I’ve been single-handedly juggling the iPad Pro with MK as my Daily Driver for 2 weeks as a manager of a Venture Capital Company. Here are my thoughts as an iPad enthusiast.
Long story short: I survived the two weeks without worry, but I really miss working on laptop.
I’m a recently-promoted investment manager in the largest Indonesian venture capital firm. Every employee in the company has been relying on their computer to work, juggling excel, reading emails, analyzing investment decks, attending zoom calls, and designing slides. I’ve been relying on 2018 15″ MBP for a while until the butterfly keyboard failed me and I have to get it fixed for free, but gotta wait for 2 weeks.
Since I’m no longer responsible for designing decks, and believe that my iPad can do the job for me as a laptop alternative, I decided to pull the trigger and have my MBP serviced.
Now, my work relies on these following suites:
* Google Apps. (Drive, Gmail, Docs/Sheets/Slides, Google Calendar, account logins)
* [Monday.com](https://Monday.com) for pipeline, portfolio, and analyst assignment.
* Zoom for calls.
* Slack for internal communications.
* Other services such as Crunchbase, etc.
The biggest benefit Apple has ever given me so far is multi-tasking, Desktop Safari and Trackpad support. These three features have probably made the iPad a work powerhouse. Of course, there are still some limitations, but I will share my experience with these apps.
For email, I use the $30/month service from Superhuman, since I have lots of incoming emails and I need to get through it twice as fast to save some time and keep me focused. I know they are focusing their masterpiece on the desktop program, but I’m going to give the iPad version a 75% of the desktop experience. Despite featuring everything that Apple has to offer (except same-app multitasking and drag-and-drop), the iPad is still a bloated iPhone email app, which I wish they could improve these on. These doesn’t hinder my experience as I can still do everything I need on the app.
Now, for Google Drive… this is quite tricky, and would be the main reason why I chose to work on laptop instead of the iPad. It got to do with both Apple and Google.
Google’s Docs/Slides/Sheets app lack tons of features and hasn’t been updated with any of the trackpad and keyboard support. (e.g. I need to click twice to highlight, cannot press Shift to select multiple objects, no cmd+c, cmd+v) It also hogging quite a bit of RAM, which has annoyingly led to app restart every time I interchanged between docs and slides. Despite A12X, the app stutters a little bit. There is no multi-app support, which means to work with two slides, I need to close one and open another. While I can still work, this is really annoying because of how seamless my workflow design used to do in the laptop.
Thankfully I have my analysts who can do things for me so I would instruct them to help me on something if I need it badly (Such as analyzing Excel formulas)
Now you may wonder, there’s desktop Safari, right? Now this is on Apple’s part, I cannot have the option to open the file in Safari. I may be able to open the web app for Google Drive, but every time I opened a file through a link, it instantly redirects to the app. I do not have an option to open it on Safari. Even so, copy-pasting is a very useful tool to take an element from one document to another, and sometimes I cannot do that, especially on Google Sheets. (So far, only Desktop Chrome can do this. Not even Chromium Edge can.)
Thankfully, Monday doesn’t redirect me to their app and I can open both, which is a huge blessing. I am designing some sort of Analyst tasks and require the web app to make it. I use the web for creation and automation, and the app for making entries and mark things as done.
Zoom on iPad is quite limited. First of all, Apple does not allow the camera to be turned on with multitasking or in background (This also applies to MSFT Teams and Google Meet). Screen share is limited to sharing the entire screen, and not to a specific window. Lastly, Zoom’s app cannot be split unlike Microsoft and Google counterparts. There is no sound output setup as well, and you can’t do split audio and assign custom sound output against other sounds. But you know, at least it works. All links does open to Zoom.
I used Google Calendar for setting up and accepting invites. This is probably the best integration of all as it seem to provide all capabilities that the web does. I have absolutely no complains on this one. I can even set Zoom meeting on the calendar without worry.
Slack is also fine. I also have no complains as I only need one window to read and write things.
Other apps like Crunchbase is accessible on Safari. I can access WhatsApp web from it too.
I got my MBP back with the all-new keyboard. I gotta say, the moment they said my computer is ready to be picked up, I rushed and took it, so I could work with full capacity once again.
I was never a believer of iPad as a laptop replacement yet, only a companion/alternative in case you are traveling or need something compact, and my two week experience has further affirmed that. However, I’m also amazed at how capable the iPad is. I think the tipping point that makes the iPad extremely usable powerhouse is the iPadOS 13, with as I mentioned, desktop safari, same-app multitasking, and trackpad support.
I do have feature requests, which can hopefully be implemented on iPadOS 15… or 14 if there is still time for improvement.
* Local file management please.
* Fusion between Mac and iPad apps (This is part of Project Catalyst, and I’m excited since Macs are migrating to Apple Silicon)
* Option to open on app or web. (Such as “Open in…” on Android)
* Customization for audio/video input/output and allow multiple source of sound to play (such as both Zoom and YouTube playing without dimming the sound on each)
* Better screen projection. I know this is very hard since the iPad has been designed as a touch device, and “screen extension” won’t be logically possible. Or in this case, recommend developers to implement full screen projection to mirror on iPad.
* Also, the option to allow user to have their slide projected to screen while the user open another app. (Of course, this will be implemented by the app developer afterwards)
* etc, might have more requests if you give me enough questions :p
Anyway, thank you for reading my wall of text. I hope you learned something as well. Having said that I’m also open for Q&A. Related questions is preferred, but I will try answering all questions.