for browsing the web, for reading everything you save to Pinboard, for thumbing through Reddit. Use it for editing images in Pixelmator. And games. And...well, you get the idea by now.
Sure, use your iPad for everything that the iPhone just isn't suited for. But that also works both ways.
A lot of the problems I had with the iPad was that it just wasn't as good at doing some things as my iPhone. It wasn't as good for reading Twitter because I typed replies quicker on the iPhone. It wasn't as good for iMessage for the same reason. Emails? Same. Yes it's good for triage, but unless you use an external keyboard, it's useless for writing.
Fundamentally, the iPad and the iPhone are two distinct products in two differing product categories and should be treated as such. That's the reason developers do, or at least should design their apps to make proper use of the iPad rather than simply rescaling their iPhone apps to fit without looking stupid. Things started great in that regard, but as the App Store has matured and developers have stopped using their iPads, the lines between iPhone and iPad apps have begun to blur. But that's another argument for another time.
The reason I bring all this up now is that I have been listening to the latest episode of Accidental Tech Podcast in which the ever opinionated Marco Arment waxed lyrical about how he has a new-found love of the iPad after buying an iPad Air 2. The improved hardware works better, and that helps greatly, but Marco's real reason for getting back into iPad use is the realisation that it does some things in a much better way than the iPhone and if you remember that, the two need not fight each other for supremacy.
I like Marco, despite what he might think, and it's good to hear that one of the more prominent iOS developers around has fallen for the iPad once more. Let us hope that means that some other developers will start to give Apple's tablet a little more attention from now on.
It's far from scientific, but...
To see how things have changed, we rebooted an iPad Air and an iPad Air 2, and then loaded monster memory hog XCOM: Enemy Unknown. We then started opening and using apps to see how much we could get done before iOS forcibly removed XCOM from memory.
If you ever wondered why everyone is clamouring for Apple's iOS hardware to get more RAM, this is why.