Having covered the hardware and software, what did I finally think of the iPad Pro?
Wrapping up this series is a bittersweet experience. On the one hand a beautifully crafted, powerful but highly mobile computer. On the other, the power let down by the software experience.
I had hoped that by using the iPad, my writing workflow would be enhanced to greater heights.
But what remains was a sense of “what if”.
Why Apple has decided not to implement support to other monitors makes little sense when they promote this a laptop alternative. Multitasking is an essential requirement which a handful of developers have tried to address with varying degrees of success.
Multitasking as a whole is unwieldy on a trackpad but does work better via touch. Side by Side and overview allows up to 3 different windows in one view however, overview apps need to be of the more mobile-centric variety such as Twitter or Spotify due to the thin landscape orientation.
Pen input is fantastic. If you use pen input. I didn’t. Not the devices fault though I just do not have the workflow that needs it. When I did test it out, it seemed to work flawlessly with the iPad, smooth and able to output increase pressure as you would with an analogue writing instrument. I am no artist but even I can understand how this would be used for creativity.
My experience with the Pro also faltered when it came to the applications. Several apps were just not as good as their Web counterparts. WordPress, Medium and all of the Google Apps (Docs, Sheets and Slides) are prime examples of this. They collectively had functionality missing. The experience was sub-par at best and at worst they were unusable now whether the fault lies at the app owners or Apple is debatable, but it is the user who ultimately misses out.
Browsing the web in of itself is adequate but again falls short from the full experience and becomes more difficult than it should. Extensions and pinned tabs, for example, do not exist in Safari and the Chrome app is the mobile version still. It must be said that navigating websites in Safari is a snappy and enjoyable experience (as it is in the Chrome app also), but somehow the experience is just not on a par with laptops.
So with a heavy heart, I sold on my iPad Pro, resolved to stop kidding myself and stick with the OS I know and love – Chrome. I have had Chromebooks since 2011, therefore, have been part of this upstart OS since very early on. It’s evolution, whilst at times taxing, has been fun and rewarding.
So my tech combo of choice right now?
I’m rocking my iPhone 11 Pro, Apple Watch 3, Airpod Pros and a Pixelbook Go. The last three are very recent additions so I’ll be writing about my experience with them soon. The experience of using an iPhone and a Chromebook in tandem works brilliantly.
I am thrilled with this combination using device-agnostic services including Spotify, Grammarly, WordPress and Google services including Docs, Maps and Chrome.
At last I feel settled and ready to create!