Why the iPad won’t replace the MacBook as my main work tool any time soon – Macworld

With all the productivity features that iOS 9 brings, I decided it was time to trade up my long-in-the-tooth iPad mini 2 for an iPad Air 2 and see how the other half’s been living. So far, I’ve been impressed by the capabilities of the Air 2: Its speed, its slim and light form factor, and its gorgeous large screen. 

Honestly, the more impressive the iPad gets, the closer it approaches, well, the MacBook. But despite all of that, and even with the immense productivity enhancements made in iOS 9, I found myself thinking that I’m not about to give up my laptop anytime soon. 

Keep on truckin’ 

It wasn’t so long ago that I found myself nodding in agreement as Steve Jobs declared that some day soon tablets would be the “cars” to traditional computers’ “trucks.” That most people could get by on a tablet for the things they needed to do every day: Check their email, surf the web, watch movies, and run the occasional app. 

I still think that’s true, but implicit in that is the reminder that the trucks aren’t going away.  

ios9 slide out apple Apple

True, iOS 9’s multitasking features for the iPad make it a pretty powerful machine. 

I’ve spent some time in the past working from an iPad, including an experiment back in 2012 in which I concluded I could do most everything I needed to on the iPad, albeit somewhat slower than on my Mac. Of course, that was also three years ago, and the iPad’s become steadily more capable in the intervening time. 

Still, at the end of a day, there are a couple of fundamental issues working against the iPad’s productivity, at least for me: One is the touchscreen interface, and the other is the locked down nature of iOS. 

Touchy subject 

Don’t get me wrong: I love the touchscreen on my iPhone and my iPad. It’s smooth, it’s intuitive, and it really removes a layer of abstraction between me and the task at hand. But—and you knew a “but” was forthcoming, right?—the problem comes when it’s combined with a keyboard. 

Look, I’m a writer: I need a keyboard to work. That onscreen keyboard? Great for typing out short messages or writing notes, but it really does not cut it when you have to sit down and bang out an 800-word column. Even Apple tacitly acknowledged this fact with the iPad Pro when it announced the new Smart Keyboard


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